That gender is a social construction is a banality.
What else could any cultural distinction or category be? What is the entirety of language with its myriad distinctions if not a social construction?
The question is, what does the claim that a distinction or norm is socially constructed give you? It certainly doesn’t–as feminists and gender queers assume–authorize wilful and arbitrary emendations of the constructed concept . That assumption itself rests on a semantic conflation of construction with legislation.
Cultural constructions, like organisms, develop through adaptation not legislation. They are heuristics that have survived the test of time. As with all heuristics, they offer a means to successfully navigate the world without having to understand it. They do not admit to rational or philosophical explanation or validation. Their only validation is that they work. And more importantly, they work over a long, long period of time, beyond the span of a single generation. When they stop working, the culture that makes use of them either adapts by coming up with new heuristics or vanishes.
The gender binary and the distinctions associated with it have been around for a long time and will likely be around a lot while longer. Longevity has “naturalized” them, but this is not to be sniffed at because the naturalization of norms testifies to their success. What ought to be questioned is the knee-jerk compulsion to question the validity of every inherited cultural given.
Gender is “problematic” for us because technology has rapidly transformed its beneficiaries into artificial mutations that can only survive in a techno bubble. This has rendered us extremely fragile but rather than acknowledge this fragility and its potentially dire implications for our survival, we prefer to imagine that we have gained the god-like power to alter ourselves and our environment at will and to whatever extent we please.
Needless to say, this is foolhardy, but then modernity is a succession of foolhardy experiments with catastrophic unintended consequences. Which, apparently, does not deter us from embarking on new ones.
The disruption of gender roles has already had the effect in the industrialized countries of effectively sterilizing the population. So we already know where this experiment is headed. Its logical outcome is extinction. This means that In time, gender confusion will have proved to be a self-limiting pathology.
I understand where the alt right’s obsession with genetics comes from. It is, at least in part, an attempt to give scientific validation to the concept of a natural order. The problem is that the idea of a natural order must be axiomatic, an article of faith. Turning to science for the validation of an ancient cultural axiom subordinates it to an empiricism that is both alien and hostile to ancient wisdom. Even if such a validation were possible, it would be more harmful than useful for it would implicitly affirm the privileged position that modernity assigns to science as a source of knowledge.
Scientific validation is not only a weak and always provisional form of validation but also, as far as traditional concepts are involved always an implicit invalidation. Traditional concepts rely on tradition and revelation as their authority. They belong to a different cultural ecology than empiricism and its stunted rationalism, and any attempt to render them empirical fatally jeopordizes them. To use Nassim Taleb’s terminology, traditional concepts are heuristic not empirical. They achieve validation by their effects. Medieval Christianity gave us Chartres. Postmodernism gives us Daniel Libeskind.
Science cannot be the final arbiter of truths that can only be effective if they are absolute.
In the modern world, it is impossible to affirm the legitimacy of tradition without questioning the legitimacy of science. The two cannot coexist.
When dealing with false philosophies that appear philosophically impregnable because of modern credulity to impertinent sophistry, Joseph De Maistre showed the way. Consider not the theory but its consequences. Deconstruction and its correlate, social contructivism (the belief that traditional norms are mere social constructions that can be violated and amended at will), are disproved by the freakishness they produce. Feminism is disproved by its uglifying effect on women. The belief that gender is a construction is disproved by the abject ridiculousness of men passing themselves as women and vice versa.
The aesthetic consequences of an idea are the most rigorous test of its validity.
What is latent in an idea, covered up by appeals to sentiment and resentment, is exposed by its realization. An idea whose products are disfigured, malformed, freakish, monstrous, weak, shrill, cacophonous, graceless, poisonous, ugly is a bad idea irrespective of the high-minded bullshit it comes wrapped in. Good ideas are recognized by their beautiful, ennobling effects. If you want to get the measure of the wisdom of any civilization or any period within a civilization, examine its artifacts. It is what a civilization leaves behind when it can no longer speak except through its residue that justifies or condemns it.
If the idea of a natural order is not axiomatic, if it is not an unquestionable cultural given, it is nothing. The fragmentary scientific validation of some longstanding cultural belief always comes too late and counts for very little.
What science–or more accurately, modern science–has killed, it cannot revive.
Tradition cannot cede authority to short-sighted empiricism without nullifying itself. This is fundamental.
An authentic traditionalist has to be willing to accept that tradfition is indefensible. This has no bearing on its legitimacy. Tradition is indefensible because it is the distillation of a knowledge acquired practically through harrowing and heroic encounters with the worst and best that life has to offer. Tradition is indefensible because it is not modern and, therefore, alien to the modern prejudice that equates legitimacy with understanding. The wisdom of tradition, its legitimacy, reveals itself today negatively, via the dismal consequences of what has replaced it.
In the same way that tradition is rationally indefensible, modernity and its abominations are rationally irrefutable. Genetics will never disprove the pernicious doctrine of social construction because that doctrine is itself part and parcel of the scientific ethos. After all, it is science itself that allows the surgical and pharmacological alteration of gender and, beyond that, the artificialization of the human organism at the cellular level.
Science cannot validate the natural order because it is science’s mutational power, its toxicity, that has made us unnatural.
It is our own unnaturalness that expresses itself in deconstruction. Deconstruction manifests what has already occurred, the undoing, the ruination of foundational cultural precepts, but it manifests this undoing as wilful reenactment and in this way affords us the delusion of voluntaristic cultural agency. We deconstruct gender because gender was already ruined by the exigencies of industrialization and the invention of automation and wage labor. We deconstruct patriarchal authority because patriarchal authority acquiesced long ago to the overwhelming power of ungendered capital.
