Only One Sex? -- Why Not?

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Fri Nov 26 21:30:44 PST 1999

>Why is "for the good of the species", the phrase on which the rest of your
>depends, in quotes? I said no such thing. If you will merely fix your
>gaze above
>you will see that I said reproduction (not evolution) is both essntial to the
>(existence) of a species, and a grasp of it (reproduction) is necessary to
>understand the species.

You obviously do not have more to say about "species" than Stephen Jay Gould does, do you? Hence your utter silence on his thoughts on sexes, both from evolutionary & embryological points of view. Evidently you have little interest in biology per se, unless it helps you to argue for the eternal necessity of the two-sex model (which it doesn't). Reproduction took place in the period when Europeans, both learned & not so learned, understood the world through the lens of the "one-sex, two-gender model." How social relations & ideology divide humanity into sexes & genders -- how our social persons have become variously sexed & gendered -- is a _political_ affair. The existence of biological differences among human individuals -- which are numerous -- doesn't automatically determine the number of sexes or other classifications. For instance, if reproduction is to be made a key issue in the division of humanity, one might use other biologically relevant categories as more prominent dividers than sexes: the fertile versus the sterile; the too young & the too old versus those of the child-bearing age; etc. 4-year-old human beings, however sexed, are incapable of reproduction!

It is oppression that has created gender, not the other way around, and our models of sexes have been shaped by gender oppression. To understand social reproduction, one must have a feminist & Marxist understanding of how one half (but not the other) of humanity have been denied control over their bodies on the assumption of their temporary reproductive capacity (especially to secure the transmission of property), subjected to marginal places in the division of labor, made strangers to full political personhood, etc. Biology has been used as a pretext for oppression in social reproduction, and it is not a cause of it.

In a classless society where sexism doesn't plague humanity & one half of human individuals are not denied the full control over their bodies, there won't be any gender, and there is no reason to believe that it will necessarily have a two-sex model of understanding human biology. Why not five: those too young to reproduce; those too old to reproduce; fertile humans of the reproductive age with XX chromosomes; fertile humans of the reproductive age with XY chromosomes; & sterile humans of the reproductive age? Isn't this fivefold sexing more biologically relevant for reproduction and its understanding than a two-sex model? Unless you think that XX and XY are "more biologically important" for reproduction than age, fertility, etc.?

You wrote to Kelley:
>But let me respond to your crack about my ignorance of queers. The
>existance of
>queers requires more than one sex, doesn't it?

In a classless society without gender oppression, people are not likely to define themselves in terms of "homosexual," "bisexual," & "heterosexual." "Queers" will probably become as useless a term as "straights," except in the studies of twentieth-century history and literature, perhaps.



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