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#2016 - 06/05/13 10:00 PM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: Quietboy]
KinkDoctor Offline



Registered: 11/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manhattan
That makes a lot of sense from your perspective. It's not meant to mean anything to those who are more evolved, it's ostensibly meant to provide a new perspective on gender power roles to those who are ignorant of anything beyond the binary. It's hard to think of how we might react from that perspective, but I think any PR for gender diversity is good PR, as long as it's not a hate crime. And this is not.
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#2017 - 06/05/13 10:04 PM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: Soapy]
KinkDoctor Offline



Registered: 11/05/12
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I agree with you to some extent, but this is not a message for little girls, this is more a message for people who have specific ideas about socially idealized gender roles. Little girls have been taught they have to be perfect representations of femininity for centuries. This is almost mocking that idea. It's not perfect by any stretch, but you have to take a look at it from outside of your privileged (i.e., I believe that those of us who are in a sexual minority are privileged because we understand things that others in the mainstream don't) status and see the effect something like this might have on blissfully ignorant heteronorms.
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#2018 - 06/05/13 10:12 PM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: Soapy]
KinkDoctor Offline



Registered: 11/05/12
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Not at all disrespectful. I love talking about gender, because I believe that fucking with the system and power roles and the like is rooted in gender norms. I personally identify as gender fluid, because I don't match the perfect definition of any particular gender, and I don't believe that any such definition really exists. I believe that even those of us who identify as a very specific gender behave on a continuum that could be described as any other gender. Sometimes women act like men, sometimes transwomen act like transmen, sometimes androgynous people act like gender queer people, sometimes gender queer people act like two-spirit identified individuals—see what I'm saying? Gender is a societal/political construct that is rooted in power, privilege, and bullshit. That is not to say it does not exist, but anyone who says that they can define it for someone else is an asshole. This is why I'm passionate about gender issues.

Also, here's something I wrote in an email communication with someone once:

"Some background on me—I'm a huge proponent of the art of genderfucking, and an ardent admirer of gender non-conforming individuals. I just got a master's in psychology, and am getting ready to publish two academic papers—one on the importance of consent in BDSM interactions, and another one on the positive and negative effects of objectification on gender non-conforming individuals. [...]

My motivation [...] is summed up well in these excerpts from an article I recently read:

"At its most complex, [drag] is a double inversion that says, "appearance is an illusion." Drag says "my 'outside' appearance is feminine, but my essence 'inside' is masculine." At the same time it symbolizes the opposite inversion; "my appearance 'outside' is masculine but my 'essence 'inside' is feminine"" (p.15, Newton, 1972).

"It is the spectator who does a double-take, who becomes momentarily tongue-tied, wondering whether to say he or she, realizing that a dress does not always signify male, or that a tie does not always signify female. It is the spectator who reaches a crisis in which, to borrow from Robert Cover, interpretation and language itself break down. It is the spectator, or at least the critical spectator, who is prompted to self-examine, to ask questions: "Is drag the imitation of gender, or does it dramatize the signi- fying gestures through which gender itself is established? Does being fe- male constitute a 'natural fact' or a cultural performance, or is 'natural- ness' constituted through discursively constrained performative acts that produce the body through and within the categories of sex?" (p. 20, Capers, 2008)."

When I read the first quote I almost cried because it completely read me. Because I feel more masculine than feminine inside but present quite feminine outwardly, I basically do drag every day, at least on a metaphorical level."

Does that answer your question?
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#2019 - 06/05/13 11:14 PM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: KinkDoctor]
Quietboy Offline


Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 21
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: MistressAlexNYC
... I personally identify as gender fluid, because I don't match the perfect definition of any particular gender, and I don't believe that any such definition really exists. I believe that even those of us who identify as a very specific gender behave on a continuum that could be described as any other gender. Sometimes women act like men, sometimes transwomen act like transmen, sometimes androgynous people act like gender queer people, sometimes gender queer people act like two-spirit identified individuals—see what I'm saying? Gender is a societal/political construct that is rooted in power, privilege, and bullshit. That is not to say it does not exist, but anyone who says that they can define it for someone else is an asshole. This is why I'm passionate about gender issues.



Thank you for sharing that. I recently started seeing someone who identifies as gender fluid, who said something similar when we talked about it, though phrased a bit differently. I'm still wrapping my head around it, and sometimes the fluidity (both in private and in public) can throw me off balance a bit. But sometimes balance is overrated. smile Anyways, it's really helpful to hear another explanation of it.

