Below the Belt (gender)

Some gender/queer activists have taken the term below the belt into their own hands to illustrate the deconstruction of gender. In this sense, hitting someone below the belt (an otherwise unpleasant blow to genitalia) would be an active step to break down the restrictive societal norms that prevent individuals from understanding their gender, sex, and sexuality on a deeper level. This version of the term emerges from popular belief among gender/queer activists that an individual's genitalia does not necessarily define the gender that is performed.

This use of below the belt was coined by the virtual forum, BELOW THE BELT . Founded in March 2007, the site was originally designed to create a forum for college students to discuss gender and sexuality studies with students around the world. Since its inception, the site has grown to draw both readers and writers from many walks of life.


Functionality of BELOW THE BELT depends on the content of its contributors. Up to nine bimonthly contributors (regulars) serve as frequent columnists, and a number of other contributors write less frequently (guests). All contributors maintain a distinctive column or theme, such as "dating", "mexico", or "advice".

Much of the success of BELOW THE BELT is due to one of the forum's contributors, Fannie Fierce. Known for her advice column, "AskFannie", Fannie is a drag queen with an up-front attitude. Her first advice columns about analingus and sex work drew immediate attention from a wide variety of readers. Her subsequent columns addressing readers' questions on love, relationships, and sex garnered weekly syndication on the very popular LGBT blog, The Bilerico Project.

Content and discussion

Contributors to the forum shape their columns loosely around the theme of gender. In a quintessentially postmodern approach, the forum hosts a wide variety of columns that indirectly address gender (see weinerdog, NforNeville ). The interdisciplinary nature of the forum stems from its mission to "create a dialogue about gender, sex, sexuality, and the many other aspects of gender facing people around the world".


Some critics of the forum contend that any dialogue about the deconstruction of gender innately dismisses the importance of scientific research clearly indicating natural elements to gender distinctions. This criticism is representative of larger arguments about gender and the nature versus nurture debate.

External links

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This article is based on "Below the Belt (gender)" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia ( It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: