more fundamental than gender.

Subject: more fundamental than gender.
Date: Wed 13 Jan 1999 - 22:52:55 GMT

I have spoken a lot about the pervasiveness and inveitability of gender, about
how we all are in the system of gender just like we are in the system of race
and class, in the market, and not everyone agrees with those theories.

I don't believe, however, that we are essentially gendered. I do believe that
humans have a daemon, an acorn, some fixed essence inside of them, something
that draws some of us to chocolate ice cream and some to strawberry and some
to tutti-frutti, but I'm not sure that is gendered.

The essential us is human. For many people, the callings to do human things,
exists in a state deeper than the callings to do gendered things, because
gender is the system humans use to communicate about sex roles, to manage sex
roles. When our sex role is not primary in our life, our gender is no primary
in our life, and we focus beyond that. When we become selfless in focus of
our work, be that climbing a mountain, solving a mathematical proof, painting
a picture, or mowing a lawn, we transcend gendered expressions by focusing on
expressions that are deeper and more universally human.

Maybe this is what Robyn means when she says she chooses a third position, out
of gender, that she rates the priority of gendered behaviors low in her life,
choosing instead to act deeper and more essentially when she can, ony being
focused on gendered expressions when she needs to be. It's not that she has
left the gender system, rather that human choices that are not gendered are in
the forefront of her choices, or at least that is her goal. (I am sure Robyn
will correct any misapprehensions I have here <g>)

We may have some kind of sex role coded in us, sure, but that doesn't mean we
have to play that sex role as a primary choice. My personal mission statement
is the line of Anne Bolin: "In cultures where gender is rigidly bi-polar, acts
of gender transgression remind us of our continous common humanity." In other
words, TG reminds people that there is spirit and humanity that exists deeper
than the system of gender we use to separate and manage people in roles by
managing gendered expressions and expectations in individuals.

The Primal Heart, to me anyway, is more fundamental than gender. It speaks to
connections that people have which are deeper than race, class, sex, gender,
national and other barriers. We each have to exist in the system where those
barriers exist, because we are living in human society, but we also transcend
those constructs to a spirit, an essence, an acorn which defines us not in
social terms but in very basic terms.

All this is why I believe an "essential gender identity" is an oxymoron,
because essence lies outside of the social constructs. Is there also an
"essential racial identity" or an 'essential class identity"?



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