Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gender Studies (2 of 2)

In a model of competing role models, each recruiting for a subtype within the species, you have the cards you're dealt (nature) vs. the cards you gain during play (nurture) -- not that the fine line between these two is always crystal clear.

In terms of gender, I think the age axis must be conjoined to make sense of the scholarship. What age ranges are we talking? The subject is really "morphology" as children are eager to learn what kind of adult such and such portends, in terms of childhood personality. "What track am I on?" is a perennial question. Gender studies potentially has some answers, if it deigns to fully embrace the time dimension.

However, even with a time dimension, the topography is way incomplete. If the "multiple genders" really are culturally ingrained to a large extent, as many contend, then in the next breath we need to admit of many divergent cultures. So don't be too confidant, just eyeballing someone on the bus next to you, that you have any insight into the role, or even the ethnicity.

To be cosmopolitan means to not be overconfident in such matters. Which doesn't mean you have to find out, either, i.e. don't be boorishly inquisitive just because you're in a shared public space. That might be Jodie Foster you're dealing with (smile).