Gender Inequality: Societal Analogue and Gender Entitlement Notions Bolster Transgender Anonymity
While mourning the death of a close childhood friend,
searching for reason and understanding beyond the KOMO News media insinuations of being transient, I peruse his
Facebook final entries searching for quantification to justify the lack of due
process that afforded law enforcement’s ability to use excessive force on that dreadful
day of May 11, 2014 at University Place, Washington
In several social circles, many declare that lesbian, gay,
bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) behavior is not normal because society
embraces two distinct differentiations of male or female conduct. It defines and provides comfort in our
pronoun references of “he” and “she” statements. Interestingly, there are figurines from
periods around c9000-8000 B.C. discovered in the Middle East, depicting
androgynous human images that portray a view of gender identities being
flexible. Lauren Talalay argues that the
early archeological figurines may communicate a belief that gender was viewed
as same-sex or cross-sex combinations
In the quest for an inkling of an answer to when and where the origin of current gender perception and separation in roles began considering early ancient societies embraced a symbiotic relationship of sexes, even reveling and endorsing the ideology of different shades of gray— I realize it is no simple task to evidence blame. Many circles passionately contend that current patriarchal trends are attributed to early Christianity influence. It is simple to find theories, observations, and studies with factual events pointing to historical authorities similar to the medieval period as Dyan Elliot published. It alarms as it challenges a perspective of historical revered figures such as St. Augustine. Elliot quotes him to say, “[Demons] persuade [men]…in marvelous and unseen ways, entering by means of that subtlety of their own bodies into the bodies of men who are unaware, and through certain imaginary visions mingling themselves with men’s thoughts, whether they are awake or asleep.” (quoted in Elliott 19) Elliot further expands that St. Augustine preached that sinful sexual fantasies existed--encouraged by demons--victimizing men by penetrating sensibility imbedding an influence in memory and senses. St. Augustine believed that these demonic influences warranted investigation. Stepping back from history and focusing on current social views, Devor informs us:
Just as many Americans in the past considered it ‘unnatural’ and socially destructive for women to vote or go to college, many now consider it ‘unnatural’ and socially destructive for gays and lesbians to marry, or for individuals to express a gender identity that violates conventional notions of masculinity or femininity. (378)
Although many are eager to blame early Christianity and the
patriarchal enforcement, this belief leaves too many questions to be able to
subscribe to that notion. My mind
wanders back to my childhood friend as I ponder this information. As a masculine white male, what demons
victimized and pervaded him to cause other males with appointed authority to
brazenly perform a perceived public execution?
What was the attitude that was offensive if it was not his masculinity
in question? Ursule Molinaro portrays a
shocking public execution of a 45-year-old Greek female philosopher, Hypatia,
in the streets of Alexandria during the 5th-century BC era. Her scorched and blistering body was inflamed
in public view as a message to reformers and healers that she silence her
knowledge if she valued her life. Her
story teaches us that the etymology of the word heresy originally
meant—choice—the option of defining life as something other than the masses’
definition of normal. In essence, the
word heresy was adopted and bastardized into Christian doctrine significance of
conformance and the lack of accordance was punishable by torture
Common reaction towards the homeless are often nonchalant
and dismissive as many make assuming comments that those people chose to live
that life. Stacia Glenn with The News Tribune published, “It's
unclear what Hillstrom was doing in the area. His last known address was in
Spanaway, but Troyer said the man appeared to be a transient and had likely
just moved into the area.”
Countless “mad liberalist woman” statements can be found on
the web as several popular news sources splash eye popping headlines of politicians
babbling rhetoric in polarized parties that often result in emotional
commentaries placing blame of present social problems at the feet of political
groups widening the gap of division beyond gender. Samantha Lachman with Huffington Post shared a
video clip of a panel of GOP politicians that played the Dating Game theme song during the Colorado Christian University
event seemingly mocking women voters and current equal pay concerns
Here one checked box, one letter, an "M" granted me access to legal social financial privilege while another box, another letter an "F" denied them to me. This is perhaps a suggestion of the nature of our most ubiquitous form of inequality. Consider for a moment why is it that every piece of identification from the very first to the very last, from our birth certificate to our death certificate begins with us being measured for one box or another. Why are these boxes so important? Why is our first question, is it a boy or a girl? Why do we make gender the fundament of our identity? I can't help but wonder, if the answer to these questions is related to the reason why our governments are predominantly male. Why wealth rights and privileges favor one gender over another and why in the election of 2008 one national magazine asked, ‘Is America ready for a black president?’ While another was still asking, ‘Can a woman be president?’ (14:53)
During Wachowski’s revelation at the Human Rights Campaign of 2012, she stood on the stage like a butterfly emerged from her cocoon, glowing in her complete metamorphosis for all the world to see and announce her transition, she explains:
Parenthetically this is a word that is a very complicated subject for me because of its complicity in a binary gender narrative that I am not particularly comfortable with. Yet I realize the moment I go on camera, that act will be subject to projections that are both personal and political. I have been out to my family and friends for over a decade and the majority of that time I have been discussing this--this particular moment--with my therapist, my family and my wife because I know eventually I’m going to do it but I also know that there is going to be a price for it. (12:15)
It is difficult to imagine the iconic courage it took for Wachowski to publicly reveal her true self and mention the potential cost her outing may generate that she is compelled to acknowledge this negative factor during her speech. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a survey taken in 2009 it was discovered that there are more than seven thousand LGBT students between the ages 13-21 that experience violence, harassment, bullying, and physical assault because of sexual orientation. There are eight out of ten students that have to endure verbal harassment, four out of ten that have been physically harassed, one out of five have been victim to physical assault and 60% do not feel safe at school (United States). This information lends to an understanding of the trauma transgenders experience in life.
There are many who are quick to
declare that the LGBT community’s refusal to conform to society’s definition of
male and female roles is a form of mental illness or willful choice that can be
prevented. The psychology professionals
have provided a clinical category to identify this disorder; gender dysphoria. Heino Meyer-Bahlburg reports in his 2010
article that the first psychiatric classification of gender identity variants
(GIV) specific to gender identity disorder (GID) was initiated by the American
Psychiatric Association in 1980. Earlier
classifications maintained that gender identity variants were an issue of
sexual deviancy which has had numerous additions and changes in categories and
subcategories since the classification inception. These categories now also include GID of
Childhood that assume homosexuality and gender identity are controllable psychosomatic
The topic of LGBT equality
threatens many domestic sentiments with gender boundaries and equality
judgments. The historical image that has
been passed down through progenitor ideals vexes many belief systems and values
as several people are eager to espouse that LGBT needs are incongruent,
unnatural, and irreligious. The current
political debate regarding gender inequalities, pay discrepancies, education, and
workforce considerations exclude a large group that must be considered for
inclusion in the conversations of gender equality. The topic of gender equality and equal pay is
not isolated to feminists, be it male or female, it is inclusive of all people. It should be moving forward with an
androgynous doctrine in order to broaden societal views to overcome divided
entitled sexist attitudes that endanger the masses civil liberties, safety and
happiness regardless of socioeconomic rank, ethnicity, religion, sexual
orientation and gender identification.
It is through a better understanding and acceptance of the natural human
condition that society can shatter the walls of anonymity that perpetuate
inequality and the sense of silent torment in separateness. Embracing unity as a whole so the united
nation may begin to move forward towards true equal opportunity where people go
to school, live and where people work with pay rates based on skill, team
contribution, and performance that will elevate a favorable circumstance for a quality
of life for all.
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