I grew up hearing the hagiography of St. Maria Goretti. My paternal grandmother referred to the saint as “my aunt.” I have yet to verify this. I do know that Maria Goretti’s brother Angelo served as best man to my great-grandparents’ wedding, and as godfather when my grandmother was baptised. In any case, the story of this virgin martyr is one I’ve heard, and contemplated, my whole life. This is the scholarly paper I wrote, and I continue my research now in both quasi-theology and ancestry.
In the last week, I’ve seen some variation of the story and commentary on the story about the German father who wears a skirt to support his young son, who prefers to wear skirts and dresses. Nils Pickert’s essay first appeared in the German outlet Emma; a translation was offered on a blog. It is an endearing story, but I wish it wasn’t noteworthy.
Social paradigms condition us to think of certain behaviors and outward appearances as belonging exclusively to one of two sexes. But gender is not the same as sex, Continue reading “Skirting the Issue: Gender as a Social Construct”