sex, guns, and girls

Peter van Heusden pvh at
Mon Aug 14 05:03:41 PDT 2000

On Mon, 14 Aug 2000, Rob Schaap wrote:
> And I actually think 'gender' is inevitable, Yoshie. Not for any fancy
> reason (although Dennis presents a compelling list), but for the prosaic
> reason that we can't help but allocate meaning to difference. If it had no
> meaning it would not be a difference. Unlike some here, I reckon there are
> different sexes - and that we will ever notice this - and, in noticing it,
> we will ever accord it a set of meanings. Ergo, gender is here to stay.
> 'Course, the meanings that constitute gender are ever up for grabs, natch.

This doesn't make sense, Rob. We don't allocate meaning to differences in eye colour. And the amount of meaning which is allocated to body size difference certainly seems to vary wildly - in my rather short lifetime, I can remember differences in how male body shape has been focussed. It used to be barely an issue (within a certain range), and now its not.

Peter -- Peter van Heusden <pvh at> NOTE: I do not speak for my employer, Electric Genetics "Criticism has torn up the imaginary flowers from the chain not so that man shall wear the unadorned, bleak chain but so that he will shake off the chain and pluck the living flower." - Karl Marx, 1844

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