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#2027 - 06/06/13 06:58 AM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: KinkDoctor]
Soapy Offline


Registered: 02/04/13
Posts: 433
Loc: USA,USA
Originally Posted By: MistressAlexNYC
I agree with you to some extent, but this is not a message for little girls, this is more a message for people who have specific ideas about socially idealized gender roles.


I don't agree with that, because in an article I read about the cartoon, the creator said it was aimed at children from 2 - 11. Maybe older children in that range have some set ideas, but the younger ones are blank slates.

Quote:

Little girls have been taught they have to be perfect representations of femininity for centuries. This is almost mocking that idea.


I had that feeling watching the cartoon, and I read that the bad hair power loss was an idea from the women staff writers -- so that may have been their intent, but I don't agree if the creator is telling the truth in aiming the cartoon at children. I'm not sure the kids would pick up on the mocking.

Quote:

It's not perfect by any stretch, but you have to take a look at it from outside of your privileged (i.e., I believe that those of us who are in a sexual minority are privileged because we understand things that others in the mainstream don't)


You may have inadvertantly given me a compliment I do not deserve.

I found the cartoon to be "harmless" as in dull and lame...at least for an adult.

I think it had the seed of a good idea, with better writting that idea could make a great comic book, adult cartoon or maybe even a cable tv show if they could cast it well ( with an actor who would look good straight or cross dressed ).


Edited by Soapy (06/06/13 07:02 AM)
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#2028 - 06/06/13 07:22 AM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: KinkDoctor]
Soapy Offline


Registered: 02/04/13
Posts: 433
Loc: USA,USA
Originally Posted By: MistressAlexNYC
Not at all disrespectful. I love talking about gender, because I believe that fucking with the system and power roles and the like is rooted in gender norms. I personally identify as gender fluid, because I don't match the perfect definition of any particular gender, and I don't believe that any such definition really exists.


I've never met you and I don't know you. Havind written that I wouldn't have had those thoughts about you. I wouldn't have thought of you as gender fluid as you seem to not only match gender norms, but succeed at them in a rare, empowered position as a conventionally very attractive woman.

I know, that is just about your appearance, not your thoughts and certainly not about your behavior, but like you wrote there really isn't an objective definition of any gender. Nobody conforms, even very conservative or coventional people. Like you wrote, everyone behaves in ways that in isolation can be attributed to another danger.
A person can go nuts observing themselves to see is s/he is acting in a completely masculine/feminine way.

So, not knowing you, when I look at you through that filter I see a "gender normal" woman with an active mind, who is an individual who is into some interesting things.

People lend their support as allies for the causes of others, but most of the time a certain level of passion isn't reached unless they have a stake in the cause.

With my filter, which is obviously wrong, I wouldn't see why a conventionally attractive would feel so passionate about gender issues. Equal rights, equal treatment, equal opportunities and EQUAL RESPECT..YES......I can see a cause for passion......but not queer/trans issues. I just don't see you in that demographic.


It is the first thing in the morning with me, which means I am in danger of writing errors, both mechanical and in style. I will reply to the rest of this interesting post later.

Quote:

That is not to say it does not exist, but anyone who says that they can define it for someone else is an asshole. This is why I'm passionate about gender issues.


I think anyone who claims s/he can give a water tight definition is simply mistaken, not an asshole. I'm guessing your use of "asshole" comes from people who tell other people that they do not act/behave like a wo/man AND therefore are defective human beings?

Quote:

Also, here's something I wrote in an email communication with someone once:


To be honest I didn't understand the rest of that quote as to how it explains your passion for these issues. It might be because it is first thing in the morning sans matcha. Which also means I've made writing errors and poor word choices so I will stop for now.

Thanks for taking the time share your views with me. I find conversations like this threatening, but very, very, interesting.
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#2029 - 06/06/13 10:54 AM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: Soapy]
KinkDoctor Offline



Registered: 11/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manhattan
Ah, well you are focusing on the age of the children, while my statement was focused on gender. I'm not disputing the target age demographic, I'm saying this is not a message purely for little girls, but for all genders in that age group, all of whom by age two (and earlier) have been indoctrinated with stereotypical gender roles and how they should align with them. Babies are certainly not blank slates. We begin teaching babies how to act within their presumed gender. We dress them in certain colors, react to them in specific ways and use specific language with them based on their presumed gender. This makes it particularly difficult—and heroic, I might add—for a gender non-conforming child to realize and express their preferred gender identification.

I think kids pick up on things that we don't give them credit for picking up on, and they internalize them without realizing it. Let's not forget that the main character is not actually a girl, not even when in drag. If you've ever been in drag or been around someone in drag, having good hair is very important to them. It's part of how they change their secondary sex characteristics to align with the gender they are trying to express in that moment. This point will obviously go over a lot of children's/people's heads, but I don't think it's entirely lacking validity.

