Looking at the figures on a bathroom door may not seem so important to you. It’s either male or female. But it’s interesting we use the generalised depictions of a male and a female instead of a penis and a vagina. And that’s because you don’t need a penis or a vagina to use either bathroom. You just need to look the part so you don’t get dirty looks or an unwarranted eviction.
And this begs the question: if you don’t need a penis or vagina to use a stall in a specific bathroom, why do we separate them as such? Why aren’t toilets separated as urinals and sit-down toilets instead of the usual male and female? I mean, aside from the urinal, all toilet cubicles in either bathroom are gender-neutral.
It seems the only logical explanation for all this bigotry is that we really want to know what’s between everyone’s legs. And this explains why there are far too many people saying that trans women are not women.
But I want to be perfectly clear here: trans women are women, too. And let me tell you why:
Socially Constructed Sex
In biological terms, a male is one who sports a penis and a female has a vagina. On top of this, there are chromosomes and hormones that also differentiate men from women. But knowing their actual sex is only necessary for medical professionals and prospective sex partners. Which is why we have the term “gender”.
Gender steps away from those dangly bits and considers personal attributes that differentiate men from women. Like femininity, masculinity and other personal characteristics. Unfortunately, it’s gotten so bad that we’ve differentiated things that aren’t even remotely related to sex. Like kid’s toys, colours and even schoolyard snacks.
To be honest, aside from sex characteristics, men and women aren’t really that different. And yet, we force them to be different anyway.
Men are usually hairier, and women usually aren’t. Women usually have long hair and men usually have short. One wears dresses and makeup and heels, and the other wears pants and shoes, with dirt being the only substance that can alter their facial appearance.
But things have changed in recent years. We’re starting to realise that the differences we’ve applied to men and women — including the colours pink and blue — are pure constructs. They’re not gospel or fact, they’re just a mere socially accepted truth. But the problem is we still abide by these unspoken rules, which includes gendered bathrooms.
In fact, right now, feminist women seem to be at the forefront of not accepting trans women as women. According to J. K. Rowling, for instance, she’s worried about people with penises using the female bathroom as a way to perve on women — as if men need a reason to be perverted. Which is a bit confusing here because I thought men would equally be worried. I mean, they pee at urinals in full view of each other, whereas women have the privacy of a bathroom stall.
And also, what’s so appealing about sneaking into the women’s bathroom for a perve if the only nudity they’re gonna see is women excreting bodily waste?
The Gender Construct
Gender is something that we all wear, and that’s literally and figuratively. I’m a cis-gendered man because I like to wear men’s clothes and I find my social attributes to be more towards the male side. (I love my penis if you must know.) However, I’m not so fussed about people calling me a girl. But some people do care about the way they are referred to, and why is that such a problem for some people?
Of course, I do know why they kick up a fuss. They really just want to know if that person has a penis or a vagina. Of course, they might rebuke that, but why else would they refuse to refer to them by their requested pronouns?
The fact is, we have a problem with differentiating sex from gender. Everybody knows the biological factors that make a baby a male or a female. But in the real world, it’s not your problem to know other people’s appendages. Trans women are women, not because have a penis or a vagina, but because that’s how they feel. That’s how they want to be represented in society. And it’s not your place to say otherwise unless you’re referring to their sex. And in that case, you should either be treating them as a doctor or fucking them.
Also, please don’t argue that because they can’t birth children or have periods they’re not real women. That’s extremely insulting to the biological women who also can’t birth or have periods for medical reasons. It doesn’t make them any less of a woman. In fact, it makes them part of the growing varieties of women out there.
Because a woman should not be solely judged by the contents of her panties.
Trans women are women (and trans men are men) because that’s how they present themselves to the world. It doesn’t matter what appendages they have because those things are only necessary for doctors and fuck buddies. And even most doctors and fuck buddies will refer to them by their preferred gender.
Why? Because it doesn’t hurt to respect people’s wishes. And as I’ve said before about the marriage equality debate, letting them be is not gonna make the sky fall.