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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 ?
From birth, individuals are confronted with numerous gender specific beliefs and behaviors that they internalize to create their views about the world and about themselves.
When I teach class now, we do a segment on gender shifts that focuses on heads, eyes, the torque--how women nod and smile and men command stillness.
2) While effeminate or unmanly boys were not artifacts of the twentieth century, the meaning attached to them shifted in conjunction with the politics of masculinity and transformations in child rearing, gender socialization, and the new sciences of human development.
The existence of significant income disparities by gender and race means that many people of color and White women are unable to afford to pursue a career to fulfill personal or group identity without regard to cost (e.
What the members of this latest American identity group share is a far more practical understanding of gender politics than that of the ethereal, academic world to which it is often relegated.
Thus, Miller suggests that if a species happens to become polyploid, it avoids the ills of inbreeding if it also evolves gender dimorphism.
But I did not change gender because I liked colorful clothing (Donald did not) or womanly grace (Donald viewed it as sentimentality).
She writes her life in its rich ambiguity and contradiction, providing photographs of her bar mitzvah when she was a nice Jewish boy in New York, expressing her early doubts about her gender identity and later her fears and hard questions.
The study attempted to acquire a regional perspective of the extent of the problem of gender equity and to formulate recommendations for policy which could correct the problem in the state-federal vocational rehabilitation system.
The multifactor leadership questionnaire, known as the MLQ, is most commonly used to measure transformational and transactional leadership styles and has been used to investigate gender differences (Antonakis, Avolio, & Sivasubramaniam, 2003; Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999; Bass & Avolio, 1995).
Roscoe, Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America (New York, 1998), and R.
A portrait of the gender rainbow, along with nine answers to the question "How do you define gender?
In four chapters on Spenser's poetry, Stephens examines "productive exchanges" between Spenser's constructions of "masculine" and "feminine" with an eye toward tracking what happens when instances of gender slippage empower some version of feminine agency (13).
Part one does not say why we must not change genders in the bible.
The question remains: to what extent is our culture currently able to articulate the shifting ways in which, as women and as men, we can enlarge rather than diminish our sense of ourselves, and of who we might become, in relation to the gender (or genders) of our sexual and other partners?