The relation between the three abstract terms of the philosophical triad, thesis, antithesis, synthesis is also also known as the dialectic method. The dialectic method is a discourse between two or more people holding different viewpoints about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned argument. First, a beginning proposition is called a thesis. Second there is a negation of that thesis called the antithesis. Third there is a blend or fusion of the first and second propositions, the thesis and antithesis. It is called the synthesis.
Please imagine a large canvas with vertical stripes of black, white and all the colours of the rainbow. Now imagine it blurring and mixing. You can still see the colours and the black and white but you’re just not sure where the boundaries between any two colours lies.
This picture describes for me the current western situation regarding gender and sexuality. We can see the different colours but we’ve lost sight of the boundaries between them.
Some people suggest that we need to restore the old picture, or at least draw in some lines so we know where red starts and yellow stops. Some people suggest we mash the whole thing together and blend all the colours, the canvas and even the frame leaving nothing but a uniform grey goo.
Just how far do we go to allow and support ‘difference’? I mean ultimately we’re all different, and paradoxically we’re all the same.
The thesis for many centuries was that men are masculine. That psychology and biology are equal and the same and that heterosexuality is the only healthy way to live. The antithesis for the past 50 years has allowed men to be more feminine has allowed homosexuality and has separated biology and psychology.
Not all in one go though. Cultural evolution is a slow and often painful process but it’s evident (if you look) and like all evolution it just gets more and more complex. It’s the synthesis of that evolution that I want to look at today.
Trans means to cross. Think of the Trans Siberian Railway that spans the great divide between Russia and China. There are many places along this route. Farms, towns, hovels, palaces and cities. Places with large numbers of people and places with nothing but a dung beetle rolling a ball of poo up a hill.
Think of Russia as straight and avowedly heterosexual. Think Vladimir Putin, bare chested with a gun! Everyone is getting on fine in Russia. they all know that they are Russian and they know all the rules and convention of Russian life. Then someone discovers China with its different traditions and conventions. China has strange ways indeed, incomprehensible to some. However those Russians that do visit China find it to be a pleasant enough place and although many Russians might not want to live in China the journey there has changed them. They go back to Russia with tales and souvenirs. Russian children grow up hearing about China and perhaps want to see it for themselves or even live there. Perhaps on the journey they stop half way or any where on route. Perhaps they stop at the dusty little market stall selling out of date coke in the middle of nowhere. Maybe they settle there. Others make the journey too. Chinese people visit Russia and make friends and in the interchange between the great countries the route between them slowly become populated. Only brave souls at first. Those who really need something other than China or Russia but slowly the dessert becomes populated and fertile.
You might be a staunch Russian believing in the sanctity of mother Russia, and that is cool if it works for you but you’ll never get everyone to move back and there wouldn’t be room there now anyway. Not for all the difference that has evolved on the trans-express. The only answer is travel. You’ll still be Russian. Strictly and strongly Russian if you like. But make friends with all the people who are not Russian and you’ll have more friends. Or stay in Russia. The choice is yours.
A man in a skirt. (Just outside of Russia in a small but growing town)