The Landscape Guide

12.2 Sex, Gender and Design

Contents list

Sex and gender are different. One is biological and the other societal. After the female activity of giving birth and performing the mammalian function, it is possible to adopt the "masculine' role of hunter and warrior. One might think the Emperor Penguin a perfect monster of male depravity (Figure 2). In fact, he tends the eggs through bitter Antarctic winters, while the female goes hunting to prepare a milk supply for the time when spring comes and the chicks hatch. It is an astonishing partnership. Functional roles develop over long periods of time, and they can change. Carnivores can become herbivores. Aquatic species can become terrestrial -- as "man' himself did. There is no reason why gender roles should not be dissolved or restructured, though they do have an evolutionary-historical past

Fig 12.2 Dads can be Mums – a broody male Emperor Penguin (looking after ‘his’ eggs while his mate goes hunting)