Analysis Of ' Portrait Of A Monster ' And The Contemporary Case Of Thomas Beatie

754 Words Sep 18th, 2015 4 Pages
Cases of non-conforming gender identities have long elicited shock, bewilderment, and horror among those accustomed to a more standardized gender structure. Non-conforming gender identities are readily apparent in cases involving transgender individuals as well as in atypical maternal and paternal roles which combat typical assumptions about the relationship between physical anatomy, gender constructs, and reproduction. But, although rare, there are cases where children are born within a non-traditional context, often creating repulsion amongst outside observers. Both the 1606 Spanish news pamphlet, “Portrait of a Monster,” and the contemporary case of Thomas Beatie reveal this complicated relationship between gender and reproduction. The fictional “Portrait of a Monster” tells the story of an man who left his lover for another women. Seeking revenge, the ex-lover went to an evil sorceress to obtain a potion which caused the man gave birth to a demonic like child through his posterior to the revulsion of the townspeople. Although occurring 400 years later, the case of Thomas Beatie draws many parallels to the early 17th century Spanish tale. Beatie, born a woman, underwent transgender surgery to legally become a man and he also entered into a heterosexual marriage with a woman. Since his wife was unable to have a child though, Beatie, who did not have his female reproductive system surgically removed, decided to artificially inseminate himself. Thus, both tales show a…

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