What does gender mean?

I’ve wondered about the definition of gender for years, and it’s one of the main reasons I’m taking this class. I’ve always questioned what it meant for a person to be a man or a woman. It’s not about having a penis or a vagina — trans men and trans women may not have the ‘assumed’ parts which correspond to their gender. It’s not about adhering to gender roles either — some women and men today differ from the norm and expectations, as well as there being masculine women and feminine men.

But then comes some other questions: if we were in a society that didn’t separate traits by gender, i.e. masculine and feminine didn’t exist, what would gender be? If gender is not about body parts, nor about adapting into gender roles, then what does it truly mean to be a man or a woman? If a person states that they are a woman, what meaning would that have? What meaning does it have now if we think outside the norm?

I’ve questioned my gender identity before and came to these questions. As some authors questioned the necessity of gender, I also question its existence in a non-binary society.

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One thought on “What does gender mean?

  1. Pingback: Masculinity, Femininity, and Homosexuality: Where are your gender norms? | To Live Deliberately

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