Formspring.me Questions & Answers Part 6 NSFW

A roundup of the latest questions that I have been asked through formspring.me.

Still clearing up the backlog, as I mentioned here and here.

What is your most prized possession that you own?
I don’t really have anything that I rate that highly

Who’s the first person you text on most mornings?
There isn’t a regular person. Wld be J if we ddnt live together

Why did you join twitter?
To chat with like minded people 🙂

i have 9 inches see pic and tell me if you think it would hurt fae
Boring…

You’re invited a large block party in your neighborhood. Do you avoid the party, attend and stand in the corner, attend and mingle casually with people you’ve met before, or attend and aggressively mingle?
Mingle with those I know

Scrunch or fold?
Fold then scrunch

Do you use electric blankets in winter?
Nope, don’t have one. Just add more blankets

How has twitter improved your life?
More connection to the outside world

blogtv or stickam?
I don’t know either of those

Have you ever had sex with more than one person at the same time? If so, how many?
Six

Have you ever been in a relationship where you thought the person was actually trying to hurt you… where you felt as though they actually resented being with you and being in a relationship with you?
no, but I have been in relationships where I’ve been the one who resented it

What are your feelings on religion?
in theory it’s good…. many paths to the top of the same mountain… just don’t force me to follow your path

Do you have unmet needs? If so, how significant is this issue in your life? Will it motivate you to make drastic changes?
i don’t believe so

What would you choose as your last meal?
at the moment that would be greed pizza from Hell Pizza and the blood cherry chocolate moose

What do you seek / value in a partner?
truth, trust and honesty, open communication

are you one of those “dating”/hookup websites? if so which one(s), and how do you like it? has it worked for you, that is to say have you actually met someone from the website(s)
I met my future husband on OkCupid

how do you feel about the current situation in Egypt? should the rest of the world follow their example, where the impoverished majority seize power from the ruling minority?
the impoverished majority still doesn’t have power, now it’s the military

what are some awesome fonts from dafont.com!!????
umm.. pass??

If you could erase a single thing from your memory bank, what would it be?
nothing, everything that has happened to me makes me who i am today

If you knew, without a doubt, that you would be dying in one week – what is the one most important thing that you would want people to know about you?
until i’m placed in that sitution, i really don’t know

Nessa says Moooooo mooooooo mooooooooo mooooooo oink moooooo mooooooo moooooooo mooooo I guess you must be a fat lonely cow too for her to send you that message.
ummm ok? at least i’m not a troll

Describe a time when you felt true fear, the kind that washes through your body in a wave.
during the earthquakes and many aftershocks we have had lately, and i wasn’t/am not in any of the most damaged areas

When’s the last time you laughed so hard, you cried?
i can’t remember the last time, it’s been a while

If you had the opportunity to travel anywhere in the universe, and potentially meet aliens, would you take the trip? What would you look forward to most?
yes, would look forward to the knowledge i would gain, i’m such a knowledge geek

What is a memorable sexual first in your life that you won’t mind sharing?
would have to be the first time i was with J, really changed my life

Ask me absolutely anything!

Transgender Violence – Society’s Obsession with “Doing” Gender

I wrote this a couple of months ago for my Sociology paper last semester. I would like to see what your thoughts are 🙂  Depending on your responses, I may put up more essays and such like in the future

Concept Exercise – ‘Doing’ Gender

From the moment we are born, we are assigned to one of two genders which we are expected to perform for the remainder of our life. Boys are masculine and girls are feminine. In order to portray the correct image, we must ‘do’ gender as society has constructed it. This is the only way to “[affirm] and [maintain] our gender identities” (McLennan, McManus, & Spoonley, 2010, p. 107). Gender is something we learn to ‘do’, being encouraged by our parents, teachers, even friends and public spaces (such as male and female public toilets). Because it is something we have to learn, it is therefore not “a pre-determined state” (Connell, 2009, p. 5). We are taught to avoid gender ambiguities through the clothes we wear, the toys we are given to play with, the way our hair is cut etc. An example of how socially constructed gender is, is how “[before] World War I, it was not uncommon for boys to wear pink, which the promotional literature of the time called ‘a stronger, more decided colour’. Girls wore blue which was understood to be ‘delicate’ and ‘dainty’” (Garber, 1992 as cited in (McLennan, McManus, & Spoonley, 2010, p. 107)). In the present day, a baby dressed in blue is acknowledged as a boy, whereas a baby in pink is most definitely a girl.

