Your Gender Identity Just Doesn’t Mean Anything.

“Gender identity” is a misnomer, it would be better phrased as personality or sense of fashion and aesthetic. Of course, as many trans activist have righteously pointed out to me that what I’m referring to is “gender expression”, not “gender identity” and then fail to cite a discernible difference. The truth is, gender identity simply doesn’t exist despite what a patriarchal society desperately wants you to believe, and I understand many of you do believe. It’s easy after all to think certain qualities are exclusive to male or female people when we live in a world that’s so invested in the programming of gender. From birth many children are surrounded by an environment that is suppose to represent that child’s biological sex. The boy and his blue room with cars and the girl and her pink room with dolls and it goes from there, spiraling out into insidious directions. This is nothing short of indoctrination, it’s a wicked system and nothing to celebrate and certainly nothing to build an identity around.

In 2014, it is PC to not question anything, to have nothing in the way of a class analysis or critical thinking skills, everything is off limits. While I believe in free speech, I do also understand that “free speech” just means that fines or other legal penalties can’t be imposed by the government. Being silenced or shut down in other forums is not an imposition on free speech, it’s just annoying. However, who is the arbiter of the opinion that is allowed to be heard? Where is this great and supreme moral justice that demand we all agree to agree? In some cases backlash and silencing are understandable. I don’t mind if a virulent racist speech is removed from sites, if that certain person is de-platformed and blacklisted, in fact I support that. Sign me up to shut that shit down. However, this silencing has been extending to radical feminist and other gender abolitionist who seek to address the harms of gender. It’s one thing to participate in speech that perpetuates oppression and another to participate in speech about one’s own oppression. Females especially are oppressed, and this is because of their sex, so females of all people should be the one’s with the right to lead the conversation on gender, and here we are in 2014, females being shut down by males who identify as female, males who want to be the voice when it comes to gender. I’m not wrong by the way, Trans women lead the transgender movement, not trans men.

Transgender people are deeply invested in gender, to the point that they literally build their lives out of and around it. Building their lives around stereotypes of men and women and then demanding that they are seen as such. Demanding that we acknowledge these stereotypes as something innate in ourselves because of our biological sex. Because if we don’t we offend their sense of identity. Feminism in particular has been fighting against that for a very long time now, as have many gay activist, and yet here we find ourselves at the paradigm shift. The GLBT movement have embraced Trans politics and queer theory as have many mainstream liberal/ 3rd wave feminist outlets. Essentially  they have signed on, throwing their hands up in the air, after all that time, after all that work and saying, we are wrong! These *man* made Stereotypes about men and women are TRUE. This acceptance feels very defeating, and it’s unfortunate, but I hold to the hope that we will continue to move on, that this divergence is just a flash in the pan.

new clothes
Here we see the gay community escorting
the trans community.

How did this happen though? Where did it start? I can’t speak for where this started in feminism, but for the gay community I feel it was the over exaggeration of Sylvia Rivera’s limited involvement in the Stonewall riots that trans revisionist used as a platform for increased trans acceptance. Also I do think that many gay men have a  empathy for other gender non-conforming males, that we see their plight as somewhat similar to ours, that we can feel the pain they have and do face for “not being a man.” However, this is no reason to alter our  political output, as many gay men have, but  just all the more reason to reiterate it.

Gender hurts females first and foremost, with men ranking as collateral damage, gay men, trans women, and other men who do not live up to the role of “man” suffer. However that suffering pales in comparison when it comes to the class of people gender inflicts the most harm on, which is women. It is anti-female, and pro-patriarchy to want to celebrate an oppressive construct, and by adding 1000+ gender options on social medias, by legislating policy around gender identity, you’re doing nothing to get rid of this system, you’re just making it a more complex construct, and a more dangerous one. Despite your feelings, your gender identity just doesn’t mean anything, and that’s how we should treat it.

The Most Serious Conversation We Can Have.

We can talk about racism, homophobia, transphobia , and go down the list of wrongs in the world, but we have to be honest about where men factor into this list. That this is a list perpetuated by the actions of male people. Yes, I’m saying it, the ills of the world are BECAUSE of men. Is that hard to hear? Does it make you want to jump to the defense of men? To say that not all men are like that, or that some women do it to? Before we get into that, let’s just not. Of course not all men are like that, you don’t need to state it, nor do you need to bring up women’s participation in or the committing of certain crimes. When you do this, please understand that you’re contributing to the problem by stifling speech and shutting down the conversation. What you’re bringing to the table with NAMALT defenses, or the assertion that women do it too is the idea that this is a conversation not worth having. Stop it. This is the most serious conversation we can have.

