I am currently exhausted by the number of articles floating around out there on the Internet by MtFs who claim that some mysterious, unproven chemical anomaly has definitely occurred in their brains that makes them women.
They usually produce some laundry list of random studies that indicate things like female babies look at faces more than male babies do, that women have larger prefrontal cortexes, that certain hormone washes in utero feminize the fetus brain, et cetera. I’m not going to link these articles because their intents, observations and conclusions have nothing to do with transgenderism one way or the other and none of their authors ever claimed they did.
Often, the rebuttal to these arguments is that studies about brain differences fail to account for nurture versus nature and are inconclusive. And that’s true, and worth pointing out. But I think it misses the point a bit. Because even if these studies were inarguably true (and that’s a big “if”), that wouldn’t make a man a woman.
Let’s take a look at some of the giant leaps of logic that are happening when a MtF uses these studies as evidence that he is a woman.
- That he, himself, is a person for whom these “brain differences” apply. That he looked at faces more when he was a baby. That he has a larger prefrontal cortex. That he knows the exact hormonal makeup of his mom’s prenatal fluid before he was born, and that it was definitely the kind of fluid proposed to feminize an infant’s brain.Guess what? These suppositions are one hundred percent invented, and I’ll bet you $100 none of them are true. They were latched onto to support a pet theory, which is inherently anti-scientific. If diagnostic tests were available to confirm or deny such physical anomalies, would the average MtF run and get them done? I doubt it, because he knows in his heart he won’t be able to count on the results. And if he did get those tests done, and the tests came out negative for “feminization”, would he abandon his assertion that he’s a woman? I doubt that too. Because it was never really about evidence, was it?
- That a male who looked at faces when he was a baby, or has a large prefrontal cortex, or who was awash in a particular hormone bath at conception, is anything but an outlier.If a study happens to prove that female babies look at faces more often than male babies do, it means just that. Females do it more often. Males do it less often. Not that males who do it are females.
Sickle-cell anemia is more common in African Americans. However, if a white person turns up with it, that doesn’t mean he’s really black. Hemophilia is more common in males, but if a female has it, that doesn’t mean she’s really male. The early twenties are the most common age to develop schizophrenia, but if an older person gets it, that doesn’t mean he just defied physics and shaved twenty years off his age.
Sometimes males look at faces a lot.
- That deviating from the average in regards to sex differences, assuming someone does, justifies his being treated as the other sex.Let’s just suppose for a moment that you were born male and you have a really large prefrontal cortex. That prefrontal cortex of yours will not cause you to need a tampon or to need to sit down to pee; thus there’s no reason, logistically, why you need to use a women’s restroom.
You don’t belong in the women’s restroom for safety reasons, either, as you have more in common with those you purport to hide from than those you identify with. Your early face-watching propensities, if they existed, did not prevent you from being socialized male, from going through male puberty, and from having a penis. Men commit 90% of the world’s violent crime and 98% of its sexual crime, and neither your sex-atypical characteristics nor even your eventual transition, if it occurs, causes you to statistically deviate from that pattern. So we need protection from you in women’s shelters and prisons and restrooms at least as much as we need protection from other men.
Your hormone wash didn’t prevent you from being 15% larger than we are, from having different metabolism and bone density and hip shape, and from being capable of crushing us in sports. So you don’t belong on female sports teams.
The fact is, we both agree on what you are. The only thing we disagree on is what’s the appropriate word for your condition.
We both know that you’re a person who was born with a penis who now holds some brain state or other that makes you wish you’d been born with a vagina.
You believe the appropriate word for that condition is “woman,” and you have one reason: you believe your human rights include others’ recognizing the supremacy of your brain state over your physicality. This is literally your only reason; you’ll label any other proposed criteria as harmful “gatekeeping.” Your reason is ideological, not physical, so reference to sex difference studies is disingenuous.
I believe the appropriate word for that condition is “man” (dysphoric man, sure). While I’d also like to protect my human rights, they don’t motivate my definition. My definition has been used for centuries and is still used in the entire rest of the animal kingdom, further suggesting that the change in the definition of “woman” was motivated by political ideology and not reality or science. A man is an adult male, a person with XY chromosomes, a person born with the reproductive organs that produce sperm.
But even if we got more esoteric, there would be hundreds of additional reasons to categorize you as a man.
Why do you suppose that only around 3% of the born-female population is lesbian, while well over half of MtFs prefer women? Because your sexual orientation is typical for a male.
While (natal) lesbians have the lowest HIV rate, MtFs have the highest. That’s due to a male-on-male transmission risk.
You don’t need hormonal birth control. You can’t get pregnant. You don’t menstruate. You’ll never consider getting an abortion. You’ll never need a pap smear (even if you’re post-op). You won’t bear a child and you likely won’t nurse a baby, although the latter is theoretically possible for men. Your risks include (or used to include) scrotal and prostrate cancer. It bears noting that we’re jumping through an awful lot of hoops to preserve our illusion that expectant mothers are “pregnant people” and “uterus bearers” instead of women. What is language for, if not to speak of categories in a way that makes sense and that describes how they actually affect our lives, instead of in a way that’s tortured?
Talk of the “cotton ceiling” and “misgendering” is cringeworthy, but telling. Why do you suppose people are having such a hard time accepting you as women? Could the roadblocks to complete acceptance stem from reality instead of bigotry? Does it matter at all that people don’t think of you as women, but are having to work at pretending they do? Does this suggest an underlying reality with maleness and femaleness that becomes exhausting to hide? That prevails, despite the best efforts of so many to be politically correct?
For most of you, your height is male. Your weight is male. Your shoulders and hips and hands and adam’s apples are male. We can certainly perform the required mental gymnastics to admit that some women are shaped differently from others and pretend that that’s why a given MtF looks like a man. But mental gymnastics they will be. When it’s time to cross to the other side of the street while walking home late at night, we can tell. And it’s important to our safety that we can tell, and it always has been. And we’re telling ourselves and often each other the truth about why we’re crossing the street, even if you’ve bullied us into not admitting it to you. Because we still have to maneuver our lives and get our business done and that includes facing the many implications of maleness and femaleness. We still have to do this, despite an attempted redefinition of what sexual orientation is, despite laws coercing actions around restrooms and pronouns, despite make-up and clothing and affectations.
We’re surprised when we read stories about “women” who break into houses and ejaculate in underwear drawers, molest children or murder their spouses. Then, when we learn the perpetrators were born male, we’re not surprised anymore. Because the words “woman” and “man” mean something.
And it’s important to the healthy development of our young female children that they get the opportunity to compete in sports and win games and earn scholarships without being outcompeted by men for all the usual reasons women are outcompeted by men.
And it’s important for the healing of women abused by men to have a respite from men.
I could go on forever about the ways in which it makes sense to recognize the existence of men. Or I could just point out that people of every kind already recognize men quite well every moment of every day, and already evaluate and respond to them accordingly, because we have to, because it makes sense to, because it’s nothing more than tortured pretense to do otherwise.