De-Constructing Masculinity and Femininity.

The separation of instrumental and expressive dimensions of life and patriarchy.

The current patriarchal system is founded on separation between work and connection, between the home and family and the wider world and this was because it was made so women could be given access to certain zones of life and others could only be accessed through men and all were dependent on male approval in some way.

Traditionally the instrumental zone was only occupied by men, but this did not mean women never did any instrumental tasks. Women have always done instrumental tasks as part of their service script whenever they had to fill in for men, during the world wars women did many of the tasks allocated to men. Women who filled metal work factories also were doing instrumental tasks, but for much lower pay. Men as a class are allocated an instrumental role, and what makes it an instrumental role as opposed to a cluster of instrumental traits and tasks that an individual orientates towards is patriarchal power, cultural permission to run things. When women do instrumental tasks, they still dont have cultural permission to run things, and people cringe at them even having permission to run things for that task. Men as a class dont just have cultural permission to run the instrumental role, they also have cultural permission to run the expressive role allocated to women. They dont just demand women nurture and preen, but they tell them who to nurture and when to preen and how and they force women to clean up the mess men make in the everyday running of the patriarchy. Women are to birth the armies patriarchy kills in wars, they are to look after casualties of male violence and serve in the expressive role doing all the childcare while men run the show in a way that disadvantages women.

Traditionally the expressive zone is allocated to women, but women as a class dont get to nurture from their own core, they are to nurture the ideas of men and children in the shape of patriarchy. Women are to decorate their body, any big works of art out in the world is still reserved for men. So its not that women are to be expressive, its that they are to follow an expressive role and be visually and emotionally available to men. The world of communication and social networking is part of the expressive role, but women are told what to say so really the communication role of women is like a news reader, she must read the patriarchal news or be taken off air. Traditionally women answered the phone and took appointments mostly for men, they also tidied and filed away mens work. The expressive role under patriarchy is a service role, not another pole of a gender binary that has its own self generated way of functioning.

Looking at this its easy to see the expressive dimension is trodden on, and queer theorists refer to this as oppression of femininity as if femininity is some thing that exists in its own right. In reality it doesn’t but the thing they are describing is a reality, an aspect of life is being trodden down and its the connected, emotional aspect of life. This is a result of the unnatural separation of human personality traits into two roles and social spheres. To achieve it you have to create a division in self, otherwise people start questioning their actions, for sex roles to work people have to respond to every situation in life from a sexed perspective rather then a situational perspective because if people start looking at their actions and the situation rather their actions as a man or woman, participation in a system based on the abuse of others would not be as likely.

If you code instrumental traits and tasks as masculine, and expressive traits and tasks as feminine then you create a zone for each sex that keeps them in role and they dont question it. You can then add things to the mix, and people do them because their are part of their role. They dont stop to think about cause and effect, what are they instrumenting and what are they expressing or if their are wasting these potentials. Women dont stop to look at what they are nurturing and men dont stop to ask what they are running. Things start to make sense that dont make sense outside of gender and things become opposed to each other that naturally fit together. When you have shaped the instrumental potential of the human race in the direction of a corrupt system and forced its expressive potential to service it, but have hidden it as masculine and feminine you get the following none sense.

“Women today are becoming more masculine, they dont want to be women anymore”

“yes, femininity is so devalued today, people think the solution is to become more masculine”

“Ok, lets get both sexes to be more feminine, and stop masculinity ruling the world”

The above is queer theory approach, now my approach.

“Women today are becoming more instrumental, they dont want to be women anymore.”

“Why does becoming more instrumental mean women no longer want to be women?”

“Because they just seem to want to do the roles men do”

“and whats wrong with the roles men do?”

See the patriarchy is exposed now in a few sentences, it becomes easy to see that the thing wrong is not women becoming more instrumental, its whats being done instrumentally and thats patriarchy. If the overall system is maintained, switching the roles a little is a compromise, and we call this equality.

The patriarchy must separate thinking and feeling as much as possible, because it must separate action and empathy as systematizing and empathizing are results of instrumental and expressive traits. Reducing the emotions of men and controlling those of women is part of this, acting from feeling has to be the biggest crime for anyone allocated the instrumental roles or given any power or they may use it to free the oppressed and not further the system. Power is social permission to run things, and to run things you need to be instrumental, but you cant instrument things from emotion you must do it from the script. There is a big problem because women are given a script telling them what to empathize with, so even if they do instrument from feeling they will still instrument from the system.

