Rethinking the concept of gender
Note: These are mostly ramblings resulting from my thoughts about who am I and what is gender that came to my mind when I was taking a shower. They are very badly structured, probably have a lot of gramatical and typographical and other kind of errors, and are not a result of a deep study into that topic. It's more of a stream of thoughts translated into a digital form.
Why are we still thinking in the terms of thousands-years-old concepts when talking about who people are? Why does we still differentiate between 'men' and 'women', outside of the scope of biology? Why there exists a concept of a "social gender"?
Here I just want to clarify that I don't have an opinion regarding trans people in sports. This is not the point of this piece, nor do I feel like talking about it.
Why does it matter what kind of body do I have? Why is question "are you man or woman" any different from "what is size of your breasts" or "how long is your penis"?
We can often hear "I'm a woman in a male body", "I hate this female body", etc, — but why would be a body, in which we grew up, be defined by someone else? For example, I was not born a girl in a male body, I was born a girl in my own body. The fact that it has parts stereotypically atributted to male "biological gender" does not change anything in the perception of myself.
Do I wish I was born in a different body? I don't know. Maybe it would make my life a little bit easier — on the other hand, I would again be constrained by societal norms of "female" and "male" "genders". I consider myself a transwoman not because I want to adjust to how society, other people want to perceive me, it's simply because, in our current, human world, there is no way for me to describe in other way.
That brings me to a topic of transhumanism. Not transhumanism, as we are used to think about, where people are being replaced with cyborgs and robots, but a one where our flesh bodies are irrelevant to our perception of the outside world — especially the perception of the other people. In a transumanistic (though maybe posthumanistic would be a better word) world our "biological gender" is an irrelevant fact, useful only for people who maintain our bodies, like doctors.
I came up with a simple thought experiment. Let's take two people, who have never seen each other, and put them into two completely black rooms such that they cannot see each other. The only way they can communicate is with a completely uniform piece of papers. Now, the question I'm trying to pose is, in such circumstances, how important would be a gender of these two important in the conversation they were going to have?
I speculate that the answer to that question is "none at all". However, as this is a thought experiment, I leave the answer for you to think about and decide.
Biological gender is completely irrelevant to who are we. Does having a "female" body mean you cannot play sports, or write books, or do research related to computer science, mathematics, psychology, or neurobiology? Then why we consistently emphasise its importance on every aspect of our life?
That said — current world is not yet suitable for abandoning all kinds of gender segragation. For example, creating unisex toilets right now is dangerous for all groups, including ciswomen, cismen, transmen, transwomen, and so on. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to decide into which of the two we want to go — we could simply go, do whatever we need, and leave.
Unfortunately, the issues of unwanted advances, harassment, rape, still exist, and are common in our society. Without introducing means to protect such venerable groups, gender segragation will not cease to exist.
The conclusion of that piece is that there is no conclusion. I do not intend to change anyone's view on gender, whether to agree with what I said or not. It was simply thoughts, that I wanted to share with you — and it's up to you to interpret it.
- 10 toasts