"Ideally, gender should be as eye color or blood type: completely without social implication." True or false?

Personally, I would be fine with a world where knowing someone's gender would be like knowing the color of their eyes or their blood type - perhaps an interesting bit of personal trivia, but irrelevant in most non-medical practical respects. But some argue that "femininity" and... show more Personally, I would be fine with a world where knowing someone's gender would be like knowing the color of their eyes or their blood type - perhaps an interesting bit of personal trivia, but irrelevant in most non-medical practical respects.

But some argue that "femininity" and "masculinity," sets of ideas that prescribe what's "appropriate" for men and women in terms of clothing, interests, and certain behaviors, should be preserved for cultural reasons.

It is, of course, these cultural concepts which are to blame for much of the non-equality between the genders that exists right now. For instance, while a small glass ceiling still exists in science and engineering, most of the disparity in the number of male to female physicists comes from girls thinking that a career in science is "unladylike."

So, would an ideal world in terms of gender equality still have concepts of what is "masculine" and "feminine," or not?
Update: ProfessorC, speaking as someone who works closely with research concerning the disparity between the genders in collegiate science and engineering, I have to disagree with your general statement. Disparities in each field are different, and it is true that the medical fields are now predominantly female. But... show more ProfessorC, speaking as someone who works closely with research concerning the disparity between the genders in collegiate science and engineering, I have to disagree with your general statement.

Disparities in each field are different, and it is true that the medical fields are now predominantly female. But medicine is the only large field in science and engineering in which this is the case. Less than 15% of freshmen in electrical engineering in the country are female. Barely 2% of professional physicists are female. There is certainly still a problem.
Update 2: PhillipK - I consider myself a fairly fit, even muscular, male. Yet I have a bodybuilding aunt who actually was a firefighter for a time, and could certainly best me at her prior job, as well as most physical tasks. While it may be true that the average woman has difficulty becoming physically competitive in... show more PhillipK - I consider myself a fairly fit, even muscular, male. Yet I have a bodybuilding aunt who actually was a firefighter for a time, and could certainly best me at her prior job, as well as most physical tasks. While it may be true that the average woman has difficulty becoming physically competitive in comparison to the average man, there are certainly women out there who are more fit for any physically demanding position than almost any man.
Update 3: ProfessorC, I am not implying anything about you, and perhaps "unladylike" is not the best word to describe it. To be more precise, adolescent girls are in general much more concerned with social compatibility than adolescent boys ('popularity' being a major concern for young girls, and less... show more ProfessorC, I am not implying anything about you, and perhaps "unladylike" is not the best word to describe it.

To be more precise, adolescent girls are in general much more concerned with social compatibility than adolescent boys ('popularity' being a major concern for young girls, and less for young boys). Interest in technical fields (physics, computer engineering, mechanical design, et cetera) is seen as 'nerdish' for both genders, but for some reason, adolescent males are much more willing to risk being seen as 'nerds' for their interests than adolescent females.

Thus, adolescent females, despite actually outperforming males in academia at the high school level, do not enter fields such as science and engineering in college in competitive numbers. Remove the disparity in girls who are willing to risk 'nerdish' interests, and you remove the problem.
14 answers 14