22 votes

The Gender Tetrahedron: A model for my own gender

23 comments

  1. [6]
    Marijn
    Link
    Hello! This is my first post here on Tildes, so i do hope i'm not breaking any etiquette... I've known i'm some kind of non-binary for about a year and a half now, and have had myself pinned down...

    Hello! This is my first post here on Tildes, so i do hope i'm not breaking any etiquette...

    I've known i'm some kind of non-binary for about a year and a half now, and have had myself pinned down as genderfluid for about a year. I've posted this in the hopes that it'll spark some interesting discussion on how other people experience their own gender, or other "models" in this sort of vain.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      ohyran
      Link Parent
      Welcome Marijn! <3 I am confused but also "normal boomer confused" (= trying to do the right thing but will mess up at times, as opposed to "douchebag boomer confused" which is when you go "How...

      Welcome Marijn! <3 I am confused but also "normal boomer confused" (= trying to do the right thing but will mess up at times, as opposed to "douchebag boomer confused" which is when you go "How dare you make me experience new things!") when it comes to gender fluidity in practice.

      Heads up, if I refer to you in the wrong way - tell me and I'll go "aw shit, sry" and try to remember and do better.

      7 votes
      1. Marijn
        Link Parent
        It's fine! There's a lag to be expected when it comes to slower-paced discussion and forum sites like Tildes as compared to in-the-moment chat sites, so i don't really mind what you use for me as...

        It's fine! There's a lag to be expected when it comes to slower-paced discussion and forum sites like Tildes as compared to in-the-moment chat sites, so i don't really mind what you use for me as long as it's in good faith. 🙂

        5 votes
    2. [3]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Welcome, Marijn! This is actually an aside from the content, but I love your use of color and gradients to convey the different anchor points and spectra at play. It's not only aesthetically...

      Welcome, Marijn!

      This is actually an aside from the content, but I love your use of color and gradients to convey the different anchor points and spectra at play. It's not only aesthetically pleasing but greatly helps to parse the content and convey your ideas.

      As for the tetrahedron itself, that's a very interesting model. My gender identity is rigid, so I would pretty much live only at the male vertex, though I've faced considerable friction in my role there for not living up to the standards or expectations of being male. When I was younger I had aspirations of what would be depicted in this model as "climbing" my leg of the tetrahedron towards being agender on account of this. I knew I didn't feel female (and had to counter this false assumption many times from people who assumed, based on me being gay and meek, that they knew otherwise), and at the time had no idea that there was any sort of third or in-between option. Thus, I wished I could just escape the confines of masculinity, so even though I never felt like I was agender, it felt like a goal -- something I wished I could be if that were possible.

      As society has progressed and developed more flexible gender roles and expectations, it's become easier to inhabit that male corner, as we are now living with a much wider acceptance of what it means to be male, and there's far greater leeway on masculine expression. I no longer feel like being agender is a personal goal because there's no longer friction between where I am in the model and what society expects from me while I'm there.

      I'd imagine for you, navigating those boundaries is much trickier given the fluidity of your identity and the sheer ground it covers. I've got only one corner to live in while you've got an entire three-dimensional figure! In some ways I imagine that's probably very difficult, but I also think it gives you an experience and perspective that's far different from many people out there, like me, who have immutable and inflexible gender positions. There's a lot of value in being able to speak to that, I think.

      If you're willing to share, I'd love to hear about how your fluidity through the positions in this tetrahedron intersect with your daily experiences and perspectives. What insights can you share, especially regarding things that people with rigid gender identity, like me, either don't know about or take for granted? No pressure if you don't want to answer or if what I'm asking is too personal/invasive.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Marijn
        Link Parent
        I'm afraid i don't have much to say on this topic: i'm only out to a few people IRL, although hopefully that might change soon! I find your story quite interesting, and i think the new "leeway" on...

        I'd love to hear about how your fluidity through the positions in this tetrahedron intersect with your daily experiences and perspectives

        I'm afraid i don't have much to say on this topic: i'm only out to a few people IRL, although hopefully that might change soon!

        I find your story quite interesting, and i think the new "leeway" on masculine expression is good for everyone: people in situations similar to yours, less traditionally Masculine™ men, trans men / transmasc non-binary people who feel pressure about not being masculine enough, even trans women and AMAB non-binary people who are freer to experiment a little with femininity while still in the closet / egg.

        5 votes
        1. kfwyre
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Ah, well in that case I'm glad you get to be out here and online, and I wish you the best in moving forward with it IRL, whenever you're ready for that. And I wholeheartedly agree with you. As a...

          Ah, well in that case I'm glad you get to be out here and online, and I wish you the best in moving forward with it IRL, whenever you're ready for that.

          And I wholeheartedly agree with you. As a rising tide lifts all boats, so too does better understanding and acceptance of gender expression benefit everyone!

          2 votes
  2. [2]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    I'm sorry if I'm being dense, but what is vetrois? I get that it's a separate dimension, but the postscript seems to only explain why you chose a neologism, not what it means.

    I'm sorry if I'm being dense, but what is vetrois? I get that it's a separate dimension, but the postscript seems to only explain why you chose a neologism, not what it means.

