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lundi 10 octobre 2005
Tell me, what does "gender" really mean ?
DANS LA MEME RUBRIQUE
Burkini Is a Feminist Issue Too
The notion that it’s ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism
Egyptian doctor living in Zurich produces educational videos about health and sexuality for the Arab world
Amnesty International and Prostitution : Not in Our Name !
Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby
"Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly", by Barbara Sala
Canada’s New Sex Trade Law
Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism
“Harm reduction” is not enough to appropriately analyze prostitution
True Progressives Encourage Women’s Equality, Not Their Prostitution
Sexual mutilations outside Africa : new report and new denial except the Iraqi case
FGM slowing down ? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it
Prostitution, STRASS and the senator - When opacity becomes relevant
Is equating prostitution and rape ‘intolerable violence’ ? Really ?
Obama, Madonna and us
After Ontario Courts rule on Bedford : a rant
Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers July 2011 (Boston)
Sex resistance in heterosexual arrangements
Abolitionists of the prostitution system : who we are, what we want !
Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya
Prostitution is a Threat to Humanity
Prostitution - Call for Australia’s prostitution laws to be tightened
Violence - An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organizers
Nothing that is sexual can be considered criminal : hidden sexual violence in the DSK case
The Truth about Global Sex Slavery – A Book by Lydia Cacho
Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing : A response to one decriminalization argument
Prostitution - The abolitionist project within the conference Women’s Worlds 2011
Montreal - The Turcotte jury got it wrong
Reasons I Will Not Go On the Slutwalk
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Ten Critical Reasons for getting rid of Harper’s Conservatives
Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Decriminalize prostituted persons and criminalize those who exploit them (‘johns’ and pimps)
Polygamy in Canada Should Remain Illegal
My fears of the push for indoors prostitution
We cannot be satisfied with the simple harm-reduction model
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is Worried About Himel’s Judgement on Prostitution
Ontario Court Decision Abandons Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour to Pimps
Response to the VPD review in the cases of the Pickton Murders
Speech - The effects of globalization of political Islam on Women’s Rights, the question with polygamy, the Niqab and Honour Killing
Quebec Forges Enlightened Trail on Burkas
Breast Cancer a Disease, No a Marketing Opportunity
The International Campaign To Closedown Iranian Embassies
Violation of rights in Iran, a window from my experience to a broader picture
"Sex worker" ? Never met one !
The One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation
Prostitution - Feminist Perspectives, a book
Prostitution : Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women
More than 1 000 american historians call for equity in the stimulus package in open letter to Obama
Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Morgentaler - Acts of intimidation should not rule Canada
Femaid report on Afghanistan, May 2008
Time for Quebecers to be more open : Bouchard-Taylor report
Canadian Bar Association supports strengthening equality in the Quebec Charter
Zero Tolerance for Johns : How the Government of Sweden Would Respond to Spitzer
Politicians are responsible for toxic, misogynist environment facing girls
Spitzer - The Myth of the Victimless Crime
Goodbye To All That (#2)
The freedom to never prostitute oneself
NO legalized brothels for the Olympics 2010 - Aboriginal women’s Action Network statement on prostitution
CLES says NO to the violence of prostitution
Does Porn Make the Man ?
A Trip Into the Absurd
Mothers File International Complaint Against United States
Prostitutes are victims, not criminals
Anthology of Québec Women’s Plays in English Translation, Volume I (1966-1986)
The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) intervene during the upcoming provincial election
Prostitution - Three Women and a Debate
Men Favour the Apolitical Discourse on Prostitution
The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution
Democracy and Religious Obligations : an Impasse ?
What is liberation ? Feminism past, present and future
Books by Andrea Dworkin
Globalization, Militarism and Sex Trafficking
Muslim Groups Denounce the Cultural Relativism of a Certain Left
Canadian Muslim leader alleges her veil views sparked vandalism
Prostitution : CATW’S Post-World Cup Statement
NOW to denounce so-called parental alienation
Prostitution : for an Abolitionist Bill
The dimensions of trafficking for purposes of prostitution
"Charm is a Guise ; Batterers Belong in Jail, Expert Says"
Interview with Catherine MacKinnon : Are Women Human ?
Danish cartoons - Doing away with the Enlightenment ?