For patriarchy to work they must get people to both systematize and empathize with it without stopping and thinking, and to do this they need gender. Thats because when you take instrumental actions its natural to run them through empathizing channels and look at if you are putting your mind and intellect into making something you want to know its productive. So they need to control your definition of productive. If your taking expressive actions, its natural to run these through instrumental channels and look at the effect, because if your empathizing you want it to be productive and beneficial as thats the point, so they need to change the definition you have of productive. Gender is how they change all the definitions, that way they can get people to use their systematizing ability to build weapons, harm others and they can get people to give away their empathy to the oppressive system and care about the oppressor not the victim.

In a sense masculinity and femininity are bad software that makes us all malfunction, and this malfunction is measured at the norm.

De constructing Gender(ed) Expression (Sexed Expression)

I think this one area is more important then gender identity in terms of gender abolition.

Standard old school trans theory referred to gender role/gender expression as outward communication of ones own inner gender identity. The gender expression spectrum runs from masculine to feminine and is based on the culturally constructed sex roles where clothing, mannerisms and behaviours all line up with the sex role power dynamic. Its here where the problem between gender critical and trans arises because its the idea that one expresses their gender identity by preforming cultural roles essentialises the method of women’s oppression. Its here where female and femininity and male and masculinity are seen as flowing from each other on a spectrum in proportion to gender identity, where one becomes more or less of a man or woman based on how far they are towards communicating each form of expression. Its also here where gender non conforming people end up mixing up social roles and biological sex. Some trans people due use cultural stereotypes to communicate gender identity/sex identity, but this is an adaptation in my view.

Modern day trans theory combined with queer theory is a mix of social construction and biological essentialist theory, and its recognised that gender expression and gender identity dont always link up because gender expression is in part socially constructed. The political analysis of how this is constructed stops there and people are to identify how they like and work to overcoming cissexism. A gap exists here because it assumes that the sex roles suit some people, it also erases power dynamics between the sexes because it does not even see sex as a fixed reality. Gender expression is still coded as masculine and feminine and not questioned, instead another identity is added for those who dont fit the box fully(e.g masculine presenting.)

Old school genderqueer politics used to be about transgression of sex role expectations via gender role non conformity or adopting the opposite sex roles, it was not centred around biological sex like now. Identifying as a genderqueer man or woman was about sex and not gender, the genderqueer part then was in reference to the masculine and feminine roles. Queer theory was social constructionist and it viewed gender expression as socially constructed and the expression of sex role expectation, rather then expression of gender identity. The difference between the two is viewing gender expression as performance of a given scrip, vs viewing gender expression as the living from an inner innate script related to ones own gender identity. When one sees gender expression as a performance of a given script, its easy to say that gender expression is fluid, without saying the person is gender fluid. Thats because the script is not running from them, they are running from a given script so you can give them another one. When trans theory mixed up with queer theory the idea of gender as fluid became a personal identity thing, resulting in people who want to preform both aspects of the two scripts seeing it as something within them rather then them dealing with a script they have given in a non conforming way. Now there is a situation where gender identity is said to be organic, ingrained and also fluid and changeable and its a result of a confusion of sex identity/gender identity with sex role/ gender role.

The only one way to fix this is to view gender expression as sex role/ gender role orientation and run its spectrum from instrumental to expressive and refer to it as the communication of personality and self through a gendered (sexed) cultural lens in a society that has two sex roles. Its no longer gender expression, because expression should not be gendered, its only gendered because of gender roles and these are socially constructed because of the sex based power structure. The current model of gender expression rely on the cultural notions of male and female staying in place, because to recognise gendered expression one has to have within them a map of the definitions of masculine and feminine and this map is based on the sex stereotypes resulting from sex roles.

Gender role/Sex role orientation could even be called just Role Orientation and then further placed on two spectrum’s of instrumental and expressive where people decide how much affinity they have for these two sets. Then political analysis of why we have gendered/sexed roles that extend into the self in the way they do.

HOW PATRIARCHY GENDERS PERSONALITY TRAITS AND FEMINIST SUBVERSION

I think calling these things masculinist is just re-gendering them.

