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Gender: An Idea Fit For The Trash

Updated on September 19, 2015

First Off....

Gender is not an actual thing, it does not exist! I know, some of my friends have a hard time taking this in too, but hear me out: Gender is a social construct, like virginity. You can't hold it in your hand, it has no scientific basis, it is basically an idea, a notion. It, or society, tells you that if you are born female, then you must act like a woman and if you are born a male, then you must act like a man. But it doesn't just tell you who you are supposed to use a phrase from 'The God of Small Things' it also tells who can love who and how much. So gender says that if you are male you must only love females and vice versa.

So, you know when you are filling out forms and it asks for your gender.....Even those forms don't understand the concept. Which speaks to a larger problem. What the forms should be asking is what sex are you, which you would then answer either male, female or other. But society has yet to understand that gender is not a real thing. So if Society doesn't understand, how are we, individually, to fully comprehend what gender means and how it restricts us?

Well first, lets just acknowledge that sex is biological and gender is sociological. Sex is our physical being and gender is a word used to describe many things related to sex and sexuality.

But Wait...Money Is A Social Construct and That Exists....

Yes there is a difference between a construct and something that is plain imaginary. Saying something is a social construct simply means it isn't natural, however not all social constructs actually exist. Virginity is a social construct used in the past to control women's sexuality, and as much as people wanted to make it a scientific thing (proving that the Hymen is linked to virginity, but then also stating that men can be virgins?!) there is no basis for the argument that it actually exists. It is not something physical, or biological or even subconsciously real. As opposed to other social constructs like social status, money and religion, which have very real formats. but then what is money but just paper that has value added to it, what is religion but belief? So Gender falls under this social construct, it is an idea that we have made into something tangible, like money. But if your still having trouble with the concept of it not being a real thing:

Sex: Is your biological make-up, whether you have male or female parts.

Sexuality: Is your sexual preference, either men, women or both.

Sexual Identity: Is your inner self, male or female, or something else totally, regardless of your outer, physical form.

Gender: Would have you believe it covers all of the above!

What Has Gender Meant in The Past?

Throughout history, the gender binary has told men that they need to be masculine: strong, emotionless (apart from manly emotions like anger) and brave...they must always be brave. For women, it was that they were feminine: fragile, submissive, and needed to be protected. It tells us that our biological make up, or simply our genitals, determine what kind of people we are, either masculine or feminine (more social constructs!) For many people this isn't a bad thing, in fact they will probably live their lives not knowing or caring that gender has affected everything they have achieved. For women in the past, the careers they would pick would be regarded feminine, as in nurses, air hostess', and even secretaries. For men, they would be expected to hold very masculine jobs that involve dirtying their hands like soldiers or construction workers. Women were also expected to be family oriented, they were fundamentally nurturing and so their careers were left in the backseat while they brought up their children. Men then would be the sole breadwinners.....the dominants!

Then there is everything from names (girls were named after dainty flowers and frigging clouds and rainbows!) to dress codes and roles within the home....I shouldn't even need to go into this one........

Gender controlled everything! And still does. Now though we are seeing it in different formats, like toys specifically for girls: usually pink, fashion based and extremely feminine while at the same time reinforcing the gender role to the child (Barbies...god damn barbies). And then there are boy toys, that reinforce the masculine ideal to young boys....(Action Man...emphasis on Action!). We have a separation of things that do not need to be kinder eggs who have brought out new pink and blue eggs, just for the sake of having gendered chocolate.

Why Bin The Idea?

Secondly, in understanding what gender really is, we cannot, and must not forget the 'other' (I'l get into this in a bit) genders....that's right, there are more than 2! The LGBT community have many forms of gender, where their biological make up does not determine who they love and how much, it does not tell them they must be masculine/feminine purely because of their bodies. They love who they love, they act how they act and they live how they want to live, in essence they have already gotten rid of the very Idea Gender.