Should we decide to perform a gender or in a way that is not the socially accepted match to our biological sex, this can lead to confusion as to what social discourse should be used. Even though gender ambiguity is common, with many people using a blend of “masculine and feminine characteristics” to form their personal gender identity, we are still expected to perform the one most closely related to our biological sex (Connell, 2009, p. 6). Otherwise we can be labelled with terms such as “effeminate, camp, queer and transgender” (Connell, 2009, p. 6) and more derogatory terms like fag and poof. Because society has been constructed with men/males being masculine and women/females being feminine, any deviation from this can cause fear, misunderstanding and hatred.

The effects of fear, misunderstanding and hatred can been seen with the hate crimes committed against transgendered people, the result of someone not ‘doing’ their gender in the socially accepted way. A recent case in America resulted in the country’s first conviction “of first-degree murder and a bias motivated crime” (Spellman, 2009). Angie Zapata, who lived as a woman after being born a male, was killed by Allen Andrade in Summer 2008. They met on an online social networking site and while “Andrade admitted killing Zapata, […] his defence argued he acted in the heat of passion after discovering Zapata was biologically male” and “asked for a […] verdict such as second-degree murder or manslaughter” (Spellman, 2009). The defence constantly identified Zapata as “he”, while the prosecutors identified her as “she”. “[The] prosecutors […] argued that Andrade knew Zapata was biologically male and that motivated the crime” (Spellman, 2009). She was killed because she was “born in a boy’s body but [was] living as a female” (Miller as cited in (Spellman, 2009)).

Hate crimes against transgendered people is not a new thing. Brandon Teena was killed on New Year’s Eve, 1993 “on account of gender non-conformity” (Matzner, 2004). Teena lived as a man but was a biological female. After moving to Falls City, Nebraska, a small rural town, Teena started to data Lana Tisdel. He was arrested for forging cheques and the police department found that he was biologically female. They provided this information to the local newspaper and they published it, outing Teena. Tisdel bailed him out of jail and did not react negatively to the outing. Two friends of Tisdel, John Lotter and Tom Nissen, “who had become close to Teena were shocked and angered by the disclosure” (Matzner, 2004). At a party on 24 December, they sought to humiliate Teena by pulling down his pants in front of Tisdel. Later that night, they raped and beat Teena, saying if he reported them, they would kill him. Teena reported them immediately and one week later, Lotter and Nissen found Teena at the farmhouse of Lisa Lambert where he was staying. They shot and stabbed him as well as killing Lambert and Phillip DeVine, who was also staying at the house. “Nissen was sentenced to life in prison without parole [and] Lotter received the death sentence” (Matzner, 2004). Teena’s mother filed a civil suit against Richardson County and its sheriff and was awarded $98,223 for the failure of the County to protect Teena by arresting Lotter and Nissen straight away after the first incident (Matzner, 2004).

Hate crimes against transgendered people are a direct result of the social construction of gender. Because society has such a strong influence on what we come to believe as acceptable and ‘normal’, through our parents, education and friends, when we come across something or someone that is not ‘normal’, we do not know how to react. By not performing their ‘correct’ gender with which they were assigned at birth, transgendered people generate fear and misunderstanding among others in the community who are considered ‘normal’. Unfortunately, this fear and misunderstanding often generates hatred which can take the form of physical violence, something that both Brandon Teena and Angie Zapata sadly discovered and paid for with their lives.

