The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - Writing Female Characters101: The Difference Is Not Biological
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Writing Female Characters101: The Difference Is Not Biological|
I will no doubt regret commenting on this, as it's a touchy subject in general and appears to be even more so for you. FWIW, I think I agree with you in principle; as a person-without-children myself, I, too, bristle at the casual (and sometimes purposeful) conflation of traditional reproductive roles with gender and/or personhood. And also FWIW, I am trying (though I may fail despite my best efforts) not to step on anyone's toes.
That having been said, it seems like you're engaging in a false dichotomy. When you say "Being a woman has nothing to do with producing babies," that implies that the statement "The vast majority of people who produce babies are women" would be false, and I don't think it is. That doesn't mean that the other extreme, where childbearing and womanhood are one and the same, is correct. Rather, I think we should be able to recognize the myriad aspects of womanhood, while at the same time not denying that the set of people who bear children is (nearly entirely) a subset of the people who are women.
|Date:||March 24th, 2012 07:34 am (UTC)|| |
Perhaps were it phrased as "producing babies is no part of what makes a woman a woman" you would grok it better?
Sylphslider gave a NUMBER of examples of women who can't/won't produce babies and are still women, and men who are capable of producing babies who AREN'T women. Making "capability/willingness to produce babies" a defining factor of "being a woman" is...well, to be blunt, offensive. It says that not being able or willing to produce babies calls one's womanhood into question, and being able to produce babies calls one's NON-womanhood into question.
Producing babies is biological. Womanhood is...psychological and social and...complicated and not defined by biology.
"Babyproductionability," to coin a phrase, is in no wise a defining characteristic of womanhood. However, there's a middle ground between that and it being entirely unrelated to womanhood.
Producing a baby is, as you say, absolutely one hundred per cent no part of what makes a woman a woman. I can agree with that statement unreservedly. Fertility does not define women any more than it defines men.