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Anna

Gender is a social construct

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I've been hearing the phrase "gender is a social construct" a great deal, and it's left me a bit confused. I might behind on the game a little here, but I do consider myself pretty open-minded.

 

This issue came up the other day when someone was reprimanded for saying that a friend had given birth to a girl. The first response was something along the lines of, "she may look like a girl, but the gender is up to the individual to decide." Overall, I got the impression that the new belief = you are born into a body, but are free to decide what your gender will be. I might have this wrong, but it does appear very complicated. I was born a female, became a tomboy, remained a tomboy at heart and am straight. None of this is a contradiction to me, but perhaps it might have been a problem if I grew up in an environment that was far less tolerant.

 

I am not sure, however, that gender is simply a social construct. I think it is a biological one, but I also don't have a hangup with sexuality or gender roles. What do you think? And if someone can explain the "gender is a social construct" ideal to me, I would truly appreciate it. This is one thing I am trying very hard to understand.

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This issue came up the other day when someone was reprimanded for saying that a friend had given birth to a girl. The first response was something along the lines of, "she may look like a girl, but the gender is up to the individual to decide."

 

To me this is just nonsensical. Gender is NOT a social construct, it is a biological fact. If you are born with a penis you are male, with a vagina you are female. These are not "social constructs" whatever that means.

 

 

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To be honest - -some of this stuff that makes me almost glad that I won't be around much longer.

 

Think back a bit, in time. Homosexuality was (for the most part) kept hidden. Tran sexuality wasn't even a word to the majority of people, at least in this country. These situations have slowly been accepted (as they should be) but as in so many other crusades, it now has to be carried to the most extreme edge of the subject. Some of the feminists on the extreme edges of that subject also go through some of the most twisted logic that a great part of the movement itself shakes their heads.

 

Is no one ever happy when huge cultural changes correct some of these inequities that have plagued many a soul over the years in our past society and let the changes work into everyday life. People like myself and my generation are dying off and many of you are in the following generation that has, to some extent, been enlightened but not wholly approving. The thought that by passing a law or making a pronouncement, like the snap of a finger, will change everyone's mind overnight is unrealistic and naïve, and bizarre.

 

I guess that's enough of a rant for a Saturday morning. :)

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It sounds like some people are trying to separate gender and sex and conflate them at the same time. Gender may may a social construct in the sense that a woman may be capable of anything a man can do, but physiologically a person is born male or female, usually. Some people, like Dave said, just gotta take the argument too far, and sometimes just for the sake of arguing.

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@DaveA what a very very good post. "It now has to be carried to the most extreme edge of the subject." quite so, Dave. IMO, the transgender community are doing themselves absolutely no favours whatsoever, atm, they are just getting everyone's backs up mightily by being SO extreme. There was a lovely man, from Australia originally, I think, who took part in a reality TV show in the UK recently - Shane Jenek - or "Courtney Act" a drag queen by profession [url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtney_Act-[/url] who although not a transgender person, had a really good understanding of all the issues involved. He gently and with good humour explained these to fellow participants and the general public through the medium of TV, everyone loved him and he did the movement a real service. By contrast, there was a totally and utterly obnoxious transgender woman there too, India Willoughby - who did really poorly on the TV show, and IMO, set the transgender movement back by decades by being confrontational, defensive and just plain nasty. Societies attitudes to transgender issues are slowly changing and becoming more open, but militant people who seek to push too far, too soon, are just shooting themselves in the foot. The idea that gender is a social construct is not going to find any purchase even in the most openminded communities, I feel.
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[quote name='Morrigan' timestamp='1521311212']@DaveA what a very very good post. "It now has to be carried to the most extreme edge of the subject." quite so, Dave. IMO, the transgender community are doing themselves absolutely no favours whatsoever, atm, they are just getting everyone's backs up mightily by being SO extreme. There was a lovely man, from Australia originally, I think, who took part in a reality TV show in the UK recently - Shane Jenek - or "Courtney Act" a drag queen by profession [url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtney_Act-[/url] who although not a transgender person, had a really good understanding of all the issues involved. He gently and with good humour explained these to fellow participants and the general public through the medium of TV, everyone loved him and he did the movement a real service. By contrast, there was a totally and utterly obnoxious transgender woman there too, India Willoughby - who did really poorly on the TV show, and IMO, set the transgender movement back by decades by being confrontational, defensive and just plain nasty. Societies attitudes to transgender issues are slowly changing and becoming more open, but militant people who seek to push too far, too soon, are just shooting themselves in the foot. The idea that gender is a social construct is not going to find any purchase even in the most openminded communities, I feel. [/quote] Courtney Act was a participant in RuPaul's Drag Race here, and I found him quite delightful. He was an excellent queen who really really did gender bending quite well, and did disclose that he slept with "straight men" who thought she was a woman. These men were not bothered by what they did, and she made no judgment.

