This article began to several years ago, but it never got any traction on it at that time. With the prominence of these issues in the current events of the United States and the world, it seems I am going to try and take a second swing at the problem. I am sure some people will read this article and be tempted to think that these beliefs are homophobic or a bigotted. Those who believe that need to understand that I have had plenty of friends and students over the years who have either been gay or in one case transgender and if you talked to them you would know that I never treated them any different than other straight cis-gendered people. So know that if you are going to pull that accusation, you will get shut down in the comments. Same with anyone who decides to act bigoted towards people who are gays, transgender, or any other “protected class.”
I will admit I have some confusion when it comes to issues related to topics related to transgenderism because I have never experienced what transgender people feel: the feeling of being born the wrong sex or gender. I can wrap my head around homosexuality. I might wrong about this because I am straight, but I see homosexuality coming down to sexual attraction and preference at its base. The same with straight people. I have also heard it said that you fall in love with a person, not a gender or sex, whichever term you want to use. But with transgenderism, it is different, and that is the point of this article. First I will explain my confusion surrounding what we come to understand as transgenderism. Secondly, I will go into my perspectives about public policy issues that seem to surround the issue.
Subjective Reality versus Objective Facts
When I first sat down to write this article several years ago, it had a title of “Subjective Reality versus Observable Facts.” That is the primary basis for my confusion around transgenderism. Again There are two sides to what is going on here. There is the one hand that says that they feel they are they were born the wrong gender; this is their subjective reality. And we all experience reality differently based on our own experiences in life. But on the other hand, there is the fact that when they look in the mirror, they see that they are a male or a female based on the biological facts staring them in the face; this is the observable facts noted in my previous title. These two things are in conflict with each other and are the cause of the problem. You cannot deal with one without addressing the other. So let us try and work our way through this.
You, a transgender person, look in the mirror and see the male reproductive organs or the female reproductive organs on your body. These facts and straight genetic testing will tell you that you are a member of one of the sexes or genders in our species. Your subjective reality is in conflict with these facts. What does it mean to me a man or woman? Biologically women are impregnated with babies by men and give birth to them. They are biologically designed to do that. Men impregnate the women with their unique biology. We are biologically designed to do that. We are each unique in our vital way. Even our brains are biologically different due to various chemical washes that happen at different times of our development, including in the womb (Dobson, 2010). So if you are trying to turn your subjective reality of your gender or sex into an observable fact, you will never be successful. A man will never actually biologically be a woman. A woman will never truly biologically be a man. Even with hormone treatments, it will not change the first changes made to your brain in the womb. But there has to be more than being a man or a woman biologically. Also, there are plenty of men and women who are incapable doing what they are biologically designed to do. Does that make them less of a man or woman?
Maybe it is just the visible biological parts that are the issue? Does the man make the penis or does penis make a man? If we are to look at transgenderism this way that is merely a surface change of a person that has no bearing or outcomes as them as a person. Some women have their vaginas destroys by female circumcision. Or breasts removed as a preventative measure or real treatment for cancer (Tommey, 2013). Some men have testicles removed for cancer, or penis destroyed by accidents. Do these surface visible physical changes make them less than a woman or man?
Maybe it is just the emotions or feelings that men and women feel. But we all feel the same emotions regardless of whether we are male or female. Granted males and females express them differently, but not all men and women. Some women act more stereotypically masculine. And some men act more stereotypically feminine. Maybe it is jobs? Except few, if any legal barriers are stopping men and women from having the same jobs, at least in the United States. Then again this goes back to stereotyping jobs as jobs for males or females. All of these questions bring us to the heart of the matter for this issue for me as a person. All it seems transgender people and their advocates are striving for is making them look like a stereotype of what they think a man or a woman is because they will never be able to be one biologically. There are propagating stereotypical images of women that the women’s rights movement has fought against for over three hundred years. They are saying a woman has to be this, that, or the other, but in our society, a man or woman can be whatever the heck they want regardless of their gender.
