Androgyny inspires me– in my writing, in my art, and in my own appearance. I’m partly working on a YA novel, inspired by my sister, in which the gender of the narrator is never revealed. For myself, I’m partial to suspenders, skinny ties, bed hair, and heavy boots. I don’t wear these things to imitate another gender, but I’m aware that they have that effect, that people view me differently.
I learned yesterday about a study in which hundreds of photos of men and women’s faces were stripped of all identifying characteristics (like hair, jewelry, makeup, etc). The photos were then shown to individuals who were told to guess whether the face in the photo was male or female. The participants in the study were (somehow) attached to a machine that tracked their eye movement with a laser so that the researchers could track exactly what they were looking at in the photos. Participants guessed correctly 99.9% of the time. As it turns out, in order to identify people’s gender, we look at–surprise!–their noses.