Born that Way

1 Nov

It is imperative that we question all patriarchal ideas including the ideas of sexual orientation and gender, regardless of whether or not it is politically correct. I’ve seen this subject skirted and tip toed around, but I can’t help but imagine a world without patriarchy and if we can imagine a world without patriarchy we can also imagine a world without labels such as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, queer and so on.  If we begin to question these labels and where they came from, we would see that their origins are from a false biological essentialist idea that we are born sexually oriented and gendered, this idea coming from men and patriarchy itself in order to mandate the subordination and domination of females.  What is ironic and tragic is that the very same idea was adopted by the LGB community and then later the Transgender community to use politically to fight for equality with the heterosexuals and “normally” gendered people. Paradoxically the equality sought was unfortunately an equality to a very sick system of ideas.

What is ironic here is that the biological essentialist idea being used to fight for equality, rights and protections was what caused the inequality in the first place. What is tragic is that by using the B.E. agenda politically it solidified these toxic patriarchal ideas even more and has created a very unhealthy environment for all human beings.  The biological essentialist agenda is exactly the same agenda as patriarchy has always tried to sell to us; that heterosexuality is a normal state of being and anything else is deviant. That females should naturally be in relationships with men. This biological idea trumps the facts that are  staring females in the face, that men have enslaved, oppressed, brainwashed, coerced, beaten, raped and murdered them for thousands of years. That females aren’t free to choose men on their merit alone because it is biological, not a choice.  Females are born that way and must be with men regardless of the way men treat them or disrespect them as human beings.  The same goes for gender.  That females are biologically feminine (subservient) and males are biologically masculine (dominant).  These born that way ideas match very nicely the constrictive ideas that brought on the outcry in the first place, the very ideas that are causing all human beings to suffer, especially female human beings.

The born that way stance was then and continues to be used as a political platform to gain rights and protections for people who don’t fit into the patriarchal mind numbing constrictive ideas of sexual orientation and gender. This agenda however isn’t helping to get rid of these patriarchal ideas but instead solidifying them even more. In most cases however, the people who are using the agenda aren’t doing this knowingly. They aren’t questioning the ideas because the information like all other patriarchal information is standing right in front of them but is also invisible. It is just the way it is and has always been. The born that way idea is being held up as the golden receptacle of change yet it is the antitheses of change.  To legally state that human beings are born lesbian or gay (sexually orientated) we are also legally stating that human beings are born heterosexual. That somehow at birth most of us are heterosexual and that a minority of us are attracted to the same sex. How can we say that an infant is attracted sexually to the same sex or the opposite sex? This doesn’t develop in the human being until later in life. This biological idea has never been proven scientifically.

The same goes for the idea that we are born in the wrong body. That somehow at birth most of us are gendered normally, males are masculine and females are feminine and for a a minority of us, this went awry and the opposite occurred. That Infants are naturally masculine or feminine. However, this develops later in their life, the idea that they don’t fit into the gender role they are prescribed in patriarchy. It is important here to note that most children should balk at these gender roles. Children should not be coerced into behaving certain ways based on their genitals, but they are due to patriarchal coercion and we can’t ignore that factor (but we do). Again the end game is always female subordination and again this biological idea has also never been proven scientifically.

If we instead were to state that human beings are actively choosing the same sex partners or choosing to behave feminine or masculine or both out of their own individual authenticity, this would bring into question the patriarchal ideas of sexual orientation and gender.  Can females actually choose to be with women? Can males actually choose to behave feminine (subservient)? Can females actually choose to behave masculine (dominant)? If the answer is yes, then patriarchy itself doesn’t make sense. The rule of men, the domination of men over women and the second class nature of the inferior female starts to unravel. This is why it is extremely important for patriarchy to maintain the idea that this is biological. If sexual orientation and gender are biological, then patriarchy is correct. The rule of men is correct. It is biologically ordained, right as rain. This is why legally it is important to not allow the social argument and instead only allow the biological one. I don’t think this is what lawyers are thinking. I don’t think they actually understand the mechanisms of patriarchy including the ideas of sexual orientation and gender, and because of this ignorance they don’t think about fighting against them; instead they fight with the tools that they think will win the easiest. This is not surprising. This happens all the time in patriarchy. Our legal system is built on this premise. We fight with patriarchal tools instead of fighting patriarchy itself.

Even though these born that way tools did work legally to add legislation to protect the LGB community from harassment and violence and this is a good thing of course, they did so at their own and all human beings expense, especially at female expense.  By using patriarchal tools, the born that way agenda, they helped to solidify the very ideas they we are fighting against. By stating that they are born that way, they are then considered to be deviants from the normal state of affairs (heterosexuality). They are victims to their biology and because of this, they can be thrown some scraps from the patriarchal table and told to quietly go away, all the while patriarchy and it’s restrictive ideas about sexuality is never threatened. Since gayness is biological and since there is a much lower percentage rate of gay persons than heterosexual persons, we can conclude that gayness is an anomaly, a deviation to heterosexuality. That being the case, even though it is dangerous to be intimate with a man due to epidemic male violence, unless you are born a lesbian you should be with a man. The idea that being gay is a disorder and the idea that females must be feminine and men masculine stays steadfast, never questioned. People who suffer from gender dysphoria are coerced into changing their physical appearance to fit into the stereotype that patriarchy has dictated to them. To go to such lengths to physically match the patriarchal idea of how we should behave, pumping ourselves full of harmful chemicals and surgically removing parts of our bodies goes a long way as propaganda that our gender is biologically mandated and that indeed patriarchy is also biologically mandated. That is the bottom line here. That is the end game. That has always been the end game.

