Gender socialization, resocialization & multiplicity

Borghese Hermaphroditus
Borghese Hermaphroditus

Sex and gender seem inextricably married for most people. Many do not even know the difference between the two. This paper will explore those differences, the problems that arise when one comes into conflict with the other and possible solutions for those who face such problems. First there is a brief overview of some of the more prominent scientific approaches to sex and gender studies, next is an enumeration of some of the more common variant genders, then an analysis of the process of re-socialization for the individual whose gender identity conflicts with their designated sex, and finally we will conclude with three hypothetical and hopefully positive outcomes for the transgender community as a whole.

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Oppositional narrative, myth-shaping and ideological idiopathy

Definitions

Idiopathy is generally a medical term, but its usage here harkens back to its Greek roots. “Idio-” is from the Greek ídios (ἴδιος), meaning something private or entirely one’s own. “-Pathy” is from the Greek pátheia (πάθεια) meaning “feeling” or “suffering” which in turn derives from pathos (πάθος), meaning a condition or state (generally of suffering). Continue reading Oppositional narrative, myth-shaping and ideological idiopathy

The semiotics of abortion

Abortion has been a bitterly contentious subject for decades if not millennia. The recently concocted controversy re Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling harvested fetal tissue to medical researchers has brought the subject front and center once more. And, while I’m not particularly interested in the current hokum, I would like to share my thoughts on why this debate has never gone anywhere.
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Real world events that NCIS predicted

Anybody who’s been reading this blog for a while knows that I like the the CBS TV series NCIS. And, while the show may be a bit corny, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t occasionally hit the nail right on the head. Here are some examples of NCIS episodes predicting real world events. Let me know if you have examples I missed.

A sniper targets a Marine Corp recruiter in NCIS S1E13
A sniper targets USMC recruiters in NCIS S1E13

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Kathryn Steinle: a DIY guide to exploiting the dead

Bill O'Reilly
Bill O’Reilly

I don’t have cable. I can’t bear witness to the bobbleheads on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and the rest spewing bunkum into the universe. Unfortunately, sometimes some of it seeps through my filters and reaches me. That happened with the Kathryn Steinle case. Continue reading Kathryn Steinle: a DIY guide to exploiting the dead

Thelephobia & the problem of the nipple

Female cadaver, NCIS S2E4
Cadaver (Mariela Santos), NCIS S2E4

While watching old episodes of NCIS recently, I was surprised by how fake one of the cadavers appeared. Usually, props and makeup on the show look pretty realistic considering it’s an older program. Then I realized what made this body look so artificial: The woman had no nipples. That’s right: no nipples, no areolae–just pale, bulbous blobs protruding from a patulous thorax.

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Love, sex, hate, murder

Ever wonder how common/acceptable certain words have been in English writing over the past couple centuries? Google Ngram Viewer can give you a rough idea. For this first installment, I look at two correlative concepts–love and hate–and their epitomic activities–sex and murder–since 1800. Whether the below chart represents their relative popularity over the past couple centuries or just the willingness of publishers to allow folks to write about them doesn’t seem all that important. Either possibility is telling.

Google Ngram
Love, sex, hate, murder (1800-2000)

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Tania Bruguera: discomfort artist

tania-bruguera
El Peso de la Culpa, Bruguera, 1997

Tania Bruguera is a controversial performance artist of international acclaim. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1968, Bruguera grew up in a time when Cuba’s relations with the global community, and the United States in particular, were strained. Receiving degrees from the Cuban Instituto Superior de Arte and the American School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bruguera would eventually establish residences in both Havana and Chicago, travel the world, and receive awards and academic acclaim both for her artwork and for her efforts as a public speaker, political activist, and founder and director of Arte de Conducta, the first Cuban performance-art program.

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Beauty that inheres

Lauryn Hill & Meg Ryan
Lauryn Hill | Meg Ryan

Hair is political

“Hair is political” has become a commonplace statement in black feminist circles. I don’t know that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is responsible for popularizing the phrase, but she certainly seems to be the person saying it most often these days. The first time I can recall hearing someone discuss the racial-cum-gender politics of hair was at the 2011 Annual Women’s Studies Conference in Pensacola, Florida. The speaker, Aphrodite Kocieda, described the straightening and lengthening of hair—and white mimicry in general—as a tool black women use to obtain visibility in a “racist, sexist, patriarchal society.”

That was a long time ago, but all this talk about racist hair and political hair lately has me wondering: What about white folk’s hair? If the straightening of black hair represents racial sublimation and an attempt to conform to other groups’ standards of beauty, then what does the curling and perming of European/white hair signify?

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