Posted by: captainfalcon | March 26, 2011

Idlest Thought Yet

It is au currant in some quarters that the concepts masculine and feminine serve no helpful normative or descriptive function, and so ought to be put to bed.

One irony is that the skeptics are ordinarily sexless men (Oxbridge philosophers have that reputation,* even if I have it on good authority – his own leer – that Blackburn flouts the rule), and women who think sex is essentially a crime. Masculinity and femininity do us no favors, so of course we’d stand opposed.

But say, notwithstanding their conflict of interest, the skeptics are right and the concepts really are bankrupt. Assume, in other words, that he’s masculine (or she’s feminine, or vice versa) has scant descriptive power (indicates very little about a person’s characteristics), and – to the extent it does describe – is not a consideration in favor of his or her company. It then follows that the deliberately hyper-masculine are unduly concerned with cosmetics.

This is another humorous result.

* A connotation, for example, of Auden’s ditty:

Oxbridge philosophers, to be cursory,

Are products of a middle-class nursery

Their doctrines are anent

What nanny really meant.

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