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Transgender Trope #8- Some Women Have Penises and Some Men Have Vaginas

April 19, 2011

Variations:

Sex is a continuum.

Genitals don’t make one female or male.

What about women who have mastectomies and men who lose penis in duck hunting accident- they are still female/male, right?

This is a “physical reproductive sex doesn’t exist” trope. This trope seeks to erase the fact that human sexual reproduction is binary, comprised of males and females. We all know how babies are born, as a result of female egg and male sperm. Physical sex is a simple reality. None of us would be here otherwise. Humans are either male or female. This trope attempts to co-opt the experience of people who are born with a disability- a disorder of sexual development. People with a birth defect, either a chromosomal anomaly or malformed reproductive system. Plenty of people are born with birth defects. Some are born with no legs, some missing an eye, etc. But no one claims humans are not a bipedal species. No one claims that sight is not a human trait (barring grave disability). The reason we can safely say that hominids are a bipedal species is because -except in case of developmental disorder or amputation injury- humans are born with two legs. Roughly one in 400 humans is born with some sort of congenital anomaly (birth defect). About one in 800 is born with Down Syndrome. About one in 14,000 is born with a disorder of sexual development or “intersex”.

99.9997% of humans are born without a disorder of sexual development. They are male or female with no anomalous characteristic such as chromosomal variation or deformed reproductive system. So we can easily say that humans are male or female except in very rare cases of disorder of sexual development. There are more people born missing a body part than are born intersex. And now that we have chromosomal testing even intersex people can be sexed. Most individuals with disorders of sexual development are male= they have a Y chromosome. Chromosomally female intersex have an XO configuration, and are sterile as a result of their chromosomal birth defect. So even the tiny minority of people born with a birth defect of sex can be “sexed”.

So why do transgenders say that sex doesn’t exist?  People born with no legs don’t claim that bipedal hominids don’t exist.

They do this because they want to believe it is so. They want to believe, and more importantly, they want others to believe, that they are “really” female, or “really” male, even though they are not. Transgenders need their beliefs to be affirmed by others in order to sustain those gender  fantasies. Genderists think that by co-opting the experiences and reality of those born with disabilities of sexual development they can destabilize the reality of human sex, at least politically, or in the public mind. To further their political aims (which have much in common with the Christian Creationist movement in terms of scientific denial) they have destroyed most organizations set up to support people born with disorders of sexual development. The largest “Intersex” organization now in existence, Organization Intersex International (OII) was set up exclusively to frame transgenderism as an intersex or birth defect matter. People who are actually intersex have had to re-start organizations under the moniker of DSD= Disorders of Sexual Development, in order to support children born with actual intersex conditions and distance themselves from transgenderist political activists who prevented them from having supportive organizations which acknowledge the reality that intersex medical conditions, and resulting disability such as endocrine dysfunction and sterility actually exist. This is equivalent to individuals who fetishize amputees taking over disability services designed to assist those who are paraplegic.

Females DO NOT have penises, and males DO NOT have vaginas.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. jilla permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:45 pm

    “men who lose penis in duck hunting accident-”

    LOL Oh you’re on a roll. Today is gonna be a goooood day.

  2. June 20, 2011 8:42 pm

    Gallus, this was EXCELLENT!! Seriously, just absolutely perfect. :) Btw, I’m still pissed. lol or at least possibly sulking.

  3. June 20, 2011 8:43 pm

    Actually the whole blog is GREAT, congratulations!! :)

  4. December 10, 2011 1:18 pm

    Awesome blog. :)

  5. Lycere permalink
    December 19, 2011 11:20 am

    What about genetically XX women with Adrenal Hyperplasia who have a pseudophallus? Thus, some women do have a penis of sorts.

  6. March 11, 2012 4:55 pm

    The pseudophallus is an overdeveloped clitoris. They are still ultimately female.

  7. B. Gorski permalink
    August 2, 2012 10:20 pm

    When faced with a lack of education, you might consider educating yourself (snip) [BLAH BLAH BLAH. Oh shut up -GM]

    • ignacio permalink
      September 20, 2013 2:48 pm

      B. Gorski said “….(snip)…”

      Sometimes, that’s all it takes.

