What is it like to feel gender?

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09 Oct 2020 17:07 #355200 by TheDude
I understand that there is a difference between sex and gender. Sex is physiological while gender is psychological; sex is easily recognizable while gender is internal; sex has many defined traits while gender doesn't seem to. But I've never experienced gender. I don't know what it means to "feel like a (man/woman/etc)". I suppose I'm recognized socially as a man -- though with my long hair, people have misgendered me before. I feel no urge to dress in a way specific to my sex, though I usually end up wearing "masculine" clothes since that's what family members have bought for me for my whole life. I'm not sure it means anything to "act like a (man/woman/etc)" because I see people of different sexes acting in many different ways.
So that got me thinking. I don't understand what it's like to experience gender. From where I'm standing it seems to be about stereotypes and historic gender roles. Like, you "feel like a woman" because you want to adhere to a stereotype of a woman, or you "feel like a man" because you want to fill a historically male social role. That's what appears to be happening, to me, when a person affirms their gender identity.
But outside of stereotypes (e.g. "men aren't emotional!") and gender roles (e.g. "I want to stay at home and cook and clean") I'm not aware of any observable behaviors which can be accurately deemed "gendered". And this kind of bothers me. When you say "I feel like a man" is it because you have an image in your head of what a stereotypical man is like, and you feel like that or you want to be that? Is that what is meant by gender? I see men and women perform different behaviors all the time which don't adhere to their sex stereotypes.
Is it the way they dress? Like, feeling like a woman means you want to dress in a certain way? If I wear a skirt, does it make me a woman? I've seen men and women wear all different types of clothing, so I don't think it's that.
Is it a way of thinking? Like, you think like a man, or you think like a woman? But surely you wouldn't know what it's like to think like another gender if you're not that gender? So how would anyone know they think like a man or like a woman when they have no experience in thinking like the other gender to reference?
Given the diversity of human thought and actions, I don't think it's right to label one group of behaviors or thoughts as being specifically gendered. But people do say that they feel like a gender. So is gender a feeling, rather than a thought or an action? If it is a feeling, how does it feel?
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09 Oct 2020 17:59 #355201 by rugadd
Clarification: For me, we are all human and unique.

If your looking for a dichotomy between men and women, or perhaps the difference between the concepts, try studying what happened when hunters and gatherers split on which was the best approach.

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09 Oct 2020 18:51 #355215 by rugadd
Hint: Herding vs agriculture

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09 Oct 2020 22:01 #355220 by Gisteron
What "is it like" to feel anything, really? What is anything like? Is there even something "it is like" to be/experience something? Ever since I came to really think about a question like that I have been struggling understanding what it even means. What does an answer to it look like, and how would one go about finding an answer to it, if there even is one at all? Frankly, at the risk of sounding dismissive about it, I have at the very least yet to talk to someone who could coherently explain what they mean by their respective question of this sort, without attempting to appeal to an intuition I am supposed to have deep down, that the question really means something. And perhaps in day to day casual conversation I might drop the phrase as all of us drop any number of expressions we really don't spend much time thinking about. Still, I'd insist one needn't be obtuse to question things like that, and if "oh, come on, you know what I mean, don't be silly" is all one can ever reply with, as might come back at times when this challenge is raised, then perhaps one really doesn't know what's really going on, anyway.

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned

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10 Oct 2020 04:27 - 10 Oct 2020 04:35 #355222 by Adder
Wow, that is a heavy topic. Depends what baseline language, and working assumptions one accepts to talk to as a point.
I have my own approach which makes it more tractable in terms of experiential…. which may or may not be mainstream, but they aren't far off.
I’m gonna limit to healthy functioning organs, and XY or XX allosome, otherwise it becomes about the broader topic of culture etc etc.

I'd say probably consider it in 3 ways; the sex as determined through sexual differentiation which includes reproductive purpose, the physical gender of being a person who has all external form of a particular sex, and the mental gender of being a person who aligns to the culture of the other two ways.

