SOCI 1040 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Kathoey, Gender Variance, Hookup Culture

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6 Feb 2017
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Kaleidoscope of Gender
Reading 12: Conceptualizing Thai Genderscapes
Historical Background and Theoretical Framework
Avoided direct western colonization; employed auto colonial practices to become siwilai
(civilized) to western countries; arguably more direct and stronger for change in Thailand
Traditional system of 3 sexes until western epidemics and influence changed that
Genderscapes: sex/gender system of inhabiting reproductive differences to create kinship
3 dimensional space opens up crosses, unities, mixes, alternatives beyond m/f f/m trans
Performance/practice of gender = rearticulation, ritualization, and discourses
5 gender nodes in relation to one another from anatomy, presentation, socioeconomic
roles, desire for others, etc
Public enactments of gender variance is highlighted for difference
Thai Genderscapes
Kathoey: m to f trans, desire relationships w/ heterosexual men
Gay: male, desires same-sex relationships w/ other males
Tom: masculine women desires same-sex relationships w/ other women
Dee: feminine woman desires same-sex relationships w/ tom
Gay, kathoey, man, woman, tom, and dee are all varieties of “phet”
Not sexuality or gender but a combination of all aspects
3 sex man, woman, and kathoey replaced w/ westernized m/f and homo/hetero
Categorization of gender/sexuality is combined in Thai
Kathoey is general term for all 3rd gender categories; any non normative gender
Rarely female-bodied; typically male to female trans
Half and half (have breasts or a vag but not both) and fully transformed transgender
Kathoey: post op trans, pre op trans, dragqueen, penetrating girl, or part time trans
Most stigmatized; less visible now that tech is allowing female passing
Gay is characterized by age and effeminacy (insults or jokes)
All subcategories differentiate themselves from others in names and titles
Gender and sexuality are linked but are distinguished
Same sex women avoid pregnancy and contamination of loss of virginity
Women have high employment and financial independence; don’t need no man
Female relationship very conspicuous visually but no words are spoken
Dee exist only in relation w/ Tom in Tom-Dee relation (they are normal women who are
lesbians and do not have other defining characterizations)
Toms are female, although masculine, distinct from males
Five Genders?
Dee are left out bc they are too close to hegemonic females
Women have identified as dees before marrying their men
Gay is one category not masculine gay and feminine gay
Gay create community of shared social space w/ common identities
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