Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gender 101, episode #16: The Alien Abduction Question

Okay, my conversation with our gender-queer friend Lucy really is about Masculinity, Femininity and Androgyny. About how we identify, on the outside and on the inside. And even about the gender-loaded terms "handsome" and "beautiful."

But the Alien question is in there.

Thanks, Lucy!



Anonymous said...

This episode got me thinking (as usual). My mom has referred to various women family members as "handsome," and I've seen the photos to see what she means -- classically attractive features, but more androgynous than very feminine. I've heard other people use "handsome" to describe female masculinity, but I do think it's uncommon... perhaps since female masculinity is undervalued in our society and even thought unattractive by many people.

I've heard "beautiful" to describe men's physical appearance, too, but I think it's usually with a touch of irony (e.g., "Colin Firth is a beautiful, beautiful man and I want to have his brooding British babies."). I've more often heard "beautiful" to refer to both male and female animals -- "That's a beautiful dog / cat / tiger" -- without getting hung up on sex/gender. It would be great if we could do that with people, too.

Anonymous said...

If it helps, i tend to lean towards the word gorgeous when describing particularly attractive people, but i use the word beautiful to describe pretty much everything under the sun (men, Women, Gender queer peeps, unicorns and the occaisional cactus.)