On Thu, 25 Nov 1999, Miles Jackson wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Nov 1999, Brad De Long wrote:
> > >S/he had to undergo this procedure because we socially define
> > >the male/female distinction as a physical one. It's not
> > >that s/he is dumb; it is that s/he is trying to live up to
> > >the definition of gender as a physical attribute, like hair
> > >color. And note: to live up to this socially created
> > >definition, s/he has to engage in particular social
> > >relations with particular individuals. Like everyone
> > >else, this person's gender is socially constructed, and
> > >not biologically given.
> > >
> > >Miles
> > Meaning that in our society gender is physical? But that the fact
> > that gender is physical is a social fact?
> > Seems to me that the difference between saying "gender is socially
> > constructed" and "we have socially constructed a physical definition
> > of gender" is analogous to the difference between "an ocean of water"
> > and "a notion of water."
> Hmm. In a sense, I actually agree with this. If there's a body of
> water, and social interactions do not [oops, typo first time]
involve this body of water, and
> people don't talk about it, it's not really practically a part of
> their reality. And note that this has nothing to do with the
> ontological question of whether or not the water's "really there".
> For it to be a part of social reality, people have to engage in
> social relations that make that object an important part of social
> reality. And thus with gender.