>I gotta jump in here. Do really believe that giving birth or menstruating
>are necessary preconditions for being a woman in our society? C'mon,
>think about this for two minutes. In Kessler & McKenna's book
>Gender: An ethnomethodological approach, they point out that no one
>characteristic is an infallible indicator of whether you're
>male/female. The only way that we are able to identify people as
>male or female is through social interactions. In practice,
>the male/female distinction is a social one, just like race.
I do reckon someone who's giving birth or menstruating is not a man. And although we necessarily endow all we discern with historically contingent meaning, this does not mean there are not materially significant, meaning-independent differences between men and women that might not pertain between whatever 'races' are. Is this view really so rare on the left? I honestly can't imagine thinking anything else ... can't even imagine anyone else thinking anything else, actually.