It’s happening next door : from incestuous girls to alienating mothers
Green Light for Pimps and Johns
Buying Sex is not a Sport
Prostitution is Violence Against Women
The Ideal Site for the Crime
Gunilla Ekberg : « The best thing we can do for our sisters is to support them to get out of prostitution »
Interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon : « They haven’t crushed me yet. »
Decriminalizing prostitution, a magnet for pimps and johns
Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law
Prostitution : Towards a Canadian policy of abolition
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences
Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada
270 000 $ granted to Stella for a four days event on sex work
IN MEMORIAM : Andrea Dworkin or The passion for justice
Decriminalizing prostitution will not improve the security of prostituted women
Dworkin - Taking Back the Night
Backlash and Whiplash : A Critique of Statistics Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization
Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution ?
The Need for a Public Debate on Prostitution and its Social Consequences
The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children
Prostitution Links, Women’s Justice Center
"If you don’t take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits"
Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women
Forced marriage as crime
Why Women Must Get out of Men’s Laps
International Campaing Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Decriminalize prostituted women, not prostitution
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution
Fathers’ Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law
Women Rage Against ’Rape’ in Northeast India
Sexual domination in uniform : an american value
Tribunals Will Marginalize Canadian Muslin Women and Increase Privatization of Family Law
The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war
Queer theory and violence against women
The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment
Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children
Will Paternal Paranoia Triumph ?
Ode to Survivors
Court confirms any woman’s human right to organize with peers
Program produces motherless kids
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One)
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two)
Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it
Prostitution : Rights of Women or Right to Women ?
The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax : Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes
Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets
For the sake of the children : the law, domestic violence and children contact in England
Friendships between women good for health
Children of divorce need our protection
Divorce Bill’s flaws inadvertently aid abusers
Problem isn’t little boys, it’s little minds
A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities
Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Poem for Peace
Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl
Good clone, bad clone ?
Canadian Women’s Health Network
So hard to say goodbye
So I did some research to see how the word was really used, especially in the area of social science research, but also in the area of politics - they can’t, at least here, be separated.
And here is what I have read, among other things :
I. I read that for some, women and men, gender was a concept (1) ; for others, a piece of equipment, an approach, a basis, a catalyst, a component, an analytical category, a condition, a dimension, an area, a stake, an epistemology, an ideology, a language, a mechanism, a notion, an analytical tool, a paradigm, a perspective, a problematic, a question, a revelator, a role, a system, a theme, a variable, a vector of value...
II. I read that gender research and studies are to be distinguished from studies and research of gender and on gender ; that one speaks of gender or the gender ; that the word can be singular or plural.
III. I read that there was research :
But also on : gender and political action, gender and bioethics, gender and citizenship, gender and trade, gender and creation, gender and culture, gender and family law, gender and water, gender and economics, gender and equality, gender and employment, gender and empowerment, gender and public space, gender and religion, gender and families, gender and grammar, gender and social justice, gender and the work market, gender and activism, gender and entry into collective action, gender and globalization, gender and the death of Christian culture, gender and multiculturalism, gender and change, gender and poverty, gender and politics, gender and power, gender and advertising, gender and social relations, gender and social/sexual relations, gender and society, gender and international relations, gender and retirement, gender and sexism, gender and working time, gender and human trafficking, gender and transition, gender and rural transportation, gender and the city, gender and violence...
And on more complex structures such as : Employment, gender and migration ; gender, social questions and health ; knowledge, gender and social/sexual relations ; society, family and gender ; women, gender and societies ; gender, violence and health ; work, gender and society ; social change, gender and population ; demography, gender (1) and society ; gender, art and creation ; gender, humanitarian action and development ; culture, religion and gender ; gender, sexual violence and justice ; immigration, feminism and gender ; violence,, insecurity and gender ; gender, violence and crises ...
I have read that a lot of research deals with social gender and sexual gender, much less than with class and gender, and more recently, that the question of relations between race and gender was being posed : race, gender and sex ; race gender and class ; race, castes and gender are being studied...
IV. I’ve read that it was important to reflect on gender, to accept the premises that belonging to a gender influences the vision of the world ; that gender has to be analyzed, understood, explored, used, developed, integrated, theorized ; that it was necessary to put gender glasses on ; to pay specific attention to gender ; to encourage questions about gender ; to transmit gender studies...
