Gender bender


Gender bender

Gender bender is an informal term used to refer to a person who actively transgresses, or "bends," expected gender roles. Boy George is called a "gender bender" because of his tendency to wear make-up and clothes perceived as feminine.Gender bending is a form of social activism in response to assumptions or over-generalisations about genders.Some gender benders identify with the gender assigned them at birth, but challenge the norms of that gender through androgynous behavior and atypical gender roles.Gender benders may self-identify as transgender or genderqueer, feeling that the gender assigned to them at their birth is an inaccurate or incomplete description of themselves; some are transsexual and desire to change their physical sex through hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery, while others were born intersexual. Others may identify as Two-Spirit or members of a third gender.

Fiction and art

In fiction, the term "gender bender" may refer not only to characters modeled after real-life gender benders, but also to characters who undergo changes in their physical sex – magically or otherwise – throughout the story. One example of this is the anime and manga series Ranma ½, which features a main character who regularly switches from male to female due to a magic curse.

A work of art which challenges gender roles or features gender bending or transgender characters may itself be referred to as a "gender bender."

In the television series "Futurama", Bender becomes an Ultimate Fighting Robot wrestler named 'The Gender Bender' in the episode "Raging Bender".

A historical and well-studied example of "gender bending" in English narrative is Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night".

In the novel "The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula LeGuin, characters have neutral sex for most of their lives, but take on either male or female characteristics when in heat.

See also

* Androgyny
* Cross-dressing
* Genderfuck
* Transgender


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gender-bender — gender benders N COUNT (disapproval) People sometimes use gender bender to refer to a man who dresses or behaves like a woman, or a woman who dresses or behaves like a man. [INFORMAL] Derived words: gender bending ADJ ADJ n ...a gender bending… …   English dictionary

  • gender-bender — [jen′dər ben΄dər] n. a person who looks or behaves in a way regarded as androgynous or as typical of the opposite sex gender bending [jen′dər ben΄diŋ] n. * * * …   Universalium

  • Gender Bender —   [dt. »Geschlechtsverbieger«] (Gender Changer), Invertieradapter …   Universal-Lexikon

  • gender-bender — [jen′dər ben΄dər] n. a person who looks or behaves in a way regarded as androgynous or as typical of the opposite sex gender bending [jen′dər ben΄diŋ] n …   English World dictionary

  • gender bender — gender .bender n informal someone who behaves or dresses in a way typical of the opposite sex …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gender bender — gender ,bender noun count INFORMAL someone, especially an entertainer, who dresses and behaves like a person of the opposite sex …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • gender bender — noun : a person who dresses and behaves like a member of the opposite sex • gender bending ˈ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ ˈ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ adjective or noun * * * gender bender noun, pl ⋯ ers [count] He s known as a gender bender. • • • Main Entry: ↑gender bending * * *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • gender-bender — 1. n. a device that changes electrical plugs or sockets to the opposite gender male to female, female to male. □ You need what’s called a gender bender to match those plugs. □ I tried a gender bender, but it won’t work. 2. mod. having to do with… …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • gender bender — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms gender bender : singular gender bender plural gender benders informal someone, especially an entertainer, who dresses and behaves like a person of the opposite sex …   English dictionary

  • gender bender — gender bending, adj. Informal. one, as a cross dresser, that blurs differences between the sexes. [1980 85] * * * …   Universalium


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