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Transcript of Gender Dualism
In Eastern philosophy, it is said that we embody both feminine and masculine energies. We look to the other sex to feel balanced and complete our opposing energy.
1. Alva, Michelle. "Your Inner Masculine & Feminine in Balance." Rebelle Society . N.p., 10 Oct 2012. Web. 5 Dec 2013. <http://www.rebellesociety.com/2012/10/10/your-inner-masculine-and-feminine-in-balance/>.
2. Bouwer, Jan F., . N.p.. Web. 27 Nov 2013. <http://www.integral-religion.org/malefemale.html>.
3.Cherry, Kendra. "What is Gender?." About.com Psychology. N.p.. Web. 27 Nov 2013. <http://psychology.about.com/od/gindex/g/gender.htm>.
4. "Dualism Dilemmas." Gender Agenda. N.p.. Web. 1 Dec 2013. <http://www.gender-agenda.org.uk/discuss/169/dualism-dilemmas/>.
5. Gramstad, Thomas. "Androgyny and Gender Dialectics." . N.p.. Web. 1 Dec 2013. <http://folk.uio.no/thomas/gnd/androgyny.html>.
First off, what is gender anyways?
Unlike sex, which is defined by biology, gender is defined by society and culture. "Differing societal expectations in different cultures establish the behavioral, psychological and physical attributes that are associated one gender or another." (Cherry)
The problems of gender dualism...
A Crash Course on
In our society, the Western world, gender is seen as either man or woman: gender dualism. Anything that cannot be delineated in these two categories is seen as "other" or not right.
The rigid roles are decided at the birth of a person and they will forever be defined by this specific gender that is based on biology.
By delineating between male or female, the individual is completely disregarded.
If one does not fit into these two archaic gender ideas, then they are rejected from society.
Dualism is very harmful to our sense of wholeness.
The list carries on, but there is only so much room on a slide.
Are there any solutions to gender dualism?
Learn something from dear Genderbread
This pictograph, although terribly cute, explains the complex differences between gender identity, expression, biological sex, and orientation in a rather simplistic way.
The Genderbread Person correlates with the idea of the gender spectrum.
3. The Glorious Spectrum!
Instead of two rigid genders, the gender spectrum allows a person to move freely between femininity and masculinity and not be defined by any label.
Why is Gender Dualism?
Unfortunately there are no magical spells that will send the world into equality. However there are some concepts or ideas that can liberate dualism in gender.
1. Androgyny: embodying a combination of masculine and feminine qualities, an ambiguous gender or no gender at all. However, their is speculation that androgyny does not go far enough because it still puts emphasis on the old spirit of masculinity and femininity.
"What we need is not to construct combinations of two false concepts, but to go back to - and forward to - a situation with no split in the first place, a place without a gender dichotomy." (Gramstad)
Sex Does Not Mean Gender
"When you balance the feminine and masculine aspects within yourself, regardless if you are male or female, you get to experience your whole and complete human being that is strong, wise, loving and creative and, at the same time, nurturing and gentle." (Alva)
Masculine qualities are characterized by being:
Feminine qualities are characterized by being:
A person can embody feminine qualities and be a man, and the same applies to a woman. Instead of separate, these characteristics are really two parts of a whole.
"Structuralist anthropology as Lévi-Strauss sees it states that humans exhibit the common trait of being able to think with symbols." ("Dualism Dilemmas")
It is easy for us to simply have two boxes to place people in, based upon what is between their legs. When we encounter something that does not neatly fit into our boxes, we are outraged and deem it impure. However, we can overcome dualism by creating more boxes, in a sense. The problem, then, it the destruction of the old boxes.
A short video of a "girl", Erika, that explains the issues that arise with gender identity.
In order for something to change, we first must isolate it and acknowledge that it is a problem. After explaining what gender dualism is, how it is harmful, and ideas that can eradicate it, what can we do now?
By informing people that there is another way to look at gender and all that it entails, we can start to accept people for who they are not what they represent to us as mere symbols.
Professor Paula Rangel
December 5, 2013