Sunday, November 4, 2012

When is a Sex Change a Sex Change?

Parents' outrage as transgendered woman is permitted to use the women's locker room 'exposing himself to little girls'

A transgendered man permitted to use the women's locker rooms at a Washington college has created uproar among parents who say their children have been repeatedly exposed by him.

At the center of the controversy, Colleen Francis, a 45-year-old student at Olympia's Evergreen College who identifies as a woman but with male genitalia, says she has a right to use the facilities and the school agrees.

'The college cannot discriminate based on the basis of gender identity,' Evergreen Spokesman Jason Wettstein told KOMO. 'Gender identity is one of the protected things in discrimination law in this state.'

Taking their own action, however, parents of children who use the facility - sharing the pool's locker room with a high school swim club and children’s swim academy – have turned to the police.

'[A mother] reported her daughter was upset because she observed a person at the women's locker room naked and displaying male genitalia,' a police report filed by a 17-year-old's mother in September read.
A perfect example of Sexual Correctness carried to an absurd result.  I think it's a reasonable question to consider at what point in the process of a sex change, a person should be considered a member of the opposite sex for semi-public nudity, especially when exposure to children is involved.  Should a man declare himself to be a woman for public bathing and showering purposes when:
  1. He initially convinces himself that he should become a member of the opposite sex?
  2. He convinces professional medical personnel that his desire to change sex is irrevocable and  a medical necessity?
  3. Hormone treatments, and changes in dress make outward appearance of the opposite sex, but not surgery on external genitalia?
  4. After surgery changes the appearance of the genitalia to conform to the adopted gender?
In this case, I think it would be reasonable to insist on the latter.  For an adult work environment, where it was well understood and accepted what occurring by all those involved, #3 seems possible.

Does that ask the transgendered person to make some sacrifices, like not showing off his/her genitalia in public for a few years?  Too bad!  If he/she is committed to having his/her genitalia altered, he/she should be committed enough not to stick them in faces where they are unwanted for a considerable period.  Society is not just about making them feel good about themselves.

1 comment:

  1. As a transsexual woman who is in the process of medically transitioning, I would tend to agree. It is important to understand that medically transitioning one gender to another is a fairly long and involved process, the legal process of transitioning should reflect that. When someone has clearly passed the "half way point" and clearly has every intention of completing the process it is an appropriate time for a legal name change and change of gender marker on ones drivers license. At this point it is appropriate to use the rest room that matches the gender marker on ones drivers license. It is also appropriate at that point to expect to be addressed by your correct name and to be referred to by the correct pronouns (that is those pronouns that match the individuals gender identity). It is appropriate to wait until after reassignment surgery to engage in public nudity, particularly in sexually segregated spaces.

    I would also like to add that there are approximately as many that transition from female to male as from male to female. However is a society that values that which is masculine and devalues that which is feminine, those that transition female to male are paid almost no attention where as those that transition male to female receive considerable attention. Still the same rules should apply those those that transition female to male as to those that transition male to female.