Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gender & Indigenous Culture

I had a long conversation yesterday with my friend Jodi. She definitely sees gender as binary, and refers to herself as a "two-spirit," which is an indigenous American term from a few tribes. It refers to what we would call people outside the gender binary and hetero orientation. (

I really like the idea behind that for myself, but 1. I want to get away from the binary, and 2. I'm not native American.

So, I've been playing around with Polish combinations of words, just for the hell of it. I'm not sure if way way back in indigenous Slavic culture there was a place for "two-spirits," because my people were oral (hehe) until Christianity. So I'm going to start asking my dreams for answers. Until then, what do you think of the following combinations? I want to create a phrase or word that is relatively easy for non-Polish speakers to hear, or even write. Many Polish words are just way too complicated. And obviously, it's highly specific to me. I wouldn't call anyone else these terms.

The issue I'm having is that for myself I think of my "true self" as being beyond gender completely, or "other," but in terms of the social world, I enjoy playing with the contrast of masculine and feminine. So I'm not sure how to convey that with one phrase. Thus, the phrases I came up with fall into 2 categories:
The first conveys the primordial, androgynous, complete feeling.
The second conveys the unification of a binary, like "two spirit."

Dwadalej - two and beyond
Dużo dusz - many souls
Klejnot - Jewel
Z Ognia - from the fire

Primordial gender phrases:
"Cały razem"
- all together
"Każdy razem" - every [thing] together
"Pierwszy pożar" - first fire

The gender binary phrases:
"Dwa razem" - two together
"Dwa duchy" - two spritis
"Dwa duszy" two souls

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