[lit-ideas] Re: Sex or gender?

  • From: John Wager <johnwager@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 18:32:20 -0600

Judy Evans wrote:

<>. . . .I suspect any classification system will encounter problems of, well,
classification. My beef's with the endless questionnaire


also with the way even some academics use "gender" as a substitute for
"sex". There was once some kind of reason given for that (not one I
accepted) but now I think people have just stopped thinking

Years ago, our department chair called three faculty members into a conference room with an odd request. She was interviewing someone for a part-time teaching job in psychology, and she said she had not been able to tell what sex (or gender) the person was. The name was neutral, and the mannerisms were completely opaque; there was a mixture of masculine and feminine. The chair asked us all to come in for a minute just to introduce ourselves and make small-talk so she could ask us if any of us could tell what gender / sex the applicant was. None of us had a clue; we never did find out what sex/gender the person was. (The person had not filled in the "sex/gender" question, and the department chair was very uneasy saying something like "You missed this blank; are you male or female?"

I didn't really care what kind of equipment the person had, or if they had two X chromosomes or not.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence and ignorance." -------------------------------------------------
John Wager johnwager@xxxxxxxxxxx
Forest Park, IL, USA

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