Alexa Wejko

  • Post one quotation from each of your source materials (The Selfish Gene and one of your choice). One quotation should either challenge or lead to a deeper understanding of the other–analyze the connection in 3-5 sentences.

    • In the selfish gene, Dawkins believes that altruism and compassion are actually selfish traits. We exhibit these traits to preserve our species, community, and to carry on our existence. In “The Selfish Gene” Dawkins stated “living creatures evolve to do things ‘for the good of the species’ or ‘for the good of the group” (Darwin 7). In the Evolution of Compassion, the author goes deeper into Dawkins belief and explains why groups hate each other. He categorizes human interactions into two groups, zero sum and non zero sum. Using these two, he explains that compassion is only limited to our understanding of others. His idea of the moral imagination, looking through the point of view of others, is the main reason why people fight. He uses examples such as an Iranian flag burner and an American citizen to emphasize this. Both groups hate each other because they disrespect the other. In many ways, each side is very similar to one another and both of them would have stopped their bickering had they taken the time to understand the reasons for their actions. At the end of the paragraph, the author had stated, “I think it’s worth the trouble because, again, it just helps us to understand. If you want to reduce the number of people who are burning flags, it helps to understand what makes them do it.”

    • In the reading “The Selfish Gene”, Richard Dawkins says that “our genes may instruct us to be selfish, but we are not necessarily compelled to obey them all over lives”. If we were to obey all the selfish instructions put forward by our genes, we know that it will be dangerous to ourselves and finally to our genes. This is when organisms develop altruistic behavior so that it serves its own species or it is good for the group as a whole. But Dawkins further develops this idea by saying that ,in reality it is risking its own life. Dawkins puts forward the example of the bird drawing attention to itself from a hawk for the good of its group to describe the act of altruism. And in the tedtalk “The evolution of Species”, Robert Wright adds on this idea of being selfish by using the concept of Golden rule and says that we cannot be altruistic always. He says that “although an appreciation of golden rule is natural,its also natural to carve out exceptions of those golden rule” So like in the example, we don’t put forward the golden rule to our rivals or our enemies. Therefore anything that is instructed by or genes is not obeyed all the times, but only in times that serves a purpose for ourselves.

    • “Human suffering has been caused because too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use. The mere presence in the dictionary of a word like ‘living’ does not mean it necessarily has to refer to something definite in the real world.”
      ― Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
      “I mean, for example, none of us, probably, want to go to prison, but we all think that there are some people who should go to prison. Right? So, we think we should treat them differently than we would want to be treated. Now, we have a rationale for that. We say they did these bad things that make it just that they should go to prison.”
      -Robert Wright, Ted Talk
      We were all created equally, all for the same reason. We were created to live life, fulfill a goal. We are here to make something of ourselves. Some will succeed, others will fail. We decide our future, and it is us who will make it happen.

    • In the reading “The Evolution of Compassion”, Robert Wright says that “And the basic idea of kin selection is that, if an animal feels compassion for a close relative, and this compassion leads the animal to help the relative, then , in the end, the compassion actually winds up helping the genes underlying the compassion itself.” “So from a biologist’s point of view, compassion is actually a gene’s way of helping itself.” (Wright 2) This idea is reinforced in the reading “The Selfish Gene”, Richard Dawkins says that “Laying down one’s life for one’s friend is obviously altruistic, but so also is taking a slight risk for them.” “Many small birds, when they see a flying predator such as a hawk, give a characteristic of “alarm call” upon which the whole flock takes appropriate evasive action.” “There is indirect evidence that the bird who gives the alarm call puts itself in special danger, because it attracts the predator’s attention particularly to itself.” “This is only a slight additional risk, but it nevertheless seems, at least at first sight, to qualify as an altruistic act by our definition.” (Dawkins 6) Richard Dawkins also reinforces the second part of Robert Wright’s statement that “compassion actually winds up helping the genes underlying the compassion itself.” According to Richard Dawkins, “To put population within a species, whose individual members are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the welfare of the group, may be less likely to go extinct than a rival group whose individual members place their own selfish interests first.” “Therefore the world becomes populated mainly by groups consisting of self-sacrificing individuals.” (Dawkins 7) Both readings reinforce the idea that showing altruistic behavior is good for the most part. It is human nature to show compassion for your loved ones and sometimes that compassion has a positive effect. The self-sacrificing individuals actually help the underlying genes because by sacrificing themselves they help their kin live on and continue the advancement of their genes. Both readings agree that if organisms were selfish all the time and looked out for only themselves they would be putting themselves in harm’s way.

    • In the selfish gene, Richard Dawkins stated, “We are survival machines-robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment”. His explanations of the role a ‘gene’ plays in reproduction and especially future evolution may not have profound repercussions on the operations of those who would ‘control’ animals, minerals and people for their own selfish gains. But Dawkins’ explanations ought to point thinking folks toward reality that no supernatural man or ghost is going to dissolve our difficulties in this life or take off grievances by promising a sweeter life after death. In the other hand Robert Wright (Tedtalk) stated that we were all created equally, all for the same reason. We were created to live life, fulfill a goal. We are here to make something of ourselves. We decide our future, and it is us who will make it happen. His statement gives us a better understanding about ourselves. It is only us who have the right to make decisions not the genes that we have inside our bodies.

    • In the “Selfish Gene” Richard Dawkins says, ” An apparently altruistic act is one that looks, superficially, as if it must tend to make the altruistic more likely to die, and the recipient more likely to survive. It often turns out on closer inspection that acts of apparent altruism are really selfishness in disguise.” In the Ted Talk Robert Wright says “And the basic idea of kin selection is that, if an animal feels compassion for a close relative, and this compassion leads the animal to help the relative, then, in the end, the compassion actually winds up helping the genes underlying the compassion itself.”
      These two quotes are related in many ways and led me to a deeper understanding of the fact that no act of kindness is completely selfless. They both are saying that even though you are doing something good for someone else, the reality is that the action is helping yourself and you gain some sort of benefit from it.

    • “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins: excerpt
      -“Therefore we must expect that when we go and look at the behaviour of baboons, humans, and all other living creatures, we shall find it to be selfish. If we find that our expectation is wrong, if we observe that human behaviour is truly altruistic, then we shall be faced with something puzzling, something that needs explaining” (Dawkins 4).
      “The Evolution of Compassion” by Robert Wright: excerpt
      -“So, from a biologist’s point of view, compassion is actually a gene’s way of helping itself. OK” (Wright).
      *Dawkins implies that living creatures are not ‘truly altruistic’ in the above excerpt of his work. Dawkins consequently implies at this point in his work that while all living creatures are altruistic, the altruism is a selfish kind of behavior. Wright states that “compassion is actually a gene’s way of helping itself” in the above excerpt of his work, and this is very much connected to what Wright is speaking about. Wright implies that the compassionate actions of living creatures are selfishly motivated, the selfish motivation being one’s ‘genetics’ trying to further its own prosperity. The sort of compassion that Wright is speaking about is the ‘altruism’ Dawkins reflects on.

    • In “The Selfish Gene” Richard Dawkins states that “Our genes may instruct us to be selfish, but we are not necessarily compelled to obey them all our lives”. In Robert Wrights Ted Talk “The Evolution of Compassion” Wright states “And the basic idea of kin selection is that, if an animal feels compassion for a close relative, and this compassion leads the animal to help the relative, then in the end, the compassion winds up helping the genes underlying the compassion itself. So from a biologists point of view, compassion is actually a genes way of helping itself.”(Wright, 1:59) Richard Dawkins quote challenges Robert Wrights quote because it states that even if compassion is a genes way of helping itself it doesn’t have to be that way. It makes me question if people can make altruistic and selfless decisions without wanting anything in return. Dawkins states that regardless of this gene people do not have to feel obliged to listen to them all the time.

    • In The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins states “I shall argue that a predominant quality to be expected in a successful gene is ruthless selfishness.” (Dawkins 2) However in Robert Wright’s TED Talk The Evolution of Compassion he states “I think it’s probably the case that, in the human evolutionary lineage, even before there were homo sapiens, feelings like compassion and love and sympathy had earned their way into the gene pool, and biologists have a pretty clear idea of how this first happened.” (Wright 1:30) These two statements are contradictory because Dawkins believes that even the earliest genes had to be selfish in order to survive. They had to compete with all other genes in order to survive. Wright on the other hand believes that the earliest genes had compassion for others that were similar to them. As a result of this some genes actually aided each other in various ways.

    • In the “The Selfish Gene”, Dawkins says, “Therefore we must expect that when we go and look at the behaviour of baboons, humans, and all other living creatures, we shall find it to be selfish. If we find that our expectation is wrong, if we observe that human behaviour is truly altruistic, then we shall be faced with something puzzling, something that needs explaining.” (Dawkins 4) In Wright’s Ted Talk he says, “And there, the basic idea is that compassion leads you to do good things for people who then will return the favor. Again, I know this is not as inspiring a notion of compassion as you may have heard in the past, but from a biologist’s point of view, this reciprocal altruism kind of compassion is ultimately self-serving too.” (Wright 3:05) These two statements lead to a deeper understanding of each other because Dawkins is implying that we are expected to be truly altruistic but that is not the case in living creatures. Wright says the same thing but in a different way because we are being compassionate towards one another but that’s for a selfish reason also. Whether we do something that is expected from us or because we are innately compassionate, it all comes down to us being self-serving according to both authors.

    • In Wright’s ted talk it states “…came along later in evolution, a second kind of evolutionary logic. Biologists call that “reciprocal altruism.” OK. And there, the basic idea is that compassion leads you to do good things for people who then will return the favor”. This quote talk about human nature and the fact that because we have the gene of wanting something in return it puts us in an circle of illusions of goodness. This means that good deeds will flourish because all humans are dependent on the idea that we will receive something in return for our act(self-interest). This quote can lead to a deeper understanding of the quote “to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good you can expect little help form biological nature”(Dawkins,3). Both of these quotes relate to each other because they explain that we are selfish because of our genes and there is nothing we can do about it . It also reflects on the idea that even if we do feel as if we are being moral we are not everything is done for a selfish reason(money, fame ,to bring up reputation ,
      etc.)

    • In “The Selfish Gene”, Dawkins thesis is constantly repeated throughout the chapters. His main idea revolves around a strong statement he says in the book, “Our genes may instruct us to be selfish, but we are not necessarily compelled to obey them all our lives.” Although throughout the reading, he constantly stresses that we all have the selfish gene instilled in us, however it doesn’t mean that we follow this all the time. Robert Wright goes about to challenge this yet some how support this statement by saying in his ted talk, “The Evolution of Compassion”, “… if you want to be treated well, you treat other people well. And it’s good to treat other people well. That’s close to being a kind of built-in intuition.” These two statements talk about the common ground of altruism. Although Dawkins states that is something that is part of our gene, but Wright goes to say that it isn’t something we commonly choose to follow just because it is part our gene.

