How Many Genders Are There?
Two. Sort of.
The whole situation about “how many genders are there” is a big conundrum of miscommunication. Let’s clarify the differences between gender and sex.
Gender is how people identify themselves in society, how they want to be seen; sex, or “biological gender”, is what’s between your legs. There are two sexes: male and female. (If you’ve heard of intersex, that’s a genetic mutation, and it’s very rare.) Gender is a stickier topic. Some say there’s two genders. Some say there’s 63. So how many are there?
There’s actually no one answer. Gender are like countries; many people have many different answers. There are 193 countries recognized by the United Nations, so many people use this number. However, some countries are not in the UN: Taiwan, Palestine, Kosovo, and Vatican City are the only countries not recognized by the UN. So while some may say 193, others say 197; some might even include micronations, bumping the number up well over 200. But no one is ‘right’.
It’s the same with genders. We have male and female, man and woman, masculine and feminine — these two genders have been around since the dawn of mankind. More recently, however, new contenders have arrived: agender, polygender… ‘genderfluid’. While I don’t give a damn if you identify as a left Nike shoe with streaks of purple on the sides, you can’t expect these genders to be treated equally as the main two. That being said, I believe anyone identifying as these genders should be treated just the same as a typical man or woman. But the alternative genders cannot — and should not — be held to the same standard as the two primary genders.
That being said, I believe anyone identifying as these genders should be treated just the same as a typical man or woman.