Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Feminist as crazy old man

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  • Keir Leslie,

    Nah Gio, that doesn't fly. Most `biological' males are also `social' males; therefore there must be some element of biological determination in there.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Most `biological' males are also `social' males; therefore there must be some element of biological determination in there.

    Not if you actually explore what being a social male means. Because if one of the thing it means is not being able to have babies, then what about females who can't have babies - are they males? Does the desire to bear children make you a female, regardless of whether you're able to or not? None of these aspects are actually defined outside of the social. But then of course like any sort of dualism it pays not to take it too far: for in the end you cannot completely separate sex from gender. Still, gender defined as a social component is a very useful thinking tool, as I think this very thread has highlighted.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Sex where a boy is involved, and by 'boy' I mean a child under the age of consent, is rape, because by law, a child under the age of consent simply can not consent to sex.

    In New Zealand at least, this is false.

    "A child under the age of consent" can consent to sex in New Zealand, and if he or she does, then that sex is not rape, or sexual violation.

    That sex is still illegal, yes. But illegal because it is sex with an under-age person, not illegal because it is rape. "Age of consent" is a misnomer in New Zealand, it has nothing to do with consent - just age.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Some languages have genders for objects. I doubt it's because lightbulbs or schoolbuses are male or female.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Heh. Plus sea is masculine in Italian, and feminine in French. That must make the bit of Mediterranean between the two countries very confused indeed.

    Did anybody link to Gay Teen Worried He Might be Christian yet?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Deborah wrote :

    That immediately suggests one way in which the rape of men and the rape of women may differ significantly, and failing to understand the difference could be problematic.

    Air New Zealand appears to think that they are different, but not in a good way. They think that a man saying "No" to sexual advances and being ignored is humourous.

    Grabaseat spokesman Sunil Unka said complaints had been laid about the promotion, but it would continue.

    "It (sexual violence) certainly is a fairly major issue but this was meant to be light-hearted and not meant to be taken too literally, so we will not be pulling it."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Gio I understand your point and it is useful. But I think you are taking it to an extreme by being absolute.

    A male gender role in modern society is to take lids of bottles*. The role is based on biology, testosterone affects muscle mass and hence the gender role is defined by the biology.

    *in other societies you can substitute any activity the benefits from strength

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Regarding prostitution: Fark!! I know very little about prostitution. For my (untutored) part, very roughly, if a woman freely consents to sex work, then you go for it, girl.

    Free consent is part of it: the other is the safety of those choices. It really came home to me when I read the OSH guidelines -- yes sex workers have workplace rights too, right down to humdrum rules about how many towels are to be provided.

    And from the Prostitutes' Collective website, the first two points about the Prostitution Reform Act are so obviously important:

    - You have the right to refuse to have sex with a client for any reason, or for no reason. No one- including managers, receptionists, minders, clients, other workers, etc., can force you to have sex with a client, even if he has paid. Managers cannot fine you for refusing a client- it is against the law for them to do so.

    - You cannot be coerced (“induced or compelled”) into having sex by having money taken off you, etc., (i.e., fined, etc.), or threatened in any way. Section 16 of the Prostitution Reform Act states any person who does so “commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years”.

    As you say, Deborah, sex without consent is rape. What that law did was make the issue of consent very explicit. It effectively affirmed in women performing this kind of work the status of citizens and human beings.

    It bugs me greatly that Bindel (and Tanya Gold and others) will happily impugn the approach New Zealand has taken without ever seriously considering what our law actually does.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "A male gender role in modern society is to take the lids off bottles."

    Really?

    In my whanau, everyone takes the lids off their own bottles, whether preserving jars or booze...everyone learns the tricks for the recalcitrant containers (e.g a smart tap with the back of a knife in 2 or 3 spots) and, as we grow older, everyone invests in the various cunning devices made for this job.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Not if you actually explore what being a social male means. Because if one of the thing it means is not being able to have babies, then what about females who can't have babies - are they males?

    Of course not. Being biologically male means, by definition, not being able to have babies.

    But not being able to have babies does not necessarily equate to being biologically male.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The role is based on biology, testosterone affects muscle mass and hence the gender role is defined by the biology..

    That one is especially interesting since in athletics maleness is defined by how much testosterone is found in your body. And if you have too much of it, you transcend maleness itself and become disqualified. But I suppose you could say of many aspects of traditional gender roles that they are grounded in biology - however they are refracted to such a degree in the present that this has become quite meaningless in my view. I offered the example of the gay female couple who has a child through surrogacy upthread precisely because it did away with all the exemplars that Russell had included in one of his comments. And the understanding of gender as the socially constructed component helps in thinking about these issues, it's really all I'm trying to say.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Being biologically male means, by definition, not being able to have babies.

    Ah, semantics! Biologically male means man, not male. I brought the example of the pregnant male nary an hour ago.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Still confusing sex with gender here.

    Sex = male, female = biological.
    Gender = man, woman = social.

    Females who do not have babies are not therefore males. However, it does affect their relationship with the socially negotiated role of 'woman'. That has changed a lot over the decades, especially with women allowed to venture further than the kitchen and nursery now, but it's still fraught.

    It's one of the things I enjoy about Mad Men, watching how much some things have changed and how little others have.

    Snap

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah, semantics! Biologically male means man, not male.

    So my biologically male cat should actually be referred to as a "man"?

    Dude, the scientists want their words back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's one of the things I enjoy about Mad Men, watching how much some things have changed and how little others have.

    Are you thinking of Mad Males?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So my biologically male cat should actually be referred to as a "man"?

    "Dude" will do, if you're talking about Colin

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Biology of Religion?

    BBC ran a Doco which Dawkins scores low on the temporal lobe test/unable to lose a sense of self (egotist)/hasn't had a brain injury.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/godonbrain.shtml

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I think I'll go re-read Angela Carter's Passion of the New Eve. It seems strangely apposite to what is going on here, and on the 'Reading Lust' thread. Carry on.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    So my biologically male cat should actually be referred to as a "man"?.

    Touché.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Still confusing sex with gender here.

    Sex = male, female, biological.
    Gender = man, woman, social.

    Isn't that the opposite of what Gio said?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Sacha is right, I think the difference more appropriately is that male and female is sex, masculine and feminine is gender. I just hate to use masculine and feminine as nouns, it feels like I'm back in the seventies.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Touché.

    Also, his male-cat social behaviour has been fundamentally altered by the surgical removal of his testicles.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    As for Gender & sex, I just think there is a lot more fluidity to both camps than is given credit.
    Essentialism of male and female, negates the value of either without children and I won't have the door closed on those or other aspects just yet.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    masculine and feminine is gender

    Actually, that is less confusable than "man" or "woman", given common usage.

    So what I wrote above would say:

    Females who do not have babies are not therefore males. However, it does affect their relationship with the socially-negotiated feminine role.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Also, his male-cat social behaviour has been fundamentally altered by the surgical removal of his testicles.

    You're not suggesting that cats socially construct gender in the same way we do, are you? If you are, I hope you're bringing a powerful torch and good supplies into that cave.

    We shall have feline discourse-analysis yet!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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