Selfhood Frequently Asked Questions:

Selfhood campaigns on a range of nuanced and sensitive issues, so it is especially important that we are careful about the language we use to describe our work. This FAQ lists some words we use in our work and what we specifically mean when we use them. They are detailed below.  Please note: There may be different definitions of these words and people may use and understand them differently. As an organisation, the below is what we mean when we use these words.



Gender liberation is Selfhood’s primary mission. Gender liberation means allowing people to be themselves, without forcing them to conform to specific expectations or roles based on their gender. It's about treating everyone with fairness and respect, no matter how they identify or express their gender. 

A state of gender liberation would enable everyone to live in a fully authentic way, unconstrained and unlimited by traditional notions of gender. Achieving gender liberation also requires the dismantling of other intersection axes of power. To truly achieve gender equality and freedom for all genders, we need to address and break down other forms of discrimination and inequality that intersect or overlap with gender. (see Intersectionality).


Intersectionality recognizes how various aspects of a person's identity, such as their gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, and other characteristics, can intersect and interact in complex ways, leading to unique experiences and forms of discrimination. It emphasises that these different aspects of identity cannot be understood or addressed in isolation, as they are interconnected and influence one another. For example, there is no unified group of women that experiences sexism in the same way. It allows us as feminists to consider the impact of multiple marginalisation, and to treat these axes of power as inextricable from each other. For example, a Black woman is not discriminated against first for being Black and then for being a woman but experiences specific discrimination based both in racism and sexism, resulting in experiencing a type of sexism that looks very different to the sexism experienced by white women.


The male/female gender binary is a concept describing a socio-cultural system that categorises gender into two distinct and opposing categories. Individuals are typically assigned a gender identity and role based on their biological sex at birth and are culturally and socially assigned gender roles based on socially enforced understandings of masculinity and femininity. 

This does not only perpetuate harmful stereotypes and norms, but excludes everyone who does not fit into the male or female categories. We believe the gender binary is an inadequate model to capture the complexity of human gender diversity. Gender is a spectrum with a wide range of identities and expressions beyond just male and female.

Selfhood is a movement for anyone who believes in and supports equal rights and opportunities for all genders. With inclusivity and community at the heart of our organisation, our vision is to show the world that gender liberation is for everyone.

We truly believe that anyone can make a difference. There are no specific skills or experience required to start, just yourself and a determination to drive gender equality forward with us! We create an inclusive and collaborative space where members of our community can support one another. If you don't know how to do something, we're here to help!

Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics, norms, behaviours and roles, often associated with a particular sex. Gender can contain notions of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny. Gender varies from society to society and can change over time. Gender interacts with but is different from sex which is focused on biological and physiological characteristics

Sex is a multidimensional biological construct based on anatomy, physiology, genetics, and hormones. Sex is usually categorised as male or female, although variations do occur, e.g. people who are intersex.

Sex is assigned to a person at birth on the basis of primary sex characteristics (genitalia) and reproductive functions. For many people, the sex they are assigned at birth does not align with their internal sense of their sex and / or gender. Individuals can change their sex legally through the acquisition of a Gender Recognition Certificate.

It is important to note that there is as much biological and physiological variation within categories as between them. For this reason, at Selfhood, we are critical of arguments that depend on sex for their validity.

Patriarchy refers to a society dominated by men i.e. society, state and the economy are characterised by systematic, institutionalised and pervasive gender oppression of women and people of marginalised genders. Patriarchy has social, political, economic, cultural, psychological and health impacts. Patriarchy harms people of all genders in distinct ways.

Cisgender or cis is an adjective referring to a person where their gender identity aligns with their sex assigned at birth, e.g. when someone assigned female at birth identifies as a woman.

Not everyone identifies as ‘male’ or ‘female’ or as a “man” or “woman”. Sometimes, people assume that being trans is about feeling you are the ‘opposite’ gender. This is true for some trans people, but not for others. This assumption makes things difficult for those who identify outside of ‘male’ or ‘female’, for example non-binary people. A non-binary person may need some different things to feel comfortable to, for example, a trans person who identifies as ‘male’. 

A transgender person may transition socially i.e. going by a new name, wearing clothes traditionally associated with the opposite sex etc; and/or medically undergoing gender affirming treatment including taking hormones, puberty blockers or gender affirming surgery. Not every trans person will want to transition but may still like, or benefit from, ongoing support of some kind.

A wide range of gender identities fall under the transgender identity including non-binary, genderqueer and agender identities. There is no one way to look, act or live as a transgender person. 

A full glossary of terms associated with the trans community can be found on Stonewall’s website. 

Sexism is structural and often institutionalised prejudice or discrimination based on the sex or gender or women or femme marginalised genders. It is related to gender roles and stereotypes,and may include the belief that the male sex or gender is intrinsically superior to the female. Due to its systemic nature, cis men and trans men who “pass” as cis cannot experience sexism (though cis men can experience individual prejudice or discrimination based on their gender and trans men may experience transphobia or other forms of homophobia or misogyny for “failing to perform masculinity correctly”.

Misogyny is the individual and/or systemic prejudice against and contempt for women and femininity. Misogyny can be overt or covert, and conscious or subconscious. People of all genders can be misogynists.

The term ‘manosphere’ is an umbrella term that shelters a multitude of interconnected misogynistic communities. These communities vary in the extremity of their beliefs and rhetoric, but they all share a common thread of anti-feminism, hostility towards women, and a desire to “restore” male dominance in society.