Saturday, October 1, 2011

Normative Gender is a Social Club

Because of my current job, I now spend more time around cisgender heteronormative people than ever before. And it strikes me just how granular gender identity really is, across the spectrum.

Even among binary-identified straight cis women, I do not see any one unified collective. I see nerdy femmes, androgynous bookworms, mud-n-dirt tomboys, fashionistas, edgy femmes, matrons, rockers, athletes…

The same goes for straight cis guys. There’s the alpha males, the wannabe alpha males, the quiet reserved guys, the slightly feminine ones, the very feminine ones, the macho metalheads, the pagan metalheads…

These groups keep to themselves to a certain degree. They all do gender differently. They form their own cliques. Even if they sometimes comingle, they have different ways of perceiving and relating to the world. Their differences create conflict and distrust. Their boundaries are policed.

And yet, thanks to the fiction of binary gender, they all believe they’re part of a monolithic gender designated “male” or “female”. Even though they constantly bump into evidence to the contrary, socialization is there to help them gloss over the cracks in their faulty model. In reality, none of them belong to a binary gender. They belong to one of two social clubs. There is no inherent cohesion. There is no inherent opposition.

I feel alienated because of it. I speak a different language than these people. I constantly catch discrepancies they miss. I notice every time they rationalize the broken models they live by. It’s a hidden world they refuse to see. A microscope only queer people can see into, while the normatives sit back and deny the existence of microscopic organisms.


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    Well, I’m disappointed to hear that you’re not going to respond to my posts anymore, since I think we would each agree...
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    This is a fantastic post. Added bolding for emphasis in several places. Even people who haven’t followed the whole...
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    This is my last response to you. I’ma try this again, using copy + paste. See if you can spot the difference between how...
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    I feel like whether I adopt them or not, and whether I question binary gender and prop up binarism, cissexism and gender...
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    Re-reblogging this because of the above response.
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