If we continue to fight for rights and protections by using the same bad ideas as our weapons, we will continue to solidify the very system that is causing our reasons to fight in the first place. It doesn’t make any sense to continue doing this. Instead we must fight the actual system that is dictating to human beings these toxic ideas that continue to enslave females.  We must do this so that all human beings can freely choose without constraint or brutality who they want to love and how they want to behave.  Then finally when we see that we can choose to love who we want and behave how we want, not because we are born that way and have no choice, but because we are complicated human beings who if allowed to be authentic will choose what we truly want, we will gain freedom. At the very least, we must continue to question everything that exists within patriarchy and think about what could exist without it.

Michele Braa-Heidner


14 Responses to “Born that Way”

  1. Wilson November 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Your complaints are with culture not biology.

    • mbraaheidner November 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

      Yes Wilson, my complaints are with patriarchy (Culture), not biology. Your point?

  2. Wilson November 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    The majority of people are born as male/female, that is a biological fact, however I agree that of a person isnt that doesnt make them a deviant, I’m a believer in the evolutionary theory behind homosexuality, but you dont have the sample size to blame it on a patriarchal system as there has never been a dominant matriarchal society to contrast it with.

    • mbraaheidner November 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Wilson, I do not believe in biological essentialism when it comes to gender or sexual orientation, including homosexuality (born that way). Of course females and males are different biologically, that isn’t my argument. Further, you state that there has never been a dominant matriarchal society to contrast with patriarchy. That is false and very patriarchal-centric for you to say. Matriarchy first of all is not just a mirror image of patriarchy where the females oppress and dominate the males. Patriarchy itself came after the prior Mother Right cultures that were the dominant culture across the globe. Patriarchy then if we were to be accurate should be a mirror image of what came prior–matriarchy–but it is not–it is instead a warped version of it.

      The mother right Mother Right Equalitarian Cultures never dominated the males to keep their society in tact–it was based more on cooperation and respect. Patriarchy however created by men is all about oppressing and dominating females. There is a lot of agricultural evidence showing that the religion of the earth was the Goddess Religion, Mother Right cultures. This archeological evidence was interpreted by male anthropologists and dismissed as not important. This information was buried, destroyed and written out of history by men during the patriarchal reign, not to mention all of the female history during patriarchy which has also been dismissed. Thanks to some amazing women who refuse to allow this erasing of women’s history, this information is not lost forever.

      You like most others however, have assumed that it doesn’t exist because it isn’t readily available. I too thought this way until I began my research 15 years ago. There is a reason why the information was buried. If all human beings new about this information, another way of living to contrast with patriarchy, patriarchy would be threatened. Regarding the contrasting with a dominant matriarchal society comment. Again, this is not true and this ignorance is one of the reasons why we all believe mistakenly that patriarchy is the only type of society that exists and works. Prior to patriarchy, the Mother Right culture existed for 500 thousand to 1 million years prior to the recent patriarchy, making patriarchy an infant culture in contrast. During those times, the evidence supports that the women were not “feminine” (submissive) women, on the contrary, they were autonomous self empowered human beings. They only mated with males to have children but did not have close intimate relationships with men. They lived with other women, not men. In current times there are places on earth where they do practice matriarchal traditions;

      We could also talk about the bonobos who are an even closer cousin to human beings than the common chimpanzee. Again, male anthropologists use the common chimp as a relation to human beings and as an example of patriarchy only because of their male bias. The bonobos are matriarchal. They walk upright more than the common chimp. They rule with Mother Rights, not domination and violence like the common chimps. The bonobos keep their societies in tact by intimacy. The females have intimate relations with both females and males. There are no female/male separate relationships like there are with humans in patriarchy and with the common chimp. The females live with other females. The female bonobos stop male chimp violence by banding together to stop it and violence happens rarely. We could learn a lot from the bonobos. The bonobos have also been seen sharing their resources with neighboring apes; whereas the common chimps by contrast would kill the neighboring apes to gain their territory and take their resources. The common chimps are patriarchal and the males are violent towards females and other males. My point here is that we can look at the Mother Right cultures in our ancient past and currently for evidence to support the idea that men created the patriarchal ideas about gender and sexual orientation.

