A Theory of Everything (So Long as It’s Related to Gender)

I’ve been working for a while to come up with a theory of sex, gender, and sexuality that accounts for the wide variation seen in the world. This work has been done primarily through responses to specific issues, or viewpoints—often with my personal experience thrown into the mix. However, I haven’t done much to collect my positions and unify them into a theory of everything (so long as it’s related to gender). So, allow me to take a second and do that: Sex, gender and sexuality are overarching concepts that provide a structure for thinking about various sets of multivalent […]

Gender Is Over! If You Want It—Or Maybe Not

The title of this post is a riff on John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – Happy Christmas from John & Yoko” campaign from December 1969. My attempt in referencing this is to cast a light on a not insignificant trend in current discussions of gender. Namely, that some people think we ought to work toward a “post-gender world” in the same way peace activists think we ought to work toward a “post-war world.” These individuals believe that gender is harmful, and that it’s possible to move past it—if only we would choose to […]

Go Ahead, Make My Gender

The phrase “gender is a social construct” has become more and more popular in recent years. The increased prevalence of this phrase in conversations about gender can be seen as an outgrowth of society’s evolving views on gender. Over the last decade in particular, there has been an increase in the acceptance of feminine men and masculine women in society at large, and society has become more permissive of gender nonconformity (including trans and nonbinary people). While gender still stands ironclad and unassailable for many people, others have started to see where old ideas about gender have corroded and holes […]

The Cis Gaze

I’d like to talk a bit about how my transition has changed the way I’ve been perceived by others, and how I present myself to others etc. However, in order for others—particularly cis people—to understand some of those changes in context it seems necessary to have some additional background. So, I’m going to hold off on talking too much about my transition until next time. Instead, I’m going to go over a couple different concepts related to how society perceives women and trans people in order to lay the groundwork for a discussion of the changes I’ve experienced as a […]

Sex and Gender and Coextension! Oh My!

A general note: because of the nature of this topic, I’m going to make use of a couple bits of grammar/style. Words presented in single quotes (‘) should be taken as referring to the terms themselves without any attached concepts or meanings. Words presented in double quotes (“) should be taken as referring to the attendant concepts or meanings attached to the terms in quotes. If you haven’t read “Making an Ass Out of You and Me,” I’d suggest you do so before diving into this post. This post is part of a series discussing four assumptions people endorse with regard to sex […]

Making an Ass Out of You and Me

Certain things seem common across the multitude of trans experiences. One of these is the felt need to know for sure that you are a boy/man, a girl/woman, bigender, pangender, agender etc. This applies whether someone is questioning their gender, transitioning, or explaining their identity to others. In all cases, this felt need causes problems. For a trans person communicating with cis people (and some trans people, honestly), this felt need to know your identity often becomes the felt need to prove your identity. I am calling both of these things “felt needs” because neither of them are actually needed. No one needs to know they are a particular gender—nor […]