Until society stops being obsessed with people ‘doing’ their correct gender, incidents such as the horrific acts against Brandon Teena and Angie Zapata and their results deaths will continue to happen. ‘Doing’ ones gender is so deeply engrained within Western society, it is unlikely there will be any positive change and acceptance towards people ‘doing’ whatever gender they feel most comfortable ‘doing’, whether it be the one that matches their biological sex, the opposite or a mixture of the two. There must also be acceptance that both gender and sexuality are fluid and may change throughout their various stages of our lives. While ‘doing’ your correct gender continues to be the status quo, it will take many years and possibly many generations as we learn the mistakes of our elders, not fully understanding the extent of the damage those mistakes cause. Society needs to learn that what may be ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ for one individual may not be the same for anyone else. Until this changes, the violence caused by the fear, misunderstand and hatred of transgendered people and anyone else who is not considered ‘normal’ will continue to rise.

Bibliography

Connell, R. (2009). Short Introductions: Gender. Cambridge; Malden, MA02148, USA: Polity Press.
Matzner, A. (2004, December 31). Teena, Brandon. Retrieved March 29, 2010, from glbtq: An encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer culture: http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/teena_b.html
McLennan, G., McManus, R., & Spoonley, P. (2010). Exploring Society (3rd ed.). North Shore, New Zealand: Pearson.
Spellman, J. (2009, April 23). CNN.com/Crime Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first. Retrieved March 29, 2010, from CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2009/crime/04/22/transgender.slaying.trial/index.html

To Share, or Not to Share – The Quandary of Being Transgender

If you’re on your first date with someone, if they are transgendered, do you expect them to tell you on that first date?

That’s what Randy Cohen of The Ethicist column over at The New York Times thinks in response to a letter from a straight, presumably cis-woman.

The woman is seemly upset after finding her male date was a FtM transgender.  She didn’t find out this information from him, but after some online searching into his past, after he apparently wasn’t forthcoming enough.

Randy responds with:

[…] this person behaved badly by not being more forthcoming with you, he is still entitled to some privacy. You should not prompt a public announcement about his being transgender.

Is it just me, or is this comment a little contradictory?  He “behaved badly by not being more forthcoming” but “he is still entitled to some privacy”.

He goes on to say:

Getting to know someone is a gradual process. I might panic if on a first date someone began talking about what to name the nine kids she’s eager for us to raise in our new home under the sea. Premature disclosure can be as unnerving as protracted concealment. But as partners cultivate romance, and particularly as they move toward erotic involvement, there are things each should reveal, things they would not mention to a casual acquaintance — any history of S.T.D.’s, for example, or the existence of any current spouse. Even before a first kiss, this person should have told you those things that you would regard as germane to this phase of your evolving relationship, including his being transgender. Clearly he thought you’d find it pertinent; that’s why he discreditably withheld it, lest you reject him.

How many of you have been on a first date with someone, only to not have any desire to go on another date with that person, or that person is not interested on going on another date with you?  You barely know this person and what kind of person they could be, do you really want to reveal such personal information straight away?

This man obviously was not comfortable with revealing that he is FtM, and considering the attitude of some people towards trangenders, I don’t blame him.  I definitely don’t think he has discredited himself by not telling the woman on the first date.

If they met through, say, the internet, it would probably be different.  Sites like NZDating have the option of stating your gender as transgender on your profile.  Going through an internet dating site, you may be more able to judge a person’s reaction to this information.  This is something you can’t do if you meet someone for the first time in a real life situation.  You need that first date to have that opportunity to suss someone out first.  Revealing your transgender is something I would leave to at least to the second date.  Though of course, throughout the first date, the two of you may connect in an amazing way and the opportunity to let them know would be then.

In such a judgmental society, unfortunately you do have to be careful with what information you reveal about yourself and who you reveal it to.

h/t Queerty