Comment on Understanding What Being Trans is by aileen

Thanks Kaleigh!

While at first thought, it seems like without the pressure of society to fit into boxes, people may be more likely to identify outside of the gender or sexual binary, I think that transgender people who are isolated from birth and are kept away from society and its norms would actually be less likely to identify as transgender. I think this because, especially of late, there has been an increase in people who identify as transgender because of the increase of coverage on people who are transgender (especially celebrities like Laverne Cox, Janet Mock and Jazz Jennings) in the media and how much more available all this information about being transgender is with internet access. Without this exposure to transgender individuals, they may not realise what the experiences they are having or the emotions they are feeling actually mean.

However, something else to take into account when considering a group of people living without social norms is that they will also have no concept of gender as it is the different expectations of behaviours and presentation from the sexes at a cultural and social level.

This raises some interesting thoughts about being transgender. If we got rid of gender roles and stereotypes, would being transgender still exist? In other words, is being transgender defined by things besides the stereotypes that are assigned to members of each sex? I believe they are as there are physical differences between sexes in addition to the differences we impose on the sexes.

However, as someone who is cisgender, I can’t really speak on that subject.

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Comment on Understanding What Being Trans is by aileen

Personally, I believe that people should use the washroom that they feel more comfortable in, which is generally the one that matches up with their gender. Trans and gender non-conforming people don’t need another remind in their lives that our society doesn’t accept them when all they want to do is go to the washroom.

The privacy threat that you mention does not come from transgender people, but instead cis sexual predators. And the way to prevent this threat isn’t by preventing transgender people from going to the washroom, but coming down harder on people who commit these crimes. (Another thing to note, too, is that there are indeed laws in place that state that this kind of behavior isn’t allowed in public washrooms, but they still get broken, so how would a law against trans people entering the washroom of their identified gender help with this?)

And the thing is when we talk about how cis people are being put into danger, we are completely disregarding the fact that forcing trans and gender non-conforming people are also in danger when forced into the washroom of their assigned sex (<a href=”http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Herman-Gendered-Restrooms-and-Minority-Stress-June-2013.pdf” rel=”nofollow”>68% of transgender people have reported verbal harassment in public washrooms</a>) and by saying that, we are saying that cis people’s rights are important than those of trans people.

Of course, in addition to allowing trans people to go into the washroom that they are more comfortable with, gender neutral washrooms are also something that we need as not everyone identifies within the gender binary and they can also help with trans people who don’t feel comfortable with going into the washroom of their assigned sex but are still too scared to go into the washrooms of the gender they identify as.

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Comment on Understanding What Being Trans is by aileen

Thank you, Renee, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

I think that the expectations of the genders by society and especially the portrayal of a gender binary in media definitely have an influence on how the different sexes and how we act and present ourselves as it provides an expectation of how we’re supposed to act and, as humans, we feel pressure to fit in as people who don’t are often left to fend for themselves and are ridiculed.

As social norms and expectations change, though, it becomes more acceptable for people to identify outside of the gender/sexual binary as our society is starting to understand that the concept of gender is closer to a spectrum than a binary and that people who don’t identify as our traditional ‘man’ or ‘woman’ both exist and aren’t all confused/trying to be a special snowflake/a problem (and especially not one that needs to be fixed). However, we still have a long way to go before society both accepts and respects people who don’t fit into our outdated gender and sexual binary.

Hopefully, this provided you with a tiny glimpse into what my perspective is on this, but keep in mind that I have very limited experiences with people who identify as other sexes or genders, so you should take what I say with a grain of salt!

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Comment on GO TO SLEEP by aileen

I really enjoyed your TED talk because your voice throughout is very calming, but still has variety, and it sounds natural and not like you’re reading from a script and I found your intro very amusing as I (and I’m sure many other TALONS) relate to it

You talk about the dangers of microsleeping, especially during driving, during your talk and I know I’ve definitely microslept a few times. Is there a way to prevent them after you feel them starting to set in? For example, will drinking some caffeine when you feel yourself start to stop doze off a little stop you from microsleeping for a while?

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Comment on TED Talks: The Importance of Daydreaming for Creative Minds by aileen

I like how you are putting an emphasis on slowing down in a world where everyone’s hurrying and I love the examples you use with your personal connections.

Something you said that I found really interesting in your talk is how we come up with our best ideas when we aren’t thinking about it, which feels counterintuitive. Do you have any ideas as to why this happens and why we aren’t able to go into these “unexplored places” when our minds our focused on something?

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Comment on TED Talk: What Can Hallucinations Reveal About Our Minds? by aileen

I love how you are talking about a topic that usually has a negative connotation around it, but are talking about how normal it actually is. I haven’t seen a lot of articles about hallucinations and the stigma around it, so I’m glad you talked about it!

Something I remember a friend mentioned to me a bit back is that a difference between dreams and hallucinations is that dreams contain people you know while with visual hallucinations, you’ll never hallucinate the face of someone you’ve seen before. However, I can’t seem to find anything on it and you also mention in the video that some people hallucinate dead loved ones, so I was wondering if you knew anything about this. If it is true, does it have something to do with the different parts of the brain that are involved in dreams vs. hallucinations or is it something else?

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