I’ve read that gender makes one rethink categories and patterns of thinking ; that gender relations go across all boards ; that gender problematics keep coming, overlap, crisscross and bump into each other ; that gender had heuristic virtues ; that gender representations influence the creation of social and economic realities ; that the right to think about gender was asserted ; that no one can neglect gender ...
V. I’ve read that many questions have been asked about gender : Can research ignore gender ? How to correlate sex and gender ? Which gender for equality ? Does gender have an impact on politics ? What are the effects of gender ? What intersections between sex and gender can be made ? What is the future of gender ? Should one speak of sexual identity, sexed identity or gender identity ? Can one reflect on science without gender awareness ? gender or sex : who gets the benefit ?
VI. I have read that there were activities, gender data banks, bibliographies, offices, catalogues, an international charter, publications, experts of both sexes, courses, trainers, fund raising, international meetings, indicators, initiatives, concept engineers, institutes, poles, a portal, programs, networks, journals, internet sites, statistics, and units ; that there were data banks, bibliographies, offices, catalogues, an international charter, publications, experts of both sexes, courses, trainers, collections, international meetings, indicators, initiatives, concept engineers, institutes, poles, a portal, programs, networks, journals, internet sites, statistics, and units of gender, on gender and on gender.
I’ve read that thanks to gender it was possible to leave the ghetto of women’s studies...
VII. I’ve read that history was gripped by gender ; that all historical change is accompanied by an adjustment to gender ; that gender proposes a sexed rereading of historical events and phenomena ; that the history of women has led to the history of genders ; that the history of genders has taken the place of the history of women...
I’ve read that this was also true of sociology, philosophy, anthropology, grammar, and literary, economic and visual arts analysis...
I’ve read that law should introduce gender in its structure ; that including gender identity into legal texts was an incontrovertible duty ; that gender was linked to inequalities in legal matters ; that laws were blind to gender ; that there was such a thing as gendered justice ; that there was such a thing as gendered equity ; that it was necessary to define gender equality ; that research has been done on gendered science of law and politics ; that the question of gender and the rule of law was posed...
VIII. I’ve read that there were gendered belongings, gender conflicts, gender consciences (or consciousness ?), gender discriminations, gender hierarchy, gender inequalities, gender practices, gender privileges, gender relations, gender representations, gender roles, feelings of belonging to a gender ...
I’ve read that there were gender identities, that gender identity is the source of self-identity ; that gender identity is what enables the child to say boy or girl ; that gender identity is to know that one belongs to a specific sex ; that gender identity is knowing oneself male or female ; that discrimination linked to gender identity is called transphobia...
IX. I’ve read that women are a gender because they have a sex ; that gender implies that there is only the female sex ; that women precede gender and gender precedes women ; that gender enables thinking on differences among women...
I’ve read that gender explains how societies differentiate between men and women ...
I’ve read that one speaks of sex and/or of gender ; of a sexual/ gender system ; of women, sex and the gender ; of ’women, sexes or gender ; of differences of sex and of gender ...
I’ve read that it was necessary to distinguish between sex and gender ; that gender coincides with the sex ; that gender produces the sex ; that gender is glued to the sex even before the sex really exists ; that the sex of individuals is transformed into gender ; that there were perverse effects in distinguishing between sex and gender ; that the sex does not express gender and that gender does not express the sex ; that gender denaturalizes sexual differences ; that the link between sex and gender has to be denaturalized ; that gender constructs biological sex ; that gender is not the result of biological sex...
I’ve read that genders concern the sexes and thus sexuality ; that there is a dialectical link between gender and sexuality ; that there are gendered sexualities ; that sexuality was pushed out in gender studies...
I’ve read that there were gender relations and couple relations in sexual life...
X. I’ve read that gender is the social sex ; that gender is the social construction of the sexes ; that gender is the knowledge of sexual difference ; that gender is the social construction of a sexual identity that begins with the biological sex ; that gender is the system that organized the hierarchical difference between the sexes ; that gender is the building block of social relations based on the differences perceived between the sexes...
