Daphne Shaed is SNIWWOC's Transgender Coordinator. Check out her blog here
Gender is a defining dimension in social and cultural identity that is present in every aspect of an individual’s life in Western society. It functions to extend privilege in some spheres and oppress in others and is a token in the complexities of intersecting identities. Gender in the West is a primary force in our social existence that most people have little or no knowledge of with the exception of inculcated epistemologies from myth, archaic ideologies, historical constructions, and misinformation.
Gender is part of a complex identity structure that yields a lot of power in cultural economies and is imposed upon the individual at birth. An individual’s gender, determined by the identification of the genital geometry, is glimpsed in pre-natal examination, bet upon by expecting parents, planned with purchase of appropriate clothing, toys, and room colours, it is proclaimed upon the child’s exit from the birth canal with the inaugural “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl” that imbues the parent with paternal expectations, is promulgated with the issuance of state certification and confirmed by nurses busily tapping away at keyboards ensuring that the child named so-and-so born on some day somewhere will forever be ‘gender x’. This links sex and gender together in a method that lends the social construction a false credential of biological authenticity and legitimizes sex and gender as synonymous in common parlance.
Read the rest of this post by Daphne here