Adam Winkler plumbs the hardships faced by one Nicole Maines of Maine, born a boy biologically who now self-identifies as a 15-year-old transgender girl, as she navigates this question in school and in court.
As one who regularly relieves himself in the woods like a large, ugly tomcat to the fear, loathing, and derision of innumerable creatures large and small and one whose sensibilities in these matters are similarly atavistic, the specifics of Winkler’s quasi-legal article and the legal case which prompts it frankly do not claim much traction with me.
What does, though, is the broader, abstract notion of “self-identification” and the potential it may or may not have to compel the behavior of others.
So here is the question for you to ponder and answer if you can: what are the limits, if any, to that which can be self-identified, and what are the limits, if any, which relieve others of any ethical or legal necessity of sharing that identification and supplying it with any public resources it might claim it needs?
For example, what if I were to claim I self-identify as disabled and thus unable to earn the full component of earnings needed to fund my self-identified needs? There is currently no law which will support me in this quest – but there was a time not long past when there were no laws which would support Nicole Maines in her current quest, either.
So what moral-ethical argument(s), then, must, if any can, be made to create a law sufficient for the public to recognize and fund my self-identified disability and, going further, back to the original, larger question, for the public to recognize and support any claim of self-identification*?
H. M. Stuart
*You get bonus points if you can talk intelligently about how individuality itself is negotiated, for example, internally-subjectively versus externally-objectively or on any other bases.
Tags: bathrooms, gender, individuality, Nicole Maines, objectivity, self-identification, subjectivity, transgender