Friday, April 10, 2009

the seduction of genderbending

Forgive what promises to be a bit of a ramble, but I feel like it somehow belongs here as this class certainly has contributed to where I am at at the moment. I am somewhat on top of the world right now, as far as being inspired and excited about getting lost in the academic projects I am involved in. Most specifically, I am really excited about starting my comp. I had to turn in my proposal this week and I knew generally what I wanted my subject to be: the androgynous female body and its inability to be captured by traditional forms of media representation and the radical implications this has for challenging hegemonic structures that dictate gender along strict binary and heteronormative lines. What really frustrated me however, is that I was having trouble focusing on a specific text. Communication arts is all about finding a "text" to read to guide your discusion and support your theoretical direction of choice. "But thats the whole point, my 'text' is comprised of bodies which refuse to be captured and therefore identified/defined by their very nature!!!" While I ranted about this issue within my proposal, I have since found some wonderful inspiration that I think will help guide my project with a better focus and application.

This came to me through the speaker, Sarah Dopp, who came to Grounds for Change last night through FMLA on campus to talk about the "grey areas" of gender. A self proclaimed genderqueer, Sarah is the creator of a blog/website called which makes androgynous or otherwise defintion resistant individuals the focus. I am just so excited about everything she was talking about, her stories mixed between slam poetry and digressions into memories connected to her own experiance of her search for understanding her gender. I met with her briefly after she was done and told her everything I am trying to explore with my project and how super-psyched I was the she came. After giving me her personal info and some stuff from her site that she compiled in a word document just to have on her person (I felt special,) I bounced away, out the door and down the stairs feeling more intellectually alive than I have in a very very long time. Its really nice to be this excited about something and to really feel like it matters both personally and on a larger societal level. I really feel like I have important things to say in the larger gender studies conversation, and I just can't wait to get there.

I highly suggest you check out the site:
"beauty in ambiguity"

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