Re: Sex Change

Kathryn Aegis (
Sun, 27 Jul 1997 07:41:10 +0000

Steve Witham:
>Yes, but why? "Want" is just a shorthand. The question is, *why*, in
>your opinion, it's in the interests of "social institutions" (and, as Robin
>points out, you seem to mean *all* of them--baseball, trade, the word
>"the," etc.)

I do not think that Robin was asking me the question in these terms,
as he understands that we are talking about social institutions in
terms of sociology, which refers to specific complex structures that
exist in a broader sense than those you mention.

>.. to conceal rather than reveal their own constructions?

I already explained this, in a paragraph that I worried might offend
Robin, as it explained Basics.

>Why don't they benefit by being up-front and above-board instead? Why
>don't they benefit by actively *encouraging* exploration of and challenge
>to their constructions? Isn't criticism helpful? Isn't openness good
>publicity? At least in some cases?

In comparing individual agents with the societal structures they live
within, you miss the important factor that social institutions do not
necessarily exist for the benefit of individual development and often
work against it. Social institutions exist to form order, and to
allocate benefits and responsibilities. This is not a personal
argument, it is one of the beginning tenets of sociology, and also
political science. If this subject interests you, and from the
questions you ask, I think that it does, I recommend looking up a
good basic text. Many libertarian writers get into these questions
as well.


Kathryn Aegis