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I would like to point out that there are older members of the LGBTQ community who also do not buy into the "gender is a social construct" theory. My older friends are especially opposed to it and believes that this is all results from a generation of children who grew up in the "everybody wins/everybody has a safe space" territory. I'm never sure if any of that is true because I did not have kids.

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I would like to point out that there are older members of the LGBTQ community who also do not buy into the "gender is a social construct" theory. My older friends are especially opposed to it and believes that this is all results from a generation of children who grew up in the "everybody wins/everybody has a safe space" territory. I'm never sure if any of that is true because I did not have kids.

My daughters certainly do not subscribe to this - I think they are just slightly too old, being 35 and 33. Younger people, ie in their 20s and teens now - seem to be of the snowflake generation who must have a safe space and not have anyone tread on their oh so sensitive little snowflake toes. Winning prizes from kindergarten onwards, just for being there and not doing anything remarkable whatsoever. "GOOD JOB" being said to them for things just as mundane as going to the toilet.

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I find the recent rise of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (terfs) as a vociferous group in society very disturbing and quite sickening. Some people are now devoted to spouting off on social media or other platforms, ridiculing transgender people and telling them why they have no right to exist or to call themselves women or men. I can't fathom why anyone would want to devote so much time and effort into being 'against' something. It's just pure negativity and the ridiculing and accompanying other cruel behaviour, such as 'doxing' (revealing personal details of people who wish to be anonymous online for the purpose of shaming them) is simply bullying. There is a full on war on transgender people being waged on these platforms by terfs. I find the whole thing very shocking.

 

Transgender people in general have followed a tough road and the last thing they need is a group of people shouting at them and laying down the law about their right to exist. There is one particular 'celebrity' person who has become famous by this new way of ridiculing and putting down other people for not conforming to rigid old traditional patterns. It's unkind and unnecessary and you would really wonder about the moral caliber of such a person.

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I find the recent rise of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (terfs) as a vociferous group in society very disturbing and quite sickening. Some people are now devoted to spouting off on social media or other platforms, ridiculing transgender people and telling them why they have no right to exist or to call themselves women or men. I can't fathom why anyone would want to devote so much time and effort into being 'against' something. It's just pure negativity and the ridiculing and accompanying other cruel behaviour, such as 'doxing' (revealing personal details of people who wish to be anonymous online for the purpose of shaming them) is simply bullying. There is a full on war on transgender people being waged on these platforms by terfs. I find the whole thing very shocking.

 

Transgender people in general have followed a tough road and the last thing they need is a group of people shouting at them and laying down the law about their right to exist. There is one particular 'celebrity' person who has become famous by this new way of ridiculing and putting down other people for not conforming to rigid old traditional patterns. It's unkind and unnecessary and you would really wonder about the moral caliber of such a person.

I know that Rupaul Charles, famous for "Rupaul's Drag Race", went on about trans women being on the show. I think he has had some trans competitors in the past, so I'm not getting why he won't allow it.

 

I've watched the CIS v. TG wars on another forum and find it distasteful, and much of the animosity is unnecessary. Women don't lose their gender identity because people are fitting into a body that makes them feel comfortable. I do appreciate that the TG community is making it possible to be more than one kind of woman, ya know?

 

I also know that there are lots of horrible issues with Trans PoC, who are subject to horrible physical violence, on top of the rejection they receive from the larger non-PoC community.

 

Right now, I think we're at the point where people are having to adjust to something new, in the same way that the civil rights movement in the US brought out the crowd who bristled at the idea of equal rights.

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