Gender Identity

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Before our discussion about gender identity in class, I had never thought about this topic before. Being a heterosexual female this topic has never been something that I have had to deal with. Once reading the David/Brenda article, I started thinking, who has the right to decide what gender someone will be or "portray" to society? And if it is just a portrayal of who you are, are we just conforming to societal norms subconsciously? I am the youngest of three daughters in my family, and my father always wanted a son, so I was the daughter chosen to try to fill that void for him. When I was younger I mostly enjoyed things that were stereotypically meant for boys. I even got called a boy when I was in public with my father, although I had really long hair. It wasn't until the age of about thirteen that I had even considered wearing a dress or skirt and letting the color pink touch my body.


I think that gender identity is influenced by society and the environment that one is raised in, but I believe that "nature" (nature vs. nurture) ultimately takes over and one becomes their true identity and self regardless of society. I think that not only gender identity, but identity in general is something that comes from the inside and radiates to the outside of a person. Unfortunately it is judged from the outside looking in. For example, in the link that I have posted, it says:
"A surgical procedure to alter the genitals or other gender characteristics is not required of an applicant for a recognition certificate." Recognition certificate?? To tell someone what gender you are? When would the need for a recognition certificate be necessary and how would this make the certificate holder feel? Maybe they would feel proud to get a certificate saying that they are now "officially" the gender that they have always wanted to be. Maybe they feel that society feels the need to mark them as F or M so that they will be more comfortable with the alterations being done on their body. Regardless the reason, I don't see the absolute necessity to mark someone as A or B. I think labels make people try to conform to the central idea that each label provides, regardless if they have the same beliefs or values. I think that people should be themselves and live through their identity without question of what society will say.

1 Comment

Hi Brenda,
Thanks for posting this. Interestingly, many queer scholars argue that both nature and nurture play an interesting role in forming gender identity. It's often theorized as this kind of "becoming" rather than an stagnant sense of self that doesn't change over time. The interesting thing about Brenda/David is that his sense of self developed as result of the his engagement with medical technology. So while he ultimately became a "man" this becoming was predicated on a whole set of interventions, realizations, and processing of his life as one who was subject to all kinds of medicalized violences. I look forward to seeing how your own perspective develops over the semester.

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This page contains a single entry by sokup005 published on October 6, 2011 8:47 AM.

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