I Am Not Much of a Gender Variant

For me gender is a set of social expectations placed upon people based on whether they have a penis or a vagina between their legs. It is pretty ephemeral stuff.  By that I mean Mick Jagger pretty well nailed it back in 1964 with the verse in “Satisfaction” that goes like this, “A man come on the television, he’s telling me more and more useless information, but he can’t be a man because he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me.”

A few years later the cancer dealers set their sight on women, telling them “You’ve come a long way baby”. Now you can smoke this cancer causing product specifically designed and branded for you.  Because of gendered marketing you will buy this one instead of the cowboy Marlboro one.

Many years ago in the days of Second Wave Feminist Theory I used to use the term “core gender identity” because instead of gender roles we had sex roles.  I think gender is better left to the ephemeral like roles which are social constructs that shift in time and place. Today I would call that same sense of self as belonging to one sex or the other “core sex identity” instead.

For example I never used to wear a bra unles it was required for work.  Now I live in a place where not wearing one when out in public is socially frowned upon.

Conservatives push gender as rigid and defining. Liberals see gender as much looser and more of a continuum.

I get away with a lot of stuff simply because I’m a hippie with an education who is pretty smart.  I wear my hair in a straight ponytail and not some sort of hair style.  This makes me a non-conformist. I’m feminine yet I break all sorts of rules regarding age and local culturally defined femininity.  This doesn’t make me a gender variant.  This makes me a feminist.

But I’m not particularly “gender queer” even though I may queer gender, the former a matter of being vs the later an existential act of doing.

I mostly hate “gender variant” because it sounds like another patholological description of us from outside that pretends that real men don’t eat quiche and that is somehow significant of something real rather than a corporate branding marketing ploy aimed at selling an ideology called misogyny.

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