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nov 13 Subjugated Sexualities .pdf

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Social Science
SOSC 1920
Elizabeth Brule

▯ 13. Subjugated Sexualities Readings:Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality” [KIT]. Patricia Gagné, Richard Tewksbury & Deanna McGaughey, “Coming out & Crossing Over: Identity Formation and Proclamation in a Transgender Community” pp. 59-72 [Reader]. ▯ [59] • Social scientific focus on transgendered individuals has derived from an interest in understanding deviation from the normal and natural two sex system • Focused primarily on issues of sex and gender • Transgenderism refers to the lives and experiences of diverse groups of people who live outside normative sex/gender relations • Persons who enact alternative gender presentations or who have internalized alternative gender identities are referred to as transgenderists • Most masculine to feminine transgenderists conform to traditional beliefs about sex and gender, whereas a minority attempt to step outside the gender binary by defining themselves in non gendered or multiply gendered ways • They must confess their transsexualism in ways that adhere to medical models in order to proceed from one sex to the other • Similarly most transsexuals adhere to beliefs that their desires to live as a women were the result of biological mistakes that left them as feminine persons in male bodies [60] • Rather than choosing to live as feminine males, they opt to cross over to full time womanhood • Sexually active transgendereists must recognize, tolerate and learn to accept an alternative gender identity; develop a repertoire of coping strategies to manage public presentations of gender; and, in some cases, manage the actual transformation of permanent identity and anatomy • Whether gender transformation is temporary or permanent et sense that on really is the sex associated with the gender portrayed involves a reexamination of sexual identity For transgenderists the discovery of a sexual identity or a sense of who the individual is as a • sexual person, frequently occurs within a sex/gender system • Doesn't address sexual issues among those whose sex ad gender do not fit within the binary system • As gender and or sex changes, the subjective and social meanings of sexual interactions are also transformed • Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are able to carefully control information dissemination, transgenderists must manage both their actual and virtual social identities on three dimensions • Transgenderists provide an opportunity to examine the private and public dimensions of achieving a new gender through interaction with others and the emergence and management of alternative sex gender and sexual identities. Method • Masculine to feminine • Transgenderism is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of identities including transsexual; fetish and not fetishistic cross dresser, grad queen and hoer terms as devised by individuals who live outside the dominant gender system • Transsexuals are people who believe themselves to be female and who wish to be or do live full time as women • Preoperative transsexuals are those who desire to have, but have no yet has SRS. Post operative transsexuals are those who have had SRS • • Non operative transsexuals are those who live fulltime or nearly full time as women but who do not have or wish to have SRS • Availed themselves of other medical and cosmetic procedures(female hormones, breast implants, electrolysis [61] • ⅓ before age of 10 felt desire to become or girl or believed they were a girl • Some people used transgenderism to challenge binary assumptions about sex, gender and sexuality • Challenge the idea that gender is a natural expression of sex and sexuality (radical transgednerists - anatomical heterosexual male person with a masculine gender identity, who uses cross dressing as a means to express feminine aspects of self and to challenge tractional binary conceptualizations of sex, gender and sexuality) • Ambigenderist - an individual who lives alternatively as a man and a women and who believes that categories of sexual orientation do not exist and that sexually is a spectrum ---third gender • Desire to be able to publicly present both aspects of self as a combination of both genders Resisted categorizing themselves according to sexual identity • • Emphasize desire to eliminate existing system of gender, rather than just their own gender [62] Early Transgendered Experiences Begin feeling either their sex or gender was wrong or did not fit for them • • Gender constancy - a sense that a persons gender is permanent aspect of self, acquired between ages of 3-5 • Feminine behaviors a feelings of being or wanting to be girls created confusion for young children and adolescents, particularly when stye received messages that hey could not be or act that way • Transsexuals and crossdressers, one way of making sense of the incongruity between sex and gender was to explore whether a feminine boy might actually be able to become a girl Most children, clothing and other expressions of gender are signifiers of maleness and • femaleness • Among transsexuals, confusion over gender, desires to be female, or feelings of being female were commonly reported in children and over the life course [63] • As children advance beyond the toddler sage, theyre pressured by adults and other children to recognize and adhere to traditional conceptualizations of gender and conform to masculine stereotypes • Pressure to conform to the gender binary were often based on homophobic assumptions about gender deviants Trying to act and fit into stereotypes created confusion about identity and internalized sense of • deviance and sequin strong self loathing • As children begin to understand the binary gender system,, they become ashamed of feminine or transgendered feelings, learn to hide their behaviors and become confused about who they are and how they fit into the world Coming Out to One’s Self • Coming to terms with identity is drive by three factors: • events that inform them that to feel as they do is wrong Finding that there are names for their feelings • • Leaning that there are others who have had similar experiences • Search for authenticity is a motivating factor in the desire to resolve identity [64] Because of the centrality of community in the formation and legitimation of identity, the efforts • of transgednerists to find and express a true self are mitigated by their contacts with the trangendered world, just as they are affected by the dominant culture • When individuals fail to adhere to the gender binary, they are often told they are wrong or bad, so they tend to initially think of themselves as sick or deviant until they find similar others who have rejected stigma----resulting in self recognition and alined themselves with new potential identities • The refinement and adoption of relatively stable identities occurred within the possibilities offered by the transgender subculture, which has been heavily influenced by medical models of transgenderism • Derogative moments from family members seemed to affect the self esteem and self concept more than insults from peers and other non relatives Transsexuals tended to react to negative messages by being hyper masculine • [65] • Throughout childhood, adolescence, and early to mid adulthood most transgenderists in our study experienced shame and confusion for not being ‘right’ The socially constructed aspects of reality were so strong that believing they were born with • the wrong genitals seemed more plausible than violating the gender binary • They experienced social sanctions and pressures to conform to dominant conceptualizations of gender Most commonly the triggering event for acceptance of an identity came when, either • accidentally or intentionally, the individual encountered others who served as symbols for available identities • Finding role models and formulating an identity outside the gender binary is virtually impossible • Alternative identities were restricted to those available within the gender binary, usually found among those who had crossed from one gender to the only other one known to be legitimately available • Finding others who felt as they did he
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