Social-Justice Blog: Gender Is ‘More Like a Performance’

(Everett Collection/Dreamstime)
Let's be fluid about it.

According to one social-justice blogger, “gender can change from moment to moment” because it’s “more like a performance” than anything else.

In a piece for Everyday Feminism titled “3 Reasons It’s Totally Valid to Have More Than One Gender Identity,” Suzannah Weiss explains that she identifies “as both non-binary and as a woman.”

“Some people feel strongly that they have a fixed gender, but my gender feels more like a performance,” she writes.

“When I do my nails, for example, I’m performing a certain American version of femininity,” she continues. “When I’m playing sports, I’m performing a particular version of masculinity (though these things aren’t inherently feminine or masculine).”

First of all, I know plenty of men who paint their nails and women who play sports who do not go through an entire gender change just because they’re performing these activities. But Weiss says that for her, it’s different — and that that’s something that many people in her life have a hard time understanding.

When she’s around these people — the people who she believes won’t understand her non-binary identity — Weiss says she decides to just simply “perform womanhood around them,” and the fact that she’s performing womanhood around them means that she is a woman around them, seeing as for her, it’s all about the performance.

“So, when I’m with people who know me as a woman, for me, they’re not misgendering me,” she writes. “I’m a woman with them.”

#related#Seems simple enough, right? Well, not entirely . . . especially when it comes to pronouns.

“Even people with good intentions will ask what pronoun – singular – they should refer to me as, encouraging the idea that I have to pick one,” she writes. 

Ugh. People are so ignorant! Don’t they know they should be asking: “Which pronouns would you like to use right now?” followed by “Should I ask you again in a few minutes whether or not you still prefer these pronouns, or would you prefer to just let me know if and when they change?” like normal people do in conversation? Show some respect, guys. It’s 2016.

– Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online. 



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