50 Words for Gender
Much of the transgender debate is hampered by a too simplistic understanding of the term "gender".
Beau of the Fifth Column presents videos on politics and culture on a daily basis, many of which I find very interesting and helpful.
He has also made several videos touching upon gender issues, as he is a strong supporter of trans rights.
In the video embedded below he makes an argument about the difference between biological sex and gender as a social construct that is so clear that even an extremist traditionalist should be able to understand it.
It is definitely a video that I can use when discussing these matters with people who, for various reasons, have never really reflected upon the concepts of sex and gender.
It struck me, however, that Beau’s argument is not as helpful as Beau may think.
The “gender as a social construct” narrative may help people understand the role culture plays in the way people understand gender, but it does not really explain why some people are transgender, in the sense of identifying with a gender other than the one assigned to them at birth.
Beau is giving a good explanation of gender expression, but he is not really discussing gender identity, which is a different thing.
I have published a post on the different ways the term gender is used in the public debate over at Crossdreamers.
No I do not think everyone needs to learn 50 words for gender (in the way Norwegians and Inuits definitely need 50 terms for snow). But I do think much can be achieved by making people aware of the different phenomena hiding under the general term of “gender”.
Selected posts from Trans Express, my news blog
Main illustration: Sensvector