Men are men and women are women, right? It’s more complicated than that. Apparently it can be offensive to refer to what you believe to be a man as a man. Yesterday I came across this picture and I failed to grasp it. Gender as a range of expression or personal identity? Hmm. It’s strange. Not in a “you’re breaking the traditional rules of society and must be punished,” but something else.
I don’t hate anyone for wanting to change their genitalia, but I can’t consider them by the gender they wish to be defined by. I don’t think this is something that can be changed. I mentioned my position during a discussion on Facebook and I was called intolerant, bigot, hateful, and worst of all not nice. My position discriminates against transsexual people. I’ve taken a look back and thought to myself, ” Am I an intolerant, ignorant bigot who hates transsexual people because I refuse to call them by the gender they want?”
Gender and sex are different. Sex is the biological differences that define men and women. Gender is the role that society dictates for a person based on their sex. Men are supposed to X and women are supposed to be Y. I only see the biological. No matter how much a person plays a certain gender role and wants that to be their identity, I still see them falling under the curtain of their biology. I’m not trying to define them by their biology and saying they can only do what society dictates is correct. They can’t escape their biology just because they want to play a different role.
To better explain this, I think a man who wears what is traditionally seen as women’s clothing regularly as still a man. I think a man who has their genitals removed and has women’s genitals attached is still a man. This is a permanent label. Much like how we can’t escape our label of human, we can’t escape the label of our sex. The problem isn’t the label. It’s what society sees as normal behavior for that label. People can’t jump to another gender because they want to. Facts are facts. Men are men. Women are women. You can’t change them because you want to. These aren’t labels that can be moved.
In the discussion, it was stated that I would offend transsexual people by referring to them by the sex that I believe they truly are. So if I called a woman who believed herself to be a man, a woman, I would be offending them and I’d be part of the problem. It’s unfortunate but I will not change the way I feel about this.
In Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear thinks he’s the real Buzz Lightyear and not a toy. Was it offensive to Buzz when Woody to called him a toy? Yes. It wouldn’t make Buzz any less of a toy if Woody played along with him. He’ll never be an actual space ranger. He’s a toy. T-O-Y. Toy. I’m not saying you should go up to people who feel that they are another gender and tell them to not act that way. They can express themselves how they want to and live their lives doing whatever. The traditional gender roles are dying out. Men can do whatever. Women can do whatever. They don’t have to play into roles. They just have labels.