So are the courts in Nancy also going to lay down a minimum endowment before someone can qualify as a "real man"?
A peculiar obsession with breast size as the test of true womanhood popped up in a French court last week, as the Chief Prosecutor in Nancy ruled that a transgendered woman couldn’t possibly be a woman unless her breasts measured up to size. Argument is raging over the case of Delphine Ravisé-Giard, who first transitioned back …
If I have under surgically attached, tell everyone I'm now to be known as Daisy and walk around saying "moo", does that make me a cow? Does it mean a butcher is now allowed to sell my meat? No? So, why not maintain the definition of gender as being that with which you are born, regardless of chromosome disorders or sex change ops? If it makes you happy, have the op. But human sexuality is too complex to pigeonhole 'trans' people into one box. Save the confusion, it's only a tick box on a passport and a passport won't convince people you are a woman.
Because "gender" is not "sex". How about we let people be what they want to be? If it irks you that people could go around being male one day, female the next or somewhere in between on the third friday of each month then let's say that the first change of official documentation is free, but you pay for the admin on second and subsequent changes of gender identity. And as to that with which you are born, are you referring to primary sexual characteristics? Secondary? Genetic? I agree with you about human sexuality being too complex to pigeonhole, but again, sexuality is not the same as gender-identity; which is equally complex, but different.
Because this is what she wants, and who are we to deny her it?
There's a simple test for this. Everyone should have the right to do exactly as they wish, in complete freedom, until the moment that freedom impinges on someone else's rights.
By giving her this freedom, what right are we denying from another person?
I really, really, _really_ want to be a multi-millionaire. Can I ask a judge to make it so?
Alternatively, ask yourself what it _actually_ means when a passport indicates your gender - it is not up to the French courts to start saying that particular people can now be referred to as a different gender - that is a decision for the country that they have just entered.
Red hal: Someone's life choice doesn't irk me. It is not my place to say what someone can or can't have sliced off or implanted. I couldn't care less. However, legal documentation does not exist to flatter someone's psyche nor to make them feel happy or good about themselves. It exists (in theory, at least), to reflect real, verifiable facts.
Looking at my passport, there is a piece of information "Place of birth". Should I be allowed to change this to somewhere I feel better reflects my lifestyle now?
On documentation that requires my eye colour, should I put in my genetically pre-determined eye colour or the colour of my contact lenses?
I am shorter and heavier than I would like to be. Should I start telling people I'm 6'6" and built like The Rock? I am a tall buff guy in a less tall fat guy's body.
Human rights violations being attributed to the accurate recording of key information appears to be a common confusion nowadays!
> On documentation that requires my eye colour, should I put in my
> genetically pre-determined eye colour or the colour of my contact
Happy as I am there thanks. Once I had changed my handle to "pink-with-purple-spots eyed boy" I would find my original one listed as already in use whenever I wanted to return to my natural self again.
"There's a simple test for this. Everyone should have the right to do exactly as they wish, in complete freedom, until the moment that freedom impinges on someone else's rights."
Maybe not as simple as you first think.
Men have the right to use men's toilets -- where there won't be women watching. Men do not have the right to use women's toilets, because that impinges on women's rights not to be seen by men when they go to the loo.
If someone's self-gender-identity does not match another person's external understanding of the other person's gender, then one or both will have their right to single-gender toilets impinged upon. The same argument applies for single-sex dorms, saunas and health clubs.
In particular, we have the question of Islam to take into account. The privacy of the woman's form is very important to people from Islamic countries. Whether this is for religious or cultural reasons isn't relevant -- most western society has accepted this as a reasonable preference and we have acted to accommodate it.
Would Muslims accept an individual's right to self-identification of gender? Would they be happy with a fully male->female transgendered person sharing the swimming pool on women-only evening? Probably not. Would they be happy with someone who still had the original male genitalia attached? Definitely not.
So while theoretically self-identification of gender is a matter for the individual, in reality the infrastructure of human society makes gender a public, collective issue.
No simple tests, and no easy answers, I'm afraid.
"So, why not maintain the definition of gender as being that with which you are born, regardless of chromosome disorders or sex change ops?"
What if "that with which you are born" just happens to be a chromosome disorder? They do tend to happen in utero.
