Concept of Gender

This is an archived post from the old bulletin board. For new posts, see the forum.

Posted by anon ( on November 04, 2002 at 14:35:33:

I have thought about this from time to time, and I think it makes an interesting topic of conversation. In its most basic definition, gender/sex is a purely physical characteristic. But gender highly affects ones growth and development of personality, etc. So when we die and are freed from these earthly limitations, we do not directly take our gender with us, but the manifestations that our gender had on our soul in this world.

This naturally brings up many other issues. But it shows there is importance in gender - in the differentiation of the roles and qualities of genders that goes beyond simply the physical or physiological differences. So this equality of women and men does not mean sameness as many would assume. For example, women cannot serve on the Universal House of Justice, this does not in any way diminish their equality with men. Likewise, as a physical limitation, men cannot bear children. Since women have this function and men don't, does that make them in any way surperior? Being able to bear and being the primary educator of children may be the most important duty crucial to the survival and prosperity of humankind.

Also, Baha'i law states that any marriage must be contracted by a man and a woman (also implied by the marriage verses in Arabic, one is feminine and one masculine in gender). This in itself is an interesting distinction... Arabic for example has a very rich system of gender - every noun has a gender much like in Spanish of French. But in Arabic, aside from adjective agreement, there is also verb agreement for gender. This does not exist at all in Persian though. So within Arabic, differentiation by gender can be implicit whereas in Persian it much be explicity expressed in most cases.

I am not really going anywhere with this, just thought it would be something nice to think about and to discuss in an academic context.


this topic is closed - post at