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 Genders...does it matter?

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Posts : 22
Join date : 2010-01-27

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PostSubject: Genders...does it matter?   Genders...does it matter? Icon_minitimeFri Jan 29, 2010 10:35 pm

Alright here is another one from the good old philosophy blog:

Gender. The category seems obsolete. Gender roles have changed, on a fundamental level; now all they are is an anchor holding us back, an anachronism that supplies us with irony and foolishness, and the ridiculous feelings of inadequacy I suffer when men start talking about football, or that women suffer when they fail to make a perfect Bundt cake. We all know -- and if we don't know, it is decades past the time when we should have learned -- that anything a man can do, a woman can do, and vice versa.

Right, right. Childbirth, pee standing up, I got it. We're talking about gender here, not sex; men and women, not male and female. Society, not plumbing.

It seems to me that we should work to eliminate the entire idea of manly behavior, and womanly behavior. After all, what good do they do us? Haven't we recognized by now that every trait traditionally considered masculine, or feminine, is now frequently found in both genders? Don't all of us know a woman who likes sports or who served in the military, a man who loves to sew or knit or cook? Hasn't the increased visibility of the gay community shown us absolutely that our concepts of gender are absurd? How can we consider a gay man, especially one built like so many gay men are, to be anything less than manly? If two women form a couple, do we honestly think that neither one knows where the circuit breakers are? It makes sense to have a division of labor, but there seems no reason to promote one based on gender.

More importantly, is there any admirable trait, any proclivity or responsibility, that has traditionally been assigned to one gender that would be bad if found in the other? Would it be bad if a man wanted to stay home and take care of his children? Would it be bad if a woman wanted to protect her family and property? Or the negative traits assigned to each -- men belching and farting, women complaining and nagging -- would those be any less unpleasant if transferred to the other side? If men wanted to shop and women wanted to stay home and watch TV, would couples get along any better?

When you get right down to it, there are positive traits and negative traits. There are probably too many important or necessary tasks involved in building and maintaining a home and family for one person to be able to do them all well, and so there should be a division of labor. There are hobbies and interests that complement each other, and ones that clash terribly. But there's no reason we should define any of them as manly, or womanly. Perhaps we should all seek to be -- and define our attributes, our virtues and vices as -- humanly. After all, what we should admire in each other are the traits that make our lives possible, and enjoyable: an ability to control and maintain the environment; an interest in making this world, and ourselves, more beautiful; the promotion of those values that we believe are important in our society. All of those things are qualities found in humanity but not (generally speaking) in animals; they are human virtues, not male virtues nor female virtues. Our worst qualities, too -- our profligacy, our indifference and our amazing capacity for destruction -- are uniquely human, but shared across the gender gap.

Next up -- REAL hardcore philosophy. What is the just man? I want people participating in that one!
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Posts : 13
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 27
Location : Las Vegas

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PostSubject: Re: Genders...does it matter?   Genders...does it matter? Icon_minitimeFri Jan 29, 2010 11:42 pm

I like that phrase you used, "a division of labor". Its quite a bit more accurate than any other I've heard lately. Also, I thought you should be aware that I enjoy reading your posts, you write very well Smile
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