I’ve read that gender has made it possible to go beyond a previously truncated approach of social realities ; that it is impossible to separate gender from social class ; that there are class and gender interests ; that women - and gender - have been introduced into the social realm...
XI. I’ve read that gender is the difference between the socially- and culturally-constructed sexes ; that gender is the cultural character of sexual relations ;
XII. I’ve read that gender is a primary way of signifying power relations ; that gender is at the crossroads of other power relations...
XIII. I’ve read that policies should be based on gender ; that the notion of gender should be integrated in platforms, field projects and internal structures of organizations...
XIV. I’ve read that the word gender was polymorphous ; that the validity of the word gender was questioned ; that gender studies are cut through with debate, controversies, and polemics ; that there are conceptions that are distinct from the notion of gender ; that various explanations of gender like the explicative, central or incidental concept cohabit ; that gender can only be understood in the diversity of its uses ; that the meaning of the word gender is not yet stable and that there are persistent disagreements ; that gender has undergone major changes in its conception...
I’ve read that the barriers of gender, the binarity of gender, the bicategorization of gender, the abstraction of gender, the depoliticization brought about by the use of the word gender, the euphemization of gender, the essentialism of gender, the inflation of the word gender and its routine use, the institutionalization of gender studies, the theatralization of gender, the manipulation of gender, the normativity of gender, the terrorism of gender are criticized ; that the word gender is too academic, asepticized, polite ; that gender was a fiction...
I’ve read that gender is criticized for wending its way into the opposition nature/culture and mixing philosophic and political debate, particularly between equality and difference...
XV. I’ve read that the word gender still cohabits with
I’ve read that the feminist perspective has had the effect of reinforcing gender identity from a social point of view ...
XVI. I’ve read that there is always a human gender ; that there are always two human genders, the man’s and the woman’s ; that gender could concern men and women, men or women, masculine or feminine ; that gender, masculine or feminine, is the whole of the attributes a society gives to individuals based on whether they are men or women at birth ; that gender is the process of definition of masculine and feminine in a given society...
I’ve read that there is a new masculine/feminine gender ...
I’ve read that women have become a distinct human gender ...
I’ve read that the masculine gender isn’t neutral ; that the male was the dominant gender, but that some people were wondering if it was a gender in danger or a gender to eliminate, and even if men belonged to the human gender ...
I’ve read that there were couples of the same gender ...
I’ve read that the question of the relationship between virility, femininity and gender was not clear...
XVII. I’ve read that there were gendered relationships, gendered analyses, gendered powers, a gendered mainstreaming, sexual gendered relationships...
XVIII. I’ve read that the construction of gender enabled the invention of heterosexuality...
I’ve read that sexual orientation is a question of gender - but also has nothing to do with gender ; that sex, gender and sexual orientation are linked ; that there are questions, inequalities, and discriminations relative to - or because of, or based on - sexual and/or gender identity ; that gender means conflictual relations between people of different sexual orientation ; that sexual orientation means the choice of the gender of erotic partners ; that lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals questions themselves on their sexual orientation or the identity of their gender ; that no one should be killed for his/her sexual orientation or gender identity...
I’ve read that in a library under the title "Department of the Rights of Man", there is a collection ’sex, gender and sexual orientation’.
I’ve read that lesbians are doubly discriminated against, through their sexuality and their gender ; that they are a tributary of the gender system ; that some lesbians are hostile to the masculine gender ; that there is a lesbian gender category, but also lesbian and homosexual genders...
I’ve read that an equal treatment of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity was demanded and that it should be based on that fighting racist and anti-Semitic discrimination...
XIX. I’ve read that there were transgender women, transgender men, transgender people, transsexual and transgender people, a transgender community ; that there was a transgender oppression, a transgender liberation ; transgenderism ; that transgenders are living people - with or without an operation - a different gender from that given by society based on their biological sex ; that trans (2) can’t be characterized by their sexual orientation, that the discrimination to which they are subjected is based on their gender identity...
XX. I’ve read that queer theory made it possible to question the relative place of gender from one’s sexual orientation ; that queer theory enables another thinking on sexuality and gender ; that queer theory represented the politics of a new gender ; that queer theory is attracted by transgender ; that queer theory is a vital way of thinking about sex and gender for everyone questioning their identity or faced with heteronormative repression...
