The binary understanding of male and female mammals -- which are usually physiologically divergent after a certain stage of gestation, unseen before birth but the first thing noted after birth -- becomes a gender role separation, culturally defined. The difference is real, consequential, and key to the continuation of the species. A species has conventionally been defined as two kinds of creatures who cannot perform the meiosis of creating a new being. For instance, a cow and a horse cannot create a "corse" or "how."
But we discover that a lion and tiger can create a liger or tion, if they are distorted by human intervention. What do we do about a mule, which is a horse and burro? What do we do about a freemartin, the almost male of a female twin? The more closely we get into the molecular details and consequences of mammal reproduction, the more complex and the less binary of male and female.
One reaction is to claim male and female are equal, that male and female brains are the same, that a woman can do anything a man can do (ignoring physical size and strength), that everyone is equal and no distinction in the form of gender assignment or law can be made. This is so popular among women that it can take powerful people out of office. But it is wrong.
The second thing that is wrong is that the physiological difference between binary male and female forces separation into two categories. Now we know that there is an array of physical arrangements between male and female. In fact, some people have both male and female apparatus. I don't know if anyone can conceive an infant with his or herself, but it would not be advised because the genius of evolution is dependent on the difference between two individuals. I do not know whether twins have ever created an infant together or how that baby turned out. Identical twins are the same sex.
However it develops, gender roles and assignment to them are numerous, various, and sometimes against reason or function. For example the binding of feet, which was a small-foot fetish that went crazy. One had to be rich to cripple women so it was a way of proving wealth, though if the wealth disappeared one of the consequences would be the death of the dependent crippled woman. Also it was a way of preventing running away, related to the amputation of feet of male slaves. Then it showed power, even ultimate power since anyone who could cut off feet without punishment could also cut off life. I have never heard of a man with bound feet, but there are many stories of men with amputated testicles, even for the achievement of pretty singing from a pre-adolescent voice.
In our present culture there are two potentially demonic forces that deeply affect people. One is the conflation of male/female gender roles with "S/M." For those sheltered people who have escaped the constant assumption that every cryptic comment is basically sexual, S stands for sadism and M stands for masochistic. This is a power relationship in which one is "top" and the other is "bottom." Guess which is male and which is female.
Males are urged to be tops, to be powerful enough to control all bottoms, and to express it in terms based on sexual desire. Therefore a big strong man who can control all others is not considered a "real man" unless he sexually desires those lesser people, primarily females, and is able to penetrate them at will. (What if he can do it, but doesn't like doing it?) Women, on the other hand, are expected to be willing vessels and to live out the consequences of fertilization on behalf of men.
Socially, it is possible to displace these values into government and law enforcement. This is what we are seeing in the insane attacks on abortion clinics, which are nothing more than S attacks on the M's. Incels and weak men find they have incredibly effective weapons using "law and order" to enforce revenge for their emotionally hidden one-down mentalities. Likely, the original causes are child-raising in which women have been cruel (for power) or accidents of development which left males weak in some way, possibly sterile or impotent or null when it comes to identification. Or maybe it's in their DNA.
Women discovered long ago that being the "power behind the throne", an attached secondary power giving them influence, can be a hybrid SM. Most of them stick to money and politics. So do secondary men. But a few are hungry for status. Maybe they go to medical schools, which once were quite discriminating about whom they admitted, but have now been compelled to do what will bring them more money. (And you can earn an MD in a foreign country with weak standards.) This has meant that secondary men attached to power will impose ridiculous laws or cover for deteriorating principal figures without any consequences. Physicians, who are classified as professionals ("professing," and therefore rational and conscientious), are supposed to be self-policing. NOT.
Dr. Randall Williams who is requiring all women who visit
abortion clinics in his state to have physical vaginal exams.
In some ways the attacks on abortion clinics are control-based, seeing women as domestic animals whose product is children. But there is another element which is the prurient desire for access to what is normally protected. Maybe Dr. Randall Williams is among those who enjoy imagining invasions of women, esp humiliating ones, as much as actually doing gynecological work. The safeguards that are supposed to be in force for actual gynecologists include the health of the whole woman, which would be difficult when patients are not just on paper, where one could evade the sadism of destroying lives, forcing physical suffering and danger, and hampering function in the world.
Some of this disfunction comes from the always resourceful and limitless use of advertising based on predatory capitalism. Shame, guilt, fear and other phenomena meant to guide survival are used instead to sell things of dubious worth. Horrifically, young women will have their labia surgically removed because they think it will make them more attractive -- at least those who are attracted enough to get access. How is this different or less cultural than sewing shut the vaginas of little girls?
The power of a culture is overwhelming, especially in unsettling times. Sometimes evasion of the rules is all that can save someone. People can be hard to bring up to consciousness, much less logical or informed thought. Our times have not settled the proper relationship between individuals and the whole. It is a mistake to be passive.