Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reflection on class discussion: Transwomen

I found the class discussion on transwomen very informative. I was always confused by the terminology of transgender women, transmen, MTF, FTM, drags, two-spirit, and intersexuality, but all of this just umbrellas ‘transgender.’ Because gender can be so simple and complex at the same time, I found it quite interesting when Sam pointed out that we aren’t born with gender, but with genitalia. With that, it only makes since to agree that sex is biological and gender is social. I also feel like there are notions attached to the word gender. When someone hears the word gender we make visual connections to support our assumptions of what we define as gender. I think that’s where we get these preconceived ideas that boys wear loose clothing, boots, hats, and have short hair, and girls wear skirts, makeup, and have long hair.
I read a short story in my Journalism as Literature class today called, From Whoredom in Kimmage: Irish Women Coming of Age by Rosemary Mahoney, and I immediately thought of our class and how it related to lesbian women. It’s about how the journalist portrays herself as a feminist ambivalent about the erosion of traditional Irish values in Dublin. Homosexuality is frowned upon in Dublin and this quote is what really gave me pause and made me think, “Homosexuals were among the people living in Ireland’s tiny margins, and the mainstream was so large, so strict, and so unanimous that its margins struck me as particularly cold and lonely.”
I always seem to forget how unacceptable homosexuality and transgender is in other countries. It’s still not completely acceptable here in the United States, but it’s recognized; whether people agree on it or not, is up to the individual. In Ireland, it’s difficult for people to express their sexuality openly.
Now that I have been exposed to such knowledge of sexuality and transgender, reading the story made me stop and think. Prior to having this knowledge, I would have read the story with no remorse or feelings towards homosexuals in other countries and just read the story for what it was. Instead, I was able to make a connection with it, which made it a whole lot more interesting. Just thought I would share. After reading the short story though, I can tell you, I wouldn’t ever want to be a lesbian in Ireland, that’s for sure!

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