The Redefinition of Gender
We are in the midst of a great culture war where, among other things, two very different visions of progress for women compete. Both sides support equal rights, equal opportunity, equal education, and equal protection under the law.
On one side, we have what I call the Sexual Left, a coalition of radical feminists, gay and transgender activists, advocates for population control and sexual liberation. The Sexual Left is united in the belief that there are too many babies and not enough sex. Now it is obvious that if you increase the amount of sex, you risk increasing the number of babies and also spreading sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, the Sexual Left demands easily available legal abortion, contraception, and condoms, absolute sexual freedom, and sex education for all children without parental permission. Their kind of universal sex education is designed to overcome modesty, ignore parental concerns, ridicule religious prohibitions, pander to adolescent rebellion, encourage immediate pleasure seeking, discourage consideration of long-term consequences, and instruct students as to how to obtain contraception, condoms, and abortion. In spite of lofty goals, such programs inevitably increase unmarried pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The Sexual Left is not deterred by their failure. Instead they use the disaster they have created to call for more funding for even more comprehensive sex education. And it is women who bare the burden of these failures: women who are more likely to be rendered sterile by sexually transmitted diseases, women who are traumatized by abortion, women who become single mothers. One would think that those who call themselves feminists would reject the anti-woman agenda of the Sexual Left, but the feminist movement has been co-opted by the radical feminists who whole heartedly embraced it. Additionally, rather than delighting in what is uniquely womanly, the radical feminists demean motherhood as a vocation for women, and demand that all societal recognition of sex difference be eliminated. They promote ‘mainstreaming a Gender Perspective.’
Opposing the Sexual Left are those who support a woman’s perspective, which is founded on the truth about and unity of the human person. Such a perspective safeguards the welfare of women, children, the family, and society.
The Redefinition of Gender
In order to understand the goals of those who want to ‘mainstream a gender perspective,’ one must understand how the word ‘gender’ has been redefined. In the past ‘sex’ referred to the totality of what it means to be a man or a woman, and ‘gender’ was a grammatical term. In most languages, words have gender: masculine, feminine or neuter, with each language assigning its own designations.
However, in the 1950’s John Money, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, came up with a new use for the word ‘gender.’ He broke down the elements which make up one’s sexual identity — internal and external organs, genes, hormones, how one internalized one’s sense of one’s own sex (which he called gender identity), and how one’s culture designates sexual identity (which he called gender role). On the surface there is nothing wrong with noting the various elements which make up our sexual identity, but Money argued that it is possible for one’s gender identity to be different from one’s biological sex. In other words, a man could have a male sex, but a female gender identity.
Money’s ideas about gender were influenced by his commitment to absolute sexual liberation — including a more tolerant attitude toward intergenerational sex and paraphilias, his advocacy so-called “sex change” operations, and his work with persons with disorders of sexual development (persons who are sometimes incorrectly referred to as intersexed or hermaphrodites). Money was particularly concerned about baby boys born with severely deformed genitals. He supported a treatment protocol that called for the boy with such problems to be castrated, surgically altered to create the outward appearance of a female, raised as a girl, and given female hormones in adolescence. Money regarded engaging in sexual intercourse as essential to the development of one’s personality. He believed that growing up without a penis would be traumatic. Such a boy could never have sex as a male, but under the protocol he would be able to have sex as a female. Money was convinced that a child’s gender identity” was socially constructed, and if everyone treated this genetically male but surgically altered child as a female, he would grow up into a she and never know the difference.
As fate would have it, the perfect case to test this theory fell into his lap in 1967 — the John/Joan case. One of a pair of identical twin boys was critically injured during his circumcision. His penis was destroyed. His parents desperate for a solution saw Money on TV and were convinced by his confident manner that he had the answer. Money took the case and instructed the parents to have the injured twin castrated, and to raise him as a girl. Money wrote up the case and referred to it frequently as proof that gender identity was a social construction and that a genetically normal male baby could be raised as a girl and never know the difference.