  8. Katie M permalink
    September 23, 2012 5:54 pm

    I find this entire blog very mean-spirited. I’m not sure why you have such strong feelings against transpeople. I feel sorry I stumbled onto it. Transgender people are already a marginalized population. They experience violence left and right. Honestly, why do transpeople bother you all so bad that you have to invest so much time and energy tearing them down? Maybe I’d have to be some kind of ultra feminist lesbian type to understand.

    I’m actually a conservative-leaning woman. I’m married, and live in Utah with a girl and three boys. The baby of my family, a boy, has insisted he is really a girl from almost the moment he learned to talk. He’s eight now, and it’s been incredibly difficult to deal with this issue. Our church, family and friends are not supportive, but when his father and I force him into a male role, he gets so depressed that we become scared for his personal safety. When he was five, I found him in bed in the morning with his pants down. When I asked him why he slept like that, he said he wanted to make it easier for God to take his penis away. He’s ALWAYS believed he was really a girl, and that God made a mistake.

    I’m sorry, but you’re missing something. I don’t know what it is, and obviously, you don’t either. I am an LCSW, and I’ve accessed lots of psych articles about brain and genetic differences in transpeople. From what I’ve seen with my son, and the other kids he plays with at Kids Like Me (a program for trans kids), I agree with the research. There’s no other way to explain my son’s early behavior. His feelings have not changed, no matter how hard his father and I push, or how much time he’s spent with counselors at LDS Family Svcs. It’s just what it is. I’ve come to accept that.

    It scares me that he/she will have to deal with people like you someday.

    • October 2, 2012 4:35 am

      Katie,

      First off, I’m sorry that you and your family is going through this. Life can be hard enough without these kinds of struggles.

      What your child needs more than anything is love, and to know that whatever happens, he is safe and loved. Home needs to be a sanctuary, especially because the environment you have chosen won’t be, especially if they end up seeing him as gay. The LDS church is one of the most patriarchal groups on earth, and any deviance from their “ideal” goes strongly against doctrine. There’s a reason the family proclamation starts with gay marriage, then moves on to spiritual gender.

      LDS family services can be incredibly toxic – they often come from a position that a life of celibacy and repression is better than a happy life as a gay male, the man is always right, and “spare the rod, spoil the child”.

      You talk about pushing – that’s the kind of thing that strengthens behavior. Gendered behavior is placed on your kid at every opportunity – at school, with friends, and especially church-related activities.

      “when his father and I force him into a male role, he gets so depressed that we become scared for his personal safety”

      Don’t do that, then. Seriously. He should never, ever need to be “forced” into any role, and that’s the kind of behavior that does lead to suicides. Yes, it may make it harder to find a mate that’s a “good mormon woman”, but that’s up to him, and your job as a parent is to be a good example – not to force him to be something he’s not.

      • ArchibaldHukler permalink
        September 15, 2013 7:04 am

        Try stressing rolelessness. Men can do whatever and women can do whatever which means there’s nothing to being male or female.

        Tell your son there is no God to take his penis away and that when he’s an adult, it’s his body he can alter it how he pleases.

    • Jen permalink
      April 25, 2014 2:36 am

      Maybe you should let your child choose the clothes he wears and not “force him” into a “male role.” Maybe, as a child, he feels the only way to be allowed to play with dolls or wear dresses is by BEING a girl?

      Or, maybe you need to do a thorough toxocological work-up because the child has some toxic burden that is causing the problem, like mercury or copper poisoning. You don’t let an anorexic child get liposuction, just like you don’t let a child amputate body parts, you asshole. You are an ignorant parent.

  9. roopa permalink
    December 29, 2012 4:43 am

    so my friend teresa who was born a mtf (a condition called androgen insensitivity syndrome) is actually a guy because she has XY chromosomes? she has a vagina and breasts but never menstuated obviously … look it up, AIS people are immune to testosterone and androgens, no body hair etc. where do you put them in your strict binary?

