Is Transgender Just an Extreme Form of Envy?
Scott Strozier | Guest Article |The Daily Knight
Before the main point is elaborated on a distinction must be made in the definition of transgender. A delicate topic to say the least, transgender is loosely defined as:
“Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personnel identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.”
However, this definition fails to provide an accurate description of this topic. It should be understood transgender can be separated into three distinct categories: the fist are those born differently gendered. These individuals are born with various sexual disorders and can possess aspects of both genders. As this category is specifically assorted medical conditions and not involving choice of the individual it will not be discussed in this paper.
The other two categories will be the main discussion of this paper. The first of these are those who choose to identify as the opposite gender from which they were born. The third and final category are those individuals who undergo surgical modification to reassign their gender to the desired opposite. One point that should be noted in the cases of gender reassignment surgery is that the individuals who select to have this surgery will elect to go from one gender to another and do not request surgical modification to become a member of the first category of differently gendered individuals.
These individual who choose this surgical undertaking have been questioned as to their reasoning behind such a drastic change. While the wording can differ the explanation is varying forms of:
“I feel deep down that I have always been a man/woman”
A statement which bears some issues. To be taken at face value this declaration implies that at birth these individuals knew what gender they were meant to be. There are two primary faults with this line of thought.
· The implication that any individual can know exactly who they are or supposed to be. Acquiring any form of identity is a complicated process which many will spend their entire lives attempting to discover, with some arguably never finding out.
· Children do not possess a notion of gender identity. With the exception of very rare cases the minds of a majority of children are focused on more simplistic wants or needs. More often than not children are focused on learning about the world around them, what makes them sad or happy and the events that lead to these outcomes. To children, they simply are, children are told they are a boy or girl and why and the answer is accepted.
This is not an early form of brainwashing as to the child it has little meaning. As a child, being a boy or girl is just another label, no different than their own name. The title does not, and should not, change their personality but simply offers a method in which to accurately describe themselves. So to say an individual has always been aware that they are the wrong gender seems highly unlikely. Yet perhaps this statement is being taken too literally.
Perhaps what this statement implies is that when these individuals have taken a moment to reflect on their lives, they have come to the realization that they would have been better suited to a life as the opposite gender. Or, perhaps they believe in earnest that society would have been more accepting of their personality traits if they were born the opposing gender. If so, then the real question becomes, what specifically makes these individuals feel that their birth gender was wrong?
For most the answer to this question is personal comport. In feeling more at ease in the company of the opposite gender while engaging in activities typically associated with stated gender. Does this not imply that the reason these individuals believe themselves to be the wrong gender is because they enjoy pastimes correlating with their opposing gender more that those which conform to their appropriate or biological gender? Could it be possible that this gender transformation desire stems not from misgiven gender but from a desire to conform to the social norm of appropriate gender activity?
A far more relatable situation, there is no person alive who has not wanted to be socially accepted at some point in their life. There is a great deal of pressure on everyone to keep to what is considered the social norm. A system in which, if an individual does not fit into this idealized mold only offers two choices:
· To pretend to be someone they are not just to be accepted by others.
· To be themselves and accept a majority of social isolation.
Neither option is particularly ideal and, in the case of children, can be rather damaging to a person’s psyche. The end result of either choice normally being a person who feels both ostracized and abnormal. Spending the vast majority of your life hiding who you are is it any wonder that some would eventually go to extreme measures just to feel “normal?” Anyone who has ever felt even the slightest bit different could understand and sympathize with this desire.
Individuals who have reached this point should not be made to feel further ostracized, especially when all they have ever desired is acceptance from society. Acceptance for these individuals being the primary objective of the transgender movement. Among other goals, they strive to alter society’s views and behavior towards these individuals. Undeniably a commendable intent and it is not the purpose of this discussion to condemn these groups in any way shape or form. The question that is attempting to be addressed is if this group may be focusing on the wrong issue.
As previously mentioned the primary rational of gender reassignment surgery lies within the belief that an individual was born the wrong gender. The surgery is therefore meant to correct this assumed biological mishap. However, while many aspects of this surgical transformation have been explored in depth, there is one that is often overlooked… Does gender reassignment surgery actually solve the negative feelings expressed by the individual?
While extensive surgery can give someone the physical attributes of the opposite sex it does not provide the same biologically functionality. For instance:
· A man who has been surgically altered to be a woman cannot produce eggs and therefore is incapable of becoming pregnant.
· A man who has been surgically altered to be a man cannot produce sperm cells or get an erection.
· The man turned woman or woman turned man must take supplements of estrogen or testosterone respectively as their bodies do not naturally produce the required amounts.
· A man who undergoes the surgery must use a set of dilation devices in order to ensure the surgically constructed vaginal canal does not lose internal length or structural integrity.
· These represent the most common issues with gender reassignment surgery though by no means denotes all of them.
