Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Essence of Feminism

I just came across this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, in an excerpt from an essay titled "Man and Woman," published in the March 2004 Christian Science Journal:

"…The masculine element must not murmur if at some period in human history the verdict should take a turn in behalf of woman, and say, - Her time has come, and the reflection of God's feminine nature is permitted consideration, has come to the front, and will be heard and understood. … I would declare that one was not less, nor more, important in God's sight than the other, … we shall find therein no occasion for departure, no occasion for strife, no suggestion of preeminence, or disserverance [separation] of the masculine and feminine elements of God's creating – no question of who shall be greatest."

I love this quote. It's statements like this, as well as her accomplishments, that I believe have earned Mrs. Eddy a place of honor in the feminist canon. To me, it gets at the very essence of feminism, and of what it means to be a feminist: man, and woman, and those in between, all co-equal – and further, that every person is complete in their own right. This way lies peace, and freedom for all, ending the battle of the sexes, for each recognizes the other as equal and complete, with mutual respect, with no struggle for supremacy or subjugation of the other.

It seems to me that bringing on this "period in human history" is the desire and mission of mainstream feminism. Yes, there are extremists who twist feminism into the flip side of masculism, wishing a change from patriarchy to matriarchy, but, in my experience, these are a small minority. So why do antifeminists – typically conservatives, and often women who benefit greatly from feminism – feel so threatened by feminism? From where comes this meme of "feminazi?"

I think it's because they fear that losing male privilege will cause them to lose the essence of their identities – though in fact it only frees them to express the sovereignty of that identity.

I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of others, both feminists and those opposed, on this understanding of feminism.

18 comments:

anne said...

Hey girl,

Hm. Good questions. Historically, women forget that 90 percent of men were also very oppressed and that the essence of "male control" was in the hands of ten percent of the men. I think the "male" domination thing evolved out of the split roles between men and women where men traditionally went out to work somewhere and women tended to stay closer to home to deal with the work load there. Men tended to work in groups and women also, and you see this in societies today, where men and women don't mix very often, even socially.

The problem, I think, lay in the spread of people into areas where some specific talent was needed: medicine, the arts, law, etc., etc., and the social structure was still in the hands of a very few men who controlled the churches. Since men cooperate better (some of them) in a hierarchical situation, it would have been logical for monks to be writers and such and exclude the nuns (who weren't there) or exclude women who were outside of the location of the work.

Women tend to forget that most men did not make inroads into doing something they wanted to do (like paint) because they were too poor or outcast or shunted off into another kind of work done by their fathers. Just because a woman could also not be a painter was not so much because she was a woman, but just because she didn't have the funds to empower her either.

But there were some actual disparities that existed, mostly social, but I was told stupid things like women could not do math because they weren't capable of doing logical thinking. From your post early on about losing your ability to do chess, you know that there is some truth to this, but not enough to shut out the occasional woman who might be able to think that way.

I think the women who are afraid of feminism don't want to lose their roles as homemakers. There is also a very real problem with women now being expected to earn money on top of raising children and taking care of the house. In the lower classes, often the man does nothing while the woman does both roles. They may fear that they will have to compete outside the home or be shunned because they want to stay home and not go into an office.

So, it's way more complex than just a gender issue, it involves roles and money and social conventions. A poor woman often cannot afford to do both a career and a family, but a rich woman can hire servants to help her out.

But let's not forget that even 100 years ago, people worked themselves to death. It's only with our leisure that we have this luxury to do what we want, or try to do so.

Rich women were the first feminists. Often blue collar women had no reason to be because they already worked and ran their homes.

So making the power structure more fair for everyone is a good thing.

Personally, I always felt that if I acted like I deserved respect, I would get it. But I met many men who were really sore if they thought I was beyond them but also wanted to be treated like a "lady". I think is this a class thing, not a gender thing.

I've always laughed at men who thought I should be inferior. Women told my mother when she asked about this "women's lib thing" "Oh Barbara, you don't need to be liberated, you've always been liberated."

If we demand to be the second sex, we will get treated that way, just as any many who acts inferior will be a beta monkey.