So to comment on the experience of feeling like a gender, in backwards order;

A. if referring to the 3rd of those, is the feeling of doing whatever things that 'they' do.

B. the 2nd of those, which probably tends towards inheriting the 3rd as well, but with the addition of the distinct physicality's. And I'd split it into two main categories that are closely related;
1. Consider structural differences, which relate to postural differences. This translates across into movement, and therefore mannerisms. Movement differences often tending to be exaggerated compared to resting differences because the difference being starting and end points means the 'path' plotted can vary disproportionately to the reduced differences of the starting and ending positions. The inherent nature of it makes it persistent, and therefore often a defining attribute (no matter how small) of those sharing it. The female pelvis is aligned and shaped differently, and this directly impacts all posture and movement, which therefore has a role in all movement. The smaller shoulders and reduced bone density likewise have continuous impact on movement and bearing.
2. Consider differences in the nature of mental focus on different parts of the body. Not only the structural differences, but the different placement and sizes of organs unique to one sex or the other really play a role in both the structure, movement, fashion and postures. This starts to relate more to A, but both these 1 and 2 may at times seem to be small factors but they persist and add up to infer real, enduring and defining changes IMO.

C. The hormonal landscape during development (even before puberty to some extent perhaps?) shapes form and focus (to some extent in the awareness at any moment, but also influences the structures over time - what gets used gets predominant). In a way te reproductive organs generate their own ‘footprint’ in the body, be it hormonal influences shaping focus, instinctual drive swings, altering bone structure, muscle mass, sexual arousal/depression, menstrual cycle, etc…. and the longer someone is of this category the more their minds and body probably align to those impacts. This way also includes the other two. This really cannot begin at levels approaching adult expression until the later parts of puberty.

A person in any one of those categories would probably define gender is their own experience, but only C is actually of that sex IMO. B would be mimicry to that sex. And A would be more like acting as a sex. As ‘gender’ though I’d say it could fall across all categories, as such a person is only acting a gender if they do not consider it their normal gender, mimicking a gender if they are normalising to a gender, and of that gender if that is what they are all the time.

But I'd say there is a tendency for people to normalize the potential scope of differences in the base physiological and its impacts over time, and then different cultural fashions and forms become mainstreamed and adopted, such that what gender means can fairly less be about sex and more about the cultural manifestations of sex and gender roles and rights more in line with fashion (or politics if its oppressive).

For clarity to context of the above, me personally, I think gender for an adult is up to them! I'm not touching the kids though, that issue speaks to deeper science which would then go to inform a deeper debate about the definitions, which I find beyond the scope of this thread or my approach in this post.

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10 Oct 2020 05:47 - 10 Oct 2020 05:58 #355223 by Eqin Ilis
Replied by Eqin Ilis on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Feeling your gender is just like feeling attraction. It's difficult to describe, but you know it if you feel it. If you have trouble relating, it might actually help to look into agender experiences.

My partner is agender, meaning they don't identify as a specific gender, but rather a lack of one. I often call her my girlfriend for simplicities sake, because it doesn't bother her, and they're not out to their family, but my partner doesn't feel attachment to any set of pronouns, so I switch here depending on the scenario. But pronouns are a whole other discussion. When I mentioned this post, they described their experience of gender as "getting tastes of it." Working in a location where she was wearing a dress and presenting very feminine, she felt like she got a taste of femininity. Working in a location with a tie and vest, he got a taste of masculinity. It seems they experience the "idea of" a gender through performance, but feel really detached from it as a self-concept.

By contrast, I experience a very static masculine gender (boy/man). I have my entire life. All of my role models are guys, and I feel uncomfortable with being perceived as feminine as it feels disconnected from my reality. I've always known I enjoy masculinity just as easily as I know I hate the taste of lima beans or that I like Star Wars. It's just a preference, and some people know what they like and dislike more easily than others.

