Originally Posted by ITT666
So then, I am curious, what are a few examples of instances in which you think such self identifying is a potential problem?
Apologies - bank holiday weekend.
I suppose I was thinking of any circumstances where men and women are divided because of the rules of some organization or because of culture.
In the UK women can join the army but not fight on the front line.
In sport men's and women's events are kept separate.
Although they can no longer do so insurance companies used to weight men and women differently for the purposes of car insurance.
In the UK only people of the opposite gender can legally marry.
A number of jobs can legally be advertised as open to only one gender.
There are social groups, ie. swimming, reading etc. only open to one gender.
Where issues of nudity or privacy are concerned men and women are separated ie. toilets, changing rooms, hospital wards.
In my opinion some of these make sense and some don't; some I think should be changed and some I couldn't care less about. But I'm not sure that in any of these cases the opinion of the person in question as to their gender should trump everybody else's. I happen to think women should have the same right to go around killing foreigners as men do but it's going to be the army in the first instance and ultimately the courts that decide whether or not a particular soldier is a man.
To be honest, leaving aside the politics of the above examples, I don't really understand why it really matters how someone else categorizes you. Maybe it's because I am very clearly white and very clearly male that issues of the race or gender a person fits into seem largely irrelevant to me even though I understand these things can be hugely important to people who wish to or feel they ought to belong to one race or another or one gender but are deemed by others as on a blurry borderline.
I could be on the borderlines of clever and stupid, old and middle-aged, short and average height, fat and stocky and all sorts of other cusp-like places without it being some great issue what someone else's opinion happened to be and without it being an issue of my rights somehow being trampled on should they disagree with me. In fact it sounds odd to me to talk in terms of rights at all in these cases. I don't really understand why it should be different with gender. If I think I'm a woman and someone else thinks I'm not, so be it. I can't imagine that I'd feel they were breaching my right to self-identify or that rights talk would cross my mind at all.