I am a female - Bradley Manning

                                            Bradley Manning is now Chelsea Manning.
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in a statement read during an exclusive TODAY show interview with lawyer David Coombs. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way I have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.”
While Fort Leavenworth, the prison where Manning will serve her sentence, does not offer hormone therapy, Coombs told host Savannah Guthrie he would fight to ensure his client received the medical treatment she needed. He also said he and Manning had not discussed sex reassignment surgery, and that getting her access to the needed hormones is his priority at this time.
Asked why Chelsea Manning had not made a statement about her gender before the trial was over, Coombs said, “She didn’t want this to be something that overshadowed the case.”
Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for the largest leak in U.S. history, a sentence that could set the tone of future prosecutions of those who leak classified information. The 25-year-old was convicted of 20 criminal counts, including espionage and disobeying orders, for providing 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Coombs and the defense team cited Manning’s struggle with shame and confusion over her gender identity as a mitigating factor during sentencing proceedings. Her identity as a trans-woman first became a topic of discussion in the case after chat logs with government informant and hacker Adrian Lamo featuring statements about gender were leaked to the public.
The defense introduced a photo Manning emailed to her supervisor, Master Sgt Paul Adkins, with the subject line “my problem.” It showed Manning in a blonde wig and wearing lipstick. Clinical Psychiatrist Michael Worsley, who treated Manning in Iraq, also testified about how the military’s “hypermasculine environment” and hostility towards LGBT soldiers could have contributed to Manning’s depression and sense of isolation
Dr. David Moulton, the forensic psychologist assigned to review Manning’s case, said that Manning was suffering from gender identity disorder, a diagnosis supported by a military sanity board.
The United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth responded to Manning’s announcement in a statement. “The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder.” Citing a policy of non-discrimination based on race, rank, ethnicity or sexual orientation – but not gender identity – the the USDB statement said that, “All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers with experience in addressing the needs of military personnel in pre- and post-trial confinement.”
Despite the challenges ahead for Chelsea Manning, “The ultimate goal is to be comfortable in her skin,” Coombs said.

Thanks: NBC News

Gender-Neutral Pronouns - Carleton College Student Organization

pronouns are important -- probably more important than many of us think.

When we we use pronouns like "she" or "he" to identify a person, we might be making an assumption about that person's gender that differs from their preferred gender identity. Some people express their gender identity ambiguously, meaning you might not know which pronoun to use just by looking at them and have to make an assumption. For other people, appearances can be deceiving-- even people who clearly look to be one gender may identify as a different gender than you would assume. When someone has a different gender identity than you would assume that means a different pronoun.

So, how do we avoid making incorrect assumptions about gender pronouns? ASK! Or, use gender-neutral pronouns, like "they" or "them." 

We get that asking for people's pronouns could be awkward. Here are some tips to help you become a kick ass pronoun ask-er:
  • Kick things off by asking: "Do you have a preferred pronoun?"
  • Recognize that while this might make some people confused, it's also an awesome opportunity to explain why you're doing it, and it will really mean something to those who have been mis-identified or care about the issue.
  • Don't expect that if you ask once, you're set forever -- people's (gender) identities can change, so check in!
  • One great way to ask for preferred pronouns is to incorporate preferred pronoun into introductions, particularly in student organization meetings. So, for example, you could say, "Hey, I'm Schiller, I'm from Germany, I'm a super-senior, English and Philosophy double major and my preferred pronouns are he/him." See, wasn't that easy? Your turn!

