genderqueer

used to describe a person who does not abide to gender norms.

The word “queer” was reclaimed in the early 1990’s; it had previously been used as a derogatory word for homosexuality. Although queer is often associated with sexuality, it is also used to describe gender-variance as well. “‘Queer’ was less a sexual orientation than it was a political one,” (Stryker, 20).

gender role

social expectations associated with gender.

A typical heteronormative gender role is the idea that men should have a job outside of the home and a women should stay at home with their children. This gender role is slightly outdated but still affects ideas about gender today in the United States. “Gender roles tell us that if we don’t perform the prescribed expectations, we are failing to be proper women or men,”  (Stryker, 12).

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gender

a socially constructed definition of men and women.

Gender is considered cultural, where sex is biological. The words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are used to describe gender.  “The social organization of different kinds of bodies into different categories of people,” (Stryker, 11).

discourse

written or spoken communication in the form of words, ideas, and/or concepts that shape who we are and our identities.

Social construction happens through discourse. Discourse shapes our actions and desires.We cannot escape discourse, we are born into it. People with power can modify discourse (Critically Queer, Butler). “Discourse is not life; it’s time is not yours,” (Foucalt in Butler, 17).

berdache

Berdache is an incorrect name used by the French explorers and referred to indigenous men and women that behaved and dressed like the opposite sex.  However, these “third sex” roles were widely respected amongst their own indigenous community, and often times implied an elevated, respected, and religious positions within their culture, such as shamans (Bronski, 3).