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Thread: You’ve heard of androgyny, but what about PANdrogyny?

  1. #1
    Complex Lolita...
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    You’ve heard of androgyny, but what about PANdrogyny?

    [SIZE="2"]I was listening to some music the other night (as is my wont), one thing led to another, and soon I was reading the “Manifesto of Pandrogeny” put forth by Genesis P-Orridge. I have very unusual musical tastes, to say the least! I did a little research into pandrogeny (or pandrogyny), and I am here to report on this largely neglected (or underappreciated) corner of the transgendered world...

    First, let’s consider androgyny. Androgyny is the state of possessing certain characteristics of both genders in one's physical appearance. An androgyne is an individual who feels they do not properly fit into the gender roles ascribed by society to males and females. Often they feel as though their gender is beyond the understanding of these limiting societal factors and they seek to free themselves from that which limits them by dressing in androgynous clothing and attempting to appear on the outside as they feel on the inside. I certainly dress to express how I feel on the inside, but, since I eschew male elements in my style of dress, I cannot properly be termed an androgyne – in other words, I’m on one side or another, and not a visual fusion...

    Pandrogyny is the conscious embracing of gender roles, sexual orientations, or cultural traditions so as to render the person's original identity completely indecipherable. It is the “third gender” that is sometimes referred to on this site, a type of gender-neutral living being more akin to the OTHER, or internal self. I often write about incorporating the genders via crossdressing in an attempt to express something internal, but a pandrogyne is way more serious and upfront about it, i.e. making one’s life (a brief existence) into an art form. I saw the aforementioned P-Orridge on stage, affecting a gender-neutral presentation, and I wondered what was going on – is this transvestism, transgendered behavior, or transsexuality? None of the above, as it turns out...

    Genesis P-Orridge had a “partner,” the late Lady Jaye P-Orridge, and they were so crazy about each other that they literally created a collage, or a third being, from their identities, undergoing “irreversible surgeries” to look like each other as much as possible. The result, a pandrogyne, is referred to as Breyer P-Orridge collectively. I’ll let the artiste (s) explain: “When you consider transexuality, cross-dressing, cosmetic surgery, piercing and tattooing, they are all calculated impulses—a symptomatic groping toward the next phase. One of the great things about human beings is that they impulsively and intuitively express what is inevitably next in the evolution of culture and our species. It is the Other that we are destined to become.” We are literally “groping in the sunlight,” as Quintilian once said, but I digress...

    Pandrogeny is not about defining differences but about creating similarities, not about separation but about unification and resolution. I am quite intrigued by this idea of “unification” as it relates to gender incorporation. Being alone in my crossdressing quest, I have no tangible “other” to be at one with – it’s all internal, and thus difficult to explain as a solitary artistic undertaking. Being an artist, I know that creative people do all sorts of things under the heading of “expression,” and becoming a pandrogyne is a pretty serious undertaking, replete with the kind of verification via wordiness that will deflect most casual curiosity seekers. Same as it ever was, but making one’s whole life into a work of art is a really interesting thing to do – I admire individuals like this, even though a pandrogyne cannot truly be called an "individual" per se...

    Obviously, this is a difficult concept to grasp – I must say I can barely get a handle on it. A less visible pandrogyne (other than P-Orridge) would “present” a gender-neutral appearance and not make any artistic fuss about it, nor would they care if they could be “deciphered” by anyone. It’s all about living according to one’s own precepts, within the binary systems embedded in society, and surviving intact, true to one SELF. I am neither androgynous or pandrogynous, since I seek to “cross” over to the other side for a short time and express my happiness to be there. At other times I am very much my birth gender, albeit reduced (altered) by repeated excursions to the “other” side, so there will be no manifesto of intent forthcoming. To me, crossdressing is a true PANacea...

    OK – what do you think of this “concept” of pandrogeny? I find it odd (but telling) that it can be spelled two different ways, since pan- means “all,” andro- means “male,” –geny means “origin,” and -gyne means female, but let’s not split hairs (again!). BTW, don’t even think of saying “pansexual,” since that refers to someone who experiences sexual attraction towards members of ALL genders, including transgender, transsexual, cross dressing, androgyne, androgen, two-spirited, gender-fliud, and all other variety of gender identifications, as well as those who do not feel that they have a gender. It gets confusing (what else is new?), but, since life is a limitless panorama, I am equipped to deal with (and appreciate) all variations...

    Thanks for reading – I’m all PANNED out...

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Since we started out as one sex it is reasonable to conclude that we may end up that way at the end. If this is so perhaps there is one gender as well. That gender would embrace all the elements we now call masculine and feminine and everything in-between. It is clear that we can love people of either sex why exclude the possibilities of sex as an extension of that love? So much of our experience of sex and gender are shaped by our culture that it is difficult to see what is natural.

    We all are playing out parts of the sex and gender play but it is hard for us as individuals to see the whole.


  3. #3
    Breakin' social taboos TGMarla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Southwest USA
    Quite the concept! It's reminiscent of some of the tenets put forth by Robert Heinlein in nearly all of his books. Read one, you've kind of read them all. Guy meets other people who draw him into a world of close knit love, pseudo-family, and they all have sex with each other regardless of gender, since they are all persons worthy of love by all others who love them. However, I'm glad that I'm NOT pandrogynic (is that a word??), in that I enjoy the variations in men and women, and even that same difference within myself. Viva le difference!

    Any money found in the laundry is MINE!

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  4. #4
    Aspiring Member StarrOfDelite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    retired and rootless!
    Thanks, Frederique, that was a great essay, and I loved your excellent puns. I will have to reread it a few times, but on first reading it seems as if Pandrogyny is a fascinating and useful concept.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Member
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    Dec 2008
    Not that I qualify, but simply put "bi-sexual?" Love the efforts put forth by Frederique, everything about them is impeccable.

  6. #6
    Member Marcyme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Behind the Zion Curtain
    I have been a fan of GP-O's music and theories for many years. I share many of the same views, though the two people becoming the same/one is still a little to far out for me. I am glad you brought it here and interested to the response here.

  7. #7
    The Girl will Out! Kaz's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Yorkshire, England
    Freddie, as usual you have come up with a masterpiece of intellectual debate!

    The Robert Heinlein comment I can relate to big time as he considered some of these issues, and having read him quite young could have influenced my thinking.

    There is a philosophical school of thought that the genders are split for a reason and that ultimately we will reunify...

    My early studies were in the biological sciences although I moved into social science later in life, and I am afraid that the concept of pandrogeny kind of cuts across the nuts and bolts of how life works? A great theoretical concept for the arts , but the reality? If you take the concept to its ultimate end... we will all be the same.... hmmm
    Kaz xx

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  8. #8
    ~ M2F Lezzie ~ Annaliese2010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    SE Michigan
    Well......what about transhumanism far as that goes? Kinda blows away Allll the petty little things ppl are FUSSY (lol) about when it comes to just....what? "Cross Dressing"? LoL....... hahahaha...everybody makes sucha BIG deal out of......"Cross Dressing"? Oh puh leeeze. TRANSHUMANISM. Thats where current technology is trending. Obviously. Necessarily. And IMO........not soon ENUF!

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