Kate Bornstein Changing Cultural Attitudes About Gender

1192 words - 5 pages

Courage is not simply about how well you deal with fear, how many noble deeds you accomplish, or how you overcome life threatening situations. Courage is the practice of determination and perseverance. Something like, an unwillingness to abandon a dream even when the pressures of society weigh down on your shoulders; society will make you feel tired, humiliated, broken, and confused. Actually, it can be effortlessly said that daily courage is more significant than bouts of great deeds. Since everybody undergoes demanding circumstances on a daily basis, and most of us will not be called to perform a great deed, courage comes from those daily struggles and successes. However, Kate Bornstein is one person who has been able to transform her everyday life into a brilliant deed of courage. She threw herself into an unknown abyss to discover truth that many others would never dare tread. Ingeniously combining criticism of socially defined boundaries, an intense sense of language, and a candid autobiography, Bornstein is able to change cultural attitudes about gender, insisting that it is a social construct rather than a regular occurrence, through here courageous writing.

So why call Bornstein’s writing courageous? People need an interruption from the conventional way of rationalizing life. Bornstein does a remarkable job presenting thought-provoking questions to a society of people who have never examined what it truly means to be a woman or a man in this culture. “One fascinating point stood out as relevant to both gender and group dynamics, providing a link between the two: compliance within a group is set by the naming of good and bad behavior; the former is laudable, the latter is punishable. Either/ or is used as a control mechanism, as in, either you live up to our high standards here in the club, or you’re membership will be revoked.” Bornstein is daring enough to equate the gender system to a club; she even goes as far as establishing the idea of gender being analogous to a cult. She pounds in the concept that the reason why our culture has difficulties with the thought of transgendered people is not for the mere fact that transgendered actions are not normal, it is because they are breaking the rules of the cult. Obviously, the rest of society does not want to be compared to a brainwashing cult. So when Bornstein constructs such unique statements, it grabs attention from the unsuspecting. With her courageous writing, she is able to liberate many from the standard way of analyzing problems.

We crave common social experiences. We appreciate certain accounts when they are genuine, specific, human accomplished and flawed in their ambition toward flawlessness. Bornstein understands the importance of authenticity in courageous writing. “People ask me what it was like to have had that kind of privilege, what it was like to lose it, why in the world did I give it up. To have it was like taking drugs; to get rid of it was like kicking a habit. I...

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