Friday, January 23, 2009

Refusing to be classified

by Dheera Sujan

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"A woman with a penis surely is by definition a woman." Norrie is not a person to mince her words, and she's also not a person to ever be short of them.

"Some people may be puzzled by that remark Norrie," I challenge her tentatively, and she instantly has a comeback: "If you're saying one woman has black skin, another has white. Someone else may have a sixth finger, or there are hermaphrodites who have the ability to reproduce - having features that are masculine, doesn't stop them from being a woman." Norrie describes herself by many names - eunuch, androgyne - and woman. "Being a woman is a social identity. We don't see people's privates in public, yet we make assumptions about them. If you're talking like a woman, dressing like a woman, moving like a woman...then you're a woman."

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