too geeky to communicate effectively

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This summer

Wendy: my cousin teaches gender studies at [name] University

Sister-in-law: gender studies? I don’t understand, what’s that?

Wendy: Sex is the biological determination lf you as a Female or Male. Gender is the social construction of behavioural expectations for people who are classified as Female or Male

Sister-in-law: what? I don’t understand, women are women

Her world view is so well defined and ingrained within her role as a woman that I decided to give up at this point. My brother is a classic white male pseudo liberal dude and she is a home building wife who puts much effort into conforming to prevailing stereotypes of girliness. She is extremely accomplished at this.

This autumn

Wendy: my cousin teaches gender studies at [name] University

Niece 1992: gender studies? I don’t understand, what’s that?

Wendy: Normally there are two genders on any form that you fill in, girl or boy, but real people identify with a really wide range of genders, it’s not a neat dichotomy. What if I’m a girl who likes to dress like a man because I feel it suits who I am. Am I a girl or a boy at a social level? Why do we even have to define a specific position. Facebook in the USA provides 51 different gender options. We are all different. Our sex is a biological determinant, our gender is how we, feel and express our identity.

Niece 1992: 51 genders, that’s just silly

Wendy: Yes, we should be people with no need to identify as a specific gender. Our sex may be relevant for things like medical treatments, but a gender assignment is often unnecessary and irrelevant, leads to discrimination and all sorts of unnecessary nastiness particularly for anyone who isn’t a heterosexual white boy.

Niece 1992: 51 genders, that’s just silly

Gosh. Failed to communicate.

As a fairly radical feminist this familial  lack of awareness of the meaning and hence value of understanding systematic discrimination of non conformity to socially constructed definitions of gender is quite overwhelming.

On the other hand, my cousins totally ROCK! Their father died before they reached puberty, which may not be significant. My brothers views are classic white male patriarchy.

Sigh.

too geeky to communicate effectively
2 votes rating 5

one wonderful muse on “too geeky to communicate effectively”

  1. JamesNT writes:

    “If there is to be a brave new world, our generation will have the hardest time living in it.”

    —Chancellor Gorkon when speaking with Captain James T. Kirk.
    —Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country

       1 likes

    [reply]

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