Last semester I took a class called Medical Dilemmas and the Human Experience. The class looked into the different medical ethical dilemmas that a doctor might face in today’s society. One unit was on transgender and the thoughts of society on the subject. I don’t personally know anyone transgender, but one class two trans-woman came in and talked to our class about life as a transgender. It is a controversial topic because, like a lot of things, you don’t know what it is like until it happens to you.
I saw the Gender Binary article in this week’s unit and since I had learned a little about it in the past semester, I thought I would look at the article. The two women who came to our class are advocates for the transgender clinics in Roanoke and they did their best to give us some insight into their world. One of the women told us that no matter how hard she tires, she can never fully explain the feeling that she knew she didn’t belong in her body. The other woman said that “living in a world where there are two categories, men and women, and not fitting into either of them has us feeling chronically alone, and no matter how many people ‘don’t see us differently’ we will never fully fit in anywhere because there are only two categories.”
This article is more like a cartoon and I think the two women I have been speaking about would have loved to use it to explain to the class how hard it is. The illustrator of the cartoon, Jason, gives us a hypothetical world where there were only cats and dogs. All animals would have to be a cat or a dog, which we can all agree is stupid. Where would a fish fit in? or a hamster? a bear? He relates this to gender and how we are using outdated ideas, similar to the hypothetical cat/dog world, about gender.
The entire concept of his illustration is to show that society needs to change and put gender binary in the past. We should express gender as we like (aka be ourselves) and we should respect everyone’s right to do so, no matter how that person decides to express themselves.
Hubbel, Justin. (2016). Everyday Feminism Magazine. The Ultimate Breakdown of Gender Binary–Why it Hurts us All. http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/02/gender-binary-hurts-us-all/