Identification papers

The following quote is the opening to chapter 8 of Transgender Warriors by Leslie Feinberg:

“When I say I am a gender outlaw in modern society, it’s not rhetoric. I have been dragged out of bars by police who claimed I broke the law when I dressed myself that evening. I’ve heard the rap of a cop’s club on the stall door when I’ve used a public women’s toilet. And then there’s the question of my identity papers.

My driver’s license reads Male. The application form only offered me two choices: M or F. In this society, where women are assumed to be feminine and men are assumed to be masculine, my sex and gender expression appear to be at odds. But the very fact that I could be issued a license as a male demonstrates that many strangers “read me” as a man, rather than a masculine woman.

In almost thirty years of driving I’ve heard the whine of police sirens behind my car on only three occasions. But each time, a trooper sauntered up to my car window and demanded, “Your license and registration–sir.” Imagine the nightmare I’d face if I handed the trooper a license that says I am female. The alleged traffic infraction should be the issue, not my genitals. I shouldn’t have to prove my sex to any police officer who has stopped me for a moving violation, and my body should not be the focus of investigation. But in order to avoid these dangers, I broke the law when I filled out my driver’s license application. As a result, I could face a fine, a suspension of my license, and up to six months in jail merely for having put an M in the box marked sex (p.61).”

I feel sympathy for anyone in this situation. Feinberg was born a masculine girl, and was already passing as a man even before making any body modifications. After taking hormones and having top surgery she consistently passed as male. What to do about identification papers then?

I agree that when you are stopped for a traffic violation, the police officer should be concerned about your driving and not about your genitals. I think the primary issue here is the lack of understanding that not all men or women look the way we expect men or women to look, and I think that people need to be educated that some people look different and this is okay. However, I don’t think we should completely erase the reality of biological sex either—we should just be chill about the fact that someone’s presentation might not “match” their sex the way we expect it to. There are some situations in which it’s important to correctly identify someone’s sex—the most obvious example is in a medical situation—and I don’t think we need to pretend that biological sex literally doesn’t exist or is completely meaningless in order to keep someone safe. It’s better to acknowledge that sex and gender both exist, are both relevant, and can coexist in any combination, and that no one should suffer discrimination because of a physical difference.

I don’t agree with changing the sex designation on birth certificates. A birth certificate is a legal and historical document showing who was born and where. To change the historical record of your birth is fraudulent. However I see no reason why we need to have M or F on a driver’s license. We do this for identification purposes, but as long as there is other identification information on a driver’s license then they are still useful for that purpse. They tend to record height, date of birth, and eye colour, and they tend to have photos, and all that information should be enough to identify a person. I therefore agree with Feinberg that sex designation should be removed from driver’s licenses in order for gender ambiguous people to be safe in everyday situations.

I agree with Feinberg way more often that I agree with the current trans movement and that’s because she was way more likely to live in reality and talk about problems that really are problems. I agree with Feinberg on quite a lot of things, in fact. (It helps that we are both lesbian communists 😉 ).

Here is a modern situation where a transgender person was stopped for a driving infraction and I’m not on his side. Please do click on the link and watch the video provided.

Shelby Kendall is a late-in-life MtF transitioner who looks and sounds entirely male. He is absolutely nowhere near passing as female. He has a man’s body structure, male-pattern baldness, and a male-sounding voice. I don’t think anyone would ever guess he identifies as a “woman” until he told them so. When a police officer pulled him over for reckless driving (he appeared to be drag racing another vehicle), the officer correctly identified Kendall’s sex as male. The F mark on Kendall’s driver’s license seemed to him to be a mistake.

In our society where men are socialized to be aggressive and competitive, there are more men than women who drive recklessly and speed. That’s why insurance companies often charge men more for their insurance—they are statistically more likely to get in an accident. I’m not saying that reckless driving is a male trait—only that it is a part of the masculinity that men are socialized into. But here is another example of a MtF transitioner, (and there are so many of these examples,) where he displays typically masculine behavior while simultaneously claiming to have a “woman’s brain,” leading onlookers to call bullshit.

Anyway, the police officer is now in trouble for literally doing his job correctly, because Kendall has the legal right to have his nonsensical identity validated by police officers even while he is breaking the law. This is outrageous and stupid. Kendall was in no danger from the police officer correctly identifying him as male, since he is male and looks male. Having your subjective internal feelings validated by a police officer who is writing you a ticket for a driving infraction is not a reasonable expectation to have and it’s not something anyone can expect.

I agree that people whose presentation appears ambiguous or opposite of what is expected should be able to be safe, but I do not agree that people should be able to force everyone around them to pretend they appear in a way that they don’t. Nor do I agree that government documents should be falsified in order to validate people’s subjective identities. Entirely removing the sex designation from driver’s licenses would be a reasonable accommodation because it doesn’t involve lying, but putting a false sex designation is not acceptable.

