Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Genders

Following up on Part I, Chana's second post on Gender is absolutely fantastic. Excerpt I enjoyed that notes the differences between correlation and causation perfectly:
The fact that the tribes in New Guinea were different in terms of hunter-gatherer/ coquettish roles is immaterial. All that demonstrates is that it is *possible* to change up one's role. That doesn't mean it is natural to do so. The assumption the researcher made is that because she saw the natives in those roles, that meant gender was societally constructed. How does that follow? People rebel against their nature all the time. Some of those tribes were cannabilistic! If I choose to be a cannibal, does that mean that eating food as opposed to people is a social construct? I think not. I believe that humans are born with some innate sense of right and wrong, morals, etc (just as I believe they are born with a gender that is the same as their sex characteristics.) That some choose to rebel against that innate sense of right and wrong and/or to rebel aginst their innate sense of self does not persuade me that the idea of gender as a whole (or right and wrong or morality) is all a societal construct. In the same way that I have no desire to adopt cannabilism, I have no desire to attempt to actively work to change my innate characteristics as a female over for learned supposedly male characteristics. One can learn anything, at that rate. I can crawl on the floor, bark like a dog, and eat raw meat. Does that mean humanity is a societal construct? No, I don't think so, and I will not have become a dog.

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