Yesterday, the Biden administration issued a new interpretation of the civil rights law that applies to schools, otherwise known as Title IX. These regulations carry the power of law. This is what the Department of Education hopes to enact. There will be push back!
The draft text of the regulation included this key sentence, according to the people familiar with it: “Discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”I'm gobsmacked. Not so much by the outlawing of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as by that first prohibited category: "on the basis of sex stereotypes." If that sticks and gradually moves into our common experience, we'll be attempting something profoundly novel in this culture.
Women and men experience socially constrained stereotypes of femininity and masculinity. Huge numbers of us don't feel the roles we're expected to perform quite fit who we know ourselves to be. Mostly we find ways to be good enough at "male" or "female," but at the cost of not feeling quite ourselves. What would the world be like if we could be more ourselves?
Slowly and painfully, largely thanks to the bravery of queer, lesbian and gay, transsexual, non-binary, intersex, and the whole melange of us who are somehow non-stereotype conforming, we're trying to change the world.
Sorry, gender-fearful Republicans.