September 11, 2009

Sex versus Gender: a brief statement

Last night I realized I should extrapolate what I mean by "women" in this project.

When it comes to a subject like this, one has to decide whether or not the discussion is on "sex" or "gender".  "Sex" is used scientifically to determine if a sexually reproducing organism is one that expels eggs (female) or sperm (male).  It is something that an organism is inherently born with, albeit it sometimes with complications.  "Gender" is a social construct that traditionally originated from sex.  It is the identifying traditions, customs, acts, and behaviors that a society use to denote male and female.  For example, in a lot of western societies women will wear dresses, something men will not wear, for a variety of reasons.  This is a part of gender in western society.

Gender is a choice in many respects.  Sex is not.

In my blog, I want to be sensitive to the fact that in today's world one's sex is not tied to one's gender.  Sex is most important when one is doing a scientific study, something dealing with biology.  However, my investigation is into a social group, and isn't really anything scientific.  It's social and about a fun hobby that many people enjoy.  Hence, "women" in the blog are all those people who identify as women.

This isn't something I need to say to clarify anything I've published so far, this is more for future interviews.  If there is anyone who was on the fence about and interview but wasn't sure if I would consider you one gender or another, this is my standard: If you call yourself a woman and present yourself as a woman to others, you're a woman.  End of story.

Recent news of Caster Semenya the runner reminded me that this is something I should address.

I hope everyone who's been keeping up with the blog found it helpful in some way, and I would love to spread the word around to get more people involved.  Once again, email me at for an interview if you want to help out the project.

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