Gender Expression

09235g7962-415x260Recently I was introduced to a gender identity called epicene. The term epicene is a strong indicator that we’ve all started to over think this whole gender identity thing. Despite the incorporation of the word “epic” the term disappointingly does not describe a new super gender with cool and strange reproductive adaptions like external fertilization, mitosis, or kangaroo like pouches.

The website genderqueerid.com describes epicene as, “literally mean[ing] “common to both sexes.” It sometimes refers to individuals who have characteristics of both genders…”, a definition that describes just about everyone ever.

This same gender encyclopedia also describes multiple other identities that are more or less the same as epicene; Like bigender, androgyne, pangender, two-spirit, and gender fluid. Maybe my understanding of these terms is shallow but the differences between them appear to be minor and yet they’re all distinctly different gender identities and all the gender equivalent of being bisexual. Stop being greedy and decide already, am I right? I kid the bisexuals. I’m a firm believer in the black faced Robert Downey Jr. philosophy of “everyone’s a little gay once in a while”.

I can think of few things in this world with the power to unite people of all genders and sexual orientations than a universal love of Robert Downey Jr..

At some point did the queer community just decide to start throwing new terms and identities out there just to see how much shit the cisgender people of the world would accept for the sake of being politically correct? If so well played my friends. Even Facebook has 51-71 different gender options depending on which questionable news source you choose from googling “how many gender options does facebook have?“.

As the worlds top source of slacktavism how could they not?
As the world’s top source of slacktavism how could they not?

There was always something off about this way of thinking for me that I could never quite put my finger on until now. It’s not that I take issue with people wanting something to identify as or embracing who they are on the inside or anything so you can go ahead and lower the pitchforks. What I do take issue with is this need that comes with it that demands everyone be sorted into separate boxes and the sexist undertones that come with identities like epicene. phrazes like, “individuals who have characteristics of both genders”, implies that specific personality traits are assigned to men and women.

The whole point of gender equality is supposed to be that no one should feel pressured to conform to a notion of what a man or a woman should be. I like baking, but I also like egregious violence. Some days I want to glam up, listen to taylor swift, and bake a pie. Other days I want to sit around pant-less and un-showered watching Bruce Willis fuck shit up. This doesn’t mean I’m half man and half woman or that my gender changes from day to day. If you wake up every morning to see what gender identity feels right for that given day chances are you’re more confused than anything.

I get that everyone wants to feel like they belong to a special group but by branching off into dozens upon dozens of individual little groups we’re segregating ourselves and labelling ourselves. We’re adding restrictions that determine what we’re allowed to identify as instead of just being cool with variety. For example, whether or not you identify as “butch” (which according to genderqueerid.com is apparently an actual noun and not just an adjective) you probably still identify as a lesbian woman and not solely as butch. Being butch or effeminate should be a personality trait applied to an individual not defining criteria for a gender. Maybe one day in the future we will abandon genders in favour of descriptive language but that day is not this day.

Is one day society does adpot adjectives as genders.
Otherwise from here on out I’d identify as a member of the B.A.M.F. community.

If we look at the two traditional genders or biological genders there is a vast number of different people of different personalities, talents and flaws that belong to both and none of those differences make any of us have less of a penis or less of a vagina. Same goes if you feel like a man or a woman. If in your heart you know you’re a dude no preference for skirts over pants is going to change that no matter what anyone else thinks. You’re personality and your gender are not the same thing.

Everyone should definitely be able to identify as who they are on the inside but do we really need so many identifiers? Can’t we just except that any sex is gonna have it’s share of variety instead of running off to start our own gender identity every time we differ over the the top five words we’d use to describe ourselves? Can’t we narrow it down to, I don’t know, like twelve?

When is comes down to it gender is only a fraction of who you are. I do think of gender and sexuality in the model of those stupid surveys where you’re given a statement and pick an option ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Kind of like Gordon Allport’s Trait Theory but with more grey areas. We all sit at different points on a spectrum. No one is solely one thing. We all have varying degree’s of feminine and masculine traits as well as homosexuality and heterosexuality. That being said, every millimetre on that continuum doesn’t warrant it’s own damn category.

My point is that we put too much emphasis on gender and what traditionally constitutes gender.  We shouldn’t be looking for addition rules and labels to apply to gender and/or sexuality. We should be trying to break down the ones that we already have so we can stop seeing each other as different subsets of people and just see each other as people.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m missing the point and accidentally created straightsplaining. Maybe Facebook does need 50+ different gender options. In which case I’ll be changing mine to girlfag because “a gay man in a woman’s body” is the most perfect phrase I could ever use to describe myself. Then maybe I can find out if what I’ve always believed in my heart is true: I’d make a fucking great drag queen.

