Tag Archive | essentialism

FAQ: if “gender is a social construct”, aren’t feminists saying that gender doesn’t really exist at all?

Updated 21 August 2008 A: NO. Social constructs are human conceptions, invented but not therefore imaginary (unless one thinks that social consequences are imaginary). Social constructs are human systems of social interaction organised around shared ideas. The shared ideas may be true, false or inaccurate, but the socially constructed systems that have developed in response […]

FAQ: But men and women are born different! Isn’t that obvious?

That idea is known as “essentialism”: the belief that there are uniquely feminine and uniquely masculine essences which exist independently of cultural conditioning. Both actual (minor) and alleged (major) differences between the sexes have been used to justify inequities and constraints which harm women emotionally, financially and physically. Even where (and if) such differences do […]

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