Is There a Gender Other Than Male or Female?

“The sex . . . is hereby changed from female to non-binary.” Recently, a judge in Oregon legally recognized a gender other than male or female.

Binary” means “consisting of, indicating, or involving two.” Non-binary gender, then, is something other than two genders. It appears to be a catch-all term referring to various gender identities, such as a third “other” gender, fluid gender, or multiple gender.

The Oregon petitioner, a biological male, began transitioning into a transgender woman. He ultimately felt that neither sex fit and asked the court to recognize him legally as non-binary. The judge granted his wish in a short, two-paragraph opinion. He celebrated the order and felt “liberated from the boundaries of being male or female.” His attorney’s next task is to have the state’s forms changed so that choices other than male and female are available on driver’s licenses, etc.

This seems to be the first legal decision of its kind in our country, but it will not be the last. It is novel but should not be surprising. It’s simply the logical continuation of the transgender movement, the (attempted) eradication of manhood and womanhood.

A couple of thoughts in response to this development:

  • Irony. All of the people insisting that there is no real distinction between genders were all created by one man and one woman. No matter what they may feel or how much they want to believe otherwise – their very existence is the result of clear and necessary biological differences between the two sexes. Our politically correct culture cannot change that. There are still only “X” and “Y” chromosomes. In an interview, even the petitioner admitted, “no amount of hormones is going to make [him] look like a female.” At some point, there has to be recognition of objective fact.
  • Implications. Transgender issues have been at the forefront of cultural discussion in recent months. If the non-binary movement takes hold (and it will), the issue will move well beyond the “which-of-the-two-bathrooms-should-I-use” debate and move toward the complete annihilation of any acceptable gender distinction in public life whatsoever. Eventually, instead of two rooms for bathrooms, showers, or locker rooms, there will be one. There would not be any basis for discussion of gender differences if gender does not exist legally or practically in society. The ramifications of erasing binary gender are endless and are particularly harmful to the family unit, to women, and to children. (For more on this topic: 4 Consequences of the Gender Identity Movement; The Bathroom Battle and the True War on Womanhood)

Tangentially, I found myself puzzled over the lack of uproar from feminists on this topic. It seems that maintaining “woman” or “womanhood” would be something that they would support vehemently. Yet they generally align themselves with the transgender movement. And then I realized that, frankly, the modern feminist movement has been eroding womanhood for decades. Their stance isn’t contradictory; it’s actually quite consistent. They have not been for womanhood so much as for the elimination of it. The transgender movement today is really just building on a foundation already present.

I wonder how far our society will go in redefining the sexes. Our culture is changing rapidly. Contrary to popular opinion, most of those who share my viewpoint are not filled with hate, fear, or bigotry. Rather, we are filled primarily with sadness and concern. And love. The beauty of true manhood and womanhood is something so special and so worthy of celebration. It is heartbreaking to see it so mangled and disregarded.

God created us male and female. Ultimately, I take comfort that neither our government nor our culture has the true authority or ability to change that. I hope only that others rediscover the beautiful complement of the two genders.

Question: Do you think our government should maintain categories of “male” and “female” on official documents?


Reply July 5, 2016

Great piece Steph .. but such a sad commentary on life .. thank God for the comfort of knowing that neither our government or culture can change the fact of there being two sexes .. good job, thanks!

    Reply July 6, 2016

    Thanks, Emilie! That is such a comfort in our chaotic world.

Peggy Wang
Reply July 5, 2016

You write beautifully. I wish there were more like you. I especially liked your comment on feminism and I totally agree with you. Just never thought about that. Thank you for pointing that out. We need to remember God is still on the throne and in control. Ever since the beginning of humanity in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been trying to eliminate boundaries God sets to protect us. "Can we not be like God?" was the doubt planted in our heart by the serpent. So...nothing is new. Like you said, it's just really sad. Come, Jesus, come!

    Reply July 6, 2016

    Hi Peggy - thanks for your comment! Great point - this all started in a garden long ago. I hope more people see that God's boundaries actually lead to freedom.

Reply July 9, 2016

Great post Stephanie! It was so good meeting you at the Gospel Coalition Women Conference! Thanks for linking the helpful links you added at the bottom!

Gamine & Stripes

Reply July 10, 2016

Too bad you didn't study the science.

Reply July 11, 2016

As the parent of a child who has chosen to be "non-binary", I have struggled with how to grasp and understand this issue fully. I have to say your opinion, while I respect the right for you to have one, is small-minded. God created my child the way they are and I don't believe it is any assault on YOUR sexual identity. We need to meet people where they are and embrace that things are going in this direction, whether you like it or not. I take issue with your statement, "There would not be any basis for discussion of gender differences if gender does not exist legally or practically in society. The ramifications of erasing binary gender are endless and are particularly harmful to the family unit, to women, and to children." HOW is it harmful??? I think the world would be a wonderful place if GENDER was not factored into anything, actually. Let's look at our fellow humans and human beings and not categorize them as "men" and "women", limiting what they are able to do, say, dress, and behave.

    Reply July 18, 2016

    K, please know that there are people in this world who do not know your child yet completely respect that they are experiencing life in a way that neither you nor I can comprehend. I also understand that it's not a choice, it's not an easy way of life that anyone would pick, and it by no means takes anything away from "us." Stephanie, one of your "4 Consequences of the Gender Identity Movement..." state that children growing up thinking it's normal to chemically and surgically change is negative on their beings. I wholeheartedly disagree. I believe the more you know about someone who is different than you, the more tolerant, educated, and loving you become. I've not met every feminist on the planet, not even most, but I've always been under the impression that their goal is to allow girls/women to become who they are and to not grow up thinking they have to cook and clean in pearls and heals every day of the week. You prefer a traditional approach to womanhood and I believe feminists want you to have that if that's what you so desire. What you state as a negative effect on children, children growing up thinking gender neutrality is okay, I transfer over to the feminist movement. I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking she has to marry, have children, cook, clean, and decorate. She's only 5 and I've told her these things more times than I can count already. I by no means want to take that away from anyone else who wants it. I'd like to ask if you've spent any seriously quality time with anyone who is transgender or struggling because they don't fit any mold. That's a very important question to me. Can you please elaborate on the harm placed on the family concept by this gender movement? I'm curious about that along with K. I also recently read this piece that I'd like to share with you and this community to see what the thoughts are. I enjoy that this is a safe place to talk. I thank you for that and look forward to a response.

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