I am somewhat well versed in the latest jargon related to gender. It seems that the newest trendy term is “gender expansive.” How ironic is this? Instead of a woman or man actually expanding what it means to be a woman or a man, people now have to claim one of a kaleidoscope of “identities.” Expansive? It’s more like dicing the mysterious whole of a human being into smaller and smaller pieces; squeezing the entirety of who one is into a narrow definition. Psychological and political reductionism has been imposed on all of us–especially young people–by post-modern gender theorists and their activist and media minions.
Just as modern scientists have come to realize that you can’t reduce the gestalt of a living organism into a collection of parts, humanity doesn’t fit into a collection of micro-identities cooked up by a brain obsessed with its own ability to draw distinctions.
This plethora of “identities” imposed on the body politic is anything but liberating. It does not expand us; it confines us. Even the term “gender fluid” is constricting, because the very mental act of claiming that self-definition means the “gender fluid” person is dissecting and analyzing their own behavior from moment to moment, instead of just being.
In his “Song of Myself,” the poet Walt Whitman said it best in 1892:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself,
I am large, I contain multitudes.