Sex and gender have often been confused as a singular term and used as synonyms but there’s a striking difference between the two.
The former is a distinction based on anatomy (male or female) whereas the latter is a significantly broader term which further encapsulates social norms, identity, gender roles and internal awareness of one’s own gender and sexuality.
We see multiple examples of sexuality being assigned to certain sects of people in order to classify them better, where the objective is to prevent the alienation and negligence of these minority groups with a further motive to raise awareness about them to eradicate the archaic stereotypes.
In a scenario where the majority of the population is comprised of millennial individuals, the taboos of the society have been consistently questioned by this generation due to their influence of post-modernism (where the general concept is to question the pre-established ideas of absolute truth, morality, and reason) and a mutual feeling of demanding equality which ascends the boundaries of sexual as well as gender discrimination.
You might be wondering that I’m perhaps talking about European countries or somewhere along the lines of USA and Canada but the country in question is India, where the millennial generation has vehemently opposed the prescribed gender roles and voiced its opinion against the bigotry and ignorance of the generations before us.
But in order to make things clear so that the people understand sex and gender as different terms, we need to address certain loopholes and clear confusions about terms such as “gender identity”, “sexuality” and “gender binary”.
Wherein gender binary deals with prescribed gender roles of society and classifies them as either masculine or feminine, gender identity primarily deals with realization of one’s own gender and further diversifies identities which may not pertain to the prescribed two domains.
Now, these identities are important to understand for two reasons.
Firstly, to acknowledge their existence and secondly, bridging the gap between two generations by mutual education of these identities and how to support them.
Gender identities, although generally dealing with assigned identities at birth also venture into the domain of classifying identities of the 3rd gender, which may not associate itself with the brand of male or female, the transgender category, the intersex category, transsexual category and genderqueer category (where the individual may classify himself as pangender, bigender or trigender or genderfluid).
This classification of these identities is delicately interwoven with the usage of the universally accepted LGBTQA Classification, where the individual letters stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Asexual and/or Allies.
One needs to understand that as much as it is easy to label various gender identities and sexuality under one roof, it further deteriorates the purpose of universal psychological awareness and educational progression.
This further increases the pre-existing confusion between the term sexuality and gender identity.
A simple and efficient way to explain sexuality and to help those who are confused with their own sexuality has been undertaken by the website that goes by the name of “Love Matters”.
Where they’ve allowed individuals to come forward with their questions which are then answered by people on the same platform, be it anonymously or by revealing their identity (feel free to read one of their articles on the same by clicking here), which basically should be the prime motive of us as a society, i.e. helping each other for better understanding and progression.
Yes, every movement towards progression takes time and effort.
The current generation in our country has shown much more openness towards various sexuality and gender identities as compared to the previous ones, which are severely uninformed to an extent that they go on and deny the very existence of these identities, clinging to the notion of pre-defined gender roles.
But hey, you can’t educate someone in a day, right? We have to start somewhere.
So try and take it slow instead of vehemently shoving your knowledge in someone’s face and expecting validation because of the righteousness of your opinion.
Gradually develop awareness starting with your family, then perhaps your neighborhood and you may just be the catalyst of a national movement, which openly accepts and cares for humanity, without the prescription of gender.
Love Matters India is an online platform that provides blush-free information and news about sexuality and sexual health for 18 to 30-year-olds in India. They are the first bilingual (English and Hindi) sexual health website in India with open, honest and non-judgmental attitude towards all topics related to love, sex, relationships and everything in between. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
SheThePeople is a video story telling space that inspires women, strengthens their efforts, exchanges leadership ideas, fosters networking and reinforces their ability to contribute to growth. Through their special videos on SheThePeople.TV they are presenting the modern Indian woman a platform to discuss and share the challenges faced by this up-tapped leadership community. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter brings you closer to what you care about. Get on an exclusive chat with Twitter’s Aneesh Madani through ED. Follow him @aneeshmadani.
The Harvard US India Initiative aims to empower the youth and promote awareness about India’s most pressing issues. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook.
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