Often in our modern narrative where we have saw the need to fight against the so-called ‘tyrannical patriarchy’ highlighting differences between the genders is seen as unreasonable discrimination and or deliberate bias against women. However, when we put the shoe on the other foot, where we highlight the unique talents and gifts that women specifically have or excel in, then there is noting to complain about. I am asking whether gender is really a thing because I wonder if perhaps a world without gender is better? Or when can there be a world without gender? Or in which way is gender in fact not a thing?
There was a time in the world when if you had sex you suffered really dire consequences. In Europe there was the syphilis pandemic of the 15th century. There was also the very likelihood that a woman who engaged in sex would fall pregnant. In a world where this was the case, ignoring gender would be improbable. It was just a matter of time before any woman who had a libido would likely fall pregnant. Pregnancy came with its own demands. Ideally a pregnant woman would want a person to maintain her and possibly continue to sleep with her because it’s the one time sex doesn’t bare fruit- seeing as the fruit is already on the way. The construct of traditional society was in fact around gender distinction and gendered roles because childbirth was a real ‘handicap’ women faced.
Fast forward to our time. Childbirth isn’t a natural result of sexual intercourse anymore. Countless women are sexually active without ever needing to give birth and in this way women are just like men. It was the great ‘equaliser’ of the modern world to invent advance methods of birth control. It’s a world in which gender is not that much of a thing because the unique ability of women to give birth can be eliminated altogether. A woman without a womb need not be in a role that requires a number of safe guards traditional societies provided. She can in effect, escape the consequences of her sexuality, something only men- who didn’t mind several illegitimate children- could do. A world without children would be a world without gender because the primary role of having opposite genders is the function of sexual intercourse. It’s also a world where the species would become extinct if carried out to its conclusion.
Is Gender a thing? I believe for as long as women give birth and people have sex, it is. I am only here because of gender, otherwise I wouldn’t exist. It is possibile to not acknowledge gender as a factor in life, but it is impossible to have life without gender. Hence, I find that harmony comes when acknowledging the unique gifts that individuals bring through their differences. There is very little use for saying people are the same when the coexistence of the human race depends on varying talents whether innate or acquired. The way I choose to see gender is that it is a gift. My gender is an innate assignment in which I must exploit the talents natural to me. Yes, that talent doesn’t include the ability to give birth. I don’t find myself as capable of being a nurturer, and I find myself to be emotionally weak. I cannot endure the same levels of pain, and I am unable to interpret an entire gamut of emotional data. It’s not a competition when I cannot compete. Instead I focus on what I am good at. I am physically strong. I am organised and I provide protection and support. That’s part of who I am within my gender. I am a man, and I am proud to be one.