In reading Little Bee, I came across two phrases I realized I wasn't aware of: detached and semi-detached, specifically in relation to houses.
Detached? I thought. As opposed to what? Connected?
As opposed to: rowhomes, apartments, mobile homes.
I am privileged enough to think that my kind of housing is the default (detached house), whereas everyone else's is some sort of variation on my norm. I live in a house, what do you mean what kind of house?
So I started thinking of these terms in the realm of gender.
Detached [single-unit housing]
Attached [multi-unit housing]
When trying to categorize them further, my first thought was that "detached" would be equivalent to gender deviant and/or genderfuck and/or genderqueer (detached from binary). But then if "detached" was the norm, then detached in terms of gender would mean cis-man or cis-woman. But then again, detached is the norm based on my perception, and my class.
So intersect Gender and Class with these terms, and this is what I came up with:
Since I didn't make a post for this week yet, I was looking at the talking notes for tonight and I want to respond to the two quotes pulled from the forum:
* AmyMay: I would suggest a "trigger warning" before bringing up such a personal issue in class. This would allow people to decide in advance if the topic is something they are prepared to discuss openly in the presence of others. Personally, these are issues I want to talk about, and that I want other people to talk about. It was very powerful for me to hear things that I feel deeply personally about come from many of the people in our class (in the "in response to __ we propose __" portion). It was one of the few times I've felt truely understood, like my voice was being heard without me having to try to find the words. Many of you got it. That means more to me than I could ever say. Though it was emotionally exhausting, by the end I felt we were bodies in alliance.
* Kaye: I too have been thinking a lot about Tues night's class and wonder if trigger event warnings would have prevented the powerful learning that took place. do we need to meet each other in our precarity if we are to have real conversations and relationships. If people knew it what we were going to do, they might not have come to class or have built up their defenses so only part of them was there.
This sort of situation has come up for me a few times:
The quotes I will put here are meant to be put in conversation with themselves and each other. Uncredited quotes are pieces from a final paper on T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, which is a set of four poems: Burnt Norton, East Coker, The Dry Salvages, and Little Gidding. I believe the Four Quartets respond directly to Barad's reading of time and the importance of the past in regards to not trying to return to the past.
It's funny because if you start using the phrases "between-gender" and "within-gender", then same-sex couplings seem to be the dafault. Between-gender could be just about any combination, unless you categorize trans*/genderqueer/intersex as a single category (alternative? non-binary?). But that's still an unclear definition.
If I say I'm in a between-gender relationship, the only thing you know (if you even know this) is that I am a woman who is NOT in a relationship with another woman. I could be in a rleationship with a man, with someone who identifies as trans*, intersex, genderqueer. I am also assuming that between-gender/within-gender means between-sex/within-sex which may be an unfair observation, especially since gender and sex are not the same thing.
In what other circumstances is the default changed from heterosexual to queer? I feel like that's a part of Bryn Mawr's atmosphere--queer seems like the default because the queer community is generally very outspoken and visible.
To those interested in gen/sex issues outside of the classroom, OUT Week is going to be this upcoming week!
For more information, contact me or see the facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=228167287238190
Schedule of events:
Bryn Mawr College
OUT Week 2011
October 17 – 21
“Ways of Being Out” Discussion with Faculty
Campus Center 200, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
“Show your Pride” Day
All over campus
Movie Night: The Birdcage
Thomas 110, 9 PM - 11 PM
Pride Craft Day
Merion Green, 12 PM – 4 PM
Rainsite: Arnecliffe Rainy Day Studio
Location TBA (check Facebook page for updates), 10 PM - 1 AM
***All events are open to the tri-co and guests of the tri-co***
While working on formatting and posting my webpaper and messing around with how to insert images, this popped up:
I typed the following in as the image description for this image, which I do not think shows up without using a different method of viewing:
A pop up window with the following message: Are you sure you want to continue without including an Image Description? Without it the image may not be accessible to some users with disabilities, or to those using a text browser, or browsing the Web with images turned off.
One thing I wanted to talk about: how does disability affect gender in terms of femininity/masculinity? Can disability "ungender" someone?
A specific example I'm thinking of is from the movie "The Best Years of Our Lives" which is about three WWII veterans returning home and trying to adjust to their old lives. One of the veterans lost both of his hands and they are now replaced by hooks (the actor had this happen to him, so they are real and functional). The things the character struggles most with include coming home to his fiancee/newlywed wife and feeling inadequate in terms of not being able to do certain things for himself. One of his most vulnerable scenes is near the end of the movie when the wife takes off her husband's hooks and helps him get into his pajamas. One could argue that in this movie, the veteran is metaphorically castrated by his disability. His performance of gender roles is inhibited by his disability, thus ungendering him in both the world around him and in his own mind.
Problems: world is constructed for gendered people. World is constructed for able-bodied people.
There is nothing "wrong" about being ungendered or having a disability, but in many cases people with disabilities are seen as being ungendered or nonsexual (or in some cases, hypersexualized). I have not seen much of people trying to assert their masculinity/femininity over their disability, except in the case of this blog owner:
I'm an English major, gen/sex minor, and creative writing concentrator. Gen/sex and queer issues have always been of interest to me though I've never really figured out why. I was involved in my high school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) and I'm involved in the Rainbow Alliance here at BMC. This interest in queer issues more or less a first in my immediate family. When I applied to intern at several AIDS organizations in Philly, I can quote my parents saying: "What is your connection to the gays? Are you aware of their wild and crazy parades?" to which I replied, "Yes, and I have practically been in some of them."