I also have many friends who are non-binary. One of them identifies as genderfluid. The genderfluid individual I am mentioning here prefers they pronouns only, so I will use the remainder of the paragraph on this individual to avoid confusion. They described their own experience of gender as being a body of liquid, with all the genders poured into this one place. And sometimes the liquids swirl and mix in unexpected ways, so they feel differing amounts of masculine, feminine, agender, and neutral at any given moment, and it is in a constant flux.

Some of my other nonbinary friends are trans men, some are trans women, and some are just nonbinary and don't care to expand on it. Many use they/them pronouns as well as one preferred binary, some use both he/him and she/her as well. Some are a little more creative with pronouns and are forgiving when I have to ask for a reminder which they use. Some are a third gender that they have trouble defining to others who don't know what it feels like. Some are more fluid or lack gender altogether. It's amazing how many varieties can fit in the nonbinary umbrella, and I'm still learning about how differently we all experience something that we barely have the words to describe it.

If you meant this thread to be more vaguely about gender theory, there are resources for that as well that I can find. My experience is that people who are questioning learn how to relate to our own gender through personal stories and connection more easily than through dry theory. But my experience is shaped by the people I already know, and the world is a pretty big place. After all, we're all unique blends of experience that can't be replicated by anyone else. At any rate, I hope these experiences of others might shed some light on the complexity that is gender. There's an entire study devoted to it, and one could major in gender theory and still just scratch the surface. Humans are so complex, it's mind-blowing!
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10 Oct 2020 12:59 #355226 by Carlos.Martinez3

TheDude wrote: I understand that there is a difference between sex and gender. Sex is physiological while gender is psychological; sex is easily recognizable while gender is internal; sex has many defined traits while gender doesn't seem to. But I've never experienced gender. I don't know what it means to "feel like a (man/woman/etc)". I suppose I'm recognized socially as a man -- though with my long hair, people have misgendered me before. I feel no urge to dress in a way specific to my sex, though I usually end up wearing "masculine" clothes since that's what family members have bought for me for my whole life. I'm not sure it means anything to "act like a (man/woman/etc)" because I see people of different sexes acting in many different ways.
So that got me thinking. I don't understand what it's like to experience gender. From where I'm standing it seems to be about stereotypes and historic gender roles. Like, you "feel like a woman" because you want to adhere to a stereotype of a woman, or you "feel like a man" because you want to fill a historically male social role. That's what appears to be happening, to me, when a person affirms their gender identity.
But outside of stereotypes (e.g. "men aren't emotional!") and gender roles (e.g. "I want to stay at home and cook and clean") I'm not aware of any observable behaviors which can be accurately deemed "gendered". And this kind of bothers me. When you say "I feel like a man" is it because you have an image in your head of what a stereotypical man is like, and you feel like that or you want to be that? Is that what is meant by gender? I see men and women perform different behaviors all the time which don't adhere to their sex stereotypes.
Is it the way they dress? Like, feeling like a woman means you want to dress in a certain way? If I wear a skirt, does it make me a woman? I've seen men and women wear all different types of clothing, so I don't think it's that.
Is it a way of thinking? Like, you think like a man, or you think like a woman? But surely you wouldn't know what it's like to think like another gender if you're not that gender? So how would anyone know they think like a man or like a woman when they have no experience in thinking like the other gender to reference?
Given the diversity of human thought and actions, I don't think it's right to label one group of behaviors or thoughts as being specifically gendered. But people do say that they feel like a gender. So is gender a feeling, rather than a thought or an action? If it is a feeling, how does it feel?


I want to thank you for this. I will also like to remind others here about our rules and RESPECT as it pertains to the use of this place in general.

