The “Traditional” Liberal Concept Of Gender Seems Worth Saving
Identities are generally negotiated and/or foisted upon us — not declared unilaterally
Greetings from Berlin. One of many amazing things about this city is that the weather is wonderfully mild in the summer, by swampy New York standards.
I mean, look at this. . .
. . . isn’t that perfect? I understand that some contrarian heterodox weather pundits would have you believe that the point of summer is for it to get hot, but come on — this temperature range really is a wonderful sweet spot. And an average high of 76° means there are plenty of days when it climbs into the 80s, which is fine in a city that has approximately 150,000 lakes within shouting distance, some of them accessible by public transit.
This is all a long-winded way for me to complain: today, the day I’m writing this, Saturday, the high is going to be 95°. Luckily the Germans are enthusiasts for high ceilings and ventilation, so things aren’t that bad where I am now. But still, I feel cheated. Everybody feel sorry for me!
Let’s talk gender. This will be a random post, but there’s been some stuff rattling around in my head lately. My understanding of the “traditional,” liberal sex/gender divide is that sex is your physical body, and gender is the expectations, mores, assumptions, and other cultural stuff you encounter as a result of being seen as male or female.
I’ve complained about this before, but the present discourse about sex and gender and gender identity absolutely butchers these and other definitions. It’s a conversation in which carefully crafted, shared definitions should be seen as vital, and yet academics and pundits seem almost gleeful in the sloppy way they say sex when they mean gender, or gender when they mean gender identity, or gender when they mean sex, and on and on and on. If you haven’t noticed this before, you will now — I promise.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Singal-Minded to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.