    • There is a pessimistic viewpoint on the biology of all living beings between Robert Wright in his TED talk and Richard Dawkin in “The Selfish Gene.” There is an underlying reason for almost every action we commit regardless if it beneficial or not to others, it is in its core a selfish act. To do a real selfless act would mean to do something that has no benefit to you whatsoever. Most decent acts between living things just do not fit the qualifications as there will end up always seeming to be a selfish undertone. Even at first glance there are acts that will appear to be selfless but turn out to be selfish in the more massive scope of things such as when Dawkin refers to parents and their young “The commonest and most conspicuous acts of animal altruism are done by parents, especially mothers, towards their children. They may incubate them, either in nests or in their own bodies, feed them at enormous cost to themselves, and take great risks in protecting them from predators” (Dawkins 6). The parents act is a selfless act from the thought that the kids might not benefit them much in any way but from a biological standpoint they serve to spread their parents genetics which is the goal of reproduction which is why the parents take so much care for their young even if they do not really know it. For humans on a personal level of doing good things it is practically impossible to not be doing something selfish, selfishness in nature does not have to be intentional, it is just how we are made up to be. It ends up for everyone that being good to one another benefits us in the long run just as how “Robert Wright points out Now, there’s more good news that came along later in evolution, a second kind of evolutionary logic. Biologists call that “reciprocal altruism.” OK. And there, the basic idea is that compassion leads you to do good things for people who then will return the favor” (Wright TED talk).

    • In the”Selfish Gene”, Darwin mentions that the commonest and most conspicuous acts of animal alruism are done by parents, especially mothers,toward their children.
      In Robert Wright’s ted talk, he also mentions about this kind of close relationship. He says,” It happened through a principle known as kin selection. And the basic idea of kin selection is that, if an animal feels compassion for a close relative, and this compassion leads the animal to help the relative, then, in the end, the compassion actually winds up helping the genes underlying the compassion itself. So, from a biologist’s point of view, compassion is actually a gene’s way of helping itself.”
      Both of them talk about the connection between kinship and altruism. However, Robert Wright argues that the kind of altruism shown in the kinship is also one kind of selfish.It is just the way gene helps itself.

  • Post one quotation from each of your source materials (The Selfish Gene and one of your choice). One quotation should either challenge or lead to a deeper understanding of the other–analyze the connection in 3-5 sentences.

    • From “The Selfish Gene,” I choose to utilize a passage. It follows “I shall argue that a predominant quality to be expected in a successful gene is ruthless selfishness (Dawkins, pg.2).” From “Robert Wright: The evolution of compassion,” I picked a passage a well in which the author discusses a principle called kin selection. It follows “And the basic idea of kin selection is that, if an animal feels compassion for a close relative, and this compassion leads the animal to help the relative, then, in the end, the compassion actually winds up helping the genes underlying the compassion itself (Wright,pg.2).” I choose the two because both challenge the other perfectly. While one proclaims that most passed down genes are selfish, the other explains that enough compassionate action will have an effect in the gene pool. It could lead to interesting interpretation, such as, can enough compassionate action override even the most selfish desires in an animal? Also, Wright mentions that this kin selection applies to family and not in a universal understanding of compassion, which can actually support the opinions of Dawkins about selfish behavior.

    • “Unfortunately, however much we may deplore something, it does not stop being true (Dawkins, page 3).” This quote helped me further understand Jeffery Yang’s Poem “Manatee” and further analyze the meaning of “homosapiens (are Manatees) only natural predators yet they welcome us with open limbs. O Great Ancestors! Teach us how to love our enemies.” I interpreted from these two quotes that humans are inherently selfish and do things that people recognize as wrong, i.e. pollution, killing harmless animals ,war etc. but do nothing to stop. People talk about how all of these things that are caused by humans are bad but nothing is done by humanity as a whole to stop these actions. These actions show that humans can be as selfish as Dawkins writes.

    • The quotations I chose from Robert Wright’s The Evolution of Compassion and Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene, respectively, were “From a biologist’s point of view, compassion is actually a gene’s way of helping itself.” (Wright 1) and “An apparently altruistic act is one that looks, superficially, as if it must tend to make the altruist more likely (however slightly) to die, and the recipient more likely to survive. It often turns out on closer inspection that acts of apparent altruism are really selfish in disguise.” (Dawkins 4.) Dawkin’s quote leads to a greater understanding of Wright as it qualifies that the gene acts in a way that is beneficial to itself. An act may seem to only lead to a negative outcome but, it may actually benefit the gene. This means that acts that we perform that are meant to provide aid may actually benefit us. There may be no act that is truly selfless since there is always something to gain.

    • According to The Selfish Gene, Dawkins says that “I shall argue that a predominant quality to be expected in a successful gene is ruthless selfishness.” And this challenges the concept of what Robert Wright says in his speech, “From a biologist’s point of view, compassion is actually a gene’s way of helping itself.” Dawkins’s sentence reveals that in order to survive, we need to be strong enough to conquer other species and this is one of the basic idea of natural selection. Robert Wright attempt to demonstrate that our compassionate behavior can result in win-win between each other. As we help other or do a favour for other, we can actually benefit ourselves. For example, rhinoceros birds eat parasites on rhinoceros, and rhinoceros prove protection for these birds.

    • The two quotes that I have selected are “Be warned, that if you wish as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little from biological nature” (Dawkins 3) and from my own paper, “The fact that my parents risked everything for my sister and I taught me a huge lesson in which I base my lifestyle off of now; take care of those you love regardless of the risks you have to take” (Burt 1). These two quotes conflict majorly. In one instance, Dawkins states how there is no such thing as true altruism between human beings and all acts are committed for the sole purpose of benefiting oneself. In my personal experience, I viewed my parents commit the act of true altruism, they risked their own lives to preserve mine. There is a strict confliction between these two quotes in that they’re saying completely different things.

    • I am also using Giorgoss’ quote, however, I disagree with his interpretation. I think we can all agree that humans are animals, I wouldn’t say that I had a natural compassion for close relatives but I would say that I have a tolerance. I may help them out expecting them to think better of me or to remain on good terms but wouldn’t that make the motion to help them no longer compassion and no longer selflessness. True Altruism is dead in this generation, almost no one does anything for nothing.

      • Well… I never said that all animals have a natural compassion. I stated if there is enough compassionate action, then there could be a change in the gene pool of a family. With that being said, it’s up to individuals today to determine their actions as everyone is different. Some can be selfish, others completely selfless. Still, interesting point of view you have there.

    • In the “selfish gene” by Richard Dawkins, he claims that if you look at the way natural works, it seems to follow that anything that has evolved by natural selection should be selfish. (Dawkins 4) In other words, it means people need to think more about themselves, in their shoes, the altruistic people can not live well in the world, they are sifted out by the natural selection . This sentence leads to a deeper understanding of what Robert Wright says that compassion leads you to do good things for people who then will return the favor. (Wright 3:05) Wright best explains that no the people do good things for others is altruistic. they do that because they can get the reward from them. In addition, they need their help or other benefit from them. The real altruism does not exist. They are all have some purposes. All in all, these two sentences all declare that people do some thing is in order to get some benefit from others which means people are selfish, not the altruism.

    • I am using ” Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun…” (Dawkins 1). I love this quote in particular because to me, it states that evolution is a fact. However there are still people who believe that evolution (and the earth going around the sun) is not true. I’m using a statement from Alvin Powell “In America’s dysfunctional society, people need God more than Darwin”. This quote challenges Dawkins quote by saying that a majority of people don’t believe in evolution. The contradiction of the latter statement will lead to more factual arguments within the Theory of Evolution and Dawkins. The Selfish Gene, and in turn should lead to what Dawkins statement means. That there shouldn’t be doubt in Evolution as it is the only possible thing that truly makes sense.

    • Humza replied 3 years ago

      In “The Selfish Gene” Richard Dawkins states “I shall argue that a predominant quality to be expected in a successful gene is ruthless selfishness.” According to him our selfishness and tendency to dominate is programmed into our DNA. This could be true because the selfishness and domination is the will to survive and reproduce. On the other hand Robert Wright states “You’ve probably heard the term ‘interdependence’ applied to the modern world. Well, that’s just another term for non-zero-sum. If your fortunes are interdependent with somebody, then you live in a non-zero-sum relationship with them.” Wright argues that we live in way that we all depend on one another. Our pre-evolved predecessors depended on one another; they hunted and gathered in groups for safety. And in the modern world we all trade with each other to have a better life.

    • In “The Selfish Gene,” Richard Dawkins states, “The muddle in human ethics over the level at which altruism is desirable—family, nation, race, species, or all living things—is mirrored by a parallel muddle in biology over the level at which altruism is to be expected according to the theory of evolution.” (Dawkins, 10). This quote is elucidated by Robert Wright when he states, “Basically it’s just like, if you’re my enemy, if you’re my rival — if you’re not my friend, if you’re not in my family — I’m much less inclined to apply the golden rule to you.” Here, we see both men acknowledging the fact that some form of altruism exists among humans. They make it clear that a person can be altruistic, they can exhibit this type of compassionate behavior. However, they both do not acknowledge whether it is inherent or not; whether true, absolute altruism exists in our genetic coding. A person, being the complex organisms that we are, can basically exhibit any characteristics or not. For Richard Dawkins, it comes down to whether the characteristic is not only a conscious act, but one that is instinctive and therefore genetic in some way. So in one way, Wright’s quote helped me understand Dawkins’ core thesis, however I would still have to do more reading to understand the nuances.

    • Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene” states, “…to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to.” (Dawkins 3) Dawkins believes that humans have a selfish gene, but offers some hope that humans can change the selfish genes effect on our actions. Whereas, Robert Wright believes that compassion and love have always been part of the gene pool. However, Wright like Dawkins believes that it will take work to evolve into a society with more compassion and this helps me analyze Dawkins theory of the selfish gene in evolution. Wright states, “…compassion and the golden rule are in some sense built into human nature. It’s unfortunate that they tend to be selectively deployed. And it’s going to take real work to change that.” (Wright 6)

    • “Colonies of animal genes need great cooperation between them to exploit the movement due to muscles and nerves. The behavior of the survival machine is controlled by genes, not directly but in an indirect way, namely by providing specific behaviors and ways that it could help it to survive.”(Dawkins 4) and “Manatee” by Jefferey Yang are my sources. I feel like these connect because in “Manatee” Jeffery says that the only predator of the Manatee is humans. While Manatee’s fight to survive against humans, “they welcome us with open limbs.”

  • Identify one theme that is present in both Italo Calvino’s The Dinosaurs and the first chapter of Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene. Discuss how you think the theme is represented in each work, citing at least one […]

    • Both Italo Calvino’s “The Dinosaurs” and the first chapter of Richard Dawkin’s “The Selfish Gene” share one theme, which is the species’ perpetuation can be achieved in both physical and mental way. In other words, the species extinction cannot stop the species’ perpetuation, because the extinct species can appear in history and human’s mind. In “The Dinosaurs”, Italo Calvino said “when the last shadow of their image had been erased, their name went on, superimposed on all meanings, perpetuating their presence in relations among living beings.” Videlicet, even though one species is extinct, its images and name still exist in our minds. Moreover, according to “The Selfish Gene”, Dawkin said “Among animal, man is uniquely dominated by culture, by influences learned and down.” To put in other way, humans’ thoughts are influenced by history and acquired environment, and will be inherited by next generations. Therefore, the extinct species transforms into words and images in order to attain the species’ perpetuation.

