The difference between Sex and Gender
Sex - Sex is a societal construct that gives an assigned sex (male or female) based on a person’s genitals. If a person is intersex than they may be subjected to an unconsensual surgery that will attempt to reform their genitals into something that looks more ‘male’ or ‘female’.
Gender Roles - Gender roles are constructs which demand expected behaviors of a person that are parallel to their assigned sex. So for instance, masculine man and feminine woman.
Gender - Gender is psychological, but also soul, heart, and body, based on an individual level. It’s how you identify. This is not a social construct. A person’s gender may incorporate their sex and anyway that it is perceived by that individual but at this point sex is owned by self, not the public, meaning that it is no longer a construct.
The truth is we have no idea what makes us man, woman or non-binary because it is not a tangible concept but one that is abstract and unique to every mind. If it were a social construct, that would limit each person to being only what they are expected to be. Which erases trans* folk, and other people who go outside feminine woman and masculine man. Because how could these people exist if their gender is based on a pass or fail system which only allows for specific points to exist? Gender is limitless and lawless; it is an entire galaxy of stars, planets and moons, and is not spawned from cultural stipulations of what we are supposed to be.
Gender expression - How an individual communicates their gender identity to the outside world through haircut, voice, behavior, mannerisms, clothing and other external forms of presentation. There are many ways an individual can communicate their gender expression and it should be noted that not every transgender person (or cis person for that matter) will adopt a socially accepted expression that fits into society’s gender roles. There isn’t a monolithic narrative to explain a specific gender but a multitude of stories and experiences that are different for EVERYONE, and they are all correct. In addition, gender and gender expression are not an indication of sexual orientation in the slightest; a person’s hair will not tell you who they’re fucking or if they even fuck at all.
In most western cultures and it’s imperialistic outreaches have come to understand gender only as a binary concept, meaning there is only room for two sexes and correlating genders: male and female. However, many people exist today that are proof that gender cannot be simplified into two boxes but rather a continuum of possibilities.
This is a spectrum where gender is not defined by anatomy but where biology, psychology, gender expression, and gender identity intersect to form a multidimensional array of possibilities. As stated before: gender is a limitless and lawless notion.
What does this all mean?
It means these charts that I keep seeing on my dash are not only the product of a cissexist understanding of gender but painfully wrong and continue to erase trans* folk.
Stop posting these:
UPDATE I want to put in here that there is some debate, even within the trans* community regarding gender as a social construct. I want to point out that when most rad fems and other ignorant people claim this sentiment it’s to debase the reality of gender and may even border on the concept of abolishing gender all together (which is asinine and you need to stop). Orginally, that is my understanding of what it meant.
There are others that believe that the line is in reference to what Judith Butler has written about the mechanics of gender and while it may be social construct it is still real. Because I have yet to read the work in which it derives or any other surrounding theories, I will not make comment on it until I look into further but from what I do understand is that Butler makes no mentions of gender being fictional or a delusion society has used in order to control people. If you’re interested, look at this -> clickable link
However, you need to understand that regardless of what you believe, gender is real, socially constructed or not. There are social constructs that are still very tangible and concrete, and saying so does not mean that you have magically altered the way of the world and destroyed the idea of gender.
And, you never will.
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