What's gender and gender identity?

So, what do we mean by “gender” and “gender identity” and how do gender stereotypes lead to violence?

Here’s a quick way to remember. The term ‘sex’ refers to your biology, while gender refers to your internal sense of self, and the ways you express that to the world. Many people’s sex and gender line up in the way society expects them to. For others, like trans , non-binary, and two–spirit people, their gender is not the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. It’s time we allow people to be individuals, rather than limiting gender expression in a binary way.

Understanding Gender with The Genderbread Person

Roots of gender-based violence

Power is at the root of gender-based violence. Inequality between genders creates unbalanced power dynamics. The history of devaluing women and femininity and valuing men and masculinity has created an imbalance of power. Violence, whether verbal, emotional, spiritual, sexual or physical, is often used to maintain this imbalance of power.

What does it look like?

Abuse is a violent act, though it may not always result in physical harm. The effects from non physical abuse can be long lasting and continue to erode self-esteem and limit the feeling of self-worth, independence, and safety long after the abuse has ended.

Abuse is any action that occurs to or against a person that negatively impacts their well-being or feeling of safety or freedom.

It comes in many forms:

  • Street harassment
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Stalking
  • Inappropriately suggestive comments, sexual jokes or threats
  • Family violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Cyber abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Spiritual abuse
  • Emotional and psychological abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Control