What is gender? OR Why the term is both meaningless and indispensible

Catholic Trans*

This post is the first in a series on What is gender?


Why we need this pain-in-the-ass word.


Probably the greatest challenge in writing a blog about gender is that no one – myself included – has any idea what the damn word means. I risk sounding unbearably flippant, I know, but it’s necessary to clear the air about that abominable word.

And I mean abominable. The problem with “gender” is that it encompasses altogether too many things, to the point where it’s almost meaningless. It’s kinda like the word “science,” which is really a fancy buzzword that could be expanded to include half the universe. When we say “science,” are we talking about the natural world, empirical exploration in general, natural philosophy, peer-reviewed studies, the scientific method(s), anything that’s falsifiable, anything-that’s-not-metaphysics, math?

Gender is even worse. It’s a nice fat term to throw into the fray, but what the hell…

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