Pretty brilliant entry

  • Dec. 25th, 2011 at 8:41 PM
la_vie_noire: (Anthy flower)
Gender Imperialism.

It has been and continues to be a challenge for me to resist the Western, imperialist constructions of gender. This conflict has been my *only* source of gender confusion and dysphoria. Before I was kicked out of my dad’s house, I was perfectly comfortable with my gender. But as I became entirely surrounded by the Western gaze, with no refuge, I began to feel discord with my gender and body. I have spent years struggling with my gender only to realize that the issue was not about my relation to my body but my relation to how the West views my body. My gender dysphoria was the result of Western imperialism.

[...]Eventually, these experiences (and a toxic friendship) convinced me to throw my skirts away (lovingly hand crocheted by myself) and make up, so that I could be a ‘man.’

Trying to live up to this Western, gender normative notion of ‘man’ did a lot of damage to myself. I’m getting over it, but it hasn’t been easy. And as I exit this stage of my life I’ve been re-examining my relationship with the trans umbrella (and the cis/trans binary). Ultimately, I’m resisting this label too, partially out of mistrust and a fear that even trying out this better, but still Western, conception of gender will still do damage to me. And I think it would. Because accepting the trans label as a bakla means that I’m defining and understanding my gender within a Western context. It is an acceptance of the imperialism and continued colonization of my body by the West.

My gender identity, and its expression, exist outside of the Western construction of gender. It is the product of a culture that, while it has a colonial past, is its own.

Apr. 23rd, 2011

  • 2:20 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Beyond the Binary: Body Image.

Most representations of people labeled as not male and not female are very similar, and tend to share some basic characteristics. They are thin or slender. They have flat chests and narrow hips. They tend to have more angular features. When people are asked to picture someone ‘androgynous’ or to visualize a person of ‘indeterminate’ gender, this is usually the mental image that arises. Note, please, that many of these traits are traditionally associated with masculinity. Nonbinary people can occupy a range of gender identities and bodies, including bodies like this, but people often assume that all of us share this appearance and this specific body type, that people who do not look this way are somehow faking or pretending.

Someone like me, with fat, broad hips, breasts, and soft features, is read as female, because I do not fit the image of a nonbinary person.[...]

Feminism discusses body image and normative trends about bodies a lot. Sometimes it even tosses a few scraps to trans women when discussions about body image take place. But feminism is silent on nonbinary people; there isn’t a huge body of work talking about nonbinary body image and, specifically, how antifemininity ties in with the relationships we have with our bodies. And how fighting antifemininity in feminism might, just possibly, make the world safer for us.

And this is the reason I basically ignore [ profile] ontd_feminism lately. (And that I basically ignore everything because I have no time lately, but you get me.)


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