      • Wilson November 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

        Well the interpretation bias goes both ways as the evidence of a “goddess cult” in prehistoric europe is based on some pretty flimsy assumptions in reading the archaeological record. However the bonobo chimp is an interesting case in that they have sex for reasons other than procreation. The problem is I believe our common ancestor split about 4 million years ago (I’m rusty on my timeline) so its hard to say what the australopithicenes kept and discarded. While not as severe as in other apes like the gorilla humans have retained some sexual dimorphism which supports a patriarchal society as far as what was the norm during the period of evolutionary adaptedness.

  3. Miep November 1, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    It seems likely to me that people do have biologically determined personality traits, that are culturally assigned as being masculine or feminine, at least to some extent. This would likely affect a person’s tendency to take on conforming or nonconforming roles, and could help explain why some people feel wrong (I’m not talking about MRA’s in skirts, those guys are trolls).

    Just a thought, and one that does not contradict your thesis, in any case.

    • mbraaheidner November 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      Thank you for your comment Miep. I understand what you are saying; however, how can we tell, that is is biology that determines personality traits? If we are born into patriarchy where gender roles are dictated to us and not into a society where they are not, we can’t really know what is biological and what isn’t. The only thing we do know is that biologically males and females are physically different. I am not disputing that females are different than males in this regard, for example, females have more estrogen and males more testosterone, Females have female sex organs and males have male sex organs, I am only questioning the ideas dictated by patriarchy regarding sexual orientation and gender and how the LGBT communities are using this very same agenda politically.

      We could for example say that because females have estrogen they are biologically more susceptible to being feminine; however, what if females were socialized differently? What if they weren’t taught that they are inferior to men? That they are weak? That they are subservient? That they must act feminine? Gender roles are just gender roles. They are not real personality traits that come from individuality. They are constructed ideas. Femininity is just masked subservience. Males also act feminine when they are being dominated.

      • Miep November 1, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

        Yes, it’s effectively impossible to sort out. But mothers often say their children have different personalities from birth. But even that cannot easily be sorted from different experience in utero, I suppose.

        I like it as an hypothesis for true GID though. Otherwise there is this mystery about why some people apparently pick up on cross-gender socialization.

  4. Gowan November 4, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    Just out of curiosity: Do you think campaigning for a right to choose to be homosexual (as opposed to just being allowed to stay homosexual if “born that way”) would have been as successful?

    I suspect that it wouldn’t have achieved anything, actually. The fact that the “born that way” model only includes about 10% or so homosexual people, has probably been a large factor that contributed to the overall acceptance.
    Some fundamentalist Christians still fear that everyone may become homosexual once it becomes socially accepted, after all.

    • mbraaheidner November 8, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

      Just out of curiosity: Do you think campaigning for a right to choose to be homosexual (as opposed to just being allowed to stay homosexual if “born that way”) would have been as successful?

      Gowan, the point of my article was not to argue whether or not the campaign would have been more or less successful if the LGBT communities fought for the right to choose etc….. my article instead was the patriarchal social constructs of sexual orientation and gender and the idea of biological essentialism to support said constructs and how this is harming women.

  5. FeistyAmazon November 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    Reblogged this on FeistyAmazon and commented:
    I chose to come out…because it never worked with men…but it was completely natural with women…Ive always been a hardcore tomboy who grew up to bd a Butch I had the proclivity…BUT I also made choices and rejected the feminine role when I saw how my brother was treated vs me and how my father had so much more power than my mother….nature AND nurture. Whatvdoes it matter if its a proclivity or an active choice or a bit of both? I am ALL for women having choices over their lives!!!

    • mbraaheidner November 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Thank you Feisty, I truly admire and respect you!

      • FeistyAmazon November 11, 2014 at 2:32 am #

        Same here…you have a brilliant way with words I too deeply respect Michelle..

  6. Lisa December 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    I’ve been looking for someone to write about this at length. The closest thing I could find was a plea to ‘stop arguing about it’. But it’s a little too important to avoid just because women get a bit defensive about it. ‘Sides, it’s really not about opinions anyway…I mean ‘inherent’ sexual “orientation” (is that what they still call it?) is either a thing or not a thing. So far scientists tell us they don’t know how heterosexuality or homosexuality develop in humans. They openly say they don’t, which was really a surprise to me cause I thought it was obvious lol…you know reproduction and all that. So if I of all people–someone who knew she chose to be lesbian–thought that heterosexuality was a scientific done deal, then I assume other people think this as well. Turns out no one knows why we develop these orientations (that word doesn’t seem right).

    Actually they have one theory that something in the ear creates a sort of Pavlovian effect that connects certain vocal frequencies (i.e female or male) with sexual attraction. This is still not completely understood or agreed upon by scientists and seems a bit arbitrary to me–that is, it reeks of nurture rather than nature. Also I know women’s hearing is tuned to hear high frequencies–supposedly to hear babies in distress (might actually/also be because females survive by cooperating with each other in my opinion but whatevs) So perhaps males have this hearing-related sexual attraction while females don’t? What I’m saying is, if males are born hetero of homosexual it doesn’t mean females are also. They find differences between gay men and het men that they don’t find between lesbians and het women for instance.

    All in all, Radical Feminists should make it a priority to question the born this way paradigm and discover the truth.

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