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Transgender man in Japan wants switch recognized without surgery

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What are the boxes you tick to fall into the category “woman”?

it seems it is not chromosomal, not based on sex organs, not based on any particular cultural stereotypes.

if a man can just say they are a trans woman, doesn’t the entire concept of “woman” become entirely empty of any meaning?

if you disagree, please supply the meaning

33 ( +46 / -13 )

Suzuki-san needs to face reality. It doesn't matter what she considers herself to be, she has a female body, her gender is female. A doctor pointed out something very important on this issue. "I need to know the actual gender of the patient," he said. "A stomachache for a man may be a very different thing than a stomachache for a woman."

29 ( +45 / -16 )

This is a big issue and yet another one Japan is lagging behind on. Not all trans people should have to get reassignment surgery to be recognised as a different gender they're assigned at birth. Apart from being costly in Japan, surgery is also invasive and (let's repeat it) gender and sex are not the same.

Looking forward to the nuances discussion on this one.

-28 ( +19 / -47 )

Sounds like he wants everyone to recognize his "Change" but he hasn't made up his mind yet .

25 ( +35 / -10 )

I dislike these people seeking attention and that is my feeling about this topic. Their problem it not sexual but missing out on attention.

19 ( +34 / -15 )

Many women wouldn’t like it if a “woman” with a penis came into the ladies’ bathroom.

35 ( +51 / -16 )

Many women wouldn’t like it if a “woman” with a penis came into the ladies’ bathroom.

At least in a bathroom you have a door on each stall.

Wait until these "ladies" demand to use the lady's side at onsens. An uniquely Japanese problem which is much worse than bathrooms.

27 ( +37 / -10 )

Suzuki-san needs to face reality. It doesn't matter what she considers herself to be, she has a female body, her gender is female.

No. Her sex is female and her gender is male.

Even the article above can't understand the difference between sex and gender and so ends up as a confused mess.

As far as I'm concerned, someone can identify as the male gender all they want, and have my support. But you can't claim the sex of male unless they have been though a sex change.

I appreciate almost everyone will disagree with me here, from the legion arch conservatives to those who are part of the transgender community.

-15 ( +17 / -32 )

if a man can just say they are a trans woman, doesn’t the entire concept of “woman” become entirely empty of any meaning?

No, it doesn't. There will never be so many intersex people that binary gender will lose its meaning. The concepts "man" and "woman" are deeply entrenched in every culture. The fact that someone is forced to perform as one side of the binary they're not comfortable is kind of the point.

Neither chromosomes and not even reproductive organs are a 100% sure way to identify someone's gender. It is, however, most of the time, which is why the concepts of binary gender do and always will exist. All transgender and non-binary people want is to not have to adapt to absolutes that don't suit them individually.

By the way, many cultures around the world recognise this. It's somehow predominantly western and west-influenced cultures that seem to make a big deal out of it. I wonder why.

-23 ( +12 / -35 )

@Meiyouwenti

I don't understand your argument. There are no urinals in women's bathrooms, and I don't think a person trying to live as a woman will whip their genitals out in the women's bathroom in front of everyone, I don't see how anyone would know unless they made a point of it.

In any case this is about a born female trans to male person who does not want their genitals messed with, in order to be given the gender of male on official documents, if they look like a male, and have undergone a lot of other procedures, using bathrooms will also not be an issue as men's bathrooms also contain regular toilets, and, as far as I have experienced I have never been looked in on, or felt the urge to look in on other men doing their business to see if they have the right genitals.

What's the real problem here?

-13 ( +12 / -25 )

Pick a side.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

I'm all for people being what they want. But, I also wonder where the line is.

This is a bit off topic, but there is a relationship. A few years ago a woman who worked for the NAACP got into trouble because she was trying to pass as African American when in fact she was caucasian.

But, why not? If she identifies as African American, why not accept her as such?

Where is the line?

0 ( +22 / -22 )

@BertieWooster

A doctor pointed out something very important on this issue. "I need to know the actual gender of the patient," he said. "A stomachache for a man may be a very different thing than a stomachache for a woman."

Exactly.

14 ( +23 / -9 )

Well, now they can, legally.

