Blog Archives

Why Don’t Feminists Have Gender-Neutral Kids?

Gender equalitySome parents believe in gender equality but conclude that boys and girls are just naturally different.

After all, they tried raising their sons and daughters the same way, yet their girls still liked frilly pink dresses and their boys still played with guns.

But do they raise boys and girls the same?
Read the rest of this entry

Why So Angry At Trans-Racial Folk?

Orange is the new Black?

Orange is the new Black?

I’m puzzled by the reasons people give for their anger over Rachel Dolezal’s transracial turn.

Like arguments that contradict each other:

It’s okay to be transgender but not transracial because Read the rest of this entry

Women Must Be Fit; Men Can Be Flabby

Can men be valued even if their bodies appear flabby and “gross”? What about women? Can they be? Maybe. But men may have more leeway.

While looking thru the archives at Sociological Images, I ran into this. The pictures are from a few years back but they’re still relevant. Dr. Lisa Wade makes some interesting points here.

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By Lisa Wade @ Sociological Images

Mercedes DeM. sent in this Vanity Fair cover (for April 2009)…

pu1p3ehapkkz1o5pwwcpbyn5o1_5001

…spoofing this previous coverRead the rest of this entry

I’m Ok, You’re Ok, Bruce Jenner’s Ok

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner is the most high-profile transgender person to come out of the closet.

And people seem fairly accepting of the transition so far. But transgender folk face hate crimes at astonishing rates, says Nick Kristof at the New York Times. He points out:

So far this year at least three transgender people have been reported murdered in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign issued a report the other day listing 13 transgender women murdered in 2014: They were shot, strangled, burned and beaten.

Bullies project their own shame onto others. And then they beat the crap out of what they hate inside themselves. Sometimes verbally, and sometimes physically.

What is it about transgendered-ness that cues insecurity? Read the rest of this entry

Girls Can Be Tomboys, Boys Can’t Be Sissies

No sissies. Just tough guise.

No sissies. Just tough guise.

Every quarter I ask my women students if any of them had been tomboys when they were little. Many hands enthusiastically shoot into the air. The women often have fond memories of their time climbing trees and digging in the dirt.

Then I ask the men students if any of them had been sissies. The class bursts out laughing. One hand might sheepishly creep up.

One man claimed the question was unfair since the word “sissy” is stigmatized but “tomboy” is not.

Actually, there isn’t a non-stigmatizing word for a boy who acts like a girl. And there’s a reason for that.  Read the rest of this entry

Women Are Passive? Think Again

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

Most of us think women are more passive than men. It’s natural, right? Men’s testosterone makes them tough and assertive.

Think again.

Actually, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology and society.

In fact, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology, alone.

Testosterone makes men aggressive?

Yes, men have more testosterone. But:  Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Dressing’s Erotic Side

Grayson Perry-sexy

Grayson Perry, in drag

Being a transvestite is a complex cocktail of motivations. It’s different for everyone, but there’s often a strong sexual component to cross-dressing, although trannies sometimes find it hard to admit this. I feel it’s like the elephant in the room. I feel it’s really there, but nobody’s talking about it.

Maybe it’s this erotic dimension which is the hardest part for others to accept.

That’s what artist and cross-dresser, Grayson Perry thinks.

“Vivienne,” over at Bluestocking Blue began blogging to better understand why “she” feels compelled to cross-dress male-to-female.  Read the rest of this entry

Shrinking Women, Hulking Men

The Hulk

The Hulk

Today’s woman may be a CEO, legislator, minister, action hero…

But as the sexes grow more similar, their bodies — at least in media — are diverging.

Men are getting bigger and women are getting smaller — except for their busts.  Read the rest of this entry

Men & Women React to Male & Female Nudity

Women and men showing skin

Women and men showing skin

By Lisa Wade @ Sociological Images

We’ve all heard the truism “sex sells.”

But whose sex is sold?  And to who?

If it was simply that sex sold,

…we’d see men and women equally sexually objectified in popular culture.  Instead, we see, primarily, women sold to (presumably heterosexual) men.  So what are we selling, exactly, if not “sex”?

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How I’m Seen Differently in a Female Body

Joelle Circé, “Waving Pride”

Joelle Circé, “Waving Pride”

No aspect of my existence, no moment of the day, no contact, no arrangement, no response is not different for men and for women. The very tone of voice in which I was now addressed, the very posture of the person next in the line.

And if others’ responses shifted, so did my own. The more I was treated as a woman, the more woman I became. I adapted willy-nilly. If I was assumed to be incompetent at reversing cars, or opening bottles, oddly incompetent I found myself becoming. If the case was too heavy for me, inexplicably I found it so myself.

Women treated me with a frankness which was one of the happiest discoveries of my metamorphosis. But I also found men treating me more and more as junior. I discovered that even now men prefer women to be less informed, less able, less talkative, and certainly less self-centered than they are themselves; so I generally obliged.

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