The Management of Gender and Sexuality

As a gender non-conforming individual, I was always utterly confused at why there is such an effort to control gender and place it within the binaries of male/female and as a bisexual individual why there was an effort to control the sexuality of others. Today in theory class I had an “Aha!” moment when discussing Mary Douglas and her analogy of the body. The analogy of the body is so frequently used because it is universal, in a sense. Everyone has a body, everyone has experiences, emotions, and similar such things happen to them whilst in their body. Many of us have a basic knowledge of the inner workings of the body. The body is just the perfect model for society— except when it’s not.

Things that are outside the body (or the norms) are considered dangerous, in a sense, and thus must be regulated. This was my “oh, that’s why so many people think I can’t live my life the way I’d like… it offends their sensibilities” moment. Theory has opened my eyes to why so many different people think the way they think in politics and considering gender and sexuality are two personal interests of mine, I’ve learned more ways to apply theory to these specific concepts as well.

When I think of someone who wants limited government and is generally conservative my mind usually jumps to the image of the loud, spiritual, moral conservative. The one who wants the government to not interfere with their economy or tax them (and often still wants the benefits of public taxpayer-funded

Many K-pop artists use androgyny as part of their image/performance

utilities) but wants their government, which in principle should have minimal interference in people’s lives, to interfere with a select few people’s lives by controlling their lives. From banning gay marriage and transgender people from serving in the military to trying to control which bathroom people use to y’know, go to the bathroom, many of those who preach limited government really would like the government to overstep their limits into other people’s personal freedoms. To say the least, it irritates me.


Though my idea of presenting my own gender as neither fully male nor fully female does not affect anyone’s personal life but my own, and my desire to settle down and enjoy the legal benefits of marriage with my girlfriend in the future do not actually have any impact on other people’s “traditional” marriages it is outside of the binaries- male-female, straight-gay, etc and thus is constantly trying to be managed by those inside the “normal” body of society. They claim society will lose its stability, structure— and god forbid the sanctity of marriage if these things were allowed to occur. Yet, it hasn’t destroyed anything but the lives of those overly passionate about trying to police other’s rights.

4 thoughts on “The Management of Gender and Sexuality

  1. Your post stated exactly how I feel about the world today. If it does not affect you directly, then why bother worrying about it? That has always been my biggest question. My brother who is gay and has some odd hobbies, is still my brother and I love him. He has never tried to force his own perspectives or experiences on anyone. He keeps to himself and works hard, and is surrounded by plenty of friends and family who love him. People spend way too much time worrying about the things they cannot control, because what they have control over is not always enough for them. They do not have an understanding of a changing world and are unable to see things in a whole new light, more then half the time. I would much rather someone tell me who they are and explain things to me so I understand, rather then shutting someone out and making them feel like the odd duck out. What anyone chooses to do with themselves or how they choose to live their lives does not concern anyone!

  2. when I first read your blog a couple days ago I thought to myself, wow that was “brave” of her to put herself out there like that. Then I got pissed at myself because WHY would that word “brave” be the first thing I thought? We’ve known each other for a couple years of school now and we have a good relationship (I think anyway lol) and when I found out you were gender non-conforming earlier this semester I didn’t think twice about it, you were Rory before I knew and you were still Rory after I knew. (I would like to add that it wouldn’t make a difference if it mattered to me because it’s not my life it’s yours) So I’ve continued to think on this blog in particular over the weekend because this is one I really wanted to respond to, and I think I now know why “brave” came into my head. It is because even in 2018 people still have a problem with anybody they perceive as “different” then them. Or you have religious fanatics (yes fanatics because I don’t know one single Christian who actually has a problem with the LGBTQ community) who want to throw God into the equation, but as a Christian I don’t believe I have the right to judge anybody else’s way of life, that’s not my job. So as long as we aren’t going out murdering everybody we run across or getting kids addicted to drugs who are any of us to judge anybody else’s life choices? That’s not our job, our job is to love one another and just do the best we can. (and that’s true no matter if you’re a religious person or not) So thank you for your post, it was fun to read and possibly enlightening to people who want to sit in judgement of others.

  3. I liked our post, but I think what you are seeing is a little more in line with Foucault’s power dynamics. It would be nice to maybe see an edit done addressing this aspect.

    1. I honestly think that it could work with both. But I like the idea of first acknowledging that things that are between categories frighten people. It opens up a new way of thinking about the intense way that heteronormative folks can (not always, of course) respond to gender fluidity, being non-binary, and so on.

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