Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Gender and its three lives

Butembo 04.11.2021 Giovanni Del Missier Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

Why can’t the commitment to Justice and Peace avoid being interested in gender issues? “Every generation, according to Heidegger, has something to think about. Just one thing. Sexual differences are probably that of our time.” If that is true – and this is what reality shows us – the danger looms that the questions of justice, peace, fairness, and equality will be reduced to just this one area. With what consequences and implications? A discernment still needs to be made.

If what Heidegger says is true – as we believe so – then it is not out of place to go beyond the polemics that animate the debate on the subject and devote our attention to the study of gender, which is not a theory or an ideology, but a “Heuristic tool” used by various disciplines to investigate the relationships between men and women, highlighting the relative power structures present in cultures and societies.

The crossroads between nature and culture

Its birth is often attributed to studies by A. Ellis, J. Money, and Hampsons (1950), who helped highlight that it is not biologically determined sex, but culturally molded gender identity that is the true “anchor of our emotional health, present in love, and in relationships with others.” (J. Money, P. Tucker, Sexual Signatures on Being a Man or a Woman).

So, the exclusively biological paradigm of sexual identity began to be overcome in favor of a broader understanding, integrating psychological, social, and cultural variables. From this point of view, it is clear that sexual identity arises at the intersection between nature and culture, so that the biological “given” (sex) always turns out to be a “to be formed” (gender), a project to be implemented. Therefore, it becomes an educational and ethical task, which implies the freedom of various actors and whose outcome is neither predictable nor predetermined (Lettera ai vescovi della chiesa cattolica sulla collaborazione dell’uomo e della donna nella chiesa e nel mondo).

Criticism of patriarchal structures

The young “creature” was later adopted by the feminist movement, in which its founders – the anthropologists M. Mead and G. Ruby, and the philosopher S. De Beauvoir – questioned the traditional image of women and men. Gender has allowed us to recognize that the mental paradigms and action schemes, traditions and customs are the product of history, in which people’s choices are combined and accompanied by strong conditioning marked by the logic of domination and dishonesty, violence and injustice, that deny the authentically relational sense of human existence.

Differences and gender roles, which are often taken for granted, are presented as necessary and immutable. However, they must always be contextualized, and it must be recognized that for the most part, they transmit prejudices, which in the Western tradition are strongly dominated by men. They are configured as structures of sin capable of disfiguring God’s original project for women, couples, and the world (Lettera del papa Giovanni Paolo II alle donne - Letter of Pope John Paul II to women). Against these prejudices, it is fair to fight and commit to promoting the recognition of mutual differences and establishing equal relations based on respect and collaboration.

Preserve and welcome differences

The last historical phase, which can be called post-gender (or perhaps even trans-gender!), sees the appropriation of the category by LGBT reflection, marked by the deconstruction of duality and at denying the relevance of the difference.

By eliminating any reference to social and educational schemes, personal identity becomes a private, unquestionable, and always reversible option. In this ideological drift, corporeity is often reduced to a simple “inscription surface of provisionally placed and interchangeable meanings, without reference to the senses or the identity process.” [1]

Faced with the risk of disincarnating the subject and dematerializing the corporeity, it seems urgent to propose models of coexistence that do not deny, but rather recognize differences, enhance them, and compose them harmoniously. That is according to the empathic reception and symphonic coexistence, as the multifaceted model of Pentecost reminds us, against the massive totalitarianism of uniformity imposed by the logic of the Tower of Babel (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of Pope Francis).

As it can be understood, it is only through a careful and non-ideological discernment of the gender category that Christians can actively participate in the construction of a new humanity, opposing all schemes of submission and marginalization, to promote healthy human relationships by the redemptive power of Christ, in whom “there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28).

[1] S. Zanardo, «Gender e differenza sessuale. Un dibattito in corso», in Aggiornamenti sociali 65 (2014) 380.

See Il gender e le sue tre vite or at Il gender e le sue tre vite

Leave a comment

The comments from our readers (2)

Dario 30.12.2021 Bene! Grazie come sempre per gli articoli e le notizie unconventional ( scusate L americano ( ma sono anche ciò ). Questo articolo è estremamente interessante x via di motivi che sono all origine della genesi dell’ uomo e della donna , ovvero Adamo ed Eva e Caino ed Abele ed il serpente che Dio punì ; e poi la cara e grandissima Maria schiaccio’. E importante, perché L evoluzione di società corre troppo e si dimentica , specialmente nelle feste cristiane , che Gesù , venne crocifisso x i nostri peccati. Detto molto semplicemente senza entrare nella teologia. Infatti , le tre religioni vedono le persone diverse come peccati per cui si staccano dalla realtà e vivono in una teologia non vera ma interpretata a secondo gli usi e costumi. Il mondo si è evoluto x voler di Dio , il creatore .. Dobbiamo riflettere molto sul ruolo del diverso perché anch’esso ha diritto ad amore e misericordia. Ma dobbiamo dire che la famiglia e nata come simbolo di Dio attraverso L unione di uomo e donna. Ma non dobbiamo usare violenza per esercitare questo volere dell onnipotente. Oggi , il giovane mi sembra confuso sul suo destino ..incapace di vivere il suo “ seme “ che lo porto al mondo , cercando tribalita’ che diventano Ortodosse. Ma nello stesso tempo ha diritto di esprime conoscere ed esercitare la sua sessualità, senza essere punito. Le malattie sono altre , tipo covid cancro Etc .. Un piccolo discernimento per portare un anno pieno di gioia amore pace e misericordia che spero ( dubitandone ) venga abbracciato con? Lascio a voi la risposta
Bernard 07.03.2022 Pour ce texte sur le genre, je le trouve assez équilibré, mais je doute qu'il soit communément admis dans la culture catholique (je ne sais pas comment Paul réagit à ce texte !). Je n'ai qu'une réserve dans la troisième partie. Je pense que le mouvement LGBT ne se réduit pas à la notion de choix personnel de son propre genre. Il est beaucoup plus divisé et beaucoup de ses militants pensent qu'ils ont découvert leur propre genre (souvent contre leur entourage familial) et ne l'ont pas créé eux-mêmes. Je pense à Ander, de Paul et Sabina, que nous avons connu bébé et qui a le même âge que notre fille Hélène. L'évolution de la trisomie 21 vers la maladie d’Alzheimer est fréquente et je l'ai beaucoup rencontrée dans ma vie professionnelle mais c'est toujours un drame pour les parents qui la vivent, en raison de l'attachement renforcé à cet enfant en particulier.