Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #92 - Gender Performance

from Sex Criminals #12
sorry - best resolution I could get
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #92 - Gender Performance

Hi Mom,

Yesterday in class, I talked about gender, which was in itself a follow up on previous gender and sexual identity talks.

The image at the top is difficult to read, but if you squint, you can make out the words, which are quite smart and the concern the elusive subject of "normal."

As you know, Mom, gender is one of my favorite subjects, especially after teaching the gender and women's studies class for ten years. I had already treated my students to the whole term shift and new paradigm for how we refer to gay issues. For instance, I discarded the term homosexuality, which "The American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from its official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973" (The History of Psychiatry & Homosexuality). I spoke about the inadequacy of terms like "sexual orientation" (sounds like a special camp/workshop that orients a person, IE. points him/her in a direction) or "sexual preference" (sometimes I prefer toast for breakfast; sometimes cereal; this is not right either). And so, I told my students about my preferred term (and the term preferred by many): sexual identity. Because after all, who we are in regards to our gender and our self is all about identity.

And so, then a week or two later, I followed up with a recommendation of Sallie Tisdale's Talk Dirty to Me, as it's a book I taught in the gender course. And so I read the following, written by Sallie Tisdale.
"'We all pretend to be more of a man or a woman than we secretly suspect we are,' writes my friend Laura Miller. Thus, emblems: the tidy little acts of straightening a skirt and freshening makeup, shooting shirt cuffs, ruffling hair. Tiny details, unconscious habits, little trills of pretense and belonging. See me, they say, I am-- whatever I hope I am. We cultivate those things which set us aside from the other, the opposite gender, squarely among our own.
Over the last year, and with considerable surprise, I've come to realize I can't define woman. I can't tell you why I'm sure I am a woman, why others think I am, why my personal and internal experience seems to  fit what culture tells me a woman's experience should be. I am a woman because I look and act like the social convention called "woman." But not wholly, or always. What I once thought a permanent and objective state seems to me more and more like vapor, a fantasia, a wisp" (Tisdale, 41-42).

From Tisdale, Sallie. Talk Dirty to Me. Anchor Books: New York. 1994.

But then there's competing perspectives (see image at bottom of this entry).

I am just trying to immerse my students in the world of ideas and deliver content not usually discussed in high school.

I could go on and on about this subject and I probably will. But that's enough for now.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

































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- Days ago = 94 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1510.06 - 20:00

and again - 1510.07 - 7:32


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