TL;DR: What does it feel like to be a boy or a girl and why do you care?
Does your gender matter to you, personally? How so and why? Some stuff about this has come up from time to time in Mayhem, but never really turned into much of a discussion. Recently, Destron shouted at me because I was wearing a purse, and curiosity struck.
My experience is this: I don't feel any dissonance with my sex, but I'm not particularly attached to it, either. I can imagine feeling dissonance with my body in several ways - obesity or deformity, etc. - but if I woke up one morning as a woman, I'd go to work, teach kids how to write stuff, come home, and play with my robot toys or sew something and post on Allspark and so on. There is something inherently gross about male anatomy to me, but I assume that that's a combination of not being attracted to it and a society that holds it as "dirty" somehow in contrast to feminine "purity" (a binary society uses to sell both sexes soap.) In any case, it doesn't seem to relate to gender identity.
I think I understand gender from an academic perspective, that it's a bunch of arbitrarily encoded performative cues subconsciously read and associated with biological sex and so on. Adding eyelashes and slimming up the limbs on an anthropomorphic cartoon dog makes it a girl dog. I give all my computers feminine names. But it almost seems like an aesthetic choice to me more than a part of identity. Overt gender bending is still coke in my coffee, but I like coke and coffee separately just fine. Otherwise, I really don't understand the subjective experience I see others respond to at all.
So what I don't get is, for instance, when I've had people respond weirdly to my carrying a purse, or when someone comments that something I've done was somehow feminine and expects me to be offended, and I end up feeling all weird and awkward for not playing the part. I mean, is it really unpleasant somehow for men to be perceived as feminine?
I know that someone will probably drop some Wikipedia links on me and we'll be done, but I'm curious to get some subjective perspectives on this from y'all's personal experience.
So, again, the short version, what does it feel like to be a boy or girl? = )
Edited by Copper Bezel, 28 February 2014 - 09:48 PM.