Kim K's blog
Apparently soda is gendered now. Or at least the marketing team for Dr. Pepper thinks so. "Dr. Pepper 10" is a new diet soda for men "with just 10 manly calories." It's "not for women." They should have stuck with their old slogan, because this does not make me want to be a pepper too.
I have, admittedly, been putting this post off, because I'm not really sure what to say regarding the two very different lectures. Between the darkness in Goodheart during Butler's lecture that prevented me from being able to take readable notes, and my struggle to try understand and make sense of Barad's lecture, I'm left with a bunch of, well, entangled thoughts on gender, space, and time. I was apprehensive about Butler's lecture, because of the way her writing is, however, I found her lecture to be very accessible and easy to understand. I wish I could say the same for Barad. I'm still trying to process Barad's thoughts, and I'm re-reading my notes from her lecture, and the article. In the meantime, please enjoy some of my dis-jionted, entangled notes from Butler and Barad...
-the right to appear
-bodily enactment of gender norms
-quantum leap (I love that show!)
-gender not only received but enacted
Rebecca Jordan-Young's article (and some posts on here) discuss David Reimer's case in relation to "proving" that gender is inborn in people, and cannot be nurtured or influenced by society. For me, this has been an interesting topic to debate, since I read the book (As Nature Made Him) a few years ago for my gender studies class in community college. Many of my fellow classmates and even my teacher confessed that before reading about Reimer's case, they considered gender to be more influenced by nurture than nature. I am reminded of my two nieces, who are two and five years old - they are obsessed with all things (forgive me for using this word) - girly. And no one in the family has outwardly encouraged this female-centric behavior. It's an interesting perspective to see such young children who are so aware of their femininity. Of course, both my nieces "fit" into their genders. I am also reminded of an article I read (in People magazine I think) about a little boy who was diagnosed with gender dismorphic disorder. He wears dresses, and goes by a girl's name, instead of his birth-given boy name. His parents are raising him/her as a girl, and trying to help him/her deal with his/her gender as best they can. Both these examples are a strong argument towards the nature aspect that, when it comes to gender, maybe we are (as Lady Gaga would say) just born this way.
In Margaret Price's Mad At School, Price brings up some interesting points regarding labeling and boxing people - especially students in academic settings- with mental disabilities. She talks about wanting to fix or cure these problems rather than working with them or embracing the idea of mental difference. I think that she makes some good points, and I started thinking further about the portrayal of this kind of different (yet brilliant) mind in movies and on TV. Temple Grandin is a recent example that Price also talked about, but I could't help relating this back to Eli Clare's "super crip" category. The movie about Temple Grandin touched millions of people and suddenly autism and aspergers became the disability du jour. Temple Grandin was celebrated (and rightfully so) for being an extraordinary person with autism. This also relates back to the ideas of visibility in media and society. In these movies about disabled minds, very well-known, attractive Hollywood stars represent these afflicted people. (Russell Crow in A Beautiful Mind and Clare Danes in Temple Grandin). It is an interesting way to look at mainstream acceptance of disabilities and their portrayal.
After reading "Culture as Disability" and last week's viewing of Josh Blue on Last Comic Standing, I couldn't help questioning whether cultural visibility is always the best way to further understand disability and difference better. When does visibility become exploitation? Eli Clare talked about the freak show and subsequent decline of it today. Was Josh Blue exploiting himself when he went on national TV and made fun of his disability and the stereotypes surrounding people with CP? Did he inadvertently box everyone with CP into a category they might not want to be a part of? What would Eli Clare think about Josh Blue? I guess I'm trying to sort through the question of whether or not it is helpful to make disability and queerness and other "differences" visible in society or if, possibly, it's just another less obvious form of exploitation for profit. When I read that the recently trans gendered Chaz Bono was going to be on this season of Dancing with Stars, I thought it was an amazing advancement for the trans community to get mainstream recognition. Then recently there has been a lot of ridiculous press on the apparent controversy of having a transgendered contestant on a "family" show. People have even gone as far as to warn parents not to let their children watch the show in fear that it would confuse the child's own formation of gender identity. These news articles are perpetuating the exploitation (not visibility) of a transgendered person.
Last week in class we discussed the article "Living the Good Lie" about homosexual men living outwardly as straight men, with wives and children. One of the driving forces behind their decisions to do this was that while they recognized their inward identity as being gay, their greater identity emphasis was on being religious. These men were willing to compromise their homosexual identity in favor of their (stronger) religious identity.