    • gbh permalink
      January 15, 2013 4:27 am

      this is not the mean, the average or the norm. there are people who are intersexed and do not line up. however, this is such a small minority that there is a category in medicine for them.

  10. chevrolet_gt permalink
    December 30, 2012 10:34 pm

    The writer of this article fails to realize the difference between sex and gender. Sex is the physical, our bodies are usually born either male or female. Gender is the mental, how you feel about your physical sex and what role in society you feel you fit into and much more. Just because I have a penis doesn’t mean I want it, there is a conflict between my mind and my body and in some cases this conflict can lead to depression and even suicide if not addressed. Unfortunately there are those who deny this issue exists as a real issue and say that is it simply a sexual fantasy even when there is a ton of documentation that says otherwise. There is a reason why people seeking sexual transitioning are required to live as the gender they feel they are for two years. What is comes down to is – should we allow people to be themselves, even when being themselves requires a switch of gender roles and body modification? Or, are we obligated to tell people how to live because of our biases towards things we refuse or can’t understand?

    • December 31, 2012 12:55 am

      ” Gender is the mental, how you feel about your physical sex and what role in society you feel you fit into and much more.”

      Do tell.
      Sex is an unalterable characteristic. If you don’t want you penis, or your left arm, or your toe, you are mentally ill. If you want to commit suicide because your elbow is not female, you are mentally ill. No one would deny your mental illness issue exists.

      Feminists are against social roles enforced on the basis of reproductive sex.

      “What is comes down to is – should we allow people to be themselves, even when being themselves requires a switch of gender roles and body modification?”

      Feminists don’t believe bodies should prevent people from being themselves.

      “Or, are we obligated to tell people how to live because of our biases towards things we refuse or can’t understand?”

      Do you tell people that they should pretend males are female based on the male’s feelings (or mental illness)? Do you tell women they must accept males into female-only spaces if the males “feel” female? Do you tell women that there is a way that males can know what it feels like to be us? Do you support the rights of male feelings to override the rights of women? I bet you do, all of the above. I bet you tell women “how to live” all the live-long day, and I bet you tell us what we feel like, and what we are obligated to do for men like you alllll the live-long day. So shut up.

      • Rob Miller permalink
        January 24, 2013 1:38 am

        Actually I detest the common past and present attitudes that men have towards women. I do not tell women what to do or how to live they can live anyway they want to. And if a woman identifies as a man and lives in that gender role I have no problem of it, even if they are using the men’s restroom. Same thing for men who identify and live in the gender role people commonly consider to be female.

        Human gender and sexuality is very fluid and doesn’t always fall in the bipolar dichotomy society assigns to those two aspects of being human. I’d even say that sex is fluid because not everybody has the same genitals or body characteristics, some may have feminine like genitals but have masculine qualities and the other way around, add to that hermaphrodites.

        Should either males or females and those in between tell others how to live or what to do? No, of course not. To allow such a thing violates the right to autonomy. Lacigreen on youtube has some very informative videos on the issue of gender and sex in general(no I do not get all my information from there, my information comes from years of study on the issue and personal experience.).

        The mental illness you speak of is called Gender Identity Disorder, I have a less severe version of that called Gender Dysphoria. I might also have a bit of body dyspmorphia where one hates some aspect of their body and would like to modify it. Who’s to say that you or anybody else should dictate what modifications or role a person wants to play in society? Everybody has some mental illness, it is part of being human. Some mental illnesses are more severe and are problematic for society, like psychopaths. Others are benign and usually only effect those with the illness, like depression. GID is on the benign side of things other than the possibility of the person with the illness causing harm to themselves. For people with GID transitioning is the best treatment and comes with years of therapy before any surgery is performed and that still even requires the patient live as the “chosen” gender for at least 2 years.

