A Penis and a Dress: Why the Gender Binary Needs to Go Away

This is the sort of normborn bullshit that really sets me off.  How people who aren’t transsexual think it would be worth while to totally change society and everyone in the world just to possibly end transsexuals and make it so we wouldn’t feel the gender driven need to change our bodies.

How fucking clueless is this person?

I had a sex change operation.  I’m a lot more feminine than butch. But I queer femininity by not buying into a lot of stereotypes, simply by being a sort of hippie, who thinks competence isn’t a gender specific trait.  Also my friend Ruth taught me the most important question to ask when told about getting a handi-“man” to fix something.  “Okay how is the penis involved in doing that?”

Now lifting heavy shit I totally get. But building a computer…  All that takes is a screw driver and the ability to follow instructions.

I think part of why I was labeled a sissy as a kid was I didn’t get the idea that doing stuff had a gender.

Ponder this.  I didn’t get a sex change operation because of gender.  If it were just about gender I could have stayed transgender like a number of my friends did.  I had a sex change operation to feel comfortable in my own skin, to feel at one with my body.

But this piece is just plain insulting.  Follow the links and read the comments.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-hope/gender-binary_b_1531490.html


05/22/2012

If your genitalia don’t match the gender you most identify with, the American Psychiatric Association slaps you with the weighted label “gender identity disorder.” There’s current dialogue around changing the label to “gender incongruence,” but it still boils down to the same ignorance: Society is placing judgment on you because you don’t play by the rules.

What kind of message are we continuing to send to pregnant people everywhere? We live in such a deeply gendered society that our kids have no fighting chance when it comes to freedom of gender expression. Mainstream voices continue to use the wrong dialogue to talk about those who transcend gender norms; the recent Washington Post piece “Transgender at five” is a perfect example. By using language like “gender identity problems” and “condition” to describe a child who doesn’t want to dress, act, or play like a girl just because this child was born with a vagina, the piece reinforces the existing model rather than poking holes in it. Our tunnel-visioned, outmoded landscape needs a fresh, fundamental critique. We’re looking at biological sex and gender in all the wrong ways.

The solution? We need to raze the binary gender system entirely.

A lofty, pie-in-the-sky goal, perhaps, but one that we’re entirely capable of achieving. What purpose does aligning biological sex with societal ideas of gender norms serve, anyway? Why should someone with a penis be outfitted in blue and get toy trucks while someone with a vagina gets shuffled off to ballet class and squeezed into frilly dresses? Monitoring someone’s psychosexual development might be important for health reasons, but policing their gender certainly is not. How do our constructs of “maleness” and “femaleness” contribute to a better world? They don’t.

Medical treatment, such as hormone therapy and surgery to more closely match bodies with an authentic sense of self, is currently the right decision for some people, but our existing, binary gender system makes it impossible to determine whether any of those people might feel more at home in the bodies in which they were born if only we backed away from trying to assign labels and behaviors to match our genitals. It’s likely that some people would not want physical alterations if we taught everyone from birth that the body you were given doesn’t dictate what childhood and adult expressions and activities you can engage in. In fact, not only would life get infinitely more accepting for transgender folks, but doing away with gender labels would solve millennia-old problems like misogyny, for one. Listen closely: Can you hear the glass ceiling shattering?

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-hope/gender-binary_b_1531490.html

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