A-gendering we will go

Pax runs in a road race, wearing a long-sleeved brown T-shirt, black shorts, white cap, orange shoes, and a purple jacket tied around their waist. Photo by myEPevents.

After reading Whipping Girl by Julia Serano, I wrote a blog entry about gendering and subconscious sex. In it, I ask readers to show this photo of me, taken at a half-marathon race earlier this year, to someone who knows nothing about me, and ask them what gender they think I am.

I’m posting this photo here to gather more data. If you’re game for it, please phrase the question as “What gender is this person?” not “Is this a man or a woman?” Post here with the results, including how much time it took to respond. Makes sure to show just the photo (click on it to zoom in), not any of the other text on this page.

Please note that playing guessing games about someone’s gender is generally rude, and not an activity I encourage. (If you need to address or refer to someone with gendered language, ask what pronouns they prefer, not what gender they are.) I’m deliberately asking about myself only to make a point about gender identity, expression, and assumptions. I’ll summarize any responses in a follow-up post.