Carly Believes: Gender

Bed bound with a hangover, so figured “Hey, let’s get political”, so here we are, I’m going to start writing more regularly and stuff that’s palatable for humans to read so hey, I figured why not outline what I believe in a series called “Carly Believes”.

Gender, shall we talk about it? The way in which society places a large dollop of faeces on the face of every person who is born with a vagina, there, I said it. We all grow up with it, it surrounds us, astounds us and becomes an intrinsic part of who we are. It Is ground into us that women and girls behave one way and men and boys behave another, that one holds these specific attributes and the other hold these specific attributes (e.g women and girls being dainty, fragile, emotional, submissive and caring). Gender is intrinsic to society, to business and advertising and to all aspects of how we perform and interact with and around people. For these reasons (and various others) I stand against the continued existence of gender, I believe people should be freed from these constraints to live how they like, without Men being called “Sissy’s” for acting “like Women” and without Women being labelled “butch” or “lesbian” simply for acting “like a Man”. Gender is a box, well arguably two boxes, and I believe wholeheartedly we should stop forcing people into one of these boxes, and that we do it based on their sex is remarkably stupid, it prevents people from achieving their full potential as humans and stifles personality along with enabling the oppression of women by men through limiting.

Expanding upon this we can discuss further details such as the way gender plays into sexuality, how Men who’re homosexual are labelled “queens” and how Women who are homosexual are labelled “like men” or “butch”. I notice gender plays into heterosexuality, we are expected to find attractive the qualities of the opposite sex that are specifically related to gender, for women, prettiness and delicacy rank highly on the list of things men are supposed to find attractive in a woman alongside agree-ability and empathy, where in men women are supposed to like rugged “rough and ready” type men with bulging muscles and wealth. These two things are clearly linked to the way society defines and teaches us to be and the media use this to their advantage, it’s no wonder we live in such a hetero-normative world when through the application of gender we prepare people for it from birth.

The topic of trans people is often brought up when discussing gender, the conflict of definitions between the trans movement and radical feminist theory (in my opinion) hinges on it. There is a lot of discussion of “Gender Identity”, or, one’s internal sense of sex. Radical feminism is directly at odds with this claim as it asserts gender as a harmful social construct designed to subjugate Women that needs to be destroyed and abolished. I agree with radical feminism on this issue, I believe gender should indeed be abolished, but I do not believe that immediately puts it at odds with the continued existence of transsexual people. Gender identity suggests we have an internal mapping of gender, that would suggest that the way Women are socialised to be is innate, this is something I cannot side myself with, I do not believe transsexual people are “Men in Women’s bodies” or vice-versa instead I would have to suggest the cause of transsexuality is unknown, likely residing in cultural conditioning and gender, our minds are impressively open to moulding and that moulding starts occurring at the moment of birth. An interesting thing I see is people declaring insistence on the existence of gender identity because of the existence of trans kids, however these people often seem unwilling to accept that gender-nonconformity =/= transsexuality, and that yes, children that young are sometimes trans, their existence proves not the existence of gender identity but goes a long way to showing how gender influences and shapes us from an early age.

So yeah, I believe we should abolish gender, that it’s harmful and the tool used in the continued subjugation of Women. And I’m not cool with supporting that.

If you want to read a better-written accounts of this stuff there are some awesome articles and blogs out there:

Miranda Yardley wrote a fantastic piece in the Morning Star on the conflict of the trans movement with radical feminism, she’s a brilliant human: www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-cb92-The-conflict-between-feminism-and-the-transgender-movement#.VOSiWPmsWSo she also tumbl’s- http://ommadusk.tumblr.com/

Elizabeth Hungerford’s blog is fantastic, she is fantastic too: www.sexnotgender.com

Dr Aoife Emily Hart has an awesome blog on this stuff, it’s wordy because she’s an intellectual and all that.. but worth a read most absolutely, also she is a truly excellent person: http://aoifeschatology.com/

The blog www.mshellbedlam.blogspot.com is awesome, but sadly on haitus whilst it is re-written, when it’s back I recommend it highly. The woman who writes it is a beautiful human, truly wonderful and also blogs on http://secretlyradical.blogspot.co.uk/ which is totally fantastic too.

There are others out there, https://miriamafloat.wordpress.com/ is wonderful (as is the writer), hunt out the good stuff I recommend it!