Explaining gender…

Gender is one of the most commonly misrepresented aspects of life. Where a lot of people feel they fall into the binary oppositions of male and female there are a growing number of people in the community talking about life across the spectrum of gender identity. Dani Shay‘s song “Girl or Boy” was written and performed in response to a common question Dani received from her Youtube videos – Are you a girl or a boy?

Why it matters

The binary opposition of gender is one of the most defining differences of humankind. Many of our cultures, communities and social norms are based around gender, but as we come to understand gender as a concept we’re beginning to realise that it’s not as simple as a binary opposition – male or female. Gender identity, gender expression, biological sex and sexual orientation are diverse concepts within themselves that are too often muddied together. Dani’s approach is great, because she welcomes an open discussion through her song and social media platforms to help people understand her perspective. The song also poses some vital questions:

Do your expectations of gender and your personal experiences match?

Do gender norms and stereotypes do you a disservice?

Do they reflect who you really are or who you are expected to be?

A great resource for explaining many of the concepts of gender is The Genderbread Person:

The info graphic explains gender concepts in a simple and accessible way. You can find more information and even Version 2 of the Genderbread Person at http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/

Can you think of a piece of media that has changed your perception of gender? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter

– Jonathan Brown

Jonathan is the Creative Director of We Matter Media. You can follow him @JB_AU