Social life's not about men and women but about the Alpha--the king, the president, the rock star, Bill Gates--what we need is to be valued for what we are, not our position in life.

But my two cents. I'd love to stay at home, but I hate being supported. I don't want to be an anti-feminist, I want to be independently wealthy. HAH!

But God should be above gender, most definitely, but I LOVE MBE--what a woman!

hugs
me

David Carrel said...

I think what I see about feminists is them trying to be equal with men. Of course. The problem is that God created men and women differently and are not meant to be equal. We both have different roles, talents, abilities, hormones, etc... I think that both roles are equally important and vital and that women should not be ashamed of the roles that they have. I think that the role of a homemaker is the most important role beyond breadwinner. (and I don't have a problem with women working).
So feminism really irritates me and it is probably cause I am bitter about things happening because women wanted their rights. Mainly high school sports were affected because of Title 9 giving women the rights they deserved.
I just think that women are very important and have very important roles and should not want to take over for men just because they can. We all know that the wife really runs the house, the mother is in charge, etc...
Sorry for the rambling; it probably does not make sense. So basically: I don't understand why women want to change things and cannot appreciate the even more important role they already have in society.

anne said...

Hi David,

I think part of it is that "homemaker" has been so degraded. It used to be that homemaker or housewife was a job so complicated and large that a group of women were needed to do it and they worked all the time.

I told my son this story. "Okay, go out into the wood/wilderness." He said, "all right." I said, "okay, now come up with clothes, shoes, food, a house, medicine--everything you need to survive." He looked vague for a moment. I said, "used to be that a housewife had to help come up with all of this from nothing."

When you read old accounts of just the work load to make fabric and preserve food--it's staggering. It would take all winter for a woman to spin enough thread to make a shirt. And then she had to weave it. This is after growing the linen and treating it to take out the fibres and then treating the fibres to spin up into thread.

The knowledge a woman needed to run a house was incredible, way more than a modern university degree. Machines made things easier in some ways and harder than others. But urbanization was the reason women went to work and their homes suffered for it. But urbanization was the reason men started to commute or work in factories and mines and they suffered for it, too.

But ask Kristin how hard it is to raise and school two boys and run a house on what she does. She doesn't even have time to do an involving garden, but grows what she can that doesn't need a lot of attention.

If you can be one voice cherishing your wife and her role in your marriage, that is way better than dissing the thousands of women who are neglecting their kids so that they can buy a second car.

It's a hard world, David. I stayed home with my boy, but I had to rack up a ton of debt to do it. No regrets; I loved being a homemaker, but that is not my calling. No need for it now, since my son is grown and my husband loves cooking. But we honor and cherish each other and our home is our refuge.

Having been (a lot) to Seda's home, it's a refuge, too.

love and light
anne

Seda said...

David,
"God created men and women differently and are not meant to be equal."

Gen. 1:26: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Gal. 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Your statement depends, of course, on which parts of the Bible you choose to believe - in particular the spiritual creation of Elohim in Gen. 1, vs. the material creation of Jehovah in Gen. 2. Elohim creates man and woman simultaneously at the apex of creation, both of them in the image of God - so God is both male and female, or, rather, is Spirit and so neither male nor female but encompassing the qualities of both; and both man and woman are complete, and capable of expressing all the qualities of God. And they were blessed: "And behold, God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

Adam, on the hand, was created first in a descending order of creation - Adam first, then the animals, plants, etc. Eve was an afterthought, not even made for herself, but from a rib taken out of man. The implication is that neither man nor woman is complete, and that, created from Adam (man), Eve (woman) is both subservient to him and dependent on him for her moral being, with man as intermediary between her and God, and no life for herself.

I know which version I choose to believe!

Interestingly enough (and not surprising), a study has found that non-feminist women are more hostile toward men than feminists. http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2009/07/non-feminist_mo

Feminism is not about limitations of roles, but about sovereignty - for both men and women. Feminism states that women should not be ashamed of their roles, but claim them and define them and make them their own - not a coercive destiny of subservience, but a creative destiny of empowerment.

Men and women ARE equal - spiritually, and (at least they should be) politically.

David Carrel said...

