Patrick (patrickwonders) wrote,
Patrick
patrickwonders

What It Means (Legally) To Be Male

There has been a substantial push by the Republicans in the Minnesota legislature to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage (which is already against Minnesota state law). Now, it's no secret that I am absolutely for marriage equality. But, this whole thing has gotten me thinking more about the legal status of being male or being female.

It is 2011. I have given up hope that anyone in my lifetime will invent a good way to package plastic wrap for home use. But, it has been illegal since 1920 to keep women from voting. It has been illegal since 1964 to discriminate in hiring on the basis of sex. It has been decades (not enough, but decades) since women needed their husband's permission to open a bank account. Since 1998, it has been illegal for me to sexually harrass people of either sex.

If I walked into the DMV today and told them that my driver's license has been wrong about my sex for all of these years, what would happen? They certainly wouldn't change it without my birth certificate. If I alleged that that was wrong or alleged that I could not find it, where would I be? Who gave the DMV the right to define what sex I am?

Why does it make any difference to the government (especially those espousing small government and personal freedom) that I am male?

The only answers I have are that if I am (legally) male:

  1. I can be drafted into combat posts.
  2. I can be penalized for entering women's restrooms (maybe?).
  3. I am not allowed to marry a male.

I can see the political expedience of the first. I can see the convenience of the second. I've got nothing for the third.

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