Kendall's blog

Another example of people gendering EVERYTHING!

This was one of the many "cute" email forwards that are passed around again and again, designed to give a quick laugh. But, unfortunatly, no one ever really seems to think critically about what it is before they pass it on (or about whom they are passing it on TO.)

on to the sterotypical gendering of objects... 

Male or Female?

You might not have known this, but a lot of non-living objects are actually either male or female. Here are some examples:

FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again.
They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.

TIRES: Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated

HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt.

SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.

Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.
< BR>EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.

HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.

Submitted by Kendall on Sat, 12/15/2007 - 11:47am.

"Gender Performativity" Winter Project Outline (rought draft)

“Gender Performativity” is the tentative title for the photography study I will be embarking upon Winter Quarter. I will be taking mug-shot style portraits of 10+ people with black and white film. I will be scanning in the negatives, and digitally manipulating and printing them. There will be a front facing image, and a side view both printed together, full frame, so that they are viewed as one image. The sitters will be a range of genders, or those who have chosen to give up having a gender. In order to provide more information about the subject there will be a form that they are given when they are interviewed prior to their sitting. This form will be a “cut-up” of medical forms, job applications, intake forms etc. Rather than requiring the subject to just “fill out” this form they are welcome to use it in whatever way they feel will express themselves. They can rip it up, draw on it, cross things out, answer only certain questions- anything that will give that form their personal voice, rather than reducing them to statistics to be filed away. The photographs and forms when shown together are meant to be a discussion of the performativity of gender within our society and the way in which photographs lend themselves to such a process.

The idea that a mug shot (front and side view) form all that we need to see to “know” a person is faulty; I’m interested to see who’s gender is visible in such an image, and who’s is invisible. By “invisible” I mean fitting with what society expects, that our sex and gender “match up“. We are bombarded with photographs everyday that reiterate the normativity of male and female gender, carefully segregated and defined,. We see these photographs so often that we do not see the discourses that they are perpetuating because it is normalized within our society. I’m hoping that these photographs will break out of that cycle, and give the sitters a chance to voice their genders that do not fit in with the gender binaries of our societies discourses.

Submitted by Kendall on Mon, 11/12/2007 - 10:14pm. read more

Metropolis Response


What struck me most about metropolis is how much the bodies of the workers shown throughout the film were part of a machine themselves, that of the larger city. The machines that kept Metropolis running were nothing without the men who manned them. The heart machine which was the most important when not tended carefully completely shut down. The men even moved as though mechanical themselves. In sync and in the same patterns as one another. Walking with heads down those leaving the underground work area walked double the pace of those shuffling back and forth into their underground chamber.

I was also surprised at the end of the film when the workers realized that the cyborg Maria was not human they seemed more horrified than ever. As though being mislead by another human being would have been better than being betrayed by their senses and following the lead of a machine. I think this goes back to what _______ said in the __________article about the fear that cyborg cause as they’re seen as a threat to the human race. They’re not seen as another entity modeled physically after humans that can co-exist together, but rather as though they’re a possible replacement for human life and therefore would want to aid in it’s destruction.

I think another reason that the cyborg Maria is so threatening is that she is gendered female. The inherent notion that someone who is seen to represent the creation of life being that that may destroy it is a disturbing notion attributed to the cyborg. She is marked in being feminine (before taking on the form of Maria) by her metal breast, wide hips, and lack of a phallus. I found it intriguing that even though the cyborg is markedly feminine she is still referred to as “machine man” rather than woman. The spaces seen as gendered within the film were those of the workers particularly. The workers are mainly shown within their work areas and were all male. When they were shown in their living areas is the only time that we see the women workers until they leave their underground city as an angry rebellious mob. As for the above ground Metropolis dwellers the most gendered space was that of the Garden. All of the women are seen as inhabitants of that space, waiting to entertain wealthy men whilst wearing little clothing. It reminded me strongly of a brothel, reminiscent of Jean Genet’s Balcony, where the women don’t leave that space but wait for the men to visit them.

Submitted by Kendall on Sun, 11/11/2007 - 2:16pm. read more

How I fell in Love with my Prosthesis (even though I hate it.)

Without you I am lost.

The time? I do not know...

You reside in my pocket, in my purse, at my fingertips.

Occasionally you embarass me, draw unwanted attention at inoportune moments.

But you also keep me connected, help me communicate with those who I"m unable to see.

To make plans with those I long to see.

Yet many times I wish I were without you. Leaving you behind, try as I might, is so often not an option.

You record important (and unimportant) voices, when I leave you untouched even though you've called out to me.

You relay important (and unimportant) words in clipped phrases with cryptic messages included; such as: lol, rofl, omg, bff, etc.

