I have to head out to work soon. Too soon to elaborate on the following thought from one of my favorite blogs that I read everyday “Echidine of the Snakes”. I don’t know how I forgot to add her to my blog roll, a mistake I corrected today.
Think of the way we debate gender roles. The two end-points are often seen as someone with Talibanesque views on women on one side and someone who’d let women go out and run for the President of the United States, sure (as long as the dinner is still on the table when the hubby comes home). Well, perhaps not quite, but you get the point: There’s nary a radical feminist anywhere in sight.
More importantly, the two end-points of this opinion line are seen as ‘Kirche, Küche und Kinder’ for women, at one end, and ‘legal equality of the sexes’ at the other end. Or ‘men should dominate’ vs. ‘everybody is equal’. Note what’s missing there, as is missing from all the other debates about women’s essential nature or whatnot?
The symmetrical end-point to the view ‘men should dominate’. The effect of this one is to make ‘compromise’ appear something inbetween full equality and absolute male domination, and the effect is also to make someone like me come across as an extremist, when in fact arguing for equality should be the middle position. Don’t you think?
The problem with defining by and the overuse of gender instead of sex is that it limits women to proscribed roles and un-sexes them if they step outside those proscribed roles. Sort of like Mick Jagger’s singing in Satisfaction “But he can’t be a man coz he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me”