The New Gender Binary

February 22, 2016

Raising My Rainbow

Binary: (adj.) consisting of, indicating, or involving two.

When I first started blogging about my adventures in raising a gender creative son, I wasn’t very educated when it came to gender. All I knew is that I wanted everybody to be cool with my then-3-year-old son wearing a dress and loving the Disney Princesses. I wanted it to be okay for boys to like feminine things and girls to like masculine things. I didn’t know at first that I was fighting the gender binary.

Gender binary: (n.) the classification of gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine.

Male vs. female. Boy vs. girl. Blue vs. pink. Superhero vs. princess.

It seemed like everybody wanted my son to be one or the other. Either or. People were uncomfortable with him living in the middle — in the no man’s and no woman’s land.

August September 2014 183Over the years…

View original post 779 more words

48 Responses to “The New Gender Binary”

  1. Rachel Says:

    This mother actually seems very sensible in her attitude to her son. I just hope the transloons don’t get hold of him.

  2. lovetruthcourage Says:

    The answer doesn’t involve trading one set of sex stereotypes for another, rigid binaries, or needing the approval of others.

    • Oceans Says:

      Exactly. I love how the mom pointed out the new “cis” vs “trans” binary. If she would just take the next step and see that no one is “cis” and that these gender expectations are harmful.

      The whole “cis” thing is just stupid anyway. It’s like deciding to divide up all living creatures into two categories: giraffes or not-giraffes. 99.7% of the human population has to define itself by what it is not? That’s just stupid.

      And someone should tell that mom that pink used to be considered a masculine color.

  3. deannesva Says:

    A friend of mine just recommended your blog. It’s refreshing to know I’m not the only one who sees the danger in pressuring people into a binary gender presentation. Actually, in some ways I think things have gotten more rigid over the past 40 years or so. There has been a change…a cultural feminization. While this has helped ease the rigidity in male gender expression (obviously not enough), allowing for concepts like metrosexual males, it has had the opposite effect on females.
    I’m in a gaming group with lesbians, ages 19 to 63, from various English speaking countries. Among the younger lesbians, there is a clear preference for presenting as feminine. It shows in many ways. What passes as butch today is what we used to call androgynous 40+ years ago. There is no room for a non-transgender very butch female. Those women are expected to transition to male, regardless of how they see themselves…as if this is the only path to cultural acceptance of any sort? My butch wife has felt further marginalized by transactivists who are enforcing the gender binary paradigm. I’m not sure whether or not we need infinite categories for gender, or if we simply need to infinitely expand what presentation is acceptable for biological females & males? (That kind of acceptance would effectively benefit intersex folks too.) I hope for a world where children are free to explore any and all types of garb, toys, etc. Let the 10 year-old girls have that football uniform my mother refused to allow.

  4. tania Says:

    its so funny and sad to me how close some people can get to “getting it” while still totally not getting it at all. This mother is twisting herself in knots trying to understand and push her understanding forward, and she is indeed getting closer to positions that make sense… yet she still doesn’t get that gender is not an internal identity. That gender does not just exist, the way gravity and leaves and other “givens” of the world do. She doesn’t get anything no matter how far she’s come because she has no idea that feminism or a feminist ciritque of gender exists. And this is very very sad to me. And sort of bizarre.

    • Franklin Says:

      This. It’s sort of a weird article because she keeps circling between recognizing that her son is just a boy who likes dresses, and that her son must be some entirely different gender. Like when she says “In the old gender binary, he has no home. Male vs. female. He’s neither.”. He’s male, period, because the ‘binary’ is that human beings have two physical sexes. But the sexes need not constraint how we express ourselves.

      • Magdalena Z. Says:

        Totally agree. When she said that he “expresses himself as a female”, I kind of cringed. As a male he can’t express himself as female, he can do stereotypical feminine things, paint his nails wear lip gloss, dress up like Little Edie from Grey Gardens, (just kidding;) I don’t even know what expressing yourself “as a female” would be unless you happen to be female, and then it’s what, having a period, going to the gynecologist, giving birth, breastfeeding? Everything else we do as humans who happen to be female.

