"Gender" is not a synonym for "sex". People don't have "genders". They are one of two sexes, or else intersexed. "Gender" is about the usually artificial or, at best, stereotypical, association of certain words, ideas, abilities, and things with being either "feminine" -- associated with the female sex, or "masculine" -- associated with the male sex. These associations, when arbitrary, were core ideas that once upon a time women's rights advocates railed against. But now Caitlyn Jenner and his corset and lipstick and the rest of the extreme transvestite ilk have turned "feminist" ideology into psychosis and foolish psychobabble.
At the point at which it became recognized that no matter how much one mutilates one's body, and no matter how one dresses or behaves or superficially appears, one cannot change one's underlying biological sex, suddenly the talk about "transsexualism" was dropped from the public discourse and in its place was the cynical and politically-motivated rise of "transgenderism" -- which apparently requires nothing but proclaiming oneself to be one or the other "gender", without regard for biology.
At a dinner conversation recently, two companions posited that people such as Jenner "feel like women" and thus they want to present as female. Yeah? My friends were stymied when I asked how would a feted athlete who won the Olympic decathlon, fathered children, and lived for decades as a heterosexual married man, have a fucking clue what it "feels like" to be a woman? (How do any of us know for certain what it "feels like" to be something or someone else?)
"Sex" refers to the biological role that the individual plays in reproduction (or otherwise would play, barring age, injury, disease or deformity.) There is a tiny percentage of human beings who are so intersexed that they cannot reproduce and cannot otherwise be recognized this or that way, or even mostly this or that way. (AIS XYs are another special case that heretofore have caused no great social dilemma). We certainly could recognize other sexes if we wanted to, if the intersex issue affected so many that it made sense to do that (do we have a plastics-estrogen environmental issue here?) Some insects, e.g. have three sexes (queen, drone, worker). Some other animals (and plants) are hermaphroditic. Some plants and animals can shift their biological reproductive role as circumstances dictate, but no higher-order animals can. Moreover, there indeed are biologically sexually ambiguous persons who validly choose to change themselves outwardly in order to present socially as the other sex, and this should be respected, inasmuch as the prior "gender presentation" itself often was arbitrary, and often was chosen by parents and not the person himself when he (or she) was a child -- but this still involves a relatively miniscule number of people. Maybe it's time to work to remove the stigma of ambiguous sexuality rather than perpetuate a pretense that physically and emotionally unconfused males or females somehow can "feel like" the "opposite sex".
Be this as it may, it's crystal clear that even copulating (sort of) with one or the other sex doesn't make one into the opposite reproductive sex. Gay men aren't women, and lesbians aren't men. Wearing a dress and high heels doesn't make a male into a female. It makes a transvestite, a man who makes a mockery of what is female by cloaking himself in the accoutrements of what is artificially deemed to be "femininity". Taking hormones or surgically removing a penis doesn't turn a male into a female -- it makes a mutilated and reproductively dysfunctional male, an extreme transvestite (and vice versa, female-to-male.)
There well may be many aspects of society not directly related to reproduction as to which we could and should remove artificial distinctions and assignments of what are "for women" and what are "for men". Women's colleges? Athletic teams? (That would kill Title IX "women's sports" but I'm not terribly bothered by that.) Women's affirmative action set-asides? Military combat? (Perhaps if and when a reproductively biological woman can function like a man can, endurance- and strength-wise, health-wise, risk-taking-wise, and family-wise. On this issue, see, we're not permitted to say that female brains "feel" or behave differently. Just as we're not supposed to notice that far more men than women risk their lives to rescue strangers.) I'm not so sure, however, that either combat or public restroom usage falls into the category of mostly artificial and purposeless distinctions, or that it behooves us on the whole to overturn all social conventions for an insignificant number of outliers. But that's a different discussion for another day.
The bottom line is that no matter how much eyeshadow the former Bruce Jenner applies, he will never, ever have to call from a bathroom stall to ask another person in the restroom to please hand over a tampon. And no matter how much he pretends, he will never know what it is like to be a young woman who has learned to be cognizant of situations and circumstances that enhance the possibility of being raped and impregnated.
Or understand what it is to be a natural mother. Notwithstanding the currently trendy psychology and custody crap, fathers, or even adoptive mothers, will never be the same as birth mothers -- it's biological, hormonal, and different, and only women who actually have given birth can know this (because only they can recognize that beforehand they could form attachments, and be caretaking and "parental" of children just like "everyone else", but it was not the way they felt about their born children). Others may have feelings that come close, and in some ways, especially post-infancy, it may not matter so much to the outcomes of the children themselves (the research is still out), but from the standpoint of the parent, and what it "feels like", it's very different. Not sorry if you don't find that politically correct.
An aside on the parenting issue, to the progressives and psychs and social engineers: you are "arguing with science", in this case evolution. It's idiotically inconsistent to claim that parental sex doesn't matter because parents don't "parent" differently but that children also need "fathers" because fathers "parent" differently, but -- oops -- two-parent "same-sex" families are just as good as heterosexual biological two-parent households because -- rationalizing and straining here -- it's about additional parenting resources... or something... that apparently doesn't apply when the second adult head of household is not a sexual partner of the other but, say, a grandparent.
May we please end the nonsense.
On the bathroom issue: If you're male but you truly appear in all ways to be female, no one is going to notice or care if you use the women's restroom or changing room. So this is a fake concern. Otherwise...
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