Genderless/FULL societies

J (
Sun, 12 Sep 1999 11:11:02 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 11 Sep 1999, Elizabeth Childs wrote:

> either a "girl" box or a "boy" box is alien to me. The people around me
> differ much more between individuals than they do between genders, and I
> think most of the research supports me on that.

I realize you state Cathy Young's article as a big source of information here. However, this is more a sociological commentary than a medical/scientific proof. I am all for looking at things and commenting from a personal perspective, but this isn't exactly hard data. I'm curious what other reading you have done that suggests your theory is correct?

> Do you guys live somewhere with much more rigid gender roles? Just think
> how different your perspectives on women would be if you lived in a
> traditional Middle Eastern country.Perhaps some of your thinking here is
> culturally based.

I would ask the same of you. Simply because you are in Berkeley where you correctly stated everyone is a bit nutty (smile that's a joke ;) how does that somehow give you more or less proof than those the disagree with you? Having a male or female take on the world, isn't about where you live or even the society you grow up in. I openly admit that our environment does play some part in our reactions but no more so than anyone allows it to do so.

Is it possible by your simple desire to not want to see gender as "boy" and "girl" boxes that you find answers for it? This is a very human attribute. We all want data that supports our claim. The ideal though is to want the truth more than you want to support your theories. I'm not necessarily accusing you of this, but is it possible at all that you simply find it offensive that people would suggest girl and boy dichotomies, and based on the idea (for whatever reason) you have reached conclusions that don't necessarily match with what is really being shown?

> that yes, there are some differences between men and women, but that the
> differences between individuals are greater:

I think this is an odd statement. There is no doubt in my mind that if you go from stereotype to individual you ARE going to find great differences. I don't think anyone here would debate that fact with you. However, I also do not think those that might be differing from your opinion are necessarily suggesting otherwise either. To my understanding, everyone agrees with you on this point.

The questions that always come to mind in these kinds of discussions are:

Why would it be wrong if there were boy and girl boxes? What is the negative that comes about if we consider male and females truly different creatures in thought, emotion, and physical structure? Why is it a negative to enhance the understanding of the differences in sexes to better learn to relate, rather than claim some sort of equilibrium?

For whatever reasons (right/wrong/indifferent) gender is part of each human. It isn't just about the sex organs, it is about a feeling of "manhood" or "womanhood." We do go about life with different agendas and strategies. Yes, we are all human, but male and female human take on complex and differing patterns. We can wish at times to diminish these differences but for whatever purpose evolution decided it was currently important. I think I much rather take the information that exists and figure it out, than try to come up with reasons for why it is wrong. There is a purpose for genders beyond reproduction, the key is to figure it out.

Challenge me!

                       "Dum Spiro, Spero" -- Unknown