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CHAT was Re: Gender

From:Kenji Schwarz <schwarz@...>
Date:Friday, October 23, 1998, 21:08
On Fri, 23 Oct 1998, Raymond A. Brown wrote:

> And those who discuss gender differences are concerned with whole socially > constructed categories that may have little or no real connexion with > biological sex. Indeed, without wishing to be at all contentious, it seems > to me that one could have a contact who is biological 'male'but socially > 'feminine', and likewise a socially 'masculine' contact who is biologically > 'female'.
I'm one of the latter, and a couple members of this list have had contact with me. When I've had my act together enough to show up (sorry again, listowner). Even folks who know my biological sex (my doctor, for example) generally find it difficult to use feminine-gender pronouns to refer to me.
> ...and 'war of the sexes' may also be heard in English. Indeed, it's my > understanding (possibly wrong) that those actually concerned with "gender > issues" in the socialogical sense are generally of the opinion that sex > difference is an accident of birth & doesn't count for much, except in > purely biological terms, and that the 'war of the sexes' is a needless > state of affairs brought about by macho patriarchal society. Indeed, I > basically agree with that.
To meander entirely off-topic, I think _activists_ might take something like this approach (though blaming 'macho patriarchy' seems long since passe), but most students/scholars of gender allow for biology to have a more significan sociological role than that. (Of course, the whole idea of biology as an objective, value-neutral disinterested truth-machine is contestable...) Kenji Schwarz