    • Italo Calvino’s “The Dinosaurs” and the first chapter of Richard Dawkin’s “The Selfish Gene” share a common theme, that all entities are programmed to help themselves before others. In other words, even when someone or something is seemingly acting altruistic, their actions are ultimately to benefit themselves. Dawkins specifically states at the inception of “The Selfish Gene” that “It often turns out on closer inspection that acts of apparent altruism are really selfishness in disguise” (Dawkins 6). Basically, although an act of helping another may seem selfless, it is ultimately for the benefit of the entity committing the act. In accordance, Qfwfq the protagonist of “The Dinosaurs” stated ” For a moment I repented my action; if I wanted to save myself, I should tear her limb from limb at once: start it all over again. . .” (Calvino 44). In other words, Qfwfq attempted to protect himself before helping others, in this case Fern-Flower. Conclusively, it is clear that the common theme between both works “The Dinosaurs” and “The Selfish Gene” is that selfishness supersedes altruism. Additionally, acts of altruism are more for the benefit of the actor rather than the receiver.

    • A theme that can be identified in both Italo Calvino’s “The Dinosaurs” and the first chapter of Richard Dawkin’s “The Selfish Gene” is the theme of selfishness. After reading Dawkin’s I saw this as a recurring theme to his examples of how people and animals act. “After several generations of this selection (natural selection) , the ‘altruistic’ group will be over-run by selfish individuals, and will be indistinguishable from the selfish group” (Dawkins, pg8). Explaining that hypothetically, even if there are kind, selfless people out there, their selflessness will eventually lead to their downfall (in the terms of species or group in a species). This in turn is related to Calvino’s story about dinosaurs and Qfwfq. Qfwfq is displayed as a selfish being in the story with all of his/her (because we can’t be sure) actions, starting with hiding away in the mountains to avoid extinction, hiding his identity as a dinosaur so he wouldn’t be killed/able to live with others, has a child and then leaves the group to go off on his/her own. The most blatant example of selfishness for Qfwfq’s species/own well being; “the call of my blood insisted I should desert and join my brothers; loyalty toward the New Ones, who had welcomed and sheltered me and given me their trust, demanded I should consider myself on their side; and in addition I knew full well that neither Dinosaurs nor New Ones were worthy of my lifting a finger for them” (Calvino, pg6). These examples, to me, show the theme of selfishness in both passages.

    • One theme that is present in Italo Calvino’s The Dinosaurs and the first chapter of Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene is the idea of selfishness and how it affects the survival of a species. In The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins explains how the selfish tendencies of an individual may threaten the survival of the species. He mentions how “If only the individuals of a group had the gift of foresight they could see in the long run their own best interests lay in restraining their selfish greed, to prevent the destruction of the whole group.” (R. Dawkins. 1.) This implies that an individual needs to contribute to the interests of a group, rather than focus solely on their own interests, in order to guarantee the survival of that group. Italo Calvino also relates to this theme when the character Qfwfq remarks “If the Dinosaurs were trying to re-establish their rule with invasions and massacres, it meant that they had learned nothing from their experience, that they had only survived by mistake.”(I. Calvino. 1.) This implies that the dinosaurs would be mistaken to repeat the actions of violence and terror that they had previously lived by. Their selfish desire to rule over other species and massacre them would simply repeat what drove them to extinction and may cause them to perish permanently. Their selfishness would hinder their ability to survive just as Richard Dawkins had mentioned.

    • In both Italo Calvino’s “The Dinosaurs” and the first chapter of Richard Dawkin’s “The Selfish Gene,” the authors discuss similarities in regards to the theme of selfishness. In “The Dinosaurs,” the reader is introduced to a dinosaur named Qfwfq, and his motivations on survival. In one scene, he contemplates on deserting his new allies to re-join with his brethren, despite forming a relationship with one of the inhabitants, Fern-flower. The passage reads “That night I couldn’t close my eyes. The call of my blood insisted I should desert and join my brothers…” (Calvino). Qfwfq’s desire to leave paints a picture that self-motivation inspires selfishness, in not just humans, but other species as well. In “The Selfish Gene,” the author discusses how animals of different species have a similar trait in regards to selfish desires to survive. As an example, Dawkins uses a blackheaded gull to support his claim, explaining how extreme the animal will go to survive. The author adds that “It is quite common for a gull to wait until a neighbor’s back is turned, perhaps while it was away fishing, and then pounce on one of the neighbor’s chicks and swallow it whole” (Dawkins). The gull’s actions does signify it’s selfish desires to eat a member of it’s own kind, rather than hunt for food. Both Calvino and Dawkins write how the selfishness of animals will create a schism within it’s own community, and that animals are capable of this type of behavior.

    • One theme can go though both passages, Italo Calvino’s “The Dinosaurs” and the first chapter of Richard Dawkins’ s “The Selfish Gene” is the idea of selfish. In other words, anyone or anything is selfish, they are more concerned about themselves. In “The Dinosaurs”, Italo Calvino said that it was clear that the New Ones, turning the command over to me, had found the easiest solution: leave all responsibility to an outsider.(The Dinosaurs 6) Its also can explain in this way, the New Ones didn’t want themselves to be in danger, and now it had one was not from their group, so they left all the duties to it. It’s one way of selfish that they can get the spoils of victory without putting themselves in danger. What’s more, in the first chapter “Why are people?” also claim anything should be selfish. The quotation ” If you look at the way natural selection works, it seems to follow that anything that has evolved by natural selection should be selfish” (why are people? 4) shows that no matter which species can succeed in this world, they are all selfish. They all care about themselves. So it is clear that all the species that can leave in this world are selfish. Because of selfish, they can be avoid themselves in danger.

    • In “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins and “The Dinosaurs” by Italo Calvinois the common theme is selfishness. In “The Selfish Gene” Dawkins mentions that a “living creatures evolve to do things ‘for the good of the species’ or ‘for the good of the group” (Darwin 7). In the story written by Calvinois, Qfwqf the narrator of the story, is seen as the outsider and is called ‘the ugly one’. Zhan who is the leader of the New Ones does not seem to trust Qfwqf because he is not certain if “danger came, if we had to defend ourselves with claws and teeth, how can we be sure he [Qfwqf] would behave properly?” (Calvinois 4). It is until Qwqf proves his strength that he becomes respected, “Zahn even encourages me” (Calvinois 5). Qwqf is accepted because the New Ones are certain that Qwqf could contribute to helping the species survive in a life threatening situation. Qwfq is later torn between choosing sides between the New Ones or the dinosaurs. Darwin would cal Qwqf’s difficulty in choosing as selfishness vs altruism. Qwqf wants to defend the New Ones who gave him shelter but can not destroy his own kind. Instead he flees so that he survives and Darwin would call him the rebellious one in the group, being an individual-selectionist.

    • Both the first chapter in Richard Dawkins “The Selfish Gene” and in Italo Calvino’s “The Dinosaurs” the theme of selfishness and its importance for survival is presented. Dawkins discusses the fact that selfish behavior is responsible for survival and behavior that appears to be altruistic may be motived by selfish reasons. He is not concerned with the reason for the behavior but, “…with whether the effect of an act is to lower or raise the survival prospects of the presumed altruist and the presumed beneficiary.” (Dawkins 4) Qfwq’s behavior in “The Dinosaurs” illustrates Dawkins theme. Qfwq is keenly aware that the dinosaurs are almost extinct and he guards his interaction with the new population to ensure his survival. When Qfwq learns that there may be other dinosaurs nearby he thinks of joining them but decides not to join them. He states, “But the memory of the old life that returned to my mind was the endless series of defeats, of flights, of dangers; to begin again meant perhaps only a temporary extension of that death agony… Now, here in the village, I had achieved a kind of new tranquility, and I was sorry to lose it.” (Calvino 6) Clearly, to survive Qfwq could not join a group of other dinosaurs because the New Ones would kill him and he could no longer safely hide his identity. The selfish gene that Dawkins discusses is demonstrated by Qfwq’s actions.

  • Find TWO examples of the passive voice in a non-fiction piece. Rewrite each sentence in the active voice. Please include both the original sentence and the revision.

    • Passive: The book is being read by most of the class.
      Active: Most of the class is reading the book.

      Passive: At each concert, at least one one tune from a well-known opera was sung by the soprano.
      Active: At each concert, the soprano sang at least one tune from a well-known opera.

    • Passive: Yesterday the president gave a statement to the press about national security issues.
      Active: The president is giving a statement to the press about national security issues.

      Passive: The U.S. stock market rose significantly Wednesday.
      Active: Today the U.S. stock market is rising significantly.

    • Passive: The third game was developed by a cooperation of a number of different developers.
      Active: A cooperation of a number of different developers developed the game.

      Passive: The development of the game was confirmed at E3 by Nintendo.
      Active: Nintendo confirmed the development of the game at E3.

    • Passive: A young women is summoned by her parents to have her flesh inscribed with their remembrances.
      Active: Her parents summon a young women to have her flesh inscribed with their remembrances.

      Passive: Mageo’s argument can be read in some of the more acutely politicized treatments of sexuality.
      Active: We can read Mageo’s argument in some of the more acutely politicized treatments of sexuality.

    • Passive: The march was called off, and all the vehicles that were left were hidden in the bushes or in barns.
      Active: The commander called off the march and the soldiers hid all the vehicles in the bushes or in barns.

      Passive: When the soldiers became more insistent in their queries, they were told that the Luftwaffe was operating in adjoining sectors.
      Active: When the soldiers became more insistent in their queries, their officers told them that the Luftwaffe was operating in adjoining sectors.

    • Passive: Nobel Prize in Medicine is award to three who discovered Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’.
      Active: Three who discover Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’ awards Nobel Prize in Medicine.
      Passive: Stephen Howells and Nicole Vaisey, who are accused of kidnapping and sexual abuse, are facing additional federal charges involving more child victims.
      Active: Stephen Howells and Nicole Vaisey, of whom kidnapping and sexual abuse accuse, are facing additional federal charges involving more child victims.

    • Passive: The nonadoption of wearables to date can largely be contributed to a single factor: people dont want to wear them.
      Active: People dont want to wear the apple watch is the only reason of the nonadoption of wearables to date.

      Passive:A few weeks ago, I was accosted by a guy who said, contemptuously, “I know why you still have your job.”
      Active: A few weeks ago, a guy accosted me and said, contemptuously, “I know why you still have your job.”

    • Passive: Praised by most people is the Nexus 5.

      Active: The Nexus 5 is praised by most people.

      Passive: Listened, is what kids did when their parents spoke to them.

      Active: Kids listened when their parents spoke to them.

    • Harry ate six shrimp at dinner. (active)
      At dinner, six shrimp were eaten by Harry. (passive)

      Sue changed the flat tire. (active)
      The flat tire was changed by Sue. (passive)

    • Passive: The computer is being used by a student.
      Active: The student is using the computer.
      Passive: The table was set for six people.
      Active: The table is being set for six people.

  • Find TWO examples of the passive voice in a non-fiction piece. Rewrite each sentence in the active voice. Please include both the original sentence and the revision.

     

     

    • Passive: The poster is being made by the art club.
      Active: The art club is making the poster.

      Passive: Garbage is being taken out by her while cleaning.
      Active:She took the garbage out while cleaning.

    • Thousands of tourists view the Grand Canyon every year. (active)
      The Grand Canyon is viewed by thousands of tourists every year. (passive)

      The saltwater eventually corroded the metal beams. (active)
      The metal beams were eventually corroded by the saltwater. (passive)

    • Passive: Pollutants are dumped into the ocean by large companies every year.
      Active: Large companies dump pollutants into the ocean every year

      Passive: The ball was thrown by the boy
      Active: The boy threw the ball

    • Passive: The statue is being renovated by the construction crew.
      Active: The construction crew is renovating the statue.

      Passive: The house is being cleaned by the family for the holidays.
      Active: The family is cleaning the house for the holidays.

