ANDROGYNY AND GENDER DIALECTICS

Thomas Gramstad

WHAT IS THIS PAGE ABOUT?

ANDROGYNY
One of the biggest and most prevalent mistakes in Western Culture is the idea that there exist two separate and "opposite" genders, masculinity and femininity. This gender dualism is not only false and without any factual or scientific support, but also very harmful. One strategy to overcome this wrongness is the idea of androgyny, by which masculinity and femininity are not conceived as opposite ends of one spectrum, but as two separate spectrums: you can be or have both at once (or neither), not only the one or the other. Thus, you can combine the various components of masculinity and femininity in any number of ways, according to your individual preferences, needs and nature. Should we then strive for an androgynous, individualist, highly diverse culture?

Some people think that the androgyny concept doesn't go far enough; because androgyny still reproduces elements of the old false split of femininity and masculinity, it should be abandoned. What we need is not to construct combinations of two false concepts, but to go back to - and forward to - a situation with no split in the first place, a place without a gender dichotomy. The point must be made that keeping the masculine and the feminine apart and separate is what is difficult and unnatural, while keeping them together is simple and natural. We must thus move beyond androgyny, in order to overcome the cultural and social schizophrenia of gender dualism.

GENDER DIALECTICS
Basically, the gender dichotomy must be healed and sealed: people must be free to develop their own unique identity. In philosophy, the method, or method research orientation most often and most efficiently used to overcome ("transcend") dualism is dialectics. Chris Sciabarra has suggested this definition of dialectics: Dialectics is a methodological-research orientation whose distinguishing characteristic is an emphasis on contextuality in the analysis of systemic and dynamic relations within totalities (i.e., organic unities). Thus, dialectics is a way to consider the issue in question both structurally and dynamically, as a whole, but changing and developing system, a way of exploring the developments and shifting relationships of a great many interacting factors, never losing track of the whole context of the system - always considering the full context, both analyzing the parts themselves and considering their relative place to each other and within the totality. Which is exactly what needs to be done with the splintered, arbitrary chaos of the gender concepts.

So, I'm interested in anything that blurs, transforms or recreates gender, puts a new perspective on gender, or just any weird ideas or expressions of gender. You may thus conclude that I want to deconstruct gender - but that is at best a half-truth, because I'm even more interested in reconstructing gender. Or, more precisely: I'm interested the deconstruction of the current arbitrary and collectivist gender bi-polarization ideology, thus opening the path for reconstruction(s) of gender, in the form of 5 billion or more unique gender identitities. And I'm collecting links to all kind of stuff about this, and that's what this page is about. You'll find the links below. I provide a growing and shifting context of elements; you'll have to evaluate and integrate them yourselves. You must be your own gender dialectician. And if you come up with something new, insightful, creative, weird or otherwise interesting, let me know, and I'll add it to this page.

So far I've only talked about gender (the social and cultural aspects of gender identity), but many people apply all the above to sex (the biological aspects of gender identity) as well. You'll find links to those ideas - and realities - too.

So, let's do it. And if you think you know about an URL that ought to be included here, do tell.

PS:
In the last update I added a lot of links to Wikipedia entries -- not because of laziness -- well, maybe it is, but only because those links are more permanent/less prone to become dead links. Wikipedia, of course, is just a starting point for further reading, and they provide a lot of links to other source material.

CONTEXT
Raphael Carter: What is Gender? - An Anthropologist From Mars.
(A very clear and well-written introduction to 'sex vs. gender')

A Martian's View of Gender
(A similar version of the Martian anthropologist.)

Practical Androgyny: Devoted to the practicalities of ambiguous gender
presentation within a binary gendered society.

Raphael Carter: The Angel's Dictionary
(Extend your gender vocabulary; know more and see more)

Sex-Gender and Queer Studies

Pinterest Gender Fluidity

Voice of the Shuttle Gender Studies Page
(Lots of academic links)

Polymorph
(A novel; cyberpunk, horror, genders, sexualities)

Alternative Sexualities in Fantasy and Science Fiction

Amazons
(Perhaps the most subversive gender radicals of them all)

Jeffery A. Brown: Gender and the Action Heroine:
Hardbodies and the Point of no Return

Vive les Differences!
(Thomas Gramstad examines the Orwellian, collectivist nature of a well-known
and overused catch-phrase - and how to recast it in a way that promotes rather
than hinders individualism)

Donna Haraway: A Cyborg Manifesto and Cyborg Feminism

Swinburne's Philosophy of Androgyny
(I'd call it religion, but anyway)

Gender Differences in Levels of Androgyny as Reflected in Styles of Expression
of Anger in Marital Relationships

(An interesting Master's Thesis, and some good quotes too)

Same Closet, Different Door: A Heterosexual Sissy's Coming-Out Party
(Allan Hunter breaks into new territory)

Joan Jett
(If you need to ask, you need to look)

The Bloomsbury Group
(In more ways than one, these people introduced concepts of androgyny and queeriness)

EBE Theory: Exotic Becomes Erotic
(A Developmental Theory of Sexual Orientation, developed by Daryl J. Bem)
Criticism of EBE Theory by Peplau et al.

Postsexualism and Michel Foucault

Janet Jackson
(Just Because)

Jaye Davidson
(Gives a new meaning to the old adage of "the woman behind the man")

Third Gender

"What's So Funny About Bisexual Separatism?"
(Do find out)

Ambigender

Queer Theory -- briefly and concisely explained
(Is gender and sexual orientation identity or performance? Essence or action?)

Allucquere Rosanne Stone / Sandy Stone:
The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto

The Intersex Society of North America
(They publish a publication called Hermaphrodites With an Attitude, oppose forced
surgery on intersexual children, and strive to carve out a sex/gender identity for
themselves, outside the man-woman dualism)

Virginia Woolf

Center for Gender Sanity
(A refuge from dichotomies, stereotypes, and other madness...)

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Androgynous

Tilda Swinton

AVEN - Asexual Visibility and Education Network
http://www.asexuality.org/

IN NORWEGIAN

Fra tvekjønnet Kristus til unisex-mote
(Universitas)

Last update: 02.06 2013