Gender identity

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2013 11:49 PM GMT
    Hi ,

    I'm fascinated by the concept of gender identity. I identify as man , I love being a man BUT I do feel I am feminine in some aspects of my personality .

    I wonder if even that makes sense. Are masculinity and femininity things that are inherent to human nature or are they concepts that have developed with culture ?

    Of course, females give birth , which means nature can at least be credited for differentiating the two sexes or maybe giving a hint about gender roles.

    But could they have evolved differently than the way they have evolved so far ? Would it have been possible for women to be superior to men , the way men have considered themselves superior to women for so many centuries ?

    Maybe it all comes to the way we conceive the biological role that women play in the cycle of life. If I were to summarize in the most simplistic way how women's role in society was conceived, it would be something like this :

    Women's purpose in life is to give birth ( yes it is a deterministic reasoning but I believe that was the starting point ) . In order for that to happen , a woman has to find a man. For her to achieve that goal, women must be as desirable as they can and prove to be an asset to the man ( by being able to respond to the man's needs). This , I believe, is what has confined her to the domestic sphere. So, is that what femininity derives from ? Is is merely the result of oppression ?

    This is all the more relevant , that , during the twentieth century, to demonstrate that they were freeing themselves from men's oppression , women started to take on masculine features : wearing pants, shorter haircuts etc...

    SO , to go back to my main question, does that mean that there are only two gender models to choose from ?
    Or is it those two models were only developed throughout history and could have been something completely different had history turned out different ?

    I really do hope I'm making myself understood. If you have any question about a passage , please don"t hesitate to point it out. I'd love some feedback on this post. Thanks !

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 05, 2013 12:12 AM GMT
    You get to choose your own blend.

    It's your life.
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    Apr 05, 2013 12:57 AM GMT
    For me: Gender is fixed but malleable. Gender is acquired not learned. Like acquiring language, words (rhythmic patterns of sound produced from the voice mechanism) only have meaning when our environment gives meaning. If I wore a pink-one-piece, my environment tells me that that is gender specific, feminine. If I say the word 'circle', it's my environment that tells me it's round.

    Just like language, gender allows me to know my outside world and my outside world to know me. It's a knowledge system. It allows me to create an identity so that I can be identified.

    If I think of all the components that make up my gender just like words contained in my lexicon, they are fixed but still remain malleable. One combination may not be appropriate for all situations. The components are rearranged to fit a given situation, but the same parts are still there. Those combinations do and can change over time.
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    Apr 05, 2013 7:41 PM GMT
    deltalimen saidFor me: Gender is fixed but malleable. Gender is acquired not learned. Like acquiring language, words (rhythmic patterns of sound produced from the voice mechanism) only have meaning when our environment gives meaning. If I wore a pink-one-piece, my environment tells me that that is gender specific, feminine. If I say the word 'circle', it's my environment that tells me it's round.

    Just like language, gender allows me to know my outside world and my outside world to know me. It's a knowledge system. It allows me to create an identity so that I can be identified.

    If I think of all the components that make up my gender just like words contained in my lexicon, they are fixed but still remain malleable. One combination may not be appropriate for all situations. The components are rearranged to fit a given situation, but the same parts are still there. Those combinations do and can change over time.


    But how can you , at the same time , refer to gender as a code that makes you perceived a certain way in society( either male and female) and as something that changes and evolves overtime ?

    If it's a code , then it means it's not supposed to reflect who you are, it's a form you take on , an appearance you maintain to obey to a certain number of norms that exist in society.
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    Apr 05, 2013 7:57 PM GMT
    Give very little girls dolls and they will play mommy and nurture. Give the same dolls to very little boys and they will have the dolls wrestling each other. Give the same dolls to little gay boys and they will be styling the doll's hair and changing its clothes.

    I don't have a real answer for you.

    Sorry.
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    Apr 05, 2013 8:45 PM GMT
    Saad22 said
    SO , to go back to my main question, does that mean that there are only two gender models to choose from ?

    I am what I am
    I am my own special creation

    Why do you need everything labeled? If you see masc and fem on a spectrum, everyone falls somewhere on it. It's all good and not everything needs a scientific label. We create these labels to create barriers between us, when there should be none.

    Go bang your own drum
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    Apr 05, 2013 9:02 PM GMT
    Gender leads to general gender traits which lead to general gender tendencies. Any one of these areas can influence your thoughts or behavior.
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    Apr 06, 2013 6:41 AM GMT
    bhp91126 said
    Saad22 said
    SO , to go back to my main question, does that mean that there are only two gender models to choose from ?

    I am what I am
    I am my own special creation

    Why do you need everything labeled? If you see masc and fem on a spectrum, everyone falls somewhere on it. It's all good and not everything needs a scientific label. We create these labels to create barriers between us, when there should be none.