      • KgSch Says:

        It is like she almost gets it and has more sense of the thing than most liberals, but I also cringed at the “presenting as female” part. I really do not get how people still don’t understand that liking the color pink has nothing to do with being a female and like others have pointed out, it used to be considered a “male” color.

        And hey, if you want to believe popular male-run magazines, to “present as female” I should wear lots of makeup of questionable toxicity and uncomfortable clothing and shoes. I don’t do those things and I am not “presenting as male”.

        I am glad though that’s she’s not buying into pressure to transition her son or anything like that.

  5. dr pepper Says:

    someone who doesn’t conform to stereotypes in not “in the middle” they are occupying whatever parts of the field they feel like. And her son is not doing both masculine and feminine things, he’s just doing human things.

    • Franklin Says:

      Exactly. Well put. If he likes to wear long flowing robes (i.e. ‘skirts’), makeup, and earrings he doesn’t need to be told that these are ‘girl things’. Many men throughout history have worn all kinds of things. It’s putting an unnecessary judgement on him to tell him he’s doing ‘girl things’, let him find his way to doing his own things. Wanting to decorate your body and have flair in your clothing is an entirely natural human impulse.

  6. Freyja Says:

    Good for this woman. She’s out there, writing under her own name and everything. Seems like if the SJWs will get real pushback if they go after her. I looked back through the calendar interface (very awkward) for a few months and saw that she did a project with PFLAG. So they may consider her an ally who is turning bad . .

    • GallusMag Says:

      The post is by the well-known author of ‘Raising My Rainbow’, Lori Duron. Google it.
      I don’t know if that is her legal name or a pen name. Don’t see what difference that makes.

      Also, I removed the part of your comment that was on a completely different topic than the one being discussed in this thread.

  7. flahe Says:

    Views like this make me hopeful, that not all is lost, even in the more mainstream world (same concerning that Jesse Singal Article on Kenneth Zucker (who I also don’t agree with 100% politically/philosophically, but who I think embodies the genuine attempt at evidence based treatment of trans kids. After all some of the stuff many of us gender critical feminists believe has to be (and will be imho) shown scientifically)

    Though I still fear that society at large must learn the hard way, by dealing with detransitioners and malpractice suits beginning now and coming more when the kids now are older.

    • Janetwo Says:

      The problem I see is that due to media blackout, the mainstream world is not getting up to speed fast enough to counter the rewritings of the laws insuring sex based protection. Anyhow, in Canada, its happening so fast its scary and no politician talks about it. Manitoba recently changed its law so that no proof of surgery is required to change their sex on their birth certificate.

      • flahe Says:

        Yeah no I agree, I’m thinking 5+ Years, sadly.

      • coelacanth Says:

        The entire Transgender Phenomenon of the past 15 years can be explained best best by this circa 1930s quote from the Nazi, Joseph Goebbels:

        ““It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”

        This is not Godwin’s Law. This is really happening.

  8. GallusMag Says:

    Dear “Shooter”: Stop leaving your disgusting comments here. If you choose to persist, you are going to get a big surprise. I guarantee you won’t like it, J.Z. Last warning.

  9. bitternurse Says:

    hi.
    I know its not 100% on topic, but i was once a transgender youth and this is my view 13 years later. Make of it what you will.

  10. MaryMacha Says:

    This was published in the Huffington Post and the comments there are still open.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-duron/the-new-gender-binary_b_9267482.html


  11. binary

    /ˈbīnərē,ˈbīˌnərē/

    adjective

    adjective: binary

    (1.) relating to, using, or expressed in a system of numerical notation that has 2 rather than 10 as a base.