    • Sue changed the flat tire. (active)
      The flat tire was changed by Sue. (passive)

      We are going to watch a movie tonight. (active)
      A movie is going to be watched by us tonight. (passive)

    • Active: The girl is preparing food
      Passive: The food is being prepared

      Active: The delivery man brought the package
      Passive: The package was delivered

    • Passive: The chemical solution is being made by the scientist.
      Active: The scientist is making the chemical solution.

      Passive: The scientific article was read by Tim.
      Active: Tim is reading the scientific article.

    • The Savannah is roamed by many animals.(Passive)
      Many animals roam the Savannah.(Active)

      The sun is orbited by the Earth(Passive)
      The Earth orbits the Sun(Active)

    • Passive: The journal was published by the company.
      Active: The company published the journal.
      Passive: It was decided by them that the picture was appropriate.
      Active: They decided that the picture was appropriate.

    • Passive: The fire started by the cigarette on the floor.
      Active: The careless smoke caused the wildfire in the forest

      Passive: The research experiment is being prepared.
      Active: The professor is preparing the experiment.

    • The kangaroo carried her baby in her pouch. (active)
      The baby was carried by the kangaroo in her pouch. (passive)

      Some people raise sugar cane in Hawaii. (active)
      Sugar cane is raised by some people in Hawaii. (passive)

    • Active: A federal agency sued Corinthian Colleges.
      Passive: Corinthian Colleges was sued by a federal agency.

      Active: Spanish health officials began to explain Wednesday how an auxiliary nurse became the first Ebola case in Western Europe.
      Passive: An explanation was given as to how an auxiliary nurse became the first Ebola case in the Western Europe.

    • Instructions will be given to you by the director. (passive)
      The director will give you instructions. (active)

      The entire house was painted by Tom. (passive)
      Tom painted the entire house. (active)

    • Passive: An executive order was issued by president Obama late last night.
      Active: President Obama had issued an executive order late last night.

      Passive: The message had been delivered to the family yesterday.
      Active: The family is recieving a message from yesterday.

    • Active: We are going to watch a movie tonight.
      Passive: A movie is going to be watched by us tonight.

      Active: I will clean the house everyday.
      Passive: The house will be cleaned by me everyday.

  • Due: 9/23, 8 AM. 

    Post a link to an image that you think adds to an understanding of your thesis.

    For example, say my thesis claimed The adoption of a third gender in the U.S. would reinforce, not weaken, w […]

    • Anatomy is not a predetermined thing, for not everyone’s physical anatomy is the same.

      http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/00/00/fd/0000fdab17fa6e4d53b76f8ab2751cde.jpg

    • Not everyone is able to be defined correctly using the anatomy they are born with.

      http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/05/11/article-0-0E549BA200000578-352_634x673.jpg

    • An individual’s natural biology does not determine destiny, rather it is the choices and beliefs of the individual that makes them who they are.

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aQTqNElMB9k/UKcdSpNZcmI/AAAAAAAAAic/DW0wB340ah0/s1600/Anakin-Skywalker-Darth-Vader1.jpg

      • Giorgos’s picture of Anakin correlates with his his thesis because Anakin Skywalker was the chosen one. Anakin Skywalker was born with a very strong connection to the force. The prophecy stated that he was destined to restore order to the force. But he was deceived by Palpatine and because of the choices Anakin made, like marrying Amidala, he ended up defying that destiny and became a sith lord. And instead of restoring order to the force he was partly the responsible for the fall of the Jedi Order Similarly, as Girogos states, people’s genetics do not define who they are or who they will be. People can choose their own identity and “destiny”. People become who they are based on the decisions they make and their mindset. A person’s mindset isn’t genetic or predictable, it’s developed through their personality and how they’re raised.

    • Anatomy does not have any power to decide our fate, we need to make choice for ourselves.
      http://www.topdesignmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/17.jpg

      • The picture Xiaozhen choose clearly shows that all the figures are exactly the same in how they look, which connects to the anatomy aspect of Xiaozhen’s thesis. So although they all have the same structure, the red figure is the one that stands out. The red figure also has its hand raised unlike the other white figures. The figures represent the people in society and the red figure represents the person who decides to create her own fate, that although it looks like the other figures that will not restrict it from being different and standing out.

    • Human beings should define a person’s character based on how much they contribute to society rather than anatomy.

      http://sunpeople77im.com/images1/world-free-9.jpg

    • How do we define “us”

      Societies understanding and division of gender is no longer accurate.

      • The photo that Leroy has chosen displays a distinct explicit connection with his thesis. Leroy has stated that “Societies understanding and division of gender is no longer accurate”. This statement is very powerful and means a lot pertaining to the readings that we have recently been assigned in class. Specifically, the photo that Leroy has chosen displays multicolored figures that neither define male or female, segregated by color divided by a large crack In the surface they stand on. This picture is quite powerful as it displays many aspects of his thesis. Specifically, the relationship between Leroy’s thesis and the picture he chose is that the old viewpoint of gender has now changed. In other words, Leroy has stated that there is no such thing as strictly male or female now, there are many other groups of genders. This picture represents this because it shows figures that do not define specific gender, they are just figures. Additionally they are separated by different colors just as the world segregates transgender people.

    • There should be an allowance for multiple characteristics and classifications when it comes to sex, ones that may not be typically male or female.

      http://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/bookshelf.jpg

      • The photo Victoria has chosen represents the diversity of gender. The photo itself contains bookshelves that contain various cookbooks. This is an assumption made from reading the titles which may not be accurate. Although these books can be simply identified as cookbooks it would be inaccurate to describe them as only cookbooks. They do all contain recipes but, they are from various cultures and contain directions to make various dishes. Describing them as only cookbooks does not encompass all of each book’s characteristics. The Same concept applies to gender. People can be described by a gender of simply male or female but, that only gives a limited view of that persons characteristics. These genders do not consider any other characteristics of that person and are given to people based on assumptions about anatomy or appearance. It is even possible that the assumptions made for that person are inaccurate and that they can not be described as male or female for biological or anatomical reasons. This leaves no choice other than to allow more classifications when it comes to sex and gender.

      • The picture Victoria posted is a metaphor for her thesis. Comparing the allowance and normality of multiple genres and books in that genre to what the classification of sex and gender SHOULD be. There isn’t just one horror book in the world just as there aren’t just two genders/sexes.

    • Anatomy does not define gender, regardless of what reproductive organs you are born with, you deserve the right to choose their destiny.

      https://www.illustrationsource.com/stock/image/519041/multi-colored-umbrellas-being-held-overt-a-person/?&results_per_page=1&detail=TRUE&page=2

      • The photo that Cameron chooses explains his thesis statement adequately. Cameron has claimed that “Anatomy does not define gender, regardless of what reproductive organs you are born with, you deserve the right to choose their destiny”. In other words, you deserve to determine your own fate no matter what kind of anatomy you are. It’s just like the picture shows that you can choose different colors of umbrella. Umbrella symbolizes the anatomy which is not the anatomy decides what kind of life you need to have, to the contrary, you can do what you really are no matter the outside self are. What’s more, in the picture, the umbrella is the umbrella just with different colors, but it doesn’t change its function. In like manner anatomy is anatomy, it doesn’t mean anything or doesn’t have any power to decide anything. All in all, the idea of the picture is same as the Cameron’s thesis statement, he chooses a great picture to explain his idea.

    • The photo that Nihad choose represents his thesis statement perfectly. The picture shows a figure composed out of rubiks, with no colors matching the other. Nihad’s statement is as follows; “The complexity of gender often invalidates anatomy as a method of categorizing.” In other words, gender has become so complex that defining anatomy isn’t as straightforward as it was years ago. This statement can also be proven true due to advances and discoveries made by science. As said before, the photo embodies the statement well, with mismatching colors representing how diverse the concept of gender really is and that there is no definite answer to it . The figure itself is important, symbolizing that an individual’s true gender is up to the person for decide, not what society deems them to be. In conclusion, Nihad did a good job with choosing this picture to represent his thesis statement well, showcasing just how complex gender has become.

    • The image that Kailey White posted faultlessly relates to her thesis statement. Kailey states that “You are the ultimate decision of who you want to be.” In other word, instead of drifting with the current, you should identify yourself and decide who you really want to be. The image reveals that there are two different route that lead to opposite direction in the forest. This symbolizes that in our life, the decision that we make can lead us into a completely different future. For instances, in order to achieve our completeness, we could choose to deny our predetermined anatomy such as gender by doing surgery.

    • Gender and sex are a lot more complicated than the simple male and female categories that society has created, and cannot be used to accurately identify people.
      http://behealthy.by/media/uploads/2014/09/3-ways-to-avoid-confusing-market.jpg

      • “Gender and sex are a lot more complicated than the simple male and female categories that society has created, and cannot be used to accurately identify people.” Humza’s thesis statement is linked to her image of being between 2 choices because this picture is similar to the options transgender and intersex people have to face today. In this new scientific and technologically oriented world we live in today we have such a basic definition of gender and sex when it has proven to be much more complicated then what meets the eye. I agree with Humza’s thesis statement that the classifications society has made aren’t accurate any longer and her image explains this well, by only having the choice to go left or right , there is no middle road when there should be.

    • The photo depicts a road with two paths. No road signs or any sort of indication that one has any inclination to choose a certain path. Therefore the photo directly corresponds to Kailey’s thesis which advocates free choice. Options are presented before people and it is up to the person to decide which course their actions will take.

    • Gender is not biology instead there is a correlation with gender and character

      http://www.forthemommas.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/cliff-bars.jpg

    • Society can no longer identify a person from their exterior, but must learn the person’s true anatomy.

      http://clutterinterrupted.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Inside-Outside.jpg

      • The image selected by Pantelis corresponds directly to his thesis statement that you cannot identify a person based on their appearance. He selected an image that appears to be an apple on the outside, but the inside is clearly an orange. The orange represents what his thesis statement refers to when it states you, “must learn the person’s true anatomy.” The statements on the image support his thesis that the exterior does not necessarily match what is inside.

    • Biology does not determine who a person is, a person determines who they are by how they self-identify. Gender is not based on biology.

      http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/media/images/promos/2012/05/transgender-children-growing-up.png

    • We cannot choose the body we are born with, but now we have the power to change it, to complete our destiny by having the body that we were meant to have.

      http://socialconfidencecenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/your-destiny-is-social-confidence.jpg

  • Due: 9/23, 8 AM. 

    Post a link to an image that you think adds to an understanding of your thesis.

    For example, say my thesis claimed The adoption of a third gender in the U.S. would reinforce, not weaken, w […]

  • Discuss one way in which this article (interview, rather) either complicates or adds to your understanding of one of our other readings. (Think of it like you’re using it as a source in a paper!)

    • Ahers, “A Journey of Pain and Beauty” adds on to my understanding of the reading, “Why I must come out”. In both scenarios, a transgender person describes their decisions to change their sex and an over view of their childhood struggles. In “A Journey of Pain and Beauty” the speaker however, also speaks about the struggles she faced when attempting to become a woman. In “Why I must come out”, the author doesn’t describe the struggles that she had to endure. “A Journey of Pain and Beauty” details the bullying that the author faced while adding in her cultures thoughts on being a transgender citizen.

