Looking for gender.

Someone wrote…

Even though I identify as androgynous and want people to treat me that way, I still examine angrogynous people for cues as to whether they’re male or female “underneath.” How do I stop looking for clues that even I don’t think matter?

How does one overcome a lifetime of conditioning by society to seek out gender in other people, even when intellectually or consciously we don’t “look” for clues?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?


Posted by on February 28th, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 7 comments »

7 Responses to “Looking for gender.”

  1. Chris

    I have the same problem. I’m genderqueer but I still want to know people’s bio. I feel ashamed.

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  2. xgrrlx

    Perhaps it’s just human nature to be inquisitive. I love androgynous bio girls, I’m not ashamed.

    [Reply]

  3. Quinn

    I think it’s a curiosity thing. Sometimes, even if something doesn’t matter, it’s human nature to be curious about things.

    [Reply]

  4. Anonymous

    I suspect it goes deeper than conditioning – it’s genetic.

    Male and female aren’t real things, but they are categories carved out of formlessness by evolution. It wants you to notice them. It intends you to treat them differently. We’re primed to pick out male and female like we’re primed to pick out faces from foliage.

    I don’t think it’s something people can be blamed for, nor should you blame yourself. It *might* be possible to learn not to do it – it would be hard, and require working on noticing your subconscious action.

    [Reply]

  5. m

    Why do you feel it’s wrong to be curious? (I’m assuming you would respect their androgynous gender identity, even knowing their sex.)

    [Reply]

  6. XylophoneGender

    I think context is a key factor. I’ve been to drag balls where I was so inundated with gender bending that it stops mattering so much & I could let go of that need for categorizing. In that context, it was a relief to stop examining for underlying “truth” and let people’s presentations stand as all truth I needed. I believe what you described is something that has to be unlearned.

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  7. yester

    I’m the same way. I might just be rationalizing it, but my reason to figure it out is to learn where they are coming from, what are our chances of sharing experiences and so on.

    The importance of the person’s physical sex might compare to the importance of a city ey’s been living in in the past. I’ve lived in the same city, whoo, how did you like it there? / I’ve never been there, what was it like? / Don’t want to discuss it? Let’s move on to more interesting topics.

    [Reply]


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