    (2.) relating to, composed of, or involving two things.
    “testing the so-called binary, or dual-chemical, weapons”

    noun

    noun: binary; plural noun: binaries

    (1.) the binary system: binary notation.
    “the device is counting in binary”

    (2.) something having two parts.

    hierarchy

    /ˈhī(ə)ˌrärkē/

    noun

    noun: hierarchy; plural noun: hierarchies

    (1.) a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.

    synonyms: pecking order, order, ranking, chain of command, grading, gradation, ladder, scale, range

    “in the corporate hierarchy, Curt is about six levels below the CEO”

    •the upper echelons of a hierarchical system; those in authority.
    noun: the hierarchy

    “the magazine was read quite widely even by some of the hierarchy”

    •an arrangement or classification of things according to relative importance or inclusiveness.

    “a taxonomic hierarchy of phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species”

    Gender is not a binary. In a binary, the two parts are more or less equal. In binary math which is just 0 and 1, 1 is not larger than 0. It’s the arrangement of the 1s and 0s that counts.

    Gender is really a hierarchy, and thousands of years of history tells us that males are usually on the top of the hierarchy.

    Did everyone see this awesome video?

    The end of gender: revolution not reform


    • Zemskull Says:

      SkyLark Phillips: Thank you for sharing that video. The speaker is correct; it is offensive to claim to be Native American if one is not. She may be unaware of this, but there are websites in which Natives expose frauds.

  12. Oak and Ash Says:

    The most irritating thing about Lori Duron’s essay is that she almost gets it. Unfortunately, her language confounds the biological categories of “male and female” with the social judgments of “masculine and feminine” as so many others do. Although she’s spot on in her description of the new binary in which we’re obligated to declare ourselves cis- or trans-gender, she hasn’t quite realized that it’s just the old binary with the (supposed) option for self-assignment. She may get there yet.

    *BEGIN RHETORICAL RANT*

    So, why do transactivists believe it’s reductionist and insulting simply to define the biological category of female with reference to the possession of a second X chromosome along with uterus and ovaries, but perfectly acceptable to reduce us to hair, makeup and wardrobe that AGP men can appropriate?

    And if gender identity is internal, who the hell do they think they are telling those who don’t conform to gender stereotypes that they must really be trans? If they get to declare their gender identity and demand that it be respected, why don’t the rest of us?

    *END RANT*

    Obviously the AGP’s have an interest in muddying the language, since they’re eager to crowd as many people as possible under the trans umbrella in order to dilute and normalize their fetish. Then when we object to them prancing and drooling in our locker rooms, they can try to claim we’re just mean old feminists bigoted against cute little boys in pink ribbons. (Because me have always tried to justify their perversions–see also NAMBLA.)

    What worries me more is all the liberal, social justice types going along with this. Yesterday I heard a discussion about the election on the radio in which someone referred to issues important to those “who identify as women.” I hope more young women wake up and realize that how they identify matters less to their chances than how they are identified by others.

  13. Franklin Says:

    Oak and Ash, I can tell you that this crazy trans ideology has TOTALLY CAPTURED the liberal ‘social justice’ community, who has completely accepted the equation of trans identity with sexual orientation with race/racism. To the point that it is dangerous to publicly express dissent (as of course readers of this blog know).

    To me this points to some fundamental issues with ‘social justice’ ideology today, that they are so easily captured by anyone claiming victimization who doesn’t obviously fall into the ‘white male’ category.

    • Oak and Ash Says:

      Frankin, I find it interesting (and by “interesting,” I think I really mean irritating as hell) that women had to work so hard for so long to get the minimal rights we do have–to vote, earn money, own property, etc.–while (transwo)men sashay in and are granted what they demand almost immediately. (Oh, yeah, and if there have “always” been transwomen, where were they all back when women’s lives were legally constricted? Why weren’t they clamoring to join us then? They seem to have waited until our efforts made the “woman” box a little more comfortable.)

