Gender Binaries

Western societies compress infinite human identities into fixed categories, many of which are constructed as binaries. Examples of such binaries include sexual orientation (heterosexual/homosexual), race (white/person of color), sex (male/female), and gender (man/woman). By their very nature, binary constructs offer two mutually exclusive possible ways of being. Binaries limit choices to only two possible options and typically create a hierarchy in which one category is viewed as “better” than the other category. This hierarchical order is embedded in societal systems and works in concert with systems of oppression, thereby upholding power and privilege and perpetuating a social order that is rooted in racism, sexism, cis/heterosexism, and patriarchy. Not only is the maintenance of this social order limiting, but it also perpetuates violence and marginalization. Perhaps ...

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