    Go bang your own drum


    Well , my question is not exactly about labels.

    I didn't formulate it very well but what I meant was : could the traits the we identify and yes, label in society as masculine and feminine have turned out differently ? or are they unchangeable because they are a part of what defines human nature ?

    To the latter question , one might argue that in the case of men , culture replaces nature ? does that mean that we're going towards a completely androgynous society as the two genders are getting closer ? or will there always be an opposition between the two genders ? in which case , the opposition would be a necessary factor to the functioning of society
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    Apr 06, 2013 6:46 AM GMT
    This thread is not complete without some pictures of men!!!icon_biggrin.gif

    You know, to help visualize what we are talking about!!!icon_twisted.gif
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    Apr 06, 2013 6:48 AM GMT
    Myol saidGender leads to general gender traits which lead to general gender tendencies. Any one of these areas can influence your thoughts or behavior.


    But see the thing is, sometimes you have traits that aren't defined by your gender . What I'm wondering is if the generalization of this tendency will lead to the transformation of masculinity and femininity , eventually making gender something obsolete ; or if the two gender roles will always be separated and differentiated because it is fact of nature ?
  • killercliche

    Posts: 948

    Apr 06, 2013 7:05 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidGive very little girls dolls and they will play mommy and nurture. Give the same dolls to very little boys and they will have the dolls wrestling each other. Give the same dolls to little gay boys and they will be styling the doll's hair and changing its clothes.
    .


    All boys play with dolls when they are young. They are called GI Joes.

    Gender is a fixed thing... well until modern day surgery. There are two genders: male and female.

    I believe what OP is referring to is gender roles. For the most part, gender roles are learned, entirely. There was an interesting articles I was shown in sociology about a tribe in africa where the women were the home owners and the men were expected to dress up and wear make up so that they would be desirable to the women.

    How this relates the some gay men acquiring traits we associate with the females? I'm not a sociologist, but I believe that this deviation from social construction stems from male children that have trouble socializing with other male children and thus associate with female peers instead. I'm sure there are many other specific cases with a myriad of other scenarios, but no, I do not believe for a minute that gender roles are anything other than learned.
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    Apr 06, 2013 7:21 AM GMT
    killercliche said
    UndercoverMan saidGive very little girls dolls and they will play mommy and nurture. Give the same dolls to very little boys and they will have the dolls wrestling each other. Give the same dolls to little gay boys and they will be styling the doll's hair and changing its clothes.
    .


    All boys play with dolls when they are young. They are called GI Joes.

    Gender is a fixed thing... well until modern day surgery. There are two genders: male and female.

    I believe what OP is referring to is gender roles. For the most part, gender roles are learned, entirely. There was an interesting articles I was shown in sociology about a tribe in africa where the women were the home owners and the men were expected to dress up and wear make up so that they would be desirable to the women.

    How this relates the some gay men acquiring traits we associate with the females? I'm not a sociologist, but I believe that this deviation from social construction stems from male children that have trouble socializing with other male children and thus associate with female peers instead. I'm sure there are many other specific cases with a myriad of other scenarios, but no, I do not believe for a minute that gender roles are anything other than learned.

    No, gender is not a fixed thing. Neither is it a clear dichotomy of male and female,
    Also, I would differentiate the word gender with sex.

    I do agree that gender roles are socially learned and constructed.
  • killercliche

    Posts: 948

    Apr 06, 2013 7:31 AM GMT
    nevz said
    killercliche said
    UndercoverMan saidGive very little girls dolls and they will play mommy and nurture. Give the same dolls to very little boys and they will have the dolls wrestling each other. Give the same dolls to little gay boys and they will be styling the doll's hair and changing its clothes.
    .


    All boys play with dolls when they are young. They are called GI Joes.

    Gender is a fixed thing... well until modern day surgery. There are two genders: male and female.

    I believe what OP is referring to is gender roles. For the most part, gender roles are learned, entirely. There was an interesting articles I was shown in sociology about a tribe in africa where the women were the home owners and the men were expected to dress up and wear make up so that they would be desirable to the women.

    How this relates the some gay men acquiring traits we associate with the females? I'm not a sociologist, but I believe that this deviation from social construction stems from male children that have trouble socializing with other male children and thus associate with female peers instead. I'm sure there are many other specific cases with a myriad of other scenarios, but no, I do not believe for a minute that gender roles are anything other than learned.

    No, gender is not a fixed thing. Neither is it a clear dichotomy of male and female,
    Also, I would differentiate the word gender with sex.

    I do agree that gender roles are socially learned and constructed.


