Cross-posted HERE @ LiveJournal
This semester [at UNLV] I'm enrolled in a sort of Women Studies class (yes, it sounds misleading, believe me I judged it too, like hell I wanted so sit in a girls-restricted classroom but oops I was wrong). More or less specifically, it's a social science course studying Gender, Race, and Class (from a feminist perspective but masculinity is acknowledged too because ''feminist'' has nothing to do with women's-only politics, truthfully - or it shouldn't be). I'm surprised I'm enjoying the class so far however, this past week has been a bit uncomfortable for me because we've been discussing Gender Identity and umbrella topics (Transgender, Intersex, etc.) as well as some renowned names (Brandon Teena, Thomas Beatie, David Reimer). As far as some of you may know, I identify as genderqueer which is really hard to explain in proper words since I myself am still trying to understand my situation. I didn't share it with anyone of course, it's only week 7 but I was a little shocked to see that hardly anyone in a college level class really knew the difference between Sex and Gender Identity or what Transgender is (gladly ignore the ''Gender Identity Disorder'' term because this is truthfully inaccurate). She probably didn't mean to but one girl kept confusing the pronouns, saying something like: ''She's now a she but she was really a he'' so ''he yappety-yap'' in reference to a Transwoman on Instagram (well, if she's a Transwoman then obviously she's a she regardless if she had a penis and even if she still did she would still be a she). And another girl asked about something in reference to Thomas Beatie's pregnancies (not like he was the first Transman to be pregnant but he did successfully commercialise it), saying something on the lines of: ''But does he have a penis or...'' Um, no. He's a man but he was assigned as a female at birth; he still had his vagina, his uterus and ovaries while pregnant (obviously, you need these organs to become pregnant) but he was always a man. Him carrying his partner's children didn't/doesn't make him any less than a man. I personally stan for this quote he said: ''I feel it's not a male or female desire to want to have a child, it's a human desire.'' The confusion was too much to handle, I admit - as if these people have never been exposed to anything other than Man and Woman! Apparently, or I generally assume these people are cismen and women otherwise they wouldn't have been so hopelessly confused. Maybe I shouldn't be too shocked but with countless of coverage on it lately... ack! My instructor on the other hand has been studying this area for years to come so she knows her shit. And she openly admits her faults, saying she is a ciswoman and although she doesn't question her Sex Assignment or Gender Identity she's still learning and whenever she does accidentally slip up the preferred pronouns of Transpeople (she has quite a plenty Transgender friends), she goes on to say: ''Oops, sorry. I know, I'm an asshole.'' So, with that said I remembered this illustration - simple and cute for heavy subject matter but it gets the point across better than I can with my ranting:
Because Society is an Ass when it comes to Gender not fitting in ''neat little constructed boxes''; however Gender is much more complex than what we normally give it credit for. Sex is what we're assigned at birth given the appearance of our genitalia and/or medically tested chromosomes, etc. (fuck those shitty doctors). According to Society only two boxes exist: Male and Female - biologically and by reproductive means, yes I suppose (and Intersex is almost always ''corrected'' without the consent of the child, seriously fucked up beyond fucked). We're then expected to act in a socially constructed way based on these two labels - Man/Boy, Woman/Girl - that will follow us for the rest of our lives unless we make full surgical transitions that hardly anyone has the money for and not everybody wants (because truth be told Transphobia and other phobias do exist in the medical field so these doctors aren't always willing to make your new bottom parts pretty). Gender is separate from Sex; it is an Identity within the brain and is totally accurate regardless of Sex. And Sexual Orientation is also different; it can be whatever it wants to be regardless of Gender Identity. Though regardless of whatever labels out there exist (there's too many to count), we're all just People no matter what. Our whole Society is based around who-is-what and what-is-this but this little cute comic really goes to show any of this is not that big of a deal and Sex shouldn't be used as a tool to judge the Human Race. But sadly, it persists.
UPDATE: I've added the comic to my dA Profile/deviantID so others can always see it. Take a look: jdnight.deviantart.com/