Jens Oliver Meiert

On Gender

Post from February 2, 2015 (↻ October 17, 2017), filed under .

There are differences between men and women. There are differences between the sexual orientations of people. There are many differences between us. These differences, as we should all know, don’t make anyone “better” than the other. These differences are. They are fine. But there are differences. It serves no one to pretend there are no differences. It harms all to attack the differences.

Equality doesn’t mean justice.

Figure: We had this before.

When observing the occasional discussion about gender or sexual orientation, I typically miss the following points (which is not to say there are no other points that deserve attention).

One, that many of the issues we’re facing have less to do with gender than with justice. Oppression of women is an injustice; oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is an injustice; oppression of anyone (who is not a threat to life and rights) is an injustice.

Two, that there are cultural issues at work that distort our view, like structural competition. If everyone is primed to be faster-greater-better than everyone else, we won’t even stop at biology to “level” the playing field—for from a competition point of view, only one gender bearing offspring means a serious handicap for that gender. (The problem is competition, not gender.)

Three, and personally I find this aspect most important for surprisingly neglected, that many differences between us, including those of gender and orientation, are—beautiful. To appreciate each other. To cooperate with each other. To complement each other.

There are differences between men and women (and other genders), and no matter what gender and orientation we have, we should want to and we can appreciate both our own creaturehood and that of everyone else.

This is a brief and incomplete look at gender and sexual orientation. Not only for friends who reviewed drafts of this post do I understand that we cannot always view gender as “binary” as I put it here. As I’ve only intended to share the isolated ideas above, I’ll rather add that I strongly believe that we can all find together. Especially when we make an honest attempt at respecting, understanding, and appreciating one another.

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of July 27, 2015.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author and developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google). He plays with philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Goodreads. If you have any questions or concerns (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

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Last update: October 17, 2017

“The end does not justify the means.”