Sunday, April 10, 2011

Venus Boyz: Living In A Body That Is Not Concurrent With Who You Are

No one has ever asked me why I chose to be a woman; if they did, I would give a disapproving look and probably disregard the question. I have lived my life in a body that I can accept and as a gender that I can accept. I never have had to take a stand and prove my gender or prove to people why I was living in society as part of the female gender. I am a woman. I can take multiple paths in my life to find acceptance, and I do not have to choose my peers based on their ability to accept the gender that I have chosen. The "Venus boyz" are strong, much stronger than I am, but they still hold onto vulnerabilities bestowed upon by society. People are curious: they are ignorant, they want to ask questions and they should, but only with the intent of wanting understand rather than judge and disapprove. A person who doesn’t identify with the two most common genders is a victim of assumptions. However, having to prove why you have chosen a nontraditional gender, or have chosen to be genderless, causes questioning. No one should have to explain why they are the gender that they are and why they chose that gender. Regardless of the confidence one  holds as a member of the transgender community, one is  put down for the questions one cannot answer and should not have to answer. Choosing who you are is not actually a “choice;” instead,  it’s a feeling from within that is too hard to ignore. You can choose to try and ignore the person that you identify with inside, and live unhappily yet safe from our judgemental society, or be your “authentic” self inside and out. However, it is this close-minded society of which we live in that is making it impossible for anyone who identifies with a gender other than male or female to feel any comfort in being who they are. For example, a man who undergoes a sex change and becomes a woman does not choose to be a woman. Instead, she has chosen to listen to her inner feelings, which tell her that she is a woman and to have the sex change that allows her anatomy to coincide with the person that she is within.
I have chosen to identify as a woman because of who i feel like within. Fortunately, my identifying gender matches my anatomy, and therefore i am accepted as my gender by society. However, if something were to change within me, suddenly making me feel like i was no longer a woman, there would be a disconnect between “me” and the anatomy  of my body. It is hard to imagine whether i would choose to live in a body that doesn't fit who i am because of the rejection and ridicule i would receive from the conventional, outdated world that we live in, or accept the painful intolerance from the majority society based on the idea that i could feel at peace with myself, my identity.
I want to be clear that although i clearly have issues with the amount of discrimination that goes on in the world towards the transgender community. There are so many people, especially young who have liberating minds. They are the ones who have taught be the most; they show me that this world is a possible candidate for change through their ability to be open and accepting of all people.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

10 year olds "open letter" to Lil Wayne
This girl, going by the name "Watoto from the Nile," is great! she's only ten and she is already speaking out on behalf of the sadness she feels towards Lil Wayne's songs, which although are quite catchy and popular on the radio degrade and disrespect women through the vulgar language that he chooses to use.. i don't even want to start quoting him. I am a culprit to the problem despite my strong passion for women's equality because i am helping to feed artists, like Lil Wayne in the music industry by buying their music.  He's making millions off of baffling phrases that probably mean nothing to him, while young boys who look up to him, want to be like him take those phrases to heart. The young and ignorance hear these lyrics, which promote violence, abuse and disrespect of women and are being encouraged to believe them. Its scary to think that an entire moral belief system could be formed from a foundation like a Lil Wayne song.
I don't think that i am going to far when i say that Lil Wayne is not only disrespecting women to make money, but his songs are indirectly promoting violence against women, including rape and murder b/c that he what he is promoting in his music:( Saddest revelation to make.. i liked his music, its the type i turned up really loud and rolled down the windows to. Watoto has schooled me! i feel so ignorant.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Women Go To Therapy- Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher

Mary Pipher, the author of Reviving Ophelia has an interesting take on why young women often turn to therapy in adolescents. Adolescents is a period of physical growth, which occurs too rapidly for the girls to comprehend. You go from feeling comfortable in your own skin and to losing total self confidence, resilience and ambition. Unfortunately, adolescents is the time when you are supposed to be finding yourself and taking risks that can shape your future. What is making modern adolescent girls more prone to holding back and feeling anxious is the vulnerability and fear that parallels modern expectations. Girls who are reaching the stage of adolescents today are "more likely to have been traumatized;" Therefore, women feel less freedom "to roam about alone," Says Pipher, there is also new advancements that lead to exposure for young women at a younger age. With their wings pinned down, they are stuck to the ground, drowning in the need to please and unable to feel satisfied with themselves. With adolescent suicides rates at an all time high and the self loathing, both physical and mental, these young girls grow into women still lacking "wholeness, self confidence and self-direction." More often than not it is the older generation of women going to therapy to work through the unresolved holes opened up during their adolensents that never got the attention need to heal. In fact, Pipher says that women come into therapy knowing how others around them feel, but lacking an important understanding about themselves. I agree that therapy is a way to gain an advocate who can help guide you to find unresolved answers in your life that hold you back. It is hard for a parents to guide his or her own daughter when she is so resistant to him/her during this time, and on top of that they do not have the same realizations about "how universal and extreme the suffering is" for their child.

Monday, November 29, 2010

White privilege

49. My children are given texts and classes, which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choices of domestic partnership.

Whether or not this statement shows one of many truths directed at the idea of dominant white privilege in this country, McLntosh’s 49th statement pointed out more of my discomforts and provoked more thoughts than any of her other statements. I feel that there is more than one way to interpret this statement, whether it be by targeting sexual preferences, the acceptance of the absence of a parent, or the ability to have an alternative family structure as a white privileged person. I think that the most striking thought that I had was based on the idea of a single mother and the impact that her race has on her being approved by society.  The scenario set up in children’s literary texts and educational settings looks down upon women getting pregnant before marriage, suggesting that having a partner (male) is important to fundamental growth and nurturing of a child. I feel like there is this unspoken criticism towards non-white single mothers while, in the white community, it is the male partner who is looked down upon and the single mother who is given support from children’s texts, and other sources. She can be seen as brave and, sometimes, even heroic. Even if single white mothers are not accepted as the dominant structure of family unit shown in “children’s texts and classes,” the children of white single mothers are not taught to be ashamed of their structure of family unit in the same way as children of non-white single mothers. What is taught in school and read in the texts supports the life style choices of white people, implying that white people set the standards for what is normal. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

“The elimination of affirmative action would only justify racial discrimination”

“The elimination of affirmative action would only justify racial discrimination.”

Based on how Cornell West feels and the evidence he presents, the elimination of affirmative action would only justify racial discrimination. The black minority has been oppressed to a point where the playing field is too uneven to improve social equality without interference from the government. Affirmative action would not be necessary to society if discrimination could be abated through good will; this is not the case. There has to be affirmative action to make up for the discrimination of black and other “colored people” because there is too much of an advantage in the white community. Compensatory policies are only enacted if they impact “middle class American” and big business owners in positive ways, not necessarily helping the “have-nots” and the “have-too-little’s.” The way I see it is that if the affirmative action is benefitting upper class white conscience because they think they are making progress in helping diversify and level out the playing field, but this is not the case. Affirmative action is not reaching the have-not and have-too-little’s, but the white population is leading themselves and others to believe that they are providing a chance for minorities to have the same opportunities as the son of a wealthy white man with average ability. On the other hand, affirmative action is necessary is there is any chance for equalizing opportunity and avoiding the “return with a vengeance” of racial and sexual discrimination. Affirmative action will not reach the enough “have-nots” and “have-too-little’s” until they have the power to affect change through vote and wealth white people get off their high horse and see that affirmative action is not at the point of reaching its full potential. On the other hand, black people need to find confidence within their race to build their own power and participate in influential ways. For example they can participate in the form of voting for affirmative action that can apply to the “have-nots” and “have-too-little’s.”