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(80 Posts)
BrookeDavies Fri 26-Jun-15 20:47:58

I read a Jack Monroe article today where she talked of how as a child she wanted to do 'boy' things / wear 'boy' clothes and ergo be a boy. But now, she no longer wants to be a boy/man as she's comfortable with who she is as an individual.

I feel so heartened by her story and people like Tyler Ford and even Miley Cirus. It feels so much more in line with my own view that gender is a social construct.

Personally, I hope that this encourages kids who feel a bit different to learn to accept, embrace and be who they are without the need for difficult and intrusive surgery and drugs.

Shallishanti Fri 26-Jun-15 20:51:31

hear, hear
what we could do with is this concept popularised through children's books, toys, clothes, films....

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 26-Jun-15 20:54:43

There shouldn't be these divisions between "boy" things and clothes and whatnot in the first place is what I think.

If there wasn't such huge separation and segregation of "stuff" then little children wouldn't have to "choose" between "boys things" and "girls things" it would all be "childs things" and do whatever you fancy.

That's what I think anyway.

I don't know who Jack Monroe or Tyler Ford are BTW and only vaguely know who miley cirus is so not sure what they've been up to around this, nor have I read the article in the OP!

RolyPolierThanThou Fri 26-Jun-15 20:54:49

I was a child like this. I had short hair until I was 17. I rejected girlish things. Refused to wear skirts or dresses except uniform. Played with cars and had male friends. Some of their parents had no idea i was even a girl as my name did not give it away.

And yet I do not feel myself to BE male. I am happy as a woman even though I'm not the spa loving, make up wearing, nice nails, sort of gal. im still a tomboy but fortunately I'm allowed to be and still be a woman. Men who feel feminine have a lot less freedom to be that.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 26-Jun-15 20:57:01

"Men who feel feminine have a lot less freedom to be that."

YY very true. It all went backwards didn't it, the 70s and 80s there was loads of acceptance of all sorts of ways of presenting yourself for both men and women, it all seemed to be heading somewhere good and then brakes on and into reverse, what happened.

BrookeDavies Fri 26-Jun-15 21:07:09

It really did didn't it! Bowie was such a huge influence, you really only need a few people to spark huge attitudinal change.

I hope that the tide has turned, and we'll stop putting our children into the princess / pirate boxes.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 26-Jun-15 21:30:45

I do think that change is in the air, I work in London and colours and textures and exciting hair and slightly more outlandish makeup are creeping in and it's all getting a bit more anything goes, I'm really hoping that we are in for another couple of decades (at least!) of everything being freer again.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 26-Jun-15 21:33:46

I mean not that London is the only place in the world or something grin just that I do a commute right into town and so see squillions of people every day and things are getting much less BLAND it is utterly brilliant and makes me so happy smile

OTheHugeManatee Fri 26-Jun-15 22:10:51

In my twenties most of my friends were lesbians, many of whom were very non-genderqueer. As I got older, more and more of them started turning into men.

I've never admitted this before but I found it depressing when they did (though I was always supportive at the time). I have a huge soft spot for old-school butches and found the growing trend for adopting wholesale, rather than subverting and challenging gender standards, oddly regressive. Many would say I suppose that it's not for me to judge what they were doing, and who am I to want to politicise someone's personal identity preferences to suit my own taste or agenda? But that's still how I felt about it.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 26-Jun-15 22:37:17

Jack Monroe wrote a blog about how to make food on very little money. She also threatened to sue Katie Hopkins. I think you'd like her!

Squidzin Sat 27-Jun-15 12:51:35

I think women have the freedom to appropriate "male" clothing, behaviours and roles without it meaning they should change their biological femal-ness because we had a feminist revolution.
There hasn't been a "maninism" movement to free men from their socialized maleness without it meaning a biological sex transition.

Something to do with patriarchy and privilege i would think.

Agree, such defined gender based labelling on everything from toys to jobs does not help the cause.

ApocalypseThen Sat 27-Jun-15 20:14:59

I have an infant daughter and it's absolutely shocking the level of gender policing we experience. There was one day I had her in a lovely white, green and red striped babygro and lots of people stopped me to say she was a lovely boy. Now personally I don't actually care about people thinking she's a boy, but I didn't realise the degree to which people expect girls to be in pink, lilac or peppermint and assume that if a child isn't dressed as such, it couldn't possibly be a girl.

RolyPolierThanThou Sun 28-Jun-15 11:18:53

I had my 3 month old baby boy in an all-white pram suit and my friend gave me a blue one as a gift and remarked (as she put him into it) "now you won't look like a girl". Her daughter (a teenager) said "what? White is only for girls?" and my friend got a bit flustered as she realised that yes, white is actually gender neutral.

I had DS in a pink top with hello kitty on it the next time I saw her, just to see her face. grin. I'm sure my son won't be starting his periods just because I put him in pink as a baby now and again.

She also gives me long detailed information on what boys are like and what girls are like. I don't take any notice. I'm more interested in what my children are like (as individuals).

