Our discussions in class about gender identity have made me realize just how complicated the whole idea of gender classification can be. Quite honestly, I was often confused when reading the article "I Know What I Am" because I would basically lose track of the individual's biological identity. But then I began thinking maybe that brings up a point, that gender identity on a larger scale is not simply male or female. What I've learned is that gender identity is not an easy element of one's being. For many the question, "what are you?" extends much further than the general responses, "I'm a girl" or "I'm a boy." Before our discussions, I hadn't put much thought into the answer to the question of gender. For me, I have always been very comfortable with my status as a heterosexual female. However, I now realize that many individuals struggle with pinpointing who they are. The documentary we watched last week in class called "The Aggressives" was one more example of the complex nature of gender. For the women in the film, their seemingly similar identities were dissected into subsets that made each unique. None of the women could simply define who they were; each had a very unique outlook on how she defined her gender identity. The film brings to light how complicated this subject can be and how underrepresented this group of individuals is in social and political settings. It also alerted me to the difficulties that can arise when someone associates with a group considered to be outside the "normative" genders. For example, finding jobs can be difficult for an individual who labels himself or herself as transsexual. And that made me think of some of the simple, everyday aspects of life that could be difficult for someone that isn't considered to follow the norms established by society. Overall this whole discussion has made me well aware of how gender is not solely determined by biology. While our biology is easily defined, gender identity is not.
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