But for those people who do view this community as the OTHER, these are the people stuck in stereotypical gender constructs. These are the people that say we cisgendered (meaning not of the LGBT community) are the normal community, and everything else is therefor abnormal. As a society, we always felt the need to normalize ourselves and as such make anything different the other, be it race, sexuality, religion...etc. Most of us want to be in the former...the normal. But for a lot of us, that is not the case. When children start to feel confused about their sexual identity, its considered a bad thing...the parents question whether or not they did something wrong, implying a wrongness in their child, instead of accepting that they are who they are. This causes issues for gay or trans people who feel they need to hide and pretend to be something they are not, just so society will accept them and not belittle their life choices.

This type of thinking, that there is something wrong or abnormal, has led to depression, anxiety and suicide, and this simply should not be the case. If we rid ourselves of the very notion of gender and of gender identity, then society and we as individuals will be accepting of everyone, regardless of sexuality, identity and physical appearance.

Basically what I'm saying is, lets all just F~ck the gender binary. let go of the idea that we have to be classified as something, categorized and thus controlled by those classifications.

But Wait...What About Reproduction?

This is a common argument surrounding the loss of gender norms, and gender identity. If everyone acted the way they wanted (be that masculine, feminine or a mix of the two...hell they could act like robots for all I care) then how would we know who was male and who was female? How would we reproduce? If People were openly allowed to be whatever they wanted and marry people regardless of sex (yay Ireland!) then wouldn't that mean populations would decrease? (An actual argument I heard recently). Well, it wouldn't. There will still be children, think about how many children are born every year, now why would that decrease just because of the deconstruction of gender? Allowing people to make their own choices in sexuality and sexual identity will not mean the end of civilization. It will mean that everybody is equal, nobody is other and we can all be happy in who we are without feeling ashamed, or like we need to hide our true selves.

Many people will find reasons to make issues currently seen as OTHER, appear to be hugely important to our survival. But the fact is, most people just have a problem with sharing the NORMAL title with everyone. They want to be special, they want to be superior. If we rid ourselves of gender roles and norms, we will all be normal. We will be happy and free to act, love and identify as anything we please.


Don't let gender control you.....
Don't let gender control you.....


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    • belleart profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Ireland

      Dashingscorpio-thank you for that wonderfully enlightened comment. You are absolutely right, we have always had the need to categorize and label everything around us, and I guess its not this classification that I have a problem with -or see a problem within, its the idea that if we are born with certain body parts we need to act and love accordingly.

      I feel that if we were to let go of these ideas, we would have much more freedom in our daily lives. But that bathroom issue is a good question to raise...dunno if I would want to share bathrooms... :)

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      3 years ago

      Gender for all intensive purposes is identified in our society by a certain makeup of X & Y chromosomes in addition to one's physical anatomy.

      A person with a penis is usually described as being a male and a person with a vagina is described as being a female.

      Having said that much of our behavior is "learned" or we're "indoctrinated" with it. A baby boy is wrapped up in a (blue) blanket and a little girl is wrapped up in a (pink) blanket.

      Would that child really care what color their blanket is? No!

      Little girls are taught what being "ladylike" is and boys are encouraged to be rough and tumble explorers who never cry or show weakness.

      Who is to say what the colors or other decisions the child would make if left to their own devices? Childhood is about being brainwashed to conform!

      Historically man has always looked for ways to (define and describe) things easily with words. I can't imagine a time where society would eliminate the words boys, girls, women, and men.

      It's part of human nature to want to have "lines" or ways to "distinguish".

      In fact when you think about it does "time" really exist?

      Aside from us as humans (agreeing) to define minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years to associate with events that take place; Is it real? No!

      Seriously what makes January 1st any more significant than August 1st? It's (our collective agreement) that January 1st is a "new year" and we can some how have a "clean slate" of optimism.

      What makes a $20 bill more valuable than a sheet of notebook paper?

      Once again it's our (collective agreement) as a society that makes one piece of paper worth more than another!

      To the cat or dog chewing on them it's all just paper!

      Nevertheless we live in an era where a mother discretely breastfeeding her infant child in public is controversial.

      It's unlikely in the U.S. we're going to see all public restrooms and locker rooms become "unisex" anytime soon.

      Gender identification for describing humans, animals, and insects will continue to be referenced and defined as such for scientific, medical, and societal purposes. Humanity has a need to communicate what they see.


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