Tag Archives: man

The art of spitting and walking

In the art of personifying the “opposite gender”, one can find a million subtle ways in which we are trained to perform a gender role.

In this post, I will focus on two of them, spitting and walking, because they illustrate two dimensions of gender differences:

  • Walking is an activity which men and women have in common, but execute in different ways, although that difference is usually invisible in our daily lives.
  • Spitting, instead, is an activity assigned to the masculine gender exclusively. Spitting isn’t “ladylike”.

We will therefore analyze these two actions from the perspective of gender social roles and my own experience as a Drag King.

The way we are, the way we walk

One of the most consistent examples of behavior which is learned, but generally deemed as “natural”, is the way we walk.

It’s something we do every day, hardly noticing we do it in a special way.

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The Myth of Adam and Eve, or “The Original Binary”

Case study of biblical proportions

To explain our first myth, I’ll make use of another myth. We all know the allegedly “simple” story of Adam and Eve. Nothing could be more evident than the fact that men and women exist, right? Anyone can take a look around and verify this.

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Image from ourcog.org

It was even used against same-sex marriage in many countries, including my own.

However, taking a closer look at the story will  reveal some nasty details.

To begin with, Eve wasn’t Adam’s first companion.

According to the Hebrew tradition:

“Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture he demanded.

‘Why must I lie beneath you?’ she asked. ‘I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.’

Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the magic name of God, rose into the air and left him. “

So, as we see here, the so-called binary is actually an interesting threesome: Adam turns out to be a very insistent guy who, at the end of his patience, decides it might be more effective to just go ahead and be a rapist.

Lilith was erased from the Catholic Bible, but she lives on in traditions and even in pop culture, always personifying a demon, vampire, assassin, and occasionally as a creator goddess.

And finally Eve, the conveninet wife, who makes no trouble, and incarnates a logic that goes: “in case of conflict, suppress the woman’s independence“.

Apart from the human chracters of the story, we have God, the highest authority, who first ignores Lilith demands for justice and then decides the best cure for Adam is… a quiet wife who suits his needs better. Continue reading


First transformation

The beginning

It would take long to tell the story of how I decided one day to transform into a man. Until now, I only did so for a few hours at a time.

The point of no return was the moment I understood that gender, being a man or a woman, is little more than wearing a costume and acting on it.

I knew it instinctively, before reading Simone de Beauvoir or knowing about Judith Butler, although of course both of them helped me understand it in depth. I knew it through the living testimony of other people, to whom their identities was a daily fight against a world trying to drown them all the time.

I felt it in that inner trembling I could never silence, in that choking sensation followed by rage every time someone told me what to do, or how to be, for being a woman. None of them asked me if I wanted to be a woman, or if I had chosen to be one, and they probably never asked themselves what a woman is in the first place. They didn’t wonder how, they just knew it.

And that’s something I can’t stand. Continue reading