The irony of “gender neutrality”

This increasingly pervasive stereotype of gender neutrality often hinges on bogus science combined with fanciful anthropology, both of which asserts that there is not a necessary relation between our gender identity (i.e., being feminine or masculine, and everything that this might entail within a given cultural context) and the fixities of our biological sex. This idea is enshrined in countless sociology and women’s studies courses at colleges, in which students are taught that there is no necessary relation between one’s biological sex and one’s gender. Gender is simply a social construction. Given this, the argument goes that we can and should be de-gendered, as we break free from society’s mold. The problem is the new mold of gender neutrality is every bit as stifling, oppressive and stereotypical.

My two cents

Gender and Market-oriented Agriculture 2011 gr...
Gender and Market-oriented Agriculture 2011 group photo (Photo credit: ILRI)

I hadn’t thought of it like this, but I agree with Robin Phillips, especially with the last sentence.

When I hear terms like ‘gender’ and ‘gender stereotype’, I instantly think of existentialism, feminist coercion on university campuses, and the Huffington Post (which Urban Dictionary defines as “The sewer of the liberal political blogosphere”).

During my university days, my cousin said I should enrol in a women’s studies course, basically because there would be a ton of women there. But if the students were of the feminist persuasion, then it would be such a letdown and disappointment. I never did enrol in such a course, but I still got my dose of feminism from certain people in the university, and that took a bit of purging. I think I needed this quote back then.

Quote source

Phillips, R. (2012). Too Feminine? Available: Last accessed 13th May 2012.


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