Since Marjorie Taylor Greene has declared that there are only two genders and she says that we must trust the science, I need to go into a short discussion on Biology. In the beginning, boys and girls are the same and up until about week 7 to week 8 of pregnancy, both sexes have what’s known as a “genital ridge”, which is described as being an identical preliminary set of genitalia that will eventually differentiate to become either male or female sex organs. That means that all our sex organs come from the same foundations, with the testes in men being equivalent to labia and ovaries in women, and the penis is the equivalent of the clitoris. All human individuals, whether they have an XX, an XY, or an atypical sex chromosome combination (hey stuff happens), begin their sexual development from the same starting point. During early development the gonads of the fetus remain undifferentiated, thus they are all fetal genitalia are the same and are phenotypically female. After approximately 6 to 7 weeks of gestation, however, the expression of a gene on the Y chromosome induces changes that result in the development of the testes.
The basic differences between the sexes begins in the womb although the sex of a baby is determined by its chromosome make-up at conception. An embryo with two X chromosomes will become a girl, while an embryo with an X-Y combination results in a boy. Medical researchers have made a new discovery about how a baby’s sex is determined, saying that it’s not just about the X-Y chromosomes, but involves a “regulator” that increases or decreases the activity of genes, and this is what decides if we become male or female. At around 18 to 22 weeks of pregnancy, a level 2 anatomy ultrasound can determine whether a baby is male or female by looking for a penis.
OK, Biology lesson is over, now on to what is a boy and what is a girl. From the moment a baby is born, people start classifying them into two groups depending on which gender they have, but physical anatomical gender differences aren’t the only variances between the sexes. Brain development has been found to be about the same, but their behavior is dependent on life experiences and girls are given pink clothes, bows and dolls, while boys are given blue clothes, toy cars and plastic swords in an effort to make them more feminine or more masculine. At a young age, boys typically play with other boys and girls typically play with other girls to conform to standards of what is thought to be “right” and “wrong”, and this forces children to fit the role of their respective gender.
Society puts people into particular boxes where they are supposed to belong, and if they choose to step out of this box, they will immediately be seen as being different or abnormal. If a girl wants to do something that a boy does, it seems weird, so they must continue to play with their dolls, or else their behavior will be perceived as wrong. Time changes everything, and some of us don’t want to be stuck in the same mold for our whole lives. Some people do not see gender as an either/or option and they might feel like they are both guy and girl, but that does not classify them as being neither. It gets more and more complicated every year and choosing a sex that you want to identify with should be all about how it makes you feel.
If a guy wants to wear make-up like blush, foundation, lipstick, or dye his hair purple, or wear feminine undergarments, as long as he is not hurting anyone else, then it would not bother me. More than 40 percent of transgender or “gender non-conforming” people have attempted suicide and this stems mostly from being bullied at school. Same-sex marriage was yesterday’s battle to redefine gender roles and privileges, and transgender rights is what we are facing today, but this is still in a transformational stage. This topic is splintering into a division of the entire human race on what it takes to be a male, or a female, or something else. Maybe it is time to choose a different color besides blue and pink.
Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #111 which asks, “Do you believe that a person’s gender is inextricably tied to his or her sex at birth, or do you believe that a person can legitimately identify as a gender different from his or her birth gender? Why do you believe what you believe?”