Social Determinism Versus the Essentialism of “Cis Privilege” Theory

Sex matters.

The politics of gender have always implicated the politics of sex. The politics of sex and gender are inseparable by social design because one of two “gendered” social roles are assigned according to the genital “sex” of each individual’s body at birth. This seems an obvious truth, but many people are still seduced by the idea that gender is somehow “programmed from within.” I will explain how the increasingly popular theory of “cisgender” and “cis privilege” takes advantage of our pluralistic ignorance to reinscribe a fundamentally conservative ideology of gender role essentialism.fausto-sterling SOCIAL DETERMINISM

I am fond of using the graphic above to illustrate the mechanics of social role determinism and its relationship to the presence (or absence) of a phallus at birth. The image is featured in Anne Fausto-Sterling’s book, Sexing the Body. [i] She provides the following context:

As a teaching tool in their struggle to change…

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