Charlotte Witt's Gender Essentialism

I'll try to explain again. I'll make it simple. What is masculinity? I can say what a triangle is. I can say what a human is. I can say what lots of things are. I can make metaphysical claims about real things. But no one is able to actually make a metaphysical claim about "masculinity." If you can, by all means. What is masculinity? I'll be more specific. What traits or properties or anything does masculinity have? Does Witt answer this? Can you? I'm doubting it.

And that's why I mentioned the genital referent. If we were not sexed (that is, if we did not have different genitalia that was used for reproduction), we wouldn't even have the terms "masculine" and "feminine." Why would we? I'll put it another way. Why don't we have "masculine," "feminine," and "Zinine," and "Oinine," and "Qinine," etc. etc.? Why do we only have two genders?

Because, as I said, the genders are merely cultural stereotypes that extend from incidental or accidental (non-essential) traits that flow from our sex. Bepenised people tend to do X, Y, and Z, and so we call those things "masculine." So, in that way "masculine" is something we can refer to and use in our language. But it's not speaking to a real essence. It's nothing like "human" or "triangle." "Masculine" is more similar to something like how we describe families. That is, imagine a family with the surname "Smith." Most of them are real tough, love danger, etc. So we say "Smithness" means being brave, etc. And in a way, sure. But in real, essentialist terms, "Smithness" isn't a real thing. It's an accident that flows from a group.

Now, gender is related more to an integral part of us (our sex) than families. But that doesn't mean it has any particular substance. If it does, again, please explain it to me. What traits does "masculinity" have? What does it mean?

/r/philosophy Thread Parent