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Old 04-07-2019, 02:52 PM
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A thread for thinking out loud about gender.
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:20 PM
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For at least half of my now long life (I'm in my early fifties) I've been saying, on occasion, that I'm "inwardly androgynous," by which I have meant that while I wear guy clothing and eschew makeup and high heals and otherwise appear as 'masculine', I feel about equal portions 'masculine' and 'feminine'.

True, my hips probably swish a little more than those of the hypermasculine man, but I figure I generally pass as a regular dude. I don't appear to be effeminate -- whatever exactly that means.

We are living in a time when same sex marriage is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and normal, when het boys wear pink shirts and have earrings and with increasing frequency will cuddle one another and even kiss, telling one another how much they love one another, sending text messages with little bright red hearts (at least in the UK they do, and there is solid sociological evidence for this. Even in the USA the old gender binary and its codes are disappearing before our very eyes, along with sex-and-gender segregated restaurant and school bathrooms.

We commonly hear these days that some cultures have had three, four, six, ten genders. We hear that sex and gender are two different things, and we believe it. Why wouldn't we. It's rather obvious -- isn't it?

Well... ultimately, no. Not so much. Which has us suspecting that gender is -- gasp! -- nothing more than a social construct of such cultural variability that it makes our head spin if we actually do try to put any handles on any of it.

And that's okay. Gender appears not really to be 'real' in any substantial kind of way, like a mountain is real, or a tree. Gender is real more like how the border between Mexico and the USA is real. It's all made up, but sort of quasi-real in that making it up has very real consequences.

Something is happening these days, though. We're seeing through the illusions of gender as we never have before. And this is the equivalent of a psychic seismic earthquake of about 9 points on the Richter scale. Or a tsunami, or perhaps only a slow but giant flood.

The same thing, of course, is beginning to happen with regard to "love" -- as we see so much evidence for here in polyamory.com . The old maps and legends of 'love' are falling away. "True love" needn't be exclusive, as it was thought to be for so long by "normal" people. Abnormality is breaking out everywhere! And this is a good thing, I believe. We're becoming free in all kinds of new and exciting ways. Freedom is breaking out! At least in some places, at certain times.

I just had to momentarily segue from the topic of gender to the topic of polyamory -- because this is a polyamory forum. And polyamory is partly about love and partly about sex -- and partly in terms of both senses of the word 'sex' -- biological sex and most everyone's favorite recreational activity. But there's more to it than that, my reasons for tying gender inquiry into polyamory inquiry. And it has to do with the difference between a real tree, a real mountain, and a real (though purely imaginary -- in some important sense) national border.

If we all decide to redraw the USA/Mexico border somewhere other than where it is, along most of its length (sans any walls or fences) nothing will seem to have changed much on the ground. Apart from the movements of people. It's rather arbitrary, this placement of borders. What makes a border 'real' is that we agree to it.

So I ask you, what makes gender real? Apart from sex, that is.

It seems to be a question that matters because we live -- still -- in a deeply gendered world. Right?
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:26 PM
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What Is Gender Identity?
The elusive true gender self
https://arcdigital.media/what-is-gen...y-10ce0da71999
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:52 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:37 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...y=contrapoints

I really like this person's intellectual sociological delvings into the gender question (and other topics as well). I think you will too, River.
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Pixi (poly, F, 41) my partner since January 2009, living together full time 6 years
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