Last week’s opinion section featured two articles on gender related topics that I’d like to respond to.
First, the argument in “Rights for … men?” (3/22) that “girls learn more lecture based” and “boys learn more hands on” is purely constructionist (reflective of society’s structure). There are plenty of men who do just fine with lecture.
“A modest proposal (3/22) cites research indicating that men are “more visually stimulated.” This is too much a generalization — the “hardwired” ideology is a stretch even for people who believe in the biological gender perspectives. The modesty question is not a question of gender, rather it’s a question of “do I live in a community where people are willing to follow the rules?” whatever the rules dictate.
What affects one gender, affects the other more profoundly than we realize. If you ask me, we live in “one world.” We too often engage in borderwork, which is work to increase the distinction between men and women, and fall to the tendency to overestimate the gender differences among us (gender essentialism). We need to review the concept of equality where we are made equal through Christ. We should be careful of gender essentialism and refer to others more as “people” in our speech. If we did this, we’d go a lot further toward equality.