But this woman wants to change sex without changing sex organs.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

A doctor pointed out something very important on this issue. "I need to know the actual gender of the patient," he said. "A stomachache for a man may be a very different thing than a stomachache for a woman."

Exactly.

That's why the professional opinions of experts need to be considered in evaluating the issue.

Let's bring the biologists/medical and health professionals/experts on sex and reproduction

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I agree with this person in that surgery should not be the determining factor. Surely there are transgender people not wanting to attach or detach bits and pieces of their bodies. They've probably gotten nervous hearing bad/botched results from others.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

A person can not change their sex any more than they can change their age or race.

My age changes yearly. Same with everyone else.

-16 ( +9 / -25 )

This is wrong for so many reasons.

Sex vs. gender is utter nonsense.

15 ( +26 / -11 )

This is wrong for so many reasons.

Sex vs. gender is utter nonsense.

I imagine it must be stressful having such a strong opinion on the matter, while watching society pass you by in an entirely different direction. Just imagine what it will be like for your kids when this is all normal and not even a discussion.

-18 ( +12 / -30 )

This is certainly THE thorny issue of the day.......people have a right to live their life how they see fit....and a label is just a label so what harm does it really do?? BUT there are certain situations in which it will become pertinent......medical issues for one. The mixing in female only areas such as toilets, onsen (in Japan) and changing rooms. Whether these people like it or not, real women may not be as accepting of them in these areas if their perception is that they are really men.......

16 ( +21 / -5 )

That’s one of the problems with this. They insist. Well tough! People don’t have to respect your version of reality.

they demand that we bow to their delusions.

No.

Count me in on the "no" vote.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

But, why not? If she identifies as African American, why not accept her as such?

Where is the line?

She needs an army to support her.

Give it time, maybe it will be the next big thing

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Interesting comments about a very confusing subject. I must be getting old because I’m at a loss for words.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

That’s one of the problems with this. They insist. Well tough! People don’t have to respect your version of reality.

they demand that we bow to their delusions.

No.

Insisting and demanding aren't really problems, everyone does that or must do that to initiate change.

The problem is the coercion, the cancelling.

One of the main problems also is that women are actively marginalized.

And they don't care about the women at all.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@Burning Bush

Trust the science, not your personal feelings.

Yet you are anti vax!! LOL!!!

0 ( +19 / -19 )

Probably one of the reasons why a "man" wants to keep her reproductive capacity

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I support him! Transphobia can be dealt with by private onsen which I saw in Oita, and gender-free toilets and change rooms for one person at a time.

I support her too. I wish there's a way to resolve the issues involved in the most advantageous manner for all parties concerned, particularly the women.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Transphobia can be dealt with

A woman not wanting to share bathrooms with a man is not transphobia

18 ( +27 / -9 )

People not believing in what transgender supporters say is not transphobia

17 ( +25 / -8 )

Last.

People are fond of saying "science is settled", "follow science", " trust science".

Let's.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

She is a she, not a he

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Transphobia can be dealt with by private onsen

Private onsen -- is that another word for your own bathtub?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Those who commented that this person is only seeking attention have highest up votes. Those who are empathic score low on both up and down votes. What this tell me is today society are over these attention seekers where before they did feel empathic to them but not now. People are sick and tired of these people. They just trying themselves to get on with live in a normal setting

7 ( +14 / -7 )

It doesn't really matter what you personally believe about transgender people, but the government forcing people to be sterilized or get surgery is wrong. There is no other group forced to do so.

If they can force once group to get unwanted medical surgeries, what's to stop them from forcing another group? People should have the right to bodily autonomy.

As usual, the comments sections under transgender articles turns into a swamp of judgment, rather than talking about the actual issue brought up in the article. Are these laws constitutional?

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Identity crisis clarification for this human being please.

Although iam sympathetic to the issues that transgender people suffere,however its not physically possible to be more than one gender.

Emotionally and mentally is the issue.

If a so called transgender is having identity or social acceptance issues then they can't be perform certain jobs that require responsible focusing.

Its a disability and not something to be ashamed or ridiculed for.

Their still people.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

By the way, many cultures around the world recognise this. It's somehow predominantly western and west-influenced cultures that seem to make a big deal out of it. I wonder why.

Yotomaya

I suspect it's largely to do with the negative influence of the Monotheist religions, particularly Christianity.

