Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Some while back during quite a prolific writing phase I started to post on blogger about my research and experiences regarding Gender. Specifically focused around my own lived experience as a recently out trans gender person, and also drawing on my background in scientific physiology and health care. The blog was called, funnily enough "stubbornly optimistic" and was in many ways the pre cursor to this website. I thought it might be useful to catalogue those historical musings here for any of you that may be interested, since we now have the up coming gender 2020 series on the podcast, and also as an exercise in revisiting my own thoughts on some of this stuff a few years down the line. So to start there is a three part series on "that trans thing" which looks at the gender and trans gender phenomenon from three distinct angles. Socialogical, Anthropological and Physiological. You can find those at the links below:
Part 1 That trans thing
Part 2 Physiological and psychological
Part 3 Sociological & Legal Alied to this mini series I also wrote as a two part-er entitled "sex gender and logic' looking at the definition of "sex" & "Gender" and the interplay between those two terms. Those can be found @:
Sex Gender and logic Part 2 Theres are also a few stand alone editorial type comments on topical items in the press from woman hour host Dame Jenny Murray, and Author Faye Weldon. I replied with comment on the poor phenomenology or the term "real", allied with a redress on the idea that trans gender people are some how frivolous in their choice to act upon transition. You can find those here. for the Dame Jenny one and here for Fay Wheldon. Around this time I also became aware of the echo chamber effect. That is to say that some (not all) in the trans gender community are very dismissive of those who disagree and often cry "discrimination" when in fact its merely disagreement. Some of these people invariably rise to the top of the activist pile, and as a result we do occasionally get poor results in terms of engagement with the wider cis gender population. For most of my adult life I have existed in a world of academic endeavour. Initially scientific, then healthcare and and latterly teaching. All of these arena have two things in common. Firstly Ethical dilemma, and Secondly Disagreement and discourse. I grew up watching the Christmas lectures of Dr Richard Dawkins, based on his "selfish gene" book, and as a result I am uncomfortable with over zealous censorship of idea's. A growing love of philosophy around this time and (although I didn't then know it) reference to Stoic principles engendered in me a love of divergent opinion and so I also penned the article below entitled "it's ok to disagree with the trans thing" You can find that here
Following on from that, when I got into the youtube thing I created this video about the differences in being perceived differently by people pre and post social transition. Talking about youtube.. if you're into researching the trans gender thing further there are some early videos of me creating these thought paths on the "Sarah chronicles" Be warned they are not the best productions! you can find those here
My influences to date in writing all of the above bear mention at this point. It all started with Dr John Corivino - and this video. I literally stumbled across it one afternoon, and instantly I fell in love with the way Dr Corivino approached the arguments against homosexuality and that he took this approach out into the world of the detractor.
In my opinion we need more of that and substantially less pitch forks and echo chamber stuff in the trans world.
That video of Dr Corivino's lead me to Nigel Warburton's book - "the basics of philosophy: Which by the way I have serialised my thoughts on and will ink them into a another blog on here so look out for that. Latterly in addition to the two mentioned above, the influences on my thinking have been derived from teachings of, or conversations with: Dr Wayne Dyer, Jay Shetty Phill Roberts, Seth Godin, Tim Ferris, Alyx Baily, Tony Robins, Sam Madden, Polly Brennan, Richard Jefferson, Michelle & Kieran Rose, John Stuart Mill, Kant, Plato, Seneca, and my favourite, the old athenian beggar Socrates. Some of those names I suspect will mean nothing to you, the casual reader, but I include them none the less, since I owe a vote of thanks to all these people past and present be they teachers, friends, colleagues or all three. We are after all the sum of the five people we choose to most associate ourselves with, so to discount our friends as a major influence and source of learning would be disingenuous. As a final thought for this blog, you may wish to check out the article "who's gender is it any way?" as a reminder that some conversations between humans are non verbal and really, we each partake of the conversation, but none of us truly own it, as it will inevitably outlive everyone of us. A fact I point out again in the article "Categorical thinking and a 3000 year old question"
As ever Guys, Girls, Gamers and Goblins, may your dice roll well and your shots never miss, plus of course don't forget: "change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change" laters!