Seeing Julia Serano speak at Northwestern today was super awesome cool. She even skewered J. Michael Bailey
, who evidentially still teaches at NU, to this day.
One thing she pointed out at the end was how any bruhaha over the APA DSM appointee debacle (added a link: http://www.bilerico.com/2008/05/uh_oh.php;
if you have a better link let me know) must be focused on how it could/does affect gender non-conforming children, particularly male assigned gender non-conforming children.
I also asked her a question about the usage of transgender as an overarching political term, and how transgender doesn't resonate with me, though I do know that "transitioning" is considered (i suppose highly) gender non-conforming--I still have trouble with that because I lack any identification with a female or feminine past, and don't want a "label from above" that claims to know my past better than I do. But I have been thinking about it and I do see some cause for solidarity under a "transgender" banner; though it is hard for me to accept that because of how mis-nomerish that seems.
She also said something like "Judith Butler never said 'all gender is performance'" and I about fell out of my little lecture desk with glee. She might have said "performative" and not "performance", but same idea. I enjoy laughing at Judith Butler jokes, especially faux-J.B. that's been filtered through a decade of minor engagement with her theory, and JB in pop culture.
She also poked fun at her own book cover as she was talking about how books involving trans feminine spectrum people tend to depict what can be viewed as feminine artifice, but books about trans men just feature straight on pictures of dudes. (She didn't say "dudes".)
The only thing that bothered me even slightly was the discussion around the privileging of trans masculine people and the devaluing of trans feminine people (especially in queer women's circles, and she lives in SF after all)--and it didn't bother me because I disagree with her (um, eta: this is phrased somewhat awkwardly. i agree with her, if that makes it more clear). It's a troubling phenomenon and it bothers me to realize how complicit I am in it.
Anyway, this is getting long. I wonder if I'll ever engage with critical theory again and become someone important. I have the brains for it--I just am so fucking lazy. And I'm an ideas person and not a details person.