Guest post: Sex is still real. Gender is still bullshit.

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Fake confusion.

The truth is that sex and gender aren’t so easily divided.

Sure they are. Sex is real, gender is bullshit. But if you’re being paid by the word, succinctness is a liability. Stirring the pot and feigning bafflement is more lucrative.

One appears to be grounded in hard biological facts, while the other rests on the seemingly slippery notion of identity.

One is grounded in hard biological facts, and the other on social structures intended to restrict the sexes (particularly women) in what they may or may not do. It might very well be true that most, if not all cultures have had socially enforced sexual divisions of labour, but the labour apportioned to each sex as their “natural” lot varied from culture to culture. Warfare and hunting might be the closest you might come to finding a universally “male” occupation (via many of the same rmale physiological advantages that have, until recently, barred men from women’s sports), but even then there have been exceptions to this “rule.” (Hi Joan!) With other trades and occupations, it’s not so easy. Weaving, pottery, healing, farming, and fishing might be practiced solely by one sex in a given society, but there would be no way to determine in advance, based on the activity alone, which sex, without visiting. With these trades and pursuits, there’s nothing apart from tradition, social convention or taboo, that preferentially bars or favours one sex over another in their practice. In our own society, there was never anything other than the unjust, wasteful enforcement of restrictive, gendered sex-roles that prevented women from being pilots, surgeons, astronauts or bank managers. Or from even voting. Sure, there were “arguments” and “reasons,” but if any of them had been true, then women would have turned out to have been incapable of doing these things because of their “lady brains.” We still have a long way to go to fully liberate the wasted human potential of the female half of Earth’s human inhabitants.

That some people embrace and internalize those wasteful, destructive, sexist social strictures, reifying them into something that they call “gender identity,” does not actually make the definition of the sexes any more difficult or problematic than it was until very recently. Nor does it make “gender” any more “real” than it was when it was the pretext for the enforcement of confining, stereotypical, sex-role pigeonholes. Sex is still real. Gender is still bullshit. Does Shavisi not see the irony and contradiction inherent in trans-identified-males wielding stereotypical male entitlement and aggression in their demands that everyone recognize, respect, and validate their “lady brains?”

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