Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's a gender weekend!

Mel of Broadsnark just linked on twitter to this essay by Asher Bauer. It's probably the best introduction to radical thinking about gender you could hope for right now. Highly recommended for everyone, even if you think you're already knowledgeable on the subject (it's even made me a bit embarrassed about some of my phrasing in the last post), and especially if you think you're not interested, because you damn well should be.

Comments section is long and good.


Jack Crow said...

Thanks for the read, Ethan.

I have what may seem like an odd question: how was it radical?

I don't ask that as a challenge - I'm just curious about how you define radical, in the context of the topic.

Ethan said...

It's radical to me primarily in that it redefines trans- and cis- identities so that cis is no longer the "norm" from which trans deviates. This is radical in both the literal "from the root" sense and also in the more general everyday use of the term.

It's radical also in that it denies the validity of the body/mind disconnect (gender vs. sex) that pervades the predominant models by which we think about genderqueer issues.

It's radical because it denies the "trapped in the wrong body" model that cis society uses to make trans people acceptable to it: "This body is not a woman’s. It is mine. Neither am I trapped in it."

It's radical because Bauer completely disregards, as he puts it, "the social expectations for myself as a trans person– which mainly seem to involve apologizing for my existence."

Jack Crow said...

Brilliant. I frankly missed the import of that read, focusing instead on the revaluation of the binary on its own.

Thank you.