Guest post: Gender is the expected, coerced, and enforced default

Originally a comment by Rob on But let’s talk about precarity, replying to iknklast’s “If we didn’t think our body should be A, B, and C, we wouldn’t be disturbed when our body wasn’t A, B, and C.”

That’s certainly how I understand it and feel personally. When I was a young teen in the mid ’70s I wore a lot of homemade and hand-me-down clothes. Nothing was fashionable and some of it was decade old sixties stuff. In the socially staid and conservative town in the (at the time) socially staid and conservative NZ, the heights of young male fashion was a grey, brown, blue or green sweatshirt, worn with blue jeans of just the right leg width and a pair of sneakers or nomads. Anything else much got you branded a poof, weirdo, or both with consequential ostracism, hazing and occasionally beatings. At that age I didn’t understand why this should be so. I knew I wasn’t gay. I also knew I didn’t fit the stereotype, although my god I wanted to just to make the punishment stop. By the time I was at University I’d earned money to be able to afford three changes of acceptable clothing, had become physically imposing enough to deter casual aggressors and removed myself from a good chunk of the social fuckwit circle. I remember lamenting to a female friend that it was unfair that men faced shit in their lives if they wore bright, colourful or flamboyant clothes. Ah well, I soon learned not be oblivious to the shit in women’s lives.

I’ve never had any problem with my biological sex. I briefly, consciously, examined my sexuality and decided I’m into women. I have always hated, and continue to hate, the way gender is the expected, coerced, and enforced default in society. I don’t think the trans movement, if you can call it that, does anything at all to weaken gender stereotypes. On the one hand they actually reinforce the regressive idea that certain modes of dress, makeup and behaviour are innately male and female; and on the other they treat it like a toy or performance to be played with. All the while we observers are told we must accept what they, the brave trans, say about gender in general and their gender identity specifically, while we must shut up about our own views and experiences because we’re not special.

As others have noted more eloquently and with greater intellectual rigour, it’s shit.

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