Gender is Not Binary

Folksonomies: gender

Gender is Not Binary

he gender binary is the artificial division of the world into things that are "masculine" or "for men" and things that are "feminine" or "for women". One of the starkest ways to think of this is to consider the phrase "opposite sexes/genders" (as opposed to "different sexes/genders"), when both men and women are human beings with fundamentally many more commonalities than differences.

The division is artificial in several ways:

  • much of it is very clearly socially constructed. For example, the association of pink with girls and blue with boys is of comparatively recent origin and is purely a fashion, albeit a very pervasive one.
  • the division of people into two genders is also artificial
  • most individuals of any gender have a mix of traits and preferences that are associated with both sides of the gender binary



  • Gender binary fractal: within any activity or discipline already identified as "masculine" or "feminine", subparts will have identifications too. For example, in geekdom (broadly masculine), there's computer geeking (more masculine) and fandom (more feminine). Within computer geeking there's programming (masculine) and interface design (feminine) and within fandom there's 'hard' sci-fi fandom (masculine) and media fandom (feminine).


Interesting concept from feminist and homosexual literature. The scientific point of view on this is that human males and females are dimorphic to various degrees.

Folksonomies: gender sexuality equality

Cause and Effect

How Gender Bias Impacts Men

Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.

I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.


Folksonomies: feminism gender quality binary gender