Gender Is More Than Biological Plumbing Or Something

Over at the NY Times, you can of course expect them to run pro-TG bathroom opinion pieces. Today we’re serenaded by Gillian Thomas, who, unsurprisingly, is an attorney for the ACLU, as part of the Women’s Rights Project, but seems to utterly contradict her end point. The headline reads Gender Is More Than Anatomy, and the final paragraph ends thusly

North Carolina’s supporters don’t get that sex is about more than just anatomy. It also includes family roles, romantic desires, cultural expectations and ideas of masculinity and femininity. The courts get that. In its fight with North Carolina, the Justice Department asks for something quite simple: that Title VII be allowed to mean what it says.

But, here’s what she was arguing throughout the missive

THE showdown between the Justice Department and North Carolina officials over a new state law restricting bathroom access for transgender people has brought a question into sharp relief: Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination because of sex, also prohibit discrimination because of gender identity?

The Obama administration thinks so, as do several district and circuit courts. But North Carolina officials call that a “baseless and blatant overreach” and a “radical reinterpretation” of Title VII. They argue that the authors of the law did not have transgender people in mind when they wrote it.

But that position not only misunderstands how legislative interpretation works, it also fails to grasp the historic complexities of Title VII’s sex provision. The provision has always been contested. Since we don’t know much about why Congress enacted it, we have to look at how courts have interpreted it over the years — and they have constantly expanded its meaning.

How have they done this?

Over the years, the courts deepened and broadened their interpretation of sex discrimination. In the Supreme Court’s first Title VII case, in 1971, the justices unanimously ruled against a defense contractor that refused to hire mothers of small children, but not fathers, because it considered them less committed to the job. In 1977, it rejected Alabama’s height and weight requirements for prison guard applicants, a policy that screened out most women.

The next year, the court ruled against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which required female workers to pay nearly 15 percent more of their paychecks into an employee-funded pension plan, because women, as a group, outlived men. That ruling has been cited again and again by other courts: Title VII was “intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women resulting from sex stereotypes.”

Other court rulings have recognized myriad forms of sex discrimination that would likely blow Representative Smith’s mind. A gas company that erased women’s seniority while they were on maternity leave, while keeping other leave-takers’ credit intact, was ruled in 1977 to have discriminated because of sex. A few years later, the Supreme Court found an employer’s health plan that provided less extensive care for the wives of male employees than for female employees to be discriminatory.

Have you noticed something? These and other issues cited by Ms. Thomas show discrimination per court ruling against, get this, actual biological women. Not pretend women. Not gender confused women. Not even “women” who have thought long and hard that they really do not like being a male and have had surgery to turn them into “women.” No, this was discrimination against actual women. So, gender is really about anatomy. These “family roles, romantic desires, cultural expectations and ideas of masculinity and femininity” are all about actual biological women. Not fake ones. Perhaps liberal yammerers should consider protecting women and girls for a change.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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