From our class assignment, October 19, 2010.
On Anne Waldman's "Feminafesto":
"I understand Waldman's frustration with the male population. However, I do not agree with her proposal of a trans literature. I have to argue that, as a huge advocate for gender neutrality, I understand that males and females have different experiences in the world. I understand that men and women should not have separate experiences*, I'm all for that- but we biologically have different experiences because of the difference between a womb and a phallus.
Also, a 'trans literature'- despite it's name- seems to be excluding transgender/sexual people. The experience of a trans person, whether MTF or FTM, is different from that of someone who is born biologically male or female. Even if someone never transitioned or came of age without having the understanding of why they did not feel comfortable in their own body, their experience would still be different and should not be discounted because they are technically a 'man' or technically a 'woman.' Biology does not determine gender, and Waldman seems to write as though sex and gender are synonymous.
We also cannot discredit the experiences of males. Male writers, whose experiences are different from those of female writers regardless of their gender identity, have the right to those experiences and should not pay for what other male authors have done in the past."
*Your choice of gender identity does make a difference in your life experience. What I am trying to say, and I think what Waldman may be trying to say as well, is that it should not affect how you are treated (evaluated?) in the literary world and otherwise.
"Feminafesto." Waldman, Anne. 1994. Print. Penguin Books.