We definitely agree on the point that this cartoon is fairly lame for adult viewers, and that the writing and execution leaves much to be desired. And you absolutely do deserve compliments, if only that you're willing to have this discussion. Thanks for chiming in!
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#2030 - 06/06/13 11:13 AM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: Soapy]
KinkDoctor Offline



Registered: 11/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manhattan
I love having this conversation, thanks for being a part of it! Especially given that you find such conversations threatening. I'd be interested to hear more about that.

Many people talk about gender in terms of how they see other people, which is fine, until you start assuming your perception is the correct interpretation. The bottom line, and that which I am always trying to drive home, is that gender is a personal identification, which defies all assumptions about behavior and appearance. So even when I play up my aesthetic strengths, and use hyperfeminine tactics at times to achieve a level of power that comes with the ability to be incredibly feminine, it doesn't mean that I necessarily always identify with the way society defines femininity or being a woman.

This is why I'm passionate about queer/trans issues. It's built into the core of my identity. My internalized gender is never completely aligned with what society deems to be a woman. If I hadn't been born with the physical characteristics that I subsequently cultivated in order to achieve a sense of empowerment that I wouldn't have realized otherwise, my behaviors and ways of thinking and moving in the world would align much more with masculine traits and characteristics. Some would say this is the best of both worlds—aesthetics of femininity and traits and characteristics of masculinity. However the fact remains that aesthetic masculinity holds an amount of privilege that most cisgender men will never really understand, never having had their privileged status questioned. The exception to that rule is with submissive men—they struggle with society's insistence that they present themselves in a dominant way, though that may go against what feels natural to them.

I was being antagonistic in using the term asshole to describe people who believe they can define someone else's gender. A better term would be ignorant of their cisgender privilege, and their exclusion of the existence of other potential gender identifications when they put their assumptions on others. I don't think it's asshole-ish behavior to act this way when unaware of it, then again, if you're made aware of and can fully appreciate the privilege that comes with cisgender status, and still believe that you have the right to make assumptions about someone else's gender, then you're definitely an asshole. Most people never get that far.

I think it's really difficult for most people who have never felt a pull to challenge the gender identification that society has labeled them with, so I don't blame you for not understanding some of what I'm saying. Gender indoctrination is a very difficult thing to wrap your head around. Congratulations for making an effort!
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#2037 - 06/06/13 07:56 PM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: KinkDoctor]
Soapy Offline


Registered: 02/04/13
Posts: 433
Loc: USA,USA
Originally Posted By: MistressAlexNYC
I love having this conversation, thanks for being a part of it! Especially given that you find such conversations threatening. I'd be interested to hear more about that.


Sure, definately another time, just got back from a long day and gym night. The bumper sticker slogan is that threat comes from an involuntary paradign shift, having my mental maps challenged/taken away/changed at too fast a pace.

Quote:

I think it's really difficult for most people who have never felt a pull to challenge the gender identification that society has labeled them with, so I don't blame you for not understanding some of what I'm saying.


This. I think the people who have thought about it a lot have been forced by circumstances to think about it a lot. Others, not being forced, are unaware of it, like a fish not being aware of the water s/he swims through.


Quote:

So even when I play up my aesthetic strengths, and use hyperfeminine tactics at times to achieve a level of power that comes with the ability to be incredibly feminine, it doesn't mean that I necessarily always identify with the way society defines femininity or being a woman.


Okay now you are putting things in a box I own. You don't feel that who you are fits in with the status quo or at least what people think the status quo is, so you were forced to think about these things and become passionate about them.


Quote:

This is why I'm passionate about queer/trans issues. It's built into the core of my identity. My internalized gender is never completely aligned with what society deems to be a woman. If I hadn't been born with the physical characteristics that I subsequently cultivated in order to achieve a sense of empowerment that I wouldn't have realized otherwise, my behaviors and ways of thinking and moving in the world would align much more with masculine traits and characteristics.


It would be interesting to read how you think you have strongly masculine elements in your identity, though I do appreciate it might not be anyone's business and this might not be the appropriate place. Privacy respected.
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#2039 - 06/07/13 01:54 AM Re: She-Zow cartoon + Super powered crossdressing [Re: Soapy]
KinkDoctor Offline



Registered: 11/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manhattan
If you met me in person it might be more apparent. It's hard to tell such things from a virtual distance. I appreciate your openness and ability to entertain ideas outside of your experience. smile
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