Tag Archives: woman

The art of spitting and walking

In the art of personifying the “opposite gender”, one can find a million subtle ways in which we are trained to perform a gender role.

In this post, I will focus on two of them, spitting and walking, because they illustrate two dimensions of gender differences:

  • Walking is an activity which men and women have in common, but execute in different ways, although that difference is usually invisible in our daily lives.
  • Spitting, instead, is an activity assigned to the masculine gender exclusively. Spitting isn’t “ladylike”.

We will therefore analyze these two actions from the perspective of gender social roles and my own experience as a Drag King.

The way we are, the way we walk

One of the most consistent examples of behavior which is learned, but generally deemed as “natural”, is the way we walk.

It’s something we do every day, hardly noticing we do it in a special way.

simpsons-heelstumblr_lwcpklL7mg1r2pu9lo1_500_large

Continue reading

Advertisements

Bechdel Test for movies and for life

What is the Bechdel Test?

The Bechdel Test was published in 1985, in the episode named “The Rule” from the comic “Dykes To Watch Out For“:

dtwof-bechdel-test

 

In summary, the test consists of three rules to analyze a movie:

1. There must be at least two women in it (some add the additional requisite of knowing their names).

2. They must talk to each other.

3. The conversation can’t be about a man.

Although originally it was meant as a humorous resource from a fictional character, eventually some people decided to put it into practice. The results were appalling: many, many, many Hollywood successes fail the test.

Ironically (or not so much), it also has been proven that movies which pass the Bechdel Test have a lower budget, make more money and and have a better overall return of investment than those which fail. Continue reading


The Myth of Adam and Eve, or “The Original Binary”

Case study of biblical proportions

To explain our first myth, I’ll make use of another myth. We all know the allegedly “simple” story of Adam and Eve. Nothing could be more evident than the fact that men and women exist, right? Anyone can take a look around and verify this.

Adam-and-Eve-Not-Adam-and-Steve1

Image from ourcog.org

It was even used against same-sex marriage in many countries, including my own.

However, taking a closer look at the story will  reveal some nasty details.

To begin with, Eve wasn’t Adam’s first companion.

According to the Hebrew tradition:

“Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture he demanded.

‘Why must I lie beneath you?’ she asked. ‘I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.’

Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the magic name of God, rose into the air and left him. “

So, as we see here, the so-called binary is actually an interesting threesome: Adam turns out to be a very insistent guy who, at the end of his patience, decides it might be more effective to just go ahead and be a rapist.

Lilith was erased from the Catholic Bible, but she lives on in traditions and even in pop culture, always personifying a demon, vampire, assassin, and occasionally as a creator goddess.

And finally Eve, the conveninet wife, who makes no trouble, and incarnates a logic that goes: “in case of conflict, suppress the woman’s independence“.

Apart from the human chracters of the story, we have God, the highest authority, who first ignores Lilith demands for justice and then decides the best cure for Adam is… a quiet wife who suits his needs better. Continue reading


My experience with a Menstrual Cup

menstrual cupsFrom that time I used menstruation as an example, I found myself thinking a lot on the subject.

I didn’t spend a lot of thinking in it till then, and I realized I am in fact deeply interested in the matter, though I still have to take the time to find out all the reasons for it.

I decided to follow my instincts, and my first step was to throw away all pads and tampons, and getting a menstrual cup instead.

For those who don’t know what it is, or who want to know more, I’m leaving a short but quite complete video at the end of the post.

And now I’d like to share with you a review I sent to the manufacturers : Continue reading


First transformation

The beginning

It would take long to tell the story of how I decided one day to transform into a man. Until now, I only did so for a few hours at a time.

The point of no return was the moment I understood that gender, being a man or a woman, is little more than wearing a costume and acting on it.

I knew it instinctively, before reading Simone de Beauvoir or knowing about Judith Butler, although of course both of them helped me understand it in depth. I knew it through the living testimony of other people, to whom their identities was a daily fight against a world trying to drown them all the time.

I felt it in that inner trembling I could never silence, in that choking sensation followed by rage every time someone told me what to do, or how to be, for being a woman. None of them asked me if I wanted to be a woman, or if I had chosen to be one, and they probably never asked themselves what a woman is in the first place. They didn’t wonder how, they just knew it.

And that’s something I can’t stand. Continue reading


The Monster Woman

I find it very annoying when someone refers to all women using the singular form “a woman”, a very common use in Spanish.

We say “Woman’s day” instead of “Women’s day”. It’s also very common to hear “Woman is…” when someone is preaching about what women are, or what they’re supposed to be. This last example is usually followed by horrendous compilations of stereotypes.

The problem of using the singular form is that instead of thinking about millions and millions of unique human beings, we end up thinking of one single, specific, ubiquitous woman. We think of an “Ideal Woman”.

And what kind of Ideal Woman have we been taught in this Hell of a world?

A monstrous one.

Monster Woman

(Click on the image to expand)

Continue reading


A daily personal struggle

All my life, until very recently, I identified as a woman.

It’s wasn’t hard to notice I lived in a world in which being a woman means oppression and segregation. A bit more complicated to learn was how to see it in small everyday events.

And many of those daily occurrences become invisible to us because we watch them through the gender lens, but we rarely question the very lens we’re using to watch.

But the crystal of gender is cracked since decades ago. “Man” and “Woman” categories have been discovered as limits imposed to freedom.

The freedom to decide by ourselves what and who we are.

murp_gender20130627a

Continue reading