What do we mean when we use the words ‘male’ and ‘female’? Are these binary terms still relevant in today’s world, where an increasing number of people, especially among the young, refuse to be boxed in by such categories? Is it time we threw these categories out, along with their dated stereotypes, and instead called for a radical rethinking of gender altogether?
Opinions differ: many experts believe there is no such thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain. Instead, they argue, it is socialisation – how we are brought up and the culture we live in – that determines our gendered identity. And yet, gender still seems to exert its power: take binary transgender women like Caitlyn Jenner, who has said that she always felt she ‘possessed a female brain, heart and soul’. This would suggest that gender is something deeply subjective, an innate feeling that one just is a woman or a man. Others, meanwhile, feel that that they have never truly aligned with one gender, or that they are neither male nor female altogether.
In this special Intelligence Squared event, we bring together celebrated trans activist and model Munroe Bergdorf, writer and and drag performer Tom Rasmussen and spoken word poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal, whose work focuses on his trans, black and queer identity. With author and Dazed journalist Amelia Abraham in the chair, we will explore the panel’s broadly differing experiences around gender, ask whether they can be reconciled, and whether they even need to be.
Join us on June 20th for a rich and inspiring conversation.
Munroe Bergdorf photo © Luke Nugent.
Speakers are subject to change.