sweet cuppin' kates
diaries usually have titles that have nothing to do with the diary itself

Food for thought

17 April 2009 |||

I'm talking an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lit. class this semester. The prof. is a lesbian, so she's extremely knowledgeable about lesbian and gay politics, but less knowledgeable about trans. politics. Since we just read a book with a trans. (actually, gender-queer might be a better description) protagonist, my prof. invited another prof. to give us a short history of trans. politics and answer any of our questions. He doesn't ID as trans., but as a trans. ally.

One of my classmates told him that she doesn't know what to think about some of her MTF (male-to-female) friends' hyperfeminine (or high femme) gender performance. She said that to her, their gender performance seems to reproduce stereotypical femininity and therefore misogyny/sexism. I've thought that too, as have many of my classmates.

The prof. said something very profound. It actually gave me goosebumps. He said - very respectfully - that it might be more helpful to think about how heterosexual men and women reproduce masculinity and femininity and how their heterosexual privilege enables them to do so without being questioned for being hypermasculine or -feminine.

Suddenly my classmate got it. What the prof. said reminded her of being out with an MTF trans. friend. A man held the door open for them, and as a feminist, she thought about how stupid it is that men are expected to hold the door open for women simply because they're women - but her friend was ecstatic, because right then, she was passing.

Something to think about.