I do not consider man and woman to be genders. Like Simone de Beauvoir I think Men are adult male human beings and women are adult female human beings. With penis or vulva being what determines those labels.
Call me some what of an essentialist if you will but the term I perfer is feminist.
I find the requirement of adherence to a gender role to be the determining factor as to whether one is a woman or a man to be rabidly reactionary. I do not care if it comes from some religious fascist or from a transgender activist.
You see women’s role has been defined as property/slave for much if not all of history. Women are denied heritage from their mothers as mother’s names are erased by marriage. She is first Mister XYZ’s daughter then Mister XYZ’s wife.
This is one tradition of marriage I am not the least bit happy about seeing same sex couples take up.
Women’s gender role is as John Lennon put it, “Nigger of the world. Anarchist Lucy Parsons said much the same, “We are the slaves of slaves. We are exploited more ruthlessly than men.”
Defining woman as a gender is to embrace the worst and most oppressive if misogynistic practices.
Embracing gender as a gentrified euphemism for sex started with the reactionary shift that helped prevent the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
The ERA stated:
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Right then and there the misogynistic forces of the right both the secular male supremacists and the religious fascists started crapping about how the ERA would destroy marriage by erasing the differences between men and women.
For those looking for the transsexual element here. One of the strong points of both Benjamin and he much maligned Money were that long before Fausto-Sterling they were saying that males and females were much more alike than different and that even the sex organs were homologous tissue. This was the initial thinking behind the idea that moving the tissue around so that the primary element of assigning sex matched core sex identity was a actual change of sex.
For what it is worth back in the days when I got SRS (1972) a pre-op was not considered a woman prior to SRS. Brothers were culturally different in those days and while sisters might have met one now and then there wasn’t a great deal of sharing.
We did not talk of gender as a concrete idea but rather as an abstract one. Like masculinity and femininity which is really what gender is about.
There is a risk to switching from the physically determined sex to the abstractly determined gender.
While we used to speak of sex roles, which may be the elements of non-socialized sex based behavior we were not yet using gender roles.
Gender roles are misogynistic social constructs. They are identical in many respects to racism. Particularly when they shout Viva le differance and then use that difference to justify the oppression of women.
One of the biggest threats to the religio-patriarchal power structure isn’t same sex marriage but rather same gender marriage showing that loving relationships can take place between people of equal power.
As a pre-op I was in what some people would choose to define as a homosexual relationship. It didn’t feel that way to me. i’m a lesbian these days, I know what a same sex relationship is about better than those who described the relationship between my boy friend and I did. It was heterogendered. He was the boy and I was the girl.
I was a staunch feminist even back in those days with a red/black radical nose for oppressive behavior so there was a lot of negotiations on many issues. Men and women were negotiating sex (gender) roles in those days before the anti-woman reactionary forces reasserted themselves.
Yesterday I posted “Make-over Camp- good for girls” When I read that one all I could think of was that movie But Mom, I’m a Cheerleader. Call it gender panic or gender role enforcement but I do not want Christo-Fascists of Islamo-Fascists or any other misogynistic fath based patriarchal cult defining women by mandating an adherence to specific Stepford Wives roles. Nor do I want transgenders mandating the identical idea even if they couch it in different language.
Then today I received this tidbit from one of my news feeds. Transgender News
The Genesis of Gender Roles
Tuesday June 23, 2009
This summer’s conference for the Center for Biblical Equality <http://www.cbeinternational.org/> will take place in St. Louis, July 24-26. And, scholarships are available for students.
This year’s conference will address the formation of gender roles. Questions to be considered include: Are gender differences God-given, shaped by culture, or biologically determined? Do gender differences determine roles in church, home, or society? Are gender differences minimized by secular culture and how should Christians respond?
See the CBE website
for more information.
PS: CBE’s chief, Mimi Haddad, is a Voice at Christianity21.
Needless to say I am less than thrilled by the idea of the religio-misogynists having any say what so ever in this and like Denis Diderot, I believe:
Et ses mains ourdiraient les entrailles du prêtre,
Au défaut d’un cordon pour étrangler les rois.
For want of a rope, to strangle kings.
Or as it is often translated, ” Mankind will only be free whn the last royal is strangled with the entrals of the last priest.”