Thursday, June 04, 2015

Let's Talk Jenner

I haven't said anything about the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner story because, to be completely honest, I don't really know what to say about it.

Even when I read descriptions from people like the American Psychological Association, it makes little or no sense to me.

"Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women."

Seriously? So your plumbing and chromosomes don't define your gender? Your gender is defined by the roles, behaviors and activities expected by society?

So does the definition of gender change over time? Would that mean if you were to be time ported into the past (or future) you might have a gender identity problem? Perhaps some of us wouldn't be looked upon as male in ancient Sparta because the roles, behaviors and activities expected of ancient Spartan males we might find somewhat repulsive?

Then there's sexual orientation.

"Sexual orientation refers to an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person, whereas gender identity refers to one’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else."

Something else? You know, I'm just going to let that one slide.

So, if your sex is male, gender identity is female and sexual orientation is male, you're apparently considered heterosexual. However if your sex is male, gender identity is female and sexual orientation is female, you're apparently considered a lesbian.

Sure that make perfect sense to me. Well, not really.

Here's my problem. I'm having a hard time buying that gender is simply a societal definition. Does anyone seriously think if we were to start an isolated society someplace and totally reversed the definition of gender roles that it would work?

I don't understand but I suppose that doesn't really matter. My lack of understanding is no reason for me to judge so I suppose I'll just shrug my shoulders and go with the flow.

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