Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bathroom Wars

Two points on the dispute over whether men who identify as women should be able to use the women's bathroom.

1.  I understood the prevailing leftist theory on gender to be that all differences between the sexes are the result of cultural conditioning. For example, boys don't like guns and cars and girls don't like playing dolls and house. Both are just conditioned to like these by society.  But it seems to me there's some real tension between saying that gender roles are artificial and learned, while simultaneously saying that when a boy identifies as a girl, it is something real that should be countenanced over actual biology.

2.  The theory that biological boys should be treated like girls again rest on the premise that the boy's feelings about his gender should trump his actual biology. Maybe we should respect those feelings. But what about the feelings of biological girls who have to share facilities with a biological boys, and feel uncomfortable about it? and what about the feelings of their parents who don't like the idea? How can we treat feelings as the ultimate truth when those feelings conflict?