Fandango’s Provocative Question #212


Welcome 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.

Lately it seems that many Americans have become confused about how to understand and discuss issues around sex, gender, and gender identity. As a result many are reluctant to publicly voice opinions on that topic. Sadly, trans activists and right-wing culture warriors have turned into a battle of dogmatic extremes.

In Republican-controlled states, for example, legislatures are criminalizing drag performances and parent-approved hormone treatments for children with gender dysphoria. Questions arise about whether trans women should be allowed to participate in women’s sports or if it should be limited to biological females. Extremists on both sides insist there is only one valid view on gender — and that all others must be silenced, punished, and even made into crimes.

This is a complex issue, that is for sure. And that leads me to today’s provocative question.

How do you feel about this topic? Do you believe that gender has a biological basis defined exclusively by chromosomes, genitalia, and internal plumbing? Or do you believe that “male” and “female” are merely socially conditioned behaviors and that gender is purely a subjective experience of identity? What are your thoughts?

If you choose to participate in Fandango’s Provocative Question, you may respond with a comment or write your own post in 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.

22 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #212

  1. writerravenclaw May 3, 2023 / 9:23 am

    I believe it is the choice of the person concerned, and we should be respectful of that choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rugby843 May 3, 2023 / 10:24 am

    I have no answer—I’m not qualified 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen May 3, 2023 / 11:17 am

    First of all, *today* gender identity isn’t supposed to be about sexual attraction or orientation. It’s about the individual. Yet, there is confusion on that and some level of being disingenuous; to some extent, the surgeries and so forth are being done with intolerance of or discomfort over being gay. Certainly, that was a more out-front motivation before our current moment. Additionally, just “looking right” was largely (and still is sometimes) the motivation of parents, doctors, and social services overseeing foster children (is standard policy in some fundamentalist cultures as well which fit with mid-century mainstream America too but now is more often… well, I might be too optimistic about secular America being past this); often resulting in outcomes of their grown children being “gay” as adults when they were born as physically [there should be a third option for birth certificates] intersex biologically inside or outside — and then tried to impose their expectations on said offspring after having chosen wrong for a child (who is a separate person). As for what is going on now, I’m glad most countries were previously tending toward outlawing adults imposing genital surgery on babies.

    One of the first experiments (which is only anecdotal and doesn’t qualify as a study) occurred with twin boys. Despite one case not being science per se, the history of it is cited as success. One of the boys accidentally had his penis burned off when a doctor recommended circumcision at some months old. The second after wasn’t circumcised because the equipment was malfunctioning. Some other doctor (who turns out to have been a pedophile) comes along and says sex is a construct. So he told the parents to raise the first boy as a girl. He says to never tell the individuals what is going on; they should have no understanding of themselves, in other words. Both of these boys ended up committing suicide. Sadly, on top of the sadness of what happened to these children and the sad propagation that they were a story of science getting it right, there isn’t much or sometimes any scientific fountain for what is occurring presently. It’s mostly ad hoc. Also, physical asexuality is a thing, which is more or less overlooked like intersexuality (which isn’t the same as bisexuality). Plus, there is more to look to with a track record in transitioning an adult male who didn’t use puberty blockers (to trans female).

    Now, if someone is biologically intersex, there might be something available with real documented improved outcomes. This varies widely as intersex isn’t one distinct presentation or internal observability.

    As for the jackass of a doctor (besides other jackasses with degrees) who said sex (or maybe he said gender) is a construct, I haven’t looked into what academic material was available to him back then.

    I believe aspects of personality shouldn’t be categorized as male and female. Boys can wear skirts; girls can climb trees; a woman can be a police officer. Are we aiming at inverted conversion therapy?

    Other advanced countries are ahead of us. They’ve been down this road and are looking at how they’ve screwed up and don’t want to continue doing so. But we are behaving rather myopically (or commercially).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mister Bump UK May 3, 2023 / 12:21 pm

    I think there’s two things going on. First, there is somebody’s gender-at-birth, which I don’t think is negotiable. This would govern their eligibility to play for sports teams, etc. So somebody born male, who transgenders into a woman would compete in male sport.
    I think the second aspect is whether somebody lives as a man or a woman. And, frankly, who cares?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. XingfuMama May 3, 2023 / 1:35 pm

    Shouldn’t we ask why people feel a need to have a gender identity?

    I think this whole discussion is a symptom of our society’s insane obsession with sex. Fed by advertisers and entertainment that want to cash in on us by getting more and more outre. Personally, I’m not comfortable with kids changing their genders (or other optional surgery, I feel the same about nose jobs)…but what I am comfortable with doesn’t matter. I am not responsible for these decisions and I am uncomfortable with a lot of stuff: people beating their kids, sexual abuse of children, all kinds of stuff that is probably more dangerous than transgender treatments (and might even be causal to gender identity questions and crises).

    I think the current culture war obsession with this is cashing in on “sex sells”…Probably most obsessed on by people who have questions about themselves that they don’t want to face.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. pensitivity101 May 3, 2023 / 2:14 pm

    It’s all above my head Fandango. I believe everyone is entitled to feel comfortable with themselves, but for the rest of us, just opening our mouths will offend someone, somewhere, because we got the pronoun wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marilyn Armstrong May 3, 2023 / 4:30 pm

    I think people who are offended by pronouns should live alone and not BE part of a larger society.

    I think we would stop being confused if we stopped trying to stick our noses into other people’s private lives. Why in the world can’t we leave each other in peace?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 3, 2023 / 4:42 pm

      My answer would be differently-focused if I were answering about pronouns. And then, I completely side-stepped the sports topic. The sports topic has been a topic for decades without the rest of us knowing about it, within The Olympics. My main concern is health.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn Armstrong May 4, 2023 / 6:53 pm

        There IS such a thing as taking yourself too seriously. These days, way too many folks take themselves FAR too seriously. I’m trying to be sympathetic but I’m really not at all sympathetic. Frankly, I find this annoying whether it comes from the right or the left. Maybe I’m just not woke enough.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 3, 2023 / 6:22 pm

      It’s not in our nature. That’s why religions send out missionaries and try to convert everyone to their beliefs. They want us all to be like they are.


  8. jilldennison May 3, 2023 / 10:51 pm

    My feelings about this topic are that we are all living, human beings and all deserve equal rights, equal respect. I see no reason why a person must look, think, and act exactly as I do … the world would be a boring place. Frankly, I look at someone, regardless of skin colour, gender, ethnicity, who they love, how they identify, religion, or whatever else, as a person. Period. I might like them because we have some views in common, or I might not like them because we don’t share much common ground, but I will respect them to the extent they respect others, including myself. It’s not my place to tell someone who they must be … it is theirs to figure out. Heck, if we all just worried about figuring out who we were, we wouldn’t have time to try to dictate to others who they should be!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. leigha66 May 27, 2023 / 7:40 pm

    Not everyone likes cheese… why should we all be expected to be the same when it comes to everything including gender. I think some people start out hating cheese as a kid, but can change to love it as an adult, why not gender identity? There have been many who feel a very strong draw to the “unassigned” sex at birth, how can you deny that intense feeling? I feel I am asking more questions than answering the question. Bottom line let people be who they feel they are… who they KNOW they are. How does their decision cause you grief… it shouldn’t. Be PROUD of who you are, man, woman or gender neutral… everyone is not the same.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s