Within the queer spaces I’m involved with and often online, female bodied (to refer to someone who the doctor decided was female) and male bodied are often deployed as way to ‘get to the heart of the matter’. They are an attempt at destabilizing gender’s primacy and focusing on ‘biological facts’. Unfortunately this mostly ends up merely rein scribing the male/female binary and presuming the experiences and identities of others. For instance, instead of merely saying we need one man and one woman in this position, we now say one male bodied person and female bodied person. We are still presuming truths of others identities and using euphemisms to refer to man/woman, using them in the same way. Continue reading
I presented a conference, last weekend. I was very nervous: I was talking about a lot of my complex feelings and tensions about the english language to describe and articulate genders that are not men/women or expressions that are not or are complexly masculine/feminine.
The presentation went well. Although I am sure I ultimately did not prevail, I wanted to make my language accessible to those there. I wasn’t think of making my academic language accesible and understandable though, but of making my queer vocabulary* understandable to the student and community audience present at this academic conference. To that end, I had a slide up with long explanations of some of my key terms: genderqueer, non-binary, cisgender, colonialism (the last one was there to highlight the fact that colonialism is super relevant to all discussions of gender and trans* experiences of gender). Continue reading