        People should be free to be who they are without bigoted and uneducated people telling them that they can’t. People seem to want to put other people into boxes but not everybody fits in those boxes and for some reason when they can’t put a person in a box they automatically have a problem with that person. So no, I will not shut up because when people based their conclusions about something on false information or complete misunderstanding or in many cases religious beliefs, their beliefs are false and it causes a stigma against certain people. Remember that there was a time when we considered people with non-white skin to be inferior and not, or not quite, human. Therefore they justified unequal treatment and even outright slavery and even used religion to back up that conclusion. Now we know that they are human and should be treated just a equal as everyone else.

        Unless you have personal experience with an issue, or know and understand somebody who has or does or even better have been educated in psychology on the issue your conclusion could very well be based on false premises which would then make your argument invalid and false.

    • gbh permalink
      January 15, 2013 4:36 am

      gender is a term which was coined by dr john money who has been discredited for his failed work on assigning a toddler boy as a girl after a botched circumcision. eventually money lied about this experiment and the boy who grew up as a girl, switched back and eventually suicided.

      gender is always a social construct. it is what society tells us is feminine or masculine. women around the world show their femininity in different ways according to their culture. it is not something any of us is born knowing. the belief in the idea that there are women and men brains is aptly called neuro-sexism by some.
      the so called evidence about the physical etiology of transsexuality is not supported by replication, or large sample sizes. the idea of hormonal flush in utero is a conjecture at best…..look up the studies in scientific journals and not websites run by trans lobbyists.

      • Rob Miller permalink
        January 24, 2013 2:00 am

        I have and still to this day the cause of anything other than heterosexuality and transgender ism is unknown. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist because it undoubtedly does exist. I have read and seen documentaries on the story you talk about. They did wrongly assign the sex to the child because of a common error in logic. They assumed that because the child no longer had male genitalia that he should be a female. They should have let the child choose, but at that time that wasn’t considered acceptable. I know many men who have had their penises or complete genitals removed, by choice or from circumstance, and they are no less a man than any other man. Just like a female who has had a hysterectomy is no less a woman than any other. That goes for any other type of modification like mastectomy or infibulation. The choice of identity or modifications to the body(outside of needed medical modifications[cancer, etc]) is purely personal and should not be up to anybody else.even if they are a child. Like I said in another reply, I do have personal experience with this and have talked to many people who have gone through it as well as psychologists, I have taken psychology classes and have looked at other studies done about it. The problem is that psychology isn’t like physics, it isn’t absolute and has changed over time and there are always new studies being done and even when the results yield a null value we can’t assume anything about anything with certainty, most of the time we have to assign “unknown” to the results.

        Male and female brains – yes that is most likely not the cause. Still, how do we figure out where gender identity comes from? What causes the mental identity to be different than the body sex? To much study has been done to conclude that it is a show and the subject is faking it. I know I don’t fake these feelings, I have them and the only thing that keeps me from modifying my body is my marriage. I’ve had to stop going to therapy because they push me more towards transitioning. I love my wife and she isn’t “okay” with me transitioning even though she understands how I feel and is realizing that as much as I fight it it isn’t going away, It is horrible to go through the bouts of depression I go through and the self hatred. I have to emerse myself in movies and video games or other issues to keep my mind off of it. If it wasn’t for my self control and high anxiety issues I would be in the process of transitioning right now or at least would have found a way to modify my body the way I want it. A lot of people do not have the self control that I do or can’t deal with fight within, or they have the freedom and can accept the social consequences of transitioning or modification.

        People often try to simplify the issue when it is anything but simple.

    • ArchibaldHukler permalink
      September 15, 2013 7:14 am

      Roles? I really don’t care about roles or how other people think I should live my life.

      Body? I really don’t care as long as it works. I feel perfectly fine in my male body yet I know from imagination that I would feel just as fine if I had a woman’s body. So if this is a thing then I don’t have a male gender brain I have a gender apathy brain, a brain that really just doesn’t care about this sort of thing.

