On Gender Abolition
So a few people have been wondering why it is that I go after the idea of gender abolition.
There are many reasons, but the chief one is that it is used as a tool by people who do not actually care about it to attack, defame, and justify violence against trans people while seeming “decent” despite their hate speech.
Which will strike some folks as pretty sad, given that it is also many other really nasty things.
Nevertheless, Let’s look at these claims regarding gender abolition and why it is so wrong.
They are not trying to Abolish Gender
They aren’t. They admit it, as well, but they do not realize they are admitting it.
When confronted, what they mean when they say gender abolition is the abolition of Gender Roles (and sometimes Gender Behaviors and Gender Expressions). You have to wheedle this out of them, because they will describe these three distinct parts of gender as if they are all one thing.
They are not the same thing, nor are they one thing. They are parts of gender, so what they really want to get rid of are parts of gender.
They do not want to get rid of the language issues. They do not want to get rid of the way we gender objects by declaring them male or female (the action of saying that something is “male” or “female” is an act of applying a gendered concept, and therefore using gender).
Now, the argument they will often use in defense of their statements is that they are arguing it from a feminist perspective. In this perspective, it explicitly excludes biological aspects – so referencing any sort of social construction relating to biology (such as saying that then only sex would be left) is in direct contravention to this idea, since the social constructions themselves are part of the social conventions and structures that are part of Gender.
I have already pointed out on several occasions that they do not understand what a social construct is, and that they do not understand what Gender is,so I won’t go into more depth on that at this time – unless I get a wild hair and decide to make another combo post.
But their not realizing that Gender is composed of multiple, distinct parts is part of the flaw int heir thinking, and is a holdover from a very ciscentric and limited way of thought that is influenced by their hostility towards trans people.
If you are going to Abolish Gender, you need to abolish all of it, otherwise, you are not going to achieve your goal, since all of these parts – language, “biology”, expressions, behaviors, etc –are all interdependent.
They treat it as an academic exercise without consequence
Inevitably, they use the phrasing and idea in order to gain credibility among their in-group, without consideration for what it really is. When they do consider it, they apply it as a kind of mental exercise that is purely academic, without regards to the harm it would cause – their focus is on the outcome, and not the way they would achieve it.
The outcome they invariably arrive at is that the world would be a better place, so that the exercise really looks like this:
Say we will abolish gender.
The world is better!
If you don’t believe me, ask them how they plan to achieve that stuff in the middle.
For them, this is little more than an academic exercise, not something they honestly expect to ever achieve, so it becomes strictly a rhetorical tool by which they further the oppression and harm of trans people.
Occasionally one of them will say that they would hope that people would see the benefit and change for the better peacefully – which is mighty naive and incredibly juvenile of them to think, akin to the way they often criticize pageant contestants and the “world peace” answer.
How would you convince them?
Are you going to use the culture you live in which has only the most superficial connections to their cultural ways of seeing gender?
How are you going to deal with cultures where gender is defined by what you do, instead of your anatomy?
and so forth.
In the end, this brings us to the next problem:
The idea is based on Western concepts of Gender
The arguments around the value and benefit of getting rid of gender all surround a couple of different aspects. The most overtly hostile to trans people one is the one they use to make it seem like they are being supportive: without gender, you wouldn’t have to transition!
It sounds best if you say it in a breathy, child like voice.
But the more serious aspects of it are that it is based on western concepts of gender and the way that gender in western society is structured around genitals and secondary sex characteristics.
This classification of people is not a universal one for gender. THere are some that classify someone’s gender entirely on what they do (the interests and activities they enjoy), and some do it using a blended form of both the physical and the activity.
By which I mean that they choices you are allowed later in your life through the socialization of you as a person into that culture are going to be based on what you enjoy, on your gentials (as they are in the US) or on a combination of both.
Western gender roles proceed from the designation, whereas other systems designate sex according to the gender roles. It is the reverse, much like how most Americans find the Japanese system of house numbering to be incredibly confusing.
And all of which ignores that gender is a suppositional concept – it is based on the implication of genitalia, and signified in multiple ways that are entirely based on the cultural norms of that society.
To achieve their goal, they must destroy other cultures
Getting back to that question mark, they seem to think that somehow this one thing will overcome all the other social aspects of differing culturals and varying identities, and magically change the world for the better. Yet if you say to them they are engaging in magical thinking (literally) then they get defensive and deny it, and so you have to take them at face value if you are acting in good faith and that means they are willing to engage in the western notion of manifest destiny and righteous propriety and actively colonize and override and in the end force entire other groups of people who have very different ideas of gender and propriety and destroy those cultures.
If family is the building block of a society, then gender is the building block of family. That is how deep it lies within a given culture – at the root, as they note and claim, and what that means is that in attacking it, the ripples throughout that culture and society will, ultimately, destroy it.
It will no longer be the culture and society that it was. There are real world parallels for this activity, most notably in the treatment of the indigenous populations of many different nations. I live just off a main street named Indian School Road, and the connotations to me as a Lakota, and to the people here who are Navajo, Hopi, Apache, and more and who were stripped out of their homes in order to teach them a new way of thinking has had incredibly consequences on their cultures.
This is why the idea is racist, colonialist, imperialist, and white supremacist. It is especially anti-Black, anti-Asian and Pacific Islander, and Anti-Indigenous.
and that leads us to the next point, which, thankfully, is…
They cannot achieve their goal
The biggest issue is that gender is a social construct, and there has, in all of human history, never been an abolishment of a social construct. That is not to say that it isn’t possible, but it is meant to indicate that doing so is so unlikely and improbably as to be outside the range of thinking.
Social constructs can be diluted, changed, warped, altered, reduced in import, raised in import, and assorted other thing, but ending them, abolishing them, has never happened, nor is it likely to happen given the nature of human social systems and the depth within cultural systems at which gender systems exist.
So that is why gender abolition is a pile of manure being sold to the gullible and the uninformed.