While gender reassignment surgery is both a lengthy and costly process, credit should be given to the surgeons whose work can be stated as nothing less than exceptional. Yet, there is one point that is rarely, and at times can even be considered taboo, to address. However feminine or masculine a doctor can make a man or woman, the genetic distinction, specifically the “X” and “Y” chromosome tagged onto every strand of every single person’s respective DNA is not, and cannot, be altered. Or, if preferred, no amount of surgery can genetically change an individual’s sex.
In-spite of this people who choose to undergo this risky surgical process claim to be happier because of it. Assuming this data correct, and the truthfulness of the individuals being asked, it suggests that the happiness of these individuals is quite literally skin-deep. Which, when considered, seems to undermine the very essence of the transgender movement.
At its core transgender organizations main priority is the promotion of acceptance for individuals identifying as transgender just as they are without conforming to societal demands.
Therefore doesn’t the promotion of a surgery go against the very idea of being accepted as you are? Is not surgically altering one’s body to conform to an image deemed “more acceptable” by society or the individual in direct contrast to the very definition of personal acceptance?
Perhaps these questions are irrelevant, perhaps all that really matters is the personal feelings of the individuals. Which is in no way a bad thing but does highlight a point that should be given greater deliberation. The point being that, for these individuals, it is not enough that they simply look like the opposite gender, but these individuals also demand to be treated as the opposite gender as well. A position which encompasses the primary opposition to the transgender movement. Not that these individuals wish to change their appearance to reflect the gender of their choice, not even their desire to be identified as the opposite gender.
The two primary points of opposition against transgender individuals are these:
· Transgender individuals demand to have the same rights as the gender they have transitioned too.
· Transgender individuals demand everyone else to also identify then as the opposite gender.
The prominent proclamation of the transgender movement is that everyone has the right to choose how they look and identify. Which is true, people do have the right to identify as they want, however they do not have the right to force that belief on others. The transgender movement seems to forget, or blatantly ignore, the rights of non-transgender individuals. Freedom of speech works both ways and just as a transgender has the right to identify as the opposite sex, so do others have the right not to accept that identification.
Constitutional or moral value aside this argument brings a very important fact to light, and one that needs to be asked by both participants of this debate. Why is it so important that others identify transgender people as the opposite sex?
If asked this question, those on the transgender side of the argument would offer some variation of “it’s about social acceptance.” While seemingly a good answer it possesses a large logical flaw. That being their definition of acceptance is the validation of others and not themselves. This is a very important factor, and it is one that is very often overlooked. While the acceptance of others is an important milestone, it should never be the primary goal. The single most important part of acceptance is accepting who you are in-spite of what others think.
The happiest and most content people in the world are those individuals who don’t care what anyone else thinks of them. This can be seen in children who are too young to even have the notion that they should care about the opinion of others. Now considering the transgender movement’s entire platform is about gaining rights so that people who are transgender can be happy and lead fulfilling lives, why are they insisting on the validation of others?
To expand on that further, why do transgender people require others to acknowledge their personal choice? If these individuals claim that being the opposite gender will make them happy and that identifying or surgically altering themselves will accomplish this then why do they need the affirmation of others? The reason these seemingly trivial questions should be asked goes back to the very definition of acceptance. If all transgender people wanted was to personally identify as the opposite gender there would be far less opposition.
However this is not the case as transgender individuals not only identify as the opposite sex but demand all the rights and privileges they believe accompany that gender. They demand to have what another person, in this case the opposite gender, have and by definition this is not acceptance… but envy.
Envy-A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
In anticipation of the claim being made, this does not relate to, nor suggest that, slaves were being envious of their master’s freedom. Any attempt made to the claim that the struggles of transgender individuals could be in anyway comparable to the reprehensible foundation of human slavery is not only a complete insult to the memory of those who suffered under this institution but a lack of comprehension to the definition of actual suffering and prosecution. The arguments are far separated, and for these reasons:
1) Slaves were not considered people, they were viewed as property and denied that they should even be considered human. Despite what the transgender movement would like to believe, no group is denying their humanity. As well refusing to acknowledge the gender these individuals identify as in no way infringes on their rights as human beings. Ironically demanding someone to adhere to a belief, such as a man can be a woman or vice-versa, does infringe on the rights of others to believe what they choose to believe.
2) The confusion of the term equal rights. Most Americans, not just those of the transgender movement get this wrong. The belief by many is that the phrase means everyone is created equal. This definition is wrong and while in the Declaration of Independence that is not the actual meaning. Having equal rights does not mean everyone is equal. There are people who are taller than others, people who are smarter, faster and stronger. Everyone is different and unique in their own way and since everyone is different it is impossible to be equal. Hence why everyone being the same or equal is not what equal rights means. What equal rights actually means is that everyone is in possession of the same opportunities as anyone else. For instance anyone can apply for a particular job, anyone can go to school, and anyone can play a sport. Here is where the misinterpretation of this phrase takes effect. Anyone can play a sport but that does not mean everyone is going to play at a professional level. Anyone can go to school but that does not mean everyone is going to perform at the top of their class. That would kind of defeat the purpose of a top of the class ranking. Just because someone goes to school and is not in the top rank does not mean their rights have been infringed. In short, people have the right to do almost anything but succeeding is not a given right.
