Perhaps those social roles are fig newtons of our imaginations. It comes as news, however, that souls are sexed. I thought we could be done with all that in heaven. heh.

It is then astonishing how many brilliant scientists and poets and
thinkers throughout history saw social roles.

>>> Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]> 07/15/07 1:07 PM >>>

As an artist (painter), it is clear to me that the differences between
and female go beyond the biological and the contour; it is, in fact, a
of  heart and soul, and social roles have nothing to do with it.


In a message dated 7/15/2007 12:53:55 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

Nancy  Gish wrote:
> Eliot is a dead poet and a topic of debate and  study, not a
> in the debate.
> Gender does  not mean sex, and its separate meaning is one of those
> has become  quite distinct in usage.  It is not a euphemism for sex,
> which  does not need a euphemism anyway, as in academic terms it
> to  biological difference as distinguished from social roles.  Read
> current or recent texts on gender.
>  Nancy

Considering how fixed the distinction between sex and gender is  I'm
amazed that any literate person isn't familiar with it.

Even  after making the distinction (gender = social; sex = biology)
still  remain problems: Up until a couple centuries ago (this is debated
by some  of course) the model was one sex, two genders: the difference
between men  and women was a difference of degree -- women were
incompletely 'cooked'  men. See Thomas Laqueur, _Making Sex: Body and
Gender from the Greeks to  Freud_ (Harvard UP, 1990). See also a fine
review by Stephen Jay Gould,  "The Birth of the Two-Sex World," NYRB,
June 13, 1991.

Gould  emphasizes that in terms of biology there are equal arguments for
the  one-sex and the two-sex models. Politically I have held elsewhere
that  probably the most desirable model is one-sex, many genders. But
that _is_ a  POLITICAL not a biological or medical issue. The biology is
quite neutral  on the topic.

From Gould's review:

The "two-sex model"  replaced this concept of woman and man as two
on a graded continuum  with a notion of two fundamentally distinct
entities, bearing different  organs that imply divergent behaviors and
aptitudes; (divergent perhaps,  but still eminently rankable, for sexism
is the one invariant in this  history of transition). Laqueur writes:

Thus the old model, in which  men and women were arrayed according to
their degree of metaphysical   perfection, their vital heat, along an
axis whose telos was  male, gave way by the late eighteenth century to a
new model of radical  dimorphism, of biological divergence. An anatomy
and physiology of   incommensurability  replaced a metaphysics of
hierarchy in the  representation of woman in relation to man.

Why did this transition  occur, and why over a broad stretch of time
centered on the early  eighteenth century? The answer cannot lie in any
simplistic notion of  empirical discovery wrested from nature by
triumphant science (quite a set  of male images). I shall return to the
role of empirics among other causes  of transition later in this review,
but a simple reason suffices to debar  factual adequacy as a primary
agent of the switch: neither model is  "correct" by any morphological
standard; both capture elements of  anatomical reality.


Both models have supported  male-supremacist ideology, but in different
ways, which can be crudely  summarized as hierarchical vs "scientific."
Gould's review discusses that  contrast also.


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