QatzelOk wrote:But the word "sex" is used to mean something very different now than it was a century ago. In any case, this is a semantic sideline of absolutely no importance to the argument at hand, which is about gender roles.
People hack off parts of their anatomy because they feel trapped by their society's gender roles - not because they were born male or female.
Sure, but these gender roles seem impermeable. If it were possible to switch without switching genitalia, I'm sure people would probably just do that. But since we do live in the context of a cultural gender binary, gender reassignment might be a useful surgery for some people.
In Sioux culture, the Berdache(s) played the gender roles of women, and often played a major role in spirituality as a kind of social priest. Many gay Catholic priests back in the day (before the Sioux were destroyed by America) used to go to "save" the Sioux, in order to live out full gay lives. Even then, the gender roles (and social roles) of European Abrahamic socities were too constraining for full human development.
Another interesting tidbit about the gay Sioux was that, even if you were gay, you didn't have to become a Bernache. You could become a warrior and have great sex with very masculine guys.
I see what you're saying, but to me this is evidence that gender isn't always related to sex, since that sounds less like a man becoming a woman and more like a seperate gender that doesn't exist within the same realm as man or woman. Please note that some could argue that you are projecting the Western idea of homosexuality ("even if you were gay") onto the Sioux, because sex with other men hasn't always been considered an identity.
Hong Wu wrote:Back when I would try harder I would point out the physical phenomenon of how it takes more energy to bear children than it does to produce sperm. A gifted person can extrapolate from this why "gender roles" and gender differences exist in society. They are only arbitrary if you have lived a very easy life physically and aren't interested in reproduction, the latter obviously not being a sustainable perspective for any people.
Some may consider this an argument for anti-natalism. Many people see the same data and come to different conclusions. I do not conclude that women and men are inherently different just because one can produce a child, especially considering the fact that technology will make motherhood obsolete one day.
I'm also a firm believer that the courage to extrapolate an understanding from simple truths is more important than technical intelligence, this can be a dangerous trait to posses however and so the sheep always outnumber the shepherds.
A verbose argument for common sense, I assume. The problem with common sense is that without technical backing, it is useless. Knowing what to do will never be as useful as knowing why we do what we do, which is why capitalism makes sense in the long run. You'll always find labor to fulfill the role of "doing thing", but people who know how to best arrange those tasks are indespensible.