January 20: will I too need to be reassigned?

Over the last thirty or forty years the definition of what it means to be a man or a woman has mushroomed. Now, as a man, you can wear a dress, wear make-up, fancy men, fancy women and men, dislike sport, do no DIY, enjoy fashion, hug and kiss other men without it meaning you’re gay, be touchy-feely, like ballet. Nobody bats an eyelid at any of this stuff. As a culture we have toiled tirelessly to create a gender category that can embrace all-comers. That has been a great achievement and one we are still working on, denouncing gender stereo-typing wherever we see it: in sport, in advertizing, in all cultural products. But now comes the sudden rush of gender reassignment. This may be a case of what what Proust calls a change of cultural acoustic that I for one am unable to follow. If the span of male attributes is now as large as I have intimated, what is it that makes someone want to say they need their gender to be reassigned? What is the elusive woman trait that this person has isolated within themselves? Might that trait not just be another way of being the complex 21st Century man that we have come to know and celebrate? I myself am an unable to put up a shelf; when the mandatory car chase comes on telly I go and make a cup of tea; action films bore me; I don’t drive; I am an ardent multi-tasker, though I do draw the line at Sex and the City. Tell me, will I too need to be reassigned?


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