If gender is a social construct, what is the point of gender fluidity? Watch

ParkHyungSuk
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This isn't intended to be provocative but something I can't quite seem to get my head around. Gender fluidity is defined as: 'A gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluidperson may at any time identify as male, female etc'
But at the same time these people say that 'gender is a social construct The social construction of gender is a theory in feminism, philosophy and sociology about the origin of gender difference between men and women. According to this view, society and culture create gender roles, and these roles are prescribed as ideal or appropriate behaviour for a person of that specific sex. So how can you feel like different genders on different days? Is this just based on stereotypes? This makes little sense to me.
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AmeliaLost
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Often two different movements get mixed up - progressive genderists and post genderists. Progressive genderists tend to go with "gender exists but is fluid/dynamic/more varied than the binary system generally expressed in the west", whereas post genderists go with "gender is an act, an outdated idea, and therefore shouldn't be supported in a post-modern society"
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by AmeliaLost)
Often two different movements get mixed up - progressive genderists and post genderists. Progressive genderists tend to go with "gender exists but is fluid/dynamic/more varied than the binary system generally expressed in the west", whereas post genderists go with "gender is an act, an outdated idea, and therefore shouldn't be supported in a post-modern society"
I don't quite understand what your point is to be honest. How exactly can someone feel like a 'man' if that same person states that gender roles are a social construct? What is the feeling that they claim to feel? I am talking about people identifying as gender fluid.. these people state that they feel a different gender over the course of time. Feeling like a man at one moment and feeling like a woman in another - what does that mean?
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ParkHyungSuk
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5mlNZ6J7Ck
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rinofthemill
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it can be argued that while gender itself is inherent, gender roles (how that gender is expected to act in society) is entirely constructed. I'm not gender fluid myself so I can't say for certain, but I doubt a gender fluid person feels like a certain gender based on the behaviour they exhibit that day. It would be from a more innate sense/feeling, or perhaps how you want your body to be? again I'm not entirely sure, but I know that gender and gender roles can be entirely distinct from each other so I don't think a genderfluid person's identity is based on stereotypes.
of course there are also people who feel that gender. in it's entirety is made up and that biological sex is the only absolute so being genderfluid would make no sense to those people. not all feminists agree with each other.
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username2424985
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The person behind that channel seems to think it's ok to retweet blatantly falsified images in order to push the "all millennial are snowflakes!!!11!1!1" narrative, so I wouldn't be watching her videos for their veracity and quality of content.

As AmeliaLost pointed out, the two movements are separate, and in replying to her you completely missed that point.

Watch this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_uEXzqW43c
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by rinofthemill)
it can be argued that while gender itself is inherent, gender roles (how that gender is expected to act in society) is entirely constructed. I'm not gender fluid myself so I can't say for certain, but I doubt a gender fluid person feels like a certain gender based on the behaviour they exhibit that day. It would be from a more innate sense/feeling, or perhaps how you want your body to be? again I'm not entirely sure, but I know that gender and gender roles can be entirely distinct from each other so I don't think a genderfluid person's identity is based on stereotypes.
of course there are also people who feel that gender. in it's entirety is made up and that biological sex is the only absolute so being genderfluid would make no sense to those people. not all feminists agree with each other.
Gender roles are constructed everyone knows that but the poi nt is if they are constructed then how can you feel like a man one day and be a woman the next? Also how can they say they are both and neutral? They literally say ttthat they feel like a gender based on how they feel and act. I'm not really talking abou feminists either I'm talking about these people - https://static.tumblr.com/2b373ec3a2...tatic__640.jpg
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AmeliaLost
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(Original post by ParkHyungSuk)
I don't quite understand what your point is to be honest. How exactly can someone feel like a 'man' if that same person states that gender roles are a social construct? What is the feeling that they claim to feel? I am talking about people identifying as gender fluid.. these people state that they feel a different gender over the course of time. Feeling like a man at one moment and feeling like a woman in another - what does that mean?
Saying gender is a social construct is different to saying biological sex is (somehow) culturally imposed. The classic example is that in Victorian times, pink was seen as a masculine colour, whereas now it's seen as a feminine colour - social cue denoting a gender characteristic, which is performed. Being attracted to pink is clearly not innate depending on sex. Same with hair lengths. So that establishes the idea of gender expression (long hair, wears pink, must be a girl in 2018 but possibly a boy in the 1800s) as a social construct, separate from biological sex.

