Androgyny And The Middle Gender

I’m a fan of the androgynous look, and its edginess. Its not my signature style, I’m way too feminine with clothes, but I like the idea of mixing gender through fashion. Or of even creating a whole new gender, the in between one. If what we wear creates a statement, then the androgynous style is the epitome of equality, and it always gets attention. Its quite positive for society to see girls in ties and blazers and men in skinny jeans, because it means we’re comfortable enough, and accepting enough to embrace those who see gender as flexible. Thats a big step for the great divide between the sexes.

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Its by no means a new concept, for decades the runways have predicted androgynous looks and a lot of 80’s icons embraced it fearlessly. Boy George, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, MJ.. Even the fashion giants like Armani, Gucci and Versace have taken it and brought it to life in the mainstream and couture, pushing outside of the punk movement and into regular day to day wear. Agyness Deyn has personified this look teamed with her blonde, cropped hair, which arguably pushed her into the limelight and top model status.

Not everybody embraces the style though. I guess some people like their men male and their females looking female. Christina Aguilera has been widely criticised lately for copying the style of newcomer Lady GaGa, and I’ve gotta say, I’ve seen the pics and its pretty obvious that Aguilera is biting her style. When confronted by a reporter, Aguilera had this to say:

“You know, that’s funny that you mention that. This person [Lady Gaga] was just brought to my attention not too long ago. I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman. I just wasn’t sure. I really don’t spend any time on the Internet, so I guess I live a little under a rock in that respect.”

 ladygagaaguilera

Reow. I love how celebrities are above the internet these days, it pretty much runs the rest of our lives, doesn’t it? Anyway, interpret that however you like, I’ll leave it to you to read between the lines or not. What I loved about this back and forth was how GaGa reacted in the face of behemoth supastar Aguilera, without a hint of cattyness, making the fool obvious to everyone:

“I don’t take offense to it. I’m inspired by androgyny and David Bowie and Grace Jones.”

ladygaga-300x222

GaGa is the type of celeb I would usually hate, blonde, short shorts, overtly sexual video clips, questionable voice and part of the dance scene, but I actually like her courage and find her response to be commendable. I don’t hate her music and I seriously hope she does well and that the industry doesn’t just use her up and spit her out, as with most one hit wonders. I especially admire that she took Aguilera’s attempt to mock her by not knowing her gender, and turned it into a supportive statement for androgyny. That was gutsy. It had an element of class that is lacking in today’s celebrity.

I know we’re not ready as a society for a middle gender, yet. But its definitely on its way. I don’t bat an eyelid when people walk past me in drag and while I can always pick the men dressed as ladies, girls dressed as guys are completely indistinguishable to me now. And I see that as a good thing, even though I’m sometimes confused on how to refer to them. The best thing, I think, is not to take the road of Aguilera and call them an it, she or he, but to refer to them as a person should, by their name and not their gender status. Equality is being able to say “I’m the Luli before I am a girl.”

pregs

While hanging out with my only remaining friend who is into anime, in between changing episodes I noticed a picture of the Virgin Mary on his wall. I’m not into prying but I am a curious journalist, so I tried to gauge his depth of belief and asked if he heard the pregnant man was having another baby. Immediately I found myself smack bang in the middle of an outburst of how wrong “she” was, how unnatural and how bad it would be for the baby. I asked him why, what his reasoning was, but I was met with the deafening silence you often run into when religion meets common sense. Some of us may be ready for that leap into unisex, but a lot of us are still dead set opposed and unreasonably prejudiced. I’m just hoping that we’ll be ready as a society someday soon.

UPDATE: While searching for a picture of Aguileras shitteous copycat fringe, I got a virus from one of her fansites and my borrowed lappy had a spaz attack. Bitch is officially on my blacklist.

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14 Responses to “Androgyny And The Middle Gender”

  1. Domino Says:

    Only some guy’s can wear skinny’s…the rest make it look really bad. (says the opinion of a chick when we were talking about it in maths)
    I have a friend who isn’t very…accepting. For one, she Liberal and so thinks Asians are invading our country. But regarding Androgyny, I have a friend who I won’t name but she has very short hair and it’s a very bleached blonde. What does my Liberal friend automatically think? Dike! …it gets annoying…

    Hopefully because it’s getting into the mainstream more and more people will become more accepting.

