Boys and girls are different, we know this. Sure, everyone is different and there’s not one specific trait that’s exclusive to either gender, it’s really more of a mosaic where you have to step back and look at the whole picture, but there is a difference. Male and female are different things. This is known and accepted as fact among pretty much all corners of human civilization. The real question is where does that come from, and why is it so hard to accept that it may come from the brain.
Gender is the one of the first things we notice about someone. If you know anything about a person you know their gender, and if you don’t know their gender it bothers you, you want to find out. Mis-gender someones pet and there’s a good chance they’ll correct you. Point to a random cloud and ask someone if it looks like a boy cloud or a girl cloud, most people will think about it and come up with an answer. The human brain is hardwired to gender pretty much everything, why then is it so hard to accept that the brain would also gender itself?
We tend to like things we self identify with, we pay attention to them and internalize them. Everything we see and hear is processed and filtered by the brain before being presented to the conscious mind. We have surprisingly little control over what we notice or how we feel about it, and it takes a great deal of effort to go against those feelings.
This gave the the idea for an analogy which I humbly submit, and invite any and all feedback as to whether you feel this accurately reflects the trans experience to some degree. Imagine a job at a toy factory, santa’s workshop or whatever. Conveyer belts are color coded blue for boys and pink for girls, because of course they are. The job is quality control, if person is assigned to a blue belt, whenever girl toys come down the line they must take the item to an appropriate pink belt.
For most people this job is easy, the sorting mechanism is very precise and hardly any work is required. Except sometimes a blue belt continuously produces girl toys, or vice versa. This means the employee has to take every single item off the line to a different belt, and it’s exhausting. It also means that their toy box stays mostly empty. The first instinct is to wait it out, hoping that the problem will correct itself. It doesn’t so the next step is talk to the boss upstairs about fixing the machine. But no, the machine will be left as is. So really the only logical solution is to switch boxes.
Except now there is a pink box in front of a blue conveyer, and that’s against the rules. You can’t have a pink box in front of a blue conveyer, soon everyone will decide they can use whatever box they want, imagine the chaos and confusion that will cause, all the uncertainty, and won’t someone just think of the children. The innocent little girl who gets a toy that came off of a *gasp* blue conveyer belt – which is about the same level of logic employed by those who object to us using public washrooms, or you know, this.
I’m not quite sure how this analogy extends to non binary and fluid individuals, a belt that produces toys which don’t apply to either box, or that sends items through seemingly at random perhaps. Anyway feel free to let me know what you think of this, and any ways in which the idea can be refined 🙂