As I get older I am constantly assailed by the reminder that change is inevitable, and I am also reminded of the curmudgeons who exist in every older generation to tell the younger generation that something they are doing is going to cause irreparable harm to the next generation – so they better just stop it.
Part of that internal reminder tells me that many who might read this will think I am that curmudgeon. I think it is time that I put that hat on and speak.
I’m willing to cede the ground that gender is a social construct and accept that there are people who are gender conforming heteronormative males and females. I’m willing to accept that there are gender non-conforming males and females. I’m willing to accept that there are men who feel like they should have been born women, and women who should have been born men. I’m fully willing to call bullshit on roles being assigned to men and women simply because they have a dick swinging between their legs, or because of the absence of one.
I’ve always been fully of the belief that men and women should have equality of opportunity. I even support women in combat roles as long as they can meet the same physical qualification standards as men. Some say that’s a bar too high, but I’ve seen women outperform men in many areas, so it might reduce the number of women going into these roles, but it won’t keep out the truly qualified.
I am not willing to accept the ludicrous notion that we as human beings need to consider the existence of 70+ genders. Nor am I willing to accept that your offense when I do not address you by the gender you prefer. I will address people by the pronoun assigned to the biological sex to which I perceive them to belong. That means if you look like a man, dude, bro, what-have-ya, that makes me think you’re hiding a penis in your trousers, I’m going to use a gender-binary male pronoun to refer to you. Conversely, that means if you look in any way like you’re sporting a pair of X’s in your chromosomes, have female parts exposed, or otherwise look traditionally female, I’m going to use a gender-binary female pronoun to refer to you as well.
Contrary to what you’re thinking, this does not make me a bigot. This doesn’t make me in any way a non-supporter of LGBT rights, or any other such nonsense you might spew in my direction about my intolerance.
Language is important. Words….are….important. The manipulation of the language to get Homo sapiens in the Western world to call people by their gender of preference is a form of doublespeak and mind control. Control what we say and how we say it and eventually you can control what we think, and how we think about it.
And while we worry about offending the sensibilities of someone who is so confused about what is truly important in the world that they concern themselves with whether we are calling them butch, xe, hir, (f)aer, etc., there are real moral and ethical issues that need attention. There are problems in the world that need leadership.
Imagine if all the gender studies majors of the world took the time to instead focus on trying to liberate the minds of societies where gays are thrown from rooftops as a punishment for being gay; or if they spent their time in a purposeful struggle against female genital mutilation; or fought against the wrongs of societies which made it policy to deprive girls of any kind of education; forced women and girls to wear bags on their heads, and so on, how much better the world would be.
Instead, because there will be no dangerous blow-back for focusing on a gender that is so narrowly targeted to GENDER ROLES as to make argument against the use of traditional pronouns ridiculous, they focus on a fight which shows only that they are proud of their own virtue signaling, and too frightened of the real world to take a stand for something that might truly advance the human condition.
2 Replies to “On Gender as a Social Construct”
I like your wordplay. Reminds me of my own. Too bad I haven’t published anything for so long. But you inspire it. Such a welcomed surprise to see words from you pop up again out of nowhere. I knew you’re still out there, doing all that… thinking.
Thanks, Christian. I’m glad to know you are doing well.