The binary-gender koan

Posted: February 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

Judith Butler has challenged me to interrogate the essentialism inherent in my own ideas of sex and gender. I realized that the way to “understand” sex/gender is not study it and locate its origins but to let go of it. Origins are just stories. It reminds me of my short koan studies. Each koan is a binary duality that the practitioner interrogates. The binary dualities cannot be solved through language because language is binary. Or to use Buddhist epistemology: distinctions. The trick is to let go of the binary. Unfortunately I never solved even one koan, so I am speaking second hand here.
I think gender can be viewed as the following koan: “Show me the source of Boy and Girl!” Do not try to figure out what causes masculinity and femininity. Let go! Stop using the binary in your daily thinking and interactions. I practice this on the dance floor. Dance-Meditating and watching how my mind reacted and gendered everyone I interacted with. Watching my projections and letting them go. I am focusing on letting go of gender essences and making a practice of postgendering my interactions with others.

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