What is it like to feel gender?

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15 Oct 2020 12:52 #355355 by rugadd
Neat ideas, but basically, you don't know either?

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15 Oct 2020 13:51 - 15 Oct 2020 13:53 #355357 by Eqin Ilis
Replied by Eqin Ilis on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Gender euphoria - a feeling of pride, comfort, or happiness in relation to one's percieved gender. Can be focused on one's own body, clothing, personality traits, or any other gender marker. Is specifically a self-focused emotion.

Gender dysphoria - a feeling of discomfort, unhappiness, or disgust with one's percieved gender. Can be focused on one's own body, clothing, personality traits, or any other gender marker. Is specifically a self-focused emotion.

Question for self reflection: Do you want to be a specific gender?

Any who read my previous posts and add this information may be able to form some insights into their own relation to their own gender.
Last edit: 15 Oct 2020 13:53 by Eqin Ilis.

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15 Oct 2020 14:03 #355359 by rugadd
Equin, I ask these of you because you appear vested and studied on the subject: On what basis is a person's perception of gender formed, or can this only be answered on an individual level? How did you personally determine the difference between male and female?

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15 Oct 2020 14:37 #355362 by Eqin Ilis
Replied by Eqin Ilis on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Gender is very much an individual experience. It is intensely personal and varied. It has cultural and generational differences, and is even percieved differently in subcultures. Sports masulinity is not the same as musical theater masculinity, but neither is the same as femininity in those circles.

For male and female, I assume you mean the genders of man and woman. I only make this distinction for the sake of the next paragraph. Those who identify on the binary show their gender in whatever way is most comfortable for them. Some guys fight, some dance using manly moves. Some guys like to blur the lines, and some like to keep it strict. For people who are clearly blurring the line, and do not use a gendered name, I find it polite to ask if they have a preferred pronoun. But this is only seen as polite if there is follow through on using the pronoun, so be ready before asking. For myself, I like to keep my hair shorter and my body posture manly. It makes me feel confident and at ease with myself. Sometimes I notice one of my mom's mannerisms slip through, but usually no one notices but me. I also like to dress like a mountain man, though I am not as hairy or buff.

Male and female are categories of sex. They are general distinctions with blurred lines. Intersex individuals are born not completely falling into male or female, may appear mostly one or the other, but still show that the line is not as clear as it was presented to us in grade school. And most importantly, intersex people still experience gender identity. This is one of the many reasons we separate sex and gender.

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15 Oct 2020 14:59 - 15 Oct 2020 15:13 #355363 by Eqin Ilis
Replied by Eqin Ilis on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Just realized I misread your question completely. My apologies, rugadd.

Personally, I've always been very connected to my gender. I love everything about being masculine. I always used to hate the question, "what kind of a man do you want to be" because I want to be lots of different types, and life is too short. lol Now I interpret that quesion another way, but that's another topic.

Some of the types of masculine I want to be: punk, metalhead, victorian goth, theater kid/lead man, outdoor enthusiast, cowboy, knight, Powwow dancer, martial artist, fun uncle, husband, animal whisperer

Almost every one of those things can be masculine or feminine, but you can picture the stereotypical guy in each one, right? That's what I'm going for. Hope that helps!
Last edit: 15 Oct 2020 15:13 by Eqin Ilis.

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15 Oct 2020 15:24 #355364 by rugadd
Are your views on what make a man a combination of cultural depictions that appeal to you?

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15 Oct 2020 16:16 #355366 by Eqin Ilis
Replied by Eqin Ilis on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Yes? I'm not sure how it could not be, at least in part. As I mentioned in a earlier post on this thread, sometimes cultures have opposing ideas of masculinity.

If you're asking if I understand the masculinity of another through the parts that appeal to me, no. Your presentation of your gender and your relation to it are something I can understand best by understanding who you are as a whole. What you choose to show me and how are up to you, and I do my best to understand it as it was meant. Like conversation itself.

Many people have likened gender to a conversation. Many also liken it to a performance, with the world as the audience. And yet it is also a deep internal sense. So gender is simulteneously felt and expressed.

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15 Oct 2020 18:16 #355370 by rugadd
Is it accurate for one to say that trends can be witnessed concerning gender, but specifics must have the freedom to define themselves? Meaning, one should not judge a persons gender based only on societal norms compared to their outward appearance and instead, allow that information to be vacant until defined by the individual?

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15 Oct 2020 18:18 #355371 by rugadd
Would it be reasonable to assume unless otherwise notified based on outward appearance?

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16 Oct 2020 00:22 #355381 by Eqin Ilis
Replied by Eqin Ilis on topic What is it like to feel gender?
If one's goal is to be as kind and open as possible to the individuals you meet on a daily basis, it is wise to retrain oneself to avoid gendered identifiers in conversation until you know someone and have had a chance to ask their pronouns.

That said, it is also not an expectation at this time. Even gender nonconforming individuals in our culture have to learn how others experience gender. You see how easily this conversation of self-discovery branched out in a group that previously assumed everyone to be cisgender men and women. (Cisgender folks are those whose gender identity assigned gender at birth are one and the same.) So too, most people who have just discovered that they are not cisgender have little former knowledge of other people's relationship to gender or how to navigate the pronoun issue with a stranger. So if you are trying to be inclusive and understanding, most gender nonconforming people will pick up on the effort you are making, and they will try to be gentle in their corrections in return.

The above feels slightly clumsy, so a personal example. I work with the public, in huge crowd sizes. I used to often say, "ladies and gentlemen." To include other genders, I can make an extra effort. Saying, "ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else," I will immediately cause strife with those who dislike the idea of any more than the two genders they are accustomed to. If I say, "welcome everyone" "hello folks" or may I have your attention please," I evade notice of those who are disinclined to be open to the idea, but create a space that feels welcoming and inviting to all genders. The consistency with which I manage it shows how strongly I am dedicated to understanding and accepting my LGBT friends. The more I practice it, the more natural it becomes, and the fewer mistakes I make.

The same is true of my personal interactions with strangers in these crowds. When I describe someone, I tend to take a more clothing-based approach. After all, it's one of the identifiers an individual has usually chosen for themselves. I listen for how people describe themselves and others in their group. And I try to keep myself using gender neutral terms when I can. I do still make mistakes, after all I've got a few decades of programming to deal with, like the rest of us here. But the effort is always noticed by the people who really need it, and I have had many people open up to me as the first person they felt comfortable trusting if I was able to use only gender neutral terms consistently while speaking to them.

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