Gender – What’s the Big Idea? by Dee Shull

The other day, someone I trust told me that they saw gender mostly in terms of energies, some kind of blending of masculine and feminine. I got very still, very quiet in that moment, because it’s an idea I’ve heard frequently in my time in pagan communities – people carry masculine and / or feminine energy, or some variant on that (I had a therapist who framed it in terms of solar and lunar personalities), and that’s just how things are.

Wicca has a Goddess and a God (though my co-blogger Critter has a post about that), the Gods and Goddesses we work with are male or female, magic works best in polarities, it takes a man and a woman to make a baby, and other ideas that subtly and not-so-subtly reinforce the point of view that there are only two genders.

I’ve even been praised by random pagans at Pantheacon and other pagan spaces for being somehow a more evolved person because I blend masculine and feminine energies. Usually this happens when I’m wearing clothing stereotypically associated with women; my body will almost never be taken for a ciswoman’s [1] body, and so it feels like a very surface level perception of who I am. Even the ones who do perceive energy but don’t know me seem to see just the blending of binary energies.

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