Under patriarchy its the instrumental and expressive personality traits that are assigned to gender, the traits assigned to masculinity include a lot of things that women need to reclaim, aggression and domination are behaviours not traits and submission and care taking are behaviours not traits. What happens is that some people dont have the traits for the expected sex role behaviours to develop and these people have an harder time adjusting, but are not in anyway the wrong sex.

Instrumental traits include being task focused, driven, motivated, systematizing etc. Wanting to build things, or take things apart, excel at maths or science, all come from instrumental traits. Men are allocated the instrumental set, and are to develop that aspect of themselves. There is nothing wrong with both sexes doing this, its the next bit thats the problem. Men are taught to go about these tasks competitively, and women are taught to stay away from this aspect of themselves completely. As a result they are kept away from the explorer and scientific instinct. Instrumental traits are important for decision making, and men are taught to use them to make decisions for others, more so women and in some cases other men. Both sexes should be using them to make decisions for themselves and using the other skill set, the expressive one to ensure that what ever they do instrumentally does not damage others.

Aggression is really only motivation, shaped wrongly by patriarchy, motivation mixed with competition forms the basis for aggression because it turns the instrumental focus into a spear that is used to stick others. Competition is created by creating the need to compete to survive, and it means people take the instrumental traits and turn them into skills that favour survival of individuals over others. Anger is a natural by product of the unnatural situation, it arises when someone does better because it means your own chances are reduced if under a competitive system.

To get masculinity you have to have male +instrumental trait set + male power.

If you get a male who is tipped towards an expressive trait based personality, he will still be taught to use it against others in the form of competition. He may become successful in areas normally allocated to women, and when he does he will likely end up managing women. He could be an hairdresser, fashion designer, counsellor, charge nurse, careworker or male feminist because he believes he has a feminine side. If he has a lot of the expressive traits and does bad at being dominant, then he will fail in a big way at masculinity.

The expressive traits allocated to women centre around connectedness, co operation, nurturing, maintaining and caretaking, creativity, communication and empathy/people orientated. Submission is not naturally part of co operation, it results from male dominance and fear of violence and how it acts to control what women do with their expressive traits and also to stop them developing the instrumental ones. This is how women are forced to do all the caretaking and to use their creativity in ways to attract the male gaze and this results in competitiveness being added to women too, but in a different way.

To get femininity you need Male dominance + females. Then they are shaped into submission by forcing them into fixed expressive trait set and the proceeds are milked and controlled as a resource by men, this includes female nurturing, sexuality, beauty, the children they produce etc.

If you get a female with a personality tip towards instrumentality they will be motivated towards systematizing, and activities codes as masculine and this is not bad. What comes next is. They learn the only way to do any of these things is by taking on the toxic aggressive competitive aspect, because the borders are policed around the tasks men have claimed at theirs. If you want to wear menswear bc its more compatible with certain activity’s, then you get treated like a man in the sense men thing they can challenge you, and you still have to deal with the misogyny they throw at you for being female and you dont get a bit of a break for pleasing their eye. These days you may end up on blockers too.

Instrumental and expressive traits are not naturally divided. You could be independent, motivated, co operative and nurturing all at the same time. You could be systematizing and co operative, because you could build systems and tools for everyones use rather then to kill everyone in a war. What gender under patriarchy does is rape womens reproduction, and creativity and that of other men to some degree.

Instrumental and expressive when made into masculine and feminine are made incomparable, developing both in ones self will lead to inner conflict. One cannot be competitive and co operative, submissive and independent. Once the trait sets have been divided and poisoned by gender a divide is set up in the self and in the world.

As individuals we need to have our own sphere, and have some individuality and space, and let others have theirs and still work together to build a society. This would be a gender free way of being, but its not possible because no one person can do it all while gender exists.

For example men are allowed to be individuals and have their own sphere, but they wont let others have theirs because of masculinity they are taught to take as much for themselves and make other give up theirs. To take womens and fight other men for theirs. Women are not allowed true individuality, and are to work together under male command, which really means against each other as men are working against each other. They are to nurture who men say, and when men say.

There will always be a natural sea of personality traits which varies in all humans and for some reason some will have a set that looks like a gender, but its not. Trans people do have trait clashes with their sex role, but it may be in the raw materiel traits rather then the shaped ones. For example autism rates are high in FTM transsexual and autism makes a person more systematizing and this trait is coded as masculine. Its quite possible that a trait could exist which makes a person more artistic and drawn to colour, and could make a boy child more drawn to girls things because girls things are made more eye catching.

