Transgender, restrooms, and logic. Three things that have not gone together lately.
So then Bruce happened....
So it has been going on and brewing long before this event hit its current apex. Bruce Jenner revealing himself as Caitlyn Jenner. While not a shock to some people, was heralded as an act of bravery. It has sparked a lot of controversial questions, a lot of which are valid, even the one we are going to discuss in this article.
I am never one to refuse to listen to a point of view, and before I get too far into this let me make one thing completely and perfectly clear. I don’t hate, or have any personal issue with the LGBT community. Save this rising, very predictable if you watch history and understand human psychology, movement that is going on. I know one time I joined a guild in an online game called “the rainbow alliance” it was at a more naïve point in my life, but they were just cool people. I had no idea that it was a safe guild for LGBT to talk and be themselves.
I figured it out, and when I did I told them is it an issue that I am straight, they said absolutely not, and we had a lot of fun. I quit the game because the game had some major performance issues server side, but was still in the guild when I left. I might still be if they don’t kick for inactivity. Not that this one small insignificant event would absolve me of being a bigot, it wouldn't. That doesn't mean I can disagree without good reason, and I do.
But we are talking about something different, the same, but different. To what extent do we acknowledge being transgender in the legal sense? Because we are having activist petition for laws to be changed, radically, based on an emotional response.
Emotions have run high
A lot of the LGBT and LGBT sympathetic community wants to claim discrimination. Now when this community was not allowed to get married, I agreed. There was no need for the government to get involved in a private contract between two consenting adults. If it is a religious rite, there should not be any legal weight to it. But so much is wrapped up legally in the status of being married, that it is wrong to unfairly penalize people because of their lifestyle. I would say lifestyle choices, but that is a debate for another article.
But this is not a case of discrimination, I understand that the LGBT community is on a high from the colossal and much needed win on same sex marriage. But now that community is turning its head towards the tyrannical. From demanding that privately own businesses do things against their will, to claiming that how you feel you identify yourself determines which restroom you use.
One high profile case that has occurred recently has been about Proposition 1 in Houston, TX. You can read about it here if you want, but it went down in flames, and rightfully so if we want to be honest.
Should transgender people be allowed to use the restroom of the gender they identify with, or with their biological sex?
Let's play Dictionary!
Let’s first go over some definitions. I think it is proper for us to be on the same footing. I am going to refer to Merriam-Webster a lot for this. They are a universally agreed upon standard in defining the English language. I am going to show the first line of the simple definitions here, but if you want to read the expanded definitions for yourself please do. I will be expanding on them below.
These are the first lines of the simple definitions, there are expanded definitions where gender also refers to the subclass of grammatical class in a language, or behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits. Sex discusses the act of sex and the genitalia one possesses.
The purpose here is to expound upon that the main definition for the two are the same. They can be used interchangeably in most situations. They do have differences in their definition, that are clear and important. Ultimately this is the source of the debate, but we can expand on that later.
The next two definitions I want to go over:
Truth is a Matter of Perspective
So when we start talking about legalities of things, we need to look at the definition of sex. I know there is a lot of discussion on gender identity. And that is good, it’s great. I encourage us to push on those boundaries, but for the purposes of changing legislation that effects the entire population, we are going to take the term gender and set it over to the side, in the hobby and fun box. Cause we are talking serious now. The kind of stuff where people’s feelings get hurt because reality isn’t full of safety scissors and padded edges.
Sex is a scientific term, and asks about a provable, indisputable biological truth. Technically if we wanted to, we could make this an issue over what chromosomes you have but lets just stick with the definitions, they are firm enough and do technically allow for some variance. What set of genitalia do you have? Sexing an organism is sole based on how it operates under the union of gametes in the reproduction cycle. Who makes the sperm, and who makes the egg. These differences do tend to cause differences in the mental and emotional dynamics of the individual, due to different hormone production levels. But those values are not conclusive in the conclusion made about if you are male or female according to the definition of sex.
The issue is that they can be conclusive in determining the value of if you are male or female based off of the definition of gender. This is why the debate gets so fierce. On this front, technically both sides are correct.
But legal documents ask you about your sex, and not your gender. Your Drivers License or State ID, Birth and Death certificates, citations for speeding, indecent exposure, or any other crime whether of a sexual nature or not, all ask for your sex, not your gender. When we segregate a women’s and men’s room, it is not because of some ideal of convenience, it is about hygiene, sexual abuse, harassment, and indecent exposure liability. When you have large business or public facilities, they separate the two to cut down on these liabilities.
I understand, that it feels good to try to make people feel included, cared about and valued. Because we too want to feel like this, and accepted for who we are as individuals. That is important. What is occurring with this phenomenon though, is that a very small group of people are asking that a much larger group of people be subject to discomfort, and even danger, because they feel a certain way about themselves. Most Transgender individuals feel truly that they are sexed wrong.
Far be it from for telling someone that they can’t do what they want for themselves. But we are not talking about that anymore. We are talking about changing a law that can easily be abused. For a man to enter a women’s restroom, they would have to say they identify as a woman. What is the criteria for proof? They wear a dress or makeup? Plenty of women already don’t do that. They feel feminine and have feminine features? Plenty of straight and gay men have features like that. What about "gender fluid" individuals that basically change if they are male or female by how they feel that day?
There is no real way to prove how someone identifies. As such, there is no real mechanism for enforcement. With no mechanism for enforcement the law would be open for abuse. All because a very small group of transgender men and women feel discriminated against. I will use women as an example, but this could easily apply to a man in reverse, but if this was made law, a woman would have to wonder if the guy in the restroom was really transgender, or are they a potentially dangerous sexual predator? Imagine the first pedophile who beats his indecent exposure to a little child court case because he says he is gender fluid, and that becomes a possible defense in these court cases.
Sex is something that can easily be determined. What role do you play in the gamete union reproduction cycle? You make sperm or eggs? Well that might be unfair, some people are sterile, or maybe someone went through sex reassignment surgery and changed their genitalia, but you can still determine their sex by the kind of genitalia that they possess, there is not changing it at a whim, and if compelled in court it is something that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
If we want to get technical
I am going to use another definition, with as much love possible.
Some transgender people really try hard to believe they are the opposite sex. When as much as they don’t want it to be, it’s not true. It’s a simple biological question, do you create sperm or eggs. They believe something that simply is not true. That is technically delusional. And the need to not be forced with the reality of this delusion can potentially put a lot of people in danger, and make many more feel just as uncomfortable. To this end we have been fighting about gender, and using the term interchangeably as a logical fallacy. Just because 6+4=10 and 5*2=10 doesn't mean the logic to get us there is the same.
But why is there so much importance on it? The reason is if a dude in a dress walked in a public men’s restroom. A lot of people would degrade and demean someone because of what they did to make themselves happy, that does not affect them at all. While I completely disagree with trying to push putting people in danger by exposing them to people who would use the system to their advantage for malicious reasons. I cannot write that without sympathy, knowing that the attempt does come from a good place.
They want to change the law because they think that it will change people’s opinion of them. Make them more accepted. I agree they should, but there is little success in forcing love and kindness out of people at gunpoint. At best you get obedience, but that isn’t a long term solution to the problem they, and every person who expresses a love of personal liberty have. We need to be able to tolerate people for who they are, even if we don’t like or even understand it. Especially if we don't understand it, cause that is an opportunity to grow as a person, and every time we do that, we get better as a society