Transgender Public Policy
The second point I want to make is how this issue has translated into public policy and the insanity that has become of it. The key points I will bring up are public policies related to bathrooms, changing rooms, and sports. Transgender people have been in society long before it became a hot-button issue in the last five to ten years. I remember seeing a man at the theater I volunteered at in Las Vegas consistently use the women’s bathroom. He was a man and dressed in woman’s clothing. It did not seem to bother the women in the bathroom, so I never questioned it. Transgender people have used the bathrooms that they self-identify with for decades. Most of us never noticed because they do not want to call attention to themselves for that matter. They want to be seen as whatever they think they are so they “act” that way. Legislation will not change that, and it fixes no problem. So it is best just to leave it alone. Also regardless of what way you are transgendered, you will still probably be using a stall so that no one will know anyway. Men who feel like women will only have stalls available in the women’s room. And women who feel like men, really only have the biology to use stalls in the men’s room. So what’s the problem even in high schools.
In the area of public policy, changing rooms, especially in schools, present an extra challenge. This public policy issue hinges on our unenumerated right of privacy. The basic concept of any human right is that as humans, we have the right to do something without government interference as long as that right does not interfere or conflict with another person’s right(s). The right of a transgender person to change in the bathroom that matches their sex violates the rights of privacy for those individuals in the changing room. An individual in a changing room has the right to the private life of their own body and not to see anyone of the opposite sex naked if they do not want to. Add to these facts that this is happening in schools with children makes the situation even worse legally. Child pornography and exposing yourself to children are both crimes in most states. But the transgender advocates would have us ignore the fact that we have naked boys in girls changing rooms and naked girls in boys changing rooms violating the law and privacy of those people who truly belong in those changing rooms. Some schools have tried to make accommodations by providing a partitioned section for that transgender person, but that is not sufficient to these advocates. Boys and girls must be forced to share their changing rooms with someone of the opposite sex or be called bigots. Why is it bigoted to want to preserve your privacy in a changing room? Why is it bigoted parents to want their adolescent boys and girls to change in the same dressing or locker rooms with only people of their sex?
The last area of public policy regarding transgender persons should have feminists up in arms. There are now transgender girls (boys who think they are girls) participating in girls sports leagues and programs. And when they do they blow the girls out of the water (Urbanski, 2017). Males and females are different biologically. This biological difference makes them strong and faster from a purely biological standpoint. This different biology gives males an adherent advantage against females in most athletic competitions. This was confirmed by the best female tennis player in the world, Serena Williams in 2013 (Opelka). This biological difference would make females second class citizens in their sports because they now have to compete against males. How is this allowable? How are feminists not up in arms about this? How does this empower women or bring them greater equality?
Whether we are male or female is determined in the womb by our genetics. These genetics makes each sex or gender biologically different from each other. We each have different biological roles in the history of our species. To me, transgenderism does not make sense. When you look in the mirror and see that you have a penis or a vagina and say that is not who you are, to me, it sounds like a crazy delusion. We would say the same thing to a young woman who was malnourished but says she is fat when looking in the mirror. But to say you are a male who needs to be a female, I would ask, why? What is it that you can do as a female that you can not do as the male you were born? Or visa verse? The surface features biological of features of both males and females serve biological functions that you will never truly experience even after your sex change. Sorry, gender reassignment surgery. But on top of that, your genetics will never change either; you can not pass on your new genes related to your reassigned sex to a child because you have destroyed the very organs meant to pass on that genetic material. Then you have all the problems related to public policy. Forcing young men and women to undress in front of a member of the opposite sex is clearly a violation of the formers privacy by the latter. Forcing females to compete with males is inherently unequal and unfair. Someone, please show me how I am wrong on these issues. Explain it to me why, how, and where I am wrong. I look forward to the discussion.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Class dismissed!
Dobson, James C. Bring Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Women. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2010. Print.
Opelka, Mike. “John McEnroe’s Remarks about Serena Williams Were Validated — by Serena Williams.” TheBlaze. TheBlaze, 28 June 2017. Web. 28 June 2017.
Toomey, Alyssa. “Angelina Jolie’s Doctor Talks Actress’ Double Mastectomy.” E! Online. E! News, 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 27 June 2017.
Urbanski, Dave. “Transgender Sprinter, Born Male, Wins Two Girls State Titles.” TheBlaze. TheBlaze, 06 June 2017. Web. 28 June 2017.
I tried to find an appropriate citation for the featured photo but could not access the site for some reason. Sorry for the lack of a sourcing on the image.