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“My Son Looks like a Girl. So What?” by Catherine Newman Essay (Critical Writing)


Overview

This paper shall focus on the article titled, ‘My Son Looks like a Girl. So What?’ (Newman, 2012). Catherine Newman, a blogger who talks about several issues, wrote this article. One of the main topics that Newman focuses is on sexuality.

This is because, as the world is experiencing drastic changes in terms of technological advancement, social interaction, and religion, it is essential to note that the manner in which we perceive sex and sexuality is changing too.

Since time immemorial, it has always been normal before the eyes of the society for a man and a woman to have an intimate relationship. For this act to be accepted by religion and society, marriage between a man and a woman has always been advocated for, treasured, and cherished.

However, over the last few centuries, sexual relationships between individuals of the same gender have emerged. During the early days, prostitution and homosexuality were considered as a sexual problems within the society.

Despite the fact that several nations have currently passed legislations that advocate for same sex marriage, homosexuals (gays and lesbians) have always been viewed as sexual problems in many communities around the world.

Having this in mind, the article written by Catherine Newman shines a new light into the continuing debate on human sexuality and sexual problems.

In the article, Newman states that her 12-year-old son looks like a girl. He has long hair that stretches straight to his back of which the lower half is pink in color. The boy does not feel offended when he is referred to as a girl.

In fact, he likes it. Towards the end, Newman states that she has no problem whether her son turns out straight or gay. Additionally, she states that homosexuality was not common 50 or so years ago.

Therefore, The legislations that have been put forward in favor of homosexuality might be result to the act being regarded as a norm within the society.

According to Newman (2012), the legalization of gay marriages does not mean that there will be more gay and lesbian marriages within the United States or any other country where the legislations have been enacted but it means that people will approve of gay and marriages as a norm within the society.

Argument Presented by the Author

In her article, Newman (2012) has presented a strong argument that directly relates to the view of the society towards homosexuals. As it has been stated, it has been the norm within the society that sexual relationship and attraction is supposed to be between individuals who are of different sex; in that case, a man and a woman.

However, there are constrains within the society. As Newman tried to point out in terms of sexuality, there are always deviations within the norm (Newman, 2012).

Homosexuality has always been present in almost all the societies that are present in the world. However, due to the norms and beliefs that people have, homosexual have always been disregarded within the society.

It is due to this fact that Newman (2012) decided to use her own son as an example. In the article, Newman (2012) states that her son is only 12 years old. At this age, the boy has already started to show feminine signs.

For instance, he has a long hair of which the bottom half is pink. The boy is also not offended by the fact that he gets compliments as a girl. Here, Newman (2012) tries to bring out the fact that homosexuals have no problems with themselves or their sexual orientation.

It is the society that disregards them. It is the society that looks at homosexuals as individuals who are less than heterosexuals are. Due to the fact that the society has failed to accept this, several problems have cropped out.

One of the main problems is acceptance. The society has failed to accept that homosexuals, just like heterosexuals can get married and live a normal life.

For the last several decades, homosexuals have gained much public attention. It is perhaps due to this fact that several states in the world have passed laws and legislations that advocate for gay marriages.

From this standpoint, Newman (2012) is glad that the Obama administration has advocated for gay marriages.

This might increase the awareness of gays and lesbians and may perhaps lead to their acceptance within the society in the long run as equals of heterosexuals.

Concepts and Theories Presented in the Article

The queer theory of butch and femme has been clearly represented in this article (Eves, 2004). In the paper, Newman (2012) describes her son with femme characteristics. These are feminine characteristics.

However, they are found in a male individual. Thus according to the study conducted by Kinsman (2003), this is a clear instance where a feminine soul has been trapped in a soul has been trapped in a masculine body.

From the many studies that have been carried out concerning homosexuality, the study group itself (gays and lesbians) has not always been actively included (Eves, 2004). In the article presented by Newman (2004), neither the attitude nor perception of Newmans son has been included.

Towards, the end, the author states that she has no problem on whether the boy shall turn out to be gay or straight. It is at this point that many homosexuals find it coming out to the public and declaring their true sexual orientation.

Most of them fight with the secret for many years before actually coming out to the public.

On the other hand, the gays and lesbians have found it hard to openly declare their sexuality due to the response that they get from the community (Shelley, 2010). A concept that can be used to clearly explain this issue is the definition of sexual identity (Ahmed, 2006).

At this standpoint, it is essential to determine who defined the term, whom is it addressing, what impacts does this have on the defined (Kinsman, 2003). Historically and socially, the definition of sexual identity came about as a biological need to increase the human population.

Thus, it has always been considered normal for a man to be in an intimate relationship with a woman (Butler, 2004). On this standpoint, those individuals who have erotic relationships with same sex individuals have always been considered as perverts.

Additionally, the same individuals who defined this term are legislators, law enforcers, and media operators. This has given homosexuality a negative image until several decades ago when they started to gain public recognition.

All this understanding has come about from the understanding of the concepts and theories that have been covered in the course so far. No silences have been left out in Newmans article. Thus, the article cannot be selected against the grain.

References

Ahmed, S. (2006). Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others, London: Duke Press.

Butler, J. (2004). Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge.

Eves, A. (2004). Queer Theory, Butch/Femme Identities and Lesbian Space. Sexualities, 7(4), 480-496.

Kinsman, G. (2003). Constructing Sexual Problems: These things may lead to the Tragedy of Our Species. in Les Samuelson and Wayne Anthony (eds.) Power and Resistance: Critical Thinking about Canadian Social Issues (pp. 85-119). Halifax: Fernwood.

Newman, C. (May, 2012). My Son Looks like a Girl. So What? [Press Release].

Shelley, C. (2010). Introduction: Transpeople and the Problem of Re/Action. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

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IvyPanda. (2019, December 9). "My Son Looks like a Girl. So What?" by Catherine Newman. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/sexuality-2/

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""My Son Looks like a Girl. So What?" by Catherine Newman." IvyPanda, 9 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/sexuality-2/.

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IvyPanda. ""My Son Looks like a Girl. So What?" by Catherine Newman." December 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sexuality-2/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. ""My Son Looks like a Girl. So What?" by Catherine Newman." December 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sexuality-2/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) '"My Son Looks like a Girl. So What?" by Catherine Newman'. 9 December.

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