Tag Archives: vive la difference

The Devil in the Anatomical Details: Putting Gender in its Place

Just one card in the deck!

Just one card in the deck!

With all the advances in our country towards full and equal partnership between women and men, I look around me and see that we still seem to be obsessed by gender. Like race, we have generally agreed as a society that gender should have no institutionally sanctioned role in education, politics and work (though most would admit that with both race and gender we still have a ways to go). So while we are striving to remove gender as a defining factor in how we interact with each other in society, we still seem to caught up in promoting, even fetishizing, differences between women and men, at the expense of the full flowering of the human potential in each of us.

As a parent who has watched his two kids, one male and one female, grow up among their peers, I have witnessed much of that adult obsession with gender focused on children, and youth culture. Sure… part of a kid’s developmental process is to gender identify. But from my experience as a kid, and later experience watching other kids, most of that developmental process has nothing to do with whether you are a boy or a girl. Being “all boy” or “daddy’s girl” are adult inventions, romanticizing to point of fetishizing gender identification. The reality seems to be that most kids quickly and easily gender identify and don’t need all these vicarious expectations and other baggage heaped upon them. Continue reading →