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Feminism Kushay's Matter Bank

[AK] Abolishment of Gender

This note will discuss the radical feminist’s argument about why the idea of “gender as a spectrum” is illogical and harmful to progress and why an “abolishment of gender” should be advocated instead.

Before we move on, there needs to be a differentiation between “sex” and “gender”. Sex is a biological characteristic of a person while gender are a set of societal norms imposed to people of a certain sex. These distinction helps people to recognize that some things are natural and some are not.

The radical feminist’s view of gender is that it is inherently oppressive because you are forced to pick between two box (man and woman) where one box inherently dominates the other. For example, feminine traits are being nurturing, submissive, and passive and masculine traits is being dominant, aggressive and vocal. And of course the dominant trumps over the submissive, active trumps over the passive, etc.

This argument is criticized by saying that “the problem is not that gender is socially constructed, but rather because there’s only two genders”. So the solution is to create more boxes for people to identify themselves with so that their identity is more individualized and championing equality for all genders at the same time, so people will not be oppressed. This argument is a justification for the tons of gender we see right now; polygender, demigender, agender, quantumgender and hundreds more. Still, radical feminists argue that this is problematic since that argument (called the queer theory of gender) is inherently contradictory and not politically sexy.

Why?

1. Inherently contradictory

People who identifies outside “man” and “woman” claims themselves as “non-binary”. But at the same time, they claim that gender is a spectrum. So by that logic, gender is both a binary and spectrum. The problem with this is that:

Gender becomes how you COMPARE with people around you. For example, people’s height is seen as a spectrum (average height, slightly short, slightly tall, etc.) and the amount of people that are “absolutely tall” and “absolutely short” are very little. So “how tall are you” is determined by the comparison of your height to the average height of people around you. By this logic, an individuals own determination of how she/he/they lie on this spectrum is done by the comparison by how masculine/feminine the average people around you are. If someone is “girly” but the average people around her are “super girly”, then inevitably she has to identify herself on a more masculine side of the spectrum.

The conclusion to this is that YOU ARE NOT THE ONE WHO DETERMINES YOUR OWN IDENTITY. This obviously tensions with the purpose of this system to begin with. Even if someone identifies as “gender”, they are still comparing themselves to the average people who DO have gender.

The logical implication of having gender as a spectrum is, if people really wants to enforce this system there HAS to be one unique gender for each individual, 7 billion genders total. This is completely useless since the supposed function of gender is to declare that your value system belongs to a certain group of similar people, as opposed to an extremely specific identity like your name.

2. Politically populist

The fact is, no one is purely “feminine” or “masculine”. Even girly people might sometimes yell or act tomboyish. So 99.9% of people in the world are belongs in the non-binary. The problem with this is that you’re eventually going to be attacked for dismissing the non-binary people’s claim for an identity and labeled oppressive, a common problem with liberal feminism where the “privileged” are not supposed to question or criticize the choice that the “oppressed” make at all. This creates a tension within the progressive movement itself, something conservative calls “liberal cannibalism”.

Moreover, people in the gray area will not find this system sexy because it is too confusing for them. People in the gray area sees gender not merely as how you identify yourself, but also as how your relationship with all actors should be. For example, many people in the gray area recognizes that there is a wage gap between man and woman, but what if there’s 7 billion genders? What’s the wage gap between all of them? These kinds of things make progressive ideas harder for people in the gray area to embrace.

Given these two facts, isn’t it better to abolish gender altogether? Don’t create more boxes, but dismantle all already existing boxes by rejecting the entire social construct of “gender”. That way, no one will be perceived as dominating the other, more worthy of a higher salary, etc. simply because the ascribed trait of being passive” or other labels.

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