I am sorry Seda; I don't think that I phrased that right. When I said that men and women are not meant to be equal, I meant more in a sense of having the same roles or even abilities. My main experiences with feminism are with sports. The women wanted "equal rights" with men. With Title 9, women had to have the same amount of sports in schools as men (actually, one less, 5 male sports meant that there had to be 4 female sports). I wrestled growing up and this cut out a ton of wrestling programs cause "women had to be equal." But generally speaking, men are more likely to play sports and there are more male sports than female sports. But because women "had to be equal," they made all these rules. And then I didn't like it that women could wrestle (which is just wrong having a guy wrestle a girl, it is a lose-lose situation for the guy). I remember wrestling a girl and looking up at my mom not knowing what to do cause I didn't want to touch her inappropriately. Then there were rules that girls could play boys' sports in order "to be equal." But that is just hypocritical cause if they really are equal, why can't men play girl's volleyball? etc... So that is my background to saying that they are not equal.
As far as personhood goes or spiritually, completely equal, like the verses you quoted. No one should ever, ever, ever degrade women or abuse them, etc... God uses women just as much as men. I am in no way against women having rights, etc... I just think that we should all acknowledge that men and women are different, have different roles, and we should recognize that and not be ashamed in that.
Anne, glad you got to stay home to raise your boy. I am not saying that women can't work, but like you said, is it worth it to leave them in the care of others to afford a second car and to be able to say you are a woman and have the right to work too? And that is interesting about going to the woods and getting everything to live. True that. (That is kind of what it is like to live where we are going, the Amazon in Brazil. Not totally, but it takes a lot more time to do things like cook, get water (boiling or filtering it), washing clothes (no hot water or dryer), etc...
Thanks for your thoughts guys.

Seda said...

Hey, David,
I'm sorry to hear you lost out on opportunities because Title IX caused wrestling programs to get cut. I imagine that was really frustrating, and felt unjust. I think what directed the passage of Title IX was the fact that so many scholarships and other opportunities were available to boys that were not available to girls, and that really impacted the lives of a lot of women. It's too bad we can't figure out some way to make those opportunities available to anyone who wishes them, regardless of gender.

I certainly resonate with your discomfort wrestling with girls. I wouldn't want to be the girl in that situation! It wouldn't be fair to guys like you who would try hard not to touch inappropriately, and it wouldn't be fair to the girl with guys who would take advantage of it. But that's me. I'd enjoy coed sports like volleyball or softball, or even basketball, but not contact!

BTW, when I was 5, we moved into a cabin that had no plumbing except a hand pump. It was in Wyoming, and the only heat was from a wood cooking range (the only stove) in the kitchen and a pot-bellied wood stove in the living room. The water had to be boiled to make it drinkable. Visiting the outhouse when it was 20 below zero in the middle of winter was miserable. But if you're going to be living in the tropical equivalent of that in the Amazon, maybe Sarah (with a baby) will be able to feel some sense of connection with my mom! We lived there for about 5 1/2 years.

David Carrel said...

Yeah, living in the Amazon will be interesting. At least we don't have to deal with an outhouse or the cold!! I am not fond of either of those. ha
I am not against women having opportunities, but do they need to be the exact same as men? Like for sports: Couldn't they give some women's sports scholarships to some women, just not as many as to men's sports, and then find another way to provide scholarships for women, not necessarily through sports, but academics or something else? My point is just that there are clear cut differences between men and women and if you look at something like sports, it just doesn't make sense when the feminists rally for equality there. No matter what, men's sports will always bring a bigger crowd, thus bringing in more money to schools. It is just a fact. Kind of like when my school's soccer, baseball, and wrestling team all had smaller budgets than the basketball team. Why? The basketball team brought in all the money.
Does all that make sense?

redforkhippie said...

A few questions for David:

1. If it was unfair for you to be told you could not wrestle because the school needed the money for girls' sports, was it fair for me to be told I could not run track (despite the fact that there were precious few boys at our school who could outrun me) because I owned a uterus?

2. Is talent God-given? If not, where does it come from? And if so, why would God give a person athletic talent if He did not mean for her to use it?

