Social construction, take two: in accordance with a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, Britain will now allow transsexuals to apply for substitute birth certificates showing their “new gender”. As the responsible parliamentary official explained,
“Our legislation will enable transsexual people confidently to take up those rights which have been denied to them in society … I believe it is absolutely right that the 5,000-strong transsexual community be afforded the same rights enjoyed by the other millions of us in the UK.”
Makes sense. The Englishman is allowed to be an Englishman, so why not the Englishwoman? Since there are no human realities other than technology and the individual will, it’s wrong to treat us as if we were anything but what we choose to be. Or such is the view of Rosie Winterton, and of the European Court of Human Rights. I can’t help but worry though about the ultimate political implications of saying that people are, quite literally, nothing in particular.