From the dawn of time men have, throughout most cultures, dominated the scene and they have done this through violence, I implore you to simply open a history book. It’s so obvious that it’s weird that it even needs to be said, but we as a society do a hell of a job masking male violence. our headlines read “Woman raped” instead of “Man rapes woman”  “3 shot on fifth” instead of 3 shot and killed by a man on 5th.” When you start paying attention the sex of violent offenders, you start seeing a common denominator. This is a problem, and I have a major problem with our collective problem of not wanting to talk about it. Yes, it’s an ugly truth, perhaps one of our ugliest, but all the more reason we need to really dive into it. I don’t want to live in world like this, do you?

“In 2010, among persons ages 10 to 24 years, the homicide rate for males was 12.7 deaths per 100,000 population and the homicide rate for females was 2.1 deaths per 100,000. For males ages 10 to 24 years, the homicide rate was the highest for those ages 20 to 24 years with 22.6 deaths per 100,000. For females ages 10 to 24 years, the homicide rate was highest for those ages 20 to 24 years, with 3.4 deaths per 100,000.”
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/stats_at-a_glance/hr_age-sex.html

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:

  • Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
  • 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
  • Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers
  • 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.Stalking According to the Stalking Resource Center:
    • 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in the United States.
    • 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime.
    • 77% of female and 64% of male victims know their stalker.
    • 87% of stalkers are men.
    • 59% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner.
    • 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner.
    • 31% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also sexually assaulted by that partner.
    • The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years.
    • If stalking involves intimate partners, the average duration of stalking increases to 2.2 years.
    • 61% of stalkers made unwanted phone calls; 33% sent or left unwanted letters or items; 29% vandalized property; and 9% killed or threatened to kill a family pet.
    • 28% of female victims and 10% of male victims obtained a protective order. 69% of female victims and 81% of male victims had the protection order violated.

      So, just do the math. Something is the matter here and it’s numerically significant enough to talk about. We KNOW that the majority (sitting at over 90%.) of  all violent and sexual crimes are committed by men. But crickets…snores…nothing.I’ve argued that our problem with male violence comes from our socialization as men, that is, more or less my position. End male socialization as we know it and change the world. However, I’ve heard people of both sexes just chalk it up to the biological differences in males and females. I don’t think that can be an argument because I’m looking for solutions. Saying it’s all just inherent feels like throwing in the towel. I mean, if that’s the case, really whats the point? If that’s reality sign me up to the kill all men bandwagon. Seriously, if men are actually just testosterone poisoned creatures with some deep seated yearning to be violent rapist then I don’t see any other option. Reduce the male population like now. Like ten minutes ago.

      hulk

      I stand by that the problem is not because of our biology as men, but because how men, our forefathers and ourselves, have shaped what “man” is suppose to be. We do little to change by holding on to the old stereotypes of what we are “suppose” be. We give a little boy a toy gun, pump him full of hyper-masculine male role models and fictitious heroes . Instill a sense of entitlement into him. We don’t discourage the devaluing of females or others. we do nothing as a society to foster male empathy, it’s discouraged and even looked down upon. We continue this hammering in of manhood until the boy reaches maturity, and then we all act surprised with the man commits a violent crime. I mean, we’ve only been grooming him to do so all of his life. Let’s stop being surprised. Let’s stop chalking it up to any factor (like mental illness.) than, what is to me, the most obvious. Male socialization.  With that comes male privilege and with that comes entitlement and you have a recipe for the sad reality that we see around us on the daily. I want something else, I don’t want to live in a world like this. Do you?

      So what can be done? How can we change? I really want to see a new form of parenting rise to change things for the future generations. I want to see active resistance to the brainwashing that is male socialization in all of us. I want to see the men of this generation put some effort into insuring the men of the next will be better. Insuring that you, the singular man, will be better. I’m not entirely sure of how to change every facet of masculinity, but that’s why this conversation is imperative. Your voice is needed. Your solutions are needed.