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Thinking outside the gender box*

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Thinking outside the gender box*


You might recognize the following: when passing by someone on the street, you automatically determined the gender of this person: man or woman, boy or girl. Why do you do this? And what if this person does not fit into one of your boxes?
Or you might have this experience: you do not feel 100% male, nor 100% female, and still the world requires you to make a choice. What do you do? How do you feel about this?

The purpose of this short symposium is to discuss and challenge our general tendency to think about gender identity in dichotomies – either male or female – rather than embracing all the different ways in which people identify with regard to gender.

Several speakers have been invited to present their academic / personal perspective on gender identity: amongst other things, philosophical understandings of body, mind, and gender will be discussed and experiences in gender activism will be shared. We hope that this will give rise to a broad discussion of what gender identity today means to a lot of different people and to society as a whole. You are all invited to reflect on and discuss these ideas with us.

Dr. Annemie Halsema will speak at this event. She is an Assistant Professor Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is interested in personal identity and embodiment, and her recent research project aims at a notion of narrative identity that includes social factors such as gender, age, and race/ethnicity.

The other speaker is vreer Verkerke. Who better to talk about experiencing gender than someone who doesn’t define themselves as either male or female. Vreer defines themselves as elissogender and work as a human rights activist and are a member of the Amsterdam city council for Bij1 (Vreer BIJ1). There they advocate for the rights of 'minorities', thus also full trans rights. Vreer has given many lectures and workshops to educate people about living with gender and the inequalities of not being legitimate.

The third speaker is still to be announced.

The afternoon will moderated by Byron Adams. Byron G. Adams is an Assistant Professor in Work and Organizational Psychology at Tilburg University, where he also obtained his Ph.D. in Cross-Cultural Psychology. He is a registered Industrial Psychologist in South Africa and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. His research interests include the study of identity across cultures, life stages (i.e., adolescents, emerging adults) and life domains (i.e., school and work).


Hosted by Cicero and Academic Forum (Tilburg University).

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* This activity may count towards the Academic Forum certificate.



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Map Blackbox, Waranderlaan 2, Tilburg, Netherlands, Tilburg, Netherlands
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