The Authority of Words

With the recent removal of ‘protection for transgender youth’ from Title XI, I decided to have a look at the document and see what it was about.  The crux of the issue is the following:

Title IX – Wikipedia:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

This particular piece covers things like enrollment, admissions, athletics, counseling, financial assistance, harassment / violence, discipline, single-sex education, employment, retaliation, and pregnant / parenting students.  Nowhere in the document does it cover toilet facilities.  And nowhere in the document does it include gender-identity.  As this was written in the 1970’s and the transgender movement actually really took off in the 1990’s, it appears this wasn’t even a concept for the Department of Education although transgender existed long before this piece was written and appears in numerous documents, mostly psychological as you’d imagine.

This document doesn’t even provide an inclusive definition for sex as it’s used.  So I decided to consult the great and powerful bibles of words:  Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster.  Here’s what I found:

definition of sex in English | Oxford Dictionaries

Either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.

Sex | Definition of Sex by Merriam-Webster

either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures

sex Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary 

the state of being either male or female

Fair take, these are the apparent authorities of words which we use every day, plainly stating that animals fall in these two categories.  This would probably upset a good majority of genus and species who are, in fact, asexual.  There’s also the curious quandry of the hermaphrodites;  do they check both boxes?  pick the best out of two?

So I broadened the scope and decided to see what medical dictionaries say, just to get the physician’s take on the score.  Thus follows:

Sex | definition of sex by Medical dictionary

the fundamental distinction, found in most species of animals and plants, based on the type of gametes produced by the individual; also the category to which the individual fits on the basis of that criterion. Called also gender

The biologic character or quality that distinguishes male and female from one another as expressed by analysis of the person’s gonadal, morphologic and chromosomal, and hormonal characteristics. Compare: gender

a distinctive character of most animals and plants, based the type gametes produced the gonads, ova (macrogametes) being typical of the female, and spermatozoa (microgametes) of the male, or the category in which the individual is placed on such basis.

Sex – Medical Definition from MediLexicon

The biologic character or quality that distinguishes male and female from one another as expressed by analysis of the person’s gonadal, morphologic (internal and external), chromosomal, and hormonal characteristics

Based upon these definitions, it would be hard for a legislator to include transgender because these definitions are biological,  not psychological or social, which is the distinction between transsexual (biological, those who seek / make the transition) and transgender (psychological, social, the internal gender disposition / predisposition).

So who exactly is going to amend this piece of legislation?   I’d be pretty scared of some cabal of morons, erm, experts who decide who is or isn’t what is or isn’t.  Let’s face it, most of those in positions of power are so distantly removed from the general population, they couldn’t have their finger on the pulse of the people if they flew down from their towers to face us.  The human race is becoming so incredibly fluid at this point that it’s becoming harder and harder to define what anything is anymore.  Not that I think society will stick with any hard and fast definition for anything at all.  There’s always exceptions.  Have the exceptions become the rule now though?

Within the past 10 years look at all the words which have been created to cover the wide spectrum of sub-cultures out there.  Seeing as how I don’t fit into most categories, they can’t even find one for me!

I do know this:  I’m absolutely certainly male, and have the most amazing man in my life, so that puts me in the gay category.  Beyond that, I think I’m positively uncategorically weird and celebrating my existence, beyond definition, every single day.