Getting Past the Binaries: The Genderbread Person 1.0 – 3.3

The failure of academic feminists to recognize difference as a crucial strength is a failure to reach beyond the first patriarchal lesson. In our world, divide and conquer must become define and empower.― Audre Lorde

“The best way to avoid being confused about [Caitlin] Jenner is get your head out of [her] bedroom and closet, and then think about all of the things you’ve been hiding and been miserable about. … Just focus on the feeling of finally disclosing something that enables you to be free and to live as authentically as possible. …[then] you will no longer be confused.”  ― Robin Caldwell

love-and-equality-zero-tolerance-black-transparent-300

To study marginalized girls and digital seduction online means I also have to constantly revisit and stay current with ways people are thinking and moving from what they think they know about gender (vs. sex), gender roles, gender stratification or the unequal distribution of multiple forms of capital on YouTube. I do this so I can try to accurately interpret how gender performance is at work within the digital ecologies and spaces of YouTube and not just in rap music videos. I need to understand how vloggers/creators as well as viewers and invisible audiences are grappling with those ideas.

This week as we study the socio-cultural construction of gender in my intro to anthro courses, an ambitious and curious student reminded me of the Genderbread Person.  The designer of this brilliant graphic and meme is Sam Killermann (ya can’t make these names up). He writes: “Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but don’t. This tasty little guide is meant to be an appetizer for understanding. It’s okay if you’re hungry for more.” – See more at: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2015/03/the-genderbread-person-v3/#sthash.c9Nmralr.dpuf

He has three versions in the evolution of the Genderbread Person by Sam Killermann. One of my favorite pages on his website is Breaking Through the Binary. Check out the evolution of his ideas:

Genderbread Person 1.0 by Sam Killermann
Genderbread Person 1.0 by Sam Killermann

 

Genderbread Graphic and Continuum conceived by Sam Killermann
Genderbread Graphic and Continuum conceived by Sam Killermann

 

Genderbread-Person-3.3 by Sam Killermann
Genderbread-Person-3.3 by Sam Killermann

Teaching students to revise their ideas is what shows up when I see these three versions. Crafting a practice of revision of thought is so essential as new media seduces us to click-whirr and simply save cognitive energy by merely reading and accepting what comes across our feed. There’s little time to revise and reflect or as Audre Lorde suggests in the quote above to redefine and re-empower the process of thinking not thoughting. That’s it for now!

Happy queering your thinking not your thought, people!!

#kyraocitydidntkillthekat

Exploring Gender Cross-Culturally: Wrong Bathroom (GIE)

THE WRONG BATHROOM

Ever had someone question your actual sex because you don’t look like you express the gender associated with it? Gender Identity Expression is a serious source of confusion, hate, and even murder. Gender cross-culturally does not require crossing national borders to understand. For our friends and family who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bi, they encounter other “borders” of culture.

Most of my posts are coming from the perspective of being a black woman, a heterosexual, and a professor interested in stretching my own and others frame of reference. I often don’t think of gender identity expression when thinking about gender relations but this video reminded me that my gay, lesbian, transgender and bi friends have other distinctions of gender that I can overlook.