"My Words to Vicctor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix"
This essay was one of the best i had ever ready thus far because it made me see the world differently because it caused me to think off all the things i refer to as beastly and look at them with a different gaze. the idea of a monster shouldn’t necessarily been seen as a bad one, but as a creation that holds beauty and difference. The article states, ” Monsters, like angels, functioned as messengers and heralds of the extraordinary.” In others words why not give the word monster back its original definition of Divine portent instead of associating it with all things ugly and hideous. Jus the same as people associate being trans with negative ideas and conceptions, why not associate it with birth of a new being who confronts nature and discovery.
"The Transsexually Constructed Lesbian Feminist"
This essay is an excerpt from janice Raymond’s “The transsexual Empire.” Throughout the essay she explains how most if not all male to female transsexuals claim to be lesbian feminsists because they dont stand for nor do they agree with sexist ideas by heterosexuals of what a woman should be and how this idea of masculinity and feminity are one in the same tahts why it is so easy for a male to female transsexual to be considered a femine woman because its easy to flip from one side to the other.But the problem with that is that they appeer to be more feminine than most feminine women.
Further throughout the essay Raymond suggest that the existence of trans women is offensive to feminism because the very thing that feminist try to protect women from rape which she defines as “a masculinity violation of bodily integrity,” and deception is exactly what transsexuals do. she says that transsexuals rape women bodies by pretending to be a women and reducing what it means to be a real female to an artifact. She also suggest that transsexuals are deceptive because one has to wonder how they received surgery anyway because all trans people have to “pass” in order to receive surgery. Also she suggest that transsexual are not equal to those born women because they weren’t born women and have not lived out their entire lives as women so they have no sense of entitlement to the term woman because they have no idea what it takes to be one.
But I struggle with accepting her views because as a transsexual male to female they identity with being a women are their lives boorn in the wrong body. So in a sense they know what it feels like to be oppressed, picked on and even isolate because of the fear of not living up to expectations. and honestly those born in the wrong body might even have had it harder then “real women” because they not only live with fear but they live with the burden of being in the wrong body.
Reflection: “Radical Queens Manifesto”
This article puts into prospective how the idea of acting like a woman or acting like a man are ideas that are made by oppressors who wish to hinder those who don’t fit into those particular molds or those who want to be different from the role they have been assigned. It is a known fact that as a young boy growing up you are taught to be aggressive, independent, strong and masculine. But this article challenges those stereotypical ideas and believes that these ideas are created to keep the oppressor in power and to keep the oppressed weak and in need. This article challenges the idea of what it means to be “manly” because it is believed that a manly man does not set out to be an artist, actor, hair dresser, or fashion designer. But this article challenges these ideas by not confirming to either idea of what a male is suppose to behave like or what a female is suppose to behave like. The author leaves it up to the individual to decide who they want to be and if its behaving like a manly woman than so be it. Its the idea that one’s identity should never be contingent on what society expects.
Reflection: “Romancing the Transgender Native”
The term third gender was introduced in 1975 because it implied that gender could not be limited to just two-genders , male and female. The term challenged “dyadic male-female codes or norms.” The creation of the idea of third gender created a path for the term transgender because it allowed one to understand that gender roles are not defined by what is considered normal for a particular gender. A perfect example of this would be that one’s sexual orientation does not have to directly reflect one’s gender. And this section of the article stood out to me because before taking this class I always thought that one had to fir into a particular category meaning that one had to be straight,gay,lesbian,or bisexual. But after reading this essay i begin to think of a world where fitting into a particular group or category no longer existed. what if one was free of being labeled or place in a particular group, what if one actual;y had the freedom to be free of labels because labels ultimately create stereotypes.
Reflection: “Mutilating Gender”
In this essay Dean Spade examines the relationship between gender normativity and body alterations such as reassignment surgery. In the openign of this essay he jokingly brings up a scenario where a woman wants a nose job and the doctor asked her hwy and she replies by saying” I’ve always felt like a small-nosed woman trapped in a large-nosed body.” This experience stood out to me and made me laugh because getting a nose job is seen as common and usual but for a transsexual to want sex-change surgery it is seen as taboo and looked down upon. Because some may argue that you are born the way god intended for you to be and transsexualism is a disease. But if this is the case a nose job should be seen as a defiance of gods plan and should be seen as a taboo to alter one’s face. In society we have become so close minded to things that go against what is considered the norm and what ever doesn’t fit within the little box we call living life it is seen as wrong or labeled a disease in order to make sense of it all.
