“Undoing Gender”- Response

  1. What does Martino mean by “undoing gender”? That is, does he seek to abolish gender? Explain.

I don’t believe that Martino’s goal is to abolish individuals seeing themselves as gendered or as the world perceiving them as such. Martino is suggesting that the idea of gender itself is not concrete and is hard to define. As we saw with David, it is difficult to assign gender when we don’t have a predominant sex in the baby telling us which gender it will perform. And then the question must be asked, as to whether gender is built within, or the construction of what other children seeing girl’s and boy’s playing with and wearing and how they identify into that preset standard for gender.

  1. Attempt to pose at least one “critical and ethical question about what is to count as a viable, gendered personhood” (p. 137) – use the reading for help.

Who, after reading the story of David, do you feel is in charge of “assigning” gender? We know that sex and gender are a complicated entanglement, and therefore is it the job of the doctor, parent or child, or a team effort to reinforce a gender within the two gender binary?

  1. How might you, in your daily life and as a becoming teacher, “embrace a transgender social imaginary”

After reading this article, I see the resources I will have going into my profession in the upcoming years through books, movies and other’s lived experiences. To have representation in my classroom of children that sit outside of the perceived normal of gender expression will most likely be positive for my students. Going forward I will also keep in mind that a child’s interests does not equal their gender, and a boy playing with dolls is simply a boy playing with dolls. When I as a teacher attach shame to that act, is when that act is seen as unnatural and needs to be looked at under a different light.

  1. Choose a significant quote from ‘Undoing’ Gender and Disrupting Hegemonic Masculinity: Will discuss your quote in class

“He seems clear that norms are external to him, but what if the norms have become the means by which he see, the frame for his own seeing, his way of seeing himself? What if the action of the norm is to be found not merely in the ideal that it posits, but in the sense of aberration and of freakishness that it conveys? Consider where precisely the norm operates when David claims, ‘I looked at myself and said I don’t like this type of clothing’. To whom is David speaking? And in what world, under what conditions, does not liking that type of clothing provide evidence for being the wrong gender? For whom would that be true and under what conditions?… But in what world precisely, do such dislikes count as clear or unequivocal evidence for or against being a given gender?”


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