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    The first Androgynos flag (gender/sex)
    The re-designed Androgynos flag by bigfootrights (Intersex only).

    Androgynos (אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס in Hebrew, meaning "hermaphrodite"[1] or modernly "intersex"[2]) is is one of the six sexes/genders of the Talmud.[1] It is used to discuss the gender and Talmudic legal classification of intersex Jews with both wolffian and müllerian sex characteristics (most commonly those with ambiguous genitalia).[3]

    Jewish law has specific legal obligations that differ for each of the six genders/sexes, and so they become an exceedingly important aspect of one's identity.

    Androgynos is a culturally exclusive gender, specific to Jewish culture, and should not be used by non-Jewish individuals. A non-culturally exclusive term, duosian, was created for non-Jewish intersex people who resonate with Androgynos.

    The closest modern, western equivalent for dyadic non-Jews would be bigender or androgyne.

    History

    The first known mention of the Androgynos is in the Genesis Rabbah, a midrash (religious text collecting rabbanic textual interpretations) written sometime in between 300CE and 500CE.[4]

    "Said Rabbi Jeremiah ben Elazar: 'When the Holy One, blessed be the One, created the first adam [human being], [G-d] created him [an] “androgynos.'" - Midrash Rabbah 8:1[5]

    The Mishna and Talmud discuss the legal classifications of the androgynos in the Tractate Bikkurim and Tractate Yevamot.

    "An Androginus (a hermaphrodite, who has both male and female reproductive organs) is similar to men in some ways and to women in other ways, in some ways to both and in some ways to neither." - Mishna, Tractate Bikkurim 4:1[6]

    "The Gemara clarifies: The halakha of a hermaphrodite is that which we just said, that he is considered a creature unto himself (Rabbeinu Ḥananel)." - Talmud, Tractate Yevamot.83a:5[7]

    In these discussions, Androgynos people are considered theoretically under four categories:

    • The sex of the individual is unknown. They may be male or may be female, but their true identity remains in doubt.
    • They are their own sex, a category unto themselves completely separate from the male and female sexes.
    • They are both male and female, that is, they exist simultaneously as a member of both sexes.
    • They are considered male. Because they possess male sexual characteristics, they belong to the male sex.

    Despite contradicting views, the majority of Posek (legal scholars who determine rulings in Jewish law) and Talmudic commentators do not assign Androgynos individuals a fixed gender. Because of this uncertain identity, they can be classified differently in varying cases—sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes both male and female, and other times neither.[8][9]

    A minority of Posek classify androgynos individuals as completely male, meaning they would be obligated by law in the same way as men.[8]

    Intersexism and Modern Use Debate

    Like many intersex people, intersex Androgynos people face social and medical discrimination in the form of intersexism.

    In modern halachic discourse, there is debate surrounding gender reassignment surgeries for intersex Jews and the "appropriate course of action" for both Androgynos and Tumtum individuals. Many argue that Androgynos people with ambiguous genitalia should always undergo surgery to become male, as they would be allowed to perform more mitzvot than women.[10]

    There are also contemporary arguements about the modern understanding and interpretations of androgynos, tumtum, ay'lonit, and saris in relation to nonbinary and transgender Jews.[11][12]

    The opinions of intersex Jews on who can or should use Androgynos/Tumtum are important for many reasons. The terms are explicitly tied to Jewish intersex history and are a rare example of a culture/religion including intersex people without forcing them to undergo surgeries[10] (while gender reassignment surgery is debated, it is not a requirement).[13][14]

    Common consensus is that dyadic trans/non-binary Jews who connect with Androgynos/Tumtum are already included in the other four genders/sexes. Zachar and Nekevah are simply "male" and "female" respectively, Ay'lonit is often used by transmasculine Jews, and Saris is often used by transfeminine Jews.[15][16]

    On the other side of the discussion, some intersex Jews believe that dyadics may use Androgynos/Tumtum if they do not pretend to be intersex and are mindful about avoiding intersexism (such as saying they are "transitioning to intersex/an intersex body" or erasing the history of intersex Jews).

    As a result of this discussion, more recent terms have been made to better represent dyadic non-binary and trans jews such as A-migdari ("non-binary"), Meshulav ("multigender"), and Eshed ("genderfluid/flux").