      Which makes me rather spectical about this whole idea of gender in the brain. Why would anyone care about what genitals they have or whether their body looks male or famale? Your’e legally entitled to act how you please. Men don’t get arrested for wearing dresses for instance so if you want to act more feminine just do it you don’t need to change your body. Me personally I act more masculine or more feminine depending on if I am getting bored. I don’t feel any emotional attachment to a more masculine or feminine personality type except for temporary emotional attachments based on wanting something to do. So for a stretch of my life I was very effeminate. For another stretch very masculine. I’ve done the same thing with introversion and extraversion as well. Perhaps my mind is more “plastic” i.e. changes more rapidly than most people’s so rather than sticking with certain personality traits I switch it up when I’m bored.

    • Jen permalink
      April 25, 2014 2:39 am

      Mansplain, mansplain, mansplain.

  11. RedHester permalink
    June 28, 2013 2:58 pm

    thank you so much for this blog. it is helping me in my ongoing efforts to deprogram and heal. my sisters are powerful and i love you and all women with all my heart body and soul.

    • June 28, 2013 11:45 pm

      I’m so pleased! That is exactly what this work is intended to do. Thank you for telling me. :)

  12. Bree permalink
    October 30, 2013 11:24 am

    Some questions:
    are you trying to force social change to sweep them all up and force them into the genetically linked social roles? what do you think about trans-men (XX chromosomed individuals who feel like they are men)? is it the same for them as it is for trans-women (XY chomosomed individuals who feel they are women)? do you want them both to be forced into the societal construct of “woman” or “man”? how would you feel if a trans man came into the womens’ restroom because he wasn’t allowed to go to the mens’ because he had XX chromosomes and a vagina but besides that looked like normal man? would you attack him or would the XX chromosomes and vagina stop you? would you feel threatened by his appearance regardless of his chromosomes and genitalia? do you think trans-women feel threatened by genetic men when they’re only allowed to enter the mens’ restrooms? do you think genetic men in the mens’ restrooms pose a threat to a trans-woman who looks like an average woman? do you think having XY chromosomes will stop a man from sexually assaulting a trans-woman?

  13. Sophie permalink
    February 5, 2014 4:50 pm

    This is crap, not science:

    You claim that “99.9997% of humans are born without a disorder of sexual development.”

    This would mean that only 1 in 300.000 is born WITH a disorder of sexua development.
    Real scientists give a number of about 1 in 4.500 to 5.000 livebirths (http://www.aisia.org/txt/pdf/Warne-DSD-Cultures-2008.pdf)…

    Here some examples; I guess turner syndrome does not count in the study cited above…

    Turner syndrome: 1 in 2000 female livebirths (http://adc.bmj.com/content/91/6/513.abstract#ref-1)

    Androgen insensitivity syndrome: 1 in 20.400 XY births (http://bit.ly/1eU7bhw)

    Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser-syndrome: 1 in 4.500 females (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1832178/)

    So what?!?

    • April 25, 2014 3:51 am

      You are a man Sophie. Just a regular dude who served in the military, fathered children, and has a transvestic sexual fetish. Leave children with disorders of sexual development alone.

  14. February 19, 2014 4:54 pm

    I honestly thought that this was a satirical parody article…until I read the other articles and realised that transgendered people somehow evoke an inexplicable sense of anger and hate. I think you even deliberately titled your articles to appear as if you are accepting of transgendered people and open-minded, or perhaps titles that a transgendered person may use for their blog, deliberately so that transgendered people would read it, so you could directly denounce as many transgendered people as possible.

    You write well, but underneath all that flowery prose, the logic, premise and coherency of your argument is extremely flimsy. Firstly you claim that “transgenders say that sex doesn’t exist” – it seems you may be arguing against a brick wall, I’ve never heard people in the transgender community mention anything along those lines, so I really don’t know what you’re trying to get at. I think you may have misunderstood somebody who may have mentioned that being transgendered could be considered a form of intersex as the brain structure resembles that of the gender opposite to the body it resides in, describing it as “intersex” is debatable, but getting bogged down in those semantics is irrelevant. What IS relevant is your failure to distinguish between sex and gender, like others who denounce transgendered people. You constantly make arguments about the immutable reality of sex, biological differences, etc, but you completely miss the point – many transgendered people will agree that yes, they will never biologically be exactly the same as the gender they feel they are, but it’s just that, a biological difference, SEPARATE from gender identity. Such medical treatments are for the well being of the individual only, not for changing their gender – no amount of surgery can change your gender, what defines your gender is your fundamental perception of self, something that cisgendered people, born into the right bodies, think very little about and may find very difficult to internalise without significant introspection.

