Sex Role Mandate, Questioning Gender Expression

In a sense the gender system is there bc humans as a species are fixated on sex and reproduction above all else. Its like before anything else can be done where everyone fits in that has to be put out on the table. The second anyone questions their place in that all the rest of the things are off the table. Transition or feminist type sex role refusal all questions one’s place or the place of others in the system, radfem gender critical questions the system itself. In reality none of them reinforce the system, some just fail to see or question the system itself and take an individual approach.

Trans theorists and radfems have one thing they could say that is the same. There should be no imposed ways of being based on assigned sex anyways. This is the real point, it does not matter if sex is assigned or determined what matters is what happens after. Some think that people should be free to step out of their nature assigned biological conditions along with the social ones culturally assigned because of it. It appears radfem don’t think people should have the right to step out of biology, just culture. I think people should have the right to step out of biology and culture in relation to sex and gender. What i don’t think is that all wishes to do so are related to anything innate in the brain, the culture is universally wrong even if it’s right for some and the reason for that is because it imposes itself on all. Trans and queer theorists see assigning titles like she or he to people based on sex as part of the system, because its something people have a choice in. What trans and queer theorists fail to see is how to separate assigning someone she or he and also assigning them femininity or masculinity.

What i want is for there to be 3 components recognized, determination of anatomy, assigning a social description to that biological anatomy (male or female etc) and then imposing the sex role mandate upon people based on that social description. Boy and Girl tend to mean male+masculine and female+feminine rather than just male and female. This means there’s two layers of things that a person may not agree with rather than just the one. Personality traits can clash with the sex role mandate because in general the masculine sex role mandate requires more instrumental traits and the feminine sex role mandate requires more expressive ones.

First it’s determined if someone has a male or female anatomy or some other anatomy. This has to be done and always will have to be done, because people need to know what system they have and the care it will need. Historically female and male have been descriptions applied to the body based on presence of certain parts. Historically those who develop a combination of whats considered male and female reproductive systems have been considered inter-sexed, and given whatever medical modifications were available at the time, to bring them closer to one sex title. Requirements for a sexed title always include a penis of a certain length and function or a vagina of a certain depth and function, as minimum and function is a measurement based on heterosexual intercourse. Other things related to the sex role mandate are included, including ability to pee standing up and possibly reproduction if any gonads are present. The individual’s ability to comply with their sex role mandate matters more than what their experience will be living in that modified body. They are then assigned a title of male or female along with everyone else in preparation for the sex role mandate, this is a gun to the head thing and people are killed for breaking it. Trans and queer theorists today are now questioning if it’s necessary to give people a social title at all based on biological setup, the problem is they care more about this then about the sex role mandate itself. Those who claim that biological sex and the sex binary is a social construct are not saying the two biological body systems don’t exist, they question how accurate looking at parts while knowing nothing about what’s in the persons head is. They also question how binary everything is biologically.

After biological arrangement is determined as closely as possible,  people are given an M for male or an F for female and literally told they cannot exist on this planet as anything other. They are then told that those letters are binding and that is what they are, wishing to change these titles means THEY have gender identity disorder. Radical trans theorists will say the reverse, there is no disorder just because a person disagrees with a title that has been given by humans. More so a title that already has erased the existence of many other people who were born outside the sex binary. Radical trans theorists are opposed to a system of gender social roles from birth by default, because to them it’s wrong to slot everyone into a title and role without waiting to see what’s in their head(i.e how they identify). If we just got rid of the sex role mandate though, changing titles and having biological modifications made would be easier. Most of the punishment i for breaking the sex role mandate and most of the break from this wrath comes if a trans person does well at performing the other sex role mandate instead. Despite this many will remain angry at a trans person for rejecting their original sex role mandate and for making changes to their body that put them further away from being able to comply with their original sex role mandate. This is because the sex role mandate is a demand and a demand based on capabilities of the body its self and this includes how sexuality and reproduction will be conducted. The sex role mandate does not come naturally to anyone simply because its a demand that tells a person how to conduct themselves in that body.

After people are given a title of male or female (i.e assigned a sex after components of sex have been assessed) people are then unofficially assigned a sex role by being opted into the sex based power structure, as either dominant or subordinate and given a set of gender trimmings to mark the two sexes out and to prepare them for their role. This is the part many trans theorists don’t get because many view the sex roles as natural parts of being that sex identity if the sex assignment happens to match the person’s inner sex identity (or in today’s terms gender). The problem is that they are not, the sex roles are enforced as a mandate and they are the reason why sex is assigned in the way it is.  The fact that a power structure exists around sex is why is such a deal if someone can’t be fitted into it, and it’s the reason why it matters so much if someone changes their place in it. Its also why the response to male and female assigned sex role mandate transgression is different. The reason why everyone cares so much is because everyone is in this sex role scripted system, and its a system that has within it an ingrained definition of man or woman. For most people it’s not about disagreeing with being called male or female or the social description of their biological arrangement, instead it’s a disagreement with what a person with that biological set up and social title they agree with should live like or be like. The sex role mandate given to women is a subordinate one and the sex role mandate given to men is a dominant one, it also includes other things which can move around. This things can be interests, tastes and jobs that over time change social value. Many of these things move on to be done by women as they decrease in value, this applies more to jobs.