When it comes to imitating “masculinist” traits they should not be called masculinist because it could just end up with more gender based ideas coming up. I would call them patriarchal behaviours and list them below.

-Indirect aggression and backstabbing (results bc women are socialized to not be direct and honest so they dont hurt each others feelings or get their needs met.)

-Competition

-Aggression

-Belittling other womens achievements, related to competition.

-Excluding and forming cliques( because women are not taught proper debate, its related to enforced passivity where a woman is to always be agreeable.)

-Submission (this is why women remain on the fence while things are going on)

-Judging other women based on conformity to sex role expectations, this includes telling women they are being masculine or policing them about appearance. Examples in feminism include, wanting to not be associated with lesbians, the “This is what a feminist looks like campaign” trying to say some feminists can still meet beauty standards, exclusing women who look “butch” to get rid of the image feminists want to be men.

sisterhoodispowerful

Human personality traits, which anyone is capable of experiencing, are assigned to the social construction of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ in order to reinforce male supremacy. From birth, women are assigned personality traits which are traditionally supposed to keep us compliant and controlled, such as co-operation, gentleness, kindness. They firmly place us in a subordinate caste. We are conditioned, controlled and punished unless, and until, we display these traits. From birth, men are assigned traits which will reinforce male superiority such as domination and aggression. They firmly place men in a dominant caste. Men are taught to dominate and dismiss women and to fight with each other over women as commodities in order to determine who is top of the pile. These traits, we are taught, are ingrained in each gender leading to women as submissive and men as ‘naturally’ (sic) dominant. Women adopting masculinist traits leads to a reinforcement of…

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Emptying the baskets of masculinity and femininity.

Historically, behaviour tastes and interests have been coded masculine and feminine and by coding them this they are gendered. In all cultures concepts of masculine women and feminine men have existed, and how dysphoric these people were we will never know. They may not have had dysphoria if they were aware that sex roles were just roles people took in response to environmental survival and reproductive needs and that they fitted in doing certain tasks for their own reasons and they knew both sexes were capable of a wide range of tasks but did what they did for a reason. Like for example they knew men could cook, but it was what women were doing due to the men doing other things rather then it being wired in the brain etc. Up to about 100 years ago, everything was about morality, and ensuring women got married before reproduction etc rather then being about interests and abilities because then most people lived a daily grind so they had less time to think about identity. Some people though still cross dressed for what ever reason and some men had tastes so far out of masculinity expectations they cross dressed fulltime, but may have not had the gender dysphoria checklist of today.

In society most things that get coded as masculine as things that are instrumental. Most things that get coded as feminine are expressive. Male and female bodies get referred to as masculine and feminine but in a different context, and sometimes graded based on instrumental and expressive perceptions. If a man has any physical features that make him more expressive he will get labelled feminine and this may seem harmless but its the root of the problem, it is the very thing that could send the person along the trans path because a link between him and the opposite sex is made and its a false link. What happens is in his mind two baskets are created, and in each goes all the things he likes that are expressive and all the instrumental things about him, what was once in one place is divided and then the baskets are labelled as masculine and feminine. Over time all of society gender junk end up in the baskets, in his expressive basket labelled as feminine will be all the physical features he is told are feminine. These may include a smoother jawline, softer skin, expressive eyes, nice hair, soft spoken, caring, and interests in art, fashion and clothing. And because society has made most expressive things for girls, he will take in some gender junk from the female social role, mostly the stuff put there at the expense of girls. In his instrumental basket now labelled masculine will be all the things about himself that are coded as masculine, along with a negative check list of all he is not or doesn’t want to be and all he does to resist that pressure. Unfortunately if things are extreme his male physiology will be coded masculine, and in the same basket as the personality traits and interests assigned to men and he wont be able to link together his expressive side (now coded feminine and in a separate part of his mind) and his male body. He may identify at first as a feminine man, then start wearing womens clothes, and then wanting female features because his expressive traits have become linked with female biology.

The only way to fully break the problem is to clean out both baskets and get rid of both baskets and this can only be done by getting rid of concepts of masculine and feminine because its impossible for feminine man or masculine woman to really sit in the mind and not gather societys gender baggage as a link is established between tastes interests and a persons sex. If something is feminine it links back to the role expected of women and if its masculine it links back to the role expected of men in a fast way.