Me as a modern day Jedi
I meet many people off line and due to the location I have chosen for my children to receive their homeschooling, we are also in the most Liberally minded place I've lived in yet. Comes with the territory for us. I understand this. I have a balance that is used daily. The wife is more conservative than I am but that is her choice. I have a friend on facebook when I was apart of Marks madness. He was the polar opposite to my political stance. Exact opposite. This person was one of few people who grew up before me where I lived and MADE something of himself to the point he came BACK to the hood to teach hoodlums. The ability to NOT hold the same view and still have that respect for Joe, made my whole family proud and others who were onlookers. It didn't change my view of him but actually respected him for making a choice and standing for it. I had him once for a substitute teacher and gave that teach hell! Funny thing is he was best friends with the uncle in my life that was a great example to me. In our culture the word "Tio" or uncle is used for these close friends who eventually become a part of your every day life and actual family. Tio Joe is a blessing to still have.

I understand that there are many who their balance is thrown off by many things. My own balance gets thrown off by minute things at times. Real life, I often remind my own family "its my poopy sock, please help me." I do apologies if this offends any one at all at any time in any way. This is not the intention. This is used to describe my focus where I can understand that its only me that see things some ways some times. This is not a diss or any form of disrespect to those who suffer from any type of anything. As I grow, I will find better ways to describe things. I'm still at the infant stage here with this so again, please forgive me if any offence is taken known or unknow.

Its a big thing for a Modern day Jedi to come to a place of acceptance VS tolerance. To reflect on ones definitions of things can result in change. For things like this I recommend "Freedom from the known."

Other peoples choices
In my own life I'm creating a character that is chosen. My version of my own practices. I am a Jedi. How I am a Jedi is by what I read and study and interact and grow. How I act outside is what is inside. FOR ME. It may be for others but this is what I can share.

For some things I've made my own choice. I recommend any Modern day Jedi to make their own choices. Find out what ya know and what you do not and see whats up with the whats up. Choose your practices. Find your creeds and your maxims and your personal doctrine and make it personal so it is yours. Better yet, I encourage others to give that very ability to others. In this very sharp idea- taking liberties and giving liberties, there is a very real conflict that can exist in the mist of that fine edge.

On the subject of gender.
Ive told a few students here flat out, I care not whats in your nickers but whats in your heart and mind. My focus is your balance. There can come a point in time where we can realize that we wont know everything. There can come a point in time where some things don't need to be know. Gender in my own practice isn't a issue ever. Identity is the issue most of the time in real life. How do you identify and can you stand and function as you like, making that choice. Can your own real life balance grow from your choices? Do you know why you believe the way you do? Is it your choice? Is your side actually your side and why? There's something in the lines of magic that can happen once these types of ideas are introduced to a path and an even greater one when we begin to give them back to others.

For me
All are welcome. Color race creed choice doesn't effect my table, quite the opposite, I love it when there's a balance at the table of live people from different parts. Theres soooooo much that can be at one table. Food. Stories. Ways and paths can be shared and new ways to see things and new books and paths of thought can be shared any time here at the table over bread. Good breads, good bread. I choose to NOT worry about gender. Its a liberty that can be given and not a issue at our place and paths at home. This takes effort and understanding in that very thing. Im from Texas and my Tejano had to grow with my faith. Let me explain. I was drilled to be the one to open the door and say yes mam and yes sir. The intention isn't and was not malicious at all. It was a form of respect that was needed at THAT time. Now, my Tejano has grown. I live in a place where there are some in the malls and stores who have identifying buttons (real life) so they can feel comfortable. My Texan now says "Howdy" then I state their name or ask their name, cant just say yes mam or yes sir, it had to grow with me. Ive taken the old ways and made new ways. Some times, things take time to mature. Some times, some things NEED time to grow and mature and change with the times as well. This is the every day life of a active balance. The "fresh fresh, today" as a great baker once told me.

