Klevius quest of the day: What's the difference between the Pope and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg*?* The US Constitution still doesn't give women full equality although it has been very close sometimes. And Ruth definitely knows about it.
Klevius hint: It's all about 'not sameness' and Human Rights! Human Rights IS 'sameness' stupid!
When God was created he was made like Adam.
When the basic idea of Universal Human Rights was created it was made like Adam AND Eve.
And for you who think heterosexual attraction, i.e. that women are sexier than men, could be (exc)used as a reason for depriving women of legal sameness. Please, do think again!And read Klevius Sex and Gender Tutorial below - if you can!
The Plan of God
A Cardinal, a Pope and a Justice "from medieval times"
Keith O'Brien has reiterated the Catholic Church's continued opposition to civil partnerships and suggested that there should be no laws that "facilitate" same-sex relationships, which he claimed were "harmful", arguing that “The empirical evidence is clear, same-sex relationships are demonstrably harmful to the medical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, no compassionate society should ever enact legislation to facilitate or promote such relationships, we have failed those who struggle with same-sex attraction and wider society by our actions.”
Four male members of the Scottish Catholic clergy allegedly claim that Keith O'Brien had abused his position as a member of the church hierarchy by making unwanted homosexual advances towards them in the 1980s.
Keith O'Brien criticized the concept of same-sex marriage saying it would shame the United Kingdom and that promoting such things would degenerate society further.
Pope Francis, aka Jorge Bergoglio: Same-sex is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God." He has also insisted that adoption by gay and lesbian people is a form of discrimination against children. This position received a rebuke from Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who said the church's tone was reminiscent of "medieval times and the Inquisition".
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'Sex' is a dirty word, so let's use 'gender' instead!
Klevius: Let's not!
As previously and repeatedly pointed out by Klevius, the treacherous use of 'gender' instead of 'sex' is not only confusing but deliberately so. So when Jewish Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg proposed gender' as a synonyme for 'sex' (meaning biological sex) she also helped to shut the door for many a young girl's/woman's possibilities to climb outside the gender cage.
The Universal Human Rights declaration clearly states that your biological sex should not be referred to as an excuse for limiting your rights.
Islam (now represented by OIC and its Sharia declaration) is the worst and most dangerous form of sex segregation - no matter in how modern clothing it's presented!
Klevius Sex and Gender Tutorial
What is 'gender' anyway?
(text randomly extracted from some scientific writings by Klevius)
It might be argued that it is the developing girl, not the grown up woman, who is the most receptive to new experience, but yet is also the most vulnerable. Therefore we need to address the analysis of the tyranny of gender before the point at where it's already too late. I prefer to use the term ‘female’ instead of ‘woman’ so to include girls, when appropriate in this discussion. I also prefer not to define women in relation to men, i.e. in line with the word 'universal' in the Human Rights Declaration. In short, I propose 'gender blindness' equally as, for example, 'color blindness'. And keep in mind, this has nothing to do with biological differences.
According to Connell (2003:184), it is an old and disreputable habit to define women mainly on the basis of their relation to men. Moreover, this approach may also constitute a possible cause of confusion when compared to a definition of ‘gender’ which emphasizes social relations on the basis of ‘reproductive differences’.
To really grasp the absurdity of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's and others habit of confusing 'gender' with 'sex' one may consider that “normal” girls/women live in the same gender trap tyranny as do transsexuals.
The definition of ‘acquired gender’ is described in a guidance for/about transsexuals as:
Transsexual people have the deep conviction that the gender to which they were assigned at birth on the basis of their physical anatomy (referred to as their “birth gender”) is incorrect. That conviction will often lead them to take steps to present themselves to the world in the opposite gender. Often, transsexual people will undergo hormonal or surgical treatment to bring their physical identity into line with their preferred gender identity.
This evokes the extinction of the feminine or women as directly dependent on the existence of the masculine or men. Whereas the feminine cannot be defined without the masculine, the same applies to women who cannot be defined - only described - without men.
Female footballers, for example - as opposed to feminine footballers, both male and female - are, just like the target group of feminism, by definition distinguished by sex. Although this classification is a physical segregation – most often based on a delivery room assessment made official and not at all taking into account physical size, strength, skills etc. - other aspects of sex difference, now usually called ‘gender’, seem to be layered on top of this dichotomy. This review departs from the understanding that there are two main categories that distinguish females, i.e. the physical sex belonging, for example, that only biological women may participate in a certain competition, and the cultural sex determination, for example that some sports or sporters are less ‘feminine’ than others.