      “To me this points to some fundamental issues with ‘social justice’ ideology today, that they are so easily captured by anyone claiming victimization who doesn’t obviously fall into the ‘white male’ category.” True enough, except that I suspect many transwomen have been granted the right to control the discourse and encroach on our spaces exactly because they’re identified by others as in the “white male” category. When a white man–especially one who’s also straight and middle class–cries “Woe is me–I’m oppressed!” a lot of people are willing to go to bat for him, and it doesn’t matter what basis he claims for his victimhood, whether transwomanhood, a fetish for tying up women, or ADHD.

    • Sketcher Says:

      @ Franklin. An excellent point and I agree with you. It’s mind-boggling.

    • coelacanth Says:

      More proof of what you said. A gender vague singer named Antony Johnson (who is a great singer and whose work I enjoyed) has now fully come out as trans and more than this because Antony is a white male he has followed in the footsteps of another white male Genesis P Orridge who lost street cred with the SJWs as a boring old white male so switched genders (under the guise of another insane art project) and is now a trans as well. Orridge went one step further to align his non-white transness with the race issue by new projects involving obscure black African tribal rituals — very Dr Leaky but pretending to be one with the blacks as a trans entity. Antony has copied this and is now called Anhonhi and if you google him (I don’t know how to imbed the images) you will see Antony as a white male (gender vague) and see the cover of his first Anhonhi album is a shot that has been photoshopped to make him look non-white. Indeed I heard about the switch to blackness when I read about a trans singer named Anhonhi who was shut out of the Oscars or something and I looked her up thinking from the picture it was some kind of Hirjia from India or a Muslim Trans from Indonesia only to discover it was actually old fat white boy Antony. This is vile and disgusting and no different than Rachel Dolzel. But it proves that trans is the manner in which white males join the non-white “oppressed”. Sick making.

      • kesher Says:

        Just a point of correction: Antony’s actual last name is Hegarty. “Johnson” was used in his band name in honor of 100 Percent Real Woman Marsha P. Johnson, which also raises the question why a pudgy white boy was so enamored with a black drag queen long before Hegarty “came out” as trans.

      • Ashland Avenue Says:

        That guy Anthony was the one who claimed he was “un-invited” from the Oscars, only it turned out he was never invited at all. The guy’s demented.

      • kesher Says:

        As a nominee, he always would be invited to attend, he just wasn’t invited to perform. It’s odd that he wasn’t, but the other no-name performer also didn’t get tapped to perform, so it’s not like Hegarty was getting singled out.

        It’s probably for the best for the trans community anyway. The public is not accustomed to “women” who look like him. Trans supporters would likely feel obligated to treat him as a beautiful goddess in the coverage of the event, and, meanwhile, regular people would just be thinking, WTF?

      • GallusMag Says:

        lol it’s only a matter of time until that plays out Kesher. I will be getting my popcorn ready!

  14. PAO Says:

    Reading through the comments on that post, both Lavander’s and this one stood out as excellent, that last sentence really sums a lot up!

    MHB says:
    February 23, 2016 at 7:43 am
    You may find comfort in reading some (sensical) feminist analysis of gender: thenewbacklash.blogspot.com. Sex = male/female, gender = masculine/feminine. Sex is a biological fact, neither shameful nor determinative of personality. Gender is a system of coercive social control, the assignment/enforcement of dominant personality traits in males and submissive personality traits in females, meant to keep women dependent upon men so that men maintain access to women’s bodies and labor. Your son is male, but not masculine, and that *should* be fine; that should be *great* in fact, given the harms of masculinity (war, rape, etc.) However, if we accept that males are not innately masculine and females are not innately feminine then we must also admit that the system of women serving men in order to gain their protection from other men (feminists traditionally call this patriarchy) is not “natural” but instead *exploitative.* If men are no longer excused for violent behavior, male dominance disintegrates. This is a huge social upheaval, which is why so many would rather pretend feminine boys are girls trapped in the wrong body (what could be more cruel than to tell your child their personality should not exist in their body???) than simply accept that boys can naturally develop the same personality traits that girls can naturally develop. To put another way, we are supposed to redefine the category “girl” to include penis in order to avoid redefining the category “boy” to include dolls and dresses.

