“What your grandmother probably didn’t tell you is that when you become infatuated with someone you hardly know, what you actually have fallen in love with is an unrealized potential in yourself.”
–Catherine MacCoun, “Becoming An Alchemist”
In the mid-1980s, a Hollywood rumor started that actress Jamie Lee Curtis—best known, at the time, for the movie Halloween—was a hermaphrodite. Since then it has been repeated countless times, even cited in academic settings as absolute fact.
However, there is no proof that Curtis has such a condition. Not saying it is out of the realm of possibility in our current reality, because people are born intersex…there’s just no proof of this particular rumor.
How did such gossip start about Curtis? I would submit that it began in response to her role in the 1985 movie Perfect, in which the actress boasted a smoking hot physique and a super-short haircut.
And that sex appeal, I feel, was the ultimate originator of the hermaphrodite rumor. Because in contrast to actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Mia Farrow, whose short pixie cuts only seemed to accentuate their femininity more—Curtis’ hairstyle made her look androgynous.
She was a sexy androgynous woman. And some found such a condition inherently problematic (especially if they were attracted to her). Hence: a “story” had to be invented to “explain” her, possibly also to demean her (though since we’ve already established that medically intersex-by-birth people do exist, such a condition on its own shouldn’t be seen as something pejorative).
Though Curtis would vary her hair style over the years, she’s mostly stuck with the short cut —in spite of the rumor about her that has survived for over two decades. She has been married to actor Christopher Guest since 1984, has two adopted children (this fact has also been used to “bolster” the hermaphrodite theory), has appeared in over 40 movies, is a children’s book author, and will star in the upcoming remake of Halloween.
Jamie Lee Curtis is doing fucking fine.
The word hermaphrodite, by the way, comes from:
Hermes: The messenger and divine trickster of the Gods, “the god of boundaries and the transgression of boundaries.” Synced with the Egyptian Thoth.
Aphrodite: The goddess of love, beauty, sex, and procreation.
Many older cultures had a place for those considered “two-spirited”—they were often seen as otherworldly Gatekeepers (again we have the Hermes symbology), shamanic, able to travel multiple worlds (temporal and astral). They had a nomenclature and procedure to deal with this idea: the idea of the “gray area.”
Ironically, though our society is far more “modern” now, in many ways it is somewhat retrograde in dealing with this concept.
About 15 years ago I used to study Grail legends a lot; I got pretty far into that lore. It all started by reading the book The Spear Of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft. Though obviously a book about the Spear of Longinus legend and not specifically the Grail legend, it did focus quite heavily on Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach…and so the trip down the rabbit hole began.
(It should be mentioned at this point that The Spear of Destiny is an utterly bananas book. But that is neither here nor there.)
And so from studying Parzival I studied the Grail, and from there you get to the whole Holy Blood, Holy Grail theory, and from there you get to Mary Magdalene studies, and the whole “Black Madonna” thing, and then the Templars, and then from the Templars to the Freemasons, and now you’re left on the top of a mesa by a UFO and you just don’t know what the hell happened.
So anyway, I was thinking of just picking up that whole thing again. Because, you know, that sounds like some practical applied knowledge certainly.
Have a good Friday.