    • The interview by Julie McCarthy with Abhina Aher, “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender in India” enhanced my understanding of Ms. Rocero’s journey. Both people were born with male anatomy, but did not self-identify themselves as men. Aher grew up with a mother who was not supportive of how he self-identified and was tormented emotionally. Whereas, Ms. Rocero grew up with a mother who was very supportive and allowed her to become the person she wanted to be without needing to seek a dangerous lifestyle like Aher. For example, Ms. Rocero’s mom “… came with me when I had my surgery in Thailand at 19 years old.” (G.Rocero, 5:05) In contrast, when Abhina Aher had surgery he risked his life and had it “…in a dingy room, a 10 by 10 room probably….The operations are normally done by quacks, and a lot of Hijras dies because of that.” (J. McCarthy, 3) By reading Aher’s interview, it added to my understanding of Ms. Rocero’s journey by making me realize how important it is for a transgender person to have a strong support system.

    • The article “A journey of pain and beauty” by Aher strengthens my understanding of Geena ’s Ted Talk “Why I must come out”. Aher expresses her childhood’s experience of how she suffers from being a male to reinforce me about why Geena describes herself as a fortunate person in her Ted Talk. Both Aher and Geena are born with male identity but they rejects that and finds more comfy of being a female. However, Geena is fortunate because she has her family and friends to support and encourage her for having a transgender surgery. By contrast, Aher endures taunt, ridicule and disrespect as she is growing up. Aher forces herself to bury her inner truth of being a female in the deep in order to not shame her mother until she starts her career. And even worse, Aher attempts to commit suicide because her mother doesn’t admit and support her thought of being a transgender. After all these suffering, Aher eventually join in a transgender ’s community which calls Hijras and has a transgender ’s surgery. The government in India claims transgender citizens as “third gender”. In conclusion, “A journey of pain and beauty” offers me a different view of how transgenders endure all these unfair and discrimination in their life, and they deserve more care and support from society.

    • “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India” adds to my understanding of the ted talk,”Why I Must Come out”. In two passages, they are talking about their outside self didn’t match their inner self. They both were assigned by boy at birth, but they all knew what exactly inner self was. In order to do inner self, they all underwent a lot of sufferings. However, Aher was not luckily as Geena, she was alone. Her mother didn’t understand her, her classmates even her teacher felt that she was weird, and also she became the object of abuse. Even though the country’s supreme court declared that India’s transgender population shall be considered a third gender, people still put them in different categories, and still was marginalized groups.

    • The article “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India,” written by Audie Cornish, tells the story of Abhina Aher, a transgender woman who regales her life in India. The article adds to my understanding of the other works, more specifically Geena Grocero’s tedtalk “Why I Must Come Out.” Both women have displayed their sexuality even when they were children, Geena wearing a t-shirt over her head and Abhina wearing jewelry and clothing from her mother, respectively. However, while Geena’s family accepted her for who she is, Abhina did not receive such love, and was shunned and rejected, even from her own family. On one occasion, “…Abhina grew more effeminate and became the object of abuse- dragged into libraries, stripped, and taunted by older boys at school” (Cornish). Abhina would be so tormented that she even attempted suicide on three separate occasions, which Geena mentioned that transgender people has a suicide rate of being nine times higher than the general population. Abhina’s struggle to be who she is now was a long, difficult road to surpass, as other transgender individuals are similar to finally be accepted as well. This work supports the tedtalk presented by Ms. Grocero, supporting acceptance so discrimination will finally cease and others like Abhina will not have to suffer the same fate as well.

      • I couldn’t agree with Giorgos anymore, the parallels between Rocero’s “Why I must come out” and Abhina Aher’s account “A journey of Pain and Beauty” are quite apparent. I appreciate the connection Giorgos made between Rocero’s childhood and Aher’s childhood, and how they both attempted to alter their appearances. Rocero wore a shirt on her head to hid her hair and Aher wore her mothers clothing and jewelry. Although both Aher and Rocero’s journeys were difficult, it is clear that Aher was discriminated against incredibly. After opting to join the “Hijra”, a transgender community in India known as Eunichs, Aher was affected greatly. ” dragged into the school library, stripped and taunted by older male students. Aher’s teacher was no source of comfort: She declared the tormentors were in the right” (Cornish). Such tragic occurrences are not rare to those who find themselves uncomfortable with their gender. Additionally, Giorgos drew a parallel between Aher’s failed suicide attempt and Rocero’s inclusion that the transgender population has a suicide rate nine times higher than the world population as a whole. In fact a major reason Rocero made her TEDTALK speech was to drive people to accept the transgender population and end such dangerous discrimination. Conclusively, Girogos’ response to the connections between these two speeches is very clear and makes very valid points, Bravo.

    • The interview “A Journey of Pain and Beauty” with Abhina Aher would describe the journey of a person who was born male but had felt she was a female from an early age. This experience would be similar to that of Geena Rocero which she describes in her Ted Talk “Why I must come out?” They were both assigned to the male gender at birth and would later become a female. However, Abhina Aher’s would be forced by her family to conform to the male gender for a number of years before she was able to become female and join the transgender community of people known as Hijras. This contrasts the reaction of Geena Rocero’s family whom accepted her decision to change her gender rather than forcing her to live as a male. Abhina Aher would have no support in her gender transformation and would resort to a dangerous illegal surgery to become female and would be left in immense pain. Hijras themselves usually face a low social status and “resort to selling sex to survive. They have long been discriminated against in jobs, housing, health care, and education.” (J. McCarthy. 4.) This grants hardship to anyone who would make the decision to become another gender in India. This adds to my understanding from Geena Rocero’s speech that many people who become another gender may still face scrutiny from family and even society. There are those who are lucky enough to have a support system similar to that of Geena Rocero but, many may still have to face the harsh reality of contempt that Abhina Aher and many Hijras still face.

    • After reading “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty : On Becoming Transgender in India” this article added to my understanding of one of the prior discussions, “Why I Must Come Out” Geena Rocero’s TED talk. Abhina Aher’s struggles as a transgender or Hijra in India. This shows an example of what Geena spoke of , how the transgender “suicide rate is nine times higher than that of the general population.” (Rocero, 6:40) Abhina tried to commit suicide multiple times “first by slitting a vein, then trying to walk into the sea, and then trying to jump off a cliff.” (McCarthy,page 2), after reading this Ms. Rocero’s statement made me understand more distinctly what transgenders go through. At other points I found I could reference Geena’s talk such as, when Aher’s mother was not accepting of her choice and how Rocero learned to come around. Rocero’s article told of how she had a privileged story in a way compared to others and Abina, who “became a sex worker to pay in part for her transformation” (npr,page 3). Many Hijras are infected with HIV and there is a high risk of death when doing a reassignment surgery in India. The reading of this article and Ms. Rocero’s added to my understanding on the matter showing another view and the obstacles a transgender must face in places other than America.

    • “A Journey of Pain & Beauty: On Becoming Transgender in India” gives a new perspective on the topic of gender. When Julie McCarthy interviews Abhina Aher, it is revealed even further how difficult life has been or is on transgenders. Watching Geena Rocero, we learn about the life of a model who was able to identify herself freely and with the support of her family. While for a long time India’s transgenders suffered and were charged with criminal offenses. This interview see,s to add to my understanding of the other readings by displaying the negative effects or difficulties that Rocero could have faced. Alice Dreger, would likely be interested in a case like Aher’s, because of the different experiences and body changes she had to go through to become who she is now. The authors of the readings would probably offer a support system for those who go through similar struggles, knowing that many exist.

    • “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming….” and interview by Julie McCarthy speaks of a recent decision in India to include transgenders as a separate gender. India being a very conservative country according to McCarthy (McCarthy, 4) means that this decision by the India supreme court is one that means a lot. Aher describes it as “putting a foot through a door of hope.”

      This is most similar to what Rocero describes in “Why I Must Come Out” because although Rocero herself had the support system she needed, she often describes the lack of support for other transgenders trying to come out to the world. (Rocero, ). This is a prime example of a transgender person needing that support. Rocero talked about the scuicide rate in the transgender community being high. I never really know how true that was until after I read the article. AHER did not only try once but two more times after this. This is extreme for a teenager. Life in India as a transgender must be extremely hard as compared to life in the United states where perhaps it may be a little bit easier to fit in.

    • Abhina Aher’s story “A Journey of Pain and Beauty” adds to my understanding of Geena Rocero’s “Why I Must Come Out” TED Talk. Rocero, like Aher, was born a boy but had always felt she was a girl. But unlike Rocero who had an accepting family that understood her choice, Aher’s mother didn’t support her. Aher was brought up being told what she wanted was wrong. Growing up Aher was tormented and physically abused by older males, who didn’t get reprimanded but praised for bullying Aher. While Rocero’s family accepted and supported her, Aher’s tried to get her “back to what she should be” (McCarthy, p2). Aher’s mother had her take two tylenol and sit in a dark room, which was prescribed by a psychiatrist. Her mother also took her to many temples to make her what her mother thought she should be. While Rocero had her parents pay for her surgery and had her parents to help her through her life, Aher had to resort to prostitution to pay for an illegal and painful surgery that leaves her castrated and has a relatively high chance of death and HIV. Both women were very similar to start with but being born to different kinds of families and cultures one had a more supportive upbringing while the other had to struggle and fight.

    • Aher’s article not only adds to my understanding of “Why I Must Come Out” but it grabs my attention. Before this I was mostly just focused on the gender question in North America. Now I know that it is a change that is happening all around the world. This article “A Journey of Pain and Beauty” shows a much darker and ,what I feel, a more realistic struggle for the transgender community across the world. Her mother did not approve and the society she lived in not only hated the thought of being transgender but abused (and did not attempt to stop the abuse) her (Aher 1). Not nearly the hardship that Morris had to go through, although hers was not easy either.

    • This interview bolstered my understanding of Morris’ article “All Made Up.” It is a clear example of the argument that the qualifications of sex and gender is something that a society, a group of people create and therefore can change. This is seen in the introduction to the interview, when it is stated, “There was a landmark ruling in India this week on sexual identity. The country’s supreme court declared that India’s transgender population shall be considered neither male nor female but a third gender. The sweeping decision redefines the rights of and the state’s obligations to one of India’s most marginalized groups.” (McCarthy, 1) The key word is redefines. The country of India acknowledged that the transgendered population are having issues and therefore to accommodate those issues, the court decided to legally allot a space for them in society. Julie McCarthy’s interview with Abhina Aher elucidates Morris’ idea in “All Made Up” with a relevant, modern day example of how a society can change it’s views of a certain group of people.

    • The article “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming Transgender in India” adds on to my understanding of Geena Rocero’s TED talk “Why I Must Come Out”. Rocero speaks about being yourself despite the societies view on who you are, “some people have the courage to break free, not to accept the limitations imposed by…the beliefs of those that surround them” (Rocero 1). The story the article tells is a great example of how in other parts of the world changing your sex can be difficult and complicated. Abhina Aher is one of many other people who are transgender but the procedure she had to take to changer her sex was dangerous since it’s looked down upon in India, however, she still went through the procedure to be true to herself. Being true to yourself is another point Rocero makes. This helps me understand that it is society who tries to stop us from being our true self by regulating laws and having penalties if the laws are broken. Tradition also limits us to being who we are as seen in the article, Aher’s teacher and even mom would punish her if she acted in a feminine way. Unlike Rocero’s story, Aher’s story is tragic but both go against what society deems the norm to be true to their selfs and both stories are inspiring. Rocero states “the transgender movement, is at the very beginning, to compare how the gay movement started” (Rocero 2) this is seen through the form that transgenders are starting to go against the laws in India.