Gender expression in the west can often be quite restrictive, especially when still young because of peer pressure to conform etc. So if a girl decides they are gender fluid, it's actually often just an expression of a masculine side constantly present but repressed in our culture. It's also a label that allows them to continue to identify with a group; becoming part of another in-group lessens the ostracism of now being in the out-group elsewhere. Same obviously with guys. Say you're a guy, really artsy and love playing with makeup, but the expression of the socially imposed rule that makeup is only for girls means you now move between social constructs, and have to find space for yourself within that. (Slightly easier to illustrate due to the low value placed on culturally female roles rather than male. Girls don't get so much trouble for say, wanting to play rugby, or drinking ale)

Hopefully at some point we'll get to the stage where it's just normal behaviour, and the label becomes archaic.

Is that starting to make some sense?
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by plklupu)
The person behind that channel seems to think it's ok to retweet blatantly falsified images in order to push the "all millennial are snowflakes!!!11!1!1" narrative, so I wouldn't be watching her videos for their veracity and quality of content.

As AmeliaLost pointed out, the two movements are separate, and in replying to her you completely missed that point.

Watch this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_uEXzqW43c
Can you answer my question then? If someone says that gender roles are a social construct - rightfully so, then how can they say that they feel a different gender one day a completely different one the next? How can they say that they feel neutral and both? That makes no sense in any case.
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vela1
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(Original post by ParkHyungSuk)
This isn't intended to be provocative but something I can't quite seem to get my head around. Gender fluidity is defined as: 'A gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluidperson may at any time identify as male, female etc'
But at the same time these people say that 'gender is a social construct The social construction of gender is a theory in feminism, philosophy and sociology about the origin of gender difference between men and women. According to this view, society and culture create gender roles, and these roles are prescribed as ideal or appropriate behaviour for a person of that specific sex. So how can you feel like different genders on different days? Is this just based on stereotypes? This makes little sense to me.
Gender fluidity is a leftist movement for those who have not accomplished anything in life and want attention.
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by vela1)
Gender fluidity is a leftist movement for those who have not accomplished anything in life and want attention.
The most frustrating thing is when I ask this simple question no one gives a straight answer. I don't uphold 'right' or 'left' views in any case I have different views on different things I don't understand why people would try to fit themselves in to these categories.
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by AmeliaLost)
Saying gender is a social construct is different to saying biological sex is (somehow) culturally imposed. The classic example is that in Victorian times, pink was seen as a masculine colour, whereas now it's seen as a feminine colour - social cue denoting a gender characteristic, which is performed. Being attracted to pink is clearly not innate depending on sex. Same with hair lengths. So that establishes the idea of gender expression (long hair, wears pink, must be a girl in 2018 but possibly a boy in the 1800s) as a social construct, separate from biological sex.

Gender expression in the west can often be quite restrictive, especially when still young because of peer pressure to conform etc. So if a girl decides they are gender fluid, it's actually often just an expression of a masculine side constantly present but repressed in our culture. It's also a label that allows them to continue to identify with a group; becoming part of another in-group lessens the ostracism of now being in the out-group elsewhere. Same obviously with guys. Say you're a guy, really artsy and love playing with makeup, but the expression of the socially imposed rule that makeup is only for girls means you now move between social constructs, and have to find space for yourself within that. (Slightly easier to illustrate due to the low value placed on culturally female roles rather than male. Girls don't get so much trouble for say, wanting to play rugby, or drinking ale)

Hopefully at some point we'll get to the stage where it's just normal behaviour, and the label becomes archaic.

Is that starting to make some sense?
Ok I think I understand what you're saying but that is basically what I am saying. Gender roles are a social construct, 'liking pink' 'makeup' are not things that make you a female but gender-fluid people seem to think this for some reason. What is the point of gender fluidity in this case? To me it seems like it is unwittingly enforcing these stereotypes
Doesn't it seem rather odd to you that someone says that they are both male and female at the same time? Because of the things they like/do?
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username2424985
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(Original post by ParkHyungSuk)
The most frustrating thing is when I ask this simple question no one gives a straight answer. I don't uphold 'right' or 'left' views in any case I have different views on different things I don't understand why people would try to fit themselves in to these categories.
You've been told by AmeliaLost that the premise of your question is a little off, due to the fact that the two ways of thinking are separate, and not commonly seen together. You've been given, from me, an excellent video on gender. I suggest you acquaint yourself with the answers you've been given, and ponder that sometimes hard questions have hard answers.
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AmeliaLost
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(Original post by ParkHyungSuk)
Ok I think I understand what you're saying but that is basically what I am saying. Gender roles are a social construct, 'liking pink' 'makeup' are not things that make you a female but gender-fluid people seem to think this for some reason. What is the point of gender fluidity in this case? To me it seems like it is unwittingly enforcing these stereotypes
Doesn't it seem rather odd to you that someone says that they are both male and female at the same time? Because of the things they like/do?
It's just reactionary, I think. Also a lot of the people you see online (e.g on Tumblr) are in places like America where the general culture is more regressive, Protestant and conservative than in the UK, which intensifies that reactionary fighting instinct.

