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Friday, 7 October 2016

What is Transgender? A Societal Answer

Earlier I started a series on the topic of Transgender, starting with the Linguistic definition, followed here by the Societal Definition, and culminating, I believe, in a Legal Definition (whenever the latter is finally settled).

I don't recommend any of my readers listen to this video, due to the foul language (the relevant parts at least are subtitled), but I will sum up its content in one sentence: As of October 2016 in Ontario, it only takes one hour to go from being a woman with a female photo identity card to a woman with a male photo identity card--issued by the government no less. It's much easier than changing one's name; many women spend as long just changing their clothes.  She probably needed more documentation to prove her new address than her new gender identity.

Now, think about that for just a minute. Women have been changing their last names for many centuries--far longer than Western civilization has existed on these shores--but it's not even been the span of a single lifetime since they could change their gender, and now it can be done in less than an hour, with no physical exam, no court hearing, no sworn statement, not even any witnesses present? It's even easier than getting legally married!

Now, this is not all entirely new. Homosexual behaviour was so common in first century Western Civilization that the Apostle Paul included it several times in various lists of sins. We even get our word 'lesbian' from the behaviour common to female inhabitants of ancient Lesbos Island in Greece. What is new is the legal fiction that male and female are social, rather than biological, constructs.

Allowing one's feelings to trump biological reality is at once a social, and a legal, decision. During a time in which a majority of people are reluctant to start calling a woman 'he' just because she identifies as male, it soon becomes a legal matter. As was pointed out in the uncensored video, a law is pending in Canada which will make it a crime punishable by jail to call a woman--who calls herself a man--by female pronouns. Thus, at least for a time, the legal and social definitions are hopelessly intertwined.

But the groundswell of murmuring will simply not be legislated away. Witness the grumbling by female athletes at this year's Olympics over the  IAAF's decision not to disqualify athletes from competing as women, even if they have characteristically male testosterone levels--which means that by the next Olympics, female competitors who aren't doping up on testosterone won't stand a chance of winning, at least not against a Russian athlete.

The societal definition of transgender in Western civilization is certainly in flux, more so than it has been since the fall of Rome. But everything eventually trends toward the mean, so the current societal ambivalence will eventually give way to biological reality. In the meanwhile, buckle your seat-belts: we are in for a wild ride.


  1. This helps me understand the situation and I agree we are on a wild ride, already. Life is shocking nowadays, yet always has been for me.

  2. let us hope and pray that biological reality, or reality in general, will eventually prevail!

  3. I understand that women who are not confused about their identity don't get real excited about "women?" coming into their bathrooms.

    Sodom is pounding on our door.

    Grace and peace.


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