Conservatism today has nothing left to conserve.
Modernity cannot be refuted. It can only be allowed to perish. Indeed, is modernity anything but a perishing? Is it anything but a civilizational supernova that comes after a civilization has exhausted its vitality? Most of what we take as the causes of cultural decline are actually its effects. It is our diminishment that modernity signifies, our inability to endure the heroic demands of the ancient wisdom.
Belief in the natural order demanded a fatalism, a stoicism, an islam, an amor fati that at some point became insupportable to modern minds. The recourse to genetics to restore the authority of nature reproduces the error it tries to correct. Faith in the natural order demands instead conviction in modernity’s evanescence.
The freak menagerie assembled by modernity is not an indication of a “transhuman’ future. Rather, it is an indication that modernity has no future.
I would suggest that it has something to do with a striving after what sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called “distinction.”
The basic concept is not hard to understand. Elites are motivated to find ways to distinguish themselves from the common run of humanity. They do this by means of a variety of affectations and rationalizations, the common underlying element of which is the assertion of the elite’s inherent specialness, reflected in its elevated intelligence, discernment, refinement. Without this faith in its uncommonness, the elite would be susceptible to the intolerable suspicion that its position is purely contingent.
To support faith in its inherent superiority, the elite makes a point of embracing ideas and tastes that are flagrantly uncommon. In the arts, for instance, the elite patronizes just those artists and designers whose work is inscrutable and even repugnant to everybody else. Thus the modern phenomenon of the avant-garde. But, elite snobbery expresses itself in moral as well as aesthetic taste.
Just as the elite patronizes the artistic avant-garde, it also supports what at any given moment pass for avant-garde attitudes, preferences, and lifestyles. Some of the attitudes the elite patronizes may even have an anti-elitist cast to them. But this is of little import. The elite is immune to cognitive dissonance because it regards whatever avant-garde notions it adopts as no more than fashion accessories advertising superior taste. This habit of treating ideas as mere signifiers of elevated status reflects the elite’s belief in the invulnerability of its position. It is also an effective way to devalue and undermine the sometimes radical ideas the elite affects to embrace. It reduces ideas, ideologies, philosophies to mere trends, easily embraced because easily discarded.
(Most of the time, the elite is quite correct to treat ideas as of little consequence. It is only occasionally, through a combination of fortuitous circumstances, that ideas prove momentous. The foolish high-born women who promoted the spread of Enlightenment ideas in their salons did not foresee the French revolution that would put these ideas to deadly effect.)
The more perverse the idea, the more its potential for signifying the elite’s extraordinary refinement. The uncommon are perpetually at war with the common. This is the logic that underlies the elite’s embrace of “progressive” ideas. Progressivism is the intellectual expression of elite snobbery.
The largely white elite’s embrace of anti-white rhetoric is to be understood as part and parcel of the elite’s affectation of moral superiority. Naturally, the elite does not feel that hatred of “white privilege” pits it against itself because part of the elite’s affectation is that the mere profession of progressive ideas places the professor above the common herd toward whom progressive invective is directed. The bad people, the deplorables, are always located among the low, uncomprehending, bestial masses. The common theme of progressive ideas is the lamentable backwardness of the common people.
This would explain why today, progressivism is so profoundly at odds with populism. And why the vilification of white privilege is the ultimate expression of white privilege.
I don’t see how sex dolls can ever replace women. I say this because I don’t see how a doll, even a perfect android doll, could ever give the satisfaction of conquest. It’s precisely because sex is always an expression and affirmation of power that copulating with dolls can never be an adequate substitute for bedding a live woman. A woman’s surrender, or at least the adequate illusion of it, is fundamental to male enjoyment. This is, of course, why heterosexuality is so problematic for feminists hysterics.
Money, then, appears as this distorting power both against the individual and against the bonds of society, etc., which claim to be entities in themselves. It transforms fidelity into infidelity, love into hate, hate into love, virtue into vice, vice into virtue, servant into master, master into servant, idiocy into intelligence, and intelligence into idiocy.
Since money, as the existing and active concept of value, confounds and confuses all things, it is the general confounding and confusing of all things – the world upside-down – the confounding and confusing of all natural and human qualities.
He who can buy bravery is brave, though he be a coward. As money is not exchanged for any one specific quality, for any one specific thing, or for any particular human essential power, but for the entire objective world of man and nature, from the standpoint of its possessor it therefore serves to exchange every quality for every other, even contradictory, quality and object: it is the fraternisation of impossibilities. It makes contradictions embrace.
Today, the money-enabled “fraternisation of impossibilities” challenges even the division of the sexes. This is supposed to be a progressive thing, which tells us something about progressives. They are capital’s useful idiots.
The current mania is to dismiss gender as a social construction.
The claim is trivial.
All distinctions whatsoever are ultimately social constructions but only begin to appear as such when societies are falling apart. The minute a culture becomes deferential, apprehends itself as merely a culture, its tenets and tastes as merely prejudices, it is dead.
Deconstruction is the labor of maggots.
The transgender fad reveals how rampant consumerism has managed to transform every cultural given into a consumer choice. Sex used to be the ultimate given, an irrevocable anatomical contingency. Now it is a commodity.
What progressives call progress is this relentless commodification of every aspect of existence. Everything that was at hand, default, natural, is made unnatural, subject to customization, available as paid option.
Those who would free us from the last vestiges of patriarchy are delivering us into the maw of the corporate Borg.
Removed from the patriarchal context in which it was once dignified, the body becomes a desubjectified machine whose parts can be altered at will. Transgenderism is but the logical expression of this desacralization of the body at the behest of the capitalist drive to reduce all of nature to product.