THE DEFINITIVE END OF THE GENDER DEBATE
It’s time for the end of the gender debate. It’s a heavily polarized issue, with a hefty portion of the confusion stemming from language, as its common for the ideas of biological sex and gender to be used interchangeably. The words are largely considered synonymous within the masses.
Gender didn’t always find use outside of references to biological sex until recently, where the word has undergone something of a renaissance. Let us consult mother dictionary. Gender is the state of being male or female, typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. Sex is either of the two main categories into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions. Gender is a reference to “masculinity” or “femininity”, rather than male and female biology.
This is the bridge we cannot seem to cross. On one end, there is a large group who doesn’t identify with the gender norms society assumes for their sex. So they feel their gender doesn’t match their sex. For example, someone may be biologically male, yet their sense of self closer matches the social norms of the female gender. So they feel more like the gender society refers to as female, or vice versa.
On the other end is the group that sees no need to separate the ideas of gender and sex any further than male or female. Their sex and gender line up, or they consider biological sex and gender the same thing.
This is causing social breakdowns because society isn’t set up to deal with anything outside of the norm, nor is it prepared to organically adjust to nuance or semantics. My overall point is simple, most of the debate is contained within nuance and semantics. And furthermore, it doesn’t actually matter. It’s time for the end of the gender debate.
The distinction of biological sex is medically relevant for the simple reason that doctors need to know your biological sex in order to properly treat you as a patient. So if you are a biological male that identifies as female in terms of gender, you still need to mark the ‘male’ box when asked about your sex. There is no medical reason a doctor needs to know how you identify in terms of gender, in the same way they do not need to know where you line up politically. Because it is a matter of personal opinion and choice. Barring statistical anomalies, there are two sexes and the potential for infinite genders.
This brings us to pronouns. The English language doesn’t come equipped with gender neutral pronouns, and uses he/she for pretty much everything. They and their seem adequately neutral but aren’t appropriate in all situations. So why is the lack of gender neutral problems considered a potential problem? Because people who don’t identify as ‘he’, would prefer not to be referred to as such. The same with she. So new pronouns were created in an attempt to rectify the issue, because gender identity is important to many who feel discounted or dehumanized when referred to by gender pronouns they don’t identify with.
Those who identify with gender pronouns matching their sex have trouble understanding this point of view because gender identity isn’t a big deal to them or a major part of their life. For many, expressing their gender identity is as insignificant as the shit they take each morning. Being referred to by a pronoun you identify with mostly goes unnoticed. People call me dude or man all the time without triggering my conscious awareness. Those in this boat aren’t aware of the new gender neutral pronouns, and lack the incentive to learn them.
For most, pronouns are as automatic as breathing. Hey look, tits. Must be a she. I can’t see the dick because they’re clothed from the waist down, but the beard is proof enough that it must be a he. There is no thought or negative intention behind it, as pronouns are a matter of convenience. If you don’t know someone’s name, you refer to them by the pronoun that matches your assumption of their sex/gender. This is the gender binary, the idea that there are two genders in the same way there are two sexes. And that they match.
This is where the breakdown is happening. Perception is reality and there are two distinct camps of perception in regards to the gender binary, and the relationship between sex and gender. This must be understood if we wish to reach the end of the gender debate.
One camp makes no distinction between sex and gender, and feels human biology does a sufficient job in assigning a biological sex. Aside from considering themselves male or female, they have no reason to further analyze the issue. In this camp, pronouns are no big deal.
Another group does make a distinction between sex and gender, and considers gender a spectrum. They also feel strongly that pronouns are important. Opposing ideology leads to opposition.
This leads back to my overall point that it doesn’t matter. It’s perfectly okay to exist within either camp. This is America, home of the sovereign individual. It’s your perception, do what you want with it. Just don’t go out and intentionally hurt others or threaten their freedom to perceive things the way they want to. Don’t impede on their free will.
If you assume someone is a biological male and refer to them as he, you’ve done nothing wrong. If that person corrects you, and asks that you refer to them as something else, it would be courteous to refer to them as such. Of course, this is entirely your personal choice and no speech is or should be legally compelled.
