Notes Towards a Femontology, from a Woman with a Penis.

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Gender is a Glance

the being of gender is a glance. there is no picture on the puzzle box. gender is not found but borne, not heard but spoken. the speaking, though, is not recital. not expression but impression. gender impressions. femboy, fagdyke, transbian, it/its, we/us, agender, two-spirit, māhū, aruvani, the manifold of gender impressions can never be named and every day a thousand new ones are born. when a middle-aged father of three tries on a dress in secret, when a trans masc egg rails a butch enbie twink in a sundress and for the first time he hears his real name being screamed, gender impressions ripple outward, ever outward from something else called pure gender.

the stone dropped inciting the ripples is the transition. the transition is nothing more than the encounter with pure gender, the encounter that strikes like a lightning bolt suspended in time. the only path to gender is through the transition. gender impressions grow in abundance in the fields sown by the transition. 

the possibility for the transition i.e. the possibility of any gender at all is only opened up by the impossibility of sex. biologically speaking, sex always fails. there is no person who was born identical with the sex assigned to them. if sex was a strict biological and psychological fact, then there would be no need for all this fuss. there would have been no need to think up the binary and the spectrum between it. gender/sex would be a solved game.

but gender dazzles us from beyond our understanding because it is exactly the point where biological sex fails. gender is the limit of sex, the point that never works within the function, but rather acts as a vanishing mediator. because it is limited by gender, sex can only ever be an utter failure, a crude mashing together of normative genital composition and rigid societal archetypes. it is exactly this impossibility, however, that allows gender to flourish.

let us end with a couple of mathematical representations of what we’ve talked about so far. the first is gender as the limit of sex.

S of course stands for sex. [G] with the brackets stands for pure gender, which is bracketed off because it can never be encountered in-itself.

a quick refresher on the concept of a limit. aay you have a function where for every value x, y = 1/x. now since you cannot divide by zero, x can never equal zero. x will infinitely approach zero, but will never actually reach it within the function. that is how the limit works, and that is the relationship between pure gender and sex.

next we have the formula for the transition.

here again we see the bracketed [G] again on one side of the interaction, and on the other we see the bracketed [I] standing for the self or subject. i bracket the [I] to underscore that the self, too, is never to be encountered in-itself.

i have said little so far about what pure gender actually is; this is not by accident. in any gender theory, pure gender can once again only act as a vanishing mediator, from which we can only ever receive impressions. the limitless abundance of these impressions, however, can never leave us dissatisfied. though we may not grasp gender in-itself, we are endlessly enriched by it. the creative potential of the gender impressions is inexhaustible, and could be considered one of the most mysterious and powerful blessings of the human race.

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