[ jen-duh-riz-uhm ]

  1. Also called gen·der bi·nar·ism [jen-der bahy-nuh-riz-uhm] /ˌdʒɛn dər ˈbaɪ nəˌrɪz əm/ . the belief that there are only two genders, that a person’s gender is fixed at birth, and that gender expression is determined by gender assigned at birth.

  2. Also called gen·der i·de·ol·o·gy [jen-der ahy-dee-ol-uh-jee] /ˌdʒɛn dər ˌaɪ diˈɒl ə dʒi/ . the belief that gender is socially constructed and multifaceted, as opposed to biologically determined and binary.

Origin of genderism

First recorded in 1960–65; gender1 + -ism

word story For genderism

Genderism has two nearly opposite meanings, and the word is usually used to criticize one of the two conflicting ideas it represents. People don't typically describe their own beliefs as genderism, but instead use it to label a viewpoint they are opposed to.
In feminist and transgender scholarship and activism, genderism has been used since the 1990s to refer to gender binarism (the belief that gender is biologically determined and binary) and to criticize how that belief about gender can be connected to discrimination against transgender, nonbinary, or otherwise gender-diverse people.
However, in the late 2010s and early 2020s, genderism or gender ideology (the belief that gender is a socially constructed category with a natural range of gender expressions) saw increased use among adherents to the idea of fixed, binary gender, who believe that gender is the same as biological sex, and who are critical of the progressive social movement to acknowledge and accept gender diversity.

Words Nearby genderism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023