Beyond Identity

It seems to pain many people that gender is nothing more than a social construct. It’s more than likely because many of the people upset need gender to build their individual identities. Gender, to them, is the defining aspect of the human experience that they are on, the “innate” feeling of being male or female, life around that built accordingly. But wait…rewind, on the topic of gender why did the biological terms “male” and “female” even come up? this is,when in conversations with Trans people, or their allies  where the switch just gets flipped off. The consistent conflation of gender with sex. This one little launched wrench often throws any dialogue into a full spin. So, again, to reiterate, Sex is not gender. 
Gender, is an oppressive tool of a patriarchal culture, that is intent is programming females to be passive, and males to be assertive,and really relies on that in a sense to perpetuate it’self. If women don’t stand up,what’s to worry about? What better way than with gender social programming ? Why should this system be the determination of who all a person can or could be, Why should this system, which aims to stunt more than half the population be herald the indicator of identity? Personal expression should not be policed, and it certainly shouldn’t create a hierarchy, but that’s exactly what it’s ended up doing when we divide gender expressions and only deem a set of expression as female, and another set of expression as male, both completely separate from the other. It’s problematic, because human expression is in all of us, and we all share that. That expression in reality, isn’t divided by sex.

     The trans narrative has labeled it’s oppressors as “cisgender”, meaning that, essentially our bodies align with our gender identity. Anyone who isn’t trans is “cis”.  Cisgender people supposedly enjoy a variety of privilege that Trans people do not have, because cis people are obviously male or obviously female, and present in stereotypical fashion. A good question to ask in response to lines like “I’ve always felt like a man/woman.”, would be “What does it feel like to be a man/woman?” The answer always tends to relate to gender expression. It’s actually impossible to know what it feels like to be the opposite sex, because,quite simply, we are what we are,and we can actually do most anything we want with that. Our identities are inside of us, and that, in a world without gender, would naturally align with our physical selves. 

One thought on “Beyond Identity

  1. With respect, I think your argument is a tremendous oversimplification. Something as complex as gender identity – a term I gather you reject, but I’ll use it as a shorthand anyway – is likely a combination of factors. Gender essentialism is problematic, but so too is claiming it is an entirely social construct. Julia Serrano has an excellent treatment of this topic in “Excluded”, which you may be interested in reading.

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