3. Are you aware that the word "sports" is not mentioned anywhere in Title IX?

4. Title IX states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...." With which part of this language do you disagree, and why? (I have not excluded any pertinent language here; all that follows the ellipsis is a long list of exceptions, which you can read by clicking the link above if you're interested.)

5. If your daughter asked you to sign a permission slip so she could play basketball, would you sign it, or would you instead tell her to stop trying to "take over for men" and "acknowledge that men and women are different, have different roles, and ... recognize that and not be ashamed in that"?

6. Word association: Click on this link and tell me what comes to mind when you look at the pictures. What does this woman appear to be doing? Does she look as if she's ashamed of something or trying to take over for somebody?

David Carrel said...

Emily (I am guessing that was you in the picture and commented as redforkhippie),
Thanks for the questions and sorry if you read my posts thinking that I think women deserve less opportunity. I will try to answer your questions and maybe this time I will be more understood, but I make no guarantees.
1. I am not too familiar with your situation, but I think that with track you can run as an independent if your school does not have a track team. Is this the case? If not, what ended up happening? Was there more interest from other girls and a league to participate in? No, that may not have been fair. But the same thing would happen with a boy or a girl going to a school who does not offer a sport that they would like to participate in.
2. Of course talent is God given and should be used. I would never say against that. I am all for women being able to play sports. I think my argument lies in the area of when there is a great demand for men's sports and little demand for women's sports do to interest on both parties, and the men's sports are limited because the school has to fill its quota of women's sports.
3. No I was not aware of that; my only knowledge of title IX was that it affected all the sports programs.
4. My disagreement with this would only come in how some people interpret this. I have mentioned this before on Seda's blog when it came to a racial discussion. My dad, when entering med school, was denied for a couple of years; not because his test scores were not high enough, but because the school had to fulfill its racial and sex quota. So the school did not take the most qualified because they had to be politically correct and not be "racist" or "sexist." I would say that the true interpretation would be to treat everyone equally regardless of race or sex, which is exactly what it says, but in the interpretation of it, society bends it to have to look like they are being politically correct.
5. I would be excited if my daughter wanted to play basketball. If she weren't just 15 days old, I might start teaching her. I am not saying that those roles are not the same sometimes or whatever, just that as a general rule, men are usually more athletic, etc...
6. Congrats on finishing the race! That is a great accomplishment! I think I had about the same story as you when I did a half marathon. No, you are not trying to take over roles or anything like that. You are running and I hope you keep it up.

Fannie said...

Oooh, a conversation about sports and feminism! Seda, David, I hope you don't mind me jumping in here.

David said:

"The problem is that God created men and women differently and are not meant to be equal. We both have different roles, talents, abilities, hormones, etc... I think that both roles are equally important and vital and that women should not be ashamed of the roles that they have."

David, when you say this it sure looks like you're saying that since God created men and women differently, they are inherently unequal. Yet, at the same time, you go on to say that you think the roles of both are equal. I've heard this before and I've always had difficulty jiving how people who are inherently unequal can possess "inherent" roles that are considered "equal" by society. Maybe you can elaborate more on this?

Secondly, from your comments thus far, you seem to hold many misunderstandings about Title IX. Your comments come from a place that fails to acknowledge the many ways that men fought tooth and nail to keep women out of sports.

"The women wanted 'equal rights' with men."

That you say this like it's a bad thing shows that I might have my work cut out for me here! ;-)

"But generally speaking, men are more likely to play sports and there are more male sports than female sports."

Your argument seems to be that men are inherently more interested in sports. I think, given the ways that boys are socialized, that assumption is debatable. Yet, let's assume it is true for a moment. Before Title IX was enacted, schools were under no obligation to provide athletic programs for girls. Even if more boys were interested in sports than girls, there were undoubtedly some girls who WERE interested in playing sports yet had no opportunity to do so.

Now, addressing the assumption that girls are inherently less interested in sports than are boys, after Title IX was enacted, female athletic participation increased 904% and collegiate participation increased 456%. That's a lot of women and girls playing sports who, before Title IX would have had NO opportunity to do so. And, far from equalizing things, opportunities for women and girls still lag behind those for men and boys.