3) The latter misunderstanding is not only the fault of the transgender movement. Other modern day civil rights groups have also forgotten the right of opportunity does not transition into the right of success. Again representing the primary opposition to the transgender movement. For a man who has transitioned into a woman, or a woman who has transitioned into a man, to demand everyone around them not only acknowledge, but freely present them with the benefits normally reserved for the opposite sex is claiming a right to success and not a right to opportunity.
The right to success is not a right anyone possesses and to grant that right to anyone is dangerous. Guaranteeing everyone the right to success guarantees everyone the right to the exact same success. Meaning no one can be more successful than anyone else effectively making advancement or standing out, not only impossible, but if allowed to progress naturally, illegal. This line of thinking is textbook socialism whose destructive history should speak for itself. However, transgender individuals who push for the same rights as the opposite sex claim any argument against their view as an attack on them and their right to exist. The end result being their failure to see or acknowledge any point of view other than their own.
This near desperation to be counted as the opposing gender demonstrates better than any other factor brought forward that the main concern of these individuals is themselves with no consideration for anyone else. This may seem like a harsh assessment but the truth of it can be seen today in woman’s sports. Men who claim to have transitioned into women are now allowed to compete against biological women in official sporting events. And, not surprisingly they are dominating every sport, even breaking world records originally held by women. This has raised several concerns especially in regards to high-school and college tryouts as scholarships and opportunities originally meant for biological girls are being given to transgender women instead.
A point which has been brought before the transgender community and the transgender athletes in question. The response is normally two fold with either a claim that it is a personal attack against them or that the other biological girls are sore losers and need to get over it. To be fair the argument is more sophisticated than that with the transgender side arguing that the idea of fairness in sports is a myth. They support this claim by drawing attention to the fact that several athletes have biological factors which offer a natural advantage over their opponents. Height, arm length and even hand-size are all factors which can offer players an edge in certain sporting events.
In opposition, biological women claim that transgender athletes are in possession of not one but several biological advantages received by men due to the onset of puberty. Their defense is basic biology as on average a male body is capable of building and retaining more muscle than the female body. A point which is given greater validation by sporting officials who force transgender women to be on medication to reduce testosterone to female levels for at least a year. It should be noted though that this rule does not apply to all high-school sporting events. In certain states boys are allowed to simply identify as girls and then compete on the girl’s team. The result of this has been the boys turned girls winning the events and gaining scholarships and other opportunities that biological girls would have won instead.
Many of the female athletes have protested against this, receiving outrage from the transgender movement. In response the transgender athletes are claiming this is a clear case of discrimination and an attack on their right to exist. Furthermore stating they not only have the right to identify as the gender they please but to also compete in the sport they love with the sex they identify with. On the surface this seems like a valid argument, however these assertions are in possession of some logical flaws that deserve to be addressed. First transgender athletes claim this is an attack on their right to exist yet fail to ever explain how it is an attack on said existence. Stating transgender athletes have an unfair advantage is not denying their existence. If anything, stating they possess an unfair advantage is confirming their existence. It should also be noted that there are transgender individuals who agree that the aforementioned situation is unfair.
A claim never made by the competeting transgender athletes, whose claims that these girls are just sore losers comes off as very unsympathetic for everyone but themselves. Which brings up one of the most important parts of the argument of the transgender athletes. They claim that they have the right to compete in the sport they love, which okay fair enough, but the question everyone should be asking is why do they need to compete against women? If these transgender athletes were competeting against men there wouldn’t be such a large public outcry. Which again brings up a good question, why don’t they compete against men?
After all, if all transgender athletes want is to be who they are and compete in the sport they love why do they specifically need to compete against women? After all, the main claim of the transgender movement is that gender is malleable and therefore there is no actual difference between men and women. So again, why do they need to specifically compete with the gender they identify with? Is it really about acceptance? If it is, it means the acceptance of transgender athletes is solely based on the validation of others. Which at best, is a hollow form of acceptance. It doesn’t fit with the definition of acceptance, it does however perfectly coincide with the definition if envy.
The need to compete against biological women is the need for validation. After all of it was truly about the love of the sport would they not want to compete against opponents who offered them a challenge? Why are they content with competeting against women who have shown to be at a clear disadvantage? If you are always going to win what fun is there in playing the game? The answer is none unless what you care about isn’t competeting, but winning. A claim give further credibility considering some of the transgender athletes originally did compete against men and were rated mediocre at best. This brings forth an important question which needs a proper answer. Is it fairness or recognition they want? Is it really so unbelievable that what transgender athletes really want is to hold records and win awards that they otherwise couldn’t competeting against their birth gender.
Desiring what others have and they do not is not acceptance, it is textbook envy. With so many of the transgender movement’s demands relating more closely to envy then acceptance, perhaps a psychological reevaluation of the movement is in order. Though many will claim