Clemson University workshop: ‘What gender is this apple?’
Clemson University students were just treated to a workshop at the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, titled “Create Your Own Gender Adventure,” during which they — as the title suggests — discussed and debated how the traditional birth determinations of male versus female, girl versus boy, are out-of-touch, antiquated pooh-pooh labels, quite unnecessary in these advanced modern times.
In other words: They went down a rabbit hole from which confused minds rarely emerge.
The workshop featured a presentation from transgender activist Lara Americo who said, among other things, to the handful of students and adults in attendance: “I am going to donate my mind to science” in order to “let you create a new gender using me as a subject.”
It’s one thing to challenge societal expectations based on gender. It’s another thing entirely to blur the lines between male and female to the point where sex is just something to don with each morning’s clothing selections.
“We create gender every day whether we realize it or not,” the description of the workshop read, Campus Reform reported. “When we wake up, with clothes and mannerisms, we perform and create gender.”
And that takes energy — too much energy, “so much energy,” according to Americo.
“As soon as you wake up,” Americo said, “Think about all the things you do to prepare to walk outside of the house. You have all these clothes, all these products that you bought, all these different things that you use to create your identity and by default you use to create your gender expression, your blend of masculinity and femininity. … Are there only two genders? Is it just male and female? Or are genders infinite … and we can create infinite genders based on our emotions and our feelings for today?”
Short answer: No, genders are not infinite. Clothing selections may vary, hairstyles may vary, outward expressions of masculinity versus femininity may vary — but not so the sexes.
God made man. God made woman. That was pretty much it.
The rest is all human construct.
And while Americo has a valid line of thought to make about the strict and arbitrary and sometime dubious standards that society often imposes — and truthfully, not just on sexes, but also on ethnicities, ages, geographical locations and more — fact is, reality has to start somewhere.
Sex is one of the most basic of self-identifiers. It’s a good starting point for an individual’s individual reality.
Take that away, and everything that follows becomes a question mark, a matter of debate, an endless journey of self-exploration, a philosophical circle that leads nowhere.
“What gender is this apple?” Americo asked, in a Clemson Audio clip of the workshop posted on YouTube and at Campus Reform. “I don’t know. Does it really matter?”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why discussions that open doors to considerations of more than two sexes ought to fall on deaf ears.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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