In Sally Haslanger’s philosophical essay ‘Gender and Race: (What) are they? (What) do we want them to be?’ the author utilizes an analytical approach to gender and race to define factors contributing to their meanings. In my understanding, the essay presents a significant accomplishment as it provides a unique approach to the topic in questioning whether there is a need for such notions as gender and race. While many operate with the term gender, people generally use the term to describe an individual’s sex and body characteristics or social position, and the term race could be replaced by ethnicity.
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
Therefore, society needs to experience a terminological shift to reduce the negative context imposed by separating different groups of people. I agree with Haslanger’s point that while ethnicity is used to describe a person’s biological characteristics, the term race, in most cases, is used in the dimension of social subordination or privilege (2012). I often thought that gender is a product of social activities that imply certain behavior expected from individuals. However, it never occurred to me that being a woman in different countries and historical periods also implies different expectations from society. Therefore, I think that Haslanger’s explanation of the fact that gender might not exist at all has a well-developed reasoning foundation.
In conclusion, the essay convinced me to reconsider my opinion and accept Haslanger’s position. The author explains that gender and race as terms have a close connection with politics; therefore, it might be that society is not ready for a terminological shift yet. However, I assume that more people now are experiencing problems with normativity and commonality aspects imposed by the gender and race terms. As modern society values individuality more than ever before, I expect the terminological shift to occur in the nearest future.
Haslanger, S. (2012). Resisting reality. Oxford University Press.