To date, attempts to perform gender assignment on a child of indeterminate gender have a success rate of 50% -- pure random chance. Doctors are starting to get better at spotting the intersex disorders early, but there currently is no way of knowing how best to treat the child. Any surgical intervention makes it more difficult to treat the individual post-puberty when the hormonal gender starts to become apparent, but not intervening leaves the child open to taunts and bullying for looking different in the changing rooms or in a swimming costume.
Any rational, compassionate person has to accept the existence of intersex disorders and appreciate the difficulty in treating them.
Only then can you start to ask whether someone with no physical symptoms of hormonal or chromosomal disorders should receive the same (irreversible treatment) as someone with a diagnosed disorder. That is a *very* different question, and one that is increasingly being ignored. All too often, the existence of the diagnosable disorders is used as justification for intervention in an undiagnosed case. It is considered un-PC to question the relevance of one to the other. Why?
I don't think the judge has gone far enough.
If breasts are required for transgenderd women, perhaps the time has come in France to mandate a minimal breast size for all women below age sixty. I would suggest a C-cup at least. I am sure French universities could, in a few years, develop out a pharmaceutical which when given to adolescent girls would promote "development", to everyone's delight, no doubt.
BTW,where's the IT angle?
Strangely enough...well, there probably isn't much of one to THIS story...but i would be interested in more general feedback since a) i am currently writing a fairly serious paper on the implications of identity change (name, title, gender) and b) i have a fairly strong suspicion that many current systems are not built to withstand this sort of messing around with.
Two reasons, really: first, that some fields/variables tend to be regarded as either fairly invariant - or almost always precursors of other fields. Specifically, the link between gender and title: but there are other links in there too. Also, few systems have audit trail capacity for issues of identity.
I was told recently by one public organisation that, in order to prevent fraud, they required documentation prior to changing some details on their system. OK. that's not actually logical, but we'll give them that.
However, it turns out they are then NOT storing any copy of the original physical documentation, over-writing old details with new and - if they're lucky - some data entry person will note the change in the comments field. Secure? I think not.
This piece was about gender identity...the above paper looks both at gender and the issue post-marriage/divorce.
I think these issues are going to be much more important to systems designers over the next few years for a number of reasons. First, the marriage/divorce issue will always be there. Second, the number identified as transgender in the UK has been multiplied by ten over the last decade. Two Home Office reports, approx. ten years apart, have dramatically uprated the numbers likely to be involved.
A couple of other straws in the wind: a number of jurisdictions - including the EU and Australia, not to mention many US State legislatures - are now well on the way to recognising gender as a matter of self-identity rather than biological fact. You may like or dislike that policy. What cannot be argued against is that over the last few years, almost every major western legislature has started to implement it.
Last but by no means least, and here my antennae could be twitching in error: from covering the various alternative scenes in the UK and to a lesser extent in Europe and elsewhere i am encountering an increasing tendency to reject conventional labels. Non-gender as political statement seems to be on the rise... even on the part of those who are firmly wedded to their male or female tackle.
So...not...there wasn't much of an IT angle in the article: but i suspect it is coming...and will require a rethinking of how some systems get linked together.
I'm not sure how this fits with you forthconing paper, but when I did a MA a few years ago, one seminar was about this subject. I'm not sure whether we (as a group) came up with something new, but we decided that there are actually two separate issues - sex and gender. A person's sex is what her/his chromosomes say; i.e it is purely physical at the genetic level. This deals with most people, and though there are some rare conditions where it may be a little more difficult, a little bit of common sense would deal with it. Sex cannot be changed (at least, not yet!), and regardless of what you do, those chromosomes are going to be there.
Gender, on the other hand, is the what the person actually expresses in their behaviour etc, and to that end it is a matter of choice as to what the person states. It includes male & female heterosexuals, male and female homosexuals, transvestites, asexuals ... and so on. It does make it difficult to come up with a word for people changing their physical appearance (as said above, you can't change sex, so transsexual is meaningless, and transgender makes no sense when it is a matter of choice what one defines as ones gender), but whatever the word (I suppose transmorphic would be correct, but sounds awful!) it is clearly covered by the self-identity issue. At the bottom of this, since it is a matter of personal identity, there are no tests that should be applied unless it is being done to perpetrate a fraud in some way - a person is what s/he says s/he is, and the French court is totally wrong here, and showing a disgraceful prejudice.
