Posts tagged " gender "

Gender and Geography

February 22nd, 2017 Posted by Thought Tools 33 comments

As a child growing up in South Africa, National Geographic magazine was not just something to pick up idly in the dentist’s waiting room.  It was a monthly magic carpet ride that enchanted me so much that a subscription bringing that familiar yellow cover to our mailbox each month was one of my favorite birthday presents.

It wasn’t only the spectacular photography of faraway places, it was also the advertisements.  In my mind’s eye, I still clearly see that rapturous red 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air.  There were intoxicating ads for cameras carrying names like Leica and Haselblad that I could but dream about.  There were pictures of housewives in American kitchens that I gazed at in wonder.

Mostly, however, the magazine sparked my life-long love for travel and appreciation of scientific exploration.  It taught me that wherever in this big, colorful world they were, humans want pretty much the same things.  From icy landscapes to the Sahara Desert, from mountain top communities to valley villages, people try to build families and make it possible for their families to thrive.

I haven’t looked at the magazine for years now, so I was quite shocked by a recent issue of National Geographic.  Its cover carried a picture of a boy dressed to look like a girl and bellowed out GENDER REVOLUTION.  Huh? In National Geographic? Really?

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Pandas and People

November 2nd, 2016 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

The Atlanta zoo has announced that its two recently born baby pandas are both female. Let me get this straight. Pandas are born with a gender while we are now told to assume that people are assigned a gender at birth and may change that gender when they wish. Lest that strikes you as bizarre, one of my daughters got a catalog from J. Crew that isn’t even sure that humans are humans. It was addressed to her or, in case she isn’t here,  to ‘another delightful creature.’ I get their point. Since everything that used to be fixed in the universe is up for grabs, why assume that referring to people as people will not soon become something only deplorable people who cling to their guns and religion do?

What’s up with gender?

February 25th, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

I’ve noticed a change in your writings. Why do you now use the word gender instead of sex?

∼ Kristal M.

Answer:

Dear Kristal,

What an astute observation. We’re a bit humbled that you are paying such close attention to our words. The answer to your question is simple, but the implications are not.

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