In the wake of my post about scaling to categorize the gender of the subject I observe, I would like to write about how are scaled the elements which justify my judgement. Which elements I found on the body and in the behavior of the woman I observed one time walking in the street, who I have supposed has previously been a man.
The elements which had took part in my observation had been: shape, hair, face, jaws, eyebrows, legs, breast, and extern track of genitals. Here they are written in a chronological way, but they also can be grouped in three categories. One may first distinguish a first level of signs, which fall in the sphere of general appearance. The shape of a person and its hair can be noticed without paying so much attention, and it does not overtake the polite ignorance. It is a normal process when one sees someone else in the street. It even often stays unconscious. On the other hand the second group may be the one of a better look, a further observation. When someone looks attentively at the face and its details or at the limbs of someone else, it is another step in observation. The last level that I see in those clues are in the intimacy of the person. I remember that I had been surprised by myself to check in what shall be called an “intimacy zone” between the legs, and I had thought that it was less respectful of this woman to look for a piece of evidence of her gender as far as looking for her genitals. In fact checking the breast had been different. As I had noticed a masculine face of this woman, I had realized that nothing had stroke me in her body, and especially not her breast which can easily be seen as fake, and then only I had a real look at it to be sure about my mind. It definitely shows a difference between “having a look at the appearance of someone in the street” and “observe the body of a stranger and pay attention at details”. The step of the overtaking of a taboo, breaking of intimacy, is then the next level. Observing attentively a limb or a face does not mean the same thing than observing as attentively the genitals area.
So it can be said that there is a scale between information which can be used from an observation. I also notice that higher was the step of the clue-group (previously defined), the more I needed to justify it. This implies the relation the observer has with the body of the subject (a more or less active action, have a look/pay attention), and the importance of the part of the body. As well, one may notice that the more a part of a body stands for an effective proof of the sex of someone (a penis more than a face), the more necessary it is to justify observation.