Trans refutes gender as social construct

“I love you,” she said.

“That’s what you’re for,” I said.

It was my niece, who had not started school, who went through a phase of telling adult relatives repeatedly “I love you”. She has grown up caring with good emotional intelligence.

If women are formed to be feminine, and men masculine, by nurture, subtle clues, and social enforcement, how come did it not work on us? The old response that feminine men are ill, “inverts”, because of an absent father and overbearing mother, relied on an idea that men really were supposed to be masculine, but increasingly people don’t accept an ideal nature, to which people should aspire, separate from the actual nature people actually have. I can’t aspire to be different. I tried. I can only shut down aspects of myself; so I aspire to fully realise all those aspects.

People benefit if they fit the stereotypes. They are clearly harmful for women. Consider Mrs Clinton, portrayed both as not proper leadership material- because of her femininity- yet nasty, when she did not conform. She loses both ways. What I have read- stuff off the internet, not an organised course of study- has mostly been about women’s oppression. Some goes too far. I read that BDSM is wrong, because men dominate women. Even in “femdom” the sub is really in control. Is it completely impossible, I wonder, for women of their own free will to indulge in kink? If they believe they do, are they in error?

I know men are restricted. If some feel that it is better to express themselves as women than as men, the motivation for such a drastic step is severe restriction. It makes sense to me that we are not a class apart, the “transsexual”, but the end of a spectrum of men more or less restricted by male stereotype- either because they really do not conform, or because they particularly care about it. Men are oppressed, women are oppressed, and I will not speculate on whose oppression is more painful, restrictive or damaging. From the point of view of earning money, women’s oppression is clearly worse, but earning money is not the sole measure of fulfilment.

That the social control to create conformity does not work on a number of people does not mean it is not there. Our suffering indicates there is that pervasive social control. Without it, we would be free.

There is social control. It does not fit people, and we suffer because of it- perhaps a majority of people suffer to some degree. Carl Rogers argued everyone suffered: there are shadow parts to each person which that person cannot acknowledge.

What is the answer? Society should be organised in the interests of all, not just the powerful, so that everyone can reach their potential. Of course, I have no idea how. But trans demonstrates that the social construct does not fit humans, and does not benefit humans.

giulio-aristide-sartorio-the-siren

2 thoughts on “Trans refutes gender as social construct

  1. I grew up in a very egalitarian family and all forms of gender stereotyping was ignored. In fact if I look back on it, I realise that this was to a large degree the way it was for most of the whānau. Apart from the fact that girls were allowed to wear dresses and jewellery and boys were discouraged from doing so I’m not sure what other restrictions were put on either gender. I would have been into my mid to late teens before I realised that my family was not quite typical in this respect. I possibly recognised this later than my siblings and cousins due to being on the autism spectrum, and the sudden change in behaviour of some of my siblings and cousins to conform to social stereotypes was baffling and confusing to me.

    In this respect, the changes in the girls were more significant than the boys, but it was some time before I realised that the changes were mostly “cosmetic”, and later I have come to realise this was in much the same way that I put on an act in public to appear neurotypical.

    I am far from convinced that humankind is binary when it comes to gender identity. As groups there seems to be differences between the sexes (whether by nature or nurture I’m unsure), but at an individual level there are too many variations and too many individuals that don’t comfortably fit the stereotypes. An ideal society should reflect the make up of all its members, not just a narrow sector. We are getting better, but have a long way to go.

    Liked by 3 people

    • For me the act was more important than anything else, and was unconscious, as I had to fool myself as well as others. So the act became unbearable, and now concealment is difficult for me. I can see it might be advantageous. I did have the experience just after transition of a man telling me a story of his brilliance, and feeling that I could cap it, but was happier just making admiring noises. I can imagine women chafing under such restriction. Interesting word, “whanau”. Thank goodness for the search box. “Extended family”. Certainly, presenting female I felt freed to be more me.

      Liked by 1 person

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