The John/Joan case had a profound affect on the feminist movement. In the 1960’s there was widespread acceptance of the importance of women’s rights. Once its initial successes were achieved, the women’s movement broke into two factions: 1. mainstream feminists who supported equal treatment of women and were anxious to use their new freedoms to enter the workforce, and 2. Marxist-influenced radical feminists who were concentrated in academia and government agencies. These radical feminists disdained the capitalist ambition of their mainstream sisters. They were working for a sex class revolution. Sexual and reproductive rights — including abortion on demand and lesbianism — were at the top of their agenda. The radical feminists embraced Money’s gender ideology, because it fitted their belief that the differences between men and women were not natural, but oppressive social constructs.
The first time someone mentioned this Marxist connection to me, I was skeptical, but as I read the radical feminists I noticed the frequent references to prominent Marxists. Of course, they twisted Marx into something he would not recognize. For radical feminists, like Shulamith Firestone, author of The Dialectic of Sex, all history is the history of class struggle, but according to the radical feminists,the first and primary class struggle was not between owner and worker, but between man and woman. According to this theory, men created marriage in order to oppress women. Sex classes led to class thinking and all oppression. Not being a Marxist, I wasn’t buying this. Women are very clever and if marriage had not been invented by God, wise women would figured out that sex makes babies and if a man wanted access he had to stand up before her father and brothers and promise to be there when the baby was born.
Judith Butler, author of Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, was even more extreme. She wanted nothing less than the overthrow of sex distinction, which she believed would bring down the entire ‘patriarchal system.’ According to Butler, if gender is independent of sex then ‘man’ can signify a female body and ‘woman’ a male body. The radical feminists railed against ‘compulsory heterosexism’ and motherhood labeling them social constructions. If all this is confusing, it is supposed to be. As one radical feminist explained “Logic is a patriarchal plot.”
Of course, we now know that Money’s experiment was an absolute failure. The twin raised as a girl never accepted his status as a female. He felt like a freak and when at age 14 he was told the truth, he immediately demanded the right to live as a male. He underwent painful surgeries to correct the mutilation caused by Money.
Money had been informed that his experiment had failed, but, in spite of being questioned as to the outcome, he had continued to pretend that it had succeeded. In addition, a number of other boys who had been subjected to Money’s protocol spontaneously rejected their female assignment. As young adults, victims of this human experimentation, have risen up and demanded that such surgeries be halted.
Most of those who switched from using the word ‘sex’ to using ‘gender’ have no idea that they were victims of ideological manipulation.
https://shop.nationalgeographic.com/product/magazines/special-issues/national-geographic-gender-revolution-special-issue—u.s.?gclid=CjwKEAiAqJjDBRCG5KK6hq_juDwSJABRm03h7MyEUb2tkPA5_qvSttPULO16sNdaH6OQM7N6-dDsXBoC8ejw_wcBLeftover ThoughtsFemine Inactment
Gender Revolution is a special, single-topic issue on the shifting landscape of gender. To a degree unimaginable a decade ago, the intensely personal subject of gender identity has entered the public square. In this special issue of the magazine, we look at cultural, social, biological and personal aspects of gender.
This post is part one of the original draft of a speech entitled “A Woman’s Perspective on Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective,” delivered in May, 2011in Hungary
 John Colapinto, As Nature Made Him, (NY: Harper Collins, 2000)
 Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex (NY: Bantam, 1972)
 Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity (NY: Routledge, 1990)
 Evelyn Hooker, The adjustment of the male overt homosexual” Journal of Projective Techniques, (1957( 21: pp. 18-31.
 Richard Herrell et al., “Sexual Orientation and Suicidality: A Co-twin Control Study in Adult Men.” Archives of General Psychiatry (1999) 56: pp. 867-874.
