sexual politics – biological 2f

Because of our social circumstances, male and female are really two cultures and their life experiences are utterly different and this is crucial.
Implicit in all the gender identity development which takes place through childhood is the sum total of the parents’, the peers’, and the culture’s notions of what is appropriate to each gender by way of temperament, character, interests, status, worth, gesture, and expression.
Every moment of the child’s life is a clue to how he or she must think and behave to attain or satisfy the demands which gender places upon one.
In adolescence, the merciless task of conformity grows to crisis proportions, generally cooling and settling in maturity.
What does seem decisive in assuring the maintenance of the temperamental differences between the sexes is the conditioning of early childhood.

Conditioning runs in a circle of self-perpetuation and self-fulfilling prophecy.
To take a simple example: expectations the culture cherishes about his gender identity encourage the young male to develop aggressive impulses, and the female to thwart her own or turn them inward.
The result is that the male tends to have aggression reinforced in his behaviour, often with significant anti-social possibilities.
Thereupon the culture consents to believe the possession of the male indicator, the testes, penis, and scrotum, in itself characterises the aggressive impulse, and even vulgarly celebrates it in such encomiums as “that guy has balls.”
The same process of reinforcement is evident in producing the chief “feminine” virtue of passivity.
In contemporary terminology, the basic division of temperamental trait is marshalled along the line of “aggression is male” and “passivity is female.”
All other temperamental traits are somehow – often with the most dexterous ingenuity – aligned to correspond.
If aggressiveness is the trait of the master class, docility must be the corresponding trait of a subject group.
The usual hope of such line of reasoning is that “nature,” by some impossible outside chance, might still be depended upon to rationalise the patriarchal system.
An important consideration to be remembered here is that in patriarchy, the function of norm is unthinkingly delegated to the male – were it not, one might as plausibly speak of “feminine” behavior as active, and “masculine” behavior as hyperactive or hyper-aggressive.

Should one regard sex in humans as a drive, it is still necessary to point out that the enormous area of our lives, both in early “socialisation” and in adult experience, labelled “sexual behaviour,” is almost entirely the product of learning. So much is this the case that even the act of coitus itself is the product of a long series of learned responses – responses to the patterns and attitudes, even as to the object of sexual choice, which are set up for us by our social environment.


The arbitrary character of patriarchal ascriptions of temperament and role has little effect upon their power over us.
Nor do the mutually exclusive, contradictory, and polar qualities of the categories “masculine” and “feminine” imposed upon human personality give rise to sufficiently serious question among us.
Under their aegis each personality becomes little more, and often less than half, of its human potential.
Politically, the fact that each group exhibits a circumscribed but complementary personality and range of activity is of secondary importance to the fact that each represents a status or power division.
In the matter of conformity patriarchy is a governing ideology without peer; it is probable that no other system has ever exercised such a complete control over its subjects.
even though over the years, irrespective of emancipation of various categories of caste colour and creed may have taken place , the discrimination against women remains !

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