What is gender, anyway? In the past few days alone, I stumbled upon some public and private evidence of people pondering this phenomenon. Of course there was the Bruce Jenner interview where he explained to Diane Sawyer that he "is a woman." I also noticed a book featured in the New York Times Book Review, "The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell," by William Klaber, which chronicles the real story of Miss Lobdell's mid-19th-century accounts of dressing like a man (much like Fanny Fern did in the same era). On a more private front, a dear friend of mine gleefully told me about a gender-bender camping trip he went on where males and females switched clothing for the weekend and then discussed why and how this affected them. Lastly, I heard from a childhood friend who was horrified that her son's elementary school was strongly attached to hosting father/daughter "princess" dances and mother/daughter bowling outings -- despite outcries of sexism and heterosexism. (My friend suggested that the dance be a princess/prince dance, but her suggestion was shut down due to "tradition.")
Seems like it's getting to be time to deeply discuss this socially-constructed category meant to define us . . . and limit us. Are times a'changing, my friends? Is it just me, or are there more instances calling for gender bending tolerance and revision both in the larger arena of the public media, and in the smaller arenas of our personal discussions?