The Social Contract
Presentation And Creativity
By Hal Galper (Originally published in Down Beat Magazine December 1994)
When it comes to audience communication, presentation and creativity are sometimes thought to be mutually exclusive. Depending on the situation, one seems to take precedence over the other. However, although both sides of this issue are worthy of consideration, they need not be thought of in an either/or context. You do not have to sacrifice artistic integrity to communicate with an audience There is a precarious balance that artists must achieve between the honesty of their art and the needs of their audience. Musical integrity is a necessary component of an artist’s psychic survival. Developing a musical conception that can stand up to the rigors of nightly performance and still offer joy and surprise to performers and listeners alike will always be the performers challenge. The Contract A mutual social contract is unconsciously agreed upon between artist and audience. The conditions of this contract must be fulfilled by both performer and listener and entail emotional risk for both parties. Contrary to popular belief, most people are afraid of freedom, of “letting go.” Suspension of the sense of self is a rare, pleasurable experience that is not an everyday occurrence in most people’s lives. Audiences gravitate toward live performance situations because they offer a safe way to let go. However, letting go can suggest the possibility of emotional risk because the listener’s defenses are let down. Listeners, by showing up paying and paying an attendance fee, have willingly entered into an agreement with the performers. They feel comfortable with the fact that, along with other members of the audience, they’ve agreed to open themselves up to any influence the performers may exert upon them. As suspending ones sense of self creates a unique sense of freedom, the listener can then derive pleasure from this experience allowing themselves to be swept up by a musical performance without emotional risk. The audience has, for that moment, put the state of their emotional well-being into the hands of the performer, a responsibility the performer must accept with care. Artistic Honesty Being honest as an artist carries with it a certain amount of personal courage as well as emotional risks. It’s a common belief that an artist’s motivation for becoming a performer is, in part, not so much a compulsion to be creative as an artist‘s psychic need for massive amounts of approval from large groups of people. This may or may not be true. To put it in a slightly different perspective, it is possible that performer does unconsciously recognize their sense of responsibility for the listener having put their state of emotional well-being into the artist’s hands. Performers cannot express themselves if they don’t also let go and approach the performance situation without defenses. Agreeing to be artistically honest, they have accepted the risk of possibly failing to honor their part of the contract which is to affect the listener emotionally and intellectually and involve the listener into the performer’s musical life. They have committed themselves to take the listener safely outside of themselves for a few moments of the listener’s life, to “take them on a trip.” Involve The Listener Cannonball Adderley once advised me to “Make sure you have a good, strong beginning and ending to your solo because the listener doesn’t hear what’s going on in the middle.” Acting on his advice, I started to pay attention to how different players started and ended thier solos, and I developed about a dozen different ways to do so myself. This created a marked increase in the audience’s responses to my solos. Although Cannonball’s advice may appear cynical at first, it is founded on the most basic principles of performance psychology: It is the performers responsibility to get the listener’s attention and involve them in the performance, to “take them on a trip,” then release them from that involvement so the next soloist can do the same. It would seem that the “trip” is more important than the content of the solo. I have always considered the attitude that “the audience doesn’t know what I’m doing” as presumptuous. In order to enjoy a jazz performance, the listener doesn’t have to understand what a musician is doing or thinking. After all, no matter how much a musician knows about music, when it comes to playing on the bandstand, they cannot explain what they are doing either. If the player doesn’t know, then why should they insist that audience does? Another interesting facet of playing with Cannonball was the fact that the band didn’t leave it’s audiences any chance to be uninvolved with their music. The intensity of the band’s emotional output took over the attention of the listeners, thereby honoring its social contract with the audience. Term Fulfillment If the terms of this mutual contract are not fulfilled by both parties, mutual dissatisfaction will result. The artist will feel the audience is not interested in them, and the listener will feel the same. The key to successful audience communication, then, is not dependent on the kind or content of what one plays, but the honesty of an artist’s music and the depth of their desire to communicate. It is not considerations of presentation that motivate artist’s to present their music in a manner that is accessible to the listener-it’s their commitment to honor the social contract between themselves and their audience.
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