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Seeing Gender

Maya's picture

Our discussion yesterday about Kathy Acker's "Seeing Gender" opened my mind to all of the different possibilities that the word gender can hold. We questioned whether gender or sex was binary or had a spectrum. I believe that gender is definitely not binary. It does not matter if somebody else "chooses" your sex for you. It only truly becomes who you are when you decide for yourself whether that gender fits you or not. Thinking about gender, our culture sees two distinct genders that cannot have a spectrum between them. We put so much space between the two genders that when people fit somewhere in the middle, others do not accept it. If the differences between the binary genders becomes smaller, it could be easier for people in the middle. As for a person's sex, I believe that, that could be slightly more binary, however that is not always the case. Because we think of sex as the biological part that makes up who we are, people usually assume that we can be either male or female. One interesting aspect of this is that if someone is born intersexual, the doctor and parents decide which sex they believe is stronger. This means that if the person grows up believing that they truly should be the other sex, they become stigmatized because the doctor chose the other sex for them and so they do not fit into the "correct" box that society loves to put people in.