The Importance Of Gender Identity

1884 Words8 Pages
Identities are an important part of the human experience. One of the many identities that creates a person is gender. Society, being the entity establishing social norms and social roles, plays a part in effecting the individual’s gender, and how they choose to express themself. The underlying or overlying identities also have the same effect. Gender is not only an identity, it is a lifestyle inside and out. Gender, like race, class, and sexuality; is not limited to the binary scale, and that is normal, natural, and human. The concept of gender is man-made, but it forces one’s hand to analyze the thought processes behind an individual's perception on gender through self, through society, or through the dichotomy and/or correspondence of the two. These labels and ideologies sometimes determines if a group of individuals need to be praised or persecuted especially towards trans, non-binary, and intersex individuals. More often than not “sex” and “gender” are terms that are mistakenly interchangeably used. Joanne Meyerowitz in “How Sex Changed”, explained how the definition of sex changed throughout American History. In this article “sex” becomes more than biological; scientists and researchers view sex as one’s personal attributes. They continue studies on various levels of sex, and the process of determining how to differentiate sex. Primary is the genitalia a person has; secondary is the hormonal differences between men and women; tertiary is the sexual attraction someone has; the fourth-order is the personality of the individual. Towards the end of the piece scientists come to the realization that someone’s anatomical sex, may not coincide with their functional sex. (Meyerowitz 2-5). The latter portion of her theory coincides wi... ... middle of paper ... ...tity. Kyriarchy is used to recognize how the various identities intersection and create a complex system of oppressed and privileged traits someone may have (Ferguson). Gender is one of the most important identities someone has. Gender may determine the clothes you wear; your place of employment and how much you’ll make there; your rights and protections under the law; how the world sees you; how you see you; how you’ll live; how long you’ll live and how you’ll die. Gender was socially constructed by the hands of man and it holds weight in how society or an individual chooses to see it, be it, and teach it. Gender is power, and there is power in knowledge. Gender is growing and changing. Gender is fluid. Gender is expansive. Gender can not and should not be contained into two small narrow minded categories. Gender is you and how you choose to do it, so do it well.
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