Posts Tagged ‘heteronormative’

First, a bit of unofficial news: I have been told that I have passed my exams, or at least that I should and should proceed as if I have. The other reader is out of town, so nothing is official, but I have gotten some assurance, which takes off a whole lot of pressure.

And then adds some. I need to get started on this prospectus thing. Which means more research. Which is good; I’m good at research.

This leads me to the article for today: “Building Boxes and Policing Boundaries: (De)Constructing Intersexuality, Transgender and Bisexuality” by Betsy Lucal.


Bockting, thrice

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve started working with Walter Bockting. He’s going to help me with this last exam, and he’s going to help me with my research afterwards. As a part of that, I need to get a few reviews here on the site. I want to make sure I have all the quotes I need right at hand.

To that end, I’m going to talk about three articles that involve Walter in some way: “Homosexual and Bisexual identity in Sex-Reassigned Female-To-Male Transexuals.” by Eli Coleman, Walter Bockting, and Louis Gooren; “A Further Assessment of Blanchard’s Typology of Homosexual Versus Non-Homosexual or Autogynephilic Gender Dysphoria.” by Larry Nuttbrok, Walter Bockting, Mona Mason, Sel Hwahng, Andrew Rosenblum, Monica Macri, and Jeffrey Becker; and “Gay and Bisexual Identity Development Among Female-To-Male Transexuals in North America: Emergence of a Transgender Sexuality.” by Walter Bockting, Autumn Benner, Eli Coleman. I’ll start from the top, and move to the article where Walter was the primary author. (more…)

I’ve discovered recently that the used book store is one of my primary places to find sources for my dissertation. I keep finding incredibly good books there. I’m guessing students who take classes on feminist theory or queer theory sell their books there, and then I can scoop them up. Works well for me. I’d like to talk today about parts of one of those sources. The book is called Genderqueer: voices from beyond the sexual binary, and it’s edited by Joan Nestle, Clare Howell, and Riki Wilchins. They open the book by each giving their own introduction, and Wilchins’ is where I’d like to start.

There will probably be more on this book at a later date, but for now, I’m just looking at Riki Wilchins’ contributions. (more…)

I’d like to talk about a book I read last semester. It’s called Virtual Gender: Technology, Consumption and Identity Edited by Eileen Green and Alison Adam. It was published in 2001, and is a collection of essays. My major thought when reading through this was my amazement at what has changed in the past ten years.

When I think back ten years, the world in my memory doesn’t seem that different. Unless I look at the details. I didn’t have a blog then, but I think I was just starting this new thing called Livejournal. I had a cell phone (I think), but almost never used it. I didn’t have a laptop. I did have AIM, but that was the only messenger system I used. So as I look at the details, I see a pretty significant change.


Today’s post is about the first two parts of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality: An Introduction Volume one. I found this work to be very interesting, saying things about sexuality that at first seemed completely backwards, but were eventually explained in such a way that they made perfect sense. It seems like if you replace the word “sexuality” with whatever content he is writing about, that sentence makes a really good explanation of everything Foucault wrote.

One of the things Foucault suggested was that sex has become more repressed, not less, over the past few hundred years. He tells us that the Victorian age confined sexuality to the home, absorbed it into the function of reproduction, and silenced it (3). That is, it became the norm not to talk about that sort of thing. Talking about sex was no longer acceptable, and sex became something that happens behind closed doors; specifically, behind the closed doors of a married couple intending to reproduce. In doing so, sex was no longer something that could be talked about. (more…)

As promised, I have more research to share. Today I will be discussing Judith Butler’s article “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” For those who don’t know, Butler is one of the most important voices in feminist theory, and one of the most cited authors in the humanities (almost more than Marx and Nietzsche put together).

One of the things I like best about this article is how it talks about gender as a performance, as something in flux. Butler tells us early on that “gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceede [sic]; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time – an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts. Further, gender is instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self” (519, emphasis in original). She is saying that the way we act informs our gender identity. That is, we have to act a certain way in order to have a gender. Theoretically, if we acted a different way, if we did not repeat the acts , the gestures, movements, and other enactments, we would lose or change that gender identity. (more…)

Happy new year, my loyal reader. Sorry I haven’t been posting recently. I actually have quite a bit to talk about, but I’ve been saving the thoughts elsewhere. I will get to those articles and books in another entry. First, though, I wanted to talk about where I am and where this year is going to take me.

I’m at the point now where the dissertation looms above me, casting its shadow over all the land around it. Everything I do no is a step towards the dissertation. I don’t even have a prospectus finished, but that’s just one step. One part of it all. Other parts are here on this blog, where you can maybe follow the lines of research I’ve gone down and weave them all together into my project. Maybe there’s a connection between user centered design, artificial intelligence, and the heteronormative binary. Maybe there isn’t. But if not, it will still have bearing on my new project. (more…)

I’m trying to make myself more focused again. I’ve been slacking off too much for too long, and it has to stop. Thankfully, I’m incredibly interested in my project, so it’s not hard to think about. The more I make myself work, the easier it is to do.

I find I’m constantly noticing little things that remind me of my project, which in turn is helping me really define it. I met with Walter Bockting last week (more on him later), and I think he was pretty interested in helping me out, but while we were talking, I saw that I really need to refine my work a bit. I need to know exactly where I’m going, and I need to give it borders and limits. (more…)

The first thing I would like to talk about today is Margot D. Weiss’s article “Mainstreaming Kink” from the Journal of Homosexuality (50: 2, 2006). This article is, primarily, about the way kink, and more specifically BDSM, is represented in mainstream media.

In case it needs to be explained, BDSM is actually a smooshed acronym; that is to say, it should probably be BDDSSM. It’s a combination of B/D (Bondage and Discipline), D/S (Dominance and Submission) and S/M (Sadism and Masochism). BDSM is kind of a catchall term. Weiss uses BDSM and SM interchangeably “to denote depictions, perceptions, and interpretations of sexual bondage, dominance/submission, pain/sensation play, power exchange, leathersex, role-playing, and some fetish” (104). All of this stuff is known more colloquially by the much tamer word ‘kink’; hence the title of the article. (more…)

I have gotten the results of my exams. I passed the exam on the history of rhetorical theory. I passed the exam on Scientific and Technical Communication. I have been asked to take a different specialty exam, as the list I had wasn’t finalized in time, which meant I was not as prepared as I was supposed to be.

In other words: I failed the third exam. And I deserved to. I took 6 months to study the other two, and six WEEKS to study the third (while still studying the other two). So I’m taking a step back, getting to know my shit a bit better, and then taking another swing at it. It’s a hurt to the confidence, but I’m trying to look at it as a story I can tell some day to my students when they panic about their exams (as my adviser did for me).

Anyway, I wanted to talk about an article. “Virtual Gender Identity: The Linguistic Assimilation to Gendered Avatars in Computer-Mediated Communication” by Nicholas A. Palomares and Eun-Ju Lee. This article is basically looking at whether gender-matched avatars lead to more gender-typical language use (they say it does). (more…)