Those theologies have never been comfortable with the Human body.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Despite many in this forum having difficulty understanding transgenderism, the real issue here in Japan is one of preserving the status-quo when it comes to the koseki family registration system. On the one hand, Japan is more progressive than many countries in that it correctly recognizes that some people are born in the wrong physical body and allowing them to change their gender on the koseki. The caveat being that they must undergo surgery to remove their reproductive organs first. Note, that means ovaries and uterus or the testes, not the vulva/penis. This is significant, because the reason for this is the koseki. If transgender men (some with functional uteruses) started giving birth, or recognized transgender women (with viable sperm) starting impregnating willing female partners then the whole neat and tidy father, mother, offspring system would get too muddy. Can't have a Japanese child registered with a transgender man (registered male) listed as the mother alongside a cis woman also listed as mother. Conservative heads would explode.

Forced sterility as a condition of being recognized as who you are is a human rights violation.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

If Suzuki San wants to identify as male, without overhauling the undercarriage, I really don’t care.

But yes, there will be issues of which onsen, changing room, etc to use.

As long as men and women are not comfortable showing their no-no parts to each other (some are not even comfortable showing them to the same sex) these issues will exist.

Many foreigners complain about the cleaning ladies at the onsen. How would they feel if a trans-woman, frank and beans swaying in the breeze, was in the same onsen with their young daughters.

Women are more objectified in the media, but in general society, their dignity is more respected. When I was in high school, de-pantsing another dude was a common prank that usually only ended with some laughs. Imagine what would happen if the same prank was done on a girl.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

On a family registry it likely says 性(別)which in Japanese could mean sex or gender. There's no difference. And yet we're told time and time again by trans activists that they are separate. I think this is a pretty important point that Japan needs to wrestle with before they start jumping on the transgender bandwagon.

As mentioned above, medical issues are a highly relevant issue when it comes to transgender people, and clear communication matters. There are a host of issues that need to be settled before you can simply approve the changing of 性 in family records. The impact will be widespread, and not limited to the individual in question. Public baths, competitive sports etc are just the tip of the iceberg.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This article is a wee bit of a mess, especially concerning the definitions of "sex" and "gender". They are inherently different - sex refers to one's biological attributes; wheres gender refers to the socially constructed identifies of male, female or non-binary.

The man should be allowed to change his sex on the registry without having to undergo bottom surgery. Why is it such an issue? It's not going to harm anybody.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

The problem lies in Japan's draconian law requiring a person to become sterile in order to change their legal gender category (which puts physicians - and the state - in control of their lives). It's as bad as forcing people born with dual nationality to give up one (i.e., half of their birthright) upon reaching a certain age, which Japan also does. Countries that allow legal gender change with no sterilization include Argentina, Denmark, Malta, Sweden, Ireland, Norway and Belgium. Germany, India and Pakistan all legally recognize a third gender. Japan is stuck in an imaginary past in too many ways.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

A woman not wanting to share bathrooms with a man is not transphobia

And why is sharing a bathroom with someone of the opposite sex such a hardship? We do it all the time at home. There are unisex bathrooms in Europe and the States that get used with no complaints. Separate bathrooms for men and women is simply another result of societal conditioning.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

If this female-born individual is allowed to legally identify as a man without surgery, the whole issue becomes a farce. Anyone can then easily change their gender on the family register.

As others have noted, having an individual using a toilet or onsen having the opposite body parts as other users, may be acceptable in The West, but would be unacceptable in Japan. Especially around young kids.

An operation must be performed if legal genders are to be changed. Simple as that. This is NOT transphobic - it is realistic in Japan.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

People should have the right to dress like a man or a woman if they like. However, I am more inclined to support the legal right's of people who have gotten gender reassignment surgery. Regardless of feeling like a different sex, they should not have the legal status and all of the benefits that come with switching genders without a lengthy application process. It should be a gradual process as the technology used for gender reassignment improves as well as to see if the individual are really sure this is what they want. Some people may be simply curious to try it, or they may also want the best of both worlds. That is their right, but for legal matters it should be like applying for citizenship. Unless they are willing to go under the knife, testosterone, or gene therapy, it appears to the average person to be only "live action role playing."

