Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (Opening Out)

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The documentary tells the story of a Jamaican transgender woman who speaks of her many struggles as a biological man who identifies as a woman in a Jamaican society. After being rejected by her family members and community, she left home at an early age in order to ensure her personal safety. She explained that people do not see her as a woman, but rather a feminine man, who was most likely homosexual. Due to the cultural homophobia in Jamaica, her gender identity put her at risk on a daily basis.

Like most transgender people, Kandi explained that she knew from a very early age that she was a woman; at no point did she identify with the gender typically associated with her biological sex. Stories of mismatched identities have been recorded all over the world, as there are many others like Kandi. Similar stories have been seen in Indonesia, where biological men who identify as women are called " waria ".

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Religion plays a very important role in our history and cultures worldwide and is often used as guidelines for everyday living. Although warias , such as Mama Yuli in the documentary "Indonesia's Transgender under threat from Muslim Extremism", live openly, they still face abuse and danger in their professions, as many make a living through sex work.

Muslim extremists often destroy their properties and in some cases, harm the warias , as an attempt to end what they see as an abomination and scare them into becoming "real men. In the African documentary, "Transgender - Coming out in Africa" a young biological male, who identifies as a woman is forced to leave her country of birth, as her life is targeted because of her gender expression. Further to this, in the documentary titled "A Story on Transgender Children" three children are interviewed, with the youngest child being six years of age. These children tell their stories of not being able to identify with their physical bodies and the gender performance expected of them.

In the case of ten year old Riley, her parents attest to the fact that as early as three years of age, she would correct anyone who referred to her as a boy, he or him. Riley's mother painfully recalls how Riley fell into a state of depression at about age five, where she wanted to commit suicide because she was constantly referred to as he or him but did not see herself as or feel like a boy. Despite ridicule and bullying at school, Riley is absolutely sure that she is a girl and cannot understand why everyone else cannot see her as a girl.

In this instance, we cannot help, but see gender as socially constructed.

If gender was indeed a fact, then Riley would have naturally expressed herself according to the sex that she was assigned. This type of critique of gender as fact, further confirms and reinforces Butler's view that gender is not a fact. The aforementioned stories beg the question, why would individuals whose gender identity differ from their biological sex remain adamant that they change their assigned gender if gender is biological rather than a social construct.

Why would these human beings choose a life of abuse, ridicule and isolation which often comes with being transgender or not fitting into societal norms?

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Why wouldn't they adopt their assigned gender and identify and express themselves accordingly? If gender is indeed a fact like some scholars claim, why do individuals such as Riley, Kandi, Mama Yuli and many others feel trapped and cannot identify with the gender that they are assigned to?

Stories such as these certainly challenge the notion that gender is determined at birth and is a rigid fact. Kessler, in the "Medical Construction of Gender" adds to the debate of gender not being a fact by adding the discourse on intersexuality and the process of assigning a gender to an infant. In the late twentieth century, medical technology has advanced to allow scientists to determine chromosomal and hormonal gender, which is typically taken to be the 'real' or 'natural' biological gender, usually referred to as 'sex' ".

Feminism and the Mastery of Nature - CRC Press Book

Kessler, in agreement with gender not being a fact, expresses the fluidity of gender with emphasis on the medical construct of gender. In the case of intersex infants, their sex is unclear, therefore it is difficult to assign a gender to them as it cannot be determined by their sex. In cases like these gender is assigned to the babies by doctors or parents without surety of the true biological sex.


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Sex and gender cannot be one in the same and gender certainly cannot be fact when an infant is born intersex. There is the case of Jim Bruce, a child that was born with male chromosomes, but ambiguous genitals. The doctors decided that he would live a satisfactory life as a female and so assigned him the respective gender.

However Jim grew up and could not identify with the female gender, later down the road he found out that he was born intersex and his gender was chosen by a doctor. Jim now lives as a man and expresses this as fulfilling and satisfactory. Gender is complex and in no way can be explained in a single theory. Allene Baratz, a Pittsburgh breast radiologist who has two intersex daughters in an interview.

She continues by explaining that "we expect xx is pink and a girl and xy is blue and a boy, but we know from children with gender identity conditions that is not always the case, even when their bodies are perfectly typical. Feminist theory is the most innovative and truly living theory in today's Opening Out will apply the living insights of feminist critical theory in current social and. And also You can download or read online all Book.

Feminism and the Mastery of Nature

Book file PDF easily for everyone and. Two of the. Ecofeminism brings together elements of the feminist and green movements,. This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. History After LacanThis is the story of a social psychosis. It begins by recovering Lacan's neglected theory of histo.

A Critical assessment of the view of Judith Butler that gender is not a fact.

As part of Routledge's "Opening Out" series, edited by Teresa Brennan, Femi- nism and the Mastery of Nature adds to recent feminist thought coming out of. Feminism for Today. And also You can download or read. Ecofeminism is a branch of feminism that sees environmentalism, and the relationship between Today, there are several branches of ecofeminism, with varying approaches and..

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