Welcome to this Friday Afternoon presentation. This afternoon there is a treat in store, as Mary Heath presents ‘Some things I have learned about sex, gender and sexuality’. This presentation uses stories about everyday life to explore ideas about sex, gender and sexuality.It questions the dominant idea that there are only two sexes and two genders, and that sex should always be congruent with gender, drawing on queer theory – and intersex and transgendered people’s life stories. It also examines the challenges bisexuality and queer theory present to dominant ideas about sexuality, proposing that there are more than two sexualities, and that sexuality can change depending on time, circumstances, and other factors. Mary suggests that people who believe that their own sex and gender are uncontroversial have much to learn from paying thorough attention to the richness of human diversity rather than accepting the dominant two-sex, two-gender story. She suggests that refusing to accept the limitations of the accepted accounts of sex, gender and sexuality opens the way to exciting conversations on these subjects. These conversations, and the social change which they are making possible, have much to offer to people who fit within the dominant models of sex, gender and sexuality as well as those whose lives are currently erased and denigrated by them.
Mary Heath teaches law at Flinders University. She is a founding member of BiAdelaide and Stop Rape Now. Mary will be available to participate in discussions in this Friday Afternoon Forum.
Further reading (free to download)