Let’s all think back to the individual panels, so long ago.
Maddie came to class dressed as The Terminator. In her post following her panel, “Some math,” Maddie asks if being gendered male is about subtracting female traits and proposes that the natural gender is male much like the natural sex (without any hormonal changes to a fetus) is female. She makes a good point, because all she had to do to look more masculine was simply not shower, remove nail polish, and dress more simply. To be female she has to “add” more clothes, more accessories, etc.
But I have to disagree with the idea that there is a natural gender. To be male Maddie had to find clothes and add them on, she had to find a new “masculine” persona and add that on, and I almost remember her voice as deeper that day… though it was so long ago I might be making that up. At any rate, even though femininity in Western culture asks that we add and add and add to create a female appearance, the same is asked of men (though in a different, less obvious way). Men are asked to subtract any signs of femininity when they are boys (e.g. no crying, playing active games over social games, avoiding certain feminine colors at all costs) and when they grow into adulthood a homophobic patriarchal culture asks them to subtract anything else such as clothes, hairstyles, accessories, attitudes, and emotions that might make them lose their manhood.
I felt she made a fine example of The Terminator, but perhaps this College Humor video will make the gender appearance of the The Terminator make much more sense. I found it on YouTube like ten minutes ago… and it is the true reason why I created this post:D