My understanding of Gender
My understanding of gender is that it insinuates a way of expressing oneself. Gender is the way in which a person acts. Gender is different from sex as Butler suggests in that sex is used within the scientific field stating whether a person is male or female based on their genitalia. My understanding of gender has been partly shaped by what Judith Butler has insinuated. Gender is a performance, a way of performing ones body in many different ways; performing manufactured acts as Butler suggests from her book "Gender Trouble."Gender again for me is the understanding of what is or what can be "normalized." How can we normalize such bodies? Also, when I think about gender the most basic thing to question is the concept of heteronormativity and how it plays a role in shaping our understanding of not just gender, but also sex, and sexuality.
Within my first presentation i wanted to get the gist of what the term gender may mean. In my first bibliography i described gender by using a scholarly article that used media, Gender and identity. In this article the author described gender as a performance by using Butler. My other two sources were news reports regarding gender. One of these two articles reported the hardship a young man had to deal with because of his gender. The other one was about a young girl who was trapped in a boy's body. By presenting these two articles as well as the scholarly article they point to the issue of gender and how it is constructed within society. As I continued my research on the term gender, i wanted to look at the issues regarding how transgender people are viewed and recognized within society/media. I found a lot of great articles that touched base on the very issues transgender people are dealing with today and have always had to deal with. For my second bibliography I used Kate Bornstein's "Gender outlaw". This book touched base on how Kate felt through her experience in being a transgender person. In my second source i focused on Leslie Feinberg's "Trans Liberation Pink or Blue". This book focused on the ways in transgender people are treated within society. She then focused on the pink-blue dogma. The idea that if you are a girl you must like (wear)pink, if you are a boy you must like (wear) blue. This was an interesting way in which gender can be discussed. For my third source in my second bibliography i used an article that describes the climate surrounding transgender people at MU. This article points out how the Missouri University supports and protects transgender people.
In my final bibliography i wanted to go back to focusing on the ways in which the media uses pronouns in regards to transgender people by referring to two new reports focusing on transgender children, but i also wanted to use Julia Serano's "Whipping Girl" to further explore the ways in which the terms sex and gender are used within society as well as the ways in which transgender people are referred to outside of the transgender community. She also attempts to analyze the term transgender.
Why my term is important to Queering Theory
This term i think, is powerful when looking at queering theory. For me, i don't think we can begin to understand queering theory without the concept of gender because it glorifies the ways in which the term queer is brought up. when people think about the term gender they often first think about male or female, but then when the term is further complicated people tend to move onto thinking and questioning the differences of gender and what i mean by that is thinking about gay/lesbian/bisexual/intersex/trans people and how they're bodies can further complicate the concept of gender.
A word reflection on the question: what is queering?
Queering is for me is a mix of many things and these things may include performing oneself, noticing a space that has been unnoticed or one didn't want to be noticed, thinking of ones identity/identities. All these things i think refer to the idea of normalcy. In thinking about this i want to draw upon Gina's mash-up as well as Scott's mash-up.
The mash-up is all about describing what we as a class think what queering is so I'm going to start by referring to Gina's mash-up. Gina did her mash-up on performativity. I think this would describe part of what queering is all about. This is what Gina said in her mash-up, "For me queering is calling to the forefront the notion of naturalizations and norms both visible and invisible." This suggestion helps me understand what queering can be. To me the idea of performativity relates to queering because by performing ones idenitity you are performing based on your gender. Gina relates to Gabe's post about National coming Out Day and how the only reson they have to come out is because they are presumed herterosexual/heteronormative until they say differently. This a major issue as Gabe point's out. This for me questions and makes me think about the the term queer and how we as a society can articulate it.
Now i want to turn my attention to Scott's mash-up because this also is way for me to understand what the term queer means. In Scott's mash-up her turns to the idea of queering a space. I want to share what Scott says in his mash-up, "One can "queer" a space, either by drawing attention to something that others hadn't/didn't want to notice before one made it visible/brought it to their attention. One can queer a space through migration, through taking up space that is otherwise normative and transforming it into something else." This for me also describes what queering can mean. I like how Scott suggests, "queering a space by taking up a space is otherwise normative and transforming it into something else. I think this may be the very essence of what queering may mean. I also think that in defining what queer is like Scott explains in his post one will often define queer by discussing what queer is Not and in doing this i think that it can help us as a society to understand what queer may be.
In both of these i think that the idea behind queering is to understand normalcy and the ways in which identities can be formed and transformed as well as to understand how spaces can be transformed in to essentially non-normative spaces as scott suggests.
Word reflection on the process of tracking my term
While being in queering theory i learned a lot about the concepts of normativity, performance, identity, the ways in gender are expressed as well as the ways in which sex and gender as well as sexuality are expressed not only through academia, but through media as well. I learned a lot about how something and/or one can be viewed as queer. I also enjoyed learning about all the different terms each of us in the class focused on. I learned quite a bit about the term gender and how it is constructed. Also, before i was a GWSS major i had never really thought this hard and differently about the term gender and since joining the GWSS department i've learned so much about the differences in how people think.
The process of writing on the blog was really good. I enjoyed writing all the assignments we had to do as well as the continuation of our discussion we had in class. This was a great way to enhance my learning because it gave me an opportunity to see my classmates comments, to see what they are thinking. I think it's always helpful to have others comments because it makes you think sometimes in a whole new way or it may just help you re-ehanance your understanding of the subject. Its also a great way to know exactly what the teacher wants.
Although, i throughly enjoyed writing on the blog it did get a bit annoying having to come on here so often, but in the long run i really enjoyed it.
On the other hand, twitter was more-so annoying than helpful to me. Since i never had a twitter before this class i wasn't used to it, but i am glad that i used it at least once because it gave me a new way to communicate with my classmates. To be honest i'd much rather use the blog than twitter just because it appeals to me more so. The fact that we can only use so many words on twitter is annoying to me, but i suppose we can queer that right?
For future students i would like to say that the blog is fun and very useful for the learning aspect, but it's also a fun way to connect with your classmates when not referring to assignments. Also, it is easier to understand what your teacher wants you to do because it is all laid out on the screen for you plus by using the blog you save on paper as well. For twitter I'd try it out even if you think you don't like it because it can be a learning experience.
The connections i can draw between queering theory and blogging/tweeting is that these online tools can help a lot when discussing academia surrounding queering theory. since we as a society have become so online- wary by using online media we can facilitate what we want to discuss and usually it is anything and everything. For example, i really loved the idea of the Queer This! assignment because it made each of us think of things that can be queered. It was a way for us to use pictures, videos, art, etc to express what we thought was queer. This was a fun aspect of the class, i throughly enjoyed it. The blog and twitter enabled us to think about queer; by assigning us all of these assignments we could use readings/ research of our own to discuss what queering theory means.
I really enjoyed this class! Thanks Sara for being such a great professor! This class taught me so many new things about the idea of queer, the issues surrounding differences in gender, sex, sexuality, the ways in which media plays a part, the ways in which hegemony plays a part, etc.