Gender identity is a term which has moved from categorization to conceptualization over the period of time. While it was feminism which questioned the representation and categorization of women in the patriarchal society, it was only with the advent of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and later Queer Studies that the whole system of gender binaries came to be questioned.
What is Gender Identity?
Gender identity is the personal experience of oneself. It is about how one perceives oneself as male, female, transgender, queer etc. It is the personal sense of an individual’s own gender.
Gender identity and the act of deviation
One can define somebody’s gender as male or female and earn social sanction. Then when does an individual’s gender identity gets questioned? The question arises with deviation. The act of deviation from what is considered normal and sanctioned by the society has often caused people referred to as “perverts” to live on the margins.
Is Gender natural?
If something exists outside the boundaries of what is considered as normal then how can something, here gender in particular, can be considered natural. The very idea that something is abnormal and still exists defies the whole idea of naturalness. Following the same idea, one can look at the individuals who often find themselves outside the binaries of male and female.
Now, if gender is not natural then what is it? One can find the answer to this question in the works of theorists like Foucault and later feminists. They have argued that gender is not natural but performative. It is an assigned category which needs to be performed each and every day to draw the social sanction. For example, a woman will remain woman if she is first assigned the category of woman and then keep on performing her set tasks like to be passive, feminine, nurture family, bear kids and so on.
To read about the concept of identity please click on this link https://blogopine.com/the-matter-of-identity/