randomjordan's picture

Gender. Gender. Gender.

What comes to mind when I say such a thing. Male and Female right? That would be the general consensus, since that is the only two genders we generally ever relate to at all. But how many people do you actually know that are full blown female in everything that they do. They are feminine maybe with a few actions or their voice, or their body. But guaranteed, that female could have an obsession with bugs, which is generally male centric, or maybe they have a nasty habit like burping whenever they feel like.

The point is, gender is not merely just Male and Female. It never has been, we just don't notice this aspect. The best way I can prove this is with a simple test. How many of you have seen someone pass by you and not known whether they were actually male or female? Either by lack of feminine or masculine aspects or maybe a combination of both at an equal level. Either way, you couldn't figure out that person's gender by the normal means you do.

Does that make them weird? All it is is the body they are born with. What if one male attributes that androgynous individual to being female, starts dating them, and finds out they actually identified and possessed male 'parts'. Does that automatically place that person as gay? They thought the person was female all that time. Yet that entire time the male individual had been misgendering this person as female.

Now what if the same situation happened, but slightly different, a man genders an androgynous person as female. They start dating and the man comes to discover that this 'female' possesses male parts, but does in fact identify as female. What does that make the man in this case? Confused most likely or frightened maybe, but still straight as he is with someone who identifies as female.

In the first situation it was a strange but clear case of misgendering, or the act of categorizing an individual with the wrong gender simply by certain cues the person might have picked up. But interestingly enough the second situation would not be a case of misgendering, the man had in fact gendered theandrogynous female as female which is what she IDENTIFIED as, despite the body she might possess.

This brings us to the term, Gender Identity, it is in all essence, the gender you personally identify yourself as. It could be Male, Female, Both, Neither, Somewhere in between. Truthfully gender is many-facitated. And I guarantee many of the people who do in fact read this are most likely, for the first time in their life, going to actual look at their own gender.

Many people don't even think of gender, while there are countless people, like myself, who are forced everyday to be reminded that gender screws us most of the time. Cause regardless of what you may think, I can tell you 100% that you are being judged everytime you see another person, regardless of who they are and where you meet them. But don't worry, you are doing the exact same judging with everyone you meet.

You see, everytime you see someone, you subconsciously and instinctively categorize that person as either MALE or FEMALE. Nothing else, one or the other. And based on that category you react and act differently with that person. It's a natural thing ingrained in people, everyone does it. Even me.

The extent of how is actually quite simple. We gender people based only on ONE single thing. Their Physical looks. More specifically the secondary sexual characteristics that an individual possesses. Whether they have soft looking skin, curves, breasts, Firm skin, toned muscles, sharp facial features, facial hair, hair length, It is an instinctual act. One that has caused my self to be misgendered and appropriately gendered countless times. Yet everytime I am appropriately gendered and a person realizes my body better they automatically apologize for mistaking my gender when they hadn't. Then when I am constantly misgendered I never receive a single apology, in fact some people purposely will emphasis that they are misgendering me as if to rub it into my face.

I have far more I can discuss in detail on gender but I wanted to close with the six categories that essentially make up gender in total.

Genetic Gender - Your Chromosomal make-up. Not many people will actually know this one their whole life, while others are plagued by it. There are people born with genetic markers of XX who appear physically Male, as you could imagine, it really messes with their life. IE: XX, XY, XO, XXY, XYY

Physical Gender - Your sexual characteristics, secondary and otherwise, how your body is composed, and whether you have breasts or not, or a vagina or not. This is the category that ALL gendering in society comes from. The gender you are assigned at birth, and the gender people assign you all your life.

Brain Gender - This is how your brain is structured, and how you think. How your nerves create new pathways in the brain and essentially how you process the whole world. Like genetic and physical gender this gender is also broken down into male and female aspects and variations of both or neither.

Brain Sex - This is how you process and deal with Love, Sex, Arousal, relationships, and anything else connected to those. This would be the closest connection to sexual orientation, but sexual orientation is actually only a masculine brain sex attribute, feminine brain sex types are more focused on the act of sex and romance with someone they connect with and not necessarily that person's gender.

Gender Identity - This is your own choice in what your gender is specifically. It could be male, female, both, neither, or anywhere in between and it can also vary from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. It is just what gender you feel you are, sometimes it can be called the Subconscious Sex, as it generally tends to cropp up in your personality and mannerisms and the next category.

Gender Expression - This is how you literally express yourself to the world. Your mannerisms, the way you walk, your voice, the way you sneeze, any expression you make is a gender expression, even facial expressions. This is generally the category that people use when they say they can tell someone's sexual orientation, or 'Gaydar'. Simply reading the movements, but what that really does is only reveal that person's gender identity and not their sexual orientation. So in reality 'Gaydar' should be called 'Gendar'.


TotalGeek42's picture

Awesome essay type thing.

Awesome essay type thing. ^^

Unfortunately I feel like, in posting it here, you're preachign to the choir - most people that come here know about gender expression, identity, etc. goodness knows I do.. >>

"Assets, assets..."

"Well I've got a banana, and in a pinch you could put up some shelves..."

"pretty pleaseeee w/ icecream and rainbows and and... NPH wearing nothing but Doctor Who-themed underwear on top :P ??" -holahaveamuffin -- Way to my heart

tenmilestilts's picture

i agree--preaching to the

i agree--preaching to the choir. ;-) well-written though.
Two wrongs don't make a right but three lefts do!