    Well yes, there are some schools of thought that separate gender from sex. Since gender does include the physical state, I was differentiating it from gender roles or gender identity. But it's a fair point to make.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2013 7:37 AM GMT
    This is a weird one. I love talking about social constructs vs. inherent traits. Okay, what we do know is that girls are more hardwired to play games that are more social and less competitive (tea party, house, etc.) Boys are more competitive and less social dynamic. This is at a younger age. Boys will be more into games that have a winner and a loser (cowboys and Indians, cars). Also, more movement.

    This is after seeing boys who were socialized as girls and what they preferred to play on average. It's true, most boys went for the trucks and most girls went for dolls. When the toys were the same, the patterns emerged of how they used the same toys.

    So is gender fixed? No. Only partly. Things such as haircuts, clothes, etc. are social constructs. Pink used to be the dominant color for boys, representing blood and courage. Now it's blue. Having long hair was a sign of virility and strength in men. In some realms it still is. In terms of domesticity, vacuuming and washing the dishes are not hardwired in our genetics to such a degree. Yes women may be more likely to play house as a girl, but that doesn't mean that men want to live like they did back in college (god my dorm room was terrible) post adolescent/college.

    Sidenote, this is why when people deride psychology majors they don't understand that benefits of what psychology has given us.

    In short, men are more likely to be competitive and women more social...but simply put, we express those things in varying degrees and in a multitude of ways.
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    Apr 06, 2013 10:26 AM GMT
    Saad22 saidHi ,

    I'm fascinated by the concept of gender identity. I identify as man , I love being a man BUT I do feel I am feminine in some aspects of my personality .

    I wonder if even that makes sense. Are masculinity and femininity things that are inherent to human nature or are they concepts that have developed with culture ?

    Of course, females give birth , which means nature can at least be credited for differentiating the two sexes or maybe giving a hint about gender roles.

    But could they have evolved differently than the way they have evolved so far ? Would it have been possible for women to be superior to men , the way men have considered themselves superior to women for so many centuries ?

    Maybe it all comes to the way we conceive the biological role that women play in the cycle of life. If I were to summarize in the most simplistic way how women's role in society was conceived, it would be something like this :

    Women's purpose in life is to give birth ( yes it is a deterministic reasoning but I believe that was the starting point ) . In order for that to happen , a woman has to find a man. For her to achieve that goal, women must be as desirable as they can and prove to be an asset to the man ( by being able to respond to the man's needs). This , I believe, is what has confined her to the domestic sphere. So, is that what femininity derives from ? Is is merely the result of oppression ?

    This is all the more relevant , that , during the twentieth century, to demonstrate that they were freeing themselves from men's oppression , women started to take on masculine features : wearing pants, shorter haircuts etc...

    SO , to go back to my main question, does that mean that there are only two gender models to choose from ?
    Or is it those two models were only developed throughout history and could have been something completely different had history turned out different ?

    I really do hope I'm making myself understood. If you have any question about a passage , please don"t hesitate to point it out. I'd love some feedback on this post. Thanks !



    Thanks God, there are many ways. But it´s sometimes hell to find someone compatible icon_lol.gif
  • Tombo

    Posts: 355

    Apr 06, 2013 11:59 AM GMT
    jmusmc85 saidThis thread is not complete without some pictures of men!!!icon_biggrin.gif

    You know, to help visualize what we are talking about!!!icon_twisted.gif


    mmmhmmm. this!
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    Apr 07, 2013 6:10 PM GMT
    Saad22 said
    Myol saidGender leads to general gender traits which lead to general gender tendencies. Any one of these areas can influence your thoughts or behavior.


    But see the thing is, sometimes you have traits that aren't defined by your gender . What I'm wondering is if the generalization of this tendency will lead to the transformation of masculinity and femininity , eventually making gender something obsolete ; or if the two gender roles will always be separated and differentiated because it is fact of nature ?


    No, I don't think gender roles would ever become obsolete. I work in part of an office of mostly females and they have no problem with being girly and while absolutely loving being girly. They don't want to play football (even though a couple of them follow football religiously). They talk about fingernail polish, perfume, hair care products, say phrases like "oh that's so adorable" etc. They seem to be fine with it.

    The guys in in the other part of the office fall into two camps... jock/bro types who get along well with guys and girls, and average to metrosexual guys who get along well with guys and girls. The bro's love sports, cars, beer, the metro/hipsters are into video games and memes, art etc. Everyone gets along well. Nobody is obsessing over "you must be this or that". But they all firmly fit into roles that they're all fine with. Sure there is the occasional banter about losing your mancard if you do something... but it is light at best.
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    Apr 07, 2013 10:12 PM GMT
    "Is he gay, or is he British?"
    -Unknown author