the relevance of gender
The topic of gender is relevant to everyone. It is also a topic that evokes a strong emotional response. Gender is a social construct and few of us are aware of the system of rewards and punishments that have shaped our gender identity. For others who this system did not ‘succeed’ are often more aware of the process that shape identity as they have had to confront and defy. It is worthwhile to spend some time thinking about how your fear manifests itself, and how your fear of stepping outside the boundaries of ‘appropriate’ gender behavior limits your life. It starts many of us asking a slew of questions such as what was done to us in the name of Manhood and Womanhood, why? Why dose this process exist in the first place? Whose interest dose it serve? These questions are important to understanding our gender and us as a whole. Sex Changes: The politics of Transgenderism by Pat Califia addresses such questions. The following is a summary of the general description of t! he book and it’s main points, which I have broken down chapter by chapter. The first chapter examines three autobiographical testimonies about the benefits of medically mediated sex reassignment. These works may be seen as the first generation o
I firmly believe that this is an essential step to answering questions and challenging our own biases and prejudices. Califia attempts to be sensitive to this and to not treat transsexuals as patients or troubled clients of therapists. In seeing this I got an insight in seeing transsexuals in the same light I view myself. The subjugation of gay men and lesbians overlie with that of transsexuals. I could not avoid imaging violating the norms I take for granted, and image the guilty pleasure I would experience. As people continue to struggle to find their place on the gender continuum there will be a need for short-term practical solutions that will allow them to lead a fulfilling life. These institutions regularly claim impartiality and may assert that their point of view as more important or powerful than that of transgendered people themselves. Including transsexuals in the main body of the audience, rather than referring to them as outsiders created a form on anxiety in me. Chapter five takes a look at autobiographies of transsexuals and transgender activists several years after the early autobiographies. Califia writes in such bold, explicit, and honest ways that provoke both a reaction of discomfort and titillated. The second chapter explores the published works of gender experts which dominated the publics understanding of transsexuality and left there mark on public policy about "treatment"tm for this "illness"tm. I think I will end this essay with one of the questions that Califia ends her book with, I feel it sums up one of the more intriguing ideas "Who would you be if you had neve!r been punished for gender inappropriate behavior, or seen other children punished for deviation from masculine or feminine norms, or participated in dishing out such punishments". The author evaluates what changes have taken place since that time.
Some topics in this essay:
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