The most interesting reading for me this week was “Do These Earrings Make Me Look Dumb?” by Forbes. It brought up a lot of interesting points, but one main thing that stood out to me is how someone with personal experience may not be considered an expert in that field. Forbes is a scientist and spent a lot of time working with ladybugs, so in no way would those credentials make her an expert in any field outside of hers. But she has personal experience that no one can ever learn from a book or research and gain as much knowledge and depth in this topic as Forbes could. Forbes also portrayed that she has read the theory and things in the academia about this topic don’t exactly match up with what she has gone through and felt during her experience. But who is to say Forbes is an expert or not. Any one with connections to her experience would much rather relate to her personal story than a “theory” that tries to explain everything for how it is, black and white, when it may not be.
My favorite line of this piece is “The issue is that in creating a category, we are designating all members of the category as equivalent. “ She started talking about this relating to her field in ecology, specifically talking about trees. But I think that line is so powerful because by categorizing and labeling people into certain categories, it is assumed that those people are identical. It makes people think that every single trans woman (because they are labeled a trans woman) is the same. But not one person has the same story, same experience, and same feelings, which is not true! Everyone experiences everything different, and by having a category with one label on it, and “expert theories” out there telling everyone what there is to know about that, people not in this category will assume that it is the same for every person. But by coming from someone like Forbes, who has her own experience, isn’t preaching how everything is but instead telling her experience that can be relatable to most, not all, and more than anything can be a comfort knowing someone else out there has done, feel, and experienced what she has.