Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about human gender. For the hardware component, see Gender changer. Gender bending may be political, stemming from the early identity politics movements of the 1960s and 1970s, a guiding principle of which binary option kings the idea that the personal is political.
The term genderfuck has long been part of the gay vernacular, and started to appear in written documents in the 1970s. Sheidlower cites the definition of the term gender fuck in L Humphreys’ 1972 work Out of the Closets: Sociology of Homosexual Liberation as “a form of extended guerilla theatre”. To “fuck with” gender, one must have an expectation to be able to rebel against. These expectations are socially constructed and can vary widely between cultures. The gender binary is the idea that only two genders exist: men and women.
In many cultures it is only acceptable for an individual to embody one of two polar gender roles. Gender roles often mimic the social expectations of the sexual categories of “male” and “female”. These roles are highly influenced by culture and peers. This sex-role stereotype includes sexual orientation. In Western cultures, gender roles have changed somewhat over the years.
However, mainstream western culture still tends to expect stereotypical “feminine” behaviors from females, and “masculine” sex-role stereotypes from males. Crossing these lines has been interpreted by some Christians as a moral transgression. However, other cultures – often indigenous peoples, or subcultures that exist within Western cultures – may conceptualize gender as having more than two options, and even see their people as potentially fulfilling more than one gender role. Often, parody and exaggeration are used to transgress gender roles, usually to expose them as artificial. Cross-dressing would be a form of gender bending because the purpose is to “fuck with gender” roles and presentation. Androgyny is not specifically gender bending, but it can be considered as such if someone is being androgynous on purpose. Many people who are androgynous may not make a conscious effort to look so.
There have been many famous people who have cross-dressed and many famous people now who are androgynous. The rock star Prince was very well known for his cross-dressing or androgynous look. Eddie Izzard started to freely talk about his cross-dressing as early as 1992. Shakespeare used cross-dressing in his performances.