Question: Essay on gender fluidity

Max asks…

Can anyone help me think of an essay title or topic about gender fluidity that I can write about for my gender studies report?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on December 8th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 9 comments »

9 Responses to “Question: Essay on gender fluidity”

  1. Theo

    Could you be more specific about your thesis?


  2. J.D.

    I’m writing an essay currently on “Gender as a Hoax” arguing for the acknowledgement of gender outside the traditional binary, I might have some sources for you…


  3. Chökhor

    One way to approach your paper is to mention how personality traits that all humans exhibit are divvied up by the hegemony and assigned to either masculine or feminine, ie. ambition, assertiveness = male, while nurturing, cuteness = female. For years, work roles were divvied up by gender, and even today it can be difficult for someone of the non-traditional work role gender to get ahead in their career. Even colors are divvied up into genders, and men really get the short end of the stick there. In a romance language like French, all nouns are assigned an arbitrary gender (ie. a mens’ necktie *cravat* has a feminine gender?!).

    As for gender being fluid, it really comes down to how narrowly the hegemony assigns gender. In countries like Japan, the roles and expected behavior for men and women are extremely strict while in the USA the gender roles have become more relaxed in terms of careers and the household (though we still have a long way to go). We as humans have a full range of expressions. With a narrow definition of what it means to be male and female, gender fluidity may be a reflection of repeated violation of the preset division of the traits by sex. In a society with a broader definition of what it means to be male and female, the same behavior may never violate the division of traits. Hope you follow me here – not sure how to be more eloquent on this….

    Does this help? It’s something I’ve been batting around in my brain for a while now.


  4. Dazza

    Perhaps tying in gender fluidity to overall creativity in general, or as a sort of joyous acceptance of oneself.

    The best things in life are often a compromise of two extremes, a balance, and maybe you could argue in some way that gender fluid people are more centered, that allowing oneself to be gender fluid is a sort of spiritual choice against the binary enforcements of modern society.

    Maybe a title relating to Tides, something about the metaphoric “tide” of gender- a cycle that is natural, even essential.


  5. Eli

    I’m a big fan of titles. It’s the most important part of a story/essay for me. And I often think of the Johnny Cash song “Boy Named Sue” when I think about my gender ID. It’s pretty much the opposite of how I feel, but I think it gets the contradictory nature of name and gender out in the open. And it’s ambiguous… Non-binary.

    As a writer I’m very aware of using previously-used titles/phrases in my stuff, but sometimes the reference is a pretty powerful thing. So by saying “Boy Named Sue” you could mean a cisboy whose name is Sue, or a transboy whose given name is Sue, etc.

    I dunno. That was (and for some reason, often is) a common first thought for me.


  6. k

    ”Escaping the binary”. Kinda sounds like a movie title.


  7. Steve

    How about ‘One Way or Another’. The Blondie song.


  8. Vicky

    The key to writing any title, especially for an academic paper, is to be eye-catching. You want the audience to immediately relate to it and want to read more. This can be daunting to some writers, so I always recommend the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Your title needs not be an amazing phrase that immediately causes your audience to ascend to nirvana. It simply needs to catch their eye. On top of that, it should reflect the tone of your paper. If you paper is tongue-in-cheek, try a title that is more teasing and funny. If your paper is a serious argument, try something that sets the mood. “Escaping the Binary,” as was suggested above by K, is suitable for just about every style of paper, but is also vague. It could refer to the gender binary, the computer language, or simply the concept of duality. As such, it could be good or bad. Some people might relate to it more, while others might relate less. Similarly, “A Boy Named Sue,” and “One Way or Another,” suggested by Eli and Steve respectively, are very identifiable titles and immediately catch the eye, but might not fit the tone of your paper. Also, when writing an academic paper, you must take into account that not all people like Johnny Cash and Blondie. As such, using song titles can sometimes (albeit rarely) prejudice your audience against your paper immediately. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that this needs some thought, and a personal touch. Think of your audience and your paper’s tone and the title should pop into your head. If it doesn’t, brainstorm. Sometimes a title will pop right off the page if you just start freewriting or cluster-writing. Remember: the title is the first thing the audience reads. Make it memorable enough that they think of it as they read your conclusion.

    P.S. Avoid colons in your title. They have a tendency to look pretentious.


  9. Steve

    I read what Vicky had to say. I think I want to add to what she said, write the paper and then look for the name of the paper. What the paper says may lead you to an obvious choice of a paper title.


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