Gender Identity and Your Stupid Ass

I just want to note here (after a frustrating conversation elsewhere) so I can link to this later in the midst of future frustrating conversations, that gender identity is not “new”. The concept is over 100 years old and the exact phrase is at least 45 years old in the scientific literature. Earlier uses of the two word phrase “gender indenti[$]” exist in the literature, but it’s not entirely clear when this transitioned (see what I did there) from simply modifying words like “identity” and “identification” with the word “gender” to a two-word term of art with its own definition.

In any case, if you think it’s a conspiracy that you never heard of gender identity until 2019 and now suddenly it’s everywhere in your life, that’s not a conspiracy. That’s just you being ignorant before 2019. Got that, Mr. gender critical SouthPark fan?

And I know that I recommend this book fairly often, but let’s do it again. The earliest, most complete study of what gender actually is that is still considered largely accurate and entirely relevant today is the Kessler & McKenna book, Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach.

Other investigations into the nature of gender exist that were written prior to Kessler & McKenna, but none that I know of created such a complete framework for understanding, analyzing, and further studying gender. While some bits may no longer be the most up-to-date or may even have proved inaccurate in light of later work, as a whole volume there’s nothing there that has been made irrelevant over the decades. You really can’t do better than to read G:AEA if you want to understand what gender is and has been across cultural, temporal, and individual differences.