Sunday, February 11, 2018

Transgenderism and Privacy Arguments

I didn't think much of this, from The Federalist. But it's an occasion to mention something I mentioned quite awhile ago, which is that I think that the "transgendered" would be better off making privacy arguments roughly of the form: I shouldn't have to disclose my sex; it's private. (Which is not to say that I endorse the crackpot arguments according to which it's ok to trick people into sex by deceiving them about your sex. That's psycho.) 
   And I don't accept that the government has to lie on your driver's licence by putting the wrong sex on it. At most, people should have the option of leaving their sex off of their license. The ACLU might argue that to do so would be, basically, to admit that you aren't the sex you are trying to appear to be. But plenty of progressives would leave it off precisely to insure that this wasn't the case. Furthermore, though the government may be obligated not to disclose your sex, I doubt that it's obligated to help you conceal it.
   OTOH, the government does have a legitimate interest in putting your sex on your license. That's one of the main ways we categorize and identify people. We're very good at identifying people's sex--even when they're trying to fool us about it. And if we can demand that the government not identify us by sex, can't we also demand that they can't identify us by height, weight, eye color, etc.? diligent are they about making sure you tell them the right height, weight, etc.? If someone colors his or her hair, do they insist on knowing the person's actual hair color? I have no idea...
   A lot of the ACLU's argument depends on conflating sex and gender--but that's par for the course on the left these days. What used to be mandatory is now forbidden; mucking up sex and gender is now the centerpiece of most lefty arguments about transgenderism. Putting your sex on your license says nothing at all about your gender. And your gender is disclosed as soon as you open your mouth, anyway; we're all very good at distinguishing masculinity from femininity. So, no, none of this has anything at all to do with gender (a virtually meaningless term as its now used on the left), nor "gender identity," which has never really meant anything at all. God, that ACLU argument really is a mess. I'm not going to sort through the details...because either the ACLU doesn't understand the sex/gender distinction at all, or they're intentionally mucking it up right good.
   And, as for the ACLU itself / overall...well, it's not in good shape. Taking a principled stand on the rights of the Klan et al. in the Charlottesville case may have been the last gasp of the old, liberal ACLU. There was apparently a kind of revolt after that, and now many of its employees are apparently demanding that it abandon liberalism in favor of identity politics causes (like transgenderism). Which suggests to me that Conquest's Second Law maybe ought to be: Any organization not explicitly right-wing inevitably drifts farther and farther leftward...


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