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I can’t wait until my next birthday, because my driver’s license is expiring!
Here in Oregon, where legislators make brain-convoluting, inexplicable laws they perceive as “cutting edge,” we have a new option when filling out our license applications at the DMV.
You thought the bathroom/gender discussion was contentious? Now we can check “M,” “F,” or “not specified” when indicating our gender on our driver licenses.
Oh, boy! Or … oh, girl? Or … whatever? I’m confused already.
I think Oregon is the first — and probably last — state to try out this third gender option. And I see it backfiring, possibly at the DMV window.
DMV: “Uh, ‘not specified’? Do you have … proof?”
Or maybe on the road.
Cop: “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to arrest you for murder. Sir — I mean, er, ma’am … uh … Help me out a little here, could ya? Where in the jail do I put … you? The men’s wing? Women’s? The exercise yard? Solitary?”
I blame the millennials. They believe gender is a spectrum — “gender expansive” — and that people can fall outside conventional categories. Gender expression can be different than gender identity.
I kind of like this, actually.
I like what Miley Cyrus said: “Being a girl isn’t what I hate; it’s the box that I get put into (that I hate).”
Bam. Me, too.
I love being a woman. But don’t tell me I can’t do things “women can’t/shouldn’t do.” I will repair my truck, build a railroad tie retaining wall and replace my roof — and falling off said roof doesn’t require I start behaving like a princess any more than should a man who falls off a roof.
A recent article in National Geographic magazine tries to explain the gender spectrum and what lies within it. Maybe that’s where state elections officials got the idea.
I’ll make this short.
We’ve got “normal,” hetero people. There are LGBTQI and another letter; I can’t keep track. There’s gender-nonconforming. (My mother would roll her eyes: “Please. Understatement!” She could never get me to “do my nails,” wear makeup or play with dolls. No, I was all about climbing trees, exploring canyons and storm drain systems, playing football with the boys.)
NatGeo took these basics and blurred, swirled, twisted, and reformulated gender stereotypes.
“This is where things get murky in the world of gender,” the magazine reads, continuing to stir that pot. I’m sure the journalist who wrote that was chortling with glee.
One child-born-girl cited in the article tried out terms: “butch lesbian” and “genderfluid,” before settling on his current identity, “non-binary trans guy,” which actually is oxymoronic. But if it works for him, more power to him.
Other labels: intersex, cisgender, non-binary, genderfluid, androgynous, genderqueer, agender — the boy with an enzyme deficiency whose uncle shrugged and said, “He’s finding his rhythm.”
Don’t ask me why. I’m not a scientist, and I don’t want to get in the middle of a gender brawl. Read the article.
I plan to continue living my life as I have: a woman who can (For Reals!) wear a little-black-nothing dress to a formal event, slip into some (these days, not too high!) heels, and use the correct fork at the dining table. Sometimes, I even remember to shave my legs.
But the next day, as most people know, I might be outside ripping a piece of plywood to build a chicken coop, cleaning pine needles out of the gutters (on the roof!) or dismantling a fan from the patio ceiling.
Maybe I’ll check that “non specific” box on the driver’s license application, if nothing more than to see the look on the policeman’s face when he pulls me over.
Cop: “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to arrest you for murder. Sir — I mean, er, ma’am … Oh, never mind. You’re free to go.
“Go on, now. Go. Please.”