Who knows? If you want to get REAL up tight and legal about it, ask for the count of the number of X chromosomes. That usually works around birth. Later on in life it seems up to the person involved.
Another test: To what do you count to when naked? 21: Male, others Female.
This is silly (and I'm probably being more so!).
IANACT (i am not a chemistry teacher) but, trans-isomers and cis-isomers are now officially referred to as 'Z' and 'E' isomers, because the Latin prefixes have now been 'claimed' by various LGBT/feminist organisations. (Presumably 2000-year old texts will now have to be modified to remove reference to 'Cisalpine' and 'Transalpine' Gaul.) It's not just political correctness gone mad, it's gone totally freakin' batsh!t !!
(Which makes me think - if people who *want* to (or, do) change their gender are known as trannies, does that make everyone else cissies ? And is there any significance that the local French court was in Nancy ???)
I did do chemistry to A-level so I know all about cis and trans isomers by these names. Calling trans the Z form (I preseume it's that way round) sorta makes sence, but E for the cis doesn't seem to go - the shape would actually be more like (as a book I read long ago put it) the letter E with the middle stroke missing.
Why not maleoids and fumaroids, after maleic and fumaric acids, presented in organic chemistry textbooks as the classic example of this form of isomerism? No good, the PC brigade wouldn't like the look of maleoids despite the word being ultimately derived from the Latin for 'apple'. (No, even worse, a different sort of PC brigade would then be campaigning against the name.)
Certainly there is a precedent for the abolition of cis and trans as prefixes - didn't South Africa abolish Ciskei and Transkei at some point in the recent past?
You do, of course, realise that the ECHR have absolutely nothing to do with the EU, don't you? The ECHR is a body of the Council of Europe, which predates by several years the first tentative steps towards the EU. This is a common misconception, and you are not the first one to confuse the two (trying to teach it to law students, who have rarely had any decent history taught to them in their lives, is fascinating, and always good for a downmark in the exams!)
Without some kind of permanent (only reversible by surgery) change taking place then I don't see that a person has changed sex. According to what this male seems to want people should just be able to change the sex recorded on their identification any time they feel -- taking this to its logical conclusion that would mean many people should be able to change their ID from one sex to another just for the weekend, or the night, depending on their lifestyle. Or, for example, leave one country as a man and enter another as a woman.
Be whomever you want to be -- but I'm afraid you are not a man unless you have male sexual organs and you are not a woman without female ones or, at least, a close enough approximation that someone seeing you naked would take you for that sex.
Think of the advantages though... I'll become a woman to get my cheap car insurance, then change back to a man before attempting a parallel park manoeuvre.
I'll then become a woman prior to any divorce proceedings my partner brings against me for unreasonable behaviour the first time Aunt Irma comes to visit me. That way I'll get a fair trial.
"I thought you said you were born in Iran!!!"
How very Daily Mail of you.
If it's too complicated to pigeonhole, why do you want to fix that by pigeonholing people into one of two boxes at birth?
Roll your argument back 50 years and you'd be arguing "save the confusion henry, I don't care if you fancy blokes, you were born a man so just marry a woman and be done with it". I don't that would fly these days, do you?
If you say that someone is either male or female, and that's that, then you are pigeonholing.
My point is that if you feel the lines of gender are indefinable, then you don't feel that being slotted into male or female is workable, or you don't feel it is important.
Legal gender does not serve to flatter, it serves to define you in a legal sense.
What someone does is up to them, however changing a legal definition of a key biological attribute to satisfy the desires of a very very very small portion of society is ridiculous.
It's nothing like your "save the confusion" idea. Do you understand the difference between gender and sexual orientation? Does your birth certificate or passport have a box for "sexual orientation"? I find your remarks are confusing. Please save the confusion, henry.
XY for male
XX for female
... chromosomes, that is. The simplest damned definition in the world provided by mother nature *who presumably would have XX
I vote for labelling gender-assigned toilet facilities with an X or a Y too, so the sexually confused have a simpler reference than 'man or woman'. After all, how many XX women want some XY person wandering into the ladies' loo regardless of if they look like a female ?
