Fandango’s Provocative Question #111

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Today’s provocative question was inspired by this political cartoon.In case you don’t know the woman in the cartoon, she’s Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican freshman U.S. congresswoman from Georgia who is also known as the crazy QAnon lady. She is a far-right, pro-Trump whack-job who espouses some of the craziest of the crazy conspiracy theories.

Always confrontational and combative, she recently placed a sign outside her congressional office mocking Democratic Representative Marie Newman, whose office sits across the hall, after Newman hung a transgender pride flag next to her door in protest over Greene’s opposition to a LGBTQ rights bill. Greene’s sign said, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. Trust The Science.”

My question today is about your beliefs about gender. Some people believe that gender identity is the personal sense of one’s own gender. It can correlate with a person’s assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. Others, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, believe that gender identity is exclusively tied to a person’s sex at birth. If you’re born with a penis, you are male; if not, you’re female. Period. Full stop.

So my provocative question is…

Do you believe that a person’s gender is inextricably tied to his or her sex at birth, or do you believe that a person can legitimately identify as a gender different from his or her birth gender? Why do you believe what you believe?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

33 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #111

  1. Irene March 3, 2021 / 11:59 am

    A very provocative question, indeed. To me the problem is that what society chose as an identifiable characteristic worked in the past, but has become largely useless. I would not have a problem with gender neutral washrooms (as long as they got rid of urinals, because yuck), and I think armies, schools, etc. are moving towards co-ed structures. Many institutions such as universities are removing “gender: M/F” as an entry in their file forms. Now, in the classroom, that argument about “we would rather be referred to as ‘they’ ” etc., I mean, the whole point of using pronouns is to save time, so the Queens of England of the World should understand that pronouns are generally not applied with the intention of labelling or bullying, but just identifying a subject, e.g., he/she much shorter than “the person with the red sweater on my right” and using a plural might be confusing depending on the context, e.g. “they should move to the front of the room” (are you, talking to me? us?). Maybe we should all learn Korean; apparently pronouns are gender neutral, so problem solved!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Irene March 3, 2021 / 12:09 pm

      Oh, and directly answering the actual questions, I think that a person’s gender is, biologically speaking, tied to his or her sex at birth, but that a person can legitimately identify as a gender different from his or her birth gender, and should not be judged or prevented from expressing such identity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. RuthScribbles March 3, 2021 / 1:19 pm

    I’m going to answer here, if I may.
    I believe that gender/sex orientation is on a continum. I’ve talked to a mom whose daughter is transgendered. Her husband refused to accept it, she was having trouble accepting it. I met them. They seemed normal to me. I can’t judge a person’s chemistry any more than I can know what is in their minds. Some babies are born with two sets of genetalia. What then? I watched a series on Amazon Prime. The main characters are trans people. They are not a monolith. They are outcasts. It’s a very edgy show that was educational and entertaining. They also deals with the AIDS epidemic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen March 3, 2021 / 3:09 pm

    ….. Greene’s opposition to a LGBTQ rights bill. Greene’s sign said, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. Trust The Science.”

    My question today is about your beliefs about gender. Some people believe that gender identity is the personal sense of one’s own gender. It can correlate with a person’s assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. Others, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, believe that gender identity is exclusively tied to a person’s sex at birth. If you’re born with a penis, you are male; if not, you’re female. Period. Full stop.

    So my provocative question is…

    Do you believe that a person’s gender is inextricably tied to his or her sex at birth, or do you believe that a person can legitimately identify as a gender different from his or her birth gender? Why do you believe what you believe?

    ~

    A. Gender “at birth” — or is it “sex” at birth — is an assignment. It’s something written on paper (or, today, entered into a computer).+ [If you’ve had your child outside of a hospital and not applied for a birth certificate, yet, it is something parents start saying about their child (or that a mother or midwife says about the child). It’s not necessarily indicative of the whole physical situation of the human body of the individual referenced; it is usually a match for the physical attributes and genes of the individual. Usually; usually does not equal necessarily.

    Assignment (which, rather than “assignment” as the concept for it, has historically been perceived as the absolute fact of the matter) is based on genitalia (not genetics or chromosomes). Again, this will fit nicely for most people. However, there are two general ways it might not fit perfectly (and, perhaps, 3rd and 4th ways). First of all: the chromosomes might not correlate, the way we expect, to the presentation between the legs. Additionally, there are other chromosome combinations than the ones we are used to as typical. Seems impossible, but it’s true.

