Sunday, February 23, 2020

Are we limited by our sex?

The liberal idea is that we are free when we are autonomous, so that we can self-determine or self-define our own lives. The logic of this principle means that any aspect of life that is predetermined is seen as a negative limitation or restriction on the individual. Our sex is predetermined and therefore liberals describe it pejoratively as a "prison" or a "box" or a "straitjacket" that the individual needs to be liberated from.

How do liberals seek to liberate the individual from their sex? In a variety of ways, but in general they seek to make our sex not matter. The aim is to move toward a unisex society in which men and women become more the same. There is an assumption in liberal society that men and women should be equal and equality is understood to mean sameness.

The fact of being a man or a woman is, in a philosophical sense, a kind of limitation. It means we are not all things, but are created to be a certain kind of being. Our nature is "limited" in this very particular sense that we are not "omnibeings"  - creatures without a distinctive nature who can instead be or become anything they wish.

If you accept this basic limitation, then the existence of sex distinctions in society will no longer be seen as restricting individual development but as promoting it. If I was created to be a man, then I will want to develop my nature as a man to fulfil who I am and what I was made to be. Therefore, a unisex culture of sameness won't liberate me, nor will it remove limitations on me, but will instead impede my self-development.

This is true, for instance, in the way that we come to a deeper sense of who we are through the "gender binary" that liberals are so keen to deny and dismantle. A man in the presence of an attractively and impressively feminine woman will be brought to a stronger sense of who he is as a man. Men and women respond to each other instinctively and viscerally, as a kind of interplay between the sexes. 

Women feel this as much as men do:



The American academic Camille Paglia noted something similar when she wrote:
When an educated culture routinely denigrates masculinity and manhood, then women will be perpetually stuck with boys, who have no incentive to mature or to honor their commitments. And without strong men as models to either embrace or (for dissident lesbians) to resist, women will never attain a centered and profound sense of themselves as women.

We do not develop entirely solo. It helps our own self-development when the opposite sex is obviously and admirably "sexed".

And, unless we believe that we are gods, without limitations on our being, then our sex is not a restriction to be dismantled, but a significant aspect of who we are that needs to be developed rather than suppressed. Which is the point that this man is making:



A note to Melbourne readers. If you are sympathetic to the ideas of this website, please visit the site of the Melbourne Traditionalists. It's important that traditionalists don't remain isolated from each other; our group provides a great opportunity for traditionalists to meet up and connect. Details at the website.

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