Verbatum, cut/paste from email. -- This the whole point of a blog in the first place: Dialogical, rather than sililoquial.
-- Anonymous, nom de plume, alias, alter ego . . . Ca ne me fait rien du tout!
Update 12/14/15: glossed w/ commentary set off in italics, indented . . .
Here are some thoughts inspired by your latest.....
In the development of the world and the human race there was a time when there was no designation of male and female. Animals and humans copulated. Eventually, the mind became mature enough to cognitively recognize certain differences. We see that in ancient art and cave paintings. The keys in certain locks, it came to be understood, was the means to produce offspring, but this only acknowledged that hetero-sexual (a label) congress produces a new being. The role, the function of these two genders was not yet defined other than you (f) are the one that will bear the child.
And before you say it: the male role has always been defined by baser tendencies due to hormonal developments, consider the fact that estrogen can and probably was equally driving the female sex. If females were not as aggressive as males the entire species wouldn't have survived! Even today, women have been known to extremely aggressive, but society has tempered that aggression (and here it yet another word that conveys a negative perception of simply a person's strengths) through direction, expectation, limitation. And when a female portrays that aggression they gain the label of being too masculine, like aggression is only a trait that the male can possess. But long ago men and women worked to survive the world together, side by side, equal. Tis why women are continually fighting to be recognized not as a gender but simply as a human being equally deserving of what the other aspect of their race receives.
-- Gender equality for sure. Fundamentals of sex-drive, perpetuation of species, but we can only speculate about inherent sexual behavior models. At bottom, it seems to be working in the first order of agency, perpetuation of species.
Human being. Being human.
That is the key. Segregating, separating, dividing the human race into its genders, then defining the role of said genders perpetuates a whole host of issues that allow others to retain control over a society/culture. You know this. It is fear mongering at its worst. (or if you are on the other side, at its best.) Religion is the source. People talk about faith, faith in an unknown male entity for the most part, but I say what the F*?! (and this may offend, but I am not afraid to do so.) Faith in a Man? Laws written by men? All laws defining the roles, giving power of the male over the female. Brainwashing! What are smart women doing following such bleatings that constrain their individuality? And the same for men… Men are the victims of themselves. They have constrained and defined so much what their roles should be that when it comes to not fitting they’ve dug their own psychological grave!
-- This is the inherent distinction between "sex" and "gender role." Gender role is ineluctably enmeshed in determinates of biology, hormones, sex drive, physicality (size, strength, muscle mass, child bearing/nursing). Some gender role is derived -- partially determined -- by physiology. Butler asserts that most gender role is "performative" and culturally, linguistically, heuristically derived. Somewhere in the division of labor between the sexes, physicality trumped childbearing in terms of hegemonic privilege.
Why would the male of the species wish to contain females? Jealousy? Fear? A man will never possess the power to bear a child, but a woman cannot bear a child without the help of a male. What is there to be jealous about? The power is equal it just is distributed differently. Dominance? That is the behavior of someone who is afraid of going out and finding out who they are without being the center of someone’s attention, negatively or positively. And yes, I realize these are absolutes and people are not a mass of absolutes but a complex composite of so many influences. But the influences are more negative, more constraining than they are uplifting and expansive.
--Foucault suggests that pair bonding, role relationships, filiality, incest taboo, inheritance, estates, marriage law, religious edicts all derive from the patriarchal need to establish paternity. Historically women were subjects: no vote, no property, no estate inheritance . . .
Truly, why would a male want to be female? The female body does some damn disgusting things that a male’s does not. When I learned what made me different from a boy, I was horrified. Never did I want to experience that for most my life, a slave to biology. It creates a vulnerability that males, for the most part, don't think about. (This is not to say men aren't sexually vulnerable. They are, mores so when they are young, when their male traits are not so adamantly displayed.) Because you were born male or female doesn’t mean you are obligated to procreate. That is a socially defined action.
-- In my case personally it has to do with being sexually abused by a male sibling, and traumatic associations relating to male sexuality, male sexual physiology. That said, let us note -- Foucault again -- that sexuality is infinitely expressed. While there may be specific social edicts about "non normative" expression, even laws regarding "non hetero-normative" sexual behavior, the designation of any sexual behavior as "deviant" or "pathological" is a socio-cultural, semantic invention.
Why be female? So they can be justified in their desire to wear the proscribed clothing that are mostly designed by men for women? Paint their faces? So they can feel more comfortable with the feeling ...softer, for lack of a better term. Won't call it feminine, for that too is a behavior and trait defined by the patriarchal branch of our species. I say screw the complexities. They are shaped by social control. They make money for others and give power over to others. Be who you wake up each morning feeling like you are. I do. The only time I pay attention to my female parts is when I have to go to the bathroom, around a host of men that have the potential to be violent, put on a bra, and decide today I won't shave my legs. Why should I? What a damn bother. If I want to have a child, I will. I know how to do that. (Have done that. Bearing a child, having your body betray you for years after….why would a man want that?) But most men don’t want the full magilla-gorilla when it comes to their perception of being female.
-- Again, Foucault . . . et al. Motive is arbitrary, fluid, infinitely variable, culturally constructed. Intentionality is arbitrary and "always already a mis-reading" (Derrida).
Don’t you think they are just seeking permission to be the self they feel they are? We need a revolution of thought and understanding. All these people trying to define that, categorize that, making jobs, making money, controlling…Just be and accept that Being in others, so long as it doesn’t physically hurt you or someone else.
And screw anyone that can't accept your individuality.
-- Today's post, "Masculinities, Performativity, and Subversion" by C., Bickell addresses social behaviors that might subvert "macho" rural male sex role stereotypes. On a more personal plane, I simply encounter a great deal of angst navigating sex-role expectations with regard to setting, describing, negotiating sexual relationships. Some of us chose to be actively engaged in the sexual quest. Some of us chose, desire, are motivated to disengage -- and accordingly drop from our behavioral repertoire the more egregious signifiers of sexual pursuit,