‘Gender’ is synonymous with sex segregation, given that the example of participation on the ground of one’s biological sex is simply a rule for a certain agreed activity and hence not sex segregation in the form of stipulated or assumed separatism. Such sex segregation is still common even in societies which have prescribed to notions of general human freedom regardless of sex and in accordance with Human Rights. This is because of a common consensus that sex segregation is ‘good’ although, as it is seen here, its effects are bad in the long run.
In Durkheim’s (1984: 142) view ‘organized despotism’ is where the individual and the collective consciousness are almost the same. Then sui generis, a new life may be added on to that of the main body. As a consequence, this freer and more independent state progresses and consolidates itself (Durkheim 1984: 284).
However, consensus may also rest on an imbalance that is upheld and may even strengthen precisely as an effect of the initial imbalance. In such a case ‘organized despotism’ becomes the means for conservation. As a consequence, the only alternative would be to ease restrictions, which is something fundamentally different from proposing how people should live their lives. ‘Organized despotism’ in this meaning may apply to gender and to sex segregation as well.
According to Connell (2003) whose confused view may be closer to that of Justice Ginsburg, gender is neither biology, nor a fixed dichotomy, but it has a special relation to the human body mirrored in a ‘general perception’. Cultural patterns do not only mirror bodily differences. Gender is ‘a structure’ of social relations/practices concentrated to ‘the reproductive arena’, and a series of due practices in social processes. That is, gender describes how society relates to the human body, and has due consequences for our private life and for the future of wo/mankind (Connell 2003:21-22). However, the main problem here involves how to talk without gender.
Sex should properly refer to the biological aspects of male and female existence. Sex differences should therefore only be used to refer to physiology, anatomy, genetics, hormones and so forth. Gender should properly be used to refer to all the non‑biological aspects of differences between males and females ‑ clothes, interests, attitudes, behaviors and aptitudes, for example ‑ which separate 'masculine' from 'feminine' life styles (Delamont 1980: 5 in Hargreaves 1994:146).
It seems that 'masculine' and 'feminine’ in this definition of gender is confusingly close to the ‘mystique about their being predetermined by biology’ when compared to the ‘reproductive arena’ and ‘reproductive differences’ in Connell’s definition of gender. However, although gender, according to Connell (2003: 96), may also be ‘removed’ the crucial issue is whether those who are segregated really want to de-sex segregate? As long as the benefits of a breakout are not clearly assessable, the possible negative effects may undermine such efforts.Hesitating to run out through an opened door to the unknown doesn't necessarily mean that you don't want to. Nor does it mean that you have to.
According to Connell (2003:20) the very key to the understanding of gender is not to focus on differences, but, instead, to focus on relations. In fact, this distinction is crucial here because relations, contrary to differences, are mutually dependent. Whatever difference existing between the sexes is meaningless unless it is connected via a relation. On the one hand, big male muscles can hardly be of relational use other than in cases of domestic violence, and on the other hand, wage gaps cannot be identified without a comparative relation to the other sex.
Biological determinism is influential in the general discourse of sports academia (Hargreaves 1994:8). However, what remains to analyze is whether ‘gender’ is really a successful concept for dealing with biological determinism?
‘To explain the cultural at the level of the biological encourages the exaggeration and approval of analyses based on distinctions between men and women, and masks the complex relationship between the biological and the cultural’ (Hargreaves 1994:8).
With another example: to explain the cultural (driver) at the level of the technical (type of car) encourages the exaggeration and approval of analyses based on distinctions between cars, and masks the complex relationship between the car and the driver. However, also the contrary seems to hold true;. that the cultural (driver/gender) gets tied to the technical/biological. The ‘complex relationship’ between the car and the driver is easily avoided by using similar1 cars, hence making the driver more visible. In a sex/gender setting the ‘complex relationship’ between sex and gender is easily avoided by distinguishing between sex and culture2, hence making culture more visible. The term ‘culture’, unlike the term ‘gender’ clearly tries to avoid the ‘complex relationship’ between biology and gender. The ‘complex relationship’ makes it, in fact, impossible to distinguish between them. On top of this comes the ‘gender relation’ confusion, which determines people to have ‘gender relations’, i.e. to be opposite or separate.
This kind of gender view is popular, perhaps because it may serve as a convenient way out from directly confronting the biology/culture distinction, and seems to be the prevalent trend, to the extent that ‘gender’ has conceptually replaced ‘sex’, leading to the consequence that the latter has become more or less self-evident and thus almost beyond scrutiny. In other words, by using ‘gender’ as a sign for ‘the complex relationship between the biological and the cultural’, biological determinism becomes more difficult to access analytically.
