Eduardo Alvarez/ Contributing Writer
Whereas we would speak of sex in terms of men and women, the more precise words for gender would be masculine and feminine, making their status more malleable — a fact which has sparked a great social debate.
Gender is not completely disconnected from sex in that our biological cogs are designed to make men masculine and women feminine; but anything that is contingent upon the mind can be changed by thoughts. This means that internal and external influences — namely sexuality and culture — are capable of undoing the usual match between one’s gender and one’s sex.
As such, gender fluid people should be respected as equals and shown the same avenues to success and growth as anyone else. Not only in the name of social good, but in the name of basic freedoms.
Transgenderism has many opponents which often liken gender fluidity to mental illness, claiming that the acceptance of such an idea would be the same as validating a schizophrenic person’s vision of a pink elephant.
Their maxim — that you can’t change a fact just because you feel a certain way — is that no matter how strongly a woman feels she is a man, he cannot change the Y chromosomes in his body.
These detractions leave much to be desired. Firstly, because it is not the same to feel that you are a woman as it is to feel that you are an attack helicopter. Whereas the latter is a random, inanimate object, the former is the other half of the population.
It is not irrational to identify with a behavior one has witnessed their entire life from the opposite sex; in the same way in which one would prefer a certain type of food or sport.
In a way, opposite sexes and genders are always a part of us, biologically and otherwise. It has been a while since I heard any man speak of getting in touch with his feminine side, probably because the whole subject has become so bitter, but it proves that this binary gender system of untouching parallel lines is a dismissive oversimplification.
Every person was created by the union of a man and a woman, and therefore possesses, to varying extents, the attributes of each gender.
The only difference with gender fluid people is that they attribute more characteristics of the gender unassigned to their sex. To say that this is the same as suffering from schizophrenia would be like calling a person who wants to lose ten pounds anorexic. It is a false equivalency that lends itself to mistreatment and discrimination.
Interestingly enough, non-binary gender systems have been present in cultures all around the world. Brief examples include the Muxes of the Zapotec people: who are essentially effeminate males, and the Waria of Indonesia, who similarly are men who believe they have been born with the souls of women.
Furthermore, transgender behavior is present among other animals, such as some birds and snakes, who imitate the behaviors of the opposite sex in view of defense and more plentiful mating.
All of this should be reason enough not to dwell in fixed chromosomal subtleties as a basis for disqualifying transgenderism. At this point in our history, the concept of a man and woman has far transcended that.
All of this said, I do not believe gender conversion therapy should be administered to minors, much less children. There is a stark difference between tolerance and imposition, and those currents that wish to raise kids in the gender not according to their sex may be doing that child a great harm.
Gender matters are a thing to be decided by the individual at a point in their life in which they are capable of knowing who they are and deciding for themselves. We should raise children — as a default — with the gender that corresponds to their sex.
That is still by far the most common form of gender behavior. Most men are masculine and most women are feminine. To assume otherwise or to raise a child genderless is likely to cause far more confusion and identity issues individually and collectively.
In light of such a nuanced and complex topic, we must make sure that in our considerations, the confluence of logic and compassion reign supreme.
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