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Sex and gender

Sex and gender are normally related and for most people there is a direct and nearly perfect link between the two. The vast majority of men and women fall within an acceptable level of masculinity and femininity which our society expects and deems acceptable.

While sex is commonly understood to be based on a person’s biological features: the penis, testicles, vagina, uterus, etc., that anatomically define a person as male or female, gender is used in several ways. It may refer to gender roles or expression: the behavioral characteristics considered "masculine" or "feminine" in a particular culture at a particular time. These can range from hair and clothing styles to the way people speak or express emotions. Gender may also refer to gender identity: our internal sense of ourselves as a man or woman.

We have all met and known men or women who reverse the expected norms of behaviour for their physical sex; flamboyantly feminine men or very masculine butch women with comportment that runs counter to expectation but yet have no desire to become the other sex. Why not?

Conversely there are people who, on the surface, appear to have had no measureable signs of gender incongruity and yet end up transitioning at a later point in time claiming that their disphoria was extreme and they could no longer live in a manner congruous with their birth sex. You never saw it since they seemed to embody the archetypal male or female.

To all of this add the issue of sexual orientation and you add another layer of complexity. Some externally feminine men could be mistaken for gay until you learn that they are husbands and fathers while some very masculine women are perfectly happy married to men.

So clearly there are exceptions to the rules. There are people who buck the trend of expected orientation as well as gender presentation and identification and, in some cases, simultaneously.

Is it possible that gender incongruity or disphoria exists as an independent entity? On the surface at least it appears to.

I remember as a young child feeling conflicted about what this meant for me and as I learnt about the world around me I realized that what was expected of me was not entirely where my natural inclinations went. I was expected to conform to certain gender guidelines of behaviour and dress that fit my birth sex.

It took me just over 50 years to figure out that, whatever the reason for these inclinations, they are there to stay and might as well get used to them and even enjoy them.

I am finally at peak strength and my thinking is clearer than ever.

Finally a note to Jack Molay: keep doing what you are doing. In the process you may be jangling some nerves but when you get close to some uncomfortable truths that’s what often happens.

Comments

  1. From the same link...."Third gender and the concept of homosexuality...

    Some writers suggest that a third gender emerged around 1700 AD in England: the male sodomite.[30] According to these writers, this was marked by the emergence of a subculture of effeminate males and their meeting places (molly houses), as well as a marked increase in hostility towards effeminate and/or homosexual males. People described themselves as members of a third sex in Europe from at least the 1860s with the writings of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs[31] and continuing in the late nineteenth century with Magnus Hirschfeld,[32] John Addington Symonds,[33] Edward Carpenter,[34] Aimée Duc[35] and others. These writers described themselves and those like them as being of an "inverted" or "intermediate" sex and experiencing homosexual desire, and their writing argued for social acceptance of such sexual intermediates.[36] Many cited precedents from classical Greek and Sanskrit literature

    In Wilhelmine Germany, the terms drittes Geschlecht ("third sex") and Mannweib ("man-woman") were also used to describe feminists – both by their opponents[37] and sometimes by feminists themselves. In the 1899 novel Das dritte Geschlecht (The Third Sex) by Ernst Ludwig von Wolzogen, feminists are portrayed as "neuters" with external female characteristics accompanied by a crippled male psyche.

    Throughout much of the twentieth century, the term "third sex" was a popular descriptor for homosexuals and gender nonconformists, but after Gay Liberation of the 1970s and a growing separation of the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity, the term fell out of favor among LGBT communities and the wider public. With the renewed exploration of gender that feminism, the modern transgender movement and queer theory has fostered, some in the contemporary West have begun to describe themselves as a third sex again.[38] One well known social movement that includes male-bodied people that identify as neither men nor women are the Radical Faeries. Other modern identities that cover similar ground include pangender, bigender, genderqueer, androgyne, intergender, "other gender" and "differently gendered".

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  2. very useful information AQV thank you.

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