Gender Bender

I’m not everyone8837096895_81577a234b_q‘s cup of tea, and one of those reasons is because I don’t understand or desire to have gender confines. While I do consider myself female, the confinements that we put on infants, children, teenagers, adults are unacceptable to me. I consider myself bisexual, but by that I mean that I don’t see gender or sex when I look at a person. It is completely irrelevant to who that person is.

Gender is a category. And while humanity loves categories, they are not generally used to uplift of make our society better. They are used to separate and distance one person from another. “What do women think?” “What do men think?” What difference does that honestly make? Is there even a difference or is it more what the individual thinks? Often times I’ve been told that I react differently than people expect. They look at me and see a blonde-haired, blue-eyed curvy woman and they think that I have to be ditzy and girly. The fact is I’m not. I love to lounge in basketball shorts and tanks. I sometimes like to put makeup on and curl my hair.

Why do we confine people to categories that we ourselves think can’t encompass a whole person? Meaning, how can we define a person only on one category while we would never describe ourselves in only that ONE category. I am not only just a female; I am a writer, a lover, compassionate. There are so many other ways that define us and who we are that it seems stupid and pointless to put such “static” categories or confines onto individuals.

Change is the only constant. If we lock people into groupings that don’t allow change, what does that do to their psyche? Is it not enough to accept people for who they are? Simply people? More over, since I write, this comes into language. In English we only have two pronouns, male and female, there isn’t really a gender neutral or a third option. We’ve certainly created them now, but they’re not common to the language.

I recently co-write a novel with a sex-shifting (and yes, sex-shifting, not gender-shifting) alien. Zhe and the other main character, Jane from the planet Earth, have a long discussion about gender and sex and the confines that humans put on others.

There’s an episode of the X-files called “Gender Bender.” It in there’s an alien or something or another, that switches “gender” (it’s actually them switching both gender and sex, btw, but I’ll let it slide). It is so unexpected that this could happen that it shocks a man who goes into a car with a woman and finds out that she also has a penis. Well…I get that it matters, that when someone is expecting one thing and gets another that they don’t know what to do except freak out. However, it doesn’t make sense to me. A person is a person, they are not a gender nor a sex, they are not male nor female, Jew nor Gentile. They are who they are, and that is the meaning behind it all.

No one is completely defined by their gender. So why do we care so much about it?


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