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Our Image Is How We Might Understand Ourselves as an Individual Essay

Updated August 9, 2022

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Our Image Is How We Might Understand Ourselves as an Individual Essay essay

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Prior to reading this introduction, I was ignorant to the fact that various forms of oppression are interrelated (Blumenfeld et. al., p342). I also had not realized that “gender… sexuality is fluid,” yet, this introduction does a great job at informing on that (Blumenfeld et. al., p342). I had not thought of it like that. I knew sexual preference was something that could change, having never seen it as limited to a choice or born that way, but the way this introduction explained it removes the limitations of understanding and replaces it with the notion that all things… sexuality, gender, affiliation, etc. can change at any moment, and we really have to learn to see it in a spectrum of individuality rather than try and categorize it.

Having grown up with an aunt who has always identified as a lesbian, I am not prude to the fact that gay is a choice, and some feel they were born that way- as my aunt has stated. However, she has also talked with me before about various women she has dated who were previously married, with children, or even bisexual. Yet, much of what this introduction talks about… sexism, trans*oppression, queer theory and intersectionality I had not even heard of before. I found intersectionality interesting, having stated, “Our image is how we might understand ourselves as an individual, which is shaped by how we were taught to view ourselves” (Blumenfeld et. al., p 343). This reminded me of the current debate on keeping babies “gender neutral” until they are old enough to decide what they want to be, now making sense in the light I now understand sexuality and gender to be.

Pansexual Visibility & Undoing Heteronormativity by Cameron Airen. Let me start by saying that I came into this chapter under the misbelief that “pansexual” was something weird, unnecessary, and just another egocentric new wave of sexuality. I had no idea it was actually something I could relate so closely to, and now I feel embarrassed for the remarks I’ve made in the past over people and their pansexuality. Airen defines pansexual as “being attracted to multiple genders and/or being attracted to/fall in love with someone(s) irrespective of gender” (Airen, 398-399). When I was younger, I decided to never let gender or race limit me from falling in love. This sounds strikingly similar to pansexuality, however, in my day it was just called bisexual.

Airen goes on to explain, “pansexuality differs from bisexuality because of ‘bi’ meaning two, as in two genders…” going on to explain that pansexual gives recognition to a larger than a binary scale of genders (Airen, 399). This is a new concept to me, yet one that has crossed my mind in passing before. There are so many people in this age that are living outside of the traditional male and female genders, and it seems only fitting to recognize that. After reading this section, I understand what pansexual means, and have come to realize it isn’t that weird at all- definitely not unnecessary.

Look! No, Don’t! The Invisibility Dilemma for Transsexual Men by Jamison Green Transsexuality is yet something else that strikes me as foreign even as it is a prominent topic in society today. Beforereading this excerpt by Green, I wasn’t even sure if a Transexual Man was a man living as a woman or a woman living as a man. Now I understand the desire of a Transexual man is to be seen as a man, even though they were once a woman (Green, 440).

I never realized that Transexuals have such an issue as to wanting to fit in yet, self-acceptance giving them the pride that they don’t fit in. I also never understood why a person would want to be a transsexual, but after reading Greens words “to feel that anonymity as testosterone gradually obliterated the androgyny that for most of my life made others uncomfortable in my presence…” I understood for the first time the struggle that might lead someone to that decision. While I know everyone has their reasons, I can see the reason behind it now. It doesn’t seem so taboo anymore, and after reading the sense of relief and pride Green feels I can understand a little better why so many transsexuals are so proud of who they are. It’s about rising above being “victim” and being proud of what you are- to be “free” from a “subordinate prison” (Green, 440).

Calling All Restroom Revolutionaries! by Simone Chess, Alison Kafer, Jessi Quizar, and Mattie Udora Richardson Gender-neutral bathrooms were a topic of big debate not too long ago, and the biggest thing I remember being said was that it wasn’t “safe” to let just anyone into a restroom which, potentially could have children in there alongside predators. Now that I’ve read about how dangerous it is for genderqueer people to use restrooms, I see how ridiculous that concern is in comparison. Honestly, if a predator wanted to go into a restroom after a potential victim, they aren’t going to go so far as to look like a transsexual to do it.

On the other hand, if a transsexual goes into a restroom along with someone who has the capacity to commit a hate crime against them, there is a great risk of danger for that genderqueer person. Chess et. al. stated in the opening that “the people who never think about where and how they can pee have a lot of control over how using restrooms feels for the rest of us…” and that really emphasized how ignorant I am of this issue because it is not something I have to worry about (Chess et. al., 459). Now I see a major needfor gender-neutral bathrooms.

Not only to keep genderqueer safe but to respect the biological needs of others. Chess et. al. stated, “Why shouldn’t every gender-neutral restroom have a tampon/pad machine?” and goes on to discuss the needs of disabled to access tampon/pad machines (Chess et. al. 460). This isn’t something that has ever crossed my mind, but it makes so much sense. Just because a woman chooses to identify with male gender and dress like a man doesn’t mean that person might need a pad/tampon one day… so are they to go into the woman’s restroom to buy one? It just makes more sense with the way traditional male/female gender roles being blurred to also blur the boundaries of restrooms to make them gender-neutral.

Ignorance keeps us stagnant. As time moves on, more and more people are finding ways they desire to overcome traditional institutionalization and live as individuals. Sexuality and gender identification are only two of the areas people are outgrowing classifications, and to be more aware of this, I must educate myself so that I can have understanding and acceptance for others. Hearing and being aware of the struggle others face will allow me to take a stand on the socially just side when these topics come up in conversation or debate, versus sounding ignorant or just siding with the “majority rule” principle. In addition, so many areas people suffer oppression and judgment are related. If I am to make a difference in the world, I have to understand this, to see people as individuals, and to educate myself on their struggles so that I can do everything I can take an active stance for a change.

Our Image Is How We Might Understand Ourselves as an Individual Essay essay

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Our Image Is How We Might Understand Ourselves as an Individual Essay. (2022, Aug 09). Retrieved from