Week 7: To Come Together or to be Indepentent

Reading response to The Gendercator or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blogosphere by Jessica Lawless

I had often wondered if those who seek sex changes are in fact effected by social norms. I’ve wondered if transsexuality is somewhat created in our society such as some mental disorders are. But I cannot judge what is best for another person. The best response to judgements such as this was that no one knows a person better than that person. I would say that my views are more open to trangender thoughts than before.

The division of groups is an interesting debate. From my experience, it has only been who are active in the rights for those with non-heterosexuals who have voiced the idea that the LGBT movement and the women’s movement should pair together. The idea of not separating to movements has been a debate in my mind for this semester. I’m still not sure where I stand on it. I’m mostly for the combination of the movements.

I think the most important part about the article was the discussion of boycotting versus censorship. We must all be aware of how we maybe trying to censer others from information.

Another part that was interesting to me was the idea that there is male dominance in LGBT events. I’m thinking of page 17: “GLBT, where feminism is absent- it’s all about the men.” And I think about the glorification of gay men in the fashion industry, but I would not consider the industry “feminist.” This is just one place among many where feminist and LGBT movements are not synchronized.

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5 Comments »

  1. arthermit said

    “Kyriarchy” is a useful term if you’re talking about intersections of marginalized groups because it recognises that there are overlapping spheres of oppression. Certainly there is overlap between the LGBT and Feminist movements. Lesbians are members of both groups, and suffer both because of homophobia and the patriarchy, as well as having specific fears/issues that are unique to them (in South Africa, lesbians are subject to rape in an attempt to “turn them straight”). Trans women may be members of both groups, and suffer from homophobia and Patriarchy as well as job and housing discrimination (only 13 states and DC have laws against discrimination based on gender expression) which leads to a high percentage being homeless.

    There are other, broader areas of overlap: the formalized aggressive masculinity of the Patriarchy (and gender roles) that harms gay, straight, trans, and bi women also negatively affects gay men. And gay marriage may help break down the gender roles that still affect heterosexual couples by providing an alternative example of equal relationships.

    Do I think we should smash the movements together, some sort of GLBTF? No. I think you get more done having different groups working at things from different sides, that not all the priorities line up, and there definitely are some issues with the dominance of white males inside the GLBT movement (witness the recent blaming of Prop H8 on ethnic minorities, much of the discussion made it sound as though no member of an ethnic minority is ever gay).

    But we should recognize each other as allies, and work together towards a common cause of dismantling oppressions.

    • Ann said

      I just keep thinking about the controversy that occurred because of the Miss America pageant where one of the contestants was asked about gay marriage. She responded that she thought marriage should be between a man and a woman. Well, one of the judges was a gay man. Her response got cheers from the audience. He responded by posting an angry video blog afterward and called her a bitch and the C-word.
      And so I’m thinking, while not blaming him for anything, that he is involved with something that does not have a feminist philosophy. It’s really about “traditional,” conservative ideas. I don’t appreciate him using the C-word to express how offended he was because it is a word that is only used against women such as fagot is used against gays.
      The gay man is glorified in the fashion industry but the system does not have a philosophy that respects gay or women’s rights.

      • arthermit said

        Yeah, Perez Hilton is clearly a misogynist. Unfortunately, we still live in a culture where sexism is so ingrained that it often doesn’t even stand out to people. Like “progressive” liberals who think it’s okay to be sexist if it’s towards Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin. (Disclaimer: I am a liberal, and know that sexism is never okay)

        You can certainly blame him for being a sexist. Is it fair to blame the wider gay community for him? Not really. But it’s definitely true that white men who are gay are still white men, and while they’re on board with oppression against *them,* they’re not always so good at seeing oppression against other people. Just like white feminists who aren’t so good at spotting racism/sexism towards black women. Being a member of one oppressed group doesn’t make you all-knowing and perfect dealing with any other oppressed group.

      • arthermit said

        Of course, at one point in the seventies, the feminist movement tried to push out/get rid of lesbians or mentions of lesbianism (the “lavender menace”) because they thought it threatened feminism becoming widely accepted.

  2. vickeycheng said

    you know what, i do not understand the reading material at all. However, after reading your reflection paper, I started understanding a little of the reading material.

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