Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is just the latest religious conservative to pretend that gender does not exist.

Image: The Oakland Press

Walter E. Williams once won a Bradley Prize which is awarded by the far-right Bradley Foundation. Wednesday, at Heritage Foundation’s blog, Williams offers his “unique” insight into transgender people. The result is an accumulation of logical fallacies — the inevitable result of trying to turn a religious objection into secular reasoning. It is all very unoriginal.

People ignoring gender as an independent construct has become profoundly boring:

Suppose I declare that I am a king. Should you be required to address me as “Your Majesty”? You say, “Williams, that’s lunacy! You can’t prove such nonsense.” You’re wrong. It’s proved by my declaration.

It’s no different from a person born with XY chromosomes declaring that he is a woman.

Yes, Walter. We get it. We already know precisely what is to follow. No one is debating chromosomal realities.

Williams does not disappoint:

The XY sex determination system is the sex determination system found in humans and most other mammals. Females typically have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX) and are called the homogametic sex. Males typically have two different kinds of sex chromosomes (XY) and are called the heterogametic sex.

Governments are beginning to ignore biology and permit people to make their sex optional. Sex can be changed on one’s birth certificate, passport, Social Security card, and driver’s license.

Williams has forced me into an explanation that I should not have to offer. A few people, very few in fact, have discordant gender and natal sex. When that occurs, gender usually prevails and that is a scientific fact. Official documents should reflect someone’s presentation. If she is transgender then Sue Smith’s driver’s license should not say John Smith and bear John’s photo.

Is this not basic common sense? Does religious disapproval of LGBT people determine how they should be treated by our government? Personally, I disapprove of sanctimonious religious blowhards.

In New York, intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title is a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law. If a person born with XY chromosomes asserts that he is a woman, then repeatedly addressing the person by the name on his birth certificate, referring to the person as “him,” or addressing him as “Mister” violates the law and subjects the villain to heavy penalties.

In spite of the fact that Williams is an asshole, I would still address him as “Dr.” which is probably his preference. Why is it so difficult to conform to generally applicable rules for civility which include addressing people as they choose to be addressed? I will tell you why. It is because religious conservatives have an irresistible compulsion to express their disapproval of LGBT people. In their strange minds, civility or common courtesy equates to approval.

I do not happen to agree with the New York City law. Although well intentioned, I generally believe that people (including me) have a right to be obnoxious. If they are odious in the workplace that could result in considerable civil penalties. Then there is the Fighting Words doctrine to possibly contend with. It dates back to a unanimous Supreme Court in 1942. I have not heard of anyone in the Big Apple being fined for misgendering someone.

How often have we heard this logical misadventure?

The law requires acknowledgment that sex is optional rather than a biological determination.

Do the people who support the optionality of sex also support the optionality of age? My birth certificate shows 1936 as my year of birth. Age cutoffs exclude me from many jobs, such as police officer, service member, and firefighter.

Listen stupid, sex is not optional and neither is gender. We all accept chromosomal realities. If people were able to choose their gender it would invariably align with their natal sex and there would be no transgender people for you to disapprove of. Gender is as much a reality as date of birth.

Can’t leave out athletics:

For example, the men’s fastest 100-meter speed is 9.58 seconds. The women’s record is 10.49 seconds. What if a male sprinter with 10-second speed claimed womanhood, ran in the women’s event, and won the gold? A lower bar to achieving fame and fortune exists in women’s basketball. It would take only a few tall men who claim they are women to dominate the game.

The International Olympic Committee has settled this matter by testing levels of testosterone. Transgender women generally have much less testosterone than men because of the hormones that they usually take.

And in conclusion:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association should have a rule stating that refusal to play a mixed-chromosome team leads to forfeiture of the game. It’s no different from a team of white players refusing to play another because it has black players.

Huh? I am sure that Walter E. Williams thinks that this is all very compelling in support of disapproval. Shame is the primary lever of religious conformity. That is what this is all about. Shame on him for his narrow mindedness and his ignoring medical science.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.