Gender[queer],  Q&A

Q&A: “Could it be possible that there really only are 2 genders?”

anonymous said:

Hey, Vesper! I have a very serious question to ask. It’s about gender. It might come off as offensive, but in no means is it meant to be. Could it be possible that there really only are 2 genders? Hear me out: it can be argued that gender is not really determined by characteristics or genitals, instead more by chromosomes, XX or XY. For humans, biologically there is only male and female(no, i did not forget intersex), but gender identity can be a whole other deal!

You see, gender identity can be how someone feels about their gender. Like, I was born female, but I did not feel like that fit. Male didn’t fit either, so I identify as agender. But, I didn’t really feel like it was an actual gender as much as an identity, a way for me to express myself. I may just be getting gender and sex confused, are they not the same? Anyway, I really hope this did not offend anyone, as I am only trying to gain more understanding. <3

i’ve seen many people who identify as agender express something similar to the last part of what you said. that is, that “agender” isn’t their gender because they in fact have no gender (a common definition of “agender”); that, “agender” describes an identity and / or the fact that they have no gender rather than being their “actual” gender. as i’ve seen many agender people express such feelings, it seems to me (and i very well could be wrong) that such feelings are common among people who identify as agender.

that said.

i want to caution you against inadvertently projecting your own feelings / experiences with(out) gender onto the concept of gender as a whole, especially in regards to others’ gender(s). while agender may be an identity rather than “an actual gender” for you personally, that isn’t necessarily true for others, be they agender or not. for many, their gender identity is reflective of their “actual” gender.

going back to the first part of your ask, while i know that your intention wasn’t to offend and i am not at all offended, i still take issue with everything that you said. there’s so much that i take issue with that i don’t know where to start and am too tired to respond in detail to all of it.

for one, gender has nothing to do with biology. systematic categorization of people based on abstract characteristics which aren’t even universal across cultures, societies, etc is a human convention not biological fact. sometimes systematic categorization of people is loosely based on biological physical characteristics (including chromosomes), as one could argue is the case with sex, but that is not true of gender. gender is distinct from sex and has nothing to do with chromosomes or other physical characteristics.

speaking of chromosomes, since you brought it up, i find it odd that you went out of your way to say that you didn’t forget intersex people, but you literally said that humans are only male or female, XX or XY…… you’re right, you didn’t forget intersex people. you literally went out of your way to ignore them to try and make a point. honestly, that feels worse than had you simply forgotten to consider them…

anyway, you asked if it’s possible that there really only are two genders… seeing as how the gender of the person responding to your ask is neither male nor female, i feel like that in and of itself answers that question.

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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