ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Is Gender Equality an Oxymoron?

Gender is not an abstract social construct, but rather a material one that is often rooted within genetic, biological, mental and emotional characteristics.

When it comes to gender, we tend to conflate the term “equality” with “similarity.” Hence, we argue for a lack of distinction as the essence of political, social and economic justice. At the same time, however, we unanimously agree, for instance, that 1+4= 5. It does not mean that “1” and “4” are alike; neither does it mean that “5” is reducible to only two numerals, the first bearing the value of “1” and the other of “4.” The flexibility of “equality” in mathematics seems simple, straightforward. Not so in gender discourse.

Identity and belief systems for the majority rest upon defining genders as fundamentally unequal. A man is a man because he is not a woman. The distinction carries with it a semantic hierarchy. Because human sexes are different, then one of them has to be better, stronger, faster, etc, than the other. In order to justify the semantic hierarchy, humans have resorted to numerous explanations. I will mention three popular examples and hopefully refute them.

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