4
   

Is this the end of fixed gender roles?

 
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 06:31 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

The problem is that you are using purely subjective terms like "enlightenment" to set up what appears to me a scale of "advancement" which hints at a universal truth. (You can't put things in an order without an objective way to measure their value.)

I think you are being slightly nitpicky on my use of terms but I am sorry, enlightenment was the wrong term to use. I meant to say something like, more intellectually advanced.

ebrown p wrote:

It is the "universal truth" implicit in your judgment that I have a problem with... and I find it a might big coincidence that this "universal truth" supports the specific values of the culture you and I happen to find ourselves in.

I don't think I ever implied a universal truth, or at least I didn't intend it to appear that way. I said we were heading in a liberal direction, but I didn't provide any assertion as to what lies at the extreme end of this journey of shifting moral zeitgeist (please excuse my flowery language, it isn't meant to be subjective, merely nice to read). I provided an opinion as to the current moral zeitgeist regarding fluid gender roles is, and again it was merely an opinion, not some quasi-religious assertion of objective truth.

ebrown p wrote:


Let's assume that you and I believe that human evolved through a process of natural selection without a guiding purpose or divine force. This means that every human trait is based on an evolutionary trait we happened to develop (more often then now with survival value).

Agreed.

ebrown p wrote:


Now using only facts (i.e. not the values of the specific culture you happened to find yourself in) explain to me why getting rid of genders, or accepting homosexuality or even equality for females is any more "enlightened", or even objectively "better" than any other way human society might evolve.



Going back to my previous point, I made no assertions about an objective truth or ideal state of society. But to answer your question, fluidity of gender roles may allow greater harmony within individuals, and hence within communities, which leads to a better fuctioning and less self-destructive species. But I don't know, I am just suggesting a possibility.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 06:36 pm
@Chumly,
Interesting point, but see my previous reply to a similar point made by ebrown.

http://able2know.org/topic/133766-1#post-3692821
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 06:59 pm
@hingehead,
I did a bit of follow up on what you said, and yeah, you're right (but I think I am less to blame than the Western-centric education system of the country in which I live). However, that is slightly irrelevent to my point which was that if you focus on the Western world, you see that homosexuality was accepted in times of relative intellectual height, and condemned in times of superstition (I would say dominance of Christianity, but people would pull out their flamethrowers). It would be interesting to look at the correlation between intellectual prominance and acceptance of homosexuality within cultures. Come to think of it, I don't think it would be very clear...

If you do not believe in self-discovery then I can't change that.

No, of course generations aren't "responsible" for their own characteristics, and of course their aren't any solid lines. I was merely pointing out the relative lack of bias in the generation which I am a part of.
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 07:04 pm
@aidan,
Yes, I think that there is a difference in acceptance of homosexuality between our generations, but if you could provide evidence otherwise then I would be open to persuation?

And again, our difference in opinions is a generational thing. I'm not saying it's neccessary, just it's a good thing that they are able to without fear of discrimination.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 07:07 pm
@OGIONIK,
Mmmmm but I as I have said, I still think we are bound by our biology.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 10:04 pm
@aperson,
Quote:
If you do not believe in self-discovery then I can't change that.

So you believe there is a fully formed you already inside waiting to be uncovered? Interesting.


Quote:
No, of course generations aren't "responsible" for their own characteristics, and of course their aren't any solid lines. I was merely pointing out the relative lack of bias in the generation which I am a part of
.

Again I ask you to consider that in terms of the whole world your part is very small - I can't/won't argue that you see less gender/sexual prejudice in your peers than you perceive there to have been in the past - but you're a smart guy, you would acknowledge that as well read and informed as you are your personal experience of the world is fairly limited, at least in a geographic and socio-cultural terms.

Off on a slight tangent, the Kinsey Reports on sexuality in America were released at the beginning of the 1950s and reported that 37% of adults had had a least one homosexual sexual experience.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 12:09 am
@hingehead,
This really brings up a lot of interesting points- but I don't think what you're describing- the fluidity of gender roles- in truth has very much to do with actual homosexuality. That's what I'm trying to say.

If it were true that more people were homosexual and were simply openly expressing that reality - so be it. But what I'm wondering is why people who are NOT homosexual find it necessary to engage in what would be considered homosexual behavior. What is the draw? What is the edifying feedback they're receiving that tempts or entices them to do something that does not come naturally to them?

Because I think that physical attraction is chemical. Either it's there or it's not. And in fact, if someone to whom I was not physically attracted were to touch or kiss me in a physically intimate way- I would find that repulsive more than anything else. As much as I love my best female friend, if she were to lean in for a kiss - I'd be extremely uncomfortable. I might stand for it so I wouldn't embarrass or hurt her by openly rejecting her, but I sure wouldn't happily make it an everyday occurrence and in fact would try to find ways to avoid it in the future. Because it's not something I naturally desire.

So if the young people of today people are not expressing natural desires - what are they expressing? And I don't believe it's as simple as freedom or friendship.
I was thinking about it, and I came up with two theories -
1) they've become so immersed in this culture of 'everyone has to see everything - or it didn't really happen'.
The concept of privacy no longer seems to exist.
2) maybe kids are more starved for physical contact as our culture has become one in which they are more and more isolated because social interaction happens much more often at a remove than it used to.

What I mean is, when I was your age - kids didn't have the means to interact with each other unless they were in each others presence (except for calling on a landline at home). So we hung out with each other - we went places together- we were in close physical proximity to each other much more. We weren't in our separate bedroom connected only by the internet talking with each other. We couldn't text each other - we had to have face to face conversations.
Maybe all this kissing and touching between even casual acquaintances is a way to fill a tactile void that exists in what has become a much more technologically centered and and more socially isolating culture.