But another part in the essay that stood out to me was the fact that ” transsexualism is a disease, and sex-change surgery is its treatment. they argue that transsexualism is socially constructed by medical practice, and is maintained by profiteer doctors who gain wealth, fame and surgical expertise…” In others words being trans is a disease and the only way to be treated is by receiving surgery but the only reason there is treatment for this disease because it comes with wealth and status within a community that looks down on trans people.
The Eyes of The State panel
One of the Panels I had the pressure of attending was The Eyes of The State: Trans Incarceration, Criminalization, and Surveillance. One of the speakers that stood out to me was SharRon Cooks from Making Our Lives Easier Organization. She spoke on how trans people in prison if they do not have any where to be released to they are held in jail for an even longer period of time until they max out which simply means over staying their welcome. In the opening of her presentation she brought up this website that was a report of trans and gender variant people who were in the Pennsylvania prison facilities. The report was stories and events of their experiences while behind bars the battles they face on a day to day basis. This for me stood out because it over lapped with the film seen in class and it gave me even more first hand in site as to how life behind bars is for trans people. Before this panel and before watching the documentary the idea of how trans people were treated in prison, or where they were placed never crossed my mind because I always thought they were placed in the same sex prison in which they identified with.But after this panel it had me thinking of a solution to the placement of trans people in the prison system. If they wont place them in the prison with the same sex they identity with why not create a place for trans people without making them feel misplaced or secluded from the population?
"Cruel and Unusual"
The Film: “Cruel and Unusual”
This documentary goes beyong the walls of the prisons cage and evaluates the lives of a few trans people to see what its like in jail as a transwomen who is forced to be in a all mens jail facility. It is quickly noticed that as a transwomen in a all mens facility they are seen as meat and are seen as a sexual oulet because the men held in jail are desperate and lonely and seek sexual attention and fufilment so they abuse and violate the transgender women in the facility. Along with sexual abuse comes the physical abuse of being deprived of one’s hormones and deprived of one’s identity. The inmates explain how the lack of hormones causes their body to back track and leaves them emotionally scared because they are now forced to live in the body in which they hate and dont identify with. Some of the trans women in jail went as far as cutting off their penis in order to make a point and make others see that this is not just for attention but this is to proove that before i live a unhappy life as a man I will try to take my happiness back by any means before i let someone deprive me of my needs as a transgendered woman.
Along with the physical abuse come the most painful abuse of all the emotional and mental abuse one has to bare while being held in jail. As a transgender in the eyes of the law when in comes to imprisonment one is not recognized by the gender they identify with but as the gender they were born. This creates so many problems because it strips them of their identity and forces them to live life as someone who they despise and disregards them as a human being. A prime example of this as seen in the documentary is when Yolanda is in court and the whole time she is being referred to as Daniel when clearly she goes by the name Yolanda. Thus, it is more then difficult for trans people to be in prison because it becomes a never ending cycle for them to get out of the system because after being released they cant find jobs which forces them to steal, become prostitutes, or turn to drugs which places them right back in the system. So in my opinion its not just difficult to be in prison as a trans person but its difficult to stay out of prison.
Reaction to Group Assignment
My role in the group assignment was as the radical feminist and i had to make arguments as to why a transgender women should not be allowed to enter a women’s shelter. And my arguments honestly made no sense because they did not take into the account that a transgender women is technically women and does not pose as a threat to other women. One of my arguments was that women want a place where safety is not an issue and where they can be comfortable amongst themselves. But I never took into account the trials and tribulations that transgender women have to face which can be compared to what women born women have to go through, such as sexism, discrimination, and fear of brutality because of their sexual orientation as a women being seen as the weaker sex. The person making the opposing argument stated valid and good points and the one that stood out the most to me was how can a women’s shelter turn away a transgender women because they weren’t born a women but what would happen if a transgender man who was born a man comes and wants to stay at the shelter? This valid point had me stopped in my tracks because it made me think about my standing in the debate and I had no choice but to fold to the demands and allow transgender into the shelter. But, overall this exercise made me think about the restrictions that are placed upon transgendered people such as safe havens like shelters and made me think about when will we as a society erase these barriers and come to a common ground.