In my last blog post I mentioned now I don't think atrinary is a useful term, because it currently does have any agreed upon meaning. In this post I want to dissect what I think the intended meaning on atrinary was. But first, before I get into the meat of the article I want to address a couple of points about atrinary first.
1) Atrinary is for culture specific idenities and for neurodivergent people who do not/cannot understand gender in the "standard" way. I actually like this definition of atrinary. However, it's very clear that not everyone argees with this definition of atrinary. Clearly there is another definition that a sizable amount of people argee with, and that is what I will be discussing.
2) Atrinary isn't synonymous with xenogender. Maverique is an atrinary gender but not a xenogender. Whenever people talk about atrinary genders maverique is always the example they give, and while maverique typically isn't considered a xenogender, I argue that it could be interpretted as one. If maverique is a gender that is "based on autonomy, inner conviction, unconventionality, and being unorthodox" one could say that it's a gender based on concepts and ideas typically not assosiated with gender, and therefore a xenogender. I've also never seen someone give a specific example of an atrinary gender that isn't maverique.
Now that that is out of the way I want to give the purpose of this post. The main question I want to answer is this: If xenogenders and atrinary genders are the same thing in my visualisation of gender, then why do some people say that atrinary contains genders that are not xenogenders? What are those genders? Like I said in my previous post I believe this difference in meaning comes from the fact that the coiner of atrinary has a different view of gender than me, and most people. In this post I will be trying to understand and explain this different view of gender that would lead to the creation of atrinary. I need to make it clear that I do not agree with this view of gender, for reasons that I will explain shortly, however I think that in order to fully understand what atrinary was intended to mean one needs to understand this alternate view of gender. Secondly, I do not know who the coiner of atrinary is, and I most certainly don't know them personally, so this is only speculation on my part. And lastly I use the word "coiner" here, however since I don't know exactly what the coiner's original intent for the term was I'm using "coiner" as shorthand for "people who interpret atrinary was meaning something that is not binary, not non-binary, but not inherently xenogenders", which appears to be the original menaing of the term.
Now, let's get a visual of how I think the coiner viewed gender.As you can see this view of gender is based on the assumtion that if "neutral" is a gender, that implies the existance of being "positively" gender (male, female, or anything inbetween) and the existance of the "negetive" of gender (agender). In this view of gender "non-binary" refers to anything that is "positive" (gendered) but is inbetween male or female, as well as anything that is on the "neutral" or "ungendered" line. In this view of gender "abinary" refers to anything that is not on the vertical "gendered" line. As seen by the horizontal line moving away from it. However, and this is the key, "neutral" and "ungendered" are still connected to the binary genders. In this view of gender, neutral and ungender are inherently tied to the binary genders. All of these genders are dependant on each other to exist. So in this view of gender atrinary refers to genders that are not related to this balance of positive, negetive, and neutral.
Now, I don't want to shame someone for visualizing gender in a different way than me but... I think this view of gender is wrong. This view of gender is based on an inherent misunderstanding of what "neutral" means. As I explained in my previous post neutral does not literally mean neutral, rather it is a catch-all term for genders that are not related to femininity or masculinity but are still gendered in a similar way of understanding. Neutral genders are not inherently tied to the existence of the binary genders.
For example, if masculinity didn't exist femininity could still exist without. They are not intrinsically connected, femininity is not the "lacking" or "opposite" of masculinity or vice verse. There could still be women if the concept of men didn't exist. The same thing can be applied to neutral genders. If the binary genders didn't exist then neutral genders could still exist. Neutral genders are just as connected to the binary gender as the binary genders are connected to themselves (that is to say; not connected at all). In my view of gender you could remove any one of the genders and none of the other genders would be affected because they are all independant of each other. Basically what I'm trying to say is genders are not electrical charge. These aren't subatomic particles. The nuclei of the atoms across the universe would not implode on themselves if the binary genders stopped existing. There is no "balance" or "connection".
So with all that explained, can we finally answer the question at hand? What is atrinary? It seems like atrinary genders (that are not xenogenders) are "any gender which is unrelated to the gender binary or anything connected to the gender binary, but is still gendered in a similar way of understanding." Now that I've written it out like that, we can see the atrinary is the same definition as neutral/abinary in my view of gender. So am I saying the (nonxenogender) atrinary genders are just the same thing as abinary genders? Yes. Well, sort of. If the people who identify as atrinary wish to use this view of gender that I outlined above then that's perfectly valid, but if that's the case we have to realize that when they say things like "abinary" or "neutral" in means something completely different than when other people say "abinary" or "neutral". However, in the view of gender that I use I will continue to refer to genders that use concepts outside the human understand of gender as xenogenders, and to genders that are not binary, but are still gendered as abinary genders, with maverique included. Unless of course, someone explains how atrinary actually works.
So what do we do now? Should people not use atrinary? Well, I think it's perfectly fine if people use the term atrinary. It's even fine if you want to use the "atomic" view of gender. However, I think if people are going to use atrinary then someone needs to come and lay down exactly what atrinary actually means, because there is currently alot of confusion as to the actually meaning, even among people who use the term. I layed out what I think atrinary was originally suppost to mean however, I said in the beginning of the post that I prefer the definition of including culturally specific genders and neurodivergent genders. If atrinary is to be a legitamate term that can be used there needs to be an agreed upon definition.