A Twitter thread by @radicalhag
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I agree with socialisation as primary, but saying it won’t make it so – perhaps the biggest gap between materialists and post-modernists. Gender is not performative a la Judas Butler, it’s a hierarchy. Changing the expressions is not going to change the
behaviour (it’s like getting a prison uniform in a different colour). Confronting male violence means confronting the structural inequality between men and women. In the meantime, a fairly substantial..
..portion of men are violent, so a man in women’s spaces has a higher probability of being dangerous than another woman does. It’s pure risk assessment. It might not be fair to individual men, but then as a class they need to take some collective action about their behaviour.
It should not be women’s problem, and it is not women’s problem to tell the difference between dangerous men and safe men. (Privacy is also usually recognised as a right on sex-based grounds). So I would construe gender as attaching to sexed bodies…
..and reflecting an underlying hierarchy between the sexes. I think gender identity is probably mostly what one learns from gendered socialisation, so I would argue that as the world becomes more ruthless gendered, so we see more and more people..
..unable to live in the increasingly tight gender boxes. But saying that this makes them somehow the opposite sex reifies those boxes while obscuring the actual hierarchy. So if you tackle male supremacy as primary instead, then dress, presentation etc can be detached from
sex, and you would expect to see far fewer people in distress over their gender. Maybe there will always be a few, and maybe men will always have a tendency to be more violent, but this should be less painful in a less gendered society.