Mr10011011 Sun 28-Jun-15 19:20:24

I expect that you created this post to enable others to express their opinions and beliefs on this topic, so that I what I am going to do.

There is a great deal of ignorance in society, and simply put, everyday people do not understand what constitutes a divide between the two genders. It doesn't matter who you are sexually attracted to, nor does it matter if you like pink or blue or cars or flowers.

Gender is determined by the presence (or lack of) of the Y chromosome. If you have the Y chromosome, you will develop the male body shape, male genitals etcetera. Just because a man may grow up to be attracted to men, like pink or yellow and have an interest in supposedly female-orientated crafts like sewing, doesn't mean that he is the wrong gender.

The problem is that a male who is overly conscious of his homosexuality will decide, due to social pressure that rather than being gay, that he is the wrong gender.

The simplest way to understand is that: If it wasn't in the public consensus that men are supposed to do certain things and women supposed to do others, no one would feel as though they have been misgendered. The feelings 'genderqueer' people feel are due to social pressures and are not valid or explainable in any legitimate way.

In my opinion, this transgender/genderqueer buisness is nothing more than a false attempt at curing or explaining away homosexuality and it, rather than gender itself is the social construct. Genderqueer is a falsehood and is merely a product of society's lack of understanding of social and biological concepts and facts.

RolyPolierThanThou Sun 28-Jun-15 19:35:44

First of all, gender is not linked to any chromosome. That's sex. Herbert is the socially constructed everything else that tends to get assigned to you based on the sex you are.

Secondly, gender queer is not extension of homosexuality. Plenty of people do not identify with the gender assigned to their sex but self identify as heterosexual and have no interest in pursuing a same sex relationship.

RolyPolierThanThou Sun 28-Jun-15 19:36:29

Herbert? Haha GENDER.

BrookeDavies Sun 28-Jun-15 20:32:13

I disagree with you there Mr1, the only thing gender feelings and sexual orientation have in common is that they can be fluid. Biological sex is a different thing entirely.

Mr10011011 Sun 28-Jun-15 21:05:53

This is what I've tried explaining. Your 'sex' is your gender. You can only have biological gender. These 'gender feelings' are part of a psudeo-science that has unfortunately become so mainstream that many people are starting to believe that your 'sex' and 'gender' mean different things.

These feelings of being the wrong 'biological sex' are formed from lack of social understanding and acceptance. Homosexual men who are 'girly' and enjoy female pursuits are not of a different gender to other men; they are simply gay men that have interests shared by a number of women.

If I was a red square, and I really wanted to be a blue circle, I would still be a red square that wanted to be a blue circle. It's not possible to have a 'birth' shape and colour and a shape and colour 'feeling'.

Sexual orientation can indeed be fluid but 'gender feelings' are just misinterpretations of societal rejection and sexual attraction.

I know you will disagree with me, but just because a sizable community believes something to be true doesn't make it so. I have a degree in microbiology for what it's worth, and my views do not come from unreliable feelings but from scientific education and facts.

There are groups of people who believe that, spiritually, they are animals in human form and walk around in tails and masks. If genderqueer is real, it means that 'wolfkin' and 'foxkin' are real too.

The acceptance and recognition of genderqueer and its derivatives only makes society and unified culture vulnerable to collapse.

BrookeDavies Sun 28-Jun-15 21:16:24

You are missing the point that people are wanting to reject masculinity or femininity, and all the boundaries that they bring. That has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

YonicScrewdriver Sun 28-Jun-15 22:19:54

MrBinary, there are a number of scientists and a number of sociologists who post in this section. We've previously discussed the use of language and found that the biologists tend to use both gender and sex to refer to characteristics that arise from chromosomal make up; however, sociologists (and increasingly society) consider gender, when applied to humans, to be more about behaviour/identity.

Neither is wrong but it would be dogmatic to insist that only the biologist's usage of the word matters, just as there isn't much point in my designing "redundancy" into a computer system and being cross if someone who lost their job sees the word differently.

Hope that helps.

sanfairyanne Sun 28-Jun-15 22:30:36

scientists have always been crap at language grin
gender is the social construct
sex is the biological term that scientists should use but then they started getting all mixed up and thought it meant the same as gender
bet Darwin didnt waffle on about the gender of species

Shallishanti Sun 28-Jun-15 22:45:23

a degree in microbiology eh?
clearly an expert in human nature therefore

YonicScrewdriver Sun 28-Jun-15 22:48:11

Sanfairy, another, less scornful microbiologist posted a while ago and explained how she used the terms not interchangeably but for different biological situations, can't remember what they were now but it probably got embedded in biology separately to its developing social use.

MoseShrute Sun 28-Jun-15 22:53:43

"In my opinion, this transgender/genderqueer buisness is nothing more than a false attempt at curing or explaining away homosexuality and it, rather than gender itself is the social construct"

My problem with this statement is that it doesn't explain the many heterosexual men who feel they are transgender, who once they transition identify as lesbian

Shallishanti Sun 28-Jun-15 23:14:44

does he mean that homosexuality is a social construct?

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