Gender as Branding as Label

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Of course, I will probably be killed in people’s heads for claiming that gender is branding.

But gender = label = brand.

I thought of this equation as I pondered an unfortunate cover piece in Newsweek.

Very little is known about the first woman to become a suicide bomber for Al Qaeda in Iraq, except that she dressed as a man.

And it goes downhill from this opening statement.

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Gender, Physical Movement, Permission and Waiting

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USA Today reported that a majority of disability-related complaints filed with the Department of Transportation cited airline wheelchair service as a big problem.

Failure to assist passengers in chairs was the number one complaint. Passengers:

also complained of damaged chairs, poor seating arrangements, inaccessible aircraft and excessive waits for stored chairs upon landing.

How I moved through the physical world changed as more and more hormones transitioned my body into a semblance of male. Physical deference, a sense of physical safety and an awareness that I had metamorphasized into a “big guy” solidified in my mind that significant physical changes to my body changed how much physical space the world granted me. And, that “land grant,” if you will, also changed my perception of myself. The world and its inhabitants conspired to let me explore as much as I wanted to. It was my right.

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The Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Transgender

Two transgender people argue over the gender binary drawn by Jay Sennett
Drawn in 2005.

By far the best part of blogging is reading the comments.

piny, a sometimes commenter here, yesterday offered one of the most astonishing definitions/schema for gender-bending/transsexual I’ve come across. piny responded to a statement from Nick Kiddle, who sometimes blogs here.

That link made my [Nick Kiddle’s] head hurt. What does it take to get people to understand the difference between “woman-identified, not medically transitioning” and “recreational cross-dresser”?

Those distinctions are just window-dressing. There’s gender-benders and there’s trans. The gender-benders claim to destabilize and satirize the gender binary but really just support and worship it. The trans claim to act independently of it but actually need it to survive. Sometimes, the two categories are completely different, and sometimes they inexplicably melt into an undifferentiated whole.

That’s all you need to know.

piny is absolutely right. Chuck your queer/trans theory books out the window. (Unless you want to keep them around to impress the babes.)

piny has explained the trans universe for all. Neat, tidy, and I’ve drawn a little cartoon as a reminder, in case you forget.

Another Transgender Cartoon » » The FtM Can’t Be Sexist

 

Using Gender to Get Into Our Bodies

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I think I’ve had this whole transsexual thing ass backwards.

Then: I used medical strategies to manipulate my body to get into my masculinity.

Now: I used my masculinity, and the medical strategies associated with achieving the kind of masculinity I want, to get into my body.

The former creates the drama of the no-penised man. The latter offers compassion and an ever-increasing push to breathe in the present moment.

Subtle, yes. But reversing the focus creates healthier bodies, I think, which, in turn, creates healthier genders. So maybe a new purpose for gender is to help us become more present to our own bodies.

How do other people use their genders to get into their bodies?