Originally published at Sex Not Gender
The language of “gender identity” legislation is fraught with confusion. The complexity of issues swirling around reproductive sex and its connection (or lack thereof) to gender requires extreme attention to terminology and a delicate balancing of interests. Feminist legal critique demands that women’s need for sex-segregated boundaries be both recognized and weighed against the violent enforcement of normative masculinity in men’s spaces that threatens the safety of gender non-conforming males.
A recent federal district court decision granting a Masschusetts prisoner’s demand for “sex-change” surgery has highlighted the need for a multi-layered approach to “gender identity” protections. This prisoner, Robert Koselik, is a woman killer. He has been sentenced to life without parole for the cold-blooded murder of his wife—the woman he claimed to have loved more than any other in the world. And now, he insists that he actually is a woman. The precedent set by this case builds on a prior 1st Circuit Appeal decision in favor of tax-payer funded hormone treatment for convicted child rapist, Sandy Battista (decision here). These cases serve as vivid illustration that a prohibition against asserting “gender identity” for an improper purpose is a necessary and reasonable legal restraint on the concept of “transgenderism.”