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Dear Nancy et al,

Judith Butler's book Gender Trouble presents specific instances of  
sexual indeterminacy. It also examines gender as a social construct.

Diana

Sent from my iPod

On Jan 16, 2010, at 1:27 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> There are many genders, but there are not just two sexes either.   
> Sex, if biological, depends on genetic differentiation, and not  
> everyone has one X and one X or Y.  Some humans have other  
> combinations of the X and Y, and these can also come with variation  
> in anatomy and hormonal reaction.  Moreover, as we know from the  
> Olympics, one may have male genetics and female anatomy, hormones,  
> and life experience--since all embryos are originally female and  
> males only are produced if the Y releases hormones to alter  
> development.  Hence genetic testing, though why a Y is the final  
> determinant, who knows?
>
> So, as far as I know, most people do line up as either male or  
> female but some do not.  One more false dichotomy.
> Cheers,
> Nancy
>
> >>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 01/16/10 1:11 PM >>>
> Diana Manister wrote:
> >
> > Dear Ken,
> >
> > Either/or, like all binaries, depend on totalizing each element.  
> Male/
> > Female, for instance. Derrida among others points out that
> > essentializing distorts.
>
> Essentializing sex distorts. See Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender
> from the Greeks to Freud_. It makes more sense to see _one_ sex, many
> genders. But this cannot be generalized int "essentializing distorts."
> Essentializing species is necessary to understand evolution. See  
> Stephen
> Jay Gould, _The Structure of Evolutoinary Theory_. I would agree  
> that no
> society, including any particular capitalist society, is a totality.  
> But
> capitalism, unlike all other social systems, is a complex of
> _tendencies_ which,if realized, would constitute a totality. Hence (as
> in Hegel's The truth is the whole) capitalism can be understood
> historically, as history, and thus dialectically. Hence it has an
> essence, though one never realized in any specific capitalist regime.
> See Moishe Postone, _Time, Labor and Social Domination_.
>
> Male and female are more alike than not.
> > Derrida replaced duality with differance, which means more than the
> > Anglo word difference.
>
> Cite a specific text for this. I myself, never got a grip on what he
> meant by this, but I do know that popular use of it is often half- 
> baked.
> A dead possu and a live rhino are pretty different, no playing with
> letters needed.
> >
> > Post-Kantian philosophies are not dualistic. Except for Sartre who
> > didn't get it.
>
> I give up. Where in the hell do you get all this canned fluff.
>
> Carrol
> >
> > It seems clearer to use differance rather than a binary to express  
> the
> > multiple choices you describe.
> >
> > Diana
> >
> > Sent from my iPod
> >
> > On Jan 16, 2010, at 8:16 AM, Ken Armstrong  
> <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Nancy Gish wrote:
> > >> Neither works if you try to follow it to any logical conclusion.
> > >> But then, as I said, I discuss this in the article on
> > >> "Subjectivities," which focuses on how Anglo-American and French
> > >> theories are set down on a template like Scottish poetry where  
> they
> > >> just do not explain anything--one of them being these notions of
> > >> discourse as either totally originated by the lyric voice or
> > >> totally constructed by language. I never feel constrained by
> > >> "either/or"; it is pretty much always a false dichotomy.
> > >>
> > > I had a friend who insisted that the meaning of either/or (in
> > > Kierkegaard no less) was "take your pick" or "six of one, half a
> > > dozen of the other"! False choices are false choices, between  
> which
> > > one is not constrained to choose. But without arriving, somewhat
> > > regularly, at true either/or's, what progress does thought make?
> > >
> > > Ken A
> > >