Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tender Gender Blender

I just finished reading this fanfic which on the whole is very good and touched on a lot of interesting things, but I think it suffers to much from only seeing gender as binary. I have touched on before how I dislike society's idea of binary gender, that time focusing on sexual attraction. I even mentioned the anime of which this fanfic is based as a key point in my developing sexual feelings, and that remains true with sexual identity as well. The problem as I see it, exactly like my discussion of sexual attraction, is the more people try to insist male and female gender roles are different the more they will be different. The more people insist that there is a inner "male" or "female" self, the more people are trapped by this idea. The more people insist they are born into roles they can't change the less they will ever be able to. People are driven I think more by memes then they realize, more by ideas about who they should be inside. They build up ideal personae and feel uncomfortable when they don't match it. And let me make this clear, in regards to this story, I think it would have ended up the same way if it was discussed this way. But there is so much grief and angst caused by this binary idea of male and female, of what the character "should" do, and no one, not one single person ever seemed to bring up the possibility of remaining both male and female, that you didn't have to choose like that. I don't think it would have changed the outcome that much, but I think it would have led to a deeper, less forced, and less fearful way of looking at the problem. I was even talking with someone not to long ago that seemed to be struggling with a transsexual identity crisis, and even I had a small struggle with one at one point. The thing is though, there are so many things, like make up and high heals, that I wouldn't put up with, even if I think it would be nice to have a female body sometimes. There are so many things, like sports crap and being macho, I refuse to put up with even when I have a male body. I roleplay as female or hermaphrodite characters a lot, and I am curious about it, but I really feel like my "true self" is something that gender just doesn't apply to. I still would like to be female some time, not because I hate being male so much as because I would simply like the freedom to choose and try it. The way technology is, that is just not practical, and so I stay male. I am not a fan of my body truth be told, nor of my gender, but I just don't see it as that important. My life doesn't revolve around it. I know it's just not that easy for some people, but I am not saying people should not live in the body they feel is right for them, I am just saying there is a lot more to it then "really being" "male" or "female". It shouldn't be something you have to force yourself into becoming another person for, and if you want to be another person that desperately, there might be something more then just your sexual identity behind it. I guess the real issue I see is that it's such a muddled and abused subject, caught up with so many preconceptions and confused messages. If people could just change their sex whenever they wanted, I don't think it would be anywhere near of an issue, and people would just be able to try it out and pick one, or not pick one. And maybe someday, but now this whole drudge of issues comes in to play, and for what? If you have a penis or vagina? If you want to put on dresses and pretty yourself up, do you need to be a girl? If you want to lay in pants and t-shirts and watch the game do you need to be a guy? Do what you want and live how you want to live, do that first and then worry about your naughty bits or how you present yourself to people.

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