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One of the axis the transgender debate swirls around is access to washrooms and change-rooms. The argument from the TRA’s is simply this: A person should use the washroom of the gender (sex) they identify as. Please note I put the word sex in parenthesis there as it is one of huge linguistic obstacles in the argumentative form of the the debate, more on this aspect later (as in different post later).

The problems with this argument are multitudinous, but I hope to cover the main points of contention. Firstly the immutability of sex in the human species, secondly the effect of socialization on males and females, and thirdly the sex classes and how they interact in society.

It should go without saying, but yet it must be said – One cannot change their natal sex. Therefore it does not matter how many gendered stereotypical practices and mannerisms a man adopts, his quest to be a woman will never come to fruition. He shall always be male, despite whatever feelings of gender he happens to possess. Now certainly, given enough money and time under the plastic surgeon’s knife, a man can be made to look like a women, but looking like and being a woman reside in two completely different categories. Plus, there are no standards defining what a transwoman actually is and with proposed self-id laws all it takes is a simple declaration by man to say he is a woman. The potential for abusive males to use self-id to gain access to female only spaces is a clear and present danger to females in society.

Secondly from birth, males and females are treated differently by their parents, peers, and people in society. The patriarchal gender norms in which we are inculcated with do not magically get programed on day, but are a result of a constant exposure to a set of normative values, that by default, channel men into dominant positions and roles in society and women into submissive ones.

The life long exposure to this unequal gendered treatment is not forgotten with a simple declaration of gender. Thus, it is fairly common to see TRA’s being quite vocal and aggressive in their activism because as males they are used to their voices being heard the first time and their opinion actually mattering in social situations. So if the male socialization remains intact even after the nebulous transition process – whatever it may be – then the corrosive patriarchal attitudes toward women also remain intact, along with all the male behaviours (objectification, predation,  et al). that necessitate female only spaces in the first place.

Thirdly, since we cannot change our sex class the assumptions of females regarding men identifying as women remain the same. Males are responsible for the vast majority of violence perpetrated against women in society, how they ‘identify’ with their gender is irrelevant to the safety of females. This reason alone is enough to preserve single sex spaces in society.

 

The twitter snip is just one facet of what men will say to justify the invasion of female spaces.  The assertion Owen Jones make is risible from the start, because in most cases we can successfully identify members of the opposite sex.  We’ve been doing it for thousands of years as it is part of the necessary task of keeping the species going.  So no, no Genital Inspection Unit is necessary, men just need to keep out of female spaces.

 

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