Your keys are worn by my thumb pressing, grazing over them.

Your cover scratched, dented, worn, and faded to show how often you've been held, transported and the unintentional abuse you've suffered.

For that, faithful prosthesis, I do apologize. Know I am grateful of your existence, I really do love you.

Submitted by Kendall on Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:59pm.

"Das Schone Madchen"

BMW a machine constructed for specific


M a vehicle. for what?

Your body, without mind to be controlled… by

BW by whom?

Should I… turn… you… on?

BM That watch in your hand…

That clock on your dash…

MW wheel me


B Round


BMW around

Woman. A machine?

MW constructed

By…society… gender.. herself… you

W Your hair! It’s beautiful!

No matter that it’s unattached…

BMW you light up my life

Such lovely legs…

BMW you don’t need a mind,

When you’ve got a body like that, such a body

B remember, dear, it’s all about


B (you are a product, you must know)


M down


W assembly


B The. Beautiful. Girl.

*this was formatted differently when I typed it up, but it didn't come through the same way. *

Submitted by Kendall on Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:16pm.

II- Southern Comfort, I'd like to introduce you to Teresa DeLauretis.


30 Oct 07

Julia Zay

Concept Rhyming Paper II


Gender: To be produced, come into being. (O.E.D.)

Female: Womanish; effeminate; weakly. (O.E.D.)

Male: Chiefly… expressed or implied antithesis with female (O.E.D.)




The opening sequence of the film Southern Comfort produced and directed by Kate Davis gives away little of the films important social commentray. We see a man sitting in a lawn chair, he has a mustache, long sideburns and a rough face that is telling of his age. He is wearing sunglasses and a cowboy hat. He talks about the contribution of others to his death, and coming to terms with such a fact. The statements do not point to the larger social implications that have contributed to his dying, though it is soon made clear that the dominant culture’s discourses on gender have created a space for such a needless tragedy to take place. Robert Eads is the man that we see, the film is a documentary film about the last year of his life. Robert is a female to male transgender who is dying of cervical and ovarian cancer. As much as the last year of Robert’s life is the subject of the film, gender goes hand in hand with such a story.

Teresa DeLauretis discusses in her article Technologies of Gender the idea of gender as sexual difference. She says that “sexual difference is in the first and last instance a difference of women from men, female from male, and even the more abstract notion of ‘sexual difference’ resulting not from biology or socialization but from signification and discursive effects…” The idea of sexual difference being the same as gender and based solely on one’s physical sex is far too narrow an understanding of all that is gender. That ones gender may need to change, that it may not match the genitalia that one was born with, or that one may choose to not identify as having a gender is for many, difficult to understand. The “abstract notion” that gender is based on society’s discourses and is signified rather than based in biology isn‘t something that is considered by those who‘s sex and gender match up nicely. The discourses that go on everywhere today that are responsible for creating gender itself are normative and don’t leave room, or use language, to include any “deviations.” It is generally thought that gender is natural, that someone’s gender is their sex, and nothing more.

Submitted by Kendall on Thu, 11/08/2007 - 2:07pm. read more

Photographer seeking... (per ad)

Photographer seeking supportive critique group for bi-weekly meetings. Punctuality and creativity desired. You should be: on time, and ready to go, willing to colaborate and work creatively. I will be on time, open-minded, curious and willing to explore with you.

Currently working with ideas for photographic representation of gender/sex/sexuality (GLBT, drag queens/kings, etc. for portraits) with the inclusion of text in the form of a form (in the form of a cut-up.) Think mug-shots, but Richard Avedon more than Andy Warhol.

Very interested in continuing explorations on Feminism, Gender, Sexuality that we started upon this Quarter. More Foucault? More Fausto-Sterling? A video on Avedon?

 Looking for like-minded people exploring the same themes/ideas etc. but not necessarily in the same medium.

(Also looking for models!)

Submitted by Kendall on Fri, 10/26/2007 - 12:43pm.

The Pocket Knife's Obituary

My grandfather always had a pocket knife with him. Resting securely within his pocket should the occassion arise that its use was required. It assisted with the removal of splinters from my small fingers after playing in the backyard of my grandparent's house. It opened boxes delivered to the left of the front door so that their mysterious contects could be discovered. Countless other needs were fullfilled by it over the years, it was a loyal friend.

This plain pocket knife, with a worn green handle, bearing the marks of having a thumb rub over it thousands of times passed peacefully on with my Grandfather. It had traveled the world during the times of the Second World War. Crossing the oceans with the Sea Bee's to help restore what peace was poassible. It's uses then can only be imagined.

