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!


2 comments: 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.

Grass 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.)