So it might be good to think about where we’re hoping to get to. Here’s what a feminist utopia is for me: a world where your genitals, hormonal arrangements or gender identification matter not a whit. Where no emotions are gendered: everyone gets to be both vulnerable and tough, aggressive and nurturing, effortlessly confident and inclusively consensus-building, compassionate and dominant. Each by turn, just as it exists in us: no part of our rich, human selves cut off or excised because “boys don’t cry” or “girls aren’t funny”.
Boys don’t cry as is girls aren’t funny.
However, I can’t help thinking that a world where genitals and hormones make no difference is going to be difficult to achieve. For there are actually differences and they make a difference. This might be hugely important, as with Tab A for Slot A to make a baby and might be subtle, as with female bond trading teams taking less risk than male, mixed taking more risk than either. And none of that subtlety matters a damn at the level of the individual, given that variance is greater within than across those genital and hormone arrangements.
As fort gender identification if it matters not a whit then why is so much fuss made about it?
But here are a few ideas. We urgently need to address the assumption bound up in our employment laws and custody arrangements that women are the “natural child carers” and men don’t really want much to do with their children.
Forcing this is of course wrong. But a general observation of the human race shows that there is something to it. And it’s not that men want nothing to do with their children at all, it’s that they interact with them, on average and in general, in a different manner. We’ve real trouble explaining this real world around us without at least considering this. For example, that women earn less than men could, if we didn’t investigate further, be assumed to be because the patriarchy (cont/ pg 94). When we realise that women without children make about the same as men, mothers less and fathers make more than non-fathers among men (yes, after adjusting for age, of course) then we’ve at least got an intriguing lead into the idea that men and women, on average of course and not to insist upon this for any individual, react to the existence of their own progeny somewhat differently.
Men are more likely than women to both perpetrate, and be a victim of, violence. I don’t happen to think men are “naturally” more criminal or violent.
As with so many utopias the description of this one starts out by assuming that we’re not dealing with human beings. Which is interesting, of course it is, but not hugely helpful. Perhaps the most important advice we can give about this wish list is that the the blank slate idea is wrong. We are not purely the results of our upbringing or environment.