    9 votes
    1. Marijn
      Link Parent
      To be perfectly honest, i know about as much as you do here— all i know is that there is a third pole somewhere where i don't feel either male or female, but definitely still have some sort of...

      To be perfectly honest, i know about as much as you do here— all i know is that there is a third pole somewhere where i don't feel either male or female, but definitely still have some sort of gender expression, and that's the word i've chosen to describe it.

      5 votes
  3. [3]
    epitten
    Link
    Welcome, and thanks for the thoughtful post! I'm wondering if you could explain how you view the difference between vetrois and agender. When I was taught about definitions of gender, they were in...

    Welcome, and thanks for the thoughtful post!

    I'm wondering if you could explain how you view the difference between vetrois and agender. When I was taught about definitions of gender, they were in terms of societally-learned behaviors, roles, and expectations. Neither vetrois or agender fit into the historical male/female set of behaviors, roles, or expectations, but how do they differ from each other in your view?

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Marijn
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      To me, my gender is very much an internal feeling, quite separate from the learned roles of culture; i don't think that i'd feel any different had i been born in Haryana rather than Holland. To...

      To me, my gender is very much an internal feeling, quite separate from the learned roles of culture; i don't think that i'd feel any different had i been born in Haryana rather than Holland.

      To me, the primary difference between the agender pole and the vetrois pole is that while when i feel agender i feel quite detached from the usual axes and concerns about gender, when i feel vetrois i care quite strongly indeed, desiring to be something other than male and female*. I only realised i felt this way sometimes recently, so i'm still figuring out what that "something" is!

      One common thing i've noticed is that my "ideal self" at this point tends to be quite androgynous, similar to how i sometimes feel in the middle of the male and female axes, but not in the typical meaning of the word? It's less that i want to look likeneither gender — á la the typical "androgynous" look — and more that i want to be like both at the same time, embracing both traditional male and female aspects.

      *Okay, that doesn't really factor into account when i'm somewhere not at a single point— it's quite possible and common for me to feel aligned to both, say, femininity and vetrois...ness.

      (Sorry if this makes no sense; i'm writing this at about quarter to one in the morning! Lockdown has not been very good for my sleep schedule)

      6 votes
      1. reifyresonance
        Link Parent
        Hi! I think I feel something similar with regard to vetroisity. It might not be the same, but it's closer to that than to being agender. It's a positive gender, as in I feel something in the...

        Hi! I think I feel something similar with regard to vetroisity. It might not be the same, but it's closer to that than to being agender.
        It's a positive gender, as in I feel something in the "gender" slot, and it's not any weaker in magnitude than when I'm feeling more female.
        From what I've been able to tell, it's not a mix of male and female. I'm still figuring out what it is, but I only know it's something and it's not those two.

        4 votes
  4. [2]
    Whom
    Link
    Glad to see another neocities user, and especially one keeping that beautiful place queer as hell! I'm curious about your use for this model. Is it only an attempt to map out how you visualize...

    Glad to see another neocities user, and especially one keeping that beautiful place queer as hell!

    I'm curious about your use for this model. Is it only an attempt to map out how you visualize gender, or do you plan to use it for sharing that visualization, meaning actually plotting points on there to show others where you're at at any moment?

    Either way, really cool. I love seeing the different ways people think about gender, it's beautiful how much variety there is there. Your original scale is pretty close to how I think about my own, though I'm usually snapped hard in the "female, yes gender" corner, and rarely flirting with being a little further down. I use neopronouns (fey/fem) as a set secondary to she/her, but I don't really feel like it's connected to where I'm at on the chart.

    5 votes
    1. Marijn
      Link Parent
      It's very much the former — some days i only have the foggiest idea of where i am, and either way, i don't think it would be very readable as a 3d visualisation! :P

      I'm curious about your use for this model. Is it only an attempt to map out how you visualize gender, or do you plan to use it for sharing that visualization, meaning actually plotting points on there to show others where you're at at any moment?

      It's very much the former — some days i only have the foggiest idea of where i am, and either way, i don't think it would be very readable as a 3d visualisation! :P

      3 votes
  5. [4]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    I'm going to preface this by saying I don't understand gender. I identify as non-binary because that's the closest way I can explain my own feelings, which is that gender is a social construct and...

    I'm going to preface this by saying I don't understand gender. I identify as non-binary because that's the closest way I can explain my own feelings, which is that gender is a social construct and a way to categorize people which in my experience is simply not a good strategy and will likely only lead to incorrect assumptions.

    I'm curious, however, given the way that you have framed this gender tetrahedron and your gender fluidity - what makes a day more "male" or "female" to you? Is vetrois akin to a mix of male and female identities? If not, how does vetrois differ from male and female? Finally, what makes a day more "agender"?

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Staross
      Link Parent
      That sounds more like a thought that a feeling, in that case you would rather say that you don't think that the concept of gender is relevant. The opposite position is sometimes referred as...

      Which is that gender is a social construct and a way to categorize people which in my experience is simply not a good strategy and will likely only lead to incorrect assumptions.

