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“Dude looks like a lady.”

with 9 comments

Is gender fluid?

Over at my public confessional (Dumb Sketch Daily) I did a drawing so bad that all my sketchy companions are ganging up. Well, OK, that’s an overstatement—they are uniformly kind and encouraging.LadyWithBeard-06092015

It was a quick sketch of a delightful woman sitting across from me at an evening meeting. But the sketch went haywire. In attempting shadow I accomplished a beard. She did not have a beard. She does not have a beard. Even at the time I recognized I had gone too far. So I made sure to sketch her necklace. But the critique of one artist still rings true:

Dude looks like a lady.

I agree with another sketchy commenter, that my unrealistic drawing is perhaps a “sign of the times.” Indeed, not a day goes by without a photo of the current Caitlyn Jenner/former Bruce Jenner and a story in the StarTribune or on MPR about another facet of transgender life.

Gender as something rather fluid is a relatively new thought for me, just as it is for a whole bunch of people. It’s an observation that creates an opportunity to go back and reread ancient texts and ask how I understand them. It’s also an opportunity for a whole series of (sorta uncomfortable) conversations. And the circle of topics included in those conversations gets wider and wider, taking in more ground. For starters: volumes of assumptions about gender, a reviewing of the binary nature of gender I had assumed for so long, questions about identity and self. It actually sounds like a fascinating discussion, if it weren’t all so awkward.

But this is another conversation we’re moving toward.

So gird your loins. Or not.


Dumb sketch: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

June 11, 2015 at 9:05 am

9 Responses

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  1. You know “Dude looks like a lady” is a title of a song by Steven Tyler and his band Aerosmith. I like to look at gender as something secondary to the fact that we are each first and foremost human beings. Interesting conversation.

    Sand Salt Moon

    June 11, 2015 at 9:26 am

    • So that’s why it sounded so familiar! I agree with you. But I still have instincts that would change my responses depending on gender.


      June 11, 2015 at 9:29 am

  2. Reblogged this on Dumb Sketch Daily and commented:

    Drawing is hurting my brainpan.


    June 11, 2015 at 10:10 am

  3. Oh I hate that song but it’s stuck in my head. And Steven Tyler? Dude looks like a lady. LOL


    June 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  4. I do think “gender” is more fluid than we like to admit. And you’re right, for those of us raised under the current cultural standards, it’s awkward to define identity differently. But there are many times these days I have trouble assigning gender to people I see. So I do think it’s changing. And probably not a bad thing.


    June 12, 2015 at 5:39 am

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