You structure the argument of this paper around the binary of individual-vs.-society (i.e. how much of gender construction is “done by society, how much by individuals themselves?”) My first nudge back is (predictably) to question the binary construction itself: how much of what we call “individual” is actually socially constructed? How much of social construction is an amalgam of individual choices? How to tell the difference between the two? We’ve been problematizing this relation—like that between gender and technology—since very early in the semester–and I’d like to “nudge” you to make it more problematic here. Ditto your third category—those “cold, hard facts of human nature”—which we have similarly challenged, most especially in the material on intersex and transgender. (For much more questioning of the “factual” quality of science in general, and biological evolution in particular, see also The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories).
The most interesting thing I see you doing here is contrasting the (definitionally unachievable) “ideal” against the (you-say-more-varied) “norm.” I’d like to hear you think that distinction through more thoroughly; I’m not yet convinced that the norm isn’t also a shared, social standard….you’re going to need more data than one anecdote from class to make that argument!Icone Attitude