Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hear me Roar

Cara posted recently on a policeman in Kansas City who is getting a sex change and is creating a buzz in the KC bloggings and news. The question Cara poses summarized is: Why should a man be considered a "woman"? I think the best answer is with another question: Why do we care?

Jessica, formerly David, will never be female according to genotype (unless science comes up with something radical in the near future*). I really have to ask, why do we care at all? If a person wants to take on the biases and gender roles that come with the opposite sex, how does that affect us? How does that hurt us? The only possible damage that might be done is emotional damage to the transsexual and his/her relations. That damage is strictly possible, not guaranteed... Just as everything else in life has potential for damaging effects... it's life. As far as my research took me, I was unable to find any longitudinal studies on the emotion effects for children of transsexuals (in my opinion, we don't need to worry much about Jessica's uncle or past wives... they're big kids, they can take care of themselves).

This all comes down to the definitions of man and woman, and I just don't see why it matters... especially in a fight for equality, these definitions should exhibit less and less legal difference.

Also while I'm at it: Actress, waitress, etc... I've encountered several militant feminists that get pissed about these words. These terms are not sexist. Many of these are traces of other languages that simply assign gender with nouns. In Spanish and Portuguese El/O professor - Ela/A professora, in German Der Lehrer/ Die Lehrerin... Next time I call you an actress know that it means you act, and that you are female... nothing more, nothing less.

*That's an interesting thought experiment, what if gene therapy could change your sex mid-life? WouLd be great for transsexuals, no more hormones, probably a minimization of surgeries... but it raises many interesting questions on ethics. Clearly there are huge scientific problems, since changing genes is much more than the cosmetic changes that are most common today. Fun to think about until you get bored with the theoretical.


Blogger charlie said...

I propose that women who act be called wactors. If they're lesbians they will be called wactresses

7:10 PM  
Blogger charlie said...

The controversial female or shemale quiz:
And the more controversial followup:

7:44 PM  
Blogger Cassy said...

Don't you dare call me an actress, or a wactress for that matter! Just kidding. I don't give a fuck.

I get the language history thing, but do understand that words like "policemen" that have no female equivalent may not be relevant to us (free-thinking, upstanding, somewhat post-adolescence folks), they do have an impact on children and the gender roles assigned to different career types. Yes, this may be nitpicky, but I've experienced it firsthand from little folks.

Of course that doesn't have to leave a permanent impression on them, but it can cause a shift in thought patterns that may make them eliminate certain careers before they even consider them a possibility. Theoretical whoo-ha.

8:19 AM  

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