Gender

When I was very little, I learned the concept of what I now know as ‘gender:’ people are male and female, boys and girls, men and women.  I was really young when I learned this concept, so young that I can’t remember not knowing it.  And along with gender, I learned some other concepts, which I never really thought about until much later:

  • Essentiality: A person must have a gender.
  • Binary states: One is male or female: there is no other alternative.
  • Mutual exclusivity: A person must be male or female. One cannot be both at the same time.
  • Immutability: One cannot change one’s gender.  (One can impersonate the other gender, but it isn’t the same thing.)

I learned all of this just by observing the world around me.  So far as I know, my parents never had to explain this to me, nor did I have to explain it to my son when he was little.

So now we’re facing the onslaught of people who believe that requiring men and women to use different bathrooms is somehow evil: you’re denying people their basic human right to a comfortable place to pee!  We’re told that we have to look out for the transsexuals, who need to go to a bathroom that does not correspond to their physical gender.

Since this is ludicrous on its face, it’s actually pointless to argue logically against it.  Ayn Rand said, ‘Don’t bother to examine a folly—ask yourself what it accomplishes.’  Nevertheless, to establish that the issue in question is a folly, it is necessary to argue against it:

  • Yes, there are some (very few) transgendered people who have issues with using one restroom or another. But there are many more maladjusted but otherwise normal men who enjoy peeping at women’s private parts.
  • There are also many more non-transgendered people who have no question about which restroom to use, but are nevertheless uncomfortable with public restrooms. I used to be one of them, and I got over it as I got older.  It isn’t the responsibility of the world at large to furnish me a comfortable place to pee wherever and whenever I need it.

And what does this accomplish?

  • It raises what seems on its surface to be an affectation to a ‘protected class,’ where to even identify it is to be discriminatory.
  • It’s another way to get people who disagree to shut up for fear of offending someone. (Remember that liability makes cowards of us all.)
  • It’s another effort to erase the distinction between men and women. But this difference has been part of our nature since the beginning, and has been integrated into every human society to date.  It seems pointless at best and dangerous at worst to try and eliminate it.

None of this means that men and women shouldn’t have civil equality.  Men and women should have the same rights before the law and in commercial transactions, including receiving the same pay for the same work (this last has, in fact, been the law in the US for over 50 years).

But underneath it all, men and women are different.  That difference is to be respected, admired, cherished, and enjoyed.  To deny, disparage, or deprecate it is to deny reality.

6 thoughts on “Gender”

  1. This whole issue has become something it shouldn’t. There are some people who are truly trans and look like the one gender they are becoming. These are people who for instance have gone through all of the hormones and you’d think they were the gender they are becoming. These people probably should use the bathroom which they appear to be. However, there are perverts who will use this as a way to peep. I don’t know if you heard this story, but this woman was working out at Planet Fitness and this obvious man dressed as a woman used the female dressing room. She complained and she was kicked out! While looking up the person, I found the person was a man who was a cross dresser, not a trans person. I was the victim of a man who followed me into a bathroom with ulterior motives. Luckily nothing happened but I fear this will become a reality. I fear this especially going into a gym locker room and some pervert claiming to be a man to look.

    I will say though that I am glad gender roles are blending. I am a woman but am not one living stereotypes. I prefer playing sports to babies for example.

    1. The whole thing is….crazy.

      There is no set law right now that states only men use the men’s room and only women are to use the ladies’ room.

      I have used the men’s room if the ladies’ room is full or is a one stall deal and whoever it is in there taking care of business is not coming out of there any time soon.:)

      Chances are that somebody trans has already used the rest room with ya…. only you never knew it.

      I think that people will still keep it under wraps —- if you prefer to change out in a locker room without everybody and their uncle (no hyperbole stretched here) seeing you, there will be a private area to do so.

      The same is going to apply to dressing rooms for the stage.

