In everyday, informal nomenclature, sex and gender are used interchangeably. Men are males, women are females. However, some like to point out that sex is biological and gender is social. Therefore, a male woman is possible and people can change their gender identity as they please.
However, I think this concept of gender is losing its meaning and utility. We know a man does not necessarily have to like the same things as other men or think and behave in the same way. Some are more masculine, others more feminine. Additionally, now anyone can also call themselves a man if they feel like it, with what it means to feel "like a man" apparently being subjective and different from person to person. It also changes somewhat from culture to culture. On top of this, we are seeing new 'genders' and gender expressions, many with seemingly small, arbitrary and subjective differences that overlap with one another. So what's the point? This clearly isn't useful as an identifier.
That's why I think it would be best if sex and gender were not treated as separate concepts. There really is no use in 'man' and 'male' meaning different things (for humans). We only have to acknowledge that not all men are the same in society and between cultures. The same goes for women. As stated previously, sex and gender are already used interchangeably in everyday speech, so why not keep it that way? Not to mention, it would put an end to the incredibly confusing and ridiculous list of trendy new gender identities.
EDIT: Lots of people have apparently misunderstood my argument (see below). To clarify, what I am saying is that gender identities should be discarded, as they are too subjective and inconsistent to be meaningful or practical. Instead, we should simply have a sexual binary and acknowledge that men and women do not have to fit any standard molds. There would therefore be no need to have anything other than men and women, and men and women would be free to express themselves in the way they choose without having to 'transition' or create any gender identities, as gender would cease to be used as an identity concept.
You've worked yourself into such a paddy over this whole gender thing that you've gone full circle and started using the reasons why there should be a distinction between sex and gender as reasons why there shouldn't be one.
gender is useless. i reckon we'll get rid of it eventually, but it will take another 30 years.
I don't think it's strictly true that sex and gender should be the same thing. What you are biologically is fairly fixed and there isn't much ambiguity. How you feel as a person is more of a scale. Unfortunately due to gender stereotypes, the rock music loving lumberjack is "more manly" than the nerdy bookworm. I do completely agree that this distinction of spectrum is pointless because it really doesn't matter "how manly you are". But because these gender stereotypes exist, there's also a requirement to have some way to describe it. Making sex synonymous with gender means we have no way to describe things that are ultimately rooted into our society.
That said, I don't think all this stuff about the hundreds of different genders is rubbish. Just like how manly you are is pointless, I really don't care if you identify as an attack helicopter. I completely agree that the concept of gender is out of control and losing meaning. I'd be fine if it were abandoned completely. But because it exists, we need a way of describing it. Even if you don't care about the however many genders we apparenlty have now, you'll will still differentiate between male and female genders. Even when it goes away completely, you need a word to describe the historical meaning.
Word definitions change all the time. Even if the concept of gender is out of control right now, removing the word or making it mean something else doesn't solve that. The root cause of the problem needs to be addressed.
I'd say scrap gender entirely, or else keep whatever you believe you are to yourself. No need for such high fantasy identifications, otherwise I would be playing an mmorpg such as World of Warcraft.
I imagine there are some people who would wish for the English language to be reduced from a million words to a thousand.
Stupid world we live in... you fools have rejected God and have inevitably plunged yourselves into chaos and confusion. How progressive you all are, you can't call a woman a woman and a man a man anymore, heck these fools don't even want to be men or women anymore.
Brave new world, enjoy it, because as history clearly shows, it will inevitably collapse and start from zero again, no society every survives without order
Gender as a social tool / construct / whatever you need to call it has outlived its usefulness and just as other concepts have been abandoned so should gender to allow us as a society to better improve the lives of ourselves and others.
I don't know why some people have so much trouble with this. Societies invariably have a set of social expectations (sometimes demands) and cultural practices which are associated with the biological sex division, hence 'gender' being conventionally understood as 'male' or 'female' but which is not automatically determined by biology. It's (stereo)typical for women to wear skirts, heels and lipstick in some societies but they aren't born with these things, these things aren't biological characteristics, men can choose to wear skirts, heels and lipstick but will still be, biologically, men..