1. What do you mean by gender-neutral pronouns?

Loosely speaking, a pronoun is a part of speech that takes the place of other nouns.  Some pronouns are: I, we, he, she, all, it, they, their, etc.
Gendered pronouns are those that indicate gender: he, she, him, her, hers, his, himself and herself. All others, like "it, "one," and "they," are gender-neutral.
You probably already use some gender-neutral pronouns: they, their, and them. Suppose you are expecting a call from someone of unknown gender... you might say something like:
"If the person from the insurance company calls, tell them I'll call them back tomorrow."
(adapted from http://aetherlumina.com/gnp/faq.html#gnp)


2. Why would people feel uncomfortable about a gendered (male or female) pronoun?

 For many people, gender is simple and clear-cut: either gender identity aligns with biological sex or gender presentation falls closely enough within traditional norms that most people assume the appropriate “he” or “she.” Many other individuals, however, present their gender identity and expression ambiguously, causing traditional assumptions about gender to be irrelevant or incorrect. Additionally, some individuals may feel more comfortable using a pronoun different from the one associated with their biological sex or apparent gender expression. Moreover, gendered pronouns like “he” and “she” are uncomfortable and limiting for some who prefer gender-neutral pronouns (see attachment). Whatever the case, it quickly becomes uncomfortable for these students when the larger community assumes a pronoun with which they do not identify.

3. So what are some examples of gender-neutral pronouns?

"They" and "ze" are some of the more common forms of gender-neutral pronouns. 


4. How would I use this?

We made a table to help you out! 

Thanks To Carleton College Student Organizations. Northfield, MN
55407USA . +1 507 222 4000.

ஒருபால் காதல் எண்ணங்கள் - கோபி ஷங்கர் © Srishti Madurai.

பாலினம் (Gender) மற்றும் பாலின ஈர்ப்பு (Sexual or Gender attraction) என்பது மதம் கிடையாது அதை  பரப்புவதற்கு அடிப்படையாக ஒரு தனி நபர்  தன்னுடைய பாலினத்தையும், பாலினஈர்பையும் புரிந்துகொள்வது மிகப் பெரிய கடினமான விஷயம், தன்னை பற்றியும் தான் வாழும் உடலை பற்றியும் தெளிவான புரிதல் வேண்டும். அடிப்படைவாத பாலியல் இருமை கொள்கையாலும், முடக்கு தனமான கலாச்சார , மத, அரசியல் மற்றும் குறுகிய லட்சியவாத  சிந்தனையாலும் பாலினம் சார்ந்த மக்களின்     கண்ணோட்டம்  களவியல் என்ற சிந்தனையுடன் நின்றுவிடுகிறது. 

இங்கு நான் ஒருபால் ஈர்ப்பை பற்றி பேச விரும்பிகிறேன்.

பேசும் முன் ....ஒருபால்ஈர்ப்பு என்பது ஒரு பாலின ஈர்ப்பு இது ஒரு பாலினம் இல்லை. திருநங்கை சமூகத்தில் இது கடுமையான குற்றமாக பார்க்கப்படுகிறது. திருனருக்கும் ஒருபால்ஈர்புக்கும் ரொம்ப தூரம் இரண்டும் எதிர் முனை போல. திருனருகுள் இருக்கும் ஒருபால் ஈர்ப்பை பற்றி மற்றொரு  கலந்துரையாடலில் பார்க்கலாம்.

ஒரு ஆண், பெண் எதிர்பால் காதல் உறவைப்  போலத்தான்  ஒருபால் காதல் உறவும் இங்கு ஆண், பெண் என்ற இருமை இல்லை. எப்போதும் காதல், காமம், நட்பு, பாசம் என்ற பெயர் கடந்த மனதை நிறைக்கும் உறவை பெறுவது ஒரு அழகான வாழ்க்கையின் ஆரம்பம்.

