A Job For Life

Campaigners for laws requiring people to use the facilities of their “real” gender, and the laws that come from such campaigns, often make reference to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate. As if the information on it is somehow a sign of what should be forever.

Here is a specimen UK birth certificate in the 2013 format:

(Believed Fair Use)

Note the space for father’s occupation. If we are to bar people from using facilities which do not match the sex listed on their birth certificate, then natural justice requires we also bar their fathers from changing jobs or ceasing work.

I understand that some jurisdictions list weight on birth certificates. Let us push as hard for laws against people being a different weight from that listed as we do for laws against changing gender.


2 thoughts on “A Job For Life

  1. Well, here in the US I have never heard anyone claim that one’s sex is immutable because it is written on a birth certificate, although a few people have pointed out that the fact that it is immutable is why it is written on one’s birth certificate.


    1. I wasn’t speaking specifically about the US – although several US acquaintances have mentioned hearing reference to birth certificates, so the argument isn’t absent.

      Given our current medical capabilities, potential reproductive role is set at birth. However, most of the social consequences of that are entirely convention rather than necessary corollaries to reproductive role; even the physical traits such as penis and breasts can be changed surgically.

      So, sex at birth might be immutable for reproduction, but merely provides a starting point for anything else; a starting point that many people choose not to deviate from, but presentationally mutable nevertheless.

      It isn’t even a perfect indicator of reproductive role: someone can be male or female yet be sterile.


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