By: Alyssa Murphree, February 8, 2017
Our views and ideals are constantly shifting as a society and a hot topic in today’s world is gender. Gender equality, gender identity, and transgender rights to name a few examples. People have taken to the streets to make their voices heard about these issues, last month’s issue of National Geographic shined a spotlight on the ‘Gender Revolution’, and you may have seen a preview for Katie Couric’s corresponding documentary of the same title.
But what is gender and how do we define it? How does it define you? In 2015, writer, activist, and YouTuber Ashley Wylde created The Gender Tag Project to generate the discussion of gender among all people regardless of identity. Since then, over 800 individual responses to The Gender Tag have been uploaded to YouTube and compiled in a playlist but they can also be found written elsewhere. I first learned of this project after watching a video of Ashley’s TED Talk last year.
The following is an excerpt from Ashley’s website which describes the intention of the project:
The goal of The Gender Tag Project is to compile videos from trans* and cis people, nonbinary people, queer and straight people, men and women and people of other genders, people from different cultures and classes, people with different ability statuses, different romantic orientations and so on. The more different types of people that contribute to The Gender Tag Project, the more diverse and more complete the experience of viewing it will be. Everyone lives a gendered life, and not everyone is talking about how that affects their lives and informs their views – that needs to change.
Being a highly introspective person, I answered these prompts for myself and learned a lot in the process, not only about myself as a person, but how society views me according to my gender and how I express it. This tag promotes self-reflective thinking and if you are reading this, I encourage you to try it as well.
The Gender Tag Prompts
- How do you self-identify your gender, and what does that definition mean to you?
- What pronouns honor you?
- Describe the style of clothing that you most often wear.
- Talk about your choices with body hair. How do you style your hair? Do you have facial hair? What do you choose to shave, or choose not to shave?
- Talk about cosmetics. Do you choose to wear makeup? Do you paint your nails? What types of soaps and perfumes do you use if any?
- Have you experienced being misgendered? If so, how often?
- Do you experience dysphoria? How does that affect you?
- Talk about children. Are you interested in having children? Would you want to carry a child if that were an option for you? Do you want to be the primary caretaker for any children you may have?
- Talk about money. Is it important to you to provide for a family financially if you choose to have one? Is it important to you that you earn more than any partner you may have? Do you prefer to pay for things like dates? Are you uncomfortable when others pay for you or offer to pay for you?
- Anything else you want to share about your experience with gender?
Ashley’s 2016 TED Talk about the project: