• darthbarracuda
    3k
    Gender is not the same as sex. A person can be male, female, hermaphroditic, or asexual. Sex is an important distinguishing factor for many occupations - a five foot, one-hundred pound female cannot be expected to be a Navy SEAL or provide adequate CPR, for example. I do believe that in terms of flexibility of employment, males have it better off. They are just able to do more with their size and strength.

    But instead of getting all worked up about who's what and what's legitimate, we should just get rid of genders entirely. Enough of all this "gender-fluidity" bullshit - you want to identify as a man, a woman, a transgender, or a tree then go ahead and identify as whatever you want to identify as. Nobody should care that much, and we shouldn't try to put a label on everyone. Genders have become a symptom of special snowflake syndrome. Just get rid of gender entirely and call yourself a human being who has a certain genitalia.

    I feel like this would remove confusion and drama and also lead to a much more open society in which roles are not placed upon anyone, and labels aren't used as a reactionary device.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    435
    I sort of agree with you, but only in parts.

    The off topic bit about Navy Seals... well I was recruited back in the day (age 21), as I on the smaller side, 174cm/62kg. Bulk is not always an advantage. I was faster, had better endurance, a far great strength to weight ratio and managed to break a record that stood for 9 years on the military obstacle course in my first attempt without any training for it. I placed a bet with my military friends that I'd could beat them; thus I had the opportunity and the subsequent offer.

    In short, be careful about hasty assumptions...

    ... now back to the issue.

    Nobody should care that much, and we shouldn't try to put a label on everyone.darthbarracuda

    It's not that we should not care that much or not place a label on such things. Indeed if the person is at all of interest or of we at all care about them, such an aspect of their person may well be worth knowing and identification of such an aspect is key in understanding them.

    The issue is not the placing of a label. The real issue has to do with all the connotations attributed or (falsely) associated with such a label.

    Humans are more than their sex or gender or job or haircut.

    One might well be better served as to not view others in such narrow understanding founded upon a few cherry picked characteristics one notices about another person or is perhaps only open to take notice of; thus it is the connotation that leads to the problem and not really the label itself.

    Why not take it further than say "I'm a human being"?

    That is a label of distinction from other primates; thus a set of connotations could possibly arise. This might lead one to simply believe that by being another primate a whole host of character traits MUST be in play. Same goes for human beings, that this label, if the connotations are thrust upon it, suddenly tells us more about the human being than just the indication of distinction for another primate according to biological categorization.

    Gender is not something we need to ignore. Gender is something that we should take note of as a small part of a complete person. The label is fine, but the connotations might not be fine.

    Here's a non-sequitur sequitur regarding such short-sighted snobbery:



    Meow!

    GREG
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    I do believe that in terms of flexibility of employment, males have it better off. They are just able to do more with their size and strength.darthbarracuda

    There is perhaps not as much support for this idea as you or I might like. In many regions of the world, women perform a lot of heavy labor--construction, manufacturing, agriculture, carrying water, etc. It is true that men, on average, have larger skeletons and larger muscles, and this is an advantage for performing heavy labor, but it isn't an absolute differentiator in ordinary work situations.

    In an unindustrialized world where there are no machines, male size and muscle mass is more of an work advantage, but that isn't the world we live in now.

    But instead of getting all worked up about who's what and what's legitimate, we should just get rid of genders entirely. Enough of all this "gender-fluidity" bullshit - you want to identify as a man, a woman, a transgender, or a tree then go ahead and identify as whatever you want to identify as. Nobody should care that much, and we shouldn't try to put a label on everyone. Genders have become a symptom of special snowflake syndrome. Just get rid of gender entirely and call yourself a human being who has a certain genitalia.darthbarracuda

    I'm as tired as you are of gender fluidity bullshit and special snowflake syndromes. Both of them are luxury goods that wealthy, reasonably peaceful societies can afford and enjoy. People living close to the edge of survival can't screw around with this sort of stuff.

    That said, our pandemic of narcissism which is amplified by social media (and leads to blizzards of special snowflakes) doesn't seem to be abating. Stable gender definitions are useful organizing tools for individuals and societies.

    I feel like this would remove confusion and drama and also lead to a much more open society in which roles are not placed upon anyone, and labels aren't used as a reactionary device.darthbarracuda

    What causes confusion is gender fluidity, not gender stability. Another confusing tactic is misapplying terms. For instance, being "anti-military" isn't a gender issue, even if a lot of men and women are pro-military.

    Being part of the gay community since the late 1960s, I have been in a position to observe some of this increasing fluidity first hand. In the beginning, it was gay liberation for gay men and gay women. Then it became gay and lesbian liberation. Then gay, lesbian, and bisexual liberation. (Transvestites -- aka drag queens -- were a theatrical concept more than gender definition.) Then gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender liberation, transgender taking on a very broad definition. At this point I guess it is GLBTQ + anything someone wants to tack on. All this happened over just a few years, pleasing some people and dismaying others.

    A lot of this hyper-differentiation comes out of a kind of academic marxism which is obsessed with difference. Obviously, the gay community was a more likely place for all this to play out than your average Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce.

    What strikes me is that most people stick to the basic gender definitions. The number of people who are actively involved in gender change (transitive) is very small. The business of separate sanitary accommodation for trans-persons is a tempest in a toilet bowl. There just aren't that many, and there aren't likely to be that many.

    The small number of actual transgendered persons doesn't prevent a lot of special fluid snowflakes from fastening on to the issue as if it was equivalent to WWIII.

    My solution has been to turn over, tune out and turn off most of this very peripheral, epiphenomenal crap.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    They are for grammar, which I find important.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    How do you think gendering words began (back in the unmapped mists of long ago)?

    Here's a bit of a lesson on American Sign Language -- how is gender expressed? Now, it makes sense that man, woman, aunt, and uncle are expressed with gender, since they have different gonads and roles. But a frying pan? A shotgun? A carrot? A knothole? In some languages gendered words are as thick as hairs on a golden retriever. Why? What function did this serve, once upon a time?

    SELECT SUBTITLES IN OPTIONS

  • Hanover
    5.7k
    Gender words have nothing to do with communication, as it's clear that we all sufficiently communicated long before anyone objected to certain words being used. Prescriptive language, whether it be in the prescribed format of speech or the substantive meaning of words, all suffers from the same problems, namely that it elevates certain words over others and it artificially creates an etiquette onto speech instead of allowing it to naturally evolve through the speakers.

    Sure, we all know that certain words are derogatory and words that once were not might become so, but that doesn't permit a particular person or group to just sort of demand that certain words not be spoken because they are derogatory to him (or her). I get that I'm no longer permitted to call out of wedlock children bastard children despite it being accurate and to the point, but since we as a society have evolved away from depriving bastards of ordinary rights due to their impure existence, it no longer makes sense within our community of speakers to continue to use that term except as a general personal attack.

    The point is that we're annoyed when we're told (i.e. prescribed) a particular way we are to speak because no one has the right to tell us what we actually mean when we use certain words. I know that when I call Sally "she," I mean she has a vagina and nothing more. I don't mean that her struggles with her sexuality are unimportant or should be subject to ridicule. The fact that Sally is offended because I've not adopted Sally Speech is a Sally problem, not a Hanover problem. However, I will concede, at some point if Sally Speech becomes English, then I can either choose to confuse everyone (and likely offend everyone) with outdated Hanover Speech or I can get with the program and speak English.

    At this point, Sally Speech is not English. It's just annoying.
  • darthbarracuda
    3k
    The point is that we're annoyed when we're told (i.e. prescribed) a particular way we are to speak because no one has the right to tell us what we actually mean when we use certain words. I know that when I call Sally "she," I mean she has a vagina and nothing more. I don't mean that her struggles with her sexuality are unimportant or should be subject to ridicule. The fact that Sally is offended because I've not adopted Sally Speech is a Sally problem, not a Hanover problem. However, I will concede, at some point if Sally Speech becomes English, then I can either choose to confuse everyone (and likely offend everyone) with outdated Hanover Speech or I can get with the program and speak English.

    At this point, Sally Speech is not English. It's just annoying.
    Hanover

    (Y) (Y) (Y)
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    I just came across this recently, and it strikes me as topical: https://medium.com/@jencoates/i-am-a-transwoman-i-am-in-the-closet-i-am-not-coming-out-4c2dd1907e42#.wg4l9x8m9

    I would say that "getting rid of genders entirely" isn't possible because many people feel they are strongly one particular gender. If one feels that way, then what would it mean to "get rid of genders"? To just not speak about what you feel?
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    Gender is a social construct, but it is a real social construct, that is you can't just wish it away. It is real, and it changes over time, which is why, I think at least in US, the civil acceptance of Gay marriage was important. Enabling the 'legitimization' of Gay marriage confers legal and social rights, and ultimately societal expectations for Gay couples. It may take decades for these societal expectations to
    become 'real', not questioned but assumed in the same way that other societal roles are real, in my opinion.
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    3.8k
    Genders have become a symptom of special snowflake syndrome. Just get rid of gender entirely and call yourself a human being who has a certain genitalia.darthbarracuda

    Let me just say that I for one, as a woman, consider myself a "special snowflake" regardless of what others think. O:)
    MY Gender, issued by my creator (whomever that is) when I was conceived or shortly after that and that has allowed ME the choice to procreate if I so chose. (L)
    So to suggest that we just "get rid of gender entirely" might have a few unintended consequences. :s
  • Wosret
    3.2k
    Yeah, and todays economy is all about lifting, throwing and smashing... thankfully my occupation is...

    Back in the day, when most everyone were rural, and actually owned things of value, they used to say that city folk talked for a living. More and more people are city folk, and communication is more versatile than being a beast is these days.

    I see that you have solved this crisis though... I'll go off and spread the word.
  • mcdoodle
    1k
    I'm as tired as you are of gender fluidity bullshit and special snowflake syndromes. Both of them are luxury goods that wealthy, reasonably peaceful societies can afford and enjoy. People living close to the edge of survival can't screw around with this sort of stuff.Bitter Crank

    There are many other countries with many other cultures that grapple with the same issues, and indeed, have been more accepting than the puritanical West. I'm not convinced that this is a first world problem as you imply. The position of hijra in the Indian sub-continent, for instance, or kathoey in Thaiiland, or travestis in South America, these are all examples of sub-groups wanting to express themselves as of different gender, and the wider society coming to terms with those views.

    I'm not clear why we would want, as the op seems to argue, to wish away designations that some people very much want to apply to themselves. What's wrong with being accepting and mutually tolerant and getting back to discussing problems that are harder to solve than this one?
  • Hanover
    5.7k
    Back in the day, when most everyone were rural, and actually owned things of value, they used to say that city folk talked for a living. More and more people are city folk, and communication is more versatile than being a beast is these days.Wosret

    I am both a beast and talkative, thus representing a new breed of person: versatile, intelligent, charming, powerful, and overflowing with kindness. I also live right on the cusp of rural and urban, with one shoeless foot planted in the mud and the other adorned in a shoe of magnificent tassel planted on the finest Italian marble.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    Identity is violence.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    Identity is violence.

    I think "like knows like", and that ' in difference there is violence'
  • Elif
    1
    Enough of all this "gender-fluidity" bullshit - you want to identify as a man, a woman, a transgender, or a tree then go ahead and identify as whatever you want to identify as. Nobody should care that much, and we shouldn't try to put a label on everyone. Genders have become a symptom of special snowflake syndrome. Just get rid of gender entirely and call yourself a human being who has a certain genitalia.darthbarracuda

    So the social construction of gender is based on the idea of binary. There are men and women. Men have a penis and women have vagina. However, as we know it is definitely more difficult than that. There are more than enough people who simply don't identify themselves with their biological gender.
    Another problem is that you don't just simply accept the biological gender for what it is, you interpret it. Over the centuries certain images of the genders have therefore been established. Women according to this have certain characteristics whereas men have others.
    If it weren't for the gender binary there wouldn't be transgender people. Same goes for all sort of gender identities that go beyond male and female. Gender fluid people in particular either don't feel like any of those characteristics are bound to their gender identity or one day their identity resembles the characteristics of a certain gender more than the other.
    Saying that gender fluidity is nothing more than a person trying to be cool, or trying to be a special snowflake is simply obnoxious. Because it is denying the problems that come with being gender fluid or any gender identity other than male and female. It can be difficult and can lead to a existential crisis, mental health issues, being bullied, ...
    The problem is that you can not get rid of gender but you can try to understand that there is more to the gender spectrum than male and female and accept a person's identity even if it is seemingly very obvious that someone is just trying to be cool.

    And why would you want to stop thinking about gender? It is certainly a very important topic of our time since it reflects the human race with its history, science, philosophy and language
  • unenlightened
    5k
    Try some old wisdom. The oldest book. Am I going off topic with talk of yin and yang?

    http://www.downloads.imune.net/medicalbooks/I%20Ching%20-%20Introduction.pdf

    "But the yi the title of the book points to is not primarily the regular change involved in the cycle of day and night, in the succession of the seasons or in the organic growth of living things. Yi refers in the first place to unpredictable change. We find an expressive description of it in another classic, the Shu Jing, Book of Documents:
    When in years, months and days the season has no yi, the hundred cereals ripen, the administration is enlightened, talented men of the people are distinguished, the house is peaceful and at ease. When in days, months and years the season has yi, the hundred cereals do not ripen, the administration is dark and unenlightened, talented men of the people are in petty positions, the house is not at peace.1
    We have yi when things are off track, when chaos irrupts into our life and the usual bearings no longer suffice for orientation. We all know that such times can be very fertile – and extremely painful, disconcerting and full of anxiety. Modern chaos theory pays particular attention to these murky transitions, by which forms transmute into each other. Life itself arises at the boundary between order and chaos: it requires both, it is a daughter of both. On the side of perfect order there is only dead stability, inertia, symmetry, thermodynamic equilibrium. Nothing very interesting can happen there: everything is too predictable, it resembles death more than life. But the side of total disorder is not very interesting either: forms appear and disappear too quickly, there is a total lack of symmetry, everything is too unpredictable. It is on the edge between order and chaos that the subtle dance of life takes place: here the real complexity arises, here forms bend and loop and transmute and evolve."

    I particularly like this bit : " ... the administration is dark and unenlightened, talented men of the people are in petty positions ..." Who's this 'dark' character though?
  • S
    11.8k
    Like others have said, realistically, getting rid of genders entirely isn't going to happen, even if you really wish it would. But I agree with the sentiment of your post. Gender associations aren't as relevant or necessary as we tend to consider them. We have come a long way and made much progress with regards to offensive and oppressive views, laws and social norms, relating to gender discrimination, but I suspect that there will always be gender stereotypes of some form or other, and it isn't always such a big deal. So, we should continue to speak ought against sexism and other types of harmful discrimination, and should treat others with the respect that they deserve, but at the same time, lets not get too carried away and go mad over trivialities and political correctness.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.2k
    Gender isn't a social construct. It's an evolutionary construct and is part of the reason organisms engage in particular social behaviors (like courtship, sex and rearing offspring). It is the primary catalyst for the differences in behavior of the different genders, with females bearing a majority of the weight of rearing the children, which can make them more picky about choosing a mate, which makes the male to have to come with unique ways of courting the females (fighting other males, showing off their plummage, etc.)

    The rules we apply to different genders are social constructs, not the actual genders of organisms, not the behaviors that naturally evolve from species with different genders. It should also be mentioned that species with different genders provide an evolutionary advantage over those with only one gender.

    The need to eliminate gender language from society is based on some inadequate self-perceptions that people have of themselves. Their perception of certain normal words have been warped to offend them. If most people aren't offended and only some are, then where do you think the issue is? Maybe we should be looking at the few who are offended and really try to get at the root of reasons they are offended by such language.
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