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I wonder how this also affects Abdal-Hakim Murad's "polarity of Jalal and Jamal" : "the entire cosmos is gendered; in fact, it comes into being, and attains the complexity of manifestation after the experience of undifferentiated unity, through the interaction of the divine Names, where the supreme and governing category is the polarity of Jalal and Jamal. I have attempted some further reflections on this principle of a hormonally-coded cosmos in another place."http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/boys.htmThat's an earlier work than the "Islam, Irigaray, and the retrieval of gender" paper.
I'm not sure I understand what he means by the polarity of jalal and jamal...But I read his "Boys will be Boys" and I'm not impressed. Marshalling evolutionary biology and "hormones" to prove that women are different from men is silly. Yes, there are biological differences. Some feminists, in fact, emphasize these biological differences in favor of women. Feminism has moved beyond this kind of essentialism and there is now great work done by feminist biologists who do study hormones and at the same time are aware of the social constructionist theories of gender. The question is not that there are "middlesexes"; that's the easy part. The question is what meaning does society (and science which plays a role in the social construction) give to a person who does not fit the traditional gender system. Here, you enter the realm of power, institutions, history, language. Not biolgoy. Here's my favorite line from his essay: "more than seventy percent of first-class degrees at Oxford are obtained by male students." Yes. That has biology written all over it.
Hi Amal, Thanks for clearing my unease I had about the article for me. You're great!I'm always uneasy about arguments on social issues that overly rely on determinism based on evolutionary or biological "analysis". Very uneasy in fact. There is a branch of social sciences that does this to justify poverty for instance, or to explain "irrational" behavior (whatever that means). It is usually compromised because it simply takes an almost arbitrary collection of data and fits whatever conclusion it wants. There is no analysis of social mechanisms and structures. In fact very little theoretical analysis.rabee
Hi Rabee,One of the feminist biologist I had in mind is Ann Faust Sterling. She's known for arguing that there are not two sexes but five, at least. Here's a link to one of her articleshttp://abouthomosexuality.com/five-sexes.pdf
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