Gender vs Biological Essentialism

“I will never understand how you square biological essentialism with gender is a social construct. “

I’ve seen this statement tweeted out a few times today and, frankly, it  boggles that people don’t understand it. Human biology is an actual thing. Humans compromise of two sexes: male and female. It is not pretend or made up or whatever postmodern drivel people are spouting to defend the idea that it doesn’t exist.

Human reproduction is based in the reality of male and female bodies. Human babies have, for millennia, been produced via male sperm inserted into female bodies. It is not “biological essentialism” to point out that male sperm and a female egg are required in order to produce a human baby. Yes, technology has exploded in the past few decades allowing for the conception of babies via IVF (which has a low success rate), surrogacy (which comes with a whole host of issues surrounding the colonisation of women’s bodies), and we all know that it is technically possible to create a human baby using only women’s eggs (although clearly not accepted practise since it makes men irrelevant and they hate that).

All this technology has proved is that human reproduction still basically requires male sperm and a female egg (because, let’s be honest here, babies made from two women will never be acceptable whilst we live in a patriarchy even if we do technically have the science to do so).

Biology is an actual scientifically verifiable thing. Humans are compromised of two sexes with a very small number of people who are classed as intersex.

Sex is a real category.

Gender is not real. It is a harmful social construct that has been deliberately created in order to ensure male control over property, which includes women. What we perceive as “gendered” traits are human traits imposed on male or female bodies. This is patently obvious if one takes ten minutes to google what traits are considered male/female across the world. Many cultures have very different understanding of what male/ female traits are and these have certainly not been static throughout history. To assume that there are specific traits which are identifiably male or female is to ignore the entirety of human history and to assume that Western White Supremacist Patriarchal culture is the only culture which is relevant.

Gender is harmful and destructive.

It is gender which dictates that masculinity requires men to be aggressive and violent.

It is gender which prohibits women from positions of political and economic power.

It is gender which assumes that women only have two purposes in life: bearing children and sexual slavery. This is biological essentialism.

Radical feminism is not based on “biological essentialism”. It is yet another harmful myth created to rubbish radical feminist theory. Radical feminism argues that biological essentialism is the source of women’s oppression.  Radical feminism argues that gender, and gender identity, are based entirely in biological essentialism. Gender only exists in order to maintain current political, social and cultural systems in order to keep power and money in the hands of a select few white men.

 Sex is a biological category.

Gender is a social construct.

Sex becomes a problem when gender is applied to sex categories with a view to controlling and oppressing one sex at the expense of another.

We need to eradicate gender.