Daniel Louis Duncan
4 min readJul 5, 2020
Priscilla Du Preez @priscilladup on Unsplash

Do we truly understand what personhood really is? This is the most important question at the most important time in history. We have spent the past pretending personhood could be measured by success, color, intelligence, gender, etc.. We have spent thousands of years defining membership into personhood.

Personhood can never be taken away from a human no matter what they do or say. Repeat that…. Personhood is not the measure of a person’s worth, but the right of human existence, no matter its value to society. This will help us use our historical documents for their purpose, beyond their intent.

Let’s clear up the confusion that has led to the devaluation of human worth. We, as a socially constructed society, in all regions of the world, have created socially constructed “things” that are being mistaken for human worth. Used as a means to an end, sometimes literally to end a life. Social construction creates our perceptions, making those that don’t fit these mores very vulnerable.

Race is socially constructed. AND by doing so we have used it to determine worth. Can we change? Hell, yes! It’s actually not that damn hard. It’s harder for rigid people to change more than for them to admit mistakes, even mistakes they did not commit themselves. This is why we have rigid people lashing out against any minor inconvenience as an attack on their freedoms and rights. THAT is what makes this change in thought process harder for the larger populous. Not knowing what the future will look like terrifies these rigid, white, conservative, or even moderately liberal, populous. It is loss of privilege they have created around their existence. Giving no regard for the history that is being laid before them now. We have been lied to and the lie seemed easier to maintain that admitting fault. Holding onto a rigid interpretation of an old antiquated 2nd Amendment that puts everyone who is most vulnerable at risk, most horribly, our children.

There is countless proof of this social construction on race. Today, you ask a child what makes another child different from them. The response varies in things children value, which are usually material possessions, feelings of others getting more or less attention, how the other children act, etc. I have yet to have a young child use race as a marker for difference. You find that change as they get older. Same for gender. Why? Because these social constructs haven’t been indoctrinated yet.

RACE and GENDER are socially constructed! Yes, it is true! Everyone is crying right now. “Are you crazy! You have to use gender to define people.” WHY? What good comes of it? Why is it necessary to put F or M on a drivers license? Why? Unless….it is being used to decide personhood value. Men get paid better wages, originally, because we constructed a system where men went off to war or work and women stayed at home raising babies and taking care of…well, everything except having a monetary value. Just by being….That indoctrination is peeling off and we cannot ignore its lack of value anymore.

We cling, desperately, to value systems that DO NOT need to exist any longer. They enslave people to a socially constructed value system of rot. We are seeing the fruits of this labor exemplified in our complacent hiding of racial inequality personified. This is not something we can conscript to a past rife with horrible slavery and bondage, when we know well that slavery and bondage is still here, masked in ravenous visual lines, dividing us into neighborhoods, churches, schools, jobs, cemeteries. You name it, we have keep invisible lines in the sand, asking those worthy of crossing to lift themselves up from the years their ancestors survived, and just push out that history, work harder for white constructed American pie they baked better.

You and I do not need for anyone to acknowledge our gender! We don’t need it for bathroom use, we don’t need it to play sports, we don’t need it to get married, we don’t need it for any reason other than division of personhood.

Personhood should not belong to a club. About the only place we have to figure out is the dangers of incarceration. Not that either side of the fence is any safer. But, we must find a way for the incarcerated to not be defined by survival of the fittest, division of male or female space. Truly an animal kingdom we construct that will take much more time to recreate a system that will work. This one is clearly not working out except for the private owners of prisons.

SPORTS! What are you talking about? You know…if we didn’t designate sides, the requirements for participation will self select easily. There are young girls who in grade school can out play many boys in all sports activities. Let them. The majority self select (boys who don’t grow taller, don’t make the cut in basketball, for example). BUT…I hear you….boys would dominate sports. Hum…to a certain degree, you are correct. BUT, maybe our sports value system is screwed up and way too connected to human capitalism. Hmmm…

Value of personhood is increased in a society that values Art. There is no greater time to realize this because it is an emergency. Before Covid-19 the Arts (Music, Dance, Painting, Sculpting, Drawing, Architecture, etc…) were in a tailspin in funding, especially in the US. After Covid-19, we are in a dire emergency, and Art (the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination) will die if we don’t realize, once and for all, its intrinsic value.

Can we lift ourselves up from the despots of the world? This is a time when all persons are asked to give, to lift ourselves from this depression of spirit, of livelihood, of emotional war and create a world devoted to human value.




Daniel Louis Duncan

Writer, researcher, lover of history, philosophy, politics and critical thought