The distinction between sex and gender implied in these quotations, however, does not seem to resolve the issue, precisely because it fails to offer a tool for discriminating biological aspects of differences from non-biological ones, i.e. those that are cultural. This is also reflected in everyday life. ‘Folk’ categories of sex and gender often appear to be used as if they were the same thing. Although 'masculine' and 'feminine' are social realities, there is a mystique about their being predetermined by biology. Furthermore the very relational meaning of ‘gender’ seems to constitute a too obvious hiding place for a brand of essentialism based on sex. Apart from being ‘structure’, as noted above, gender is, according to Connell (2003:20), all about relations. However, if there are none - or if the relations are excluding - the concept of sex segregation may be even more useful.
In Connell’s analysis, gender may be removed (Connell 2003:96). In this respect and as a consequence, gender equals sex segregation. In fact it seems that the 'masculine' and 'feminine’, in the definition of gender above, are confusingly close to the ‘mystique about their being predetermined by biology’ when compared to the ‘reproductive arena’ and ‘reproductive differences’ in Connell’s (2003:21) definition of gender. The elusiveness of gender seems to reveal a point of focus rather than a thorough-going conceptualization. So, for example, in traditional Engels/Marx thinking the family’s mediating formation between class and state excludes the politics of gender (Haraway 1991: 131).
What's a Woman?
In What is a Woman? Moi (1999) attacks the concept of gender while still emphasizing the importance of the concept of the feminine and a strong self-conscious (female) subject that combines the personal and the theoretical within it. Moi (1999: 76), hence, seems to propose a loose sex/gender axis resting on a rigid womanhood based on women’s context bound, lived experience outside the realm of men’s experience.
Although I share Moi’s suggestion for abandoning the category of gender, her analysis seems to contribute to a certain confusion and to an almost incalculable theoretical abstraction in the sex/gender distinction because it keeps maintaining sex segregation without offering a convincing defence for it. Although gender, for example, is seen as a nature-culture distinction, something that essentializes non-essential differences between women and men, the same may be said about Moi’s approach if we understand her ‘woman’ as, mainly, the mainstream biological one usually classified (prematurely) in the delivery room. If the sexes live in separate spheres, as Moi’s analysis seems to imply, the lived, contextual experience of women appears as less suitable for pioneering on men’s territory.
This raises the question about whether the opening up of new frontiers for females may demand the lessening or even the absence of femininity (and masculinity). In fact, it is believed here that the ‘liminal state’ where social progression might best occur, is precisely that. Gender as an educated ‘facticity’ then, from this point of view, will inevitably enter into a state of world view that adds itself onto the ‘lived body’ as a constraint.
It is assumed here that we commonly conflate constructs of sex, gender, and sexuality. When sex is defined as the ‘biological’ aspects of male and female, then this conceptualization is here understood as purely descriptive. When gender is said to include social practices organized in relation to biological sex (Connell 1987), and when gender refers to context/time-specific and changeable socially constructed relationships of social attributes and opportunities learned through socialization processes, between women and men, this is also here understood as descriptive. However, when description of gender transforms into active construction of gender, e.g. through secrets about its analytical gain, it subsequently transforms into a compulsory necessity. Gendering hence may blindfold gender-blind opportunities.
In conclusion, if gender is here understood as a social construct, then it is not coupled to sex but to context, and dependent on time. Also it is here understood that every person may possess not only one but a variety of genders. Even if we consider gender to be locked together with the life history of a single individual the above conceptualization makes a single, personal gender impossible, longitudinally as well as contemporaneously. Whereas gender is constructive and deterministic, sex is descriptive and non-deterministic. In this sense, gender as an analytical tool leaves little room for the Tomboy.
The Tomboy - a threat to "femininity"
Noncompliance with what is assumed ‘feminine’ threatens established or presumed sex segregation. What is perceived as ‘masculinity’ or ‘maleness’ in women, as a consequence, may only in second place, target homosexuality. In accordance with this line of thought, the Tomboy embodies both the threat and the possibilities for gendered respectively gender-blind opportunity structures.
The Tomboy is the loophole out of gender relations. Desires revealed through sport may have been with females under the guise of a different identity, such as that of the Tomboy (Kotarba & Held 2007: 163). Girls throw balls ‘like girls’ and do not tackle like boys because of a female perception of their bodies as objects of action (Young 2000:150 cited in Kotarba & Held 2007: 155).
However, when women lacking experience of how to act in an effective manner in sport are taught about how to do, they have no problem performing, quite contrary to explaining shortcomings as due to innate causes (Kotarba & Held 2007: 157). This is also opposite to the experiences of male-to-female transsexuals who through thorough exercise learn how to feminize their movements (Schrock & Boyd 2006:53-55). Although, according to Hargreaves (1994), most separatist sports philosophies have been a reaction to dominant ideas about the biological and psychological predispositions of men and women, supposedly rendering men 'naturally suited to sports, and women, by comparison, essentially less suited (Hargreaves 1994:29-30), the opposite may also hold true. Separatism per definition needs to separate and this separation is often based on biological differences, be it skin colour, sex or something else.