'regardless of if they look like a female ?'
Really, if someone is presenting as female, and is lucky enough that she looks female who is going to tell?
What about XXY (or should those individuals get their own lavatory?)
Whilst I appriciate that most of you here can't seem to get your male brains past the 'going into a womens loo, hehehehe' schoolboy threashold (and as nerds are happy to have someone lower on the pecking order than yourselves when it comes to someone to pick on) think about this logically. A woman would like the right to be treated as a woman. Not to switch on a daily basis, not to skip country, and not for something kinky (there is a difference between sex and gender you know), but to be who she is.
In doing this she is hurting who exactly? And if she is hurting no-one then why get so riled by it?
quoted from Life Of Brian ...
Judith: [on Stan's desire to be a mother] Here! I've got an idea: Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb - which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans' - but that he can have the *right* to have babies.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother... sister, sorry.
Reg: What's the *point*?
Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.
and have to say, she looks more like a crossdresser then an actual woman, but then.... I already know that from the article. Have I met her for the first-time, I might have thought that she is just a flat chest, not so pretty lady. (note: this is my personal and very biased opinion.)
for those who believe that she is just trying to change her gender in the official documents for the fun of it (example from above, changing the gender for the weekend), then please keep in mind that she is in the *COURT*.
now... did she cut the ... err.. male equipment? if yes, then change the gender, if not, then I can see why the court might have a problem, they will legally allow a fully equipped man into women only locations (such as changing rooms).
I kinda expected this story would bring out the uninformed in their droves.
Wouldn't life be perfect if we were all born with either a manly set of XY chromosomes, a brain with gender dimorphic regions in male mode and fully functional bloke private parts. Or a cute little set of XX chromosomes, a lovely gender dimorphic female brain full of pretty flowers and such and a pretty set of girl parts.
Trouble is, life's not like that. It's like a fruit machine, you put your sixpence in and it's a total gamble what you get out. Mostly you get the two above, but for some of us you get a mixture from the above two parts bins. XXY, XXXY, mosaic, XY androgen insensitive, bloke with girl brain, girl with bloke brain, the variations are numerous and surprisingly common. Look around you, you almost certainly know someone who's gender variant, even if you don't know it.
Would you know if the woman standing next to you was XXXY or XY androgen insensitive? No. Not even most doctors could tell from the outside. Hell, she probably won't know herself until puberty or she finds herself to be infertile. If you're a heterosexual bloke you'd probably fancy her rotten. But in G E's little world she'd have to use the gents. Nice.
And we get some of the tired old comments about genitals defining gender. From the obsession some people have with genitals you'd think their interest went beyond the scientific. If this isn't TMI, a pre-op transsexual on hormones may have such equipment but the hormones ensure that it's about as functional as an analogue cellphone, it's still there but the supporting infrastructure has departed. She's more harmless in the ladies loo than most genetic girls, sorry to disappoint.
So all I would like to say to Adam 10 and Cameron Colley is this: be *very* glad that you have not been touched by the wild and crazy hand of gender variance. Trust me on this one, it's a royal PITA. Or maybe you have and are deep in the closet and denying it to all and sundry. Come on out sisters, it's OK to be trans nowadays!
To the people going "if he's still got his meat n two veg he's a bloke" Im going to ask this.
Taking hormones makes your breasts grow a LOT earlier than you are accepted for realignment surgery. So extrapolating that if you see someone who's got a fine pair of breasts as a result of the hormone therapy standing next to you in the toilet trough having a pee, thats ok? You want them to have to stay in the male bogs till its chopped off even though hormone has made the penis completely unusable by that point anyway? so when they start to dress in womens clothing which they have to do (have lived as a woman for x months) before theyre allowed to even consider reassignment surgery how's that supposed to work then?
Theres a cross over point that someone has gone beyond long before they have their bits chopped off and the french court is just uncomfortable with that fact. Maybe they think itll make them less of a man to admit that a few drugs per day can switcharoo you round inside. Theres certainly no small amount of macho posturing goes on in france amongst the male population as sensitive as they like to portray themselves.
The eu ruled it was when the hormone therapy was underway, and the nantes court have taken onto itself to try and measure the output from this in what they see as a quantifiable (but laughable and wrong) way. Its sort of exactly what you'd expect a crusty old bunch of judges to come up with from their lofty but clueless of the real world position.
