David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Prince … they are all or have been great professionals recognized worldwide for the quality of their songs. They were also seen as eccentric due to their dress or their pursuit of an androgynous appearance. They have the characteristics of gender bending people, A concept that we will talk about throughout this article.
Kind of bender: what is it?
The term gender bender refers to that person who it is revealed against gender roles and stereotypes and the binary system that these establish, By being this rupture towards them shown in front of the public in an active way.
The manifestation of this rebellion towards gender roles can be achieved in countless ways. One of the most common is to show roles and behaviors assigned by gender roles to the opposite sex. Another of these (and probably the most visible from the outside) is the use of a costume or appearance associated with that other sex or using elements of bothGetting an androgynous look is the latter. It is also common for both modes of expression to occur, as do drag queens or drag king.
The gender bent may try to generate social change through one’s behavior, in the form of movement or activism. It is important to keep in mind that gender bending does not have to be a radical activist position, it can simply be a form of self-expression or even exploration to forge one’s own identity regardless of the opinions of the people. other.
Gender flexion as a social movement
Although this is not always the case, gender inflection can be understood (being the tendency itself and the gender inflection of the person who practices it) as a form of movement and social activism.
In this sense, a protest would be organized against gender roles, which are too restricted and tend to exclude those who are not limited to them. A greater desire for freedom would express itself as being what one wishes to be, and can be and be expressed freely without being coerced or constrained by models not chosen by oneself and without discrimination or social criticism.
This activism generally acts in a vindictive but peaceful manner, sometimes acting through parody and theatricality to express the artificiality of gender construction. As we have indicated we usually use elements associated with the other sort, although the non-sorting and the androgeneidad or the mixture of characteristics related to each of the kinds can also be sought.
It should also be borne in mind that this type of activism occurs in societies with a binary system and gender roles like ours, but not in other cultures which recognize even a third sex or identity in such a way. traditional.
Differentiation from other concepts
Although gender flexion is a type of reaction to gender stereotypes that the LGTBI community is associated with the populationDue, among other things, to the fact that this group has had to fight against discrimination and defend the right to sexual freedom and identity, it actually covers and addresses the entire population.
In fact, this relationship often results in the identification of sexual flexion with other concepts which, although in some cases may be related, it would be incorrect to regard them as synonyms.
1. Confusion with sexual orientation
First of all, we need to consider what gender flexion is a reaction to gender stereotypesThis being independent of the sexual orientation of the person in question. And it is that sexual orientation marks the sexual preference and attraction towards people of a certain sex.
So, although this has been seen to be socially linked to homosexuality or bisexuality, the truth is that a gender addiction can have any type of sexual orientation, with many of them actually being heterosexual. . And conversely, anyone or depending on you for advice can follow or fill gender roles.
Another aspect, which he actually often identifies with when selling benders, is transsexuality. But also in this case the identification between the two concepts is incorrect.
Transsexuality involves the presence of an identification with a sex that is not what is given to us by birth, without necessarily implying a rejection of gender roles (although most transsexuals face stigma associated with those -this).
In addition, the bending of the sexes it doesn’t have to mean feeling in the wrong body.
3. Cross-dressing: not always a means of expressing gender mastery
Finally, there is the concept of cross-dressing, perhaps the most socially linked to gender mastery. And it’s true that one of the ways to express rejection of gender roles and stereotypes is through the use of pieces, accessories and makeup related to the opposite sex, or mixing styles generally considered masculine and feminine.
However, not all people who dress up do so as a sign of social activism or to break stereotypes, in addition to gender mastery. he can show his break with gender roles in other ways beyond his wardrobe (For example at the behavioral level).
Appearance in multiple contexts
We started this series by talking about different singers who have marked and were relevant in the collective imagination and who on more than one occasion have used androgynous looks as a mode of expression.
This is due to the fact that the world of music in general generates easily recognizable figures and icons for everyone. But gender folds do not exist only in this area: actors and actresses, writers or playwrights have been introduced or represented in this dispute or are breaking with gender stereotypes.
In any case, it should be noted that in part due to the low social consideration that until a few years ago had options other than those established by tradition, many people in this group do not have not been able to freely express their way of life. see themselves, in addition to being often ignored, marginalized and even persecuted.
Of course, while the flexing of the sexes as a movement didn’t start until the ’60s, that doesn’t mean the concept behind it isn’t something that has been talked about over the centuries.
And not only in reality, but also in multiple works of fiction can see cases of bending of the sexes. It is said that even Shakespeare introduced into many of his characters some sort of mention of stereotypes or gender roles or acting in a manner attributed to the opposite sex.
- Butler, J. (1988). Performative Acts and Gender Construction: An Essay on Feminist Phenomenology and Theory (PDF).
- Butler, J. (2006). Gender issues: feminism and identity subversion. 1st edition. Routledge Classics.
- Lonc, C. (1974). Genderfuck and its delicacies. Gay Sunshine, 21.