Monday, March 24, 2008

What is 'gender'?

The story of the so-called man who is pregnant got me to thinking...

What is the point of gender anyway? The "man" identifies as male because his breasts have been removed? A lot of woman have that done involuntarily and that doesn't make them male. He also was taking male hormones, but 'chose' to retain his female reproductive parts. Why?


Margaret Somerville states:
"Where I would do a reversal on this is to say, 'You've artificially made yourself a man. You're not a man, you're a woman and you're having a baby and you're actually having your own baby. Just because you put on a clown suit, doesn't mean that you don't still exist underneath."

To take a little poetic licence with a well known phrase, it's like putting a jock-strap on a sow.

Obviously the 'man' is still going to have female chromosomes.

Which leads me to the question, why bother with gender at all? Why have it on drivers' licenses and other legal documents? If we can decide on a whim that we'll a particular gender, then what's the point?

And perhaps for "women" who are still oppressed in various parts of the world, that could very well be the best outcome possible.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

you might better ask the question, what is stupid?

Anonymous said...

Interesting thought, Joanne. The Toronto police lately have been refusing to release descriptions, let alone race, of violent offenders. They just say "police are looking for two males", even if the victim can provide a description.

Well if it is wrong to offend and stereotype by releasing a suspect's race, it logically follows that it is sexist to release a suspect's gender.

From my perspective I like the idea because then there will be no more discrimination against males in the workplace.

A belated Happy Easter, Joanne, and I notice you are one of the very few Canadian bloggers who had the class to wish a Happy Easter. When the revolution goes down, you'll be in my good books.

Anonymous said...

http://www.mother-god.com/matriarchal-history.html
hi Joanne . I really think we as a society have gotten it backwards nowadays .ego on either side is ugly .we could learn from our native history about making decisions to go to war and nurturing our society . I wish there were more women in politics, not the type that are there to fill some sort of quota or minority but real women decision makers ...katou

Greg said...

It's alerady happening - guess where? San Francisco. I saw a short news report on Fox News. A group from San Fran is asking the state to leave gender off the drivers lisence.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The Toronto police lately have been refusing to release descriptions, let alone race, of violent offenders. They just say "police are looking for two males", even if the victim can provide a description.

A ban on 'sexist profiling' may very likely be next.

eg. "Wanted. Two people. Wearing clothes.

Please report anyone fitting that description to your local police department."

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, thanks for the kind words, folks.

And Greg, that does sound familiar. I think I heard that somewhere as well.

I wonder if we'll eventually have to stop using the pronouns he and she.

l'oust coast teddi said...

we english speakers could switch in the classic Canadian way and refer to everything as a "le ou la" and nous would be politically correct n'est pas?

Kingston said...

Actually Teddy, is it lui, and elle, but point well taken,,,LMAO,, damn I did learn something on this French course

rabbit said...

Wanted. Two people. Wearing clothes.

That is so ... humanist. Let's clean it up, shall we?

Wanted. Two life forms.

One must not mention the clothes since that would immediately identify them as humans or human companions (formerly known as pets).

Now, does mentioning the number of entities make one a numerist? Your conscience will have to be your guide.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ha-ha! Rabbit, thanks. How very politically-incorrect of me!