gender code

November 8, 2007  |  essays

I’ve been reading up on gender recently, especially the “gender spectrum” (which, of course, implies a linear and hierarchical classification) and the recently introduced term “gender galaxy.” I graduated from college in 2005, but I am still apparently not up on the theory that is still unfolding and progressing – which makes me wish I was in school, actually.I keep reading articles about the sex-gender distinction and the ways it is disempowering, about gender binaries, gender definitions, gender this, gender that, gender flavors of ice cream. Lord! There’s a lot going on with this gender stuff, I miss studying it within a community and formally. I guess that’s part of the purpose of this project, now isn’t it?

All this is to say, these articles keep saying how useless the gender binary – the categories of male/female or man/woman – is, and that incombination with a disruption of the sex/gender distinction got me thinking: what would it look like if we no longer had these systems in place? Could we classify 6 or 8 or 12 genders instead? Could we categories people without that distinction at all?

I wonder what some sort of Gender Code would look like, something like the late-90s Geek Code (or one of its many spinoffs). Categories would include bodily adornment with makeup and nail polish, body modification with tattoos and piercings, footwear choice, hair – both hair length and body hair, physical features like breasts (including options for falsies) and cocks (ditto), hormones perhaps (as if that is easy to measure), accessories, preferred pronouns … what else? What other things are included in one’s gender?

So I’d end up with a code like this:

G++v^c+d++m–j*t+x-e++

And that would be my gender.

Hmmmm. I’m just playing with this idea really, I’m don’t think I’d propose something like that. I mean, what use would it really have?

But I still kinda like the idea, in a way. I like the “secret code” part of it, that you have to either be very familiar with the symbols, or you have to stick it into a decoder. If I had all sorts of extra time to make a form that would generate a Gender Code, I would make one, just for fun.

 

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1 Comment


  1. This whole entry is my feminist theory class to a t. You'd love it, though most of the theorists we are studying are probably the same as those you studied… out of the 80s and 90s. The discussion has changed though I'm sure, in some ways, and not at all in others.

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