Saturday, September 26, 2009

Good luck raising that gender-neutral child

Just read this article on on and found it interesting and maybe a little annoying. What do you all think?

"What do you make of the so-called boy crisis?

I think there is something to the boy crisis. Girls are told, "You can be anything," but when we tell boys that, we don't really mean it. We actually mean, "as long as you're not a preschool teacher, as long as you're not a nurse." As girls move into more and more realms, boys retreat. That's because of the traditional idea that boys need to separate themselves from girls to feel masculine. The only way out of that is just a massive reeducation."


Sara N said...

I agree that this article was slightly annoying but maybe for different reasons. I submit that we should be skeptical when anyone makes sweeping generalizations about differences in the brain based on sex, gender, race etc. Most feminists will argue that gender is a construct but what about sex?

Lise Eliot, “[t]he biologist and mother of three took an exhaustive look at all the research out there -- including not only data demonstrating differences but also the innumerable, lesser-publicized studies that establish striking similarities -- and found just two proven inborn neurological differences. First, boys' brains are bigger than girls' -- to a similar degree that their bodies are bigger. Second, girls' brains stop growing roughly two years before boys' (it's no coincidence they also enter puberty a couple of years earlier)” (Clark-Floy).
This article resinscribes the sexual binary, namely, that “there are two and only two natural sexes: male and female.” This is simply not true. Anne Fausto-Sterling’s book “Sexing the Body” demonstrates this point quite well. She notes that there are more than 5 sexes! But, this “a priori” argument (one that relies on assumptions to make its conclusion) presumes a sexual binary. So, why do we assume that pop has either a penis and testacles OR a vagina and ovaries? Perhaps because we typically regard biology, a science, as objectively discovering naturally occurring truths, not aiding in their construction? Biology doesn’t happen in a cultural or ideological vacuum. So when someone says there are differences in girl brains and boy brains, it seems somewhat arbitrary because “boy” and “girl” are constructs. This is analogous to saying there are differences in the brains of Floridians and Virginians. I am fairly certain that a bird’s eye view of the United States does not look like the political maps we must label in High school Geography.

What I found to be really interesting is that right below this article was
Which reads: “Were all intersex” The author of "Between XX and XY" on people born neither male nor female -- and why everyone's a little bit of both.

We have normalized the idea of male and female in a mutually exclusive dichotomy, so we don’t even entertain the possibility that “Pop” might not this bill. What if Pop’s parents know that “many children born with these conditions have been surgically (and often arbitrarily) assigned a gender shortly after their birth -- but as his interviews with intersex people and doctors show, early surgical intervention has often had disastrous repercussions on patients' later lives. Many never fully fit into their assigned gender and don't learn about their reassignment until well into adulthood, with understandably traumatic results” (Rogers). Hmmm…

Thanks for posting Richarddd (tehehe you’re silly)!

-Saraaaa lol

Abigail said...

Someone in another other class found this and I thought I would share.