    Second: I’m now questioning my choice of first and second; I’ll indicate, now, my order does not indicate importance or my personal sense of emotion. The presentation between the legs may be mixed. I’m, apparently, an empathetic person (in some ways), so this is actually bringing tears to my eyes and sadness to my heart. Most people don’t know this, but it is not uncommon for a baby with a mixed presentation to receive (obviously without the consent of the baby and sometimes without the consent of parents) surgery to change appearances.

    There are people who do know this and, yet, insist there are two and only two plain old sexes — or genders. I’ve found it stunning to see that there are adults like this… who think that if the parents* decide, at birth, an intersex baby shall not retain a *penis… then the child (and adult when the time comes) IS female. No one cares what is going on inside you. And, in some cases, they ain’t telling you, either, or noticing. They told you what to be, and it’s not their problem. Even if they (as doctor and parent(s)) are the ones who made the decision.

    *&* Such decisions have also been made by social services for babies without parents; I know (not personally) of at least one case where the adoptive parents were not informed before or upon adoption. The “decision” can also go the other way; the intersex baby can have his/her/their vaginal parts removed or covered up. Further, all of this doesn’t address the reality that a child can be born with neither a penis or a vagina. What in the world is going on, we may wonder. Nevertheless, some people insist things are only ever just so.

    Okay, third: perhaps there is an aspect that is not observable via genitalia, nor via chromosomes or genes/dna, that has something to do with a sense of self. Maybe in some part of the brain? I will throw in, here, that I know (not personally) of a female twin who found out she was a chimera who had a male twin in utero (and that their body chemistry had somehow merged). How would we know which brain developed? Still, that story wasn’t about sexuality or gender. It was about ascertainment for treatment of their life-threatening disease.

    Thinking, a bit longer, of the third category, still possibly retaining some awareness of an idea that something accountable but not known could be part of the person, by way of the brain or else-wise, there is the category of respect for what the individual wants or is confused about or needs. This can reach all the way to a point on a scale that I find rather absurd. But it’s not inexplicable, given our biases. I saw a girl on YouTube who said she was putting on makeup like the other girls do, one day, and didn’t like it. So, she decided she was a boy. 👀

    All of this is so complex that I’ve only scratched the surface. While a baby being born with intersex traits observable is about as common as people born with truly red hair on the whole globe, aspects of how hormones or genes kick in or not later are separate and additional details that have real results. This is aside from the “tinkering” or treatment (depending upon what is being done and for what reason) that can go on with blockers and the like; body development is an aspect of physicality that doesn’t escape the world not being a perfect place.

    Note:

    … born with a penis, you are male; if not, you’re female. Period. Full stop.

    Almost a play on words. 🙃

    A baby born without a penis and with a vagina (or with neither) might not have the internal organs for a period. A girl might not develop breasts. A boy might.

    + We need to put one or two added selections on birth certificate applications; imperatively, something like non-declared or unspecified and, plausibly, “both” or intersex. It is very important to many physically intersex people that the latter be only an inborn designation (a birth certificate can be revised legally but based upon physicality that was ignored or removed or not observed at birth but which was already intrinsic or inborn biologically).

    👀 I didn’t keep watching her videos to see if she stuck with that. On one level, I’m like it doesn’t matter if she wants to play like she’s a boy (with honesty about how she came to that). I would be very worried, nonetheless, if she then wanted to go through transsexual medicine.

    B. Yes, I believe there are two genders/sexes. But there is a lot more to real existence than that, sometimes. Bottom line (another almost play on words), I don’t need to look between everyone’s legs or see a lab report before I “allow” a dress to be worn, or whatever. I might want a report if I were thinking about getting married during child-bearing years and wanted to have biological children. That (or I) might, thereby, seem unromantic — like if someone introduces the requirement of a prenup. Personal option.

    C. I have to add one more thing. I made a comment about how we have historically seen things. I don’t know the window of history or time that has been so certain on the surface (with the public beyond the birthing world). We can know, though, that there have been times in history (and maybe most of history) where it was obvious there are exceptions or variants. One indicator is in the Bible. I don’t know what book(s), and I’m not going to look it up. It’s touched on in both the older and newer testaments (OT/NT).

