Gender is not “just a state of mind.” Having a gender is not like having a favorite color or a preferred meal option on an international flight. Gender is a structure that orders society and behavior. It is something that we all rely on to understand how to navigate the world and interact with others. Gender is as real and concrete as monetary value. Or national borders. Or basic conventions of language. Just because these things are not physical does not make them any less real or any less important to structuring human life and allowing us to be in the world.

To attempt to dismantle gender identification will only cause confusion and a lot of anxiety and misplaced expectations for everyone, including those pushing for these changes. After all, to be “non-gendered” or “non-binary,” etc., only makes sense if a gender binary actually exists. The “alternative” gender identities are defined with respect to the dominant male-female gender structure, so to undermine those categories is to simultaneously undermine the alternative to it.

What a mess.

 

Gender is not "just a state of mind." Having a gender is not like having a favorite color or a preferred meal option on…

Posted by Daniel Haqiqatjou on Monday, September 19, 2016

Daniel Haqiqatjou

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