This is exactly how I do crafts.
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5 thoughts on “Gender Expression

  1. Sheila October 11, 2014 / 4:08 am

    Okay, fair warning I too will probably offend some by my reply. Why wouldn’t I? In today’s society, anything one says offends someone. So here goes. Stop with the political correctness bullshit, especially as it relates to gender identity. 1) Determination of one’s sex is biologically determined by DNA. Humans are born with 46 chromosomes, in 23 pairs. The X and Y. Most women have 46XX and most men 46XY. These determine one’s sex. There are of course, those occasions when that patterns is disrupted and the result are genetic abnormalities. You can read about them here : http://www.who.int/genomics/gender.
    2) Gender, the masculine versus feminine traits, is socially constructed and varies from culture to culture and changes throughout generations. As is clearly demonstrated in our culture right now by the political correctness run amuck.
    3) Our kids are growing up confused about their roles. Because of this “inclusive bullshit,” our society has wussified men to the point that they no longer no how to be men.

    When there is an individual truly facing sexual identity issues, I agree we as a society such have resources available to help. However, society does not conform to suit the whims of a few. Life isn’t fair, sometimes feelings do get hurt, but as parents it is our role to teach our children how to overcome adversity, to rise above challenges and to excel. It is not our job to confuse them, rob them of their identity by adopting stupid labels provided by special interest groups. Case in point, the Nebraska school system, where in the middle school, they now have instructed the teachers to stop using terms like, boy & girl. Seriously?

    I’ve had enough.

    Like

    • ellemorgan October 12, 2014 / 12:27 am

      I do agree that sometimes we take political correctness too far, that was the initial inspiration for this post, but the end goal in the case of gender identity is encouraging people to be comfortable with who they are on the inside the pros exceed the cons.

      1) Someone’s biological sex and someones gender identity are two different things.

      2) Exactly. They are socially constructed and that’s the problem. We’re still enforcing outdated stereotypes.

      3) The only roles kids should have are to be kids. The only ones who are confused are the ones who haven’t been given enough information and support. Most kids don’t have gender identity issues but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t learn to be more understanding and sympathetic to their peers who do.

      As for our “wussified” men; it’s 2014. Men should be able to express their feelings and follow their passions no matter what they may be without the fear of being seen as less of a man. They haven’t forgotten how to be men, they’ve just started to understand the broader interpretation of what a man can be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sheila October 12, 2014 / 5:19 am

        Thank you so much for stopping by the Cow Pasture and commenting. I hope you will again.

        As to your points.
        1) I totally agree that gender and biological sex are two different things. Sex is determined by the number of chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs or 46. For most women it is 46XX and men 46XY. Of course, there are those instances where the pattern is not the norm resulting in any number of disorders:Sex Chromosome Abnormalities

        Turner syndrome – one X but no Y; 1:3000 live births
        XXX Females – 47XXX ( 3 X); 1:1000 births
        Klinefelter Syndrome – (47XXY or XY/XXY mosaic) – 1:600 males
        XYY Males – Additional Y; 1:1000 males
        Hermaphroditism – a genetic condition; resulting in both mature ovarian and testicular tissue. No population statistics.
        Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia- inherited autosomal recessive condition that can affect both boys and girls;results from a genetically caused deficiency of cortisol. 1:5000
        Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome – an X-linked recessive disorder;female genitalia and breast development; genetically male (46XY). (http://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index)

        2) Gender (masculine vs. feminine) is primarily a social construct and studies have shown certain behavioral traits are genetically linked. However, cultural can have an impact and change those behaviors. Which brings me to your last point.

        3) I agree kids should be allowed to be kids. That includes understanding as they grow and develop through the different life cycles. Questions and confusion are a normal aspect through the process of growing up. It is there I believe our society has done the most damage. Political correctness gone amuck. Inclusiveness, discrimination, fairness are some buzz words that have altered how we teach our children and allow them to grow up. It is as if some parents are afraid to embrace normal behaviors of the male/female. We want our sons to be free to express their feelings as long as it isn’t aggressive. God forbid, they want to play cowboy and indians.

        When I say men have been wussified, I stick to that statement. Because of society’s changing rules, men are growing up confused as to their roles. Gay is becoming the new norm while women demand to be treated like men, and not just in pay (I support pay equality) but in sports and even war. Embracing feminism for some seems to be admitting weakness. Yet, women protest when men show them no respect or treat them indifferently. Is there any wonder men are confused. I happen to believe women are too.

        Men “understanding the broader interpretation of what a man can be,” is wonderful, but we as a society should not dictate those roles. Let nature takes its course and as parents teach the values of respect, honor and integrity toward others.

        Biologically and genetically there is a difference in men and women. Period. As a society we should not ignore those differences in an effort to be inclusive for a minority group of people. And true intersex individuals with genuine gender identity issues are a minority. I support whole-heartedly providing both psychological and medical support for these individuals. However, I stick by my statement, the tail shouldn’t wag the dog.

        Like

  2. kbeck13 October 11, 2014 / 6:23 am

    What a fantastic post. I agree completely. I think this is true of everything in life, not just gender identity. I have these kinds of discussion about “good” and “evil” all the time. The world can’t be separated into little boxes and placed neatly on the shelf. It’s messy and confusing and people have a hard time accepting that.

    Girlfag? I can identify with that. 😉

    Like

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