Production of Gender: A Study on Performativity in Female-To-Male Transsexuals
Keywords:Body, Gender, FTM, Transsexuals
Gender identity is critical to every individual; it is self-defined and yet affected by culture and society at large. Gender identities are formed through public and private spaces. Of the two traditions of thinking (essentialist and constructionist) about sex and gender, constructionist formulations are based on performance theory. It believes that sex and gender are viewed as not residing in the individual but are found in “those interactions that are socially constructed as gendered as opposed to essentialist tradition. Within performative theory, gender is a process rather than something naturally possessed. This study explores the process of formation of gender or social role in female-to-male (FTM) transsexual. It will do so by exploring the factors that add to the formation of a gender role as seen through sartorial style, mannerisms, body language, and other aspects that influence one’s presentation of self. It includes the process of construction of FTM transsexual’s corporeality through performative attributes in order to approximate masculinity and come in accord with the social role of a man. The themes that are discussed in the analysis emerged after a careful reading of FTM autobiographical narratives. The instances are extracted from FTM autobiographical narratives; Becoming a Visible Man, The Testosterone Files, Both Sides now and the publication of these narratives range from 2005-2006.
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