Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words andras (άνδρας) (meaning man) and gyne (γυνή) (meaning woman) that can refer to two concepts regarding the mixing of both male and female genders or having a lack of gender identification. The adjective is androgynous.
The first is the mixing of masculine and feminine characteristics, be it the example of the loud fashion statements of musicians like David Bowie, Annie Lennox and Brian Molko or the balance of "anima" and "animus" in Jungian psychoanalytic theory. The second is in describing something that is neither masculine nor feminine, for example the Hijras of India who are often described as "neither man nor woman".
Androgynous traits are those that either have no gender value, or have some aspects generally attributed to the opposite gender. Physiological androgyny (compare intersex), which deals with physical traits, is distinct from behavioural androgyny which deals with personal and social anomalies in gender, and from psychological androgyny, which is a matter of gender identity. A psychologically androgynous person is commonly known as an androgyne, although there is a politicised version known as genderqueer.
To say that a culture or relationship is androgynous is to say that it lacks rigid gender roles and that the people involved display characteristics or partake in activities traditionally associated with the other gender. The term androgynous is often used to refer to a person whose look or build make determining their gender difficult but is generally not used as a synonym for actual intersexuality, transgender or two-spirit people.
Lesbians who don't define themselves as butch or femme may identify with various other labels including androgynous or androg for short. A few other examples include lipstick lesbian, tomboy, and 'tom suay' which is Thai for 'beautiful butch'. Some lesbians reject gender performativity labels altogether and resent their imposition by others. Note that androgynous and butch are often considered equivalent definitions, though less so in the butch/femme scene.
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