Tuesday, February 9, 2010

These folks may be on to something Part 2

If you recall recently I did a post about the Male Studies Symposium this coming April. While being pleased to see someone expressing interest in examining the state of being male I had one small bit of doubt about something that came up in their FAQ.
Is Male Studies essentialist?

One fundamental question of Male Studies is whether there are essential features of being male. Having a male body is clearly one of them. Male Studies raises the question of whether there are other fundamental features of being male such as an inner experience of being male.
Well I emailed a question asking about this:
I'm not sure how to word this question so I'll just ask what you mean by saying that having a male body is essential to the male experience? Do you say this to mean that those who were born with bodies that biology calls female but identify as male are to be excluded from the male experience? I'm sure you don't mean it that way but it would be very easy for someone (especially those who are looking for any piece of "proof" they can find to discredit this symposium) to think you are doing so.
Well I got a reply to that email yesterday.
Sex refers to the genetic makeup of the individual. Being of the male sex is a unique experience just as being a female has it's own set of unique experiences. Gender is not the same as sex. It is an aquired experience that is cultivated during life.
Just as I figured. So as you can see this is not meant as an effort to undermine or deny those who were born in bodies biology labels as female but perform (for lack of a better word) as male but simply that they seem to mainly focusing on those born in a body biology labels as male while performing as male in society.

I wish I could go but I have to work that day and probably would not have the funds for the trip even if I took it off. Hopefully there will some recording or extensive summary available after the symposium.