ADVANTAGES

Witt's gender essentialist argument crucially pertains to socialindividuals, not to persons or human beings: saying that personsor human beings are gendered would be a category mistake. But why isgender essential to social individuals? For Witt, social individualsare those who occupy positions in social reality. Further,“social positions have norms or social roles associated withthem; a social role is what an individual who occupies a given socialposition is responsive to and evaluable under” (Witt 2011a,59). However, qua social individuals, we occupy multiplesocial positions at once and over time: we can be women, mothers,immigrants, sisters, academics, wives, community organisers andteam-sport coaches synchronically and diachronically. Now, the issuefor Witt is what unifies these positions so that asocial individual is constituted. After all, a bundle ofsocial position occupancies does not make for an individual (just as abundle of properties like being white, cube-shapedand sweet do not make for a sugar cube). For Witt, thisunifying role is undertaken by gender (being a woman or a man): itis

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