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Peer-Reviewed Paper Discusses PhD Student’s Hippopotamus Identity. Yup, Hippopotamus.

By  Amanda

A peer-reviewed paper penned by a self-described female-to-male transgender “dyke” and transpecies PhD student from France explores the author’s hippopotamus identity in relationship to transgenderism.

Yes, hippopotamus identity.

Which is great, since the 837 acceptable human-based genders available now were feeling a little limiting, not to mention exclusive and animalphobic.

Within the paper, titled “EGO HIPPO: The subject as metaphor,” published earlier this month, former University of Arizona student Florentin Félix Morin discusses her preference for being transpecies, which she views as an act of “resistance” to transgender norms and expectations.

“This article explores the formation of a tranimal, hippopotamus alter-ego. Confronting transgender with transpecies, the author claims that his hippopotamus ‘identity’ allowed him to (verbally) escape, all at once, several sets of categorization that govern human bodies (‘gender,’ ‘sexuality,’ age),” reads the paper’s abstract.

So far, the author has not revealed the preposterous paper to be an academic hoax (like the hilarious “Conceptual Penis” paper), and the British journal that published it, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities (founded 1993), takes itself quite seriously in representing “the productive nexus of work in the disciplinary fields of literary criticism and theory, philosophy and cultural studies.”

Morin starts by explaining how her “metaphorical hippo-self is collectively produced and performed.”

“For a while, if someone was asking me how I ‘identified,’ I would joke about being a hippopotamus trapped in a human’s body – later, a human trapped in a hippopotamus’ body, until my humorous ‘truth’ solidified and I began announcing myself as an old butch hippo dyke trapped in a young human faggy transboy’s body,” she writes.

“Such an ‘identity’ allowed me to (verbally) escape, all at once, several sets of categorization that govern human bodies (‘gender,’ ‘sexuality,’ age) through the supposedly sarcastic metaphor of transanimality,” adds Morin.

But the “supposedly sarcastic metaphor” quickly morphed into an identity which helps Morin “feel cute, confident, sexy, and safe” and escape being “a boy or a girl, a child or an adult, normal or strange.”

“I do strongly love when my friends call me ‘hippo,’ refer to my ‘paws’ and pretend that they see no difference between me and one of my stuffed hippopotamuses, except that I’m a little bigger than most of them,” she says. “Let me put it this way: something about being a hippo makes me feel cute, confident, sexy, and safe. I discovered that another self was available for me: being a hippo means that I don’t have to be a boy or a girl, a child or an adult, normal or strange. It means that my smile becomes a hippo smile, and the way that I carry my body, a hippo walk. It brings me freedom, space, and a thrilling sense of possibility.”

Since the world of human-centered gender identities can be so limited and stifling, Morin opts for her gender to be outside of the human species:

“Hippopotamus is (metaphorically) my gender insofar as I oppose it to ‘male’ or ‘female,’ and even more specifically to ‘transgender,'” explains the PhD student. “When my becoming transgender had sort of closed something for me in terms of identity/identification, becoming a hippo brought me back to an open field with an open sky. Unlike the somewhat checkered, locked-down, and policed space of transgender, the space of transpecies remained open, as it is not scripted.”

The paper continues on, analyzing transpeciesism with transgender theory and escapism.

Morin is convinced that her hippo-self identity is a “form of resistance to the (trans)gender policing of [her] body.”

Reality is so passé anyhow.

H/T Daily Caller

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