Gender legally replacing “sex” reaches new heights of absurdity in Utah

I hate to say I told you so, but….confusing sex with gender is back-firing. Big time.

The Advocate has run a news story about some pretty outrageous legislation being proposed in Utah. Their primary concern seems to be that physical exams will be mandated for trans-identified students wishing to use the bathroom in accordance with their gender identity, not “phenotype” (read: sex/genitals). I agree, this is extreme and probably not approriate in any situation.

But I kind of laughed when I got to this paragraph:

The bill’s redefinition of “gender” also appears to conflate the word — which generally refers to the socially ascribed attributes of “masculine” and “feminine” — with biological or phenotypal “sex,” which refers to one’s chromosomal makeup and sex organs.

Uh, that’s what she said. Sorry, was that inappropriate? Excuse me, that’s what I, and other gender critical feminists, have been complaining about since at least 2011. Sex and gender, they just aren’t the same thing. Legally, the conflation creates a hot mess that gets hotter all the time.

So I decided to look at the text of the bill itself. The word “gender” is literally, completely, actively displacing SEX in this legislation. Over and over again. Read it for yourself. I always do.

83          Section 3. Section 13-7-3 is amended to read:
84           13-7-3. Equal right in business establishments, places of public accommodation,
85      and enterprises regulated by the state.
86          All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal and are entitled to full
87      and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, goods and services in all business
88      establishments and in all places of public accommodation, and by all enterprises regulated by
89      the state of every kind whatsoever, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, [sex]

90      gender, religion, ancestry or national origin. Nothing in this act shall be construed to deny any
91      person the right to regulate the operation of a business establishment or place of public
92      accommodation or an enterprise regulated by the state in a manner which applies uniformly to
93      all persons without regard to race, color, [sexgender, religion, ancestry, or national origin; or
94      to deny any religious organization the right to regulate the operation and procedures of its
95      establishments.

This seriously alarms me. But you know what? It is the forseeable consequence of overriding sex with gender (“regardless of sex assigned at birth”).[1] Sex is not gender, but gender is more important than sex. Ok, fine, have it your way.

Conservatives can play this game too!

1181          (9) (a) “Gender” means the either male or female phenotype designation of an
1182         individual as documented by:
1183            (i) the individual’s birth certificate, if the individual has not obtained a designation
1184            under Subsection (9)(a)(ii); or
1185             (ii) a signed, written document from a physician, as defined in Section 58-67-102 , that,
1186             based on a physical examination of the individual’s genitalia, designates the individual
1187             phenotypically as either male or female, if:
1188          (A) the individual does not have a birth certificate that designates the individual as
1189          either male or female; or
1190          (B) the document conflicts with the individual’s birth certificate.
1191          (b) “Gender” does not mean an individual’s own opinion of whether the individual is:
1192          (i) male;
1193          (ii) female;
1194          (iii) neither male nor female;
1195          (iv) both male and female; or
1196          (v) another designation.
1197          (c) “Gender” is defined for the purposes of state law only and does not apply to federal
1198      law.

CHECKMATE. Gender=sex.


[1] See chart of all state-level American “gender identity” legislation with exact text and links here. You need to download the xls file.


  1. Moment, so what happened is that the word sex was replaced by ‘gender’, but that gender needs to be proven by the exact same means as your sex?

  2. Thank you for your answer 🙂 (also that is pretty absurd and they accuse feminists of newspeak…)

  3. old_school_feminist · ·

    Elizabeth, I’m a huge fan of your work, but your quote from Voltaire isn’t by Voltaire and has a troubling history. See The quote actually was made up by a white supremacist. Just wanted to point this out, and I do so as a supporter of everything else you do! Thank you for your bravery in speaking up about gender.

  4. Yes, I’ve heard the same about the Voltaire quotation. I’m not really concerned with who said it. It is the sentiment itself that matters. I will remove the Voltaire attribution, but I still like the substance of the statement. It’s true. No matter who said it first.

    Thank you for the comment.

  5. Ok, now I’m concerned about whether it is grammatically correct. When it was Voltaire’s, it didn’t matter. But now who…whom?

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