Gender: an identity?Posted: July 21, 2010
I have noticed my gender identity din’t really fit with my sociatal norms arounds puberty. This was a point where, instead of people saying,
“who’s that fat kid over there,” ey would say:
“Is that a girl or a boy?”
Later, they mostly just assumed whatever they wanted.
I was given an androgynous name at birth. By this trait, when I changed high schools in freshman year my peers at my new school were at odds with how to appraise my gender. I wound up making the most lasting friendships with others that in some way were not easily categorizable, or others that were interested in me because I peaked eir curiosity.
As a child, many of the toys I like were “construction” oriented. Construction type toys such as blocks are given to be categorized as male in our society, and as such were consider gender appropriate to my assigned sex of male. I also had an inordinate fondness for stuffed animal toys as a child, and played with an Israeli girl whose father shared an interest in chess with my father. When we would play together, it was only following the taunts of other children that I ever considered that my gender expression was anything other than normal.
I began to deeply examine gender and its component parts during a period of time transitioning from living as a male to living as a female. Reading the book “Whipping Girl” by Julia Serrano it became clear to me through her biological analytical perspective that each discrete trait could be assigned a gender, and that gender was arbitrary from society to society. I concurrently read “Gender Outlaw” by Kate Bornstein, which suggesed one use what ever gender best suited the needs of the momest, to oversimplfy it.
Every trait that could be defined, and when assigned to every society there is, shows no trait is patently female or male.
Therefor, while my gender may not conform exactly to the society in which I live or any other society, it is my unique identity. My traits are just my traits, and they do not derive from gender. My gender is just a tool for people to try and define me so that they make presume many modes of interaction and aspects of character; it is for convenience of thought only and should not be used as a true description. Gender may suggest typical commonalities, but gender cannot define that person.