On Gender and the Dubious Necessity Thereof

Having thought long and hard on the subject of my own gender identity, I have come to several disparate conclusions, usually (though not always) at different points in time. Approximately thirty percent of my conclusions are that I am or should be agendered, because gender is really much too much trouble for the advantages it allows one. Or is it?

I read a very interesting piece of fiction recently, in which a race of hermaphrodites abandons the concept of gender, despite its members’ possessing common human secondary sexual characteristics. Is this only possible in a species with one sex? Or, in a species with one body type? Humans today have a staggering amount of variety in body type, with weak males and strong females, though the averages do support sexual bias in terms of physical strength. Yet this is completely irrelevant, except culturally.

This leads me to my second, oftener-used conclusion: that I should very much like to be a woman (the “lady” gender). This has less to do with the way society treats women–as objects, with appearance-based favoritism, as deserving extra help–and more with the feminine identity that has struggled through oppression and hatred, and come out stronger ethically and mentally. I do not, I confess, really want to be part of the gender that has committed oppression and hate so systematically, any more than I wish to be part of a race that has done so. For whatever reason, one cannot choose one’s ethnicity, though (it is considered extremely bad form by those whose culture one wishes to borrow, generally, and by those who consider themselves defenders of same), but we do have some freedom to choose gender.

The real reason that caused me to write this post, however, is this thought: that everyone should think carefully before choosing a gender, even if they decide themselves cisgendered. It seems unfair and sad that anyone should have the privilege and the misfortune never to realize that they could be anything other than what Society tells them they are.

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