Falling Star: Countering Gender Essentialism with Sex Essentialism

Red and Black Leeds

Some Definitions

Patriarchy: Patriarchy is a system of domination. Historical analysis suggests it came about with the advent of agriculture and private property some thousands of years ago, for the purpose of controlling the means of reproduction. People who were able to give birth were given the role of “woman” and became dominated by “men” to ensure control over inheritance. The patriarchy also includes a division of labour to ensure women’s subservience. Under patriarchy various qualities are attributed to men and women (masculinity and femininity respectively) to justify and reinforce these roles.

Gender: Genders are the socially constructed categories “man” and “woman”, as well as the term for alternative categories created outside of this system. The gender system is built entirely out of sexism and cissexism. So currently in the man box is, for example, the colour blue, confidence, rationality, aggression, paid work, sports, penises, suits, a lack of sexual…

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