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Is it just me?

I am still working to finish up Middlesex and I'm very much enjoying this journey. However, I can't stop thinking about the way in which Cal's gender and his intersex body are presented in this book. The story of his ancestral line including incest, multiple times, and the way in which Desdemona has feared for so long that because of this something will be wrong with each birth makes Cal seem like that "punishment". Is Cal's intersex body being presented as a crime of unmoral or sinful behavior? Am I incorrect in feeling that Cal's body is being framed as a result of incest?

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The Game of Unspeakable Language

           Describe salt to someone who has never tasted it before. How does it feel on your tongue? How does it feel going down your throat? What does it make you feel? What does it taste like? I can’t do it…no matter what words I use or how I choose to describe it, someone who has never tasted salt will not fully understand what it tastes like. This concept, this shortcoming of language felt really disappointing. I thought that language was supposed to be empowering; having a voice, having words, using them to tell people what I think, what I feel…it’s supposed to make me stronger.

            In class I argued that language is limiting. I felt disappointment in this argument, not because I didn’t believe it, but because I felt powerless within a second of trying the describe salt. Language truly is not enough of a form of description, yet it is the most commonly used method of communication amongst people. Why is this? Why do we use language if it limits us in our communication?

            Have you ever heard of the game Taboo? It’s a card game that uses words. One person is given a word that they are meant to describe to a group of people without using that word, or words that are closely associated that word. So, if we were trying to describe salt to a group of people, we wouldn’t be able to say the word salt, or pepper, or white, or sea etc. This game truly shows the limitations placed on us by words.

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On Framing the Rest of the Semester

Lesson Plan?

Day 1- As several people expressed an interest in learning about the "basics" of feminism, we decided to dedicate the first class as a "Feminism 101" course.

Day 2- Continue with "Feminist Fairy Tales" by Barbara J. Walker

At this point we talked about having a week on Feminism and Sex Work 

Day 3- A documentary on sex workers? 

Day 4- First-hand accounts on sex-workers

We would then be able to discuss the role of the documentary in feminism, with the first-hand occurrences as well

Spend the next week looking at queer and sexuality? Some ideas for Day's 5 and 6:

Looking at the history of queer and sexuality. How does it relate to feminism?
Maybe "Khaos theory", or Judith Butler?

Day's 7 and 8:

Look at feminists who are not women

Men, transfolk etc. 

Look at Men's rights movement?
Discuss breaking down the binary? Feminism's role?

Last day before performances:

 Bring it home: Trans at women's colleges, which are traditionally feminist institutions. What is our role now? As feminist institutions? 

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Feminist Readings?

What is a feminist work? I've, for the most part, enjoyed the readings we've been assigned in class. Reading Canzone and Lifting Belly were very different experiences. With Canzone I could tell very clearly the sexual nature in which the poem was meant to be felt (or tasted?). However, with Lifting Belly I was clueless. Despite the fact that I was searching for a hint of feminism and even lesbian sex I missed all of the clues. Until our discussion in class I had no idea what lifting belly stood for and to be honest I was bored and skimmed the whole thing. 

Despite my confusion in content and meaning of these poems, I found myself further confused looking for feminist meaning in the works. Are these poems feminist? In what way? Talking about sexuality from a women's point of view? What makes a literary work, a poem, a movie, or rather anything feminist? 

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The Inside: History of women at Bryn Mawr College

In a class on gender and sexuality last semester, I focused my attention on transgender students at Bryn Mawr, and those that haven't been able to come to Bryn Mawr College because of their sex. Throughout the semester I met with administrators, deans, staff and students around campus trying to learn more about the school's policy on admitting transwomen as well as transmen. Following are the links to these works. 

1) All "Women's" College 

2) Moving towards a right relationship between Bryn Mawr
     College and Transgender Students  

3) At Bryn Mawr: Exploring Transgender Further

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At Bryn Mawr: Exploring Transgender Further

In my second web event I questioned Bryn Mawr Colleges admission policy regarding transgender students. I wrote a mock scenario in which a prospective transwoman has a discussion with her mother about wanting to attend Bryn Mawr. In preparation for this project I talked to a few people in administrative positions at the College and was faced with requests at remaining anonymous in their answers. Because of the lack of receiving answers to my questions, I posed my web event as a question. Are transwoman allowed to apply to and attend Bryn Mawr College?

In my third web event, I traced the history of the College in regards to its mission and history of transgender topics. There have been several web events posted by Bryn Mawr students on Serendip, which were very informative and useful in my own movement towards gaining more knowledge of how to build a right relationship between Bryn Mawr College and transgender students. In this web event my focus switched from not only transwomen, but also transmen. I also used information on the Transgender Task Force, which was created in 2007. I noted that President McAuliffe approved the recommendations made by the task force in 2009.

Now, where do I go next? I’ve noted what I believe is Bryn Mawr’s role in the 21st century regarding transgender students. However, I don’t have enough facts. I lack informationknowledge

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Moving towards a right relationship between Bryn Mawr College and Transgender Students

The following is a link to the movement I wanted to present towards a right relationship between Bryn Mawr College (or maybe all single-sex schools?) and transgender students. I chose to use a prezi to present this information to show that there has been movement, but also that I would like to see more movement. 

There is a zoom in/zoom out button at the right side of the screen, which you might like to use as some of the slides might be more comfortably viewed when zoomed in on. I have a slide with a link to my sources at the end of the presentation. I hope my movement through this work makes sense to all of you! 

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All "Women's" College

Both the conversation and the letter are fictitious. I do not know what the college's response would be to a student who sent in a letter of a similar manner. I can speculate based on informal conversations and in these conversatinons I was never given a definitive answer, which is what inspired this project.

Sex: biological distinctions between males and females
Gender: based on societal factors such as values, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes

Casey- A high school senior in the process of deciding what colleges to apply to. She is a trans woman who has male biological sex organs.


Mom: Hey Casey, how is the application stuff going? Can I help?

Casey: Good and I think I'm ok

Mom: Just okay? When is everything due? Are you on top of it?

Casey: I still have a few weeks before the apps are due. Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to apply to Bryn Mawr College ED

Mom: ED is really serious. Are you sure? Tell me more about Bryn Mawr

Casey: I really think it's the right place for me Mom. Bryn Mawr is an amazing liberal arts school, it's not too far from home and it's an all women's college

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I found this on one of my friends facebook page. I thought it was pretty interesting, but it's also interesting to me that it seems so gender-biased. The group of people standing there are wearing all the same clothes and they are all wearing suits. So is this directed only for men? Or only for people who enjoy wearing suits? 

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A Dream Within a Dream


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