Because I do agree with you that we are products or our biology and nature at least as much as environment and nurture.
So if you're not gay - why act gay? Just to fit in?
That's as sad to me as the people who aren't straight having to act straight to fit in.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 12:23 am
@aidan,
Quote:
Because I do agree with you that we are products or our biology and nature at least as much as environment and nurture.
So if you're not gay - why act gay- just to fit in?
That's as sad to me as the people who aren't straight having to act straight to fit in.


I think what you miss is that for many sex often does not mean anything, it is an activity removed from erotic imagination and from intimate relationship. A lot of people are just playing around with their sexuality and emotions, they don't know who they are so they can do almost anything and not feel like they are violating themselves. The biology is there, but if you are an actor on the stage biology it is easy to ignore, and a lot of these unformed people who are playing around are essentially full time actors. There is no privacy, there is no self talk, there is no inner life, there is no firm footing for anything.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 02:06 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
and a lot of these unformed people who are playing around are essentially full time actors. There is no privacy, there is no self talk, there is no inner life, there is no firm footing for anything.

Exactly! So it doesn't really indicate anything at all except confusion or self-consciousness or uncertainty or insecurity - all of which are directly opposed to a higher degree of self-knowledge, self-awareness and enlightenment.

It doesn't make me feel smug (as in My generation was more self-aware and enlightened) - it makes me feel sad for these kids. It's sort of depressing to see them floundering around like this.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 09:23 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
It doesn't make me feel smug (as in My generation was more self-aware and enlightened) - it makes me feel sad for these kids. It's sort of depressing to see them floundering around like this.


more importantly, they are easy to deceive. The confused make fabulous victims. In a democracy sizable numbers of the collective being easy marks for the con men makes for one hell of a big problem.
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OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 10:33 pm
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:

Western culture is very prudish by comparison to a number of standards, consider:
Quote:
........many North American Indian tribes so valued 'gayness' that people who displayed these characteristics were picked for special office.

Gay traditions were prevalent in most American Indian tribes. There are reports of both women and men living in same-sex marriages, of women who dressed and acted as men and men who acted and dressed as women.
http://www.bluecorncomics.com/2008/10/homophobia-isnt-genetic.html


they said that gender was defined by their spirit or something right? i read about this before.

openmindedness for the win!

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2009 11:43 pm
@OGIONIK,
Quote:
openmindedness for the win!


YOu never cracked a history book did you.....The Indians LOST, they were almost completely eliminated.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 01:26 am
@hawkeye10,
And even if they didn't - the issue is not acceptance of homosexuality- it's the 'reason' displayed by, (or advisability in general) of people who are not homosexual behaving as if they are.

You know - I guess it's no big deal as long as the views of the heterosexual women of this generation are changing as quickly and profoundly as the views and behavior of the heterosexual men.

Because most guys like to watch two girls together - and that's been true for men of many, many, many generations- so they'll still be sexually attracted to a girl who pretends to be a lesbian.

But I don't think most heterosexual women are into watching two guys. I know, for myself, and most other heterosexual women I know , it's more than the simple matter of basic equipment.
MASCULINITY is the turn-on. It's what makes a man different from a woman and provides the necessary frisson or sense of mystery and/or excitement.
So if a guy starts acting gay - he might be fine for a friend- but I think when he finishes kissing another guy and turns around in search of a heterosexual woman to have sex with or marry- he might not find them exactly standing in line waiting for their turn.
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najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 03:01 am
Today's youths are the first to grow up with the youtube - fetish, with the mobile phones with cameras for pictures and video inside...
They are not worried so much about the expression of their feelings (that is the problem in private, closed off situations) but far more with the image they cast in public.
Furthermore, youth culture for the last two/three decades has been heavily influenced by its idols, who usually come from the music/movie industry.
There too, as the article suggests, it's all about the hype you create and not the feelings you portray.

Although I didn't know about guys kissing guys...

Anyways, I guess these trends really can't be avoided. Kissing just doesn't signify the intimate feelings that used to be associated with it, at least not in public. Keeping that in mind, I find this behavior not really all that alarming.

It's certainly better for the lungs then smoking is.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 09:38 am
@najmelliw,
Quote:
It's certainly better for the lungs then smoking is.

Yeah and less harmful to the environment as well....
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 03:54 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
It's certainly better for the lungs then smoking is.


Because I'm always looking for another way to look at things - not if the next bird/swine/frog/whatever flu is virulent.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:32 pm
@hingehead,
And because I'm always looking for a musical angle:

This song, Real Men, from Joe Jackson's 1982 'Night and Day' was top 10 in Australia and the album was top 5 in the US.

Nothing new under the sun.


Take your mind back - I dont know when
Sometime when it always seemed
To be just us and them
Girls that wore pink
And boys that wore blue
Boys that always grew up better men
Than me and you

Whats a man now - whats a man mean
Is he rough or is he rugged
Is he cultural and clean
Now its all change - its got to change more
cause we think its getting better
But nobodys really sure

And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

See the nice boys - dancing in pairs
Golden earring golden tan
Blow-wave in the hair
Sure theyre all straight - straight as a line
All the gays are macho
Cant you see their leather shine

You dont want to sound dumb - dont want to offend
So dont call me a faggot
Not unless you are a friend
Then if youre tall and handsome and strong
You can wear the uniform and I could play along

And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

Time to get scared - time to change plan
Dont know how to treat a lady
Dont know how to be a man
Time to admit - what you call defeat
cause theres women running past you now
And you just drag your feet

Man makes a gun - man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink
And man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks - kill all the reds
And if theres war between the sexes
Then therell be no people left
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 01:34 am
@hingehead,
That's a great song - from a great album - circa 1982 - so it's been going on for a LONG time now
0 Replies
 
 

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