time to put on my serious face.
. . .
Now, something that feels slightly important to me came to mind during my Philosophy and Gender Theory class (great class by the by 12.5/10) about the trouble of gender. When I mention the trouble of gender, I refer to Judith Butler’s work Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990). Within the first chapter, there is discussion on Sex (the allegedly biological aspect of identity) and Gender (the alleged social construed aspect of identity). She makes the claim that sex is also a constructed concept.
Shocking, I know.
Is it though?
A sexed body without gender does not appear to be anything but a body. Without the other, one cannot be made distinct. Gender is made to be something performative and this is a consequence of the fact that sex too was the primary performative.
One then argues “brain chemistry and hemispheres and blah blah BLAH”. There are trends between binaristic categories of “male” and “female”, sure, but if these were an absolute and all-encompassing thing, then it would be true for ALL “male” and ALL “female”. It is not, believe it or not.
Then we get into the problem with the term feminism. Can feminism be feminism without the feminine if femininity is constructed by society? Well…yes(?).
Feminism is different for all peoples, and it depends on the subjective goal of the individual feminist. For example, my definition is the total equality of all genders in all social aspects (economical, political, societal, and racial). Then some would ask “why not all sexes too?” I’d say, sure why not? It does no harm. Inclusion is necessity for equality!
We then get into problems in trying to change “the gender game”. A game has been made with some pretty strict-ass rules. Man and Woman. That is all. Non-Binary and Intersex identities provide what is called “trouble” for this game. The game cannot be changed and any attempt to change the game leads to backlash. The ones who win out in the game have the most to lose.
It’s a bunch of fuckin trouble for the winners.
What’s even more troubling is the concept of being born as a genderless entity, which current BRAIN science is trying to prove: technically, the study at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science made the claim (with evidence) stating that there’s no difference in the hippocampus in regards to sex. (for those asking “…source?”, there’s this article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/rfuo-mbd102915.php ; also, Dr. Lise Elliot, who headed this experiment, has a book called Pink Brain, Blue Brain where she discusses the false gendered differences). It’s not too hard (what with the lack of difference in the corpus callosum or in hemispheric interpretation of language) to then make the leap that children are born without gender.
“But they are born with the fibbly bits between their legs! they are THIS sex!”
that’s a point there.
an inappropriate point that demeans a person down to basic anatomical structure…
but a point nonetheless.
If we are to believe the concept of gender performativity (humor this for a second), then there is no gendered essence and the sex binary is a consequence of a perceived gendered essence that was socially constructed as an attempt to reconcile what we know about ourselves. With science (somewhat) backing this assertion, it’s not the largest logical leap to state that we are beings initially devoid of gender having gender (and sex) forced upon us by virtue of a society that requires everything to be neat and tidy.
I mentioned this earlier. In the very beginning. I literally started off with this. (it’s in the first big paragraph). Circular argument? I dont know. The circular part is having to explain the concept of performativity over and over again.
I’m not trying to lay my hand out saying I’m a total believer in the philosophy, but it does leave an impression with me and helps me understand how I feel about myself and my identity more. For others, it’s confusing. That’s okay.
We must find the least confusing way to best express ourselves.
I feel as if I am above and beyond the binary; my identity floating above the confining constructs.
How about you?
Vynne, the Enraged Enby.