Gender fluidity has come much under the spotlight recently. It has been suggested that there are ‘thousands of genders’, ’98 genders’, that ‘gender is a spectrum of gradations’ and even that it doesn’t exist. Yet if you walk down the street in any part of the world, you will see two genders. So how can this be?
This baffling conundrum is what you get when people don’t do enough research. In fact, BOTH the binary model and the gender-spectrum model are valid; but their relationship is being wilfully misunderstood.
In large parts of the world, but best documented in South America and Asia, the principal gender division is not between men and women but between men and ‘not-men’. I have referred to this in other pieces and it was well described by Prof Don Kulick in his 1996 book ‘Travesti’. Continue reading Men, not-men and neckbearders: a gender conundrum