On Gender Expression II

I hold no issue with or bigotry toward anyone expressing themselves however they see fit. I think it’s important that each of us find a way to be comfortable in our own skin. You do you, and I’ll do me. Human expression is beautifully diverse. I also think it’s important that each of us are honest with ourselves and others about what we are. Unfortunately, what I see when I look at the gender expression debate is equal parts tragedy and absurdity. The tragedies are that anyone suffers gender dysphoria and that the language used in the debate tends toward confusion and/or equivocation. The absurdities are the expectation that anyone can or should remember and give verbal usage of 70+ genders, and their accompanying pronouns, and that because people can’t make peace with who they are on a biological level, they demand that others share in their delusions. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Skyler J. Collins (Editor)

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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2 years ago

Your mistake is in assuming that gender is innately tied to, and completely ruled by, the currently fashionable interpretation of the “biological level.” Biological sex and gender identity are not the same thing. They seem to be interrelated in various ways, but so are eye color and personality traits. Furthermore, the “XX/XY” scheme for biological sex is not some kind of eternal verity, it’s just a convenient way of describing the middle of a bell curve. Vis a vis anatomically discernible biological sex, there are XX “males,” XY “females,” and various trisomies that the scheme treats as abnormalities rather than… Read more »

2 years ago

I’m not sure what you mean when you say that genetics aren’t a social construct. Anatomy seems to be fairly discernible as objective reality — a person has a penis, or a vagina, or, in very rare cases, both. Biological sex as a matter of genetics, on the other hand, is certainly a social construct. The big fat center of the bell curve is composed of XX females and XY males, nothing else is treated as relevant, and even within the XX/XY construct (ignoring other genetic, endocrinological, etc. phenomena that affect, for lack of a better term, “sexual presentation” beyond… Read more »

2 years ago

It’s not your DNA strand that is a social construct. It’s the assumptions about what your DNA strand MEANS that are a social construct. In 1905, Nettie Stevens and Edmund Beecher Wilson independently discovered the XX/XY pairing and its very strong — but not total — correlation with sex as defined by anatomy. Great. Science! Now there’s a way to define biological “male” and “female” other than looking for a penis or vagina. The social construct part is where any time other factors — genetic, endocrine exposure, etc. — are brought in for discussion as to what constitutes biological sex… Read more »

2 years ago

Oh, I don’t think you sound like “XX, female, act like it.” Sorry if I conveyed that impression. What you do sound like is someone who assumes that biological sex is 1) simple and 2) fully understood. It’s not. There’s a strong correlation between XX/XY and male/female biolical sex. There’s also a strong correlation between biological sex and gender identity. And the instances that fall outside of both strong correlations are just not that well-understood. My attitude toward those who identify as “gender non-binary” is pretty simple. I don’t get to decide who they are. They do. And within fairly… Read more »