It’s no accident that the Trans* phenomenon is grabbing so many people’s attention of late, amidst a backlash against the advancement of womens’ rights and in a world where ‘female’ and ‘male’ are being reduced to ‘identities’ and reasoned dissent dismissed as hate (in so many fields) This new blog puts that debate into a contemporary cultural context: essential rwading


I’m going to start this blog with a clear but sure to be controversial statement.  Now, once you read that statement, if you feel yourself getting really defensive, please read the rest of the entry BEFORE sending hate mail.  So, here goes nothin’:

Gender identity disorder is a culture bound syndrome–not something you’re born with.

Culture bound syndromes include a wide array of medical issues.  Some are very familiar to Americans and Europeans, like anorexia and bulimia, which arise because of the complex interplay between our culture’s views on beauty, food, and (often) femininity.  Others, though, are experienced more frequently (or exclusively) in other parts of the world, which can give them the air of otherness.  For example, the phenomenon of koro–in which, depending on one’s culture, one believes one’s penis to have been stolen or to have started shrinking into nothingness–is experienced today primarily in West African nations…

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