      High school, middle school and grammar school is NO time for a kid to ‘come out’. School sucks now as it is and we all know how vicious and rotten kids can be to other kids. Leave the rest rooms in schools “as is” and too bad. it is really for that kid’s personal protection.

  2. This wasn’t an issue at all until about a year ago. It’s as if the proponents of gay marriage, having gotten their wish, are advancing something else to stay relevant. But gay civil marriage has some grounding in reality (one can be gay, in a committed relationship, and want to secure one’s rights with respect to one’s companion), but the transsexual restroom issue doesn’t (there are many more perverts than transsexuals).

    I was aware of the Planet Fitness story. There’s a bit of a difference between using the toilet (where one can step into a stall and maintain one’s modesty) and a locker room (where one fully disrobes in view of others). Particularly in the locker room case, it isn’t just the rights of the transsexual person, but everyone else in the room.

    As far as choosing sports over babies (both are wonderful, in their own ways), thereby hangs a tale that I’ve wanted to write about for a long time. Perhaps in my next post….

  3. Most “transsexuals” are female impersonators. The only people who are forced to be transgender are males with partial or complete androgen insensitivity syndrome. Complete androgen insensitivity is characterized by a total lack of receptors for androgens, so even if you pumped them full of testosterone, it would not help. Androgen therapy may be possible for males who have mild or partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, but they will be sterile. Estimates of the occurrence of these disorders range from one to nine cases PER MILLION. For decades, up until about 1998, men with androgen insensitivity syndrome were raised as women, and had their testicles removed at puberty, with some earlier surgery to remove the malformed penis. There is no equivalent “estrogen insensitivity syndrome” that makes women more masculine.

    Guys, if you want to wear dresses and nylons, better you than me. Perhaps the men who want to use the ladies room should be required to dress the part, with a wardrobe that would put Marlene Dietrich to shame.

    1. This is a very grey area….and most of the “alternate lifestylers” seem to be teenagers.

      The teenage brain is still developing and does so until mid 20s. or so the research says.

      We also know that it is common for late teens and young to mid 20s to experiment with “sexual identity.” Perhaps these young people are getting their experimental stage mixed up with who they “really” are supposed to be.

      You usually know by the time you are 8 that you are homosexual — or so the research says. That is a clear cut thing — but this “identifies as both male and female” or “identifies as male” or “…as female”??? I don’t know about that.

      What does “identifying as” really mean??? Haven’t lots of women wished they could be a guy — for the better pay, the better opportunities? “it’s a man’s world”. And there are lots of men who knit or sew or cook or bake or who prefer to wear women’s underwear. That is how they are. Guys who do this are generally straight and have no identity problem.

      We need to put the whole thing on hold until we do further research.

      And this is especially dangerous for middle schoolers and high schoolers. Come out now and say you are identifying as male or female??? Good luck with that; you will have the devil to pay for that; prepare for endless taunts and teasing and worse. My 7th and 8th grade was disgusting; show up looking different or acting different and you’d be run out of the school on a rail.

  4. There is, actually, now a law in North Carolina that says that only men can use the men’s room and only women can use the women’s room. I’m not sure that’s the answer, either.

    Back when men were all evil sexists, a woman in the men’s room would be presumed to be either unwell (i.e. needing to go right away), confused, or perhaps being overly clever by jumping the line for the women’s room. None of these merited more than perhaps an angry look. A man in the women’s room was presumed to be up to no good. It was much simpler that way.

    The number of genuine transgenders, either biological or psychological, is very small. And if the only issue was that the transgendered needed a place to go, it wouldn’t be a problem. The real problem is that there are many more men who can and will use the new rule for their own perverted ends, and we will tell the affected women (who are the real victims in this mess) to get over it.

    Moreover, we’re doing our youth a huge disservice telling them that gender is a free-floating social construct unmoored to physical reality. Adolescence is tough: your sense of yourself is in transformation, in many ways besides gender identity. We don’t make it easier by suggesting that ‘male’ and ‘female’ are whims that can be changed at will.

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