  • Discuss one way in which this article (interview, rather) either complicates or adds to your understanding of one of our other readings. (Think of it like you’re using it as a source in a paper!)

    • This article is very helpful in understanding the complex topic of gender. Prior to this article I have developed the opinion that gender is not as simple as many believe (placing someone in the category of female or male based of anatomy). I also believe that one should have the option to choose their and that gender is not fixed . Lastly I believe that gender should not play a part in the way in how one views another . This interview helps me see the world from the point of view of someone who is transgender. I learn that they face many challenges this includes horrible criticism from society. In the eyes of Abhina many people in her life were very judgmental , this includes her parents her friends and her teachers (Cornish ,2). Abhina even reached a point in which she became suicidal but after many attempts she realizes she was meant to live. She slowly transformed through hard work and perseverance eventually being able to show who she truly is on the outside. Today India has declared that transgender as a third gender. This article has helped me understand that gender is seen as simple around the world but truly that theory should be changed. Gender is more than just A equals A it is a matter of a combination of many factors this includes personal opinion and input of who you truly believe you are.

    • This interview adds to my understanding off Geena Grocero’s story because she says how important it is to receive the support from your family, friends, and colleagues. Aher, a transgender in India suffered from extreme criticism. She was seem as a disgrace to her family and society. This reminds me how Grocero actually received support from her family, which enabled her to proceed further in life more quickly. On the contrary, Aher was not easily accepted by anyone, even her family. This had her make many suicidal attempts. This proves Grocero’s statement. Places like India, where culture is extremely valued, transgender are discriminated against in jobs, housing, health care, and education. These two articles are deeply related and shows two sides of the same story, which seems fascinating to me. But, in the end both women are admirable because even though they went through a journey of pain, their inner beauty protected them. These two women give gender a new meaning and try to make their place in society as an equal.

    • The article “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India” gave me a deeper understanding about the term “gender”. This article briefly explains how transgenders are living their life in India. They are given a third gender title and are seen and treated differently than any other normal people. For this reason, their lifestyles in society usually get uncomfortable and challenging. Being transgender is not a sin or a crime because it is how they were born. Those who go through problems are the ones who actually understand how it goes and works out well. People in India make a big deal about it, when I think they should be thankful about themselves since they are living a healthy lifestyle. I honestly think that if the transgenders are accepted the way they are then their stress will be decreased and it will definitely make them feel acceptable. There is nothing wrong to be real in fact we should respect everybody.

    • “A Journey Of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming Transgender in India” by Audie Cornish deepens my understanding of Geena Rocero’s story of “Why I must come out?” Rocero stresses about the family support that she received, which enabled her to embark on her journey of becoming who she wanted to be, her true self. She goes on to address that gender is beyond what gender we are assigned at birth; it is about how we identify ourselves regardless of our genitalia. Abhiha Aher struggled of being able to who she was because of society and culture. She lived years a boy and pretending to be someone to satisfy her mother and culture. Many people refuse to identify who they are because society sets standards and social norms, making them feel that being who they are is wrong.

    • The article “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India” made it more difficult to understand what exactly is accepted in the world as gender. As we have read in the previous Ted Talks, we were told by both Grocero and Dreger that we should be accepted by everyone no matter what our genetic makeup is. However, Aher is not accepted by many people besides other transgenders. He is actually considered a disgrace to his family, and it was so bad that he and his mother did not talk. In addition, many places would not hire transgeneders in India. “Forty percent of the transgender population is infected with HIV,” (NPR 4) because of the fact that they cannot get jobs and need to sell there bodies for sex in order to survive. This is not the way people should have to be treated. Just because you are different does not mean you need to live on the outskirts of society. If one is different, they are just as human as you and I are. Society has to realize this problem, and work to fix it much more quickly before suicide rates increase more. Although, we are told the Supreme Court in India is trying to improve socio-economic status of the Hijras, we as society need to help to make the understanding that what gender you are, or what gender you become does not define how you should be treated. Everyone needs to be treated equally with the same rights and opportunities.

    • This article adds to my understanding of gender form other readings by stating that gender is a complicated issue not only in certain parts of the world, but all around and in all cultures. Gender is not something that is fixed to people as identity and people should have the right to choose how they want to look like. But society as a whole, views gender as immutable and this point of view is what needs to be changed. The other readings talks about how gender is beyond anatomy and how people feel to be discriminated against. This article shows more of a new path that human beings are leading to by focusing on the consideration of transgender as a third gender after all what those people have suffered through. So in general, we can conclude that people are moving more towards a society where gender is considered a choice to human identity, rather than being unique about gender.

    • The interview “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming Transgender in India” adds to my understanding of one of our previous readings titled “Why I Must Come Out” by Geena Rocero. Geena Rocero also talked about how difficult it was for her to come out and share her story. She felt that “all of us are put in boxes by our family, by our religion, by our society, our moment in history, even our own bodies.” This reading also stressed the same idea of how society is so rigid and unacceptable to something different. As Abhina Aher grew more effeminate things got complicated for him. He was picked on by other boys and even the teachers were of no help. Unlike Geena Rocero, Abhina Aher had no moral support. Even his own mother disapproved of him and tried to change him into something that he wasn’t. Both readings stressed how difficult it was for transgenders to gain the same rights as other human beings. Transgenders have a very high suicidal rate and up to 40% are said to be infected with HIV because they have to resort to selling sex to survive. Both readings helped me realize that gender is a very complicated matter and cannot be defined so simply. It also showed me how society has established an overly simplified and narrow method of categorization in regards to sexual identification. I believe that we should be more accepting of different things and treat everyone equally regardless of their sexual preference.

    • This interview between Aher and McCarthy certainly adds to my understanding of Grocero’s “Why I Must Come Out” speech. Aher indirectly analyzes why the conventional (extremely outdated and insensitive) institution of the ‘gender binary’ is simply ineffective and problematic. The interview shares another tragic story of severe hardships and struggles faced by a member of the transgender community. In her speech, Grocero thoroughly explains the advantages of having a strong support system of family and friends. Grocero consistently makes it clear that the concept and very element of life that is gender is not at all something as simple and inflexible as much of the world has long made it out to be. Aher provides evidence of this, describing her personal history with her mother not fully accepting a daughter of transgender identity- and illustrating a portrait of the Hijras, the revolutionary third gender of India.

    • The article “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India” adds to my understanding of the term “Gender.” This article, similar to Geena Grocero’s TEDTalk, talks about how a male and female gender was rejected and produced a third gender. This goes similar to Geena Grocero’s opening statement in which she says:” The world makes you something that you’re not, but you know inside what you are, and that question burns in your heart.” Also this interview helps me see the world from the point of view of someone who is transgender and how they are viewed by society if they do come out as transgender. Being transgender isn’t easy as stated in the article, as people face peer pressure, emotional stress, etc. Aher struggled of being able to who she was because of society and culture and lived years as a boy just like Grocero did. In my opinion, society needs to help to form he understanding that regardless of whar gender you are, or what gender you become does not define how you should be treated. Everyone needs to be treated equally with the same rights and opportunities because in my opinion, everyone deserves an opportunity at life.

    • The interview “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On becoming Transgender in India” added to my understanding of Geena Rocero’s Ted Talk “Why I Must Come Out” in many ways. One such way is Abhina Aher similarly to Geena Rocero was born a male but always identified as female. For both of them this knowledge that they wanted to be female came at an early age. Rocero stated how she used to walk around her house with a shirt on her head saying it was her hair. And Aher stated how she used to dress up in her mothers clothes, makeup, and jewelry. Another way that they are similar is that they acted upon their desire to be female by going so far as to have operations to change their outward appearance. Both of these examples help me understand that cases such as Geena Rocero aren’t rare and isolated but rather a common occurrence that people nee to recognize and accept.

    • The article “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India” added to my understanding of how much people aren’t accepted in this world. It really helped showing me that we should be who we want to be and not what others want for us. It painted a picture to the reader of how difficult it is living and growing up in another country where things might not be accepted. Each story paints a vivid picture of people’s life as a struggle and them being helped. I also felt a similar connection while listening to the Ted Talk speech by Geena Grocero

    • “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming Transgender in India” has added to my understanding of Geena Roceros ted talk “Why I Must Come Out”. In this article Aher explains that he had to alter his lifestyle and act a certain way to please those around him. He felt as though there was something wrong with him. He even opens up about nearly ending his life. His story adds emphasis to the hard times and struggle that Geena Rocero points out in her ted talk. “…She’s a young woman who was courageously living her truth, but hatred ended her life. For most of my community, this is the reality in which we live. Our suicide rate is nine times higher than that of the general population.”(Rocero, 2) In this quote, Geena explains how hard it may be for some people to be accepted for their gender in society and Ahers story adds to my understanding of how difficult it is.

    • “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India” adds to my understanding of Geena Grocero’s story. Grocero’s story is all about how she was accepted as a transgender by her family and friends, and how they supported her. Reading about Aher’s experience made me realize the struggle people go through for acceptance in society.

    • The interview “A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India.” Gives a more understanding of how transgender is a problem to Aher’s family, friends and society. This interview also adds to my understanding of the Ted talk “Why I Must Come Out” by Geena Rocero, because both article talks about transgender, where both Abhina and Geena were born as male, and then chose to be female. Aher stated about his single mother, who is his motivation, because he walked in his mom’s cloth, jewelry and makeup. Aher struggled a lot in his society and culture which even lead him to commit suicide. But in case of Geena, she didn’t struggled as much as Aher, because she got more opportunities and freedom. I have had my fair share of experience with Hijras. Having grown up in India, I have seen them in trains in groups, rounding up people and forcing them to pay money. They dress up like women but have very manly sound and physique.

    • The interview “A Journey of Pain and Beauty: On Becoming Transgender in India” deepen my understanding of Geena Rocero’s tedtalk, “Why I Must Come Out.” After reading the interview I realized how society in other cultures targets those who are transgender and oppose the social norm. Such as what’s happening right now in India. The interview help me better understand how important family is when someone rejects their biological identity. For example, when Geena says,”I never had the courage to share my story, not because I thought what I am is wrong, but because of how the world treats those of us who wish to break free. Every day, I am so grateful because I am a woman. I have a mom and dad and family who accepted me for who I am. Many are not so fortunate.” It was the support of her family that help her become what she desired to be without going through the struggle others had to face. However in Aher”s case, he was not so fortunate. His mother rejected the idea of him being different. For 15 years he lived not being himself, confused, and attempted to take his own life. From this interview, I learn transgender individuals need the support of their families to accept who they really are, or they spend the first two decades feeling unwanted and puzzled.

    • This article helps me get a deeper understanding on our previous reading “Why I Must Come Out” by Geena Grocero. It helps me understand that this issue is going on in other parts of the world. Although I am familiar with the term hijra because that term is also used in Pakistan, I was quite shocked and amazed that India passed the law in declaring them to be a third gender. It gives me a deeper understanding of the struggle that transgenders have to go through in other to achieve the transformation they wish for. Although we see that Geena’s mother was very supportive and she had a safe procedure in order to turn into a women, we realize by reading “A Journey Through Pain and Beauty” that not all transgender are that fortunate and suffer a great amount of pain and discrimination to truly be who they desire to be.