Unintentionally misgendering someone is not an act of violence. Intentionally misgendering someone by referring to them as the opposite pronoun they prefer to be referred to is a dick move, and if done for the purpose of provocation is an act of bullying.
If you refuse to refer to someone by their preferred pronoun, and that person refuses to be referred to by whatever pronoun you use instead, maybe you two shouldn’t be friends anymore. Play with other kids. The whole thing seems a bit childish. They won’t call me “x” even though I told them to. I won’t call him “x” because I don’t want to. Jesus Christ, handle this like adults and go about your business. You obviously have nothing to say to each other. The time has come for the end of the gender debate. There is no need to ‘take a side’ in a debate where the positions are so obvious. We are talking about identity politics, a mind numbingly unimportant topic.
You are in control of you, and no one else. If you want to identify as a gender that doesn’t match your sex, go for it. I support you and will use whatever pronoun you want me to. Some people won’t. In the same way you might identify as a writer or entrepreneur, some people will acknowledge and respect that while others will laugh you off. But it’s your identity, and it absolutely shouldn’t require affirmation from anyone else. Live your truth and let em have theirs.
If you view gender as binary and would like to learn more about why some people don’t, go for it. Take their viewpoints into consideration and work through them, see what sticks and what you believe to be true. If you don’t want to consider their opinion, don’t. More power to you. This is basic stuff folks, it’s called freedom. The alternative is collectivism, the tool for the stupid and disempowered.
When did we become so obsessed with hunkering down into polarized positions and assuming everyone else has to adopt them? Being different is sexy, and is ruined by uniformity.
Let’s back up for a quick moment. Human biology is real, and the differences between biological men and biological women factually exist. They are the roots of the tree we are talking about. This is about gender, not biological sex. Gender is not so easily quantified as it can be a subjective matter of personal identity. Changing how you choose to identify doesn’t change your biology. Again, this is a language debate, and not so much a technical debate about language, but how we interpret and utilize it on a functional level. This is literally an argument over semantics.
Making up words is cool. If you don’t believe me, go to Urban Dictionary and have a look around. Don’t be scared homie, add some bang to yo slang. Here’s the deal with evolving language, it isn’t always adopted. Instead, small groups pick it up and it spreads based on usefulness. Hence the reason you push your cart to the drink aisle and grab some pop from the grocery store in Ohio, and push your buggy to the drank aisle and snag some soda in Georgia. It is what it is, and it’s nothing to get your underwear in a bunch about. There are no language police in the United States, and no laws dictating what speech must be used. Thank you first amendment.
Again, we are fighting over pronouns. The problem with the new gender neutral pronouns is they sound a bit ridiculous when used in actual sentences. They’re clumsy. Language should be like good writing, mostly invisible in the sense you shouldn’t struggle and hitch your way through it. Hir is one of the pronouns, pronounced like here. That’s too much. It looks like it would be pronounced exactly like her. Yo as a pronoun? If we are expected to adopt new pronouns, they should be more thought out. And they must be adopted organically. I’m not saying we shouldn’t pick some up, or that the English language doesn’t have room for them. But life as an adult puts enough on your plate, learning new pronouns you’ll rarely use isn’t necessary for most.
Another possible compromise is to stop being offended on both sides. If I call you her, and you call you him, don’t attach your sense of self it. There’s nothing to take offense to unless I am being condescending or attempting to dehumanize you. If someone asks you to refer to them by name, or to use their instead of him/her, don’t scream that your free speech is being violated. Just stop calling them him/her. We are talking about pronouns, and we are talking about identity politics. There is no need to fight others on the basis of how they perceive you if they aren’t taking away your rights. If some old guy keeps calling me Jerry instead of Geronimo, even after I correct him, I let it slide for the same reason. It isn’t a battle worth fighting to the bitter end because there is no payoff. It was never an actual fight in the first place. It’s time for the end of the gender debate.
Anyway, gender is binary and gender is a spectrum. There are exactly two genders. There are a million plus forms of gender identity. Biological sex is the exact same thing as gender, and gender is a construct of a patriarchal society. Depends on who you are talking to. See how easy it is to take into account dimensionality instead of adopting a rigid ‘right and wrong’ viewpoint? Be flexible and get along. Meet in the middle assholes, because identity politics don’t fucking matter.
It’s time for the end of the gender debate.