Listening to too much American podcasts makes it impossible to escape the recent debate surrounding gender-identities, and the use of gender-pronouns in particular. The claim that gender is not a binary construct boils down, in my view, to a definition of gender.
This issue has more to do with linguistics than it does with ideals. Since, the definition of ‘gender’ is: “the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)”. The term ‘gender’, then, disregards the biological, and indeed the binary, categorizing of men and women into two sexes. In so doing, it presupposes that a gender is a cultural construct – and can be formed as fluidly as one’s personal identity.
Watching Bill Burr being interviewed on the “Your Momma’s House” podcast. At the 55:00 minute mark, the hosts ask (perhaps glibly, although I don’t think so) Burr, if he is “raising [his] child by the gender binary” ( https://youtu.be/tcC4ZeABv7I?t=3353 ). The talk continues when the hosts ask Burr if he will “raise his child to be a girl”, to which he very aptly responds, “what are you talking about, my kid’s a girl”. I see this exchange as a depiction of the two conflicting voices on the matter nowadays.
I think it’s clear that what is disconnected here is the clear idea of what a sex is an what gender is. A person’s sex, as opposed to their gender, is assigned to them by their chromosomal makeup. This is unchangeable. A gender, as defined in the dictionary, can be seen as a person’s cultural affiliation to a certain set of convictions of character, some of which are related to their sexual orientation. But, here is when one side (the hosts’ side) of the argument gets it wrong in my opinion- They are conflating and jumbling together ideas of a person’s ‘sex’ and their ‘identity’. To prove this, many use the term “sexual identity”. This notion assumes that there is in fact a set of character traits that a are brought on by being born to a certain sex. That is – when someone says “you are acting like a girl” they mean, being weak, feminine, winy, etc. Or “she’s one of the boys” about a girl would dictate that she is the opposite of that, and would rather “work on carburetors” and play soccer, as Burr suggests. This reveals the underlying shortcomings of thought from the gender-pronouns movement. They are in fact the ones adhering more than anyone else to dated concepts of what it is like to act like a girl or a boy. Instead of accepting that a person’s identity has nothing to do with their sexual basis, they would rather generate an eschewed and superseded discussion regarding “gender” – a mere cultural definition – and claim it to have prevalence over a biological sex.
I do not know how many of the people who adhere to the use of new gender pronouns are in fact being naive, and how many of them, as I suppose several radical factions of the feminist, trans and other movement are engaging in the debate out of dishonesty. I claim that this use ranges between metal sluggishness to dis-ingeniousness. On the hosts’ side, I believe the former is the case. This illustarte the case of how the intellectual elite can once again, through spreading panic (in this case of messing up your child), can stupefy the general public into misinterpreting reality and acting in a reckless way, which they otherwise would never do.
The gender-pronoun movement is also very lazy in hiding its own ulterior motives and hypocrisies. Since, in most western cultures (and indded on those in which the debate takes place) one is intitled use any gender pronoun they would like for themselves, wear whatever colors of fashions they would like, and perform sex change operations to their heart’s desire. Indeed, they can be as gender-fluid as they like. But asking others to be non-fluid in their relation to them, in calling them by a specifically assigned word, is hypocritical and dishonest to themselves.
To summarize, the gender-pronouns movement is wrong based on at least two grounds. First, it conflates the ideas of identity, which can be socially altered and chosen, with a given, unchangeable sexual makeup. By wishing to change a person’s gender, its proponents constantly self parody their very idea by actually assuming that for each of the biological sexes there is a set of defining character and behavioral traits. Second, by the active appealing to others to engage them by their new assumed identities (asking people to call them by their newly taken gender pronouns), the proponents of the gender-pronoun movement are incredulously ordering others to become non-fluid in their own perceptions of gender. In thus doing, they are performing the ultimate act of self-indulgence, which is, being superior to others (hence, why people like Jordan Peterson refer to them correctly as “fascist”).
The movement, in my view only illustrates how lost and out of touch certain people have become in seeing the world around them. They display a desire to break off of the shackles of definition, but in doing so they are creating an even more strenuous and suffocating set. The real realization of the self, be it sexual, mental, political, etc. is brought by renouncing of definitions and accepting the fluidity inherent within those so-called distinctions. My belief is that this movement’s achieving publicity can lead to a phase of recognition of the self in people, that is brave – and not based of linguistic borders.