(These are my observations from the sidelines. I am in no way claiming to be an authority or indeed particularly informed. What I am is a concerned citizen. I welcome your insightful comments, your observations, your experiences. I greet you with love, I welcome you as you are. I simply seek to understand. and to be understood.)
At birth is our sex recorded, or is our gender assigned?
This question seems to be the great divide between radical feminists and transactivists…and could this be the tipping point of political correctness?
Or, could this confusion all be a semantic misunderstanding brought on by the need to be polite?
‘Gender’ is a lovely polite term, it means we can avoid saying ‘sex’ and pretend we aren’t asking about the genitals of a new baby. It is also a dangerous term that gave rise to the industry of gender stereotyping. The idea that there are ‘boy things’ and ‘girl things’, and ‘boy behaviours’ and ‘girl behaviours’. That women like high heels and make up, and men like power tools.
Unfortunately, because we do not like to say ‘sex’, despite (or because of?) being a sex-obsessed and overly sexualised society, the biological issues are being pushed aside in favour of the ‘gender’ issues.
The politics surrounding this polite term include many necessary human rights issues as well as some strange political correct issues. Instead of a grey area, we have a divide. A Chasm of semantics, where both sides seem set on a similar outcome but their key differences mean there is no middle ground.
The necessary human rights issues related to the gender and sex are addressed in anti-discrimination laws. The sex discrimination law (Australia) covers things like fairness in employment, reproductive status/potential, breastfeeding rights, harassment, and discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, and gender identity.
The gender identity aspect relates to problems caused for those awesome individuals that do not fit the society-approved gender stereotypes. The laws aim to protect and acknowledge the ridiculousness of the stereotypes. These issues are separate to sex-based ones, and yet merged with them.
The gender issue has created a wonderful distraction, keeping us from seeing some of the serious issues our Governments would rather not contend with. There are many urgent issues we need to be focusing on, that we need to be aware of, but with the focus on identity, we barely touch on these.
Our patriarchal society likes to infantalise us, and this obsession with identity is the perfect ruse. It is superficial and even childish to be focused on ‘identity’ in this way. This focus on identity allows those who do not wish to ‘grow up’ and face real world problems to remain self obsessed. By demanding more and more ‘polite ticks’, a mockery of political correctness forms. In our attempts to be inclusive we become more and more divided. The race to be the biggest minority, with prizes of grants, funding, recognition, awards and attention, means constantly redefining in an attempt to retain minority status. The real purpose of this race is to distract us. As long as we run this race, the patriarchy remains. And we are too busy to notice what else is going on.
The damage being done by this ‘distraction’ is not to be ignored. It is not minor. It is not acceptable. By pushing aside ‘sex’ we are seeing the erosion of female, are we on the cusp of the disappearance of female? Ironically some trans-activists claim it is prudish and bigoted to discuss ‘sex’ and to consider ‘gender’ as a social construct. Gender politics does not seem to think it is inclusive to discuss reproductive-related issues (menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, the pay gap, sex-based oppression, domestic violence). These are not considered important or relevant to being ‘female’. And along side this, we have medical transitions happening to align feelings with bodies. Despite the fact that feelings change. Despite the fact that messing with biology through artificial hormones and cosmetic surgery has life long and detrimental impacts, and despite the fact that all this just cements the gender stereotypes further into our social conditioning. No one is winning. No One.
We need to stop this superficial focus and start breaking down these stereotypes. It seems very simple to me.
We have our sex. Male or female. Very rarely someone is intersex. This is a biological reality. It is what it is. Each individual has medical and health decisions to be made based on this reality. Mutilating genitals will not alter this, just further complicate things and commit the individual to a lifetime of (expensive) medical interventions.
The rest is personality. The complexity of this, and it’s relatedness to sex, seems to be based on this idea that feminine equals female, and masculine equals male. But we can see, we can observe, that this is false. The masculine-feminine continuum shows us this.
Whilst there may be a tendency to support the idea that sex=gender, the overlap is significant. And the extremes are not the majority. They are separate aspects of who we are.
Who we are is further complicated by sexual orientation, sexuality, interests, hobbies, socioeconomics, demographics, skin colour, cultural background, race, religion, opportunities…
If we take ‘gender’ to mean a description of ones place on the feminine-masculine continuum, it is clear that this is unrelated to our sex and as the Venn-you Diagram displays, just one aspect of what influences ones identity.
Rather than trying to box people into a single category of ‘male’ or ‘female’ based on gender, we should be celebrating the awesomeness of our complete individuality. We should not lose sight of the importance of our sex. Whilst there is so much more to us than our sex, there are critical health and social issues related to our sex that impact who we are, who we can be and how we can be.
The sex discrimination act was written to acknowledge this.
The gender issue is important. We need to break down the damaging stereotypes. The idea that there are ‘boy things’ and ‘girl things’. The measure of feminine to masculine qualities is a continuum NOT a hierarchy. We need to break away from the very flawed idea that masculine is superior. We need to break away from the idea that masculine = male and feminine = female.
We need to Acknowledge the damage being done by gender stereotyping to those who do not conform. That there is an underlying homophobic agenda seems apparent, and that a misogynistic undercurrent flows through the (trans)gender debate.
Our education system needs to cover menstruation, breastfeeding and normal birth biology and health classes in a much more meaningful way.
The pornification of women and children MUST STOP. It is NOT empowering. It is driven by economics and patriarchal politics.
Placing technology (medical) over physiology (natural) science is evolving humans away from humanity.
If you think you are ‘woke’ by supporting trans-activism, open your eyes a little further. It is not bigoted to question anything. Look beyond the ‘polite ticks’ of inclusion and ask yourself:
What is really going on?
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