    Most cisgendered people assume that they would be fine being born into the opposite sex, because they transpose the feelings of congruence they have now to having it in the other gender, without thinking about gender identity and merely reducing gender to personality traits of being ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ Gender identity is not fundamentally about being masculine or feminine – after all there are feminine men and masculine women. But in fact, if an average cisgendered person were to be put into the opposite sexed body, they would very likely exhibit the same hardships as transgendered people (apart from a minority that have a fluid fundamental gender identity and perhaps don’t identify with either gender in particular). You can try and “imagine” but you can’t possibly internalise what it is like to be transgendered without experiencing it – the closest a cisgendered person can get is an intellectual understanding. Even if you want to debate the biological aspect, mere scientific observation alone supports the reality of transgendered people – “reparative therapy” to try and persuade transgendered people to be happy in their physical sex has been proven not to work time and time again in the vast majority of cases, and the post operative/treatment regret rate is around 1% (a minority who may have believed they were transgendered but were not). This is not the case for other kinds of treatments for people transgendered people are compared to – people obsessed with plastic surgery may never be happy, there is no documented medical history of people identifying as different races or species, so any such mocking comparison such as “So a white person can identify as black? Well I’ll be damned….I’ll just identify as a squirrel then” might appear convincing on the surface but is actually not based on any logical or coherent argument for it to have any meaning or importance.

    Your assumption is that penis = male and vagina = woman, without even providing actual reasoning behind it. You write some words about how apparently transgendered people ride on the back of the condition of being intersexed to use that as a justification for their gender identity, “destabilising the reality of the human sex” which is a complete misinterpretation and not at all the reason why 99% of transgendered people transition. It’s simply an irrelevant and separate matter. Then vaguely connected to that you declare “women do NOT have penises and men do NOT have vaginas”. I’m sorry, you’ll have to justify that if you feel so strongly about it. Sure, it’s what we’re generally taught and may be the case 98% of the time but that doesn’t make it right 100% of the time, unless you want to go through life without ever really thinking or questioning anything. Let me put it like this, when you think of being a “man” or a “woman”, and how that forms one’s identity, how much of that is down to what is between your legs? If your gender identity is purely, 100% based on what you were born with between your legs, then I feel sorry for you, because I would have thought identity is formed by what is in one’s mind, not one’s pants.

    What I find more disturbing though, with this and your other articles, is a sense of pleasure and glee by the feeling of putting transgendered people in their place, and putting them down as if to shatter their truth, and robbing a person of their autonomy to identify as who they are. Even if you are not convinced of the argument of sex and gender being different, even if you can never understand, I sincerely hope that you can become more open to realities other than your own.

    • April 25, 2014 4:16 am

      Thank you for saying I write well. I love good writing, but do not consider myself good at it. That was sweet. I feel no “glee” doing this work, but I do feel happy it has helped some people. As for the rest: Feminists oppose the idea that various abilities, feelings, and unrelated traits are related to reproductive sex.

    • jdmarsh89 permalink
      July 3, 2014 4:14 am

      “what defines your gender is your fundamental perception of self, something that cisgendered people, born into the right bodies, think very little about and may find very difficult to internalise without significant introspection. ”

      Nobody is born in the wrong body. Arguing for the existence of male brains and lady brains is like arguing for the existence of the soul. “I just feel it” is not an argument. Saying someone is “born in the wrong body” exemplifies a dualist theory in which we all have souls or inner “essence”, separate from our physical bodies, that is one gender or the other. This, frankly, is the most Victorian, magical-thinking, pseudoscience nonsense that I have ever seen entertained in the mainstream conversation.

Trackbacks

  1. Transgender Trope #7- Society has no influence over my gender identity « TransgenderTropes101
  2. Mother of a “Transgender Child” Writes… « GenderTrender

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