Everything other then the male body thats in the masculine box is instrumental. Functional clothing, less detail, direct speech, tools, machines, personality traits that make it easy to get on and run things, with less interaction and be more systematizing. People with strong instrumental role orientations will fit the cultural constructs of masculinity very well, so if male will have less chance of gender dysphoria though it can still be a result of other things. The male body is said to be better at being instrumental due to more strength and not giving birth, but thats more related to culture then biology.

Most things in the feminine box are expressive, communication, interaction, nurturing and decoration etc. But in the natural environment women did a lot of the instrumental tasks too which may be why society has tolerated a little more fluctuation in sex role behaviour for women, as long as they go along with reproductive expectations. If a man has an expressive role orientation he will get a sense of being more “feminine” then many actual females and will have a greater affinity for the thing associated with being expressive. This is not trans but its a step towards trans and its these people who end up trans quickly when they are exposed to trans.

Gender non conforming expressive orientated males and high instrumental orientated females are the ones who will go straight to dysphoria once those baskets of gender already in them get activated.

This is what happens then. In the expressive male the expressive basket he has coded feminine becomes his female self, everything in his instrumental masculine basket is to be got rid of, his male body, any interests he had that are coded male and all the baggage of where he struggled with masculinity. Throwing out clothing, items from the past, giving up interests or even changing who one dates as nothing that will contaminate the new self can remain. He will feel great and have escalating dysphoria at the same time, and he will find he cant get rid of that other basket, and will be focused on getting rid of all the individual things in it.

He will gender other people when he enters the trans scene, he has a real radar for the traits associated with masculinity and femininity and of recognising them in others, and when he meets people who have traits outside their role he is quick to start seeing them as trans. He will start by telling females they are masculine or more masculine then him, and they may be gender queer or trans and he will feel his female persona threatened by those who identify as female but are not displaying the things he has come to see as feminine. (This is why butch women and trans women are running into problems)

Females get their baskets activated when they are repeatedly told they are masculine or trans, and are set up against their biology in the same way. The only way out is to give up that masculine identity and embrace the original instrumental orientation behind it, that way its possible to be it without getting an over eye gendered view of oneself.

When instrumental and expressive are separated from masculine and feminine they take a new shape. They can occupy the same space in varying amounts in a may that does not seem to the mind like a mixing together of the sexes. Its also easy to see how nothing is fully instrumental or expressive in its self, its more how the things are arranged. The colour pink can be instrumental or expressive depending on what its used for, if pink is used as a shade for its look its expressive and if pink is used to symbolize something it becomes instrumental. This is why they make clothes for women with non functional pockets, they are an instrumental looking item of clothing but are really being used expressively. They still may be called masculine looking, but really they are still inline with expressive bs instrumental as they dont function. This is why they dont put as many details on most menswear, if its there it does something. A woman in a mans suit as a trend is still expressive as its not serving a function if its worn outside a setting where a suit serves a function. This is why you get men mostly wearing the clothing for the activity they are doing, because thats whats instrumental, to start wearing menswear out of the right setting as a trend is a shadow of gender non conformity and its happening more now with men. Because clothing of any kind can default to expressive if its outside of a function, and because women are allowed more instrumental leeway before they are outside role women can be still seen to some degree as inline with their role wearing menswear trends as long as they are done as fashions and as long as they are not done exactly like men in roles where they would get instrumental status.

As soon as men start experimenting with fashions they find they have limited room, because they are soon out of role as things default to expressive once they are giving off a look over a function so even suits that are not just standard suits start to be seen as a bit camp. When it comes to activity, men have more room as men can cook, clean and sew as long as they are not being too service orientated and nurturing, they must be trying to earn a living through it and aiming to make it a skill they develop. They must do it in an instrumental way which under this system leads to competition over doing it better then others. When men use their expressive side to be instrumental, they are let back into masculinity to some degree. When women use their instrumental side to be expressive they are let off, if women can build houses she must build houses for the poor, not to make profit etc and if she does so she can do a thing considered for men but be let off in the end. Its here where the lines get blurred and it becomes clear that it depends just on how far out of expectations someone treads, and its more complex then just stretching the traits out on a spectrum.

The sex roles are there to maintain the power dynamic between the sexes, not just to sort out tasks and reproduction. Today we have no environmental reasons for sex roles. In the past a man wearing expressive clothing on a battle field would be killed as he would be spotted, and women would have had to limit certain jobs while pregnant etc.