    Flags

    The first androgynos flag was submitted to the Tumblr blog ask-pride-color-schemes by the user tumtum_and_androgynos on December 20, 2016.[17] The white and blue bars represent a connection to Judaism. In particular, blue is considered a divine color, associated with the sky and G-d. Meanwhile white is a general symbolism of purity, as it is in many other cultures. The blue and red bars come from the androgyne flag and represent man and woman, thus how androgynos is seen as a mix of the two.

    The redesigned blue and yellow flag was designed by Tumblr user Bigfootrights on November 8, 2019[18]. The flag was inspired directly from Adam and Genesis; Adam is described upon his initial creation not as a man (there is no gendered reference other than Them), therefore, an argument can be made that Adam was created intersex. The creator of the flag often sees Adam as androgynos, and thus, the flag was designed with him in mind. The blue reflects the sky, and yellow reflects the sun at the peak of the day. White is meant to parallel the trans flag, where it stands for those who do not fall on a definable spectrum or binary.

    An Androgynos (gender) flag was designed by Tumblr user primalserenity on May 16, 2018.[19] Primalserenity created a second flag for Androgynos as a gender on July 17, 2018.[20] There are no known meanings for either flag.

    On September 11, 2020 plurgai created flags for intersex and altersex androgynos people. The flags also have no known meaning.[21]

    Plurgai also created an alternate intersex androgynos flag on Februrary 9, 2021. Purple represents a blend of masculinity and femininity, and/or having characteristics of both. Rose is for intersex (a blend of purple and yellow). Light blue is for being Jewish. The circle comes from the intersex flag.[22]

    On or before February 11, 2021, plurgai remade the intersex and altersex androgynos flags alongside primalserenity's androgynos as a gender flag. There are no known meanings.[23]

    Resources

    1. https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.morfix.co.il/%D7%90%D7%A0%D7%93%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%92%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%A1
    2. https://web.archive.org/web/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgynos
    3. https://web.archive.org/web/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgynos
    4. https://web.archive.org/web/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_Rabbah
    5. https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/197646
    6. https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/36411
    7. https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.sefaria.org/Yevamot.83a.4
    8. 8.0 8.1 https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.yeshiva.org.il/wiki/index.php/%D7%90%D7%A0%D7%93%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%92%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%A1
    9. https://web.archive.org/web/https://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/68899/how-is-%D7%90%D7%A0%D7%93%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%92%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%A1-androgynus-possible
    10. 10.0 10.1 https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/journal/cohen-1.htm
    11. https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.yonathanreches.com/the-six-genders-in-jewish-law/
    12. https://web.archive.org/web/https://kabbalicgay.tumblr.com/post/659931792286056448/yr-not-obligated-2-answer-this-if-u-dont-want-too
    13. https://web.archive.org/web/20220312185338/https://toopunkrockforshul.tumblr.com/post/669777991927218176/himbo-the-clown-chelonianmobile
    14. https://web.archive.org/web/20220312193136/https://himbo-the-clown.tumblr.com/post/627472021007302656/six-sexes-in-judaism-and-how-non-intersex
    15. https://web.archive.org/web/20220312190136/https://ahava-suggestion.tumblr.com/post/656543244315967488/shabbat-shalom-3-im-doing-heavy-research-and
    16. https://web.archive.org/web/https://kabbalicgay.tumblr.com/post/673697236753006592/if-you-dont-mind-questions-about-it-how-did-you
    17. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://ask-pride-color-schemes.tumblr.com/post/154753324059/image-two-flags-both-are-spilt-into-three Flag ]
    18. Alternate flag
    19. https://web.archive.org/web/https://primalserenity.tumblr.com/post/173972467863/androgynos-a-jewish-cultural-gender-dating-back
    20. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://primalserenity.tumblr.com/post/176006022808/some-new-jewish-exclusive-gender-flags Third flag ]
    21. https://web.archive.org/web/https://varsex-pride.tumblr.com/post/628973094284017664/plurgai-gender-flag-androgynos
    22. https://web.archive.org/web/https://lgbtqiarchive.tumblr.com/post/642884095207194624/i-made-extra-intersex-only-flags-for-androgynos
    23. https://web.archive.org/web/https://lgbtqiarchive.tumblr.com/post/642884087350214656/remake-of-these-androgynos
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