Is it a Boy or a Child?

The title comes from Irish culture, and is what people used to ask when hearing that someone has had a baby, now and again I hear it used jokingly to illustrate the alleged invisibility and unimportance attached to girls in Irish society.  I’m not sure if there are variations of this in other cultures.

Until recently I didn’t pay much heed to the topic of transgender, trans-sexuality or intersexuality, my only real interest would have been in debunking feminist theories about gender in general. Unbeknownst to me and with apologies to the transgender and transsexual community I now admit to my ignorance and my failure to probe deeper into the topic of gender. The topic is much deeper, much more complex, and much more about “biology” than simply being about physiology, and most definitely not exclusively about gender as “roles” that people are either coerced into playing, or expected to play by society, as feminism would have us believe. That myth that can be resoundingly debunked, rejected and shown to be utterly false, as is the socialisation argument so beloved by feminists.

This is the one where feminists posit than men and women are neither inherently masculine nor feminine, that children are socialised into acting in supposedly feminine or masculine “ways” – with of the course the caveat that feminine traits are all good, and masculine traits are all bad.  Again, these “ways” of behaving are imposed from without, rather than being expressions of innate, biologically hardwired behaviour or perhaps instincts emanating from within.

Having said that, I am cognisant of the fact that for those who are conflicted, or confused, or in pain from living with an ambiguous sex, or feeling that they are “the wrong sex” talking about gender from a person who hasn’t “walked a mile in your shoes” may be insulting. I apologise in advance.

The title should really be –  “Is it a Boy or a Girl or a Child?”

What triggered my desire to investigate further and try to learn about, and understand this whole gender issue from a broader perspective was a post by user Maxx who brought this issue to the attention of AVfM members on the forum with this post “Why new law on ‘intersex’ children is good news for the MRM…”  and drew attention to recently enacted legislation from Germany in relation to those individuals who had been or will be born with the condition, or rather a complexity of conditions that led to them being labelled as Intersex at birth. In effect, in answer to the newly rephrased question, “is it a boy or a girl or a child” the answer is – a child. It should be noted that Lucian Valsan, AVfM’s European News Director and Maxx both raised some important points in relation to how feminism might try to hi-jack this issue to further their role as the “gender experts.”

But first – The Science.

This article explains Intersex from a medical perspective, this is a link to the Intersex Society of North America and this addresses intersex from a psychological perspective.

How does all this change how we think and maybe should start thinking about gender?

Well, first of all I believe we can throw out the “gender is a social construct” pile of hogwash. Am I saying that we should totally dismiss the idea of “gender roles” or ascribe certain ways of being, of acting, of identifying ourselves, as elements of expression of either our femininity or masculinity? Nope. What I’m saying is that from the basis of what sex we are at a genetic, cellular, biological level, we naturally gravitate towards being, believing, seeing and knowing ourselves to BE either male or female. Instinctively we behave in “ways” that are perceived as masculine or feminine, neither of which is inherently either good or bad, it just……is.

With the caveat that, both these “categories” or binaries can be expressed along a range, one can be a masculine female or a feminine male and still have the right to call oneself male or female, to be accepted as male or female, and to be acknowledged as male or female, and in some instances a combination of both.

To all intents and purposes feminism has driven us into a gender cul de sac, has so confused and muddied the waters, has deliberately and unwarrentedly “taken charge” of the narrative and insinuated its definitional framework onto the discourse that, gender/sex, masculine/feminine, male/female, man/woman could mean almost anything with the emphasis on the bad gender, placed on any of those words beginning with “M”.

This brings us to perhaps the most insidious aspect of feminism, and the most extreme proponents of the “gender is a social construct” theory. Radical feminists. The radical feminist stance that only “women born women” are women, speaks to the original title question – is it a boy or a child?  Radical feminism’s stance on this exposes their ignorance, their prejudice, their total inability to either understand what gender is or isn’t, and their lack of credibility or qualification to pontificate on “gender issues” or proclaim themselves as the “gender experts” par excellence”

I’m sure you all recall the radfem attempts to force the London Irish Centre to host their conference last year?  How their avowed stance is that “transwomen were not women” but rather men in disguise, and therefore the hated, despised and vilified “gender” and that only “women born women” were real women?

Some perspectives on gender here, here and here.

Here’s the thing – intersexuality works both ways – a person may physiologically appear to be male but is in actual fact, genetically and biologically female, but a person may also be physiologically female but……………..contra wise be male.

I’m sure that you have all spotted the glaring inconsistency in not just “mainstream” feminism’s theory of gender, but in radical feminism’s dogmatic and vitriolic position that only “women born women” are women.

If gender really is a “social construct” then what possible difference could it make if one was “born” or emerged from the womb physiologically identifiable as either male or female?  Surely it is how that child, that presumably blank slate is written on, by his/her socialisation that determines whether this child is male or female?

What about gender – v – sex (biologically speaking) how does that play out when there is ambiguity re “is it a boy or a girl or a child?” i’ve only begun to realise that the issue of “gender” is more multi-faceted and complex than I originally believed, but am now even more convinced that feminists should be let no where near it, and given no credibility for speaking about “gender issues” without going back to school and starting their “education” all over again. Possibly from kindergarten.

So, bearing all the science in mind, my question for feminists is this.

What’s it to be? Because you really cannot have it both ways. Oh wait…feminists…say no more.

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