The following is commentary intended for discussion. Add your comments.
If you're confused about the controversies, policies, and insistences surrounding gender-- I think it's with good reason.
Let me start by saying that I personally advocate for fair, kind and equal treatment for all (excluding, of course, evil, hateful, criminal behavior, etc.). As I've traveled the world, I've discovered America is better at this than most any other place I know.
To step back for a minute, when I grew up decades ago, I was the generation that knew women could do and be most anything! We were already doctors, prime ministers and other world leaders, astronauts, pop stars, engineers, math champs, you name it. (Well, there was one thing we couldn't be, at the time: a man.)
So it surprised me and left me a bit confused when I began hearing many women, in the past decade or so, talk about all the discrimination that supposedly exists against women today. I began hearing women telling their daughters how the world is holding them back. I watch and listen to young women who record videos today and talk about wanting to 'prove to their daughters that they can do anything, even be a doctor!'
Weird, because we knew that 50 years ago.
What, or who, is making women today feel as though none of that ever happened? What or who is teaching them that things are like they were before they became like they became in the 70s?
Here's another confusing thing. Part of the stated goal by some (way-back-when) was for women to be seen as the same as men, for the purposes of capabilities. In other words: don't 'see' her gender.
There was even an academic school of thought that the only difference between girls and boys is the way we raise them. If we raised them the same, went the theory, there would basically be no behavioral or capability differences. In other words, give toy trucks to girls and dolls to boys and you can make a girl just like a boy or a boy just like a girl. It's all in the environment, we were told.
But at the same time, some of the same people also advocated celebrating women solely for their gender... the 'first woman' this, or the 'first women' that.
Which is it? Are we to be blind to a person's gender, or are we to be keenly aware of, and make decisions based on, her gender?
Adding to the confusion are transgender trends. We are to accept people for whomever they are (which I agree with, to the extent we're not talking about killers, criminals, self-harming, etc.); but some of the people we are to accept are unaccepting of themselves-- seeking to make radical life changes to align their biological sex with what they think they ought to be. They are males who believe they feel like what they imagine a woman must feel like, or women who believe they feel what they imagine a man must feel like. But weren't we told there was no real difference between the genders, beyond social construct?
And I'm not advocating for this but asking the question: if a male believes he feels like a woman, why isn't he simply a male with certain feelings within a range of feelings... rather than someone who feels so compelled to have others think of him as a woman that he will have radical elective surgery and medical treatments that, until not long ago, were considered mutilation and possibly abuse?
Also, some activists have long insisted people stay out of each other's bedrooms (i.e. not care about who they sleep with). Today, there seems to be pretty widespread agreement on that point. But now, some, instead, want to invite everyone into their bedrooms and be celebrated for their sexual behavior-- but only if it's not the behavior of the majority. The majority are not to speak of being proud of the way they are. That would be hateful.
Which is it? Are we to not care about people's bedroom lives, or are we to celebrate certain sexual behavior? Isn't that, in a way, singling out people rather than accepting them as 'the same'?
Is gender utterly unimportant... or so important that, today, 'misgendering' a man who feels like a woman or vice versa is a crime punishable by banishment from some social media, friendships and jobs?
Lastly, the discussion has grown so loud and, at times, heated, are we failing to ask important big questions? If so many people are truly confused about their gender, or mismatched to their birth gender, what has caused this trend inside of a generation? Scientists teach us that such quick shifts are not due to genetic causes, but something in the environment (i.e. air, water, food, medicine, pollutants, radiation, pesticides, poisons...) So what thing or combination of things are we doing that could be causing this?
Are some of the forces that are pushing people to changes their biological sex, and bullying those who differ on the approach, part of industries that could be responsible for some of the exposures causing the unusual trends? Could the vitriol and division be stoked by these interests as a diversion so we dare not ask the hard questions about causation?
What do you think?