ஆண்களை விரும்பும் எல்லா ஆண்களுக்கும்  பெண்களை பிடிக்காது என்ற அவசியம் இல்லை.  ஒரு ஆண் தான் மற்றொரு ஆண் மீது வைத்திருக்கும் காதலை வெளிபடுத்துவது என்பது இன்றைய சமூகத்தில் மிகவும் கடினம். குடும்பம், ஜாதி, மதம்,என்று படித்த மற்றும் படிக்காத முட்டாள்கள் என்று பல காரணத்தை இதற்கு  காட்டலாம் .முதலில் ஒரு ஆண் தன் காதலனாக கருதும் ஆணிடம் இதை வெளிப்படையாக  பேச அதிக மனத்தெளிவும், தைரியமும் வேண்டும். பெரும்பாலான ஓரின காதல் வெறும் நட்பு என்ற போலி போர்வையில் மறைந்து விடுகிறது. ஓரினம் சார்ந்து களவியலில் ஈடுபடும் எல்லா ஆண்களும் ஒருபால் காதல் ஈர்ப்பு உள்ளவர்களாக மாறி விட மாட்டார்கள். தனிநபர் சார்ந்த தனிப்பட்ட விஷயம் தான் இது.

எப்படி எதிர்பால் ஈர்ப்பு காதலில் ஒரு பெண்ணுக்கு பிடித்ததை ஆண் செய்கிறானோ அதை போல் இங்கு ஒரு ஆணுக்கு பிடித்ததை இன்னொரு ஆண் பூர்த்தி செய்ய வேண்டும் என்று நினைப்பான். அவனுடைய நடை, உடைகளில் மிகவும் கவர்ச்சிகரமாக தன் காதலனுக்கு தெரிய வேண்டும் என்று ஆசை படுவான். மணிகணக்கில் தன் காதலனுடன் அர்த்தமற்று  உரையாட வேண்டும் என்ற ஆசை இங்கும் முதல்  காதல் வாய்ப்பவர்களுக்கு உண்டு.

சிறிய பிரிதல் கூட பெரிய துயரத்தை தரும். பெரும்பாலான ஓரின காதல் வயப்படும் ஆண்கள் தங்கள் மீது அதிக அக்கறையும், கனிவும், செயலில் நிதானமும்  உள்ள ஆண்களை தான் நேசிக்கிரர்கள். சமீப காலமாக பணம், அந்தஸ்து, நிறம், உடல் கட்டமைப்பு, ஆழகு, குடும்ப சூழ்நிலை, பார்க்கும் வேலை என உலகியல் சார்ந்த விஷயங்களை ஓரின காதல் மலரும் மனங்களில் காண முடிகிறது. தன்னுடைய தற்காப்பை பொருளாதார ரீதியாக முதன்மைபடுத்தி காதலுக்கு இரண்டாம் இடம் அளிக்கும் நிலை எல்லா வகை காதலிலும்  இன்று காணலாம். பெரும்பாலான  ஓரின காதலர்கள் தங்கள் விரும்பும் ஆண் இன்று சமூகம் வரையறுக்கும் அதிக, அதித ஆண்மை தன்மையுடன்  இருக்க வேண்டும் என்று நினைக்கிறார்கள்.   

இரு ஆண்களும் ஒரு புரிதலுடன் இருந்தால் சந்தோஷம் தான் அனால் ஓரின காதலில் பெரும்பான்மையினர் எதிர்பால் நட்டம் உள்ள நபரை நேசிப்பது மிகவும் அபாயகரமானது. அப்படி ஒரு சம்பவம் நடந்தால் அந்த காதலே அந்த நபரை கொன்றுவிடும்.காதலை ஏர்க்கமுடியாது போகும்போது அங்கே நட்புறவும் நின்றுபோய் விடுகிறதே! இனிமேல் நாம் சந்திக்க வேண்டாம் என்று பிரிந்துவிடவே செய்கிறார்கள்!