      That sounds more like a thought that a feeling, in that case you would rather say that you don't think that the concept of gender is relevant. The opposite position is sometimes referred as "gender realism", e.g.

      https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-gender/#GenUni

      2 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Thought, feeling, whatever you want to consider it - I understand that gender is important to some and I don't want to rob anyone of that, I just personally disagree with it in the same way that I...

        Thought, feeling, whatever you want to consider it - I understand that gender is important to some and I don't want to rob anyone of that, I just personally disagree with it in the same way that I just personally disagree with categorizing things. I think categorization more often than not leads to problems where people don't fit in and the assumptions we make of these categories serve little to no purpose in my mind, except in the abstract. In particular, categorizing humans seems fruitless to me because human diversity is so great that any category that is not self-described is likely to be incorrect a significant portion of the time.

        3 votes
    2. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I agree that gender is a social construct, as is race (sorry for opening that can of worms without expanding on it). So to me there isn't really a difference between gender and gender roles. As...

      I agree that gender is a social construct, as is race (sorry for opening that can of worms without expanding on it). So to me there isn't really a difference between gender and gender roles. As someone that is biologically male, has never had any problem with that, and more or less fits into the male archetype, I would identify as male even though I don't think the categorization is very useful.

      Granted, I've never felt gender dysphoria. I'm not really qualified to say what other people can feel. So maybe you really can be in a space where you can feel male one day and female another. Before I'd experienced sexual attraction I assumed everyone just had poor manners and wanted to touch others because of some strange confusion involving aesthetics. So I'm aware that there are entire worlds of experience out there that I might not be able to relate to.

      2 votes
  6. asoftbird
    Link
    As a wise person once said: "Gender is a Fuck." It's nice you found a way to represent yourself. As someone who looks mostly like a dude and who identifies as non-binary; I honestly have no clue...

    As a wise person once said: "Gender is a Fuck."
    It's nice you found a way to represent yourself.

    As someone who looks mostly like a dude and who identifies as non-binary; I honestly have no clue how gender works either. II'm just as confused as any given cishet (and that word's not meant in a derogatory way!)

    4 votes
  7. [2]
    Tygrak
    Link
    So I am a cis male, so I don't really understand this stuff from my own experience. The closest experience I have is people not liking my long hair because I am a guy haha. But this makes me...

    So I am a cis male, so I don't really understand this stuff from my own experience. The closest experience I have is people not liking my long hair because I am a guy haha. But this makes me wonder, if vetrois is basically something like a mix of male and female, wouldn't that be basically in the center of the x-axis of the "old" diagram? What I am saying is, wouldn't agender be basically in the middle of male and female on the x-axis and down at the bottom in "no gender" in the y-axis, and vetrois again in the middle of male and female, but at the top in "yes gender". Again, I don't really understand this, but I would love to learn more!

    I love how your site looks by the way! When I finish more stuff on my neocities site, I might post it here too sometimes.

    3 votes
    1. Marijn
      Link Parent
      Ah, perhaps i'd worded my comment wrong — it's less that being vetrois feels like a mixture of male and female (i know perfectly well what that feels like 😛); it's more so that my ideal vetrois...

      Ah, perhaps i'd worded my comment wrong — it's less that being vetrois feels like a mixture of male and female (i know perfectly well what that feels like 😛); it's more so that my ideal vetrois presentation is a confusing mixture of the two.

      (I'd be interested to see your site, by the way!)

      4 votes
  8. [3]
    FishFingus
    Link
    I don't really know. I think I'm bi, but I sometimes lean toward men or women as a preference, and there are quite a few people with female top and male bottom who I dig. So, whatever the word is...

    I don't really know. I think I'm bi, but I sometimes lean toward men or women as a preference, and there are quite a few people with female top and male bottom who I dig. So, whatever the word is for that, I suppose.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      ohyran
      Link Parent
      Thats more of a sexual expression than gender expression though. As for your sexuality: go for it! Whatever you like is awesome and if you feel like a word for it, pick one. Edit it in the future...

      Thats more of a sexual expression than gender expression though.

      As for your sexuality: go for it! Whatever you like is awesome and if you feel like a word for it, pick one. Edit it in the future if you feel like it. The cool thing about sexualities and the flags at pride and the words is that they are useful. They aren't some commitment, they are not excluding - you get to feel your feels and be yourself.

      (personally I call myself gay. Thats where my love life is, my sex life, but I've had severe crushes on women and I've had sex with women (in fairness boring boring sex for me and most certainly them too) so someone could come along and demand I call myself "bi" but - that wouldn't be true either. Sex is as tricky as gender. And as simple if the core concept is "Do what you go gotta do as long as everyone involved are capable to give and have given consent and no one gets damaged (not "hurt", but "damaged")" or for gender "be what you got to be ")

      5 votes
      1. FishFingus
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Oh. Well, in that case, IDK what my gender is. EDIT: Actually, I think it's male. Or male-ish, at least.

        Oh. Well, in that case, IDK what my gender is.

        EDIT: Actually, I think it's male. Or male-ish, at least.

        2 votes