    • The article “A Journey of Pain and Beauty:On Becoming Transgender in India” adds to my understanding of “Why I Must Come Out” by Geena Grocero. Just as how it was a big victory for Geena to be considered female when she moved to the United States of America, it was a huge victory for the “Hijras” to not choose to either be male or female, but to be considered their own sex. Having spent great part of my life in India, I have seen “Hijras” walking around the street and begging for money. Even though I agree that they should be considered the same as other human beings and should have the same rights, I do not agree with their behavior with men on the streets, and do see any right for them to act in such a vulgar manner with the people around them.

    • This interview puts an interesting perspective on the more harsher environments that transgender people have to face in life in comparison to the other readings. While Geena Rocero had struggled part of her life with being uncertain of who she was, she atleast had the support of family members like her mother. Abhina Aher goes through a phase of understanding who she is only for her mother to be unsupportive and distant from her in this ordeal. It’s one thing for random strangers to not be considerate to who you are, but when that level goes down further towards even your own family not being by your side , then that truly emphasizes how hopeless this situation really can be for some people. This interview puts more thought into the idea that not everyone will try to fight it and may even give up. Luckily for Aher , she had managed to survive her suicide attempts but they never should’ve been phases she had to go through to begin with. It is very true that both Aher and Geena Rocero had both lived very similar lives at one point. It is only true right until a certain turning point was reached in their lives that results were drastically different.

    • After reading this interview, I learned that it is a very serious problem when a man becomes feminine in some countries like India. In the interview, Abhina mentioned that since his mother found out her son used to do grand performances in front of neighborhood, she got really mad about this action. She asked his son to sit and make a pledge that he will never do this again (A journey of pain and beauty pg2). To me, this action is unreasonable because a man should have the freedom to choose what he likes to do and dancing is not something that only belongs to woman and girl. Besides family’s concern, Abhina also mentioned that in school, he became the object of abuse. She told him that the feminine way that he behaved is a big issue. He was asked to hide his inner truth for five years.( a journey pg2) This is unlike the condition that Geena had met. Her family support her and accept the girl-like behavior that she has.

  • Discuss how you think the title “All Made Up” relates to what Harvey calls the “subject and focus” of the article.

    • The title “All Made Up” relates to the specific organs and genitals of the two genders. In the article, the subject would have to be gender itself. The author connects the two by demonstrating how each of them affects each other. The author talks about society’s view that a person’s gender is determined by their genitals. However, he examines the case of a French hermaphrodite who had lived her life as a woman, but was deemed a man for her genitals. Society did not acknowledge the hermaphrodites female side or her female genitals. As a result, hermaphrodites and transgender people can be seen as the focus of this article. The author even states, “Constitution of gender should focus on cases of seemingly ambiguous genders, whether these are institutionalized, temporary, or even theatricalized states.” (Morris 570) The author criticizes society’s beliefs by bringing up these people, who contain the genitals of both genders. As society claims, gender is based on the physical genitals of a person. The author asks, what happens if a person has both genitals and what if they have their genitals removed and replaced with the opposite genders genitals? These people contradict what society and proves the a person’s genitals alone cannot define a person’s gender.

    • According to Rosalind C. Morris’ article, “ALL MADE UP: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender,” the author discusses key information regarding gender and sexuality. For example, Morris states that “Sex identity, once the bastion of nature, is no longer immune to ideological critique” (Morris 568). In other words, the author explains that gender is no longer as straightforward as it was years ago due to research and discoveries of new information on the sexual preferences and desires of others. Such advances has lead the author to support the theory of gender performativity, a theory that greatly theorizes on sex and gender. Morris describes the theory further by explaining that “… the theory of performativity defines gender as the effect of discourse, and sex as the effect of gender” (Morris 567). Essentially, what this means is the individual’s true sexual identity depends on who the person is having intercourse with, regardless of gender. Due to the topic being extremely sensitive, especially among the scientific community, Morris’ theory has been considered controversial with it’s radical and bold claims on human sexuality. It is because of this in which the title relates to the information within the article because of how different Morris ideal’s are compared to her contemporaries. If her theory is accepted, the concept of human sexuality will drastically change, for better or for worse.

    • Rosalind C. Morris’ article “All Made Up” describes the existence of gender and how it is defined with performativity theory. The article explains “the theory of performativity defines gender as the effect of discourse, and sex as the effect of gender.”(Morris. 567.) In other words, gender is simply the result of what people in society have determined and accepted it to be. Society has typically defined gender using geniality or the anatomy of a person. However, the mere concept is artificial and has no natural purpose other than to give people restrictions. People are forced into a certain group based on biological traits they have with no allowable exceptions. The article itself mentions the memoir of Herculine Barbin “An eighteenth century French “Hermaphrodite” … was forced by medical and legal authorities to adopt a single gender, which was reduced to anatomy and named as sex.”(Morris. 568.) Barbin was not given a choice as what gender he wanted to live as and would be forced to identify as male simply because of his genitals. Societies may have simply created a definition for gender to match traits to a person’s biology. There may be no factual reason for gender to exist or in essence gender is simply “made up” by society.

    • Rosalind C. Morris’ article title, “ALL MADE UP: Performance Theory
      and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender,” relates to what Harvey calls the “subject and focus” of the article. She discusses her theory on the concept of sex and gender. “The theory of performativity defines gender as the effect of discourse, and sex as the effect of gender.” (Morris 567) The author criticizes society’s view that a person’s gender is determined by their genitals. That today, that can no longer be accurate. In the article, it is cited that because of the ability to change one’s body, “it becomes necessary to rethink the nature of sexed bodies and gendered personhood on a new level (62)” (Morris 568). Not only that, but the way a person identifies his/herself gives reason to do so. The case of a French Hermaphrodite helps Morris prove the necessity to change the modern take on sex and gender. After living life as a female, this person was forced to adopt a single gender, being assigned male. To Morris, what is “made up,” is the idea that sex and gender will never change.

    • The title of Rosalind C. Morris’ article, “All Made Up: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender,” directly relates to Gordon Harvey’s description of a title as granting the reader, “…the subject and focus of the essay.” The phrase “All Made Up,” gives the reader an idea that his subject matter, sex and gender, will focus on its pliancy. One may read the phrase as something that has already been fabricated, as an creation of man. Or one may read as a tool of irony, as if the idea of sex and gender is one that is immutable, which would allow him to go on to explain why that is not the case. Whichever way a person decides to read it will lead to the notion that the ideas of sex and gender will be contested. The phrase before the colon is one way, however vague, to direct the subject and focus of his article and the phrase following the colon is another; he implicitly and explicitly describes the major theme of his work. Therefore, the title as a whole allows the audience to get a lucid sense of what the article is going to be about.

      • Whoops, Rosalind C. Morris is female? Ironic that in our discussion of gender, I messed up the gender of the author. We should discuss the gender of names and their relation to the owner… Haha…..

    • After reading Rosalind C. Morris’ “All Made Up” I think the title relates to the “subject and focus” of the article by telling the reader the many views and beliefs of classifying gender that it’s “all made up” in the end. Gender can have it’s “ambiguity” (Morris,page17) because of these many classes in gender other than male & female. The reader is exposed to many worldly different beliefs about drag, homosexuality and how there are even sub-classification’s in male and female i.e butch, femme. “Gender dichotomies can be imagined in a variety of ways, none of which are reducible to the absolute oppositions that contemporary biology posits in the so-called natural body.” (Morris,pg 3) in this quote Morris explains how there is a plain bias or falsehood in the way we perceive body and gender, showing that these were adopted as the norm but should not be accepted as truth. Throughout the article and Morris’ many examples one can see “genitality and gender are not only independent of each other, but shift constantly depending on the performative, which is to say social and political, context of the body.” Showing how the title “All Made Up” relates to the subject and focus of the article because gender is defined in many ways depending on culture, society and country one lives in.

    • The title of the article “All Made Up: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender”, by Rosalind C. Morris, relates to what Gordon Garvey illustrates in “Element of the Academic Essay”, “Your title should give the subject and focus of the essay.” The term “All Made up” reveal the main idea of this article which is the concept of sex and gender. Furthermore, this title proves the readers the sense of how this article is going to be like and develop, and gives the readers an initial idea to think of during reading which helps the reader to organize their thoughts and recognize the theme. According to the article, “But in an age of surgical plasticity and prosthetic extension, it becomes necessary to rethink the nature of sexed bodies and gendered personhood on a new level.” Scientific advancement makes us realize that our previous thoughts about the definition of gender and sex are too general and oversimplified. Society is supposed to reconsider the way, which involves in not only biology but also anthropology, to distinguish the difference between sex and gender.

    • Rosalind C. Morris’s article title, “All MADE UP: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender ” relates to what Harvey calls the “subject and focus” of the article. The title directly gives reader the subject is about sex and gender. Also the passage will be talking about what is the relationship between sex and gender, and how the anthropologists discussed the two subjects, and also how to get the new performance theory. What’ s more, the phrase “ALL MADE UP” can lead reader to know the theory is changed in different periods. The passage will claim different anthropologists will have different thoughts about the sex and gender. It breaks some people think the sex and gender is a fact and is immutable. It appeals to the reader to read this passage.

    • Gordon Harvey in the “Elements of the Academic Essay” states that the, “…title should give the subject and focus of the essay.” (G.Harvey, 3) The title of Rosalind C. Morris’s article, “All Made Up: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender” includes the subject and the focus of the article in the title.  Morris in her article critiques the different theories of sexuality in society over time, and discusses those theories against the new anthropological approach to understanding sex and gender.  Morris states, “The categories of sex and gender have fallen under the shadow of radical doubt and become the objects of an effort to retheorize the very nature of social subjectivity.” (R.Morris, 568)  This is an example of how the title of this article provides the reader with an idea of its subject and focus.

    • Rosalind C. Morris’ title of “All Made Up: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender” correlates with Harvey’s statement about the title giving the subject and motive of the essay because it gives the main idea of her essay. Her title suggests the essay is about the new advancements and discoveries made about human development. Specifically about the discoveries being made about geniality and about the differentiation between genders. Morris starts off by talking about the ongoing debates about the categorization of people by their genitalia and the effort to change that categorization. She furthers her point with the story about the eighteenth-century French hermaphrodite who, after living his/her life as a female, was forced to surgically become a single gender and not given the choice of which gender. (Morris, p.568). She also discusses one of the solutions being debated; creating a third gender. This third gender would be for those who don’t have the mundane genitalia. (Morris, p.581)

    • Rosalind C. Morris’ title, “ALL MADE UP: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender.” is self explanatory on what her thesis and subject of the article is. Morris believes that gender is made up through talk. We made something up called gender because we noticed that two bodies although similar in many ways were totally different in one distinct area. In our curiosity, we looked further into what it means to have a penis or to have a vagina. We then created sex as a way to classify and distinguish people who have a penis (called males), and people who have a vagina (females). She goes on to believe that there is a chance for us to change our classification because “our classification is only developed as we go through our everyday lives.” (Morris, 573) She actually specifies that the current role of gender is based out of western society and that “in other cultures there is no gender and activities performed in those cultures would be considered “Gender-bending” in our western society.”(Morris, 573) She goes on to give repeat examples and goes further into the topic of why our classification of gender is wrong and how recent scientific advances should change how we see gender because gender is not the same as it was before. Like Dreger (Alice Dreger; “Is Anatomy Destiny?”) she believes that our current definition and classification of male and female has either changed or in a radical view would never exist if we never appointed characteristics and behaviors to each one.

