Sex versus Gender

By Kane, Loretta A. | National NOW Times, Fall 2001 | Go to article overview

Sex versus Gender


Kane, Loretta A., National NOW Times


by Loretta A. Kane, former Vice President-Action

I have great concerns about the trend to embrace gender - both as a term and as the foundation of a political movement. My primary opposition is that gender is nothing more than an arbitrary social construct, the sole purpose of which is to keep women in subservient roles.

According to Merriam-Webster, gender is "the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex" - while sex is defined as "either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male." In other words, gender is subjective. Sex is biological.

While Gertrude Stein might argue that "a rose is a rose is a rose," I believe that the difference between sex and gender is of paramount importance to women and the feminist movement. Further, the new "gender rights movement" - which is touted by many as the logical next step in the so-called post-feminist era - will, ultimately, hurt women.

I have visited many college campuses across the country. During all of my trips, I have held organizing meetings to work with students, faculty and staff on a variety of feminist campaigns. The first place I land on a campus is always the women's studies department. (And that has been true without fail.) While I am not a big fan of academic feminism, it is the case that women's studies breeds feminists. And some of those feminists are just waiting for us to turn them into activists. (Many, of course, already are activists!)

The patriarchy understands the power of women's studies. And one of the most effective weapons against women's studies is gender studies. Time after time, I have encountered women's studies professors who have been under attack because women's studies is "sexist." They are pressured to convert their programs to gender studies - which, of course, is alright because it includes men.

If left unchallenged, gender studies programs will usher in the end of women's studies, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) studies. And it also will open the door for men's studies courses to be taught in the name of fairness. How long before we see Wade Horn or some other misogynist fathers' rights leader teaching gender studies courses? By embracing gender, academia is poised to weaken or annihilate already struggling women's studies programs throughout the country.

Similarly, I believe that the gender rights movement will have the same impact on the feminist movement. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sex versus Gender
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.