In a comment regarding the death of Kiira, Edith Pinkelton, a regular commenter to this blog threw in the trite phrase, “Yes, intersex, as is all sex, is a socially constructed category.”
I’m not singling out Edith for criticism, even though her phrase triggered this post.
It is just that the idea of everything being a “social construct” has become the post-modern new age equivalent of “What’s your sign.”
Throw it in and thinking is supposed to stop. Like how saying so and so is a Pisces is supposed to cause everyone to sigh and say, “That explains everything.”
I’ve had Simone de Beauvoir’s book, “The Second Sex” on my nightstand for months. Every evening I read three or four pages and it is an over 700 page book.
I also watch Animal Planet and many of the documentaries about different species of animals.
I feel kind of safe in saying sex is biological even if male and female tend to mostly overlap with the majority of their physical being.
As for what we call gender and its place in the realm of “social construct.” I find that to be an intellectually lazy statement like, “What’s your sign?”
What constitutes a social construct? Seriously… What makes something a social construct?
Is it something being a learned skill rather than a biological trait?
Is the whole “social construct” idea one of those mind traps, an ideological trap we fall into when we are too lazy to explain, or lack the easy words to explain something far more complex.
I’ve criticized both the HBS Borg and Transgender Borg for their resorting to the use of dogmatic slogans rather than actual thought.
The reason I get along much better with activists rather than theory people is because activists focus on issues rather than dogma.
Maybe it is time to retire “social construct” as an unexplained buzzword that is supposed to substitute for an explanation of something more complex.
Post-modernism is the neo-liberalism of academe and has had as negative an impact upon the lives of ordinary people as neo-liberal economics have.