    • Rosalind C. Morris article “All Made Up: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender” relates to Gordon Harvey’s explanation of what a title should encase in his “Elements of the Academic Essay”. Harvey believes that a title should show the “subject and focus” of an article. Through the title that Morris chose it is clear that in the article she will discuss the difference between gender and sex and the challenges that arise between the two. Part of the title is ‘New Anthropology’ which foreshadows her debate on sex and gender. Morris introduces the story of Barbin to prove that even in the eighteenth century their was ongoing debate about sexuality and gender (Morris 568). Bourdieu’s, Sahlin’s and Certeau’s views on the topic are also mention to point out how complicated gender and sex are.

  • Discuss how you think the title “All Made Up” relates to what Harvey calls the “subject and focus” of the article.

    • “All Made Up: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender” discusses the various theories surrounding sex and gender. I believe that the title “All Made Up” relates to the various reasons and thoughts behind the many stated theories that revolve around the “subject and focus”, the true meaning of one’s sex and gender. Many of the theories all relate to one idea; sex is something we possess, and rather, gender is something that is a set of actions and thoughts that produce something we can follow. The article states, “Under the influence of Butler’s (18-20) re-reading of Austin’s (7) speech act theory, the process by which difference and identity are constructed in and through the discourses of sexuality is referred to increasingly as gender performativity.” (Morris, pg 569) These statements revolve around the concept that our everyday practice has a lot to do with our gender identification.

    • In my opinion, I think that the title “All Made Up” relates to the fact of how gender and sex is being perceived in the modern world today. In addition, I think that this has a lot to do with the number of variation of theories in the world in regards to this particular subject. For example, ” As Laquear demonstrates, different consequences are entailed by discourses n which masculinity and femininity are imagined as maters of interiority and exteriority rather than the presence or absence of the phallus. This concern with the historical varieties of binarity demonstrates how a “sex/gender” system that privileges the visible organ both reflects and enacts an epistemology in which reality is reduced to appearance, to visible surfaces.”( Morris page 569) Also, I believe that the subject of focus in this article is solely purposed on the “ideal” individual. Thus, from the beginning, sex/gender systems mark individuals with the possibility of being other than ideal, a possibility that is represented by the normative system as failure, but that may be embraced by individuals in courageous and joyously subversive ways.” (Morris page 573). In the article, there is a discussion in which it addresses issues of bodily reform and how it defines how sexes are written on our bodies.” This is especially true when ethnographers address issues of bodily reform such as circumcision scarification, and infibulation. “( Morris page 575). This just goes to show how many different factors play into the gender and sex and how we are identified by society.

    • The title “All Made Up” expresses what all of our theories and definition of what gender really are, made up. Nothing in our body is set in stone that defines our sex/gender. We have been brought up in a world that suffers from a black or white view, Male or Female were the only genders that we knew existed. The “subject and focus” of this article is the question, and opinions of what one’s sex and gender really are. With huge advancements in science we know that gender is no longer black or white. That the truth in gender and sex is what one decides for themselves. Morris brings up that ” In the first place, ambiguous and/or third genders refuse to be collapsed into the system of metonymic representation that operates in the modern West, where certain body parts are charged with the task of signifying and predicting gender”(577). An example of people not just ‘male’ or ‘female’ that do not want to be a part of the black or white view on gender. Instead they are aware that the world, and gender, are not such simple matters.

    • Morris’s “All Made Up” talks about gender and the different theories about gender. It talks about cross-dressing, transgender and many other gender topics. All made up is a great title for this because everything written within this article are just theories. Many different people wrote different things, not everyone agrees on the term gender to have the same definition. All these people have different opinions on what Gender is. In the article it talks about “Gender is something people do rather than an entity or a quality they possess.” (Morris, ) I believe this is trying to say people are fake. We try to portray ourselves as something we are not. We try to fit in with society rather than stand out and be something different. Be someone we truly are. I think this one sentence really describes the title “All Made Up.”

    • The title “All Made Up” might refer to the idea anatomy does not make up the gender of a person . Gender is characterized differently by many people around the world. Morris speaks of a society that believes that gender is straightforward “but in an age of surgical plasticity and prosthetic extension it becomes necessary to rethink the nature of sexed bodies.”(Morris,1) There are many theories behind what determines gender one being cultural factors.For example ” Turkana child is linguistically marked as neutral or androgynous until initiation rites when she or he assumes a sex identity in a system of binary opposition.” (Morris,3) .So in terms of this cultural being a boy or girl is not determined on anatomy it is based on fulfilling traditional genders revolving around genders. Gender differentiation
      is all made up and determined on different terms and theories.

    • The title “All made Up” relates to what Morris calls the “subject and focus” of the article because he states a lot of theoretical ideologies regarding gender. I think his subject and focus is the impact of the theory of gender performativity on anthropological effects to theorize sex and gender (Morris 567). Later on in the article, Morris discusses how identity is said to be materialized by the gender system in the imitation of ideal corporeal styles (Morris 567). This relates to the title “All made up” because if peoples identities are an imitation of one another, then in reality we are all “made up”. Even though we live in a very individualistic and free society, we are not really free. We are bounded to the shackles of society, even when it comes to such a simple aspect of life, our gender. Basically with all these gender theories, nothing is certain, it can also be said they are “made up”, which relates to the title, but it should still be considered because there is so much more to gender than what society thinks of it as.

      • I agree with Hamid’s point on how he thinks the title “All Made Up” relates to the subject and focus of the article. His point in which he discusses that “Even though we live in a very individualistic and free society, we are not really free. We are bounded to the shackles of society, even when it comes to such a simple aspect of life, our gender.” (Hamid) This point he makes relates to the point Morris is trying to make about the theories of gender and how society affects our views on genders. This view on gender is an idea that is all around the world that society has created. Such as the names that are created for the transgender in other regions of the world “Ber-dache of North America, hijra for India, or the Kathoey of Thailand.” (Morris 570) The title “All Made Up” relates to the subject and focus of the article because Morris is trying to emphasize, just as Hamid pointed out, that if we are a copy of one another than in that case we are all basically all the same and made up. We aren’t individuals we have created, but are just carbon copies of each other with behaviors and personalities that are alike. As he states on page 568, “The categories of sex and gender have fallen under the shadow of radical doubt and become the objects of an effort to retheorize the very nature of social subjectivity.” I agree with this statement because sex and gender should be based on your own preferences, not what someone else establishes with their theories.

    • “All Made Up: Performance Theory and the New Anthropology of Sex and Gender” discusses the many theories revolving around the subject of sex and gender. Different people have different views of how gender is perceived in the world. In Herculine Barbin’s memoirs written by Foucault, Barbin was forced by medical and legal authorities to adapt a single gender because he was a hermaphrodite, and there gender was based on anatomy and labeled the sex of a person (568). According to De Lauretis, “gender is a representation, and at the same time, that the representation of gender is its construction” (569). Butler also presents us with a similar theory by saying that “gender is something people do rather than an entity or quality they posses” (573). The article provides us with many understandings of sex and gender, however all of them are just theories of what different people believe. I think the title “All Made Up” is the subject and focus of the article because it shows how society is still confused with the definition of sex and gender. Gender and sex have a lot of blurred areas and everyone believes something different, which to others might seem like it is made up.

    • The title “All Made Up” relates to what Harvey calls the “subject and focus” of the article because the article is talking about how the concept of sex and gender is fake. For example when it states “The categories of sex and gender have fallen under the shadow of radical doubt and become the objects of an effort to retheorize the very nature of social subjec­tivity.” (Morris 568) This quote shows that Morris believes that in modern day view the concept of sex and gender is being rethought as being the fixed concept it once was.

    • The subject and focus of the article “All Made Up” is sex and gender. The title of the article relates to the subject and focus for different reasons. “The categories of sex and gender have fallen under the shadow of radical doubt and become the objects of an effort to retheorize the very nature of social subjectivity.” (Morris, 568) This quote relates to the subject and focus and the title of the article because it explains that people have different discussions, and make many various theories about sex and gender.

    • “All Made Up: Performance theory and the New Anthropology of sex and gender” explores different theories surrounding gender. I think the title “All Made Up” relates to the fact of how gender and sex is being understood now a days. The term gender is seen differently by many people around the world. Not everyone agrees with a specific definition. Morris states that “Gender is something people do rather than an entity or a quality they possess” this in my view means people in this world are phonies. They act different than what they actually are. I honestly believe that it is better to be yourself because it makes your life easier and causes significantly less problems in society.

    • The title of Morris’, “All Made Up” article focuses on many different theories about sex and gender. The title correctly correlates to the article because the author demonstrates the subject of his story through the title. The definition of gender can be thought of the title, all made up; there is not one definition to properly fit the word gender. Its stated that “The categories of sex and gender have fallen under the shadow of radical doubt and become the objects of an effort to retheorize the very nature of social subjectivity.” (Morris 568) This quote demonstrates that what was once an easy definition is now being tossed around and unsure of how one can correctly define gender.

    • The title “All Made Up” represents the point being made repeatedly throughout the writing. There are constant points being made as to why there is a problem with how we are viewed based on our gender. Old fashion ideologies had slowed down progress for understanding that there is not only two clear cut sides for what a person can be. There are multiple ways a person can end up being born. To think that a person cann only be male or female and nothing else is completely wrong; or can be considered “All Made Up.” The reason for a need of defining gender is due to ambiguity, “For much gender theory, ambiguity has become
      that which permits and even necessitates the formation of gender difference:
      the word that demands the flesh made gender (44, 54) ,(Morris 570).” There needs to be something that defines who we are and having two ways of defining someone as what they are is what society has been comfortable with for a long time. The goal of the future is to see through it to the end that theres more to gender identity than we first thought because what we knew before was all made up.

    • The title “All Made Up” relates to what Harvey calls the ‘subject and focus’
      of the article due to the fact that ‘All Made Up’ is a term that one might potentially use
      to describe the nature of popular beliefs regarding the concept of (the matter at hand the article explores) gender. The validity of societal constructs is being thoroughly questioned and challenged. The ‘established’ beliefs of many people today are being questioned, challenged and simply rejected. The article explains that gender has no sole definition. Readers of the article can take away the idea that today’s world is now discovering, more and more, that the concept of gender is a very intricate and dynamic one- and is a concept worthy of sensitive, thoughtful respect in analytical treatment.

    • The title “All Made Up” is exactly what Harvey means when he calls it the main subject and focus of the article. It’s not real, because there’s longer a definite answer to describe gender. Up till now, we assumed us humans had a specific sex and identity we’re born with. Also a type of role we are expected to play because of our gender. This ideology is no longer present. As stated ”The categories of sex and gender have fallen under the shadow of radical doubt and become the objects of an effort to retheorize the very nature of social subjectivity.” (Morris 568) Since gender is being used in diverse definitions, it lost its original meaning, and causes one to feel skeptical about thinking what is gender.

    • The article “All Made Up” is about sex and gender. The title relates to the context and the multiple messages the author is talking about because she talks about the different genders and sexes there are in the world. We are “all made up” if different aspects and characteristics. Even tho we are all equal or should be classified as equal, we are all different. We are individuals that isn’t alike anyone else in the world. The author points this multiple times inn the reading.

  • Pick one key passage from Alice Dreger’s Ted Talk and explain how this passage led you to a deeper understanding of her thesis. Remember to cite quotations (Author Page Number).

  • Please post your 100 word responses here!

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