To The FemmeMobile! Away!

{November 25, 2010}   Gender and Attraction

I’ve been thinking more about that whole eradicating gender thing, and I think part of my dislike with the idea (aside from the fact that I don’t think it’s humanly possible) is that, it’s gender I’m attracted to. Yes, okay, I’m attracted to people — but I’m attracted to people of a certain gender.

I think I have this concept that if we get rid of gender, everyone will be wearing androgynous. That’s not what Ms. Bornstein means, as far as I can tell; she seems to be saying that getting rid of gender will free people to wear and do whatever they feel at that instant. But even still, that assumes that most people will want to (for lack of a better word) change genders periodically (or more often), and… I can only speak from my experience, but I’m not likely to dress or act much different than I do now. I wear and do the things I do because they’re comfortable for me.

I really feel like I’m missing a key thing, here, like there’s something that Ms. Bornstein is trying to get across to me that I’m not getting. Ha, I should probably go read the book some more. ;-D But I left it home, and I won’t have it until Saturday or Sunday at the earliest, so I’m stuck just hypothesizing.

There are people who read this who have a better grasp of gender and gender theory and whatnot than I do; what do I seem to be missing? Can someone else explain to me what the hypothesis is in a way that I better understand what’s being suggested? Because I’m not at all sure about my conclusions…



Nezu says:

I haven’t read Gender Outlaw but I have read Bornstein’s My Gender Workbook and what you’re describing has been the sticking point for me, too. While I agree that the option to be gender-fluid is one that I’d like to see open to everyone, she seems to promulgate a position that everyone should be genderqueer at all times, and I’m uncomfortable with that. It feels militant and confining, and dismissive of people who choose to inhabit a defined gender.

I’ve made three passes through the book, hoping I’d find myself more comfortable with it, or have some sort of “aha” moment, but each time I’ve ended up feeling a little alienated, a little dismissed, and frustrated that if the reigning figurehead of Gender Identity Theory’s ideas leave me cold, maybe I’m somehow doing it wrong.

Given that you seem to be feeling the same unease, maybe the problem isn’t with us but with the material. Maybe we’re not the audience Bornstein is writing for. After all, we both already accept that it’s okay for people to choose their gender identity and presentation, and a lot of the book I read seems to be working hard to convince people too accept that idea, which you and I already hold as a fundamental tenet.

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