John Money’s archives pulled me in like a tractor beam. I cannot remember when or how I first learned about […]
Anti-trans bills are popping up all over the place in various contexts. Some are meant to restrict trans girls and […]
This year’s Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, marked a historic pivot. A few days before, Boston Children’s Hospital revealed that […]
The startling knowledge that the Polish nobleman and military leader, Casimir Pulaski, a hero of the American Revolution, may have […]
On August 5, the World News Daily Report published an article that has been circulating on my Facebook newsfeed every […]
The students in my senior thesis course at Macaulay Honors College, part of the City University of New York, were scheduled […]
The comfortable chair that I just bought and sit in for hours each day is giving me a sore throat […]
By Elizabeth Reis
Students at Mt. Holyoke College are protesting the annual performance of Eve Ensler’s feminist classic, The Vagina Monologues. Their gripe with the play is that by focusing on vaginas, the play perpetuates “vagina essentialism,” suggesting that ALL women have vaginas and that ALL people with vaginas are women. Transgender and intersex people have taught us that this seemingly simple “truth” is actually not true. There are women who have penises and there are men who have vaginas. Not to mention women born without vaginas! Hence, these Mt. Holyoke critics imply, the play contributes to the erasure of difference by presenting a “narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman,” and shouldn’t be produced on college campuses.
By Elizabeth Reis
We shouldn’t get too enthusiastic about Germany’s new birth certificate designation: “indeterminate.” Because the category will be an obligatory designation for babies born with ambiguous genitals (commonly known as intersex), the law might do more harm than good. Most infants are born with seemingly uncomplicated gender designations; we look at their genitals and decide their sex and their gender in an instant. Of course, not everyone grows up to agree with the gender they were assigned at birth. Transgender people grow up feeling out of sync with the gender they were assigned, even though the decision for most of them seemed perfectly straightforward at the time.