Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gender, Genders and Transgender

Today I had my usual chinwag with Alan Brough on ABC 774, and I was joined by Leslie Cannold and transgender woman Kate Doak.

Following on from my columns in the The Age, and on the ABC (here and here), we were talking about gender: nads, VJJs and what they mean for identity.

You can have a listen here.  And while you're at it, check out the 'Mentally Sexy Dads' competition: a celebration of broader masculinity.

(Photo: Howard Hollem)


Frances said...

See: I can't help myself.
Damon, women can wear men's clothes, attain men's academic levels, chop wood, master a trade, compete in commerce and government, - but also give birth and feed a child, which a man cannot.
How does a man - or, more particularly a boy - now define himself? What is there, about being a man, that he can take pride in as special to his male genes? Playing football?
In my work with young, I natter away, getting largely grunts, ughs, mms in response...until the day that I asked whether women should go into comat.
Heads swivelled in my direction, "No!"
Something atavistic there about slaying dragons? About being the protectors?
Interesting issues.

Reservoir Dad said...

Nice work Damon!

I won't be able to listen to this until tonight but I'm looking forward to it.

There's no point hanging on to some sport, or clothing, or attitude as a symbol or statement of what it is to be a man. It's boring. A man shouldn't have to define his manliness. He should just be able to go about his business - playing football or netball, wearing dresses or pants, working for money or as a stay at home parent confident in the fact that his manliness is a given and that there won't be a thousand people itching to scorn and judge.

This topics seems to be all around me at the moment I'm writing a post around it. It's getting a bit tiring.

Damon Young said...

Frances, I'm more interested in humanity than 'manliness'. Pretty much every marker for 'manliness' I can think of is also applicable to women. Including war...

As for the atavism, I don't know. I know the feeling of wanting to thump someone for threatening (or annoying) my wife and children. But I don't see this as essentially male. No doubt biology is involved, but I'm sure some women are similarly 'wired' (to use a totally inappropriate metaphor).

Damon Young said...

Clint, I agree wholeheartedly. But I would, wouldn't I. Like you, I combine perfectly the best of all traits...