4th October Meeting Notes
Sunday’s meeting was well attended with 16 of us turning up to discuss the topic of Feminism & Trans Identities: most of us were first timers so after brief introductions and cake we began talking about Julie Bindle’s article.
Whilst not all of us were aware of Julie Bindle the thrust of her controversial argument was that a male to female trans woman could not understand the experience of being a woman sufficiently to become a rape councillor.
Our discussion ranged then around different reactions to Bindel’s comments, were they correct or offensive? Does being a woman come from living as one, being born with the right body or what?
Views around the table varied widely, some of us felt there are tendencies or instincts which differentiate the sexes, others of us felt gender categories are unnecessarily limited/ing. Some of us mentioned Butler, some of us had never head of her!
We talked about Drag Kings and Drag Queens, sport, Iran, sexualality/the sexes, sex, power and Romak Polanski. In fact it was hard not to come to the conclusion that we have a lot to say to one another!!
Wrapping up over cake we got new volunteers to write to the face book list, write this note and facilitate the next session.
On the 1st of November you’re all invited to come with media clippings (articles or pictures) which you‘ve found interesting, exciting or annoying as a woman/feminist. Let’s see what’s on our minds and find out what different angles we’re all coming from! So we all get a chance to really talk to one another and listen some of the session will be in little groups. Fag breaks and biscuit stops will be included.
Come and join in, no experience necessary!
One of the first timers.
Next Sunday discussion: 1st November McDonald Library 3-5
From a different perspective:
Like Rosalind I was a first time attendee of the EFN October 2009 session and was warmly welcomed with offerings of tea, coffee biscuits and of course the comradery of fellow new and old EFN members. Our discussion transpired from the recent international news featuring Caster Semenya a young athlete who was questioned about her gender in that her physical characteristics seemed to resemble that of a young man; a deep voice and muscular build. The discussion carried was not whether in fact she was a man or woman, but where do international bodies, specifically those who’s mandate is decipher and further judge based on the qualifications of gender. Obviously this is one factor what plays a large role in the segregation of sexes when it comes to sporting events.
Our discussion did not delve too deep into the who’s a stronger sex or the age-old discussion of whether athletics ought to a gender inclusive aspect of an ‘equal’ society, but rather socio-political binaries which are defined for us in society and how they affect us especially in social commentary people like Julie Bindle put forward. The discussion then curved to where we draw the line when it comes to respective perceptions of what it means to be male or female or trans and the implications this has on general discussions like this. For everything in so many subjective ways can be considered in these types of discussions, which is sometimes the most difficult aspect of dissecting these contemporary issues.
A Few links to follow up with the most recent discussion of the EFN
- An article written by Julie Bindle focusing on elements of transsexual and bisexual culture
- An American article which presents the case of Caster Semena.
Other Media insight:
(hate to cite something from Wikipedia, but the bottom features a few more links and further the film synopsis etc.) If you haven’t checked this movie out, it is really a very interesting depiction brought to light through this Hollywood production. Further there was quite a controversy which stirred on the making of this movie…Read on!
Just a video to check out another transgender perspective.