Cross-dressing
03.04.02 // 9:53 p.m.

I have to dress as a boy and actually pass as one.

I could kick myself now for enrolling in the sociology of gender course. Its not that the subject doesn’t matter to me, but frankly the course seemed like an intro to issues of gender. I look at these all the time in other classes, especially when they’re more relevant to me. The course itself isn’t bad… I just complain because of the amount of work to do, and all I get is four measly units in exchange.

Some of the assignments have been fun. I went through kids stores and looked at how kids are socialized to learn the “appropriate” ways to act, dress, and play as one gender or other.

Then I did a project called the “looking glass self.” In this one I spent 20 minutes looking at myself in the mirror with “beginner’s eyes;” the next part I had to spend 10 minutes – privately, of course – looking at myself naked and then another 10 minutes in the nude. There is a difference because naked is a subject and nude is an object. When you’re nude, you’re conscious of it, but naked is nothing. You shower naked, not really thinking anything of it, but when you’re with someone (like in an intimate setting) you’re nude. The final part of the project was to go 24 hours without looking at yourself in the mirror, which is just as hard as it sounds.

For the third project I interviewed a male and female involved in an intimate relationship. I liked this one, ‘cause my interview with George was very insightful. For the fourth project I had the option of going out to a gay and lesbian club and writing about it or checking out a “gendered magazine,” such as Bitch or The Advocate.

In addition to the projects, I have weekly one-page journals, and two 5-7 pages papers based on the course readings. The write-ups for the projects were all about 3-4 pages.

The final is the most interesting and time-consuming though. For this one I have to spend a day with my small group learning to become the gender I don’t usually go as, and then go out in public to see if I pass.

Its field studies at its best and worst. The idea is interesting, but I really don’t want to dress up as a boy. I think it’s going to be uncomfortable, literally. What am I supposed to do with my long hair? What about my breasts? I guess I can flatten them out with a good sports bra. How about facial hair? Will I have to draw that on? My voice, mannerisms, etc are all going to have to be changed so I can pass.

I don’t think I really need this project to understand that gender is an accomplishment, but it’s too late to get out of it. Wish me luck. I need to do well in this class to keep my GPA from dropping anymore.

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