Modern trans theorists refers to people who agree with the social title assigned to them at birth as Cis. If your biological arrangement fitted what’s considered female and you were assigned that title and you consider yourself to be female then you’re Cis. Tran theorists will view this as cissexist because it means that because we don’t live under a system that waits to assign a social title like male or female while a person can confirm it, and instead does it based on anatomy. Trans theorists argue that this privileges those who happen to be born with anatomy that matches the current definition of how sex is assigned, leaving everyone else to get misgendered from birth. Radical trans theorists will say that trans women have always been women because they were always living knowing they were missgendered. This is because they see the brain as part of the sexed anatomy and  so the person should have the final say in sex assignment. I as a gender abolitionist agree this should be the case, but i disagree that sex roles are a natural product of sex brains and instead think that whatever takes places in the brain in relation to sex is related to biology and comparability. I do think though that it’s sex roles clashing with personality traits that cause most people to have problems with their sex assignment rather than something organic.Many today dont know the difference between biology and the social sex role mandate.

This is why i’m critical of how Cis is used today, because today its gone beyond being in agreement with one’s sex assignment and into being in agreement with the assigned sex role mandate too. Like for example if a person assigned the social title of female does not wish to strive to attain social definitions of beauty or any form of beauty, or wishes to attain strength and live a life doing things that are socially expected of those assigned male, she may end up under today’s transgender umbrella. Today’s definition of Cis has made it hard for feminists to question the sex role mandate of compulsory hetero-femininity assigned with the title of female, and this is the real problem with it. If Cis just meant agreeing with one’s assignment of the social title of female and nothing else then it would not be a problem. Cis in a sense is being abused to define what those assigned the title of female at birth can DO before they begin to be opted into another category themselves. We are at a point now where society is close to saying to anyone who questions the social mandate placed on those assigned female or male to question their gender identity. When this point is close radical feminists have to begin to ask just what is going one, more so in an era where gender dysphoria has become a condition no longer related to what it was originally about. Today we have people experiencing no body dysphoria, and some no issue with their assigned sex title but still they have social dysphoria around gender as a result of the sex role mandate. It’s no coincidence that as the sex expectations have got more narrow again as the sex role mandate has got more demanding as backlash against feminism, more people are experiencing issues with gender dysphoria. This is something that can’t just be left unquestioned or put in the same category as sexuality and viewed as progressive. It also cant be just seen as the result of a backlog either. People with gender issues suffer in a way unrelated to just discrimination, and transitioning involves many medical changes that are costly on all levels and would be regardless of how much acceptance there is out there. Its for that reason that a rise in people with gender issues at a time when there is so much pressure to push people into more narrow definitions of sex, has to be questioned. More so when some people are in effect being bullied out of their own bodies and pressured to transition for not complying with their sex role mandate. More so in a time when its only ok to transgress your sex role mandate(masculine or feminine) if you disagree with your assigned sex description (male or female) in some way. There is literally no ground left to not be trans and still question the sex role mandate. Just as there is less ground to be trans and question the sex role mandate without being advised to identify as non binary. Whats really happening is anyone trans or cis, who does not comply with the sex role mandate placed on which ever gender assignment or reassignment they are given, are expected to identify as something other than male or female. At all costs the link between female and feminine and male and masculine is being maintained.
A loophole in trans theory, and in all the best intentions of those who are feminist or queer theorists who have tried to be as trans inclusive as possible, has resulted in it being more easier to enforce the sex role mandate on the rest of us. That is because there is no longer any room to opt out of the sex role mandate, or question the social conditions imposed on people based on sex or sex identity without being told to pick another gender. At a time when the range of identities people can have as an alternative to male or female, the definition of what male and female can mean could not be more narrow.

The thing that needs to be questioned the most is not what gender identity means, its what gender expression means or should mean. What needs to be questioned is not who can be female but if femininity is the only valid expression of femaleness and masculinity the only valid expression of maleness. What needs to happen is for the definition of feminine and masculine to be overhauled in the way the definition of male and female have been.

