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gender bender

1. One who dresses and/or behaves in the manner or style of the opposite sex. Tom works as an accountant during the week, but he has a performance routine as a gender bender on the weekend.
2. One who challenges, denies, or explores the borders or limitations of gender identity, typically through means such as activism, transvestitism, academic discourse, etc., or a combination thereof. Some of the leading academic gender benders are gathering this week for a summit on transgender rights.
See also: bender, gender

gender bending

1. modifier (hyphenated and used before a noun) Literally, causing a change in the sexual assignment of a person or animal. Scientists are developing a gender-bending chemical procedure to induce artificial hermaphroditism in insects.
2. modifier (hyphenated and used before a noun) Assuming the roles, appearance, or manner of the opposite sex. This novel features a gender-bending protagonist who, at various stages in the story, moves between gender identities.
3. noun The discourse or practice of challenging, denying, or exploring the borders or limitations of gender identity, typically through means such as activism, transvestitism, academic discourse, etc., or a combination thereof. Some of the leading academics in gender bending are gathering this week for a summit on transgender rights.
See also: bend, gender

play the gender card

To dismiss or discredit an opinion, argument, position, action, decision, etc., as being the product of prejudice against one's gender. The candidate played the gender card as an explanation for why her polls were much lower recently, claiming that the media has been giving her less visibility than her male opponents simply because she is a woman. I hate it when casual misogynists try to brush off legitimate criticism by claiming that you're just "playing the gender card."
See also: card, gender, play

gender gap

A broad difference between men and women, as in There is still an enormous gender gap in the wages of unskilled labor. This expression at first referred to the difference between men and women in voting preferences. It has since been extended to other areas. [1970s]
See also: gap, gender


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.
2. mod. having to do with something that obscures male/female distinctions. Those gender-bender hairstyles can be confusing.
References in periodicals archive ?
That white colonizarionist men fashioned a reform where public politics would supersede moral suasion, and enveloped it in a discourse that inscribed racial difference in explicitly sexualized and gendered ways, helps unravel the puzzle of why white women's activism was so remarkably limited in the antebellum colonization movement.
27) Thus the key components of these berdaches would seem to be as follows: 1) Different from the berdaches we have studied to the south, these Inuit figures are predominantly biological females gendered male or, as the literature has long named them, female berdaches; in a moment we shall see how predominan t that assigned gender actually was.
Drink similarly invoked gendered notions of dependence and independence and race.
Gutmann argues that some activities, such as work outside the home and childcare, have become less gendered, that is, less associated with either men or women, over time.
These two gendered "traits" were insistently mapped onto one another insofar as facial hair was conceptualized as a kind of seminal excrement.
Such a gendered analysis of aid reform processes is of paramount importance as changes in gender and development policies have always largely been influenced by shifts in general aid and development policies.
They will also discuss media coverage of transgendered people and the impact of the gendered word choice.
If Reeder's broader argument is that the process of migration is deeply gendered, Guglielmo helps us to realize that it is also deeply racialized.
Zuerner, 30-64) argue a clear, gendered, essentialist sexual identity of character; conversely, others (Greenberg in toto, Louise Horowitz, 110-17, Twyla Meding, 268-69 and 329-31, and Maurice Lever, 61) hold for a fundamentally androgynous nature of character.
The text is sympathetic to John's concerns, while discussing a personal, gendered concern: John doesn't want his boy to look like a "sissy" in front of John's friends.
Gendered identities and work placement: why don't boys care?
Whilst recognising the positive aspects of the rights afforded children by the state since the nineteenth century, Cox highlights the gendered characteristics and implications of these rights.
Reviewing literature on the economic and non-economic impacts of welfare-to-work policies, I evaluate the extent to which these policies, while mandating lone-mothers into employment, recognize the gendered nature of work, employment and poverty.
Given the fact that the agricultural sector is heavily feminised, and particularly so in Rwanda, it is highly likely that a neglect of gendered constraints and needs in agricultural policies leads to underperformance in the agricultural sector.