In honour of World Cup Soccer, I am embedding this oldy but goody from Monty Python on the Philosophers Cup for soccer. Love it, referees are Confucius followed by St. Augustine and St. Thomas.
Thanks to Egale Canada for sharing this video and insight from Janet Mock who is a transgendered person and wrote a book entitled "Redefining Realness". In this interview she highlights how uncomfortable it is for many people who are transgendered to answer questions about their body and intimate details of biology on public television. As the article from where this link was taken notes, "This kind of questioning ultimately reduces a complex question of identity into one of physicality". That is true not only for transgendered people but for sexuality and sex education across the board. Complex questions of identity and relationship are sacrificed to an overwhelming emphasis on "plumbing", risk management, and safety. This mock interview she interviews someone who is "cisgendered". Cisgender refers to someone who acts according to the gender expectations that society places upon their sex. For example, hair cuts, dress, jewelry, etc.
Gender non-conformity is different than being transgendered (also referred to as gender dysphoria). As the World Professional Association for Transgendered Health writes, Gender nonconformity refers to the extent to which a person’s gender identity, role, or expression differs from the cultural norms prescribed for people of a particular sex (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Gender dysphoria refers to discomfort or distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth (and the associated gender role and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics) (Fisk, 1974; Knudson, DeCuypere, & Bockting, 2010b). Only some gender-nonconforming people experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives. Treatment is available to assist people with such distress to explore their gender identity and find a gender role that is comfortable for them (Bockting & Goldberg, 2006).
This was the case for Janet. The discussion that follows the mock interview is enlightening and most interesting. Full article here: Activist Janet Mock Flips the Script, Asks Alicia Menendez to Prove Her Womanhood
There is a controversy brewing in the NFL regarding the Washington Redskins mascot. Some Native American groups are suggesting that the name and mascot is offensive to Native Americans and their history. The ad below is a powerful one protesting the name. It highlights the contributions of many historical Native Americans and for that reason deserves it 3, 000,000 + viral hits on You Tube.
I did an informal and unscientific poll among First Nations students in my class, both male and female, all over the age of 30. All like the commercial but none thought that the Redskin mascot was offensive. Nonetheless, it is for a significant group of people.
My view is that names such as Braves, Warriors, and so on are empowering terms of honour. Redskin does have a pejorative history. At any rate, good work by the producers who at a minimum accurately characterized the history tradition, and honour of many Native Americans.
The title of this blog is an allusion to the famous work of Blaise Pascal. This blog represents the variety of my interests and thoughts on any given day and are strung together, like Pascal's Pensees, in no particular order. I work in the field of mental health, education, and human rights. I write and am a human rights advocate. I enjoy poetry, jazz, spirituality, politics and a potpourri of other interests that you will see reflected in this blog.