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Value Shift

The concept that masculine and feminine things are a long-standing aspect of sex roles, which have value in themselves outside the sex role class system is a false one. Nothing’s privileged based on it being traditionally masculine outside of its presence in males. Women have never gain privilege by having strength or drive, all that happens is society tries to beat it out of them. These things are tools that only men are permitted to use, and once that rule is removed the things lose value. Whatever is associated with men gains status, when men of high status wore elaborate clothes and heels, those things held status and were considered masculine long before most of the things around today were. When men have cooked they have been chiefs as its considered a high status job, and one that women never did until recently despite cooking being assigned to them. This is because anything that was considered a trade was allocated to men regardless of what the task itself was, because men were traditionally allocated the role of provider. Any job in the workforce that requires a higher amount of skill and study was allocated to men, because women were seen as already having a full-time role in the home. In the past women spun and men weaved, because weaving required more time and skill and produced the finished product that could be sold. When weaving became a job to be done on mass by machines women filled those low paid jobs. These were working class women who worked bc they could not afford to live on one wage, and who by working represented a threat to working class male masculinity. It was seen as a symbol of them not being able to fully fill the provider role, and a reason to be ashamed rather than proud of working women. Women would be told they made their man look small by doing certain things.

The reason why strength is only allowed in men is because it allows someone to maintain dominance, outside that it will always be needed to do things. Many of these things have been jobs that pay well and which patriarchy does not want women accessing, lack of strength was an excuse to pay women less and over valuing strength was part of this. None of this explained why the most valued jobs are not manual jobs requiring strength, or why women were kept out of these too. Strength is not universally valued as a thing, it’s subject to rules based around sex roles like everything else. The occasional woman getting a pat on the back for being strong after lifting something is nothing compared to the lifetime of discouragement she will have had. It’s this that makes it impressive more than the act of her being strong, the fact she has retained it in a society that has done its best to ensure she doesn’t.

Things like interaction and communication are considered feminine but still are valued more when done by men, in public men speak more than women and women speak more in private. There simply are no masculine or feminine things, just things put in the two baskets and what gives them status is the power structure. Men have more status so whatever they adopt as a class gets put in the masculine box and given status, what goes in there can change at any time. Whatever skills are valued at the time go in the male box, whats valued is determined by what needs doing in the world at the time. The masculine and feminine boxes originally came from the divide between public sphere life and home.

By deciding to reduce the value of things coded masculine you just further alienate women who do those things, and leave the main problem intact. There is a constant push to keep women out of the things allocated to men, and this is because those things are part of a class system and once women enter them the things lose value and men move onto something else. The reason so many men care about women playing football is more to do with the change in how the game will be seen, rather than just caring about women playing sport. Once something is not exclusively male a certain manclub status goes from it. Once everything becomes unisex then the mechanism by which some things are valued more than others is gone.

Other examples apart from gendered things can be seen in society. Things associated with the middle or higher classes are  valued more until they get associated with people considered lower class, after that they are dropped. One example of this is how branded clothing has got devalued in the UK, certain brands associated with working class people and visible logos went away for a while. No matter how expensive they still lost social value in higher society, as they became associated with people who lived in council houses. Wearing a lot of gold jewelry became lower value than wearing discrete costume jewelry from a clothing store despite the difference in real value. This was a reversal on how it was before, where it was costume jewelry associated with lower status bc it was seen as all the lower classes could afford. Once affordability is removed a value system is still in place and this shows that redistributing wealth won’t fix poverty, because a system exists which is there to keep some poor and workable. The system just finds ways to get the wealth back, often buy getting people to waste their money on things that will quickly lose value. This can be done bc the ones running it have the power to decide what will lose value. Diamonds are abundant enough to render them valueless but value is maintained by keeping most of them out of circulation. Once the lower classes could afford gold and started wearing lots of it, the status aspect of it was lost so middle class people opted for style over value and took to degrading how clothes were worn rather than the price of them.  Style is another tool of the class system because its a subjective value system that soon can be changed when oppressed classes acquire it.

Most things have no real value outside the reason they are valued in the first place and much of this is because of it belonging to people at a certain social position. When people at a lower social position aspire to acquire the things, they find owning the things does not bring them more status, once they have them they mean nothing and the original power structure stays in place. Tanned complexion is another example, when working people had one from working outdoors, the higher classes did not want to be tanned. As soon as working people were stuffed indoors in factories and mills, they too were pale and tan’s soon represented time outdoors and leisure rather than work. A lot of what’s a status symbol depends on where you live and how much the various classes in those areas can access these things. A general rule is higher classes tend to mock any display of wealth by lower classes, and class status is retained even with loss of wealth. Middle class people who opt to live traveller like lifestyles still remain middle class and poor and working class people who come into money may still find themselves getting backlash when spending that money at venues catered to the higher classes. This is a dynamic similar to gender in many ways, and it represents how women who take on the things in the male class box are treated while doing these things, they have skills to spend but no one wants to serve them, and may look for a reason not to.