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Monday, August 1, 2011

The little philospher, Liam, shows his Grandude, the retired sophist, that male and female are somewhat arbitrary, socially-constructed categories

When I was out in Boulder visiting my grandson, Liam, I asked him, "What's the name of your penguin?"  Penguin is Liam's humidifier, in his bedroom.  (see photo, below)  Naturally, I was flattered when Liam thought for a moment and told me, "Bob."  So, I asked, being the clever retired sophist that I am, "Is Bob the penguin a boy or a girl penguin?"  Liam then took a longer time to mull this question over.  Finally, as if he had just returned from the mountaintop with the Ten Commandments under his little arms, Liam announced, matter-of-factly, "Just a penguin."  Here's a photograph of the actual moment when the Little Philosopher delivered to Big Dude the wisdom which LP had received at the top of  Little Dude's own Mount Sinai.

So from that little encounter with the Little Philosopher, the master mind-bender of gender studies, I took away an empirical confirmation of the idea that gender categories are socially-constructed artifacts which young children learn, and introject into their consciousness, and not, primarily, natural divisions in the mind of our creator, Mother Nature.

And the Little Philosopher again offers living proof of that famous biblical dictum, "But ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless ye become as children."  (or words to that effect)

As promised, here is the picture of Bob the penguin, who's just a penguin, singing "When smoke gets in your eyes" to Mohammed the Cat.  In the Little Philosopher, Little Dude, Liam, there is, as yet, no east or west, no male nor female... .  Not yet.

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