Comments

  1. Charles Martel says

    What cracks me up is that the space provided for “Other” is huge, even though the number of “Others” is miniscule.

    Wow, the squeaky gonad gets the grease, no?

  2. says

    Reminds me of the screen from the Monty Python Movie – The Life of Brian – in which a transsexual member of the People’s Front of Judea says that he will not fight the Romans unless they include in their lists of demands HIS right to give birth to HIS own child.

    Now that was a funny movie, I just didn’t know that they were years ahead of their time.

    P.S. I’ll bet that there is a You-Tube clip of it somewhere.

  3. Zoe Brain says

    Actually yes, there is.
    Example: one student at my University. I’m Intersexed (ie born with biology neither completely male nor completely female) but I identify as female, always have, regardless of appearance. I look female too (now), the differences from the norm only apparent in gene tests, ultrasounds, and some rather unusual scars on my abdomen.
    This student I happen to know is chromosomally mainly 47XXY. Neither the usual 46XX found in most (not all) females, nor the 46XY found in most (nowhere near all) males. 1 in 300 guys don’t have 46XY chromosomes, it’s not rare.
    But chromosomes are a lousy guide to someone’s sex and gender identity. More reliable than height – men are taller than women after all – but that’s it. The point is, somatically, in body form, this student also just doesn’t fit into either an M or F box. Not chromosomally, not somatically (D cup and 5′oclock shadow). but most importantly, in gender identity. They’re not male; they’re not female, in their own mind and in their neuro-anatomy.
    Culturally, they also come from an indigenous society which recognises that some people don’t fit into the gender binary model. The last is a really good approximation, most people are easily classified as M or F, but an approximation is all it is. Some cultures recognise that, ours tends to hide it.
    The exceptions really require some explanation. Someone can be not-male, not-female, androgenous (both), neutrois (neither). Hence the text box.
    This student is androgenous, with aspects of both M and F. A friend of mine, with Swyer syndrome (46XY but otherwise female except for having streak gonads rather than ovaries) identifies as Neutrois, neither M nor F, just human.
    Both these people have relatively common Intersex conditions, and uncommon gender identities. Most Intersexed people, 9 out of 10, identify as male or female.
    But there are enough of them so that stupid computerised databases with no flexibility to deal with exceptions need to have an option for the few – perhaps 1 in 600 – who neither M nor F accurately describe when it comes to gender.
    If you were to ask about biological sex… that would be more like 1 in 60. And I’d be classed not as common old Klinefelter syndrome nor Swyer syndrome, but as a protandrous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodite. Most who get natural sex changes are protogynous – they look female at birth, then change to look male later. I’m one of the ~1% that went the other way.
    So it’s not as silly as it looks. Just rare, and upsetting to many people.
     

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