Sex and Gender and the difference
December 10, 2013
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I’m in the minority here. I don’t like how some people (that being, some enlightened trans-friendly social justice folk) deal with the distinction between sex and gender. I can’t stand how I get told that my sex is always going to be female, and that doesn’t make me less of a man, because chromosomes and… something else. But wait, this isn’t gender essentialism! It’s important! For doctors to know! We have to keep sex something we are assigned at birth, because otherwise doctor’s couldn’t treat us right. Or something.
I have a suggestion. Instead of giving doctors the ability to say that our sex- a term that I for one want to protect as being able to define myself- is something determined by certain biological characteristics, we create a new term to mean “the information a doctor needs.” Like… Biological Unimportant Little Label Stuff Health Institutions Track. Yeah. That works.
More seriously. How the hell does retaining a F or M on medical charts *really* help medical professionals? What does it tell them that couldn’t be more accurately obtained by testing and question asking that doesn’t involve pigeonholing people? Chromosomes? Nope. Hormone levels? No. Genitalia configuration? No.
When is gender even relevant medically in a way that wouldn’t be better served by asking specific questions anyways? The only gender specific thing doctors ever talk about with me is my period, and considering that I’m a quasi-dude who gets a period while there are cis-women who don’t… it would probably just be easier to ask everyone about their possible periodiness. And really, the same could be said for any biologically essentialist trait.
I for one would rather see a world where instead of having “male” and “female” categories used by medical professionals to make broad assumptions about people, we actually looked into what people were made up of on a case-to-case basis so we could make informed decisions and treat people ethically at the same time.
But I guess giving a woman an M marker and dehumanizing her is easier.