“The Bathroom Problem”

A reading that I thought was really interesting was Jack Halberstam’s Female Masculinity, more specifically “The Bathroom Problem.”  This stuck out to me because it brought up questions I never thought about like how a transgender person has so much trouble using the bathroom.  Something that for me I never even have to think about which bathroom I am going to use.  It can be confusing if a transgender woman who still has masculine features is trying to use the bathroom.  Or even a lesbian woman who appears very masculine; or a person who does not identify as a male or a female.  The bathroom is something that for some reason many people take very seriously and insist on separate bathrooms for women and men.  Especially today with Trump trying to remove Obama’s protections for transgender student bathrooms and facilities in public schools.  He is trying to tamper with state laws, which will remove transgender equality in bathrooms.  It is nice to see that many bathrooms at the University of Delaware are for all genders or are gender neutral.  I do not understand why there even is a bathroom problem.  It should not matter which bathroom anyone decides to use.  A transgender man or woman should not be afraid to use the bathroom at school because of the risk of not fitting in or getting bullied.  The bathroom should not be a dangerous place for people.  Society needs to realize that there should not be a “bathroom problem” because using the bathroom should not be a problem for people who identify as different genders or no gender at all.

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What is Female Masculinity?

The reading that stuck with me is Halberstam “Female Masculinity”. When I was reading this paper all I could think about was how can one person determine what is considered for boys and what is considered for girls and have society accept it. Halberstam says that as long as a child is in the prepubescent stage being a tomboy isn’t threatening but once she hits puberty she needs to “act her gender”. Personally this statement angers me because up until I was 12 I was a tomboy, but if I continued being a tomboy I would be considered a “threat” to society?! I would wear sweatpants, a sweatshirt and sneakers everyday and looking back now I could tell people were wondering why I wasn’t dressing like a “typical girl”. How can a girl dressing the way she feels comfortable and herself make people around her feel uncomfortable and judgmental. Halberstam mentions a situation when two females felt uncomfortable because they weren’t sure if a woman in the woman’s restroom was female because she looked masculine. Since when was there one set look for a female to look like. I think that people have a mindset that females need to be petite and feminine all the time and if a female steps out of the boundaries (and has big muscles or dresses differently) people don’t know what to do and feel threatened. Take Ellen DeGeneres for an example she never dresses like a “typical girl” and people don’t question her. Is it because she’s famous she has a hierarchy status. Society needs to realize that gender isn’t a boxed in subject and that woman will dress and act they way she wants to.