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If you are a proponent of gender equality (as I think most of us are), which position do you support more: gender-blind equality or "different but equal"?
By gender-blind equality, I mean de-emphasizing gender stereotyping and gender roles as much as possible, seeing gender as basically just a physiologically-relevant trait not unlike eye color or hair color but just relevant to reproduction.
By different but equal, I mean retaining some assumptions about gender, such as associated trends/stereotypes/personality traits, but being wary of and challenging inequalities between them. I'm not exactly sure how to explain this because I don't hold this view; hopefully someone will do a better job of it than I do.
As I implied above, I believe in gender-blind equality. And looking back at some early encounters I had with the concept of transgenderism, it seems that, simultaneously, I thought myself to be more progressive than the trans people I talked with, while they thought I seemed insensitively regressive. That's because I feel that gender has almost no inherent non-physiological meaning (with its meaning being societally assigned), and I initially failed to understand that they felt it does have some sort of inherent meaning. So at first I failed to understand why someone could even have a gender separate from their physiological one, because the way I understood the notion of gender pretty much had only physiological meaning.
And I'll be frank here, that's pretty much still my personal position, though I now understand how someone might feel if they differ from me in their take on this issue. That said, I still don't fully understand what the non-physiological non-societally-assigned meaning of gender is, which is partly why I've stuck to my original position. I remember trying to ask what being a given gender meant to that person, and the answer I got was always somehow linked to sociological phenomena -- such as men wearing dresses being seen as abnormal -- but maybe I just didn't read it right, or the person I talked to couldn't think up the best example at the moment, so I ought to keep an open mind about this.
In other words, what I'm trying to ask here is which position do you find yourself closer to? Do you believe that gender has a significant amount of inherent meaning beyond physiology? If so, what does it extend to?
If you don't believe in gender equality, feel free to chime in too. Why not? How are the genders unequal, and in what ways? And define "unequal" for the purpose of your definition, of course. Is either gender-blind equality or different-but-equal preferable to you, and why?