Ideals

A poster said she didn’t feel she was trapped in the wrong body, rather she liked her body and just wanted to show it off the way she wanted to.  She felt “both sexes should play by the same rules”
I replied:

The social system of gender, based on human reproductive dimorphism, has been shaped over thousands of years.

While I have issues with heterosexist, binary gender, compulsory based only on birth genitalia, that kind of gender has only really been present in human cultures who are focused on maximizing reproductive rates, harnessing all females into breeding and all males into supporting that breeding effort.  You know, the kind of gender Roman Catholic priests thought would expand the range of the church fastest.

Lots of other human cultures have had a wider range of gender roles, not just tied to breeding biology.  More than two genders.

I like gender.  I like having a role that includes responsibilities and privileges.  I like the spark of different, people coming together with somewhat defined roles, interacting and functioning.

“Both sexes playing by the same rules,” well, that doesn’t make much sense to me.  I do think that rights should be equal for all, but rules for roles?  However much they cover the same ground, moms are different than dads, and in the end, that helps everyone.

Gender being based on the contents of our character rather than the shape of our crotch, well, that makes lots of sense to me.   Only two moments in being a mom, two moments spaced nine months apart, actually require a vagina.  The next twenty, thirty or forty years, well, they require a big mom heart and not a big mom crotch, and lots more hard work.  Lots of moms even raise children who did not come from their own loins.

I believe in the power of gender.    I believe in the power of gender past heterosexist expectations that the phrase “both sexes” has some sort of deep essential meaning.

Transgender, well, yes.  It’s an individual journey beyond the expectations impressed upon our sexed body, the compulsory obligations that so many think are inherent in bits of flesh, rather than being conventions that are taught and learned.

We get to step beyond compulsory gender to personal expression, but in the end, wouldn’t most of us rather be able to have a gender role where we fit, where we felt seen & respected, where we contributed our gifts and they were accepted gladly, and we didn’t have to get trapped in trying to lie about our birth sex or lie about our heart, like we do in binary, heterosexist culture, where birth genitals count too damn much?

I do want society to play fair for all humans, but I also want to have a system of communication that allows different expression, different rules, different obligations and different privileges to be in play building strong and diverse communities.   Someplace where birth sex isn’t the only marker of “truth” and people get to be all they can be, and have their offerings valued.

But that’s just me, eh?

One thought on “Ideals”

  1. A followup, and my response:

    > Great point!
    >
    > Love my body, just wish I could wear the clothes I like!
    >
    > :giggle:

    Great. But how do you want to be seen in those clothes? As a man in a dress? As a woman? As being playful? How?

    I think that by this time we have proven that anyone can wear what they like.

    The challenge is wearing what you like AND getting what you need in society: respect, a job, a relationship, whatever.

    Getting what you want requires that other people see and understand your choices, get how you want to be seen, how you will respond, how you connect and so on. Gender expression is a form of advertising, telling people who we are, how we are trained, what we are like, and what to expect from me.

    You can wear what you like, but how do you want to be seen and understood in those clothes?

    And how do you suggest you can get what you need from others in community in being that person?

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