So a few days ago I was browsing around the web. Seems like I do that most days nowadays, my spirit of hanging out in Nature has taken a beating this past year with dropping mood of the psyche and so on. Anyway, this is not to be a post about my mental state, but rather a hot topic of the Internet these days: Transgender ideology/politics. So I saw this person argue that a man can become a woman because ‘woman’ is a social construct. What does this mean? I gave it some thought and, well, the word itself is a social construct, I give the person that. It’s a human made vocal construct among those raised to speak the human language of English. In Swedish it’s Kvinna, in Norwegian it’s Dam, in French it’s Femme, in German it’s Frau, in Korean it’s 여자 and so on. All of these are vocal (and written) social constructs that refer to the exact same thing: the material reality — biology — that is adult human female, which of course is not a human made construction but something created by far greater power than any humans possess, namely life itself.
The same can be said for man. What is man really? Again transgender ideology seems to argue — even though it rarely happens since it’s yet another male dominated ideology and since we males, under transgender ideology, label ourselves transwomen, the word man is barely on the table — its just a social construct. Again, the word man is a construct, I agree, but the material status it points towards: adult human male, is not. Again there are many different lingual constructs across the planet on how to refer to adult human males but it’s still very much a real thing that is not simply a social construct. We do the same to other species as well. Bull and Cow are two easy examples and, even in this case, you would find many different words for them, depending on the human language you speak, but they all refer to the same exact biological reality. It’s not just ”anyone who identifies as a bull/cow” that’s not how languages works, that’s not how communication works between us humans either.
We use words to describe material realities so we can all understand what the person is referring to. On the internet that is all we have. If there is no consensus what we mean with certain words there is no way to communicate with one another online. If words such as ice-cream, polar bears, moose, cow, bull, cannabis, movies, music, clothing, lipstick, mean whatever value I place upon them, all of you reading this would have no idea what the heck I’m trying to say. These words are not there to place any social expectations on anything, but just words to make it understandable that, no matter who reads this, as long as you read and understand English, you will most likely know what I’m referring to. Does that mean polar bears identify as polar bears? Not very likely. They are not humans nor do they speak the human language of English. I don’t think they care either. With or without us on this planet, they exist. With or without us, there are male and female polar bears. With or without us, they have social communities and lives as important to them as yours is to you and mine is to me. They are biologically real, not just a social construct.
Somewhere along the way of modern society, what feminists refer to as gender (I think the previous term in broader society was sex roles) has been associated with these words and, I guess it then can be argued it’s a mere social construction. But this is not really an honest view to hold. The states of our bodily selves are neutral. The word woman and man don’t hold any social values at all, but gender has been placed on top of that, on our bodies. It’s not something you are born with. No one is born a social construct, but born a body of flesh and blood. A material reality that just is. Nothing is said on how one must dress, look, behave, or how to talk and walk. The real physical world doesn’t centre itself around us humans and our cultural expectations.