XXI. I’ve read that the freedom of expression of gender identity should include the right to gender ambiguity and gender contradiction ; that there were intragender variations...
XXII. I’ve read that gender should be thrown out, made and unmade, deconstructed ; that there was a counter-discourse on gender, troubles in gender ; that there is question of the inversion of gender ; that the question of the deconstruction of all categories (neither ’sex’ nor ’gender’) was posed...
XXIII. And lastly, I thought that it was helpful to bring up the, let’s say, ’ordinary’ (3) use, of this term in the recent press (4) : this type of speech, a suspicious type, a bad type, my favorite type, a new type of career, insults of all types, this type of reading, types of ’guy’ and types of ’girl’, one of a kind, a photo of this type, a stylized photo
I don’t think it necessary to continue this partial inventory.
I wanted to do this little job because I’ve been feeling uncomfortable with the use of this word for a number of years.
Today, I want to say what I was feeling, what I have known for a longtime even without going into the deconstruction and the criticism of this term - and what many people have been thinking without daring to say it - so much has this word pervaded institutions, politics, research for many years - so much so that the word in itself doesn’t mean anything [anymore] ...
My discomfort turned to confirmation : the attempts to make " gender " a concept have failed. gender is not a concept as this term is taken in the minimal meaning of an "intelligible and operating expression in a defined theoretical field".
But more deeply and without it being necessary to share my critical analysis - that is at merely being aware of the extreme confusion that the use of this term leads to, justifies and encourages - it seems to me high time to question :
*the political reasons for the disappearance of other problematics, concepts, and words [’women,’ ’feminism,’ and ’patriarchy’ probably being the most significant] for which progressively but rapidly gender has been efficiently substituted...
* The role and the political function that its introduction played in the area of thought and politics...
How can one not see - without being either an epistemologist or even feminist - the stakes in going from an analysis based on the substitution of the word gender to an analysis based on the acceptance that masculine violence towards women is indissociable from understanding their patriarchal, political and legal codification ?
How can one not see that speaking of gender and violence towards women, women victim of gender violence, domestic and gender violence, violence linked to gender discrimination, gender and violence towards women, gender violence, violence linked to gender, violence based on gender, the gender of violence ... evacuates the question of the sex of the authors of this violence ?
How can one not see that : speaking of feminine gender violence ; considering that violence towards women is a central question of gender studies ; affirming the necessity of reflecting on violence from women’s and gender point of view ; declaring that violence based on gender is synonymous with violence wielded against one or many women ; brings up the question of the sex of violence while making a feminist sexual analysis of this masculine violence against women impossible ? ...
In conclusion, to answer those who respond to this criticism - which is not new and over which I certainly do not have the monopoly - that by using this term they haven’t given up taking into account the patriarchy, masculine domination, power relations between the sexes, and the [criticism of] equality between men and women... in their analyses - which is incontestable - I say that the question should not, in my point of view, be posed in these terms.
I think that the main theoretical and political question is that the use of this term enables analyses that disregard patriarchal relations of domination. Even more, when one recognizes that all relations of domination are built (based) on the evidence of patriarchal domination - which is hardly deniable - then the use of the word gender leads not only to disregard such relations, but also all others.
Consequently, whenever this word gender is legitimized - and regardless of how it is used with other analytical tools - the analysis of the word can thus be conceptually freed from any consideration not only of the patriarchal system but, in addition, from all systems of dominations based on and structured by it.
The word gender can thus be used - and it incontestably is - to justify, legitimize the absence of any relation of domination, any system of domination, any thought of domination, of all domination. And thus of all power. (5)
May 23, 2005
Translated by Sheila Malovany-Chevallier
1. A position that I too used at one time : [...] "As for the concept "gender", that is the set of rules societies uses to transform biological conditions of difference into social norms, very forceful in the USA, it is beginning to be used in France : [...]". Marie-Victoire Louis, Recherches sur les femmes, recherches féministes : [...] In : l’Etat des Sciences sociales en France, Edited by Marc Guillaume, Editions la Découverte, 1986, p. 460.
On Sisyphe, October 23, 2005
Voir en français : Dis-moi, "le genre", c’est quoi ?
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Marie-Victoire Louis, researcher at CNRS
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