I am here, in this most wonderful course, because I want to expand on research I began a couple of years ago, especially focusing on research I compiled last semester during my independent study (Gender Fluidity in Literature). I devour all things gender- and sexuality-related. Put any piece of writing in front of me–whether it be fiction, nonfiction, or academic–and I immediately start to pick it apart looking for themes related to gender and sexuality. At this point my brain can’t not go there. It’s become ingrained in how I view and interact with the written word. When one focuses on gender/sexuality studies, feminism will invariably pop up. For example, why is a woman who performs male treated better than a male who performs female? Because society favors male over female, so even if one’s biological sex is male, performing female puts that person at a disadvantage. In our male-centered society all things (white) male are favored. Women come into the world with one strike against them, in most cultures, because we are viewed as less-than. We have come a long way socially and politically, but it seems that these days we are backtracking, which is frightening. How can a society regress? This isn’t even about change. It’s about putting a woman back in her rightful (Biblical?) place…in the home, keeping her mouth shut, and not interfering with “man business.” Now more than ever we need feminism, and the theories that keep us mindful of how very important it is to not let our rights and well-being be pushed aside because our government wants to “Make America great again.” Luckily I haven’t experienced much gender discrimination in my life, so it would be fair to say that I am privileged, to a certain extent. I have gotten some flak for my sexuality, but nothing that overly concerns me. I am privileged in that way too, I guess. But I see gender and sexuality-based discrimination going on all around me, and not just in real life. I see it represented in movies, on TV, and in the books that we read. That is where my research comes in. My focus on LGBTQ issues and themes in specific literature has allowed me to see how women of all races and sexual preferences have encountered discrimination. I will be using the writings of Judith Butler to help me complete my research, culminating in a written work that will (hopefully!) be publishable. I’m excited about this course and ready to dive in…

 

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