University of Wisconsin–Madison

Gender, Today

 

Identity is a reoccurring theme in society today. One cannot simply scroll through their social media outlets without viewing a post or comments on the topics of gender, sex, and identity. In New York City, “Hundreds of New Yorkers now have birth certificates that are true to their gender identities.” In 2017, this is our world. However, in the Keyword’s essay on Gender, Erica Hateley states, “In the ensuing 1,500 years, “gender” appears in linguistic and biological contexts to distinguish types of words and bodies from one another, as when words in Indo-European languages were identified as male or female.” Now, a person may not identify themselves as male or female, there are a variety of different ways to identify gender.

So, what is gender anymore? Growing up I was taught that you were either a girl or a boy, well not anymore. Our world is continuously evolving, especially in its thoughts and practices of our daily life. In CNN’s article, journalist Croffie write about Sara Kelly Keenan, who was able to correct her original birth certificate after being born in Brooklyn over 55 years ago. Keenan had to choose ‘non-binary’ when she applied in court because it is the umbrella term that include all gender variant people.

A member of the New York City Council had said, “Birth certificates should reflect the truth of our identities,” which is an accurate representation of our world today. A person’s identity should not be stripped from them, they should be able to express themselves. In Keywords under identity, Karen Coats shows how identity poses the questions of “Who am I?” also mentioning that “both authors and critics often focus on identity with a qualifying adjective-gender identity, national identity, racial identity, ethnic identity, class identity.” With New York allowing people to change such a crucial part of their identity on their birth certificate, it illustrates the strides our world is taking to reach equality and acceptance of all gender identities.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/10/health/new-york-birth-certificate-gender-marker-change/index.html

 

2 thoughts on “Gender, Today”

  1. Last semester, I took Sociology 120 (Marriage and Family), and that was the first time I learned that gender is not binary. Like you, I grew up thinking that everyone is either a boy or a girl. I liked how you connected this to identity too!

  2. I find it very interesting that people can now choose which gender pronoun they want to identify with. I also find it interesting that as people’s sexual orientation evolves, more pronouns are created to make it even more fluid. I really like the point that you made in this post!!

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