Stef (firecat) wrote,

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Non-thoughts on gender

There's a distributed gender discussion on LJ currently; one way in is via wild_irises's journal here.

Even though I mostly think I'm differently gendered and all the people writing also seem to mostly think they're differently gendered, I'm finding a lot of it hard to relate to.

I have had the same reaction to gender discussions before, especially the parts that are directed toward finding a label for one's gender expression, or defining what various gender terms (butch, femme, kiki, etc.) mean in terms of behavior or appearance.

The problem I see with focusing on defining what the terms mean is that then it seems almost inevitable that you set up "a real [fitb] does this" or "[fitb] belongs to [gender-label]." Thereby you set up a hierarchy that promotes some specific version of "fitting in." Even if it's a much different version of fitting in than exists in the general population, it still seems problematic.

Sometimes folks in alternative gender discussions declare that anyone can label themselves anything, and it has no bearing on how other people label themselves. It's not entirely untrue, but it's not entirely true, either.

I wrote in another journal entry recently that I tried not to think about how my behavior or presentation matches negative stereotypes (e.g., "fat slob"). I guess this disinclination to mark an X (or even multiple Xs, or an area) for myself on a gender graph may be coming from a similar place.

Note: I do identify my sex and my gender and I acknowledge that other people tend to assume I belong to a certain sex and gender. What I'm talking about above is mostly how my internal process works. I just can't settle on a label or labels for my gender expression that I feel good about, and part of the reason is that I don't think very much about my behavior in terms of how it fits various gender labels.
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