[LMB] A Herm question

Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at zoho.com
Thu Jan 17 22:51:41 GMT 2019

---- On Wed, 16 Jan 2019 20:03:41 -0800 Pat Mathews <mailto:mathews55 at msn.com> wrote ----

I think two herms who had a child might decide that the one who donated the egg should be Mom and the one who donated the sperm should be Dad. Same-sex couples could use Mom 1 and Mom 2, or Mom and Auntie, likewise Dads 1 & 2 or else Dad and Uncle .... all sorts of variations are possible. 


Beatrice Otter:

The problem with herms using Mom and Dad is that they imply genders that are simply not true.  It would be like if a heterosexual couple had the man stay home to take care of the house and kids and the woman worked and supported the family, and the husband got the title "Mrs" because that title went with homemaking and the wife got the title "Mr" because that title went with working outside the home.  I believe that gender is a social construct and that not everybody falls nice and neatly into the current way of constructing gender in a binary system, and that everyone has the right to decide what their gender is even if it doesn't match their genitals.  But, at the same time ... what that means is finding ways to describe that gender rather than adopting the terms of a different gender and calling it close enough for jazz.

Herms are not the same as non-binary people, or even intersex people, today.  But enbies may be the closest analogy we have.  I have a non-binary friend who struggles with what their children should call them, but that's because we're only starting to have a conversation about gender and what it means, and so we really haven't developed any terms as a society for "what do children call their parents who aren't male or female?"  (But there are people working on the question, even so.)  And also, nonbinary people are only a tiny fraction of the population today.  On Beta Colony, however, herms are a sizeable minority who've been around for centuries, and I would be SHOCKED if there was ANY gender-specific terminology on Beta that didn't have options for male, female, and herm.  I expect most terminology is gender-neutral, but what gender-specific stuff they have would include herms.

Beatrice Otter

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