From this perspective, the Tomboy would constitute a theoretical anomaly in a feminine separatist setting. Although her physical body would possibly qualify as feminine, what makes her a Tomboy would not.
The observation that in mixed playgrounds, and in other areas of the school environment, boys monopolize the physical space (Hargreaves 1994:151) may lack the additional notion that certain boys dominate and certain boys do not. Sports feminists have 'politicized' these kinds of experience by drawing connections between ideas and practice (Hargreaves 1994:3) but because of a separatist approach may exclude similar experience among parts of the boys. Moreover, a separatist approach is never waterproof and may hence leak Tomboy girls without a notion.
Femininity and feminism
Feminism and psychoanalysis as oppressors
According to Collier and Yanagisako (1987), Henrietta Moore (1994) and other feminist anthropologists, patriarchal dominance is an inseparable socially inherited part of the conventional family system. This implicit suggestion of radical surgery does not, however, count on unwanted secondary effects neither on the problem with segregated or non-segregated sex-worlds. If, in other words, oppression is related to gender segregation rather than patriarchy, or perhaps that patriarchy is a product of sex segregation, then there seems to be a serious problem of intellectual survival facing feminists themselves (Klevius in Angels of Antichrist 1996). If feminism1 is to be understood as an approach and/or analytical tool for separatism2, those feminists and others who propose not only analytical segregation but also practical segregation, face the problem of possible oppression inherent in this very segregation (Klevius 1994, 1996). In this sense oppression is related to sex segregation in two ways:
1. As a means for naming it (feminism) for an analytical purpose.
2. As a social consequence or political strategy (e.g. negative bias against, for example, female football or a separatist strategy for female football).
It is notable that the psychoanalytic movement has not only been contemporary with feminism, but it has also followed (or led) the same pattern of concern and proposed warnings and corrections that has marked the history of ‘feminism’ in the 20th century. According to S. Freud, the essence of the analytic profession is feminine and the psychoanalyst ‘a woman in love’ (L. Appignanesi & J. Forrester 1992:189). But psychoanalytically speaking, formalized sex and sex segregation also seem to have been troublesome components in the lives of female psychoanalysts struggling under a variety of assumed, but irreconcilable femininities and professional expectations.
In studying the history of feminism one inevitable encounters what is called ‘the women’s movement’. While there is a variety of different feminisms, and because the borders between them, as well as to what is interpreted as the women’s rights movement, some historians, incl. Klevius, question the distinction and/or methods in use for this distinction.
However, it could also be argued that whereas the women’s rights movement may be distinguished by its lack of active separatism within the proposed objectives of the movement, feminism ought to be distinguished as a multifaceted separatist movement based on what is considered feminine values, i.e. what is implied by the very word ‘feminism’3. From this perspective the use of the term ‘feminism’ before the last decades of the 19th century has to be re-evaluated, as has every such usage that does not take into account the separatist nature underpinning all feminisms worth carrying the name. Here it is understood that the concept ‘feminism’, and its derivatives, in every usage implies a distinction based on separating the sexes - e.g. addressing inequality or inequity - between male and female (see discussion above). So although ’feminism’ and ‘feminisms’ would be meaningless without such a separation, the ‘women’s rights movement’, seen as based on a distinct aim for equality with men in certain legal respects, e.g. the right to vote, could be described as the opposite, i.e. de-sex segregation, ‘gender blindness’ etc.
As a consequence the use of the word feminism in a context where it seems inappropriate is here excepted when the authors referred to have decided to do so. The feminist movement went back to Mary Wollstonecraft and to some French revolutionaries of the end of the eighteenth century, but it had developed slowly. In the period 1880 to 1900, however, the struggle was taken up again with renewed vigour, even though most contemporaries viewed it as idealistic and hopeless. Nevertheless, it resulted in ideological discussions about the natural equality or non-equality of the sexes, and the psychology of women. (Ellenberger 1970: 291-292).
Not only feminist gynocentrists, but also anti-feminist misogynists contributed with their own pronouncements on the woman issue. In 1901, for example, the German psychiatrist Moebius published a treatise, On the Physiological Imbecility of Woman, according to which, woman is physically and mentally intermediate between the child and man (see Ellenberger 1970:292). However, according to the underlying presumption of this thesis, i.e. that the borders between gynocentrism and misogyny are not well understood, these two approaches are seen as more or less synonymous. Such a view also confirms with a multitude of points in common between psychoanalysis and feminism. As was argued earlier, the main quality of separatism and ‘complementarism’ is an insurmountable border, sometimes contained under the titles: love, desire etc.