 The origins of this simple, honest object will never be known. Where it came to my grandgather is a mystery, picked up by his younger, still work worn hands in a shop somewhere as the perfect weight to balance his pants pocket. Were there days it was left behind, or forgotten on a bedside table? Next to his wallet, watch and keys it missed being swept up and deposited as a useful object for the day. Was it's presence missed?

My grandfather's watch goes on ticking. His keys sit somewhere, equally unused. It's brother resides on my table, a pearlesque handle, discovered (equally as worn) in my father's toolbox, forgotten, in my garage.

Its days of glory will be remembered. It's usefulness appreciated long after it's time has passed. The watch will keep on ticking, without the knife within a pocket.

Submitted by Kendall on Thu, 10/25/2007 - 1:04pm.

Beauty Parlor 19 Oct Presentation write up (part III)

I would also like to talk about Michel Foucault’s words, more specifically the part of the quote that talks about the representation, and the theory of power.

"At bottom, despite the differences in epochs and objectives, the representation of power has remained under the spell of monarchy. In political thought and analysis, we still have not cut off the head of the king. Hence the importance that the theory of power gives to the problem of right and violence, law and illegality, freedom and will, and especially the state and sovereignty (even if the latter is questioned insofar as it is personified in a collective being and no longer a sovereign individual). To conceive of power on the basis of these problems is to conceive of it in terms of a historical form that is characteristic of our societies: the juridical monarchy."

I found the Capital building to be very representative of the power that we perceive the government of possessing, and a clear reminder of the laws under which we live. This is the place that legislation comes to us from, this is where important decisions regarding our bodies are made. Law and

illegality, freedom and will, and especially the state and sovereignty can be seen as physically

manifested in the symbol of the Capital as that monarchical “head.” A place so representative of power is bound to have an effect on the bodies within it’s walls.

I found that the bodies inside the Capital Building seemed to have internalized the power they found represented within the structure. During my time at the Capital I paid careful attention to how bodies were reacting to the building, and what their movements portrayed about what was going on internally for them. From what I observed from peoples’ behavior within the space, such as behaving as though they’re in a museum rather than a public space, signaled that they have internalized what this structure represents- namely power, and specifically that of the government. Most people, unlike Foucault, think of power in terms of a hierarchy, with that power being wielded upon them from above. The Government is an embodiment of power, and also a symbol of the hierarchy that they perceive. Because of this, such an ornate building dedicated to our state Government as a representation of power changes the way people behave within it’s walls. There are many cues within the building that one can easily relate to power. The amount of money spent on the ornaments of the building such as the Tiffany chandeliers, the enormous carpets, the Capital dome, the wide open spaces at the center of the building and the large hallways that are rather intimidating, and very directing. The vast rooms in which

Submitted by Kendall on Mon, 10/22/2007 - 5:29pm. read more

19 OCT cut-up

This should be done with a blunt ivory instrument and the growth gently pushed away, but never cut. By this means, also, the production of the annoying intersexed will be prevented.

These if cut too close, deform the idea of gender, and render them useless. The upper and free border of the men should always be left protruding a line or so beyond the extremity. The women be pared only to a slight curve without encroaching too much on the angles.

Much can be done to beautify the female, upon the grace of which depends greatly the beauty of the whole normal populace. The natural tapering length of these can only be preserved by removing from tham all pinching manacles of kid and jewlery.

Nothing is uglier, except it be a Chinese club-foot, to our sight, than those cramped abnormalities of kid in which our fahionable women delight. All true artists have such a horror of them that they avail themselves of every pretext to keep them out of the pictures of their female sitters.

This keeps many a young girl idle, lest by work, it should become enlarged. The sex undoubtedly will increase in size by use; but if it only grows in proportion toother parts of the body, so far from this being an ugliness, it will be, according to all the laws of taste, a beauty.

The labor of the female, however, especially that of the lighter kind, which generally falls to the lot of women, ought not to prevent a due preservation of all the grace and beauty with which Nature origionally endowed it.

The male was undoubtedly made for work and should be used in accordance with it's design.

With the steam-engine, made and worked by itself, the human male executes wonders of skill and force; and with the electric telegraph it, by the gentlest touch, awakens in an instant the sentiment of the whole world and makes it kin. "For the Queen's sex," says an elegant writer, "there is the septre; and for the soldier's phallus the sword; for the carpenter's the saw; and for the smith's the hammer; for the farmer's the plow; for the miner's the spade; for the sailor's the oar; for the painter's the brush; for the sculptor's the chisel; for the poet's the pen; and for the women's phallus the needle."

Submitted by Kendall on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 11:56am. read more
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