Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gender and Sex are not the Same

sex, gender, transsexual, transgender, society, stereotype, same sex, marriage, traditional, gay,
emissary (of confusion) wrote something that is either the height of ignorance or the very definition of disingenuous.

Are The Different Sexes Really Different?

Short answer: duh. The problem here is that the DNAers, and others like them, can't seem to understand the difference between sex (not the activity) and gender. I can't decide if they're really that ignorant, or if they're just being disingenuous.

Sex is physically what you are. I am a woman. I have the XX pairing, a vagina, a uterus, ovaries, the works. Men have the XY pairing, a penis, testicles, etc. That's a serious oversimplification, though. Sex, as physical as it is, is complicated. There are people born with both penises and vaginas, or some combination thereof. There are people with just one X, three Xs, XXY, XYY. Then there are the transgendered: they are physically all one thing, but feel entirely the opposite.

Gender, while related to sex, isn't the same thing. Gender is society's expectations for the sexes. Essentially, gender is a mass delusion. Obey the rules of your society, go to another, and you're doing it wrong. It's arbitrary. Why am I supposed to love cooking and sewing and babies? Why is the hubby supposed to be the one fixing things? Is he not a man because he's useless with power tools? Am I not a woman because I'd rather go shoot a few rounds at the range than bake a cake?

I guess it depends on whom you're talking to. If you're talking to the general readership of this blog, no, he's no less a man and I am no less a woman. If you're talking to DNAers, we're destroying the very fabric of the nation. Possibly the entire spacetime continuum.

I'm puzzled by something of a conundrum. Hopefully, someone has a good explanation that will help to clarify the issue in my mind. hey, look, she wants me to do this! if she's actually puzzled, she's puzzled by her own ignorance.

The problem is that the GLBT group seems to hold conflicting ideas regarding whether or not biological sexual differences are inherent and important. no, the problem is you don't seem to be capable of understanding the difference between sex and gender. do i need to use smaller words?

On one end of the spectrum is the idea that sexual differences don't matter. sexual differences or gender differences? I've often heard the comment that, "The only difference between homosexual and heterosexual couples is the way they make love." what the fuck would that have to do with gender or sex differ- oh, that's right, if you're not sticking slot A in tab B, you're doing it wrong. guess you don't want to know what I was doing last night. That implies that biological differences in the sexes are not important to marriage, nor should they be valued in society. why would sex differences be important in a marriage? why should they be valued in society? they just are. it is what it is. that's like valuing our specific visual light spectrum. "I'm so glad we're not bees!" The argument holds that homosexual couples can be just as good of parents as heterosexual because sex doesn't matter. umm, yeah. Insisting that there are inherent differences is a matter of stereotype and societal roles. when it comes to gender differences, it is stereotype and societal roles. inherent sex differences are what they are. so what? The difference really lies in various personalities. basically, yes.

On the other end, there's the transgender group. These individuals feel very strongly that they are not the correct sex. then they're not. how can you argue someone's experience with them? that's like telling me i really, really like country music. no, i don't. To them, the biological sexual differences are really, really important. because gender and sex are different things. They feel trapped in the wrong body. They feel there's something inherently male or female within them that doesn't match the body they were given. They go through therapy, take hormones, and some even have expensive and painful surgery to change their biological sexual organs. all surgeries are painful, asshat. and, so what? what does the transgender experience change about the difference between sex and gender? (you do know another word for transgender is "transsexual", right?)

But if there really aren't substantive differences between the sexes, why can't they just change their personalities? Why go through all of the fuss and pain to change their physical appearance when, ultimately, there is no difference between the sexes? see above.

If anyone can shed light on this, I would really appreciate it. I bet she totally does not appreciate this, at all.


  1. I think I need to work on my prejudices. The whole time I was reading her statements I was hearing the voice of a bimbo speaking in a girlish voice. When I read your statements, I heard a strong voice, like Oprah's voice.

    For all I know, you could have a quiet sweet voice, and she could speak like Nancy Grace.

  2. "why can't they just change their personalities?"

    Why can't you? Jerk.

    Some people...

  3. That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me, Lorena. I sound like a 7 year old with a head cold in real life.

    You could say I have a voice made for blogging.

  4. You know what?

    I would forgive this person and accept that (s)he is merely ignorant, if (s)he was willing to listen to the other side and accept correction.

  5. ...

    i am so confused. she answered her question before she asked it!
    she sat right there and explained that transgendered/transexual people feel that they were born with the *wrong* sexual characteristics, and they want them changed to the *correct* ones.

    maybe i am not getting the question. as in, i think i don't understand the question, except as a bitchy passive-aggressive way of saying "no you are not trans, you just think you are, you can change it. and should."

    i mean, fucking seriously, if you start with the notion that God made everyone, then the *way* that God made them, even if they are different from you and/or make you uncomfortable, IS THE WAY GOD WANTS THEM TO BE.

    gay people are gay because God wants them to be gay. Trans people are trans because God wants them to be trans. black people are black black because God wants them to be black.

    these people are sooooo.... gods, i can't even think of the best word. they are ignorant hypocritical bigots? pithy, but too verbose.

    ah. i have it.


  6. I love her response to your comments on her post. Disrespectful and condensending huh? I came within an inch of posting a comment that her post was pretty damn disrespectful and condesending too.
    But then I realized with this one I might as well he shouting into the wind.

  7. Anti-gays often use this argument as some sort of "gotcha" against gay people and marriage equality. Until they open their minds, genuinely seek answers, and start grasping the concept of "nuance," they will be left wallowing in ignorance.

  8. i suck because i have been gone all weekend and just got back to this.

    is it bad that (having forgotten most of what i said) i laughed at what i wrote?

    and then i was all happy at you being happy at what i wrote.
    it's the little things that let me go on, right now :)


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