I don't feel gender any more. I feel responsibility of relationships often. I find that labeling things gender isn't actually gender related for me often. That word had to change for me. Its the cooks job to tend the kitchen. Got that from a culinary artist in Houston Tx, Master Chef Bro. That was his name. Mr. Bro. Cool cat, flat out. Taught me to clean as I go so at the end of the plating, there are no dishes. Organization exist in my kitchen, not gender. Any one can cook in my kitchen if they like cooking because of the way its organized. If you "caint" cook in my kitchen , wanna learn? The house hold chores here arnt gender specific. My seven year old son began to vacuum and clean his room at the age of Two on his own. Thanks to Barney, the song " clean up,clean up, every body, every where. Clean up, clean up, every body do your share, worked in my house and got rid of the specific gender attachments that don't exist now. Personal responsibility has erased may lines that can keep many in a daze and a dirty room. So now, where does gender fall in all this? Why does it matter your personal choices made? Why would I get thrown off by some one else's choice of liberty? See where I'm going? What do Jedi wear? Robes. They put on a robe over their existing presence. Modern day Jedi are never the same. So I said all that to say this, gender can be a choice now a days. As can the color of your robe or shirt. Yet, I find many who argue and get thrown off by other peoples liberties. For me, gender is a liberty. Its a personal liberty. At times, its stays personal and is treated , personal. Do you need help, personally? Do you need help with personal things? Some things should be treated or changed as the times. For me, gender based ideas have been changed and grown differently in me and in the next crop. Change the seed - change the crop. How one identifies is never up to me. I can help others take their liberties and I can encourage them but eventually its to each of us. What others think is up to them, how "they" act, is also up to them.
As always
www.templeofthejediorder.org/contact-clergy

Please note this is intended to build, never tare down. If for any reason, if there is upset or unbalance on anything I have stated it comes from my own practice and my own findings of my own path. You have that ability too. Feel free to reach out and contact me for any reason and as always may the Force we share be with yall. I'm looking forward to what this brings!

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11 Oct 2020 03:24 #355253 by Eqin Ilis
Replied by Eqin Ilis on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Carlos, you bring up an excellent point about the difference between gender identity and gender roles in our culture. Our particular culture considers "traditional gender roles" to be those that were common over recent centuries in European-influenced society. But did you know that some of the tribes native to our regions had more than two gender roles? I believe the Navajo have three genders, and I've heard of a tribe with 4 or 5 specific genders (can't remember which one it is right now). Many of these tribes had different ideas of which jobs belonged to which genders. And my understanding is that many tribes also had a concept of gender as independent from biological sex before colonization. I'm not sure how many tribes have been able to retain these traditions, but I know it is common enough that there is a community of people who use the English phrase "Two Spirit" to find each other and talk about their experiences within their own tribe's framework.

Even as men from different cultures, one of my best friends and I have a very differing view of masculinity. I have a buddy who is half-Korean-half-Scottish. Both of his cultures lead him to be comfortable in clothing that to me looks like a woman's skirt. (My own connection to my Scottish heritage is a little more watered-down than his.) We once talked about instruments and the masculinity or femininity associated with playing drums, guitar, violin, and piano. I learned that our ideas of music and gender rarely matched, and so many of the things I see as feminine in a band like BTS are actually very strong masculine vibes to a Korean.

Also, I feel you on the idea that we need not be tied to specific chores in today's world. In my home, we split chores by who likes what, and the chores no one likes goes to the person with the time available when it needs to get done. (We're all adults so this mostly boils down to work schedule.) I'll admit, I'm not the one doing the cooking so much, because the artistic ones in the household seem to enjoy it so much more than I, but I'll gladly do the cleaning with an eye toward detail.