Anyway, as someone who has played sports her entire life and is more athletic than most people (male or female, not to brag), I don't find many of your comments all that resonating with my experience. My entire life, I have been surrounded by athletic women and men and I've learned that, no matter how many people are in the stands watching us, we all sweat the same, we all bleed the same, and that the taste of defeat is no less bitter to those of us who have vaginas.

Title IX is a passion of mine and I am extremely grateful for it. Anyway, I've written more about it at my blog.

Seda said...

Welcome to the fray, Fannie! (Though this isn't a contest - it's a learning opportunity for all of us.) :-)

David? Emily?

David Carrel said...

Man, I always get smoked on this blog!
haha, but I will still try to get my opinion out. I guess I must say that I am rather ignorant of Title IX in its entirety. To me the mention of Title IX has only come up when I have heard about limitations on wrestling. That is the only thing I ever heard about Title IX, never heard what you guys are saying. It is great that women have been able to play more sports.
My phrase: "The problem is that God created men and women differently and are not meant to be equal." is poorly worded considering I later on contradict myself. I should not have said "they are not mean to be equal" and should have left it at them being created differently. Everyone is equal before God and before my eyes (or at least should be, I know that I do not always follow that). Maybe I meant that men and women should be treated differently. Is that ok to say? And I don't mean degraded at all. I would actually always treat a woman better than a man. But am I not supposed to? My mom taught me never to hit a woman or a girl (not that I would hit a guy either), but if I am supposed to treat a woman equal to a man, should I be just as willing to hit a woman as I would be to hit a man? Should I behave more respectfully when a woman is in the room? Or if I act differently, does that mean I am not treating woman equally?
My point is that there is a difference between men and women and if feminists are arguing that there is none and that is the meaning of equal rights, than I am against it. I am for equal opportunity. Or am I missing the point and those are the same thing?

Seda said...

David,
I think your experience with Title IX and wrestling matches the experience of entire generations of women before Title IX. So I can appreciate your response, as well as Emily's and Fannie's responses. They experienced the discrimination that Title IX mitigated, so of course are triggered by criticism of it, as both are women who are into sports. It never affected me that much directly, as I wasn't that interested in sports, and would have been relegated to boy's sports anyway, which made them even less interesting to me. So I think I understand your reaction, and theirs, too. And you're right - it's not fair. But shutting out all (or most) women prior wasn't fair, either. Which is worse? Given the benefits available to men, I'd break on the side of the women. But that's me. I'm biased.

As for men and women being created differently, I've blogged on that in the past. And you're right, men and women are different. The hormones our bodies produce affect us differently, and change the way we think. The realities of our bodies alter our experience relative to the other. There are a few (very few) roles that are biologically driven and are different - nursing, birthing, etc.

But we share a lot more that is the same, than that is different - and our differences overlap.

In any case, men and women do deserve equal opportunity. That's what feminism is about - men and women sharing equal opportunities to define their own lives, and the roles they will manifest within them. Title IX moved our culture a huge distance toward that, but it, or any other legislation, is not able to move it all the way. That last distance has to come from the heart, not just of individuals (though that's where it starts), but of our collective consciousness.

If you think about it, God created man and woman in his own image: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Adam and Eve are not that man; such physical, gullible sinners do not reflect the image of infinite, omnipotent Love. "God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." Man made in God's image is spiritual, and because woman is included in that image, in equal representation, God must be both male and female, or genderless. And then how can one (male) be dominant over the other (female). "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither man nor woman, for we are all one in Christ Jesus" (or something like that).

So how do you treat men and women? Differently one from the other?

I know your book, David, and the man you follow, who left clear instructions: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." By which, I think, he really meant, "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them."

Women want respect and sovereignty over their own lives. Grant them that, and you are doing well. You'll even be joining the ranks of us feminists, whether you embrace that name or not. There are worse places to be. IMHO :-)

After all, feminists are less hostile to men than non-feminists. (http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2009/07/non-feminist_mo)

Fannie said...

David,

Thank you for your comment, I can see that you are sincere and have good intentions. Seda is right that I am triggered by criticism of Title IX, knowing the role that athletic opportunities have played in my life.

