Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gender Domains

In my comment on a post by Major Generalist, I referred to ranges of certain human dispositions that span a common origin. In that context I posited that for each of these dispositions one side of the origin could be labeled female and the other male. This post is a list of the dispositions that I have been able to come up with so far.

I made a conscious effort to go deeper than the stereotypical, often anti-female, gender labels. My goal was to make both the male and female dispositions I’ve listed represent a valid way of being in the world.

I am the primary template for my male domain. These male dispositions are how I recall being for most of my life (though interestingly less so since I became a father, but that’s a story for another posting). The women who shaped my worldview are the basis of my interpretation of the female domain. The female dispositions listed here are generally the complements of the male ones, vetted through my perception of the women I’ve known. This reflects my personal belief that we are not opposite sexes but complementary genders.

The Female Domain

  • Pursuing Perfection (“I want the best”)
  • Process-oriented (“Its not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game”)
  • Efficient (“Waste Not Want Not”)
  • Strategic (“The future is what we make it”)
  • Nurture (“Greatness is made, not born”)
  • The Threat of Change (“Most change is for the worse”)
  • Inhibitive (“What happens is what I do not prevent”)
  • The Power of Desire (“Show me that you want it”)
  • Safety First (“If I am not Safe, I am not truly Free”)
  • Communal (“From each according to her abilities to each according to her needs”)
  • Distributive (“Water Divided is Water Multiplied”)

The Male Domain

  • Pursuing Novelty (“I want what I don’t have”)
  • Results-oriented (“Just win, baby!”)
  • Effective (“Make It Work”)
  • Tactical (“Take care of the present and the future will take care of itself”)
  • Nature (“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”)
  • The Opportunity of Change (“You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs”)
  • Exhibitive (“I did it my way”)
  • The Power of Fear (“Winning through intimidation”)
  • Freedom First (“If I am not Free, I am not truly Safe”)
  • Competitive (“Survival of the fittest”)
  • Acquisitive (“He who dies with the most toys wins”)

Neither genitalia nor sexual orientation is the sole determinant of which of these domains a person occupies. Beyond the expected distributions there are gay men and straight women in the male domain, lesbian women and straight men in the female domain and bisexual and transgendered individuals all over the place.

In this division of dispositions, being in a given domain does not invalidate you as a person. Though each domain can be subjected to negative characterizations, they can also just as easily be positively characterized. Which you choose to do is most likely based on your personal prejudices.

I am sure there are more such dispositions but these are the ones that meant the most to me. Note that during the short time I have worked on these lists, several of these dispositions have flipped sides. While I obviously do not think I am completely wrong here, I readily acknowledge that this is a work in progress and so I am open to constructive suggestions.

6 comments:

dreamerlin said...

While I'm sure much serious debate can be made on this entry, I just have to say I lmao on (“He who dies with the most toys wins”). Thanks!

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