Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Body Social

I feel that others (being a woman) view the body as something that traps the body. The body restricts how one wants to express herself or himself based on outward appearance. As a woman, I may feel safe walking home at night, but physically (my size, physical strength, and the fact I have breasts) I am in danger. The social reality at times can overwhelm the all other possibilities. At the same time, the body is a space of reclamation. I was born with a vagina, breasts, female-gendered but I do not have to accept the labels others put on me. I can use my body to reclaim my identity and combine my mental perception of myself with my physical body. In our readings, transsexuals, transgender people, and hermaphrodites appear to conceptualize the body as an entity that they need to reclaim and mark as their own. They appear tired of having other place labels on them. To reclaim their body is to create a safe space. One will always have their body. It's not exactly something we can just get rid of, so to make the body a safe space is to have a portable safe space. The body is full of contradictions, but ultimately it's important to feel comfortable in one's skin no matter how much a person chooses to alter it.

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