Theme Of Identity In Gender Outlaws

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The primary theme of identity is common in both Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation and Waist High in the world in the following ways: Physical appearance/ patriarchal ideas of femininity and womanhood were significant to Nancy Mairs and Kyle Lukoff: Both Mairs and Lukoff began using cosmetic products during their adolescent years. They began wearing nail polish and lipstick/lip gloss to enhance physical appearance, but their premise for doing so was polar opposites. For Mairs, it was due to the influence of magazine advertisements that prompted her to come out as a woman, to “take measures to rectify her all too glaring deficiencies” (p. 44). For Lukoff, it was coming out as a queer that prompted her questioning of the ideas of femininity…show more content…
There is a distinguishable difference of disability depending on the social construction and the experienced construction. Mairs (1996) who identifies herself as a cripple does not consider herself to be disabled, “I am hardly disabled at all” (p. 13). She further contends that disability is a negative term, “part of a binary, existing relation to a privileged opposite: that is, one is disabled only from the point of view another defined by common social values as able” (p. 13). This is dangerous in the fact that the value of a person is placed behind the disability when the person should always be placed in front. In addition, another area of concern is that binary thinking, “doesn’t apprehend reality” (Mairs 1996, p.…show more content…
Whether a person is a boy or girl is based on appearance, presentation, and expressions of self. Just as with disability the socially constructed definition places more value on the socially normative value of gender rather than the individual’s value of the self’s identity. In Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Serano identifies gender as as a holistic experience, “an amalgamation of bodies, identities, and life experiences, subconscious urges, sensations, and behaviors” (p. 87). Serano admits that gender is sometimes an act and the truth of the matter is that there is no true way of knowing. For both gender and disability, socially constructed terms promote dangerous discourses that place the social values of the dominant culture over individual values and
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