We explain what gender is in its various meanings, related to the feminine or masculine and also to the literary.
What is Gender?
Many different things can be understood by the word gender today. Etymologically, it comes from the Latin genus, which translates as “lineage” or “lineage.”
In the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, there are very diverse meanings, ranging from types of textiles, and biological taxa to artistic categories. They have in common referring to a “set of beings that have one or more common characters” or a “class or type to which things belong.”
That is to say, genres are categories in which we mentally organize the reality of things and beings, according to certain types of common properties. This is how we also think of ourselves, and especially our social roles, traditionally based on the masculine/feminine dichotomy.
In any case, thinking about genres is part of the usual processes of our mind. It is also reflected in the language, since words have one or more grammatical genres, depending on the language to which they belong, which is usually indicated through declensions or through the use of articles.
Thus, for example, in English there is really only one gender, denoted by the article “the” regardless of whether we are talking about the man (the man) or the woman (the woman). In Spanish, on the other hand, there are two genders, as expressed in the articles el and la, with a neuter gender of very specific use (lo). While in German, there are three conventional genders: masculine (der), feminine (die) and neuter (das).
Male Gender and Female Gender
In most cultures, certain social roles are assigned to men or women according to traditional mandates. These gender roles are based on the separation and distinction of the biological sexes, thus giving rise to two possible genders: masculine and feminine.
These genres, however, have nothing to do with the biological, which resides in the body, genes and reproductive capacity, but rather constitute a kind of abstraction. That is, it is a social and cultural category that assigns certain roles, values and meanings to masculinity and others to femininity.
Therefore, the masculine is associated with the active, with the evident, strength, reason, dominance and violence; and the feminine with the passive, with the hidden, manipulation, intuition, submission and seduction. Even when it is more than evident that all these things are in different proportions in men and women.
Even so, many times a man is required to be “more masculine” or even “become more feminine,” or a woman is required to be “more feminine” or “feminized,” as if there were only one correct way to be men and women.
In any case, the most conservative sectors of society will frown upon the fact that this separation of the roles of each gender is not fulfilled, while the progressive sectors point out that, given that it is a cultural identification, it could perfectly be another. manner.
Sex and gender are not the same. Sex is expressed in our genome, and it manifests itself in the genitals with which we were born, that is, it is our biological profile. Since the difference between the biological sexes is the basis of the reproduction of the species, it only admits the male sex (endowed with a penis, producing sperm) and the female sex (endowed with a vagina, producing eggs).
Instead, gender is determined by our society and our culture, since it is a social construction. It associates certain characteristics with each sex, that is, it tries to socioculturally delimit what is masculine and what is feminine.
For this reason, genders have changed over time (what is understood as masculine today was not always the same, for example), while the sexes remain the same.
Each person has a sexual orientation (that is, one sex or several that attract them erotically) and also a gender identity, which is nothing more than the relationship established between their biological sex and their assumed gender. That is, it is a subjective and individual perception that a subject has about her gender, whether or not it coincides with her biological sex.
Thus, it is possible for a person to be born male, but subjectively identify with the opposite sex, or, more crudely, to feel like a woman even though she has male genitals, or vice versa. If so, there are various possibilities for gender identity, such as:
- Cis men. That is, men whose sex and masculine gender coincide and are the same.
- Cis women. Likewise, women whose sex and female gender coincide.
- Trans men. A man born with a female sex, but with a male gender.
- Trans women. Similarly, women born male, but female.
Seen this way, there would be two forms of gender identity: cis, whose sex and gender coincide, and trans, whose sex and gender do not coincide. The latter can make some type of sex change decisions, which can range from just assuming the clothing, appearance and social role that they feel corresponds to them, to undergoing surgical interventions.
This perspective has sparked a lot of controversy at the beginning of the 21st century, when various sex-diverse groups, that is, LGBT communities (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals) have advocated very strongly for the destigmatization of their gender identity and their way of practicing. the sexuality. Their goal is to be accepted in their normal form.
Gender equality is the demand for equal opportunities between women and men, in relation to work, politics, economics and sexuality. It aspires to the understanding that women and men are not equal, but there can be justice, that is, equal opportunities, equal participation in transcendental decisions, and equal rewards for the same work done.
The fight for gender equality is carried out by many feminist organizations and movements demanding the place of women throughout human history.
Finally, literary genres are the “types” or categories of literary work that exist at a given moment in the history of literature. They fulfill a double function:
They tell the reader beforehand what type of work it is. That is, they offer you a horizon of expectations around a book.
They serve as a guide for the writer. To know what type of works are conceived and published in their literary field, although it is entirely possible that they try to attack the “norms” or “rules” of a genre, thus helping to redefine, transform or break it.
There are four modern literary genres:
Which includes both the short story, the micro-story, the novel and the chronicle, subgenres whose common feature is that they tell a story (real or fictional) through one or more narrative voices, known as the narrator.
The freest of all, consisting of a metaphorical description of some existential state, combining the real and subjective perceptions of a poetic speaker or poetic voice.
Which is the writing of scripts designed for theatrical performance, but which in themselves constitute a genre of reading, in which the actions of the story to be represented occur without the intervention of a narrator, but are staged in a continuous present.
Whose works are expository, non-narrative prose texts, in which the author discusses a topic of his choosing, using all the methods of literary writing to embellish his text and defend his subjective position on the topic.