ஆண்கள், நண்பர்களாக இருக்கும் போது செய்யும் போனை விட, காதல் வந்த பின்னர் தன்  காதலனுக்கு அடிக்கடி போன் செய்வார்கள். ஒரு நாள் கூட பிரிந்திருக்க முடியாத நிலையில், விடுமுறை நாட்களில் தேடி வந்து, வெளியே செல்லலாம் என்று அழைப்பார்கள். பிறந்த நாள் வந்தால், எதிர்பார்க்காத வகையில் நீண்ட நாள் ஆசையாக மனதில் வைத்திருக்கும் பொருட்களை வாங்கிக் கொடுத்து, மகிழ்விப்பார்கள்.  அடிக்கடி கோபப்படுவார்கள். உதாரணமாக, ஒருநாள் அவர்களை பார்க்க முடியாதவாறு வந்தாலோ அல்லது வெளியே எங்கேனும் செல்வதாக இருந்தாலோ, அதனை அவர்களிடம் சொல்லாமல் சென்றால் கோபத்துடன் அக்கறையாக பேசுவார்கள்.  மிகவும் போசசிவாக இருப்பார்கள். 

அடிக்கடி வீட்டிற்கு வந்து குடும்பத்தினரிடம் அக்கறையாக பேசி, அனைவரது மனதிலும் நல்ல இடத்தைப் பிடிக்க முயற்சிப்பார்கள். அதிலும் உங்களால் செய்ய முடியாதவற்றையும், அவர்கள் கஷ்டப்பட்டு செய்து முடிப்பார்கள்.  நட்பிலும் இத்தகைய கோபம், அக்கறை, பரிசு போன்றவை இருக்கும். ஆனால் காதல் இருந்தால், நமக்கே நம்ப முடியாதவாறு சிறிய விஷயங்களுக்கு கூட உணர்ச்சிவசப் பட்டு பேசுவார்கள். எனவே வித்தியாசத்தைப் புரிந்து கொண்டு நடப்பது நல்லது. பெரும்பாலும் ஆண்கள் தங்களிடம் காதலை வெளிபடுத்தும் ஆணிடம் தனக்கு காதல் இல்லையெனில், நேரடியாக தங்கள் எண்ணத்தை, முடிவை தெரிவித்து விடுவார்கள். பயமும், வெறுப்பும் கலந்த அந்த உணர்வை ஆணிடம் சற்று கடுமையாக கூட வெளிப்படுத்த அவர்கள் தயங்குவதில்லை அதுவும் நல்லது தான் அனால் ஒரு சில ஆண்கள் ஊமை போல எந்த ரியாக்சனும்  இல்லாமல் நம்மை கொள்வார்கள்.


Avital Ronell - The New Advisory Board Member of Srishti Madurai

We Welcome Avital Ronell  as one of the Advisory Board Member of the "Srishti Madurai" student genderqueer group along with Most Rev. Anjali Gopalan.
Avital Ronell is a American philosopher who contributes to the fields of continental philosophyliterary studiespsychoanalysisfeminist philosophypolitical philosophy, and ethics. She is a University Professor in the Humanities and in the Departments of Germanic Languages and Literature and Comparative Literature at New York University where she co-directs the Trauma and Violence Trans-disciplinary Studies Program. She is also professor of Philosophy in The European Graduation School.  She is a great supporter of Genderqueer cause. 

