I think some middle ground can be found that will allow people to keep some kind of identity and still allow for the full abolition of gender as a social system. I agree with those who say current identities have just become a series of extra boxes alongside the two main boxes, and people who opt for them (or are opted into them) are punished for doing so and end up feeling like they are alone in that punishment.
In my opinion whats now considered identity needs to be looked at as a direction or the marker of a desired direction, this may be a direction in biology (like physical transition) and or a direction socially in the stuff that has been coded as masculine or feminine. This system only allows two valid directions in biology, and based upon that two social directions are assigned and reinforced by sex role scripts. All outside the two sanctioned directions (male assigned and performing masculinity script and female assigned and performing femininity script) will have their direction obstructed, they will be pushed back in the direction of whichever social box people perceive them as belonging in.
I think one of the reasons why todays identity system is not working for many individuals and also politically is because it groups the physical traits associated with biological sex with the things coded masculine and feminine socially. There is not a clear distinction between the coding of certain body parts as male or female and the coding of personality traits and behaviours as male and female. There is also a move to deconstruct biological sex but keep coding other things as masculine or feminine, like social roles and personality traits.
Sticking to identifying with ones assigned sex and then refusing to comply with the sex role by not expressing the allocated personality traits or taking part in the allocated social tasks or wearing the allocated clothing is the method gender abolitionists in past decades have gone for. Today this method is seen as still holding up the sex binary and instead the way to create freedom is to allow anyone to build a gender identity out of personality traits, or gendered interests with little reference to anything related to biological sex. This allows more individual freedom but the problem with it is gender is not an individual condition and is infact a social system, there will always be backlash from that system towards those who take an individual route outside the two it sanctions.
There needs to be three moves to break this gender system into three things and deal with those three things separately (sex binary, sexidentity/gender identity and allocated roles (masculinity and femininity).
-The sex binary as it stands now must be deconstructed, it needs to be recognised that humans take many directions in sexed anatomy that are outside the two medical definitions of male and female. It needs to be recognised that different systems of the body wont always take a uniform direction in terms of sexed aspects, so assigning someone male or female based on biology is a rough guess. If it were not for the fact the system needs two sex classes that can be grouped by biological features so it can assign the sex role scripts, sex would not need to be anything more than a medical reference. Biological sex is separate from both gender identity and personality traits and sex roles.
-Sex identity/gender identity this aspect needs to be recognized as not binary, people need to be able to have a right to it and until the source is fully known it must be recognized that its not immune from being shaped by the social system we live in. Sex identity/ gender identity is separate from biological sex, personality traits and sex roles.
-Sex role scripts and the creation of masculinity and femininity roles need to be totally deconstructed. Personality traits and behaviours related to instrumentality and expressiveness get coded as masculine and feminine and contribute to the binding of sex role expectations to the person. Instrumental and expressive traits and behaviour need to remain part of a fluid gendurality landscape that all are free to roam regardless of perceived sex, perceived sex identity/gender identity.
These three things are like a trinity of the gender systems oppression, in effect three chains link them all together. The first divide is the creation of the sex binary, not just an idea that everyone is male and female but that male and female must include a certain set of physical traits and if not something’s wrong. A female is not just got to have a vagina, but one deep enough to fit an average size penis. This average size penis is a construct too, arrived at because penises under a certain size will mean one cannot be assigned male and if they cannot be assigned male they cannot have a penis so will be altered until they have a vagina of the required depth. The Endocrine system is not free from modifications, hormones will be measured and altered based on average hormone profiles even if the person has no health related symptoms due to hormones. It comes down to giving estrogen and other hormones to meet parameters rather than suited to individual health. Body hair in the wrong places for sex will also be investigated, and often hormones are given when no imbalance is there. A persons ovaries could be balanced, non cystic but the person could still be given androgen blockers to get rid of the small amount of testosterone they do have is doctors decide the person is too responsive to it (again based on sex, not on health). Body fat is another area for regulation, there are norms based on male and female.
Based on this sex assigned the person must form a gender identity in line with it, the gender identity must then act as a reason why the person must also identify with the role assigned, parts of themselves that fit it and the things in society that come with it. Gender identity is meant to be a mix up of body and social identity, but sometimes a person may identify more with their assigned sexed anatomy and other times with the social role. If this tips too far either way its a problem for the system, and thats because for sex role scripts to be effective they must link up the body and the obligation that goes with it.
If a person builds a gender identity too grounded in the body sex and they insist they are a man bc they are male or they are a woman bc they are female and they need no further confirmation on that fact but their junk, then as far as the system goes gender socialization failed. This is because they are not gonna need the roles as much to build their sense of self, they are not obligated towards the system to give up those bodies in service to it. If those assigned male are not obligated to fight wars, no macho things and have satisfied their need for identity by grounding it in biology and that being enough for them to make them a man the system is fucked. If this person is aligned with their assigned role they will defend the role like its their anatomy. If not they can find a gender identity separate and unrelated to anatomy and still get a sense of freedom from the obligation of the sex role scripts.
The sex role scripts depend on the masses being a bit insecure in both their bodys maleness or femaleness and a bit insecure in the masculinity and femininity role too. So it does not want a secure identity forming around either, instead it wants that identity to exist in constant need so people keep playing by the rules. Life in a sense is an interaction between being and doing and in the case of sex role scripts the interaction is between sexed anatomy and performance of the sex role scripts, and identity in the current concept mixes together the being and doing to the point people get tangled in their chains. We have people who experience gender as something they are and others who experience it as what they do, problem is over time what we are forced to do influences who we are.
As ive said before identity needs to be turned into a direction, rather than being either a static position on a spectrum or another box, being needs to be separated out from doing. A desired direction may be to become something or do something or both, the obstacle in the path of that desired direction may make the desired direction look impossible. Like for example one must be one thing before they can do another or do one thing before they can be one thing. Like have a certain body before they are allowed to do a task that is not related to the anatomical changes they are being asked to make to do it.
Masculine and feminine are both directions assigned along with sex and are directions in culture both outside in the world and within how we learn to interact with ourself. Masculinity is instrumentality fused with maleness, along with the addition of a social position. It must be remembered that the sex binary itself as a category is the wood and sex roles are the paint, in many cases it is sawn and cut to shape before the paint is applied. A lot of punishment people get based on masculinity and femininity non compliance is rooted in things they cannot actively do anything about, like vocal pitch or speech pattern being outside the box, wrong build for the expectations of biological sex itself, inability to reproduce physically, developing an hormone imbalance that causes one to not be able to comply with sexed expectations of appearance. The idea all females can grow long hair because of hormones can result in punishment for loosing hair and the assumption one must care about maintaining all these norms. Even health itself is measured in a way thats distorted by biological sex, the same behaviour could be read as normal on one sex and pathological in another. To overcome all this we are gonna need to redefine everything we know now.