What a glorious year it has been for the transgender/transsexual/bi-gender/pan-gender/gender-fluid/a-gender/third-gender/intersex ‘community’. Caster Semenya won Olympic gold in Rio. Singer Anohni (me neither) became the first transgender performer ever to be nominated for an Oscar. And Wee Jimmy Krankie landed a role in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. But perhaps most importantly, in June the US military finally ended its ban on the recruitment of transgender people. In announcing the change, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter opined that “[We must avail ourselves] of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now — the finest fighting force the world has ever known“. Grim, square-jawed, transsexual paratroopers can only add to that finery.
Carter also announced that transgendered personnel, like all other soldiers, will be provided with full medical coverage, including hormone-therapy and gender-reassignment surgery (if deemed “necessary” by medical staff). Such things can often become necessary very quickly. Throughout history, gender dysphoria has hampered many a military campaign, as depicted movingly in the BBC war drama It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (a show now banned due to its portrayal of Indians who do not exude the quiet eternal dignity of the stars).
This change in policy by the US military does, however, throw up a quandary. A male-to-female transsexual may be prescribed hormones by the army to make him less masculine (less muscular), whilst pursuing a career in which an enormous amount of time will be devoted to increasing muscularity. How will it work? Who cares?!
But laugh not. There is a precedent for male-to-female transsexual participation in the rough and tumble of a traditionally masculine environment. Jaiyah Saelua (“the transgendered John Terry”), recently became the first of her species to play in a (men’s) FIFA World Cup qualifier, appearing in defence for American Samoa. American Samoa famously lost a match 31-0 in 2001, the biggest international defeat in history, but with Saelua now in, the team they lose by less. In contrast, American Samoa’s Oceanic neighbours, The Federated States of Micronesia, have arrogantly chosen not to field transsexuals and, as a result, recently lost an under-23s game 46-0 to Vanuatu (although they must surely be given credit for playing a geranium in goals).
What is interesting about Jaiyah’s case is that she claims, like the real John Terry, not to have had her penis and testes removed as she did not want to have to play for the women’s team. Would a six foot tall, penis-free Jaiyah really walk straight into her nation’s female football team? What would their opponents think? And how long before we had a suspiciously manly North Korean women’s team? And in her equating of femaleness with a mere absence of male genitalia does not Jaiyah actually present as a bit of a ‘hater’? Pity poor Caitlyn Jenner and her pre-vaginoplastic sisters.
For our modern day identity mongers, a hundred gender classifications are not enough, but one gender classification (that of male/female) is too many. The great gender binary must be obliterated, so that our clammy pudenda may sing a thousand odes to individualistic wont. Our gender fracturing will be our unification. It will be atomised integration, where both reference to difference (‘othering’) and denial of difference (cleaving to a simplistic binary) are cardinal sins.
The only practical solution to the demands that will eventually be issued by penis-less men who want to compete in women’s sporting-events will be to have just one medal in each discipline, for which all genders can compete. Then nobody would be asked to accept a gender binary which they do not identify with, nor would we end up having multiple gender bending medal categories (such as the ‘Transsexual 100 metres’, or the ‘Women’s Rugby Sevens’). The upshot of this would be that no woman ever wins an Olympic medal again, except in those few events where, presently, only women compete (which in future will be won by transsexuals and Caster Semenya). Women, released from all possibility of ever excelling in any sporting field again, would no longer have to pretend to like running about, and could instead spend all day baking cakes and giggling about men. Such will be the liberation offered by our brave new genderless/genderful world of absolute equality.
Caution: This article was written by a heterosexual, white male (ye shall know him by his supreme indifference to human suffering).