I hope and expect that police officers witnessing this situation will be outraged about it. They should have nothing to fear from doing their jobs correctly. However, here’s what really worries me. The outrageous expectations that current trans activists have about the extent to which their fantasies have to be catered to by the people around them are going to cause a huge backlash, and that backlash is not going to be nuanced and grounded in a way that balances out the rights of GNC people to be safe while also staying in line with reality. It’s going to be a crazy tsunami of right-wing backlash against the whole LGBT community and many left-wing causes like support for minorities and women’s rights.

The right-wing website Life Site News had this to say about this article:

But today’s gay agenda requires lies. Lies that sodomy is healthy and/or an expression of love. Lies that two people of the same sex can be “married.” Lies that a man is a woman, or vice versa.

The religious, anti-feminist and anti-gay right wing, which is a powerful enough group to elect Donald Trump, thinks that straight men fantasizing they are women is a part of the “gay agenda.” It most certainly is not! The trans cult have their own agenda, and it’s not even about safety for GNC people anymore, it’s about complete capitulation to delusions, and the complete outlawing of common sense. Trans activists have created a huge mess that is going to actively harm gays, lesbians, bisexuals and regular GNC folks who just want to live their lives.

Trans activists have labelled feminists as “bigots” even though we support reasonable accommodations for GNC people and even though our own agenda is to eradicate the sex stereotypes that limit men and women, and to end male violence, which would help GNC people to live safely. They are stupidly shooting down their would-be allies, and hurting us all with their madness.

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11 thoughts on “Identification papers

  1. “They are stupidly shooting down their would-be allies, and hurting us all with their madness”

    Amen to that.

    I’d get along perfectly with all those transmen, agender, bigender and nonbinary females if they didn’t insist that they aren’t women, and didn’t get aggressive when called women, treating the word for people of the female sex as slur.
    They’re so full of internalized misogyny it spills over and hits other women.

    And that causes any and all sympathy I feel for them to rapidly decrease.

    As of yet, my lack in sympathy doesn’t make a difference as I cannot distinguish between a regular gender non conforming woman and a deluded person with a gender identity, but you never know what the future brings.
    As soon as I can tell them apart, and be it by a silly “ask me about my pronouns” t-shirt, I will withdraw all female solidarity from them, in order to validate their gender identity. I expect they will be quite shocked. (So far, zero women with gender identities even realized that I treated them as women. I imagine me treating them as something else will provoke much more of a reaction. Possibly accusations of transphobia, because they really are that deluded)

    Liked by 4 people

    • 😂😂😂 Very well put! “Woman with a gender identity”. I like that. I too will withdraw any *practical* female solidarity from a woman who pretends to be a man. While continuing to hope that she will at some point drop that and come back to us.

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    • There are a few of us FTMs who don’t claim to be male and recognize we are simply uncommon women. But unfortunately, we are frequently shut down from speaking by both trans-activists and feminists. I personally never gave a fig if you view me as or treat me as a woman, as long as you give basic politeness and recognize the complexity of my situation.

      I also think that no oppression can be overcome without allies. But it’s fashionable (or something) to shit on allies right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent! This is one of your best yet. Good analysis.

    Cops should be taught that there are different kinds of people in the world, some look very different from what you would expect. I’m pretty sure nurses are taught this. And cops need to be taught about the different kinds of people in the world including odd ones so that they know what they’re dealing with if they’re talking to somebody who is 1) deaf 2) has any of a variety of disabilities so that they can’t walk or communicate in a completely normal able-bodied way 3) people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia that make them terrified of little nothing things. There’s all kinds of stuff cops need to be taught. Being taught that there are some women who pop out of the womb and grow up to look like men is really not that hard.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I agree about identification papers, but why not birth certificates? If society removes sex markers throughout, then although name changes will still pose problems, gender markers on identification documents wouldn’t out people and wouldn’t be an extra hurdle for people exploring, transitioning, or detransitioning.

    Do you see other issues where gender-critical and trans people ought to come down on the same side?

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    • I think it’s necessary to record biological sex in some cases for the purpose of statistics and research. Male and female bodies have distinct medical needs and we have different rates of criminality and violence. This is something we need to know for many social reasons. In regards to your second question, I think there are lots of ways in which feminists and the trans community should theoretically be on the same side, but there is very little desire to dialogue among both groups. Internet culture is helping to create a situation where everybody “loves to hate” the people on the other side instead of listening to them and finding common ground. I have a lot on my plate right now but eventually I’m going to talk about some of the things that Leslie Feinberg writes about that I agree with.

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  4. I completely agree with it being wrong to falsify documents (especially when it says “male” and “female,” which explicitly refer to biological sex), though I would also be in favor of Intersex being an option, especially on birth certificates. I wouldn’t be in favor of removing sex from driver’s licenses though, because sometimes in a medical emergency a driver’s license is all EMTs and hospitals have to go on. What if a gender-ambiguous woman were pregnant, and they assumed she was male and gave her a drug that harmed her pregnancy? I’d much rather have my sex identified on a driver’s license than to have it assumed, or to have to be physically checked out by hospital staff before they carried out a treatment in an emergency.

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