With respect to the question of whether men and women are different and, thus, should be treated differently, I am of the belief that while men and women have, on average, certain differences, these differences are greatly exaggerated and do not hold true for all men and women. I think that all many women want is equal opportunity and to not be denied certain occupations or chances in life based on the idea that ALL women are inherently weak, submissive, or unfit for certain activities.

And, I agree with Seda:

"But we share a lot more that is the same, than that is different - and our differences overlap."

Feminism, to me, is about that idea and the idea that women are full human beings in the way that men are thought of as full human being. I reject any ideology that asserts that either men OR women are innately superior or innately fit for some jobs but not others.

As for how to treat women? Simple, treat them how you would treat any human being.

anne said...

Hi everyone,

Well, I wanted to do pole vault and only boys could do that and I grew up in a world where girls couldn't wear pants, so we wore ours under our dresses, but I couldn't get into college because of holding places for ethnic groups and got quota-ed out to other branches of University where I could not go because I was too poor to drive.

All my gripes though were about not being able to do what I wanted to do because of AGE not, gender. I could not be acknowledged as being in charge of anything because I was too young, could not move out and sign a lease, being too young, etc., etc. Now I'm getting it because I'm too old even though I test on insurance quizzes as 10 years younger than my calendar age.

The most prejudice I've faced is not for being female, but for religious reasons. Slammed for NOT being Jewish, for NOT being Christian, I was even stoned and beat up for NOT being Catholic. But I've often surprised men who said over and over, "oh, you're pretty smart, I thought you were just a female."

I also got slammed a lot for being poor. And smart. And talented.

We can get slammed or slighted for anything, depending on the whim of the moment. Right now, the oppressed minorities have to do more with age and poverty. Forty years ago it was more about gender and race.

But since Seda's post is about Feminism, I'm just glad that I can be a legal entity without a husband or a father or brother. People forget that up until 1960 women could not sign legal documents.

But did God make the young first or the old?

It's all up the the air, isn't it?

anne

David Carrel said...

Seda is definitely right about our differences being fewer and Fannie that we share a lot in common and those differences are exaggerated. I agree. And there are so many thing jobs or opportunities, etc that men or women would be equal at. But I think that there are some that women are better at and some men are better at. For example, my mother-in-law is a real estate agent and she says that people trust women real estate agents more because they feel less threatened, etc... Of course, there are plenty of male real estate agents that do well. A woman has better intuition than a man would, but they also generally act more on emotions than a man who generally acts on logic. I could say more, but I will stop because with many words, I generally get picked apart! haha.
My main point is that one should be able to take gender into consideration when searching for someone for a job (and it is not necessarily a major consideration, but why cannot gender be a factor?).

Seda said...

Hey, David,
I could take issue with the statement that women "generally act more on emotions" than a man. When was the last time you ever heard of a woman shooting someone for road rage? Again and again, you see men act out violently because they can't handle their emotions.

As for taking gender into consideration, one good reason not to do so is that problem about the many exceptions. If 65% of men are better at one thing than women, and so you choose a man, you may well be passing up the actual best person for the job, who just happens to be a woman in the 35%. It happens. There are some jobs where factors such as size play a part, such as firefighting, where you need to be physically large enough that you can handle a firehose. That may kick a lot more women out of the pool than men, but the woman who's large enough just might be the best choice. As an example, check out this link about Civil War soldier Albert D.J. Cashier.

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~lelbert/MA_Al_Cashier.pdf

He was the shortest guy in the regiment, but seems to have kept up pretty well, and was considered an excellent shot and very reliable.

David Carrel said...

As far as emotions go, I was talking more about decision making. Women generally use their emotions and men use their logic and that would play into jobs. I think bringing up men shooting people kind of takes it out of context.
But I would agree with you on getting the best person for the job. That is part of my argument. Remember my dad who was jipped out of med school for a couple years because the school had to fill their women and race quotas. That is my point. Get the best person for the job and don't let those characteristics be an issue. But what I see with feminism and civil rights is in trying to be fair and equal, they prohibit the system to be fair and equal.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our
Beloved's.
~Hafiz