Revisiting comedy gold from my old WordPress blog.
Every once in a while, feminist morons catch a glimpse of the order of the universe. Here are some of those rare moments.
[Bold emphases mine.]
→ Carlson A. (2016) Sex, Biological Functions and Social Norms: A Simple Constructivist Theory of Sex. Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 24(1):18–29.
Feminist theory needs a constructivist account of biological sex for at least two reasons. The first is that as long as female and male are the only two sexes that are taken for granted, being cisgender, heterosexual, and preferably a parent will be the norm, and being intersexed, transgender, bi- or homosexual, infertile or voluntarily childless will be deemed failure. The second is the fact that, usually, sex and gender come together in the way that is expected, i.e. the fact that most females are women and most males are men needs to be explained. This paper provides a constructivist theory of sex, which is that the sex categories depend on norms of reproduction. I argue that, because the sex categories are defined according to the two functions or causal roles in reproduction, and biological function is a teleological concept involving purposes, goals, and values, female and male are normative categories. As there are no norms or values in nature, normative categories are social constructions; hence, female and male are not natural but social categories. Once we understand that biological normativity is social, biological norms of heterosexuality, fertility, and so on are no longer incontestable. In addition, as many gender norms also concern reproduction—socially mediated reproduction—this simple theory of sex explains the common confluence of sex and gender.
→ Nentwich JC. (2008) New Fathers and Mothers as Gender Troublemakers? Exploring Discursive Constructions of Heterosexual Parenthood and their Subversive Potential. Feminism & Psychology, 18(2):207–230.
Current constructions of heterosexual parenthood in western societies seem to be trapped in a change-retention dilemma. Many elements have changed, but many others have stayed the same. Although ‘new fathers’ do change diapers, the mother is very often seen as the ‘main parent’. Parenthood is still constructed along the heterosexual gender binary that equates women with mothers and men with fathers. In this article, I analyse four different scenarios of parenthood that were discursively constructed in 21 interviews in Switzerland. I focus on the discursive construction of the subject positions ‘mother’ and ‘father’, the discourses drawn upon, and their potential to subvert the gendered construction of heterosexual parenthood when justifying certain versions of parenthood. Drawing on Judith Butler’s concept of ‘gender trouble’, I explore the possibilities for change and the dangers of reifying the gender binary, and critically discuss the possibilities and limitations of gender trouble in this context.
Also, if you look really closely at water, you will find that it is wet.