Avital Ronell, Ph.D., was born in Prague. Her parents were Israeli diplomats who returned to Israel before going to New York. Avital Ronell studied at the Hermeneutics Institute in Berlin with Jacob Taubes, ultimately earned her doctorate at Princeton University, and then worked with Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous in Paris. She was professor of comparative literature and theory at the University of California at Berkeley for several years before eventually returning to New York, where she currently is chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature and teaches German and comparative literature and theory – in addition to her yearly Fall semester seminar about Derrida – and where she continues to churn out a breathtaking range of deconstructive rereadings of everything from technology, the Gulf War, and AIDS, to opera, addiction, and stupidity.
As one of the first translators of Jacques Derrida’s work into English, she in effect introduced his work to the American academy. Avital Ronell has continued the deep reading projects of her former teachers (and friends), focusing her attention on such varied assumptions as the telephone directory, Rodney King, Madame Bovary, Martin Heidegger and schizophrenia. Though often labeled a philosopher (as well as a key player in critical and political theory, cultural and literary criticism), Avital Ronell’s work, thoroughly transdisciplinary, consistently slips the bounds of traditional academic castes, earning her accolades from often disparate spheres of the cultural milieu. Her work is often determined to be deconstructive, Derridian, Heideggerian, post-feministic, post-structuralist, psychoanalytic, and yet her writing continually works beyond these labels remaining utterly singular. In her most infamous book, The Telephone Book, Avital Ronell seems to seek to undermine, or at least 'address' through direct intervention, commonly held views of the addressee and the author. Using fonts and texts that seem to explode from the page and which at times become illegible, Avital Ronell mimics the dislocating and alienating nature of the fractured telephone conversation to question the role of both author and reader. Avital Ronell’s published works include Telephone Book (1989), Dictations: On Haunted Writing (1993), Crack Wars: Literature, Addiction, Mania (1993),Stupidity (2001), The Test Drive (2005), and recently, in 2007, The Über Reader(ed. Diane Davis).
Avital Ronell with Judith Butler 
Avital Ronell's oeuvre is informed and facilitated by a wide range of (post) philosophers – including, for example, Jacques Derrida, Friedrich Nietzsche,Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jean-Luc Nancy – but when it comes down to it, as Eduardo Cadava observes, 'Ronell's work remains absolutely different.' From her first book, Dictations, through her latest one, Stupidity, Avital Ronell calls the established questions into question, zooming in on whatever 'withdraws from immediate promises of transparency or meaning' and/or tracking what she calls the 'rhetorical unconscious of a text' ('Confessions' 249). A hybrid of high theory and street talk, Avital Ronell's texts are remarkable both for what they say and for the extraordinary way in which they say it.
In her first book, Dictations, Avital Ronell tells us that she 'has never entertained any illusions concerning the objective nature of scholarship, no matter how tedious or dusty it can appear to be.' Each of her works goes after a seemingly recognizable and knowable signifier (Goethe, the telephone, the drug addict, the television, the test, the greeting, stupidity, etc.) but then tracks it so closely that it quickly becomes unrecognizable, exceeding its object-status, overflowing itself as a concept. Explicitly breaking with scholarly tradition, a tradition that values mastery and certitude, Avital Ronell engages her 'object' of study at the level of its finitude, of its radical singularity. In Stupidity, for example, Avital Ronell begins with the concept of stupidity, tracking it through poets and novelists and philosophers and literary/critical theorists, and pre-schoolers – but the closer she gets to it, each time, the more it exceeds itself as a concept. The closer she brings us to it, the more unknowable it appears.
One of stupidity's many guises, Avital Ronell says several times, is the claim to absolute Knowledge or Intelligence. And it is in this context that one should read Avital Ronell's determination to remain open, exposed to stupidity's inscriptions and operations, to refrain from closing off or closing in on stupidity in order to pretend to 'get' it or to represent it accurately. Avital Ronell presents herself as somewhat 'stupid' about stupidity throughout the book, and this is not only exceptionally courageous in academia, it is also a significant ethico-political move. 'If stupidity were that simple,' if it were that comprehensible, that intelligible – 'if stupidity were that stupid,' as Avital Ronell puts it – 'it would not have traded depths for the pits and acted as such a terror for Roland Barthes or Robert Musil or pre-schoolers' (10). So Avital Ronell sticks with stupidity, tracks and traces it, opens to it, re/discovering in each (missed) encounter with it a fundamental inability to know it completely or objectively, and therefore a fundamental inability to represent it.
