There’s a lot of talk about gender these days, so I’m putting an end to it. That’s right, this Valentine’s Day I’ve decided that the best thing you can do for your partner is to just stop talking about gender.
Gender is socially constructed.
Gender is a social construct. It’s not real, and it’s not as simple as “male” or “female.” Gender is a socially-defined set of attributes, behaviors, and roles that are assigned to men and women based on their sex.
Gender is both a noun—the concept of gender—and an adjective—a thing that is gendered (either male or female).
The word “gender” comes from the Latin word genus, which means “kind” or “type,” so some people argue that using it as an adjective (like when you say someone has a “gender identity”) can be misleading because there’s no such thing as “a gender type”; there are only types of genders! But this doesn’t mean we have to get rid of adjectives altogether: we just need better ones! For example: instead of saying someone has “a female body type” maybe we could say they have “a fat body?” Or maybe even just use “fatty!
Gender is a very complex topic, and it’s one that affects us all.
Gender is a very complex topic, and it’s one that affects us all. It’s not a choice, but rather something we are assigned at birth based on our perceived sex characteristics (e.g., genitals). Most people have no problem with this “binary” notion of gender; however, for those who don’t identify as male or female—or whose identities are more fluid—the concept of gender can be difficult to wrap your head around.
The reality is that there are many ways to identify: trans*, non-binary/genderqueer/agender/pangender/etc., cisgender (where one identifies as their sex assigned at birth), etc.; however, none of these labels describe an entire person’s scope of identity because they’re oversimplified stereotypes that reduce the complexity of each individual into simple terms such as “male” or “female.” In other words: not everyone fits into the binary system!
We need to start having conversations about how gendered language impacts society so we can move towards creating inclusive environments where everyone feels safe sharing who they truly are with others without fear of judgment.
Although the gender conversation has come a long way, not everyone feels welcome at the table.
Although the gender conversation has come a long way, not everyone feels welcome at the table. In fact, there are many people who are not welcome in the gender conversation. Trans people and people of color often feel unsafe in this space because of the ways in which it can be exclusive and hostile to their identities.
Although I hope that my blog helps you understand what gender is, it’s important to consider how your language may contribute to a culture of exclusion if you aren’t careful with how you speak about it. You may want to make sure that your language isn’t alienating or offensive before sharing it with others!
We have to acknowledge the fact that trans people have always existed.
We have to acknowledge the fact that trans people have always existed. Trans people are not a new phenomenon—in fact, they’ve been around for thousands of years.
In the modern era, Rangimāranga Tihi, or Dame Whina Cooper (1864-1953), was an indigenous Māori leader who fought for equality and women’s rights in New Zealand. She was also transgender—a man by birth who lived as a woman in accordance with her internal gender identity. Her original name is unknown; she took up “Whina” after being forcibly separated from her children at age 12 due to colonial laws against marriage between races/genders.
Dame Whina Cooper wasn’t alone: There is evidence that other indigenous peoples across North America also had their own traditions celebrating gender diversity prior to European contact (for example, among the Huron people there was a distinct third gender category known as néminou). It’s safe to say then that humanity has never been without trans narratives; it’s just taken us longer than we’d like to see them reflected positively in mainstream culture!
There are many transgender people who are in need of support.
The transgender community faces a high risk of suicide, mental illness, substance abuse and HIV. In fact, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey  reported that 48% of transgender people have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. That’s 15 times the rate of non-transgender people! While these numbers are shocking on their own, they become even more alarming when you consider that 1 out 5 trans people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
While there are many reasons why this is happening (including discrimination from employers), we can’t ignore the impact on the individual level: depression, anxiety and fear create a culture of shame within communities where individuals feel like they must hide who they are or face being ostracized from society.
There are many resources for transgender people and allies.
If you’re a transgender person, or an ally supporting one, there are many resources available to help you. Some of these resources can be found in your community and others online or over the phone.
If you are looking for information on local trans-friendly health care providers, look up “LGBTQ+ friendly doctor near me” in Google Maps or do an online search for the name of your city plus “LGBTQ+ friendly doctor near me.” You can also call your insurance company and ask them if they have any recommendations.
If you need advice on how to talk with someone who is questioning their gender identity, try searching YouTube for videos titled something like “How To Talk About Gender With Your Friends And Family (And Make Them Feel Safe).”
We can’t talk about gender without also talking about race, class, sexuality and disability.
To understand gender, we have to talk about race, class, sexuality and disability. All of these factors affect the experience of gender and how we treat it. Race, for example, is often presented as something that comes into play only when you’re talking about race – but in fact it plays a role in everything from the way we talk about hair to the way people think about their body parts. Class is connected to everything from education levels to what kind of jobs you’ll likely end up with – not just your financial status but also how much money you had growing up or where your parents got their information from when deciding what children should do when they grow up (for example). Sexuality affects how other people perceive us based on our style choices or even whether or not we wear makeup (which can be seen as either “effeminate” or “masculine”). Disability affects what accommodations people need at work so they can do their jobs safely – if one person needs more time than another because they have ADHD then this could lead to them getting fired because they weren’t meeting deadlines!
Because these things are connected with each other and affect our experiences every day without us realizing it – there’s no way we can ignore them when discussing gender issues anymore!
It’s not easy to end the conversation about gender. It’s difficult because we have been conditioned from birth that our sense of self is based on how we were born and what is between our legs. Gender is a social construct but also a very real part of our lives, and it can be hard to separate ourselves from that idea when society expects us all to conform to its norms. It was only through my own journey as an LGBTQ+ person that I learned how much there was still left unknown in this world – so many questions yet unanswered: Who am I? What kind of life do I want for myself? Where do my own values line up with those around me? And most importantly, if there were no rules imposed on me by society, what kind of person would I be today?