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Conclusion

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Hoskin (2020) states that "gender is defined through the failure to maintain binary difference and in the moments where gender policing takes place” (p. 2326). By this, they bring forth that gender is only defined in moments where individuals deviate from the set pathway as the gender binary has been called into question. This insider to outsider dynamic is where policing takes place, motioning to the necessity for masculinity to fall into a place of power and femininity into a place of subordination regardless of whether the individual is male or female (Collins, 1986: S14; Hoskin, 2020: 2326). This slanting produced by those deviating from the binary or heteronormative system necessitates regulation of individuals by their behaviours and actions as it pertains to so-called 'correct' roles and orientations (Ahmed, 2004: 562; Butler, 2004: 40). Simultaneously, these regulations straighten any lines that have become slanted by fitting them back within the binary system (e.g., by still naming individuals under the preexisting dichotomous titles of “husband” or “wife”) (Ahmed, 2004: 563). Even if one is to exist with ‘other’ orientations, they are constantly positioned back into the hegemonic binary. The heteronormative system, by the sheer fact that our society has organized itself as such, entails that any new pathways or standpoints must work and be understood within the pre-existing system (Collins, 1986: S14). Thus, it must be considered the ways in which individuals continue to reinforce these structures and how, as we begin to deviate from this normalized pathway, we can create and strengthen more possible pathways into the future.

 

With this in mind, we can see the importance that neutralizing the dichotomy between femininity and masculinity has on disrupting this system of hierarchy, breaking it down from an 'outsiders' standpoint from inside the system itself (Collins, 1986: S26). Additionally, when these frameworks break down through their continual questioning, so too does the heteronormative space. Gender and sexual orientation follow paralleling paths within society, as means for individuals to find orientation in relation to each other and the world around them;  this is especially evident for many in their acquisition of identity. As preference towards the masculine declines and gender expression widens, the strict scripts of the so-called "opposing" entities of the masculine and feminine become less important, and individuals may be able to find other means of orienting themselves along the spectrum of gender in all its forms.

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