Posted by – January 2, 2013
The found of the Sylvia River Law Project talks abut his new book, Normal Life. He is, as ever, smart, compassionate, and earnest about providing some answers to how we protect the most vulnerable. Totally worth watching:
He is too cool. Here’s Part 2.
Dean Spade recently wrote a short piece about how we might use language to de-gender bodies. It’s smart and concise – just as you’d expect from Dean Spade.
About Purportedly Gendered Body Parts
I have been thinking about how much I would like it if people, especially health practitioners, exercise instructors and others who talk about bodies a lot, would adjust their language about body parts heavily associated with gender norms. Lots of people who identify as feminists and allies to trans people still use terms like “female-bodied,” “male body parts,” “bio-boy,”and “biologically female.” Even in spaces where people have gained some basic skills around respecting pronoun preferences, suggesting an increasing desire to support gender self determination and release certain expectations related to gender norms, I still hear language used that asserts a belief in constructions of “biological gender.” From my understanding, a central endeavor of feminist, queer, and trans activists has been to dismantle the cultural ideologies, social and legal norms that say that certain body parts determine gender identity and gendered social characteristics and roles. We’ve fought against the idea that the presence of uteruses or ovaries or penises should be understood to determine such things as people’s intelligence, proper parental roles, proper physical appearance, proper gender identity, proper labor roles, proper sexual partners and activities, and capacity to make decisions. We’ve opposed medical and scientific assertions that affirm the purported health of traditional gender roles and activities and pathologize bodies that defy those norms. More