As a term and concept, “transgender” is now firmly embedded in common parlance and popular consciousness. By contrast, the term ‘cisgender’ - an important linguistic counterpart - only entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015.
Tagged With gender
If you feel awkward using gender-neutral pronouns - or avoid them because you don't know how to use them correctly - it's time to get up to speed. Language tends to shift towards inclusivity, and gender-neutral pronouns are becoming more widely used, so get in the habit now before you become one of those people who's communicating with outdated language.
My brother was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in primary school. A neurological condition caused by an underproduction of attention-regulating chemicals in the brain, ADHD comes in three types: Inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive and combination. He was hyperactive, literally crawling up walls as he scaled the load beam between our dining room and kitchen. His energy was undeniable.
Usually when I load up a “biggest hits” playlist, I end up skipping half the tracks. I’m barely skipping anything on NPR’s new playlist, “The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+”. Every song is good! Even the country songs! And the lead performers are all women or non-binary.
Highlights include “F**k the Pain Away” by Peaches, “Two Weeks” by FKA Twigs, “Drone Bomb Me” by Anohni, “Soy Yo” by Bomba Estéreo, “Help I’m Alive” by Metric, and “Good as Hell” by Lizzo. There are also megahits such as “Run Away With Me” and “Single Ladies”. This is real singalong stuff.
Pink is for girls and blue is for boys... right? It's a dichotomy drilled into us by countless clothing stores, baby gender reveals, toy branding and all sorts of other gender-obsessed industries, but this colour association is barely 100 years old. Before that, pink was often seen as a masculine colour, while blue was considered softer and more feminine. Here's how that happened - and how it changed.
Last October, Alice Paul Tapper, a Year 5 student in Washington, DC, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times that had women of all ages nodding in solidarity. On a Year 4 trip, Tapper noticed that "all the boys stood in the front and raised their hands while most of the girls politely stayed in the back and were quiet". That made her upset.
"You don't look like a Magic player," a familiar comment to women in the Magic: The Gathering gaming community, is also the title of a Metafilter post (by user Fizz) compiling six pieces on gender and sexism among the game's players and creators. The quoted pieces address issues of in-person sexism, gender and identity representation, and the gender gap in fantasy art.
"Women almost never become art monsters because art monsters only concern themselves with art, never mundane things," writes Jenny Offill in her novel Dept of Speculation. "Nabokov didn't even fold his own umbrella. Vera licked his stamps for him." Women, instead, are forced to "balance" work and life.
When I envisioned having children, my happy fantasies included curling up and reading my childhood favourites to my kids. I pictured evenings of Little House on the Prairie, Pippi Longstocking and Little Women. When my two boys came along, I worried that their affection for board books about farm equipment meant that they wouldn't even consider reading, say, Anne of Green Gables, because that was a "girl's book" and they might be interested only in boys' stories.
The acronym "LGBT" was once considered sufficiently representational of non-heterosexual sexuality and gender types. Well, it looks like we're going to need a few more letters. A new Australian sex survey conducted by researchers at The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has listed a whopping 33 options under the question "Which of the following terms do you feel best describes your gender?". Here's the full list, along with definitions of what they represent.
Referring to a single person who may be of any gender in English can be tricky. It can be awkward to use words like "one" or phrases like "he or she," and many a grammarian hates using "they" as to refer to a single person. How has English gotten this far without such a convenient pronoun? Actually, it hasn't.
In this TED talk, Michael Kimmel, sociologist and author of Angry White Men, makes the case for supporting gender equality: Not just because it's the right thing to do, but also because everyone benefits.