The Time A Female Police Reached Under My Skirt at a Club

A few months after the “double standards” occurrence, I was again at the same club and speaking with two ladies. Something in the conversation prompted a third to disclose that she was municipal police (and although the club was not in that city, municipal police in this state have extended jurisdiction for the entire county in which the city partially lies, which did include the county of this particular club). No fan of cops (and definitely not white cops), I excused myself from the conversation and went on my way. Over the course of the eveningContinue Reading

Double Standards

I was just recalling an incident from several months ago at a local club (this event was still a few months before the time an off-duty female cop reached under my skirt at this same club). I rocking an awesome 15″ Gap or Ralph Lauren chino skirt. I found myself speaking with a group of three or four females when one of them rather abruptly asks me, “what do you have on under your skirt?”Continue Reading

Why Men Still Don’t Casually Wear . . .

In the not too distant past, European aristocratic males wore both skirt-like garments as well as high heels. (In fact, women adopted high heels from European men and made them daintily and femininely narrower.) Over time, though, the European and American industrial revolutions made bifurcated pants and flat shoes more utilitarian for daily life. Women, however, who were relegated to lives of domesticity continued with the less practical fashion. But there has always been a double standardContinue Reading

Circumcision

For many decades of the twentieth century, American physicians both recommended and presumed consent for routine infant circumcision. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics sharply revised its policy position in 1999 to hold that circumcision was strictly a cultural and/or religious consideration with no medical bias for or against. A decade later, the AAP again revised its policy position in 2012 citing two medical benefits—reduced risk of UTIs for the first year of life and reduced risk of STIs later in adulthood. (There may also be an indirect reduction in risk of penile cancer due to a reduced risk of HPV, but there is now a male HPV vaccine). However, the data only showed that the statistical benefit was greater than the statistical risk of the procedure. Therefore, infant circumcision was categorized as an acceptable medical procedure, but the data were not strong enough to medically recommend the procedure.Continue Reading

Pro-Choice on Abortion, but What About Circumcision?

Let me be clear at the onset that this post is not about abortion, but rather a sociopolitical contradiction.

A few weeks ago  I was struck by the irony that those who advocate “pro-choice” regarding women’s bodies fail to extend that philosophy to men’s bodies.Continue Reading

What Is Gender Nonconformity?

As noted in another post, sex and gender are not the same thing. Sex is typically seen as a binary trait that flows from reproductive function whether that be regarded as genital, chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal, or structural. There are, of course, biologically intersex persons born with karyotype disorders, androgen insensitivity disorders, and/or genital dysgenesis disorders. According to the U.N. World Health Organization, as much as 1% to 2% of persons are born intersex worldwide. Gender, however, is more complex and is not a monolithic construct.Continue Reading

A Quick Note on Sex & Gender

Sex and gender are not the same things. Biological sex is defined by anatomy and genetics. Gender, however, refers to the manifestation of that physiological sex. A person whose biological sex and manifested gender are congruent are termed cisgender. A person whose biological sex and manifested gender are incongruent may be (over broadly) considered transgender, but that does not necessarily mean such person intends to undergo medical sex reassignment or that such person intends to live as a different sex. More appropriately being “trans” simply means that the person transcends binary gender much in the way that D-block elements on the periodic table are called transitional elements because those elements have both metallic and nonmetallic properties. Such transmetals can appear to be metals in one context but nonmetals in another context.

Gender does influence sexuality but gender is not determinative of sexuality. In actuality, there are three components at work: Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sexual Orientation.Continue Reading

Gender Equality in the Shadow of 1960s Civil Rights

The outside temperature reached 103° F one recent July afternoon in south Georgia. I once experienced even hotter temperatures in Spain a decade ago, but the gulf humidity here is a beast of a different kind. I bounced to a thrift store in search of extensively used (i.e. breathable) medical scrubs. Little did I know that this simple mission would ignite a profound inquiry into gender equality.Continue Reading

On Striving for Gender Neutrality

I once experienced a freak Saharan heatwave with highs over 40° C while studying in Madrid. It was a dry heat, though, and very different from one recent 103° F July afternoon in south Georgia. I bounced to a thrift store in search of some well-worn (breathable) medical scrubs and that’s when I saw it: the plain, charred olive A-line mini. It struck me as the ultimate heatbuster and looked so sensible and professional that it triggered a brief flashback to my days in the corporate offices of a large regional bank and I wondered, as progressive as the bank was, if I would have been permitted to elect its female dress code. On second thought, I have no desire to cross-dress, but shouldn’t gender equality give men the option to wear skirts just as it gave women the option to wear pants many decades ago? As counterintuitive as it might be, I suspect the bank would have been much more cerebral than most universities in contemplating such questions. This being a summer break, I decided to test the waters and having donned various skirts for three weeks now, I reflect upon deeply disconcerting truths.Continue Reading