    • GallusMag Says:

      LOL

      “Have you had The Conversation with your children yet? Not the one about the birds and the bees, but the one about how some bees feel they are actually a bird trapped in a bee’s body, or a bee trapped in a bird’s body, or neither bee nor bird but somewhere in the middle of the bee-bird spectrum?

      I have. It didn’t go that well, to be honest. “But you can’t just change like that!” protested my six-year-old son, thereby marking himself out as the worst kind of TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist).”

    • Janetwo Says:

      Thanks for pointing this article. It is so refreshingly common sense. Made my day.


  15. @Sketcher,

    Thanks for the link. I love this article!. Spot on!

  16. Sketcher Says:

    I wasn’t quite sure where to put this GM – but as this thread is about children and gender roles I thought here. This is an article from the Guardian about the new ‘Safe Schools’ anti-bullying initiative in Australia, which has been hi-jacked by trans.

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/mar/22/qa-recap-josh-frydenberg-defends-coalitions-changes-to-safe-schools?

    The comments are interesting, especially this one which seems to have nailed it:

    ” I have no problem with an anti-bullying program for schools, or an anti-bullying program relating specifically to sexuality, but this one, from their own material, seems to be promoting a dubious Trans-activist agenda.

    It also states that “sex is assigned at birth” and that gender is what masculine and feminine characteristics an individual chooses to exhibit. Umm….nope, not really. Gender is the societal norms and stereotypes imposed on us by society. If my son grows up wanting to grow his hair long and be a nurse, I don’t want him to be told that he is actually a transgender woman and should have hormones and surgery. I don’t want my daughter to be told that being a woman is about wearing dresses and make-up, and that anyone who calls themselves a woman, is a woman.

    The media has missed the real problem with this program, and I know the Greens and Labor will capitalise on it’s dismantling politically, but I’m still disappointed that they haven’t examined it more closely. If anything, it represents a threat to the gay and lesbian community, which has always fought for self-acceptance, not “let’s conform to gender stereotypes and multilate ourselves in the process.”

    • Oak and Ash Says:

      @Sketcher

      I went looking for the comment you quoted and couldn’t find it even after searching each page of comments for both “dubious” and “trans.” If I haven’t missed it somehow, it’s been removed.

      They’ve left up some other critical comments, but none I looked at it were as to the point as the one you mentioned. This may be another case of censoring effective criticism to make sure the opposing arguments all seem either weak or bigoted.

      • Sketcher Says:

        @ Oak and Ash -no still there under ‘Overanalyser’ on the first page. but hidden under replies. Ta for looking though🙂

      • Oak and Ash Says:

        @Sketcher

        Thanks for posting about this and checking on the comment.

  17. Magdalena Z. Says:

    This from an article in the Guardian titled: The gender-fluid generation: young people on being male, female or non-binary

    “Some days Daniela Esquivel Asturias, 21, wakes up feeling feminine and puts on a dress or lipstick. But on others Asturias feels much more masculine and the thought of wearing a skirt induces an overwhelming sense of dysphoria.

    “I would be equally comfortable with a male or female body. My male personality is more outgoing than my female one. It’s like having both male and female energies and some days a mix of both,” Asturias says.

    The student from Costa Rica is gender fluid, and doesn’t identify with one gender, instead fluctuating between feeling more male or female. .

    It’s hard to explain, Asturias says, before referring to the way society tends to define gender, on a spectrum. “At one end is being male and the other female, and you kind of move between the two, and usually remain in the middle.”

    “it’s hard to explain” LOL, it’s even harder to swallow. On the days when I couldn’t even begin to feel like putting on a skirt, which I don’t wear anymore because they are uncomfortable, was probably when I was bloated from being on the rag, not because I felt like I woke up with a more outgoing male energy. Most of the comments reflect the absurdity of how sexist these young people sound, which is refreshing to see.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/23/gender-fluid-generation-young-people-male-female-trans


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