  2. Ant Rogenous Says:

    For a minute there, I thought you were talking about me.

  3. WendySkeleton Says:

    I love androgyny. It’s so awesome. I think it sends people into a spin when they see someone pull it off because we’re so used to seeing dominance in men and submissiveness in women. The person who pulls of androgyny embodies both dominance and submissiveness and it totally sends people into a spin. You’re right, it’s like they’re the embodiment of gender equality. On a sort-of gender equality related topic, don’t you just hate it when people ask, “Who’s the guy and who’s the girl?” to gay couples. That shits me.

    I think it also reveals how often we forget about hermaphrodites and people born without genitals and makes me realise how much we need to get the word out there about these guys.

  4. This Devil's Workday Says:

    Funny, I never really saw Lady Gaga as androgynous – just over-the-top with her fashion, in a typical popstar sort of way.

    I think adrogyny is pretty cool in general. I’ll admit I actually like the skinny jeans look on guys, but only if they’re thin. So on that, pretty much skinny teenage boys are the only ones I reckon who can pull it off. I’m not skinny enough to pull anything like that off, and I’m not adrogynous in the slightest, hell I won’t even wear pink, and my hair’s not long, and there’s no way I’ll ever wear makeup. But for other people it’s cool.

    I’ve never thought about it in terms of pushing equality. Only ever saw it as a fashion thing, kind of a rebellious mysterious thing, which always makes people interested and curious about them, like when Bowie did it.

    As for the word gender… I had a lecturer point out to us very strictly that people don’t use the word properly. Sex = male or female, gender = masculine or feminine. But you know what academics are like…

  5. Luli Says:

    Domino – Hmm hates azn’s and gays? You’re in qld, right? Is her name Pauline? Yeah, I think becoming mainstream is a good step in the right direction.

    Ant – I was kinda talking about you, but then I thought it was too obvious so I changed all the ‘Ant Rogenous’es to ‘androgynous’es.. Still got me huh?

    Wendy – Thats what I like about androgyny too, that it can be male and female and have the qualities of both, like picking the best from either side. I do think its a bit annoying when people ask gay couples who is the girl and who is the boy, because its like they can’t accept that there is no boy – its a same sex couple! They’re making their own thing not the old boy+girl equals couple thing.

    TDW – Thats the same for me, I like the style, but my own style is very different. Its not that I don’t want to wear it, I just know what I like on me. I think it does push equality in the way of fashion, as in men can wear make up now because of it, or they can wear pink without being labelled something, and that flexibility is extended to the person wearing the clothes. What you wear makes a statement, its what people first judge you on. Its true a lot of people refer to someones gender as their sex and so forth but they’re two dif concepts. Gender is fluid and Sex is your biology.

  6. Kezza Says:

    I love me some androgyny. Even if I spent a fair bit of time exploring my masculinity, but you’ve just inspired my next Sunday Self Portaiture! I am one of those people who will wear pearls, corsets, make-up and pretty much anything I think looks good together. I don’t do it for the gender statement I just do it because I’m trying to mash up my style statement. If you think reactions here in Melbourne are bad try living in rural Australia. I remember going to a supermarket in Richmond in a corset, pearls and eyeliner and no one batted an eyelid. If I did the same thing in the country I’d be dead by now!

  7. j..... Says:

    ah, yes…

    but then… hm… u can throw a kid into the mix :>

    [img src=”http://media1.youshare.com/jorgesprata/c65676947088714a.jpg” width=480]

    lol, hope that worked.

  8. j..... Says:

    no, didn’t. shame.

  9. Luli Says:

    Kezza – Exactly, so many people are not ready for it at all, especially in rural areas where the population is quite conservative and old fashioned in values. I can’t wait to see your next photoshoot, I think you’d look awesome in a corset!

    J – Aw, unfortunately I have no idea how to fix that link to make it work, I’m a mess at coding or whatever you would call that..

  10. This Devil's Workday Says:

    The pic works if you just go to:

  11. This Devil's Workday Says:

    You should go to BDO dressed as a man. Just throwing that out there.

  12. Luli Says:

    Oh thanks for the link and the fashion advice, I think I’ll just go with a dress though.

  13. j..... Says:

    oh, but i was trying to put an image :\

  14. Luli Says:

    Ah, not sure you can do that with WordPress, sorry J.

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