Who's On Top Reflection
In hir complicated, yet comprehensive, explanation of gender in My Gender Workbook, Kate Bornstein discusses the different theories and way about which one can approach and examine the concept of gender. Bornstein openly rejects the traditional concept of gender being a binary system of opposites, as this dichotomy simply does not address the entirety of the population. Kate also goes on to discredit the â€śying-yangâ€? and â€ścontinuumâ€? concepts, and even the theory of gender being â€śa circleâ€?. In Bornsteinâ€™s opinion, society has constructed a pyramid-like structure for gender, with the top consisting of white, executive, wealthy and happy men, a small and often unattainable portion of the population for most. Bornstein recognizes that citizenship, health, monogamy, heterosexuality and the possession of power and property all dictate where one might fall into this theory. The man described in supposedly societyâ€™s interpretation of the Perfectly Gendered Individual.
While completing Kate Bornsteinâ€™s activity in the â€śWhoâ€™s on Top?â€? section of My Gender Workbook, I was surprised with the results of the exercise. I initially thought that because of my background, financial standing, race, and definite gender identity, I would be toward the top of Bornsteinâ€™s Gender Pyramid. I only received a score of 578, therefore putting me in "far from perfect" category. Apparently, I inherently can never be at the top due to my lacking in dominant genitalia, but also in my religious beliefs (or lack thereof). According the Kateâ€™s standards, which are reflective of societyâ€™s standards, many of us can never make it toward the top. Bornstein embraces this concept and recognizes how the simple act of toying with, or challenging, gender in our modern world might cause hostility. Regardless of hir complex explanation of the gender paradigm, the definition of gender and gender roles and identities in modern society are still up in the air, as I expect them to be for some time to come.