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What Is Gender?

gender trans teen before and after james raines

Source: Tumblr @jammi-dodger

That’s a question that has been going back and forth a lot lately. Ever since Caitlyn Jenner’s big reveal, I’ve had cis friends wonder what exactly constitutes male and female aside from what’s in your underpants. Liking makeup doesn’t make one a woman because I know plenty of men who enjoy cosmetics. Once upon a gender-segregated time, wearing pants was only for males, but today, wearing slacks doesn’t make us any less feminine.

Of course, these are all physical examples of what constitutes gender stereotypes. Jenner said she always felt like a woman, but what does that mean? That we are emotional? Is that an actual fact of being a woman or just sexist? As a self-proclaimed feminist, I don’t know the answer to that.

We live in an increasingly tolerant and progressive age where all is not what it seems. People like Ruby Rose and Miley Cyrus are raising awareness that maybe gender isn’t black and white. Maybe gender is a spectrum like the Kinsey Scale. “I’m just equal,” Miley Cyrus has said. “I’m just even. It has nothing to do with any parts of me or how I dress or how I look. It’s literally just how I feel.” It’s a hard concept for a lot of people who wrap their heads around.