Gender Identity (Rant)

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Throughout our discussion of gender, my recurring thought was how little gender classifications matter and how superfluous the very categorizations are. Reading about David (I will refer to him as David because that is how he identified) only solidified my thought because all of this commotion and incredible trauma was created only to put David in a box that could be easily categorized by mainstream society. If there was no pressure to categorize David's gender, he would probably not have suffered such a traumatic existence, one that resulted in him ending his life. Upon reading the article about the transgendered sex workers, I was also struck with the superfluousness of gender categories. The author kept pressing the individuals to choose a category, but why!? Our society feels the need to have everyone be legible so that we can immediately figure them out and put them in to our own personal boxes. Some people's identities (whether related to gender, sexuality, race, etc.) are more complicated than that and simply do not allow simple categorization. Some people identify with categories that the mainstream hasn't even heard of yet! (Ie. gender queer, gender fucked, etc). I understand that everything is more easily identifiable when categorized but what good has that done to us? Our social construction of binaries has created inequality where one aspect of the binary is always more important and superior than the other.

In conclusion, I feel that we spend so much unnecessary time trying to categorize people in easily identifiable boxes, rather than simply accepting people for however they perform their gender, race, sexuality, etc. (I also realize that utilizing "etc." is fraught, I use it to try and encompass all forms of identity).

2 Comments

I agree with this thought that our culture and society has an OCD with gender and cannot bear to see anything outside of the norms. If you identify anywhere in the "in between", you either are forced to play a role and choose a gender, or encounter the wrath of society's discomfort.

I think this is really well put, and I totally agree with what you are saying. People are definitely complicated creates so forcing them to choose one term, or specific category to describe their gender or sexuality (which for some people describes who they are) is completely unrealistic. Obviously every person is different and may have different feelings about how they would categorize themselves that might not fit into society's mainstream definitions of terms used to describe gender. Our society places a huge emphasis on determining every individual's gender and sexuality, when in reality it is irrelevant to the rest of society and realistically none of their business.

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This page contains a single entry by Gabe published on October 6, 2011 10:39 PM.

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