Friday, April 24, 2015

Vox tries to explain society's hang-ups on gender conformity


Vox media published a 9-point primer today on the transgender experience, and covered the terms “gender non-conforming” and “gender queer”, a piece by German Lopez, here ("Nine questions about gender identity and being transgendered you were too embarrassed to ask”). In my Army days, we called these "hangups."  Please, no more of "all that body-shaving". 
     
The most critical point is the “Symphony #8” (G Major if it’s Dvorak), “why does society who don’t follow gender norms such a hard time?”   While Lopez talks about the idea of perceiving “deception” (almost as if from a polygraph).  My own experience, in the 50s and 60s (especially with William and Mary, NIH, and the Army) was more that gender non-conformity (the closest model to describe me) could result in others taking up the slack of the risks that we all had to share.  In the collective, society seemed to depend on faithfulness to gender roles.  I was criticized for over-dependence and "getting out of things", even potential physical cowardice.  Of course, this can happen with gender conformity, and I seemed to embrace the view, ironically, that masculinity in men was a virtue to be earned.  And we've had at least one Navy Seal who later turned out to be transgender (Kristin Beck). 
    
Right now, on Meredith Vieira, the panel is talking about “dressing gay” (as not really necessary).  
   
And tonight ABC will air a 20-20 special about Bruce Jenner. 

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