Gender identity is an interesting issue to me. I’m someone who usually self identifies as predominantly male in nature but quirkier and more abstract than the simple straightforward response. It seems like in life there are two key areas- gender identity and gender of partner preference. It seems like many of the labels attempt to use one marker to identify multiple pieces of information leading to a level of confusion.
To clarify, let’s say we have a “normal guy.” Normal guy is identified as gender male and preferring female partners. The term “dyke” is often used to indicate a female gender identity and a female gender preference.
There is a current dialogue on escaping from gender binary-ism for people who don’t identify as strictly male or female. We already have taken steps to move away from binary gender preference through the Kinsey scale and the mainstreaming of terms such as bicurious.
The dialogue for gender self identity moves towards a less binary scale but still is primarily on the fringe as opposed to the mainstream consciousness, it seems. To the mass of humanity he is a him, she is a her, and RuPaul really doesn’t care.
Fifty years ago we had terms like tomboy and sissy to describe people who were born one gender but tended to engage in activities more associated with the opposite gender. In the modern era of the increasingly gendervague the move away from binary-ism seems to make the complicated process of meeting people even more complicated as our language fails to keep up with personal self identities.
As I understand it, in a biological sense the human species seems predominantly binary- in that reproduction tends to require the male and female gender traits to come together to create offspring.
Many people I know who confront issues of gender self identity do so not from the reproductive standpoint so much as the gender roles standpoint. If we limited “male” and “female” to the very strict definition of the role they’d take in biological reproduction, I wonder if that would free up people who don’t fit the traditional gender roles to pursue their self identity expression without being bound by the concept of their physical gender.
That is, instead of limiting someone by their physical gender, identifying them as male/female by their role in reproduction and leaving the entire rest of their identity up to their own development/creation.
In a post I read on tumblr, the mother of the author represents a clear acceptance of the concept of the author’s identity without creating a necessary biological gender attachment, without attaching the biological gender facts to that identity except as the author adds them in.
In short, we limit the meaning of the words, remove the vagueness so that if I say “I am a man” it discusses solely my biological status and leaves the rest of my identity firmly in my hands.
In short, I wonder if making such a change would let us move from “are you a girl or a boy?” to “I’m interested in your you-ness, do you feel the same?”