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11 Oct 2020 12:57 - 11 Oct 2020 12:59 #355259 by Carlos.Martinez3

Eqin Ilis wrote: Carlos, you bring up an excellent point about the difference between gender identity and gender roles in our culture. Our particular culture considers "traditional gender roles" to be those that were common over recent centuries in European-influenced society. But did you know that some of the tribes native to our regions had more than two gender roles? I believe the Navajo have three genders, and I've heard of a tribe with 4 or 5 specific genders (can't remember which one it is right now). Many of these tribes had different ideas of which jobs belonged to which genders. And my understanding is that many tribes also had a concept of gender as independent from biological sex before colonization. I'm not sure how many tribes have been able to retain these traditions, but I know it is common enough that there is a community of people who use the English phrase "Two Spirit" to find each other and talk about their experiences within their own tribe's framework.

Even as men from different cultures, one of my best friends and I have a very differing view of masculinity. I have a buddy who is half-Korean-half-Scottish. Both of his cultures lead him to be comfortable in clothing that to me looks like a woman's skirt. (My own connection to my Scottish heritage is a little more watered-down than his.) We once talked about instruments and the masculinity or femininity associated with playing drums, guitar, violin, and piano. I learned that our ideas of music and gender rarely matched, and so many of the things I see as feminine in a band like BTS are actually very strong masculine vibes to a Korean.

Also, I feel you on the idea that we need not be tied to specific chores in today's world. In my home, we split chores by who likes what, and the chores no one likes goes to the person with the time available when it needs to get done. (We're all adults so this mostly boils down to work schedule.) I'll admit, I'm not the one doing the cooking so much, because the artistic ones in the household seem to enjoy it so much more than I, but I'll gladly do the cleaning with an eye toward detail.



I’m no expert but I can read and share.

transgenderglobe.wordpress.com/2010/12/1...0hastiin%20%28man%29 .


The actual findings are from here

gender.indiana.edu/index.html

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11 Oct 2020 13:00 - 11 Oct 2020 16:03 #355260 by OB1Shinobi
What is it like to “feel” your gender? I have to admit, as good as I like to think that I am with words, I don't quite know how to articulate my answer to this question. I will do my best.

I have sensed my masculinity and felt good about it. i have felt myself to be a man. And I have also known women who were/are happy and secure with the fact and truth of their femininity. Women who feel themselves to be women. Different shapes, sizes, and races, still a similar underlying femininity. I wont put anyone into a box. I cannot and will not attempt to speak for people whose histories I have not experienced and whose lives I do not know. I respect everyone who is respectful. I love everyone who is loving. My ears are open for everyone’s story. But I am not politically correct. And I do not bow down to ideas simply because they are popular. There is only a middle place when there are opposite poles at each end. No one can be between genders if there are not genders to be between.

If gender is only a social construct then why do transgender people exist? Why do they have such a need to be recognized as the other gender and why is it wrong to make them change their minds? If its entirely psychological then a good therapist or hypnotist should be able to talk any and all of us out of our gender identities at any time. Some of the people reading this may malleable in such a way but i suspect that most of us are not.

I don't know what to say to females about how to feel like women.

But If youre a male and you dont know what it feels like to be a man, i have some suggestions. The first (and maybe most important) is this: go get into a fight (preferably in a gym but you know, whatever). Pick somebody who looks tough. Fight and do your best to win. (Suggestion- punch him in the chin/on the jaw as hard as you can as many times as you can) Even if you lose, you will still have the experience of feeling like a man.

Find a girl who you like and who likes you back. Get her to be with you. Every time that you are together, do your best for her so that she always goes first. Also, just be nice to her, in general. One day she will cry after being with you. Not because you did something wrong but because you did something right. In that moment you will have the of experience of feeling like a man.

Find a goal or a skill that is difficult and which takes a lot of time and effort to achieve. It doesnt matter what it is, it can be anything as long as it is something which takes a lot of dedication. Stick with it - achieve it. Get good at it. You will have the experience of feeling like a man.

Understand the importance of money and find a way to make enough of it that you can support a family -or just do whatever tf you want to do - you will have the experience of feeling like a man.

People are complicated.
Last edit: 11 Oct 2020 16:03 by OB1Shinobi.

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