    { I’m not saying that because something is in the Bible we have to do what the Bible says about it. For example, a eunuch not being someone who serves in the temple is not very relevant to us (screeeech… although I’ve heard of people being excluded, altogether, from a boutique [but powerful] religion or two because of it). And, while there are two genders, someone can be inter-gender as well as intersexual physically. Or an intersex person can choose male or female or change their mind between childhood and adulthood or later. Lastly, I personally am fine with androgyny that has nothing to do with being inter-gender or intersexual. And I’m adamant that boys and girls should be allowed to play any girl and boy things. Further, gender stereotypes are stupid if you don’t want to confuse or frustrate or stifle your child. }

    I can’t find a worn out on thinking about it emoji.

    I’m sure I’ve left something out or not explained something sufficiently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 3, 2021 / 3:25 pm

      I think you covered the topic quite thoroughly, Marleen.

      Like

      • Marleen March 3, 2021 / 3:56 pm

        😅

        I did leave out a “]” after … mother or midwife says about the child).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen March 6, 2021 / 4:30 pm

          I thought so too, and liked the implications (or attitudinal shading or tint) better than that of many other articles from the search I did. I’m going to share this topic — which was linked to from the Wikipedia article “Intersex” — and then I’ll probably share one more site.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disorders_of_sex_development

          The term has been controversial [from its inception in medicine], and research has shown that affected people experience a negative impact, with the terminology impacting choice and utilization of health care providers.[4] The World Health Organization and many medical journals still reference DSDs as intersex traits or conditions.[5] The Council of Europe[6] and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights[7] have called for a review of medical classifications that unnecessarily medicalize intersex traits.[6][7][8]

          Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen March 6, 2021 / 10:20 pm

        At the first of the two links, below, there is link after link and much to learn — within this person’s site and at outer links.

        https://anunnakiray.com/2015/10/10/i-am-a-seahorse-dad/
        Mx. Anunnaki Ray Marquez

        For fun, I compare myself to a seahorse dad. …. I am an intersex person, who identifies as being male and gender nonconforming. This means my biological sex (sex [determined by physical trait] characteristics) is intersex, but my gender identity is male [while the expression isn’t rigid].

        [My physical characteristics and gender identity] do not match. Not all intersex people are like me. This is simply my story. You see, my body naturally creates its own testosterone at a much higher level than a typical dyadic and cisgender female. Hormonally and physically I have intersex traits, it would be decided I should be raised female. But I was not of the female gender.

        I was taught, when very little, that all females want to grow up, get married and have babies. I felt it my duty, my obligations. To be honest, I wanted that too. However, I NEVER felt like a mother or a wife. ……..

        Being perceived as female, and as a mother, was terrible for me. The typical women always caught on that I was different. It could have been because my pheromones were not that of a typical female, I do not know for sure. I was an outcast, appearing as female, most my life. Now that I honor my true gender hormonally, I now can simply be me. …. For mother’s day, we now celebrate “SEA HORSE DAY”.
        [Emphasis added.]

        Bonus: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/pages/article/seahorse-fathers-take-reins-in-childbirth

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn Armstrong March 3, 2021 / 6:07 pm

    I have not studied the subject. My piece (tomorrow morning) is personal opinion based on life experience. Sorry to be so unscientific.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 3, 2021 / 10:39 pm

      I’m looking forward to reading your unscientific opinion.

      Like

  5. leigha66 March 8, 2021 / 1:36 am

    I believe that what people are perceived as at birth due to physical attributes does not make it impossible that as they grow and develop characteristic of another gender. My daughter went to school with someone who is now gender fluid but identifies more as a male than female, but wants to be referred to as they/them. I think people are given a certain set of ideals that change and grow as they do and sometimes science doesn’t get it right. As for why … everyone is entitled to be their true selves. It is late and I’m not sure that made sense or not, what I am trying to say is I believe there should be no gender assignment at birth. Just like you can’t count your chickens before they hatch, you can’t put a label on someone until you KNOW who they are, and who they are is determined by the individual not society.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 8, 2021 / 12:03 pm

      What you wrote made a lot of sense. I think you can label a newborn as either male or female, at least anatomically speaker, but gender is another story. In most, it matches their sex, but in some, sex and gender can be a mismatch.

      Liked by 2 people

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