ed: for clarity and objectivity I should state I identified with the gender fluid thing for a few years, then sort of matured out of the label as I read/thought more and was exposed to different ideas.
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IntrovertPizza
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I was expecting this to be some sort of "there's only two genders" thing, but I'm pleasantly surprised that it's not, so thanks for actually asking something of value.

This one is pretty tough to answer as there are many different answers to this depending on the person. First things first, I'm not gender fluid, I am a trans man so I cannot offer any insight from the perspective of someone who is gender fluid.

I would argue that the definition itself is based on social constructions to give a definition that people can understand. In actuality, there are some gender fluid people who don't feel like "gender" is real at all, and thus, the definition is wrong. Though the very nature of a definition is to make it as easy to understand for the majority as possible, hence why it is worded like that.

I probably worded something wrong but I hope its understandable? I do have genderfluid friends, but I can't really speak for them obviously.
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by plklupu)
You've been told by AmeliaLost that the premise of your question is a little off, due to the fact that the two ways of thinking are separate, and not commonly seen together. You've been given, from me, an excellent video on gender. I suggest you acquaint yourself with the answers you've been given, and ponder that sometimes hard questions have hard answers.
It's not a very hard question, I don't think you and AmeliaLost agree either. If a biological woman says to you that she is a man today because she feels like playing rugby or hanging around guys, do you not think that is a clear example of labelling themselves due to gender roles? What about those who say that they are both at the same time?
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HighFructose
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That's like saying a cow can only be male and female.
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by IntrovertPizza)
I was expecting this to be some sort of "there's only two genders" thing, but I'm pleasantly surprised that it's not, so thanks for actually asking something of value.

This one is pretty tough to answer as there are many different answers to this depending on the person. First things first, I'm not gender fluid, I am a trans man so I cannot offer any insight from the perspective of someone who is gender fluid.

I would argue that the definition itself is based on social constructions to give a definition that people can understand. In actuality, there are some gender fluid people who don't feel like "gender" is real at all, and thus, the definition is wrong. Though the very nature of a definition is to make it as easy to understand for the majority as possible, hence why it is worded like that.

I probably worded something wrong but I hope its understandable? I do have genderfluid friends, but I can't really speak for them obviously.
The thing is though trans is not a very hard concept for me to understand if someone undergoes the surgical procedure by which a transgender person's physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that socially associated with their identified gender, I think that is vastly different than what i've seen amongst gender fluid people. For example, this is a male to female trans person https://lolcow.farm/snow/src/1478114612866.jpg
and this is the opposite https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/m...GUCnSbrEg0dsyg
Now with these people I can understand that it is more than wanting to play football or wear makeup but I have heard genderfluid people say that on days they feel like a female they would like to 'cook' for example. That is what I don't understand. Also, how can they feel like both at the same time?
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ParkHyungSuk
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(Original post by HighFructose)
That's like saying a cow can only be male and female.
A cow can only be female...
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rinofthemill
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(Original post by ParkHyungSuk)
Gender roles are constructed everyone knows that but the poi nt is if they are constructed then how can you feel like a man one day and be a woman the next? Also how can they say they are both and neutral? They literally say ttthat they feel like a gender based on how they feel and act. I'm not really talking abou feminists either I'm talking about these people - https://static.tumblr.com/2b373ec3a2...tatic__640.jpg
I mentioned feminists because in your original post you say that the social construct of gender is a theory in feminism so I was merely pointing out that not all feminists agree with each other on this subject.
you can feel like a man one day and a woman the next because these feelings aren't tied to gender roles. you say that gender roles are prescribed as ideal or appropriate behaviour for a person of that specific sex, but so many people don't ascribe to those roles. females who don't act in a feminine way are still female, and trans men don't have to act manly. a gender fluid person isn't male one day because they relate to male gender roles and female the next because they don't. I assume from your profile picture that you are male (apologies if you are not), so would you say you identify that way because you behave the way society expects males to behave? or do you just innately know that this is right for you?
gender roles change throughout history anyway, so if you did base your identity based on them you might be female now but male in the Victorian era.
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