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Class Notes 2/2/2011 Ideas Into Action

jlebouvier's picture

Since MissArcher posted very thoroughly first I will add my notes in bullet form to give main ideas.

-Begin by going over posts about control; raise the question of whether man or machine is in control of a cyborg relationship and the possibilities of controlling other people

-Split up into pre-designated groups to discuss binary categories. Each group has 15 minutes to discus the uses,damages, and possible future of the categories. Group must then decide if they would keep the categories or change them. If they change the categories then Anne asks how they would implement this change in the world today.

Group 1 Masculine and Feminine Genders

-decide that gender categories should exist on a spectrum because it allows for variety without leaving people out

-Anne questions how would they implement? what about gender specific colleges? Group answers every area of the spectrum can have their own colleges...

Group 2,3,4 Gay and Straight Sexualities

-decide to keep categories but also acknowledge the spectrum because sexuality is to ambiguous to just have gay or straight. What about trans men liking men? the categories represent a community for some in which they gain strength, so getting rid of categories destroys those communities. The negative connotations must be changed

-propose to have public discussions on sexuality, have public figures come on television speaking out against negative uses of gay or straight (or anything in between). have education programs implemented at all levels, not just elementary.

Group 5,6 Male and Female Homosexuality

-decide that as long as gender binaries exist these categories will exist; they come from a heterosexual standpoint and generally look at gay or lesbian sex act as different from the norm to define the person's sexuality. this gender binary also excludes the hugely diverse community with the homosexual community.

-propose to first break apart the gender binary. Then to have public figures speak to children and adults about the spectrum of homosexuality in a way that does not reduce them to their sexual actions

Group 7, 8 Transgender and Cisgender Peoples

-decide that the categories should stay because they allow for a community to develop and to keep the divide from being "transgender vs. normal people". should exist to inform a person's doctor so that they can treat properly

-propose that categorization be left up to the person. if they want to identify themself as a trans-man/woman they can, but they can also identify as woman/man. They also propose that bathrooms be open to anyone's use to avoid exclusion.

Group 9 Intersex

-speak about how they did not quite know what intersex was until reading their section in Roughgarden. Introduce the idea that there exists a large spectrum of conditions that fall within the category of intersex.  the group is confused as to whether to keep the category because of the negative connotations.

-propose that the medical community be made aware of the conditions and told to allow children the right to chose their gender later in life rather than decisions being made for them at birth. Once medical community is more aware of the conditions and how to treat them, then they are more able to explain the conditions to parents in a positive manner.

Larger class questions

-a week ago we were on Haraway's side of getting rid of categories. The class as a whole wanted to do away with them. Now we sit and say that we are hesitant to get rid of the categories. Do we think categories are good or bad? Does it keep us from developing or give us a language in which to develop further? Personally I like categories for the fact that it does allow a person to identify themself. It gives a person a community. There are negative sides to it though. It seems in recent years that groups that were once a minority and looked down upon have gained more standing. These groups, though not a majority, are using the negativity behind their category and flipping it on the dominant groups. For example, people within the queer community are beginning to use straight as a derogatory term. I'm not sure this is the direction we should be going in.






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