It would be a mistake, however, to assume that there is no imperative to understand in Avital Ronell's work; clearly, her work is driven by that imperative. What goes by the name 'understanding' gets a radical update in her work inasmuch as she determines not to wipe out (objectify) the 'object' of this 'understanding' in the very rush to pin it down and define it. The link that academia posits and propagates between rigor and certitude (the former leading to the latter) gets busted in Avital Ronell's works, which are rigorous interruptions of certitude. As she notes in an interview in JAC, she approaches her 'object' of inquiry not as a police officer going after a suspect but in detective mode, turning in her badge and assuming a different rapport with the truth, one that involves breaking with standard (academic) procedure in order to remain attuned to finite singularity, in order to refrain from infinitizing finitude (as she put it in Finitude's Score).
Another striking aspect of Avital Ronell's work is its attentiveness to the materiality of language – that is, to the sound, shape, size, beat or rhythm, etc. of the words themselves. The Telephone BookCrack Wars, and Stupidity all explicitly call our attention to the texture of the text, to the fact that language is a material that cannot not interrupt, suspend, resist, exceed, and otherwise trip up the very message it is charged to deliver. Words inevitably go AWOL, bagging their referential duty and going off on their own, connecting not to the idea they are supposed to represent but to other words – and making all kinds of 'noise' while at it. Avital Ronell affirms this noise, amplifies it, and asks us in The Telephone Book to learn to hear it by learning to read with our ears. If a foundational approach to language acknowledges that the word negates the actual 'thing' in order to bring an operational concept into being (which implies a triumph for the subject over the 'world,' or for 'meaning' over 'chaos'), Avital Ronell's nonfoundational approach embraces a language that goes on to obliterate the concept, too, by ignoring and/or exceeding it, sparking a proliferation of meaning in discourse.
Inasmuch as it showcases language's double negation, this textual performance amounts to a destructive affirmation – or an affirmation of destruction. And yet, Avital Ronell's work steers clear of 'undeveloped pronouncements of nihilism,' for in Stupidity she reminds her readers of the 'Heideggerian distinction between destruction and devastation.' 'Destruction,' she says, 'involves the force of a critical clearing and does not imply the shell-shock stoppage of devastation' (122). In the opening pages of Finitude's Score, she more thoroughly sketches out this distinction: whereas devastation 'has to do with a fundamental shutdown,' a 'pathological' drive toward 'a telic finality or fulfillment or the accomplishment, once and for all, of a Goal,' destruction, Avital Ronell says, is 'a decisive doing away with that which, already destroyed, is destructive in its continuance. To the extent that it is possible only on the basis of a new and more radical affirmation, destruction, moreover, has pledged itself to the future' (Finitude's Score xiii).
Avital Ronell's work is relentlessly destructive, relentlessly turned toward futurity, and it throws its disorienting smack in the name of what she calls 'responsible responsiveness.' Whatever the topic at hand, Avital Ronell's overarching concern is with an 'ethics of decision' for this postfoundational era – an era in which all the transcendental navigation systems are down: 'To the extent that one may no longer be simply guided – by Truth, by light or logos – decisions have to be made.' It is only in certitude's interruption that meaning's inappropriability is exposed; and it is only in that exposure that an ethics of decision becomes available: as Avital Ronell reminds us, 'no decision is strictly possible without the experience of the undecidable' (Crack Wars 58).
Information & photo source: Avital Ronell biography from The European Graduate School.

What is Homonormativity?

Before we can talk about homonormativity, we have to talk about heteronormativity. Simply put, heteronormativity assumes that every person is straight. Not just that they are straight, but their behavior and sexual orientation are in line with their gender which is in line with their genitalia (penis = male = acts masculine/likes women). Homonormativity applies those same theories to the gay community. In their article, "Questioning Homonormativity," Rick Braatz describes, "Our culture, I think, has to pin things down. They have to sort of define it and fix it in heteronormative terms." Homonormativity is not the same as heteronormativity in the sense that it does not assume that every person is gay; rather, it assumes that queer people want to be just like heteronormative people. Furthermore, it rewards the gay guys who "[mimic] heteronormative standards" (Flores).

HOMONORMATIVITY: "A politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions, but upholds and sustains them, while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and a privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption" (Duggan 2003)