Gender vs. Sex

Subject: Gender vs. Sex
From: Kim Tedrow <roseread -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 20:00:07 EDT

Perhaps it might be helpful to distinguish the difference between "sex" and

My understanding from my introduction to Women's Studies Course in the mid
'80s made this distinction clear. "Sex" refers to biology. "Gender" refers
to attributes usually assigned to, but not limited to, a particular sex. I
find it really necessary to keep that in mind when there are discussion of
"gender" attibutes towards something that doesn't HAVE a sex. Electrical
plugs and plug-ins, for instance. Thus, we can talk about gender in language
as arbitrary, and still not get into some kind of political debate around
sexism. (However, we can talk about sexism when we talk about who has the
*authority* to ascribe gender to ANYTHING.....)

Just thought I'd throw my hat into the ring. Based on the time I've taken
reading my mail around all of this, I hope I don't provoke TOO many replies.

Kim T.
(RoseRead on AOL)

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