In which gender does a triple axel, and I send up every fanfic convention I can think of.Title:
Tab A Slot BRating:
R/NC-17 (though more for language than anything else)Summary: The men spend the entire meeting trying not to stare at each other's tits and failing miserably.( Read more... )Afterword
While this story plays with issues of gender and embodiment, it wasn't written to address the real experiences of intersex and transgendered people. Their struggles are not as easily resolved as those of the characters in this story.
Because the bodies of intersex people do not match medical norms of maleness and females -- norms that are in some ways quite arbitrary -- they are often subjected to a battery of medical efforts to bring them into conformity. These interventions can include aggressive hormone treatment and genital surgery beginning in infancy, often carried out in the absence of health risks, to the detriment of adult sexual functioning, and without the understanding or consent of the person. Activists like Cheryl Chase of the Intersex Society of North America
are working to end unnecessary medical intervention on intersex infants and helping intersex individuals grow up with understanding, without shame, and with the right to determine their own identities and bodies.
While intersex people have their natural bodies taken from them, transgendered people are often held hostage by their bodies and by what legal, medical, social, and cultural systems say those bodies mean. Moving beyond the gender they were assigned at birth means passing through an endless series of gatekeepers: clerks, judges, psychiatrists, and physicians, to name a few. Transpeople are frequently denied the rights to have their gender identities recognized on legal documents, to receive equal work for equal pay, to safely and affordably make physical changes to their bodies (or to stop short of full gender reassignment if they do), to be guardians of their children when custody battles occur, and to live with safety, respect, and the full protection of the law. The National Center for Transgendered Equality
believes we can do better, and so do I.
These may not seem like women's issues, but the technologies of power that have long defined women by our bodies are the same as those that seek to control the bodies and identities of transgendered and intersex people. Both of these organizations support all kinds of women too often marginalized, ignored, or exiled by more traditional women-centered groups -- as well as all kinds of men, and people who identify as both, or neither, or whose identities are too fluid and complicated to be easily named. Empowering women doesn't mean strengthening walls -- it means building bridges.14 Valentines: Body Image