What’s your pronoun? Gender is a really hot topic in today’s social and political climate. If you use any social media applications or watch the news, this is apparent. This was not the case several decades ago. To be precise, the gender debate back then took a different form than it does now. Previously the roles of men and women in society were questioned and challenged; a lot of progress was made towards equal opportunity and less social expectations. Today men and women have an unprecedented amount of social and economic mobility regardless of their sex. So what is the basis of the debate today? I will outline what I think the evolution of gender is up to the current situation and the answer to this social dilemma.
A debate is a form of conversation in which people present their arguments regarding a certain topic. Thus it is important to be very clear in what you are saying. You must be definitively correct in order to address the right subject with the right argument. Part of the problem that has led to confusion in the current gender debate is a difference in definition. Gender, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex”. This begs the question, what is sex? Besides a fun way to pass the time, sex is defined as “either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures”, also according to Merriam- Webster. In summary, sex is based on your reproductive capability, which half of the gametes you produce. Based on your sex, is a social construct known as gender. If sex is simply a physical characteristic, where did gender come from and why does it matter to so many people?
Socially constructed identities typically come from the observation of patterns. Before there were #76genders or the #infinitegenders, there were #twogenders: male and female. Societies across the world have had historically prevalent roles for males and females as well as expectations for how they should think, act, and behave. Is this a random occurrence, something that just happened? Unlikely. If we look even further back in time, back to the day of prehistoric humans, there were certain roles for each sex based on their need to survive as a unit. Animals show us this, sex plays a huge role in how animals behave and what function they have when it comes to survival as a species. This is largely dictated by the changes in anatomy due to hormones and genetics. The greater the need to survive nature and its threats to survival, the more biology plays a role in shaping who somebody is. Before the nuances of society and personality can develop, you have to survive long enough to raise offspring. During this period, sex is an accurate way of determining the role and behaviour of an individual about 99.99% of the time. This was good, it allowed for our species to survive. It created a working system when time and resources were an issue. So, what changed?
As I said, socially constructed identities typically come from observable patterns. Early societies only had this time period of prehistoric survival to base their way of life on. Without a stimulus, there would be no reason to change that. During this time, survival from nature and other societies was still a large issue in daily life. This maintained biology as a prominent factor in development. Thus societies were created with sex playing a prominent role in what jobs and expectations were placed on an individual. As personality and nuances grew around this foundation, these social influences became the observable pattern known as gender. With gender now playing a key role in the function and survival of these early societies, the pressure to maintain gender roles was great. A threat to gender in society would threaten societies ability to survive. That situation did not change until very recently. Survival in nature is what allows biological influences to be the deciding factor in individual development, but humans strive to be free from the natural state. We use science to win in our fight against nature, allowing us to have modern society. Modern society is very different from the rest of our history.
Today, it is not your ability to overcome predators, the elements, or attacks on your life but your ability to perform within society that dictates your survival. This means that biology plays less of a role in the development of an individual. Culture, ideology, experiences, interest groups, etc. now compete against biology as factors of personality. Since society is the new pressure on survival, these influences that are based on societal constructs have greater influence than ones based on those that came from nature as the pressure on survival, like biology. This lead to increasingly greater deviation in behavior across the sexes. People began to have a mix of traits that were traditionally male or female.
Then people started identifying as genders that were the opposite of their sex once their traits were more typical of the opposite sex. As people increasingly fell between these masculine and feminine sets of behaviours, they pushed for the creation of new genders that better fit their personal identities. This trend has continued until now there are countless genders being used. Not everyone has fallen into this pattern, the majority of people still fit into the stereotypical male and female gender dichotomy. As these two genders have originated from the sex of a person and have a long history, these new genders seem to invalidate both biology and history. The insistence that male and female are the only two genders threatens the inclusivity of individuals who do not fit these social expectations. This has led to our current problem that we see today. How can we remedy this?
Originally, gender served a function in survival. It was created to maintain society in our fight against nature. With this no longer being the case, new genders are being created at a pace matching the increased individualism of our population. As people hold onto these male and female expectations, they will need to find more and more ways of fitting their personal behaviours onto this binary. This creates a spectrum between the male and female genders, with potentially infinite genders in between. That means that implementing this system into society will also become increasingly complex. The gender problems we see today will only continue to become worse, clogging up other aspects of society. Instead of devoting our resources into navigating this growing maze of identities, like most colleges and politically correct individuals suggest, the solution is much simpler. Get rid of it.
There is no longer a valuable function to gender and it will only play less of a role as time goes on and individualism develops. Either we get to the point where everyone has their own gender, or we accept that it is no longer a functioning social construct. Again, social identities come from observable patterns. If we look at the pattern in modern times, the future only leads to one thing and that is the death of gender. All genders are dependent on male and female stereotypes, that is the foundation for gender, and thus any gender only serves to support this idea. If one truly rejects male and female stereotypes, then that is a rejection of the whole gender system. Being self-conscious will save us from a lot of problems now and into the future. Let gender become just another part of our human history.
*AnarchyMoon has previously written for other publications, but has decided to join ours, and become a member of our team. Welcome him.