That individual has already gone well beyond the point of no return when they have outed themselves to their friends and family and started taking those drugs knowing it was about to become obvious to the world because of physical changes, no small undertaking. I think if they've got the nerve to get to that stage and risk impacting every single aspect of their life negatively, its not a huge ask to get the french court to actually take on board the eu ruling on the spirit of the ruling as it was written.
Im not trans, have no desire to be but have worked with a couple including one who outed himself then eventually ended up surgically reassigned, and to me I say what harm are they doing? they just want to be free to be who they feel like inside which hurts exactly nobody else except the ignorant, stupid and the insecure. And thats hardly their fault is it???
HRT will cause your penis to shrink, testicles to shrink and grow boobs . All of which irreversible . Bye they way most doctors will recommend that you be on HRT for 5 years before doingaboob job.
@g e you can be XY and do to lack testosterone (DHT) the child can develop as female. Would you call that child a man ?
Given the evident purpose of such comic book titles as Power Girl, Danger Girl, and Tarot, is there going to be a minimum standard that women in comic books have to look like that, unless the publisher can prove no intent of titillation?
It would seem that reducing the frequency of unrealistic D-cups would be the more decent direction... and, of course, the suggestion that a woman of modest endowments in that area can only be attractive to a pedophile is disturbing.
On the other hand, it is ironic that one has to be 18 to act in hard-core pornography, and 21 to buy it in the United States (but perhaps not in the same jurisdictions).
Sunny weather + Engeeerlaannd football thing = Men with "breasts" larger than c-cups and , wobbling their fat, tatooed guts for all to see, in some kind of mating ritual (preceeded by 15 pints of lager and suceeded by the chants of "I lurve you, I do, I f**king lurve you, your my bestest mate you are"
So 10% of male population (rising proportionatly with the increase in the number of Sun sponsered St george flags) cannot be descibed as either male nor human.
One can not change gender at all. If one has a mismatch between what ones genes say and how one feels, the best one can do is mimic the opposite gender in the hope it'll satisfy. I don't see how breast size can make any difference. Unless one intends to claim that all small breasted women are men in disguise.
Don't treat men as men, don't treat women as women: treat people as people and stop worrying about what's between their legs. What is between my legs is the business of myself and anybody who finds themselves there, nobody else has any need to know.
I find it quite clarifying to satirise the concern many people have over genitals by comparing it to belly buttons: you have innies, outies and all sorts in between (I think - I've not looked extensively), yet it seems strange to allow your behaviour to be determined by somebody's belly button.
It seems reasonable to assume that people reading this website are somewhat computer-literate, yet I find it upsetting that so many will post an ignorant, "penis=male" response when spending thirty seconds with their search engine of choice would clearly and easily show that they are wrong.
Back in the early 80s a friend on mine had a transgender (M->F) colleague, when they tried to go into the women's loos at work the other women there, particularly the significant number of lesbians, would not accept it and threaten to go on strike. The management ended up building a 3rd toilet so they had Male, Female and an unlabelled one. But this compromise limited the places where she could work.
When I started working for a major IT company in the late 80s there was another transgender (M->F) worker there. She was fairly far advanced along the process and would have passed the Nancy test, but she always used to disabled toilets to avoid causing distress to anyone else at the place.
There are plenty of other places where not only your gender definition of yourself but others choice of how to define you are significant. The other people around you have rights too.
All public toilets have cubicles with doors on them, whether a male or female symbol is on the door. In my life, I have been in a male toilet where a couple of women have come in and used the cubicles because the queue for the female toilet was too long (being very polite about it, I have to say). However, I have been in female toilets by accident (once not feeling well and bolted for the nearest door, and once abroad where I didn't know the word for male), and didn't need to be apologetic at all - once the mistake was noticed, simply stayed in the cubicle until no-one else was around. Women's toilets are, essentially, the better option in terms of privacy, and it makes no sense for anyone to say that there is a tangible difference between users.
As Ms Bee notes above, some places are adopting gender-neutral toilets. I wonder if there are women that won't use them because a man might be in there too. (My only complaint is that I have to queue for hours to have a pee too!)
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