Examples Of Gender Ambiguity

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Is it Gender Ambiguity, or is there a third-sex? The Truth behind Gender Ambiguity “If we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women...” In this quote, Virginia Woolf claims that there is no truth in life and our purpose is to define ourselves as individuals rather than to please society. Virginia Woolf, author of the novel Orlando: A Biography, lived a life full of uneventful events. At the age of thirteen, her mother had unpredictably passed away, which resulted to a mental breakdown for Woolf. Before she pursued her career as a writer, Woolf had access to her father’s library where she explored the…show more content…
So, who defines gender ambiguity? Typically, the position of gender ambiguity lies within society rather than biological characteristics where gender is perceived as uncertain. In Orlando, we learn that Woolf describes gender ambiguity through three main characters: Orlando, Sasha, and Shel. In his biography, Orlando starts off as a man with red lips and rosy and experiences a change in sex during a journey through time. As a man, Orlando instantly spots Sasha, the Russian princess, and falls in love with her. On page 24, he describes his immediate attraction towards her and thinks that the feeling he is involved with is love. Orlando refrains from his emotions because he cannot tell if Sasha is a man or a woman. He is hesitant and apprehensive, and when he transitions into a woman, she, Orlando, reflects back on Sasha and writes, “was it a boy’s or was it a girl’s?—young, slender, seductive—a girl, by God! Furred, pearled, in Russian trousers; but faithless, faithless!” (175). To emphasize, Orlando is furious with Sasha’s unfaithful act, but prior to her disloyalty in their relationship, Sasha’s gender to Orlando is ambiguous through the trousers she is wearing, and the way she figure skates. Orlando wants to believe she is a woman, but cannot help but recognize her shadowy figure as a man’s. This is due to the fact that Orlando judges Sasha based on the fragments of her body. Once Sasha gears closer, Orlando realizes that she is a woman (26). Orlando’s thoughts on Sasha remain as man and woman do to her reflective
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