An Analysis of 'Rethinking Sex & Gender'

651 Words Aug 30th, 2013 3 Pages
AN ANALYSIS OF “RETHINKING SEX AND GENDER” (Christine Delphy)
~Saswati Subhra Das

About the author Christine Delphy (b. 1941) is a feminist, activist, sociologist,writer and theorist of French origin. She was an active participant of the Women's Movement(Mouvement de Libération des Femmes called MLF). She challenged the law of the French Government in 2004 , which forbid Muslim girls to wear hijab in schools. She was the proponent of Material Feminism. Along with Simone de Beauvoir, she co-founded the Nouvelles questions feministes(New Feminist Issues) in 1977.She was the proponent of Material Feminism, which is a radical perspective of socialist feminism, linking a materialist approach to gender relations.She thus argues
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She found that, in the Mount Arapesh tribe, both sexes were effeminate-docile, gentle, loving, who loved to take care of children and did household work. In case of the Mundugumor tribe, both sexes were hostile and aggressive. The Tchambuli tribe's women were powerful, confident and assertive, while its men were confused and sentimental by nature.

Delphy strongly critiqued Mead,because the latter considers division of labour as being natural and doesn't question the hierarchy between the sexes. Mead just talks about the temperamental differences between men and women across cultures, but, considers the binary division of the human universe , essential for the civilization and society.

Delphy has appreciated the work of Mira Kumarovsky, Viola Klein and Alva Myrdal,as they talked about 'sex roles' for the very first time and thus, the division of labour and hierarchy between the sexes was considered to be socio-culturally constructed and not natural.

At last, Delphy says that, we have to imagine a non-gendered world, in order to think objectively about sex and gender.

Main message of the paper

Gender precedes sex. Gender and sex are both social constructs, influenced by culture to a great extent. In order to end the hierarchy, we must dare to think beyond the binaries of sex and gender and imagine and accommodate multiple possibilities

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