Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Play Entry 20 - Gender thoughts - operant conditioning through play

OK seriously weird thought experiment based on patriarchal culture :
Historically children were treated as unisex in western european based cultures until t least the age of three - then gender separation would happen later 
(- shades of this are seen in toy industry categorizations when I was working as a toy reviewer in the 1990's - Unisex was a pre-school category, "all ages" was only for games and every other toy was gendered boy or girl THEN categorized by type) 
So the thing I'm thinking is this - by defaulting children to unisex but keeping them in the control of the feminine sphere of a patriarchal binary gender schema socializing to police them into gender roles "waits" and is mostly through cultural osmosis. 
But what if we took patriarchy ALL the way through and treated every child the way we would treat and train a male child until they developed secondary sexual characteristics. So their first 10-12 years everyone would be taught to possibly assume the roles in society that men would be assumed to have - and they'd have to LEARN how to fill in the support roles that their gender performance makes them "unsuitable" for AFTER being treated exactly like the people that would be running things. 
How would feminine and non-gender binary people fill those spaces and performances if they were not indoctrinated to them until 10-12? What would 'manhood' look like if ALL forms of play are supposed to happen in male space and adulthood is what makes others not-male? 
Can anyone even picture this without assuming that things currently coded male will exclusively stay that way instead of things being childish?

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