You know what really bothers me?
So many people believe that the differences between women and men are easily explained by biology. I’ve heard people explain the most mundane of perceived differences between men and women in terms of biology. Everyone has a pet theory that explains how it’s all in the hormones, or genes, or prenatal development, or brain structure, or genitals, or evolution, or whatever.
I’ve heard people justify sexist social patterns though a simple, handy application of biological determinism. The excuses basically boil down to, “That’s just the way women and men are. That’s the way we’re made.”
People wave away the possibility of positive change through a simple declaration of the impossibility of defying biology. They justify oppression, they excuse violent behavior, they ignore oafish behavior—all in the name of an implacable wall of genetic concrete. Insurmountable. Impervious. Inevitable.
I am more than the sum of my biology. Call me irrational, but I believe that change is possible if people have faith.
However, if you weigh yourself down with doubt, with the denial of possibility, why bother living? Why not give up altogether? Change is not possible. Men will always be domineering, aggressive assholes. Women will always be on the receiving end of men’s fucked up biology. Why bother to live in that world?
If you are a man, do you really believe that you are destined to behave like a Neanderthal? Do you accept that you have no control over your sexual urges? Do you accept that you have an innate drive to behave like a disagreeable jerk? Do you really believe that you are an emotionally clueless twit who is incapable of perceiving the emotional complexity of life in the detailed way that women supposedly can?
If you are a woman, do you really accept that the lives we live can never improve? That we will always be treated as lesser people by men? That we will always live in fear of male violence? That our intellectual creativity will never shine with the brilliance that men’s supposedly does? That we are too weak and emotional to effectively challenge a fucked up social structure that leaves us poor, raped, exploited, beaten, disrespected, depressed, and ignored?
Why bother living in a world like that? The end is only one pill away… One sip of water… One fate-filled swallow.
I choose optimism. I choose change. I choose to have faith in women and men. I choose to believe that men and women can treat each other with respect and care. I choose to believe that we can live as full fledged beings rather than fulfilling a biological caricature of gendered human folly.