I definitely do not want a grown man who has not had surgery share a public toilet with my young daughter when I cannot be in there with her. I am not assuming that the person is a pervert. I just cannot judge based on appearance whether they are serious about changing genders or if it is a "Bosom Buddies" situation. I also cannot tell whether the person has had surgery, yet.

Until some safe guards in place, there has to be some limitations in place to stop those wanting to game the system because it hurts all those that are serious about switching genders and the LGBTQ community as a whole.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Color me stupid, but what benefit accrues from changing one's gender/sex on government paperwork? Extra money?

The onsen question is a great one. In the US, the obsession is bathrooms. At least they can be private if necessary. But public baths? Somehow, I cannot see many Japanese ladies being too comfortable if they have to share their bath with a pre-op trans woman.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Your chromosomes defines if your male or female not the brain and for the man who want to claim he is a she better not enter a female toilet with a excuse of I’m really a female

4 ( +9 / -5 )

As others have noted, having an individual using a toilet or onsen having the opposite body parts as other users, may be acceptable in The West

Toilet yet. Onsen? Which "The West" are you talking about? There are no onsen essentially anywhere outside of Japan where people go naked.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

But two of the four top court justices involved in the case expressed a view that the stipulation "is suspected" of violating the constitutional right to pursue happiness.

Let's hope the other two realized that they were violating reality.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

After filing the request Monday, Suzuki held a press conference with his female partner and said the two intend to marry. "I find it nonsensical that transgender people cannot enjoy marriage equality in Japan" unless they switch genders in their family registers.

This is a good point but it highlights another [bigger?] underlying issue: that people in general can't have marriage equality. If the crux of his position is that he wants to be able to marry his partner, allowing homosexual marriage would functionally solve that issue. Obviously it isn't exactly the same thing, but it would at least give a lot of the same legal benefits, which is a great first step.

I am all for trans rights, obviously I think he should be able to identify how he sees himself. I think, generally, most reasonable people have no issue with that aspect. It takes a special kind of pettiness to go "Nah, I know you said you are a man, but I will continue to call you a woman just to spite you".

Legally, is a different issue and probably going to be a tougher fight in Japan. I don't see the government budging on that anytime soon, but people do have to bring these cases forward if it will ever change.

@Reckless

I don't think requiring people who are transgendered to use private facilities only is really helping, that just whiffs of segregation-era policies. Gender-free toilets though, absolutely. I don't know what people are typically doing in bathrooms that toilets need to be separated to begin with.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

BertieWoosterToday  07:02 am JST

Suzuki-san needs to face reality. It doesn't matter what she considers herself to be, she has a female body, her gender is female. A doctor pointed out something very important on this issue. "I need to know the actual gender of the patient," he said. "A stomachache for a man may be a very different thing than a stomachache for a woman."

Make the physical change, then refer to yourself as that. Otherwise it's confusing and a waste of time to everyone concerned. How many 'trans' people are there in this planet of 8 billion +, anyway?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I don't think requiring people who are transgendered to use private facilities only is really helping, that just whiffs of segregation-era policies. Gender-free toilets though, absolutely. I don't know what people are typically doing in bathrooms that toilets need to be separated to begin with.

If they used an openspace design for all public facilities to have private stalls with a mini sink and mirror inside of them then the problem would be solved for everyone. Basically, they would be luxury "port a potties." People of all designations have no problem using them with different people around at concerts and other outdoor events. There would be relative equality and safety for all.

Just make them look better with more advanced technology.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Attiliathhungry

Color me stupid, but what benefit accrues from changing one's gender/sex on government paperwork? Extra money?

How about we call you orange? Obviously, there are opportunities available people to specific based on gender. Loans, scholarships, jobs and competitions are examples to name a few.

A well-trained naturally born bigger man with gender reassignment has a better chance of winning a gold medal in female weightlifting or wrestling during the Olympics than someone physically born a woman.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Bordeaux, thanks for the colour! I was more thinking of Suzuki's particular circumstance as a middle aged dude in Japan. I mean, if he really wants to marry his partner then being classed as "male" on his government paperwork would make it easier, so why does he want to change it?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

 if he really wants to marry his partner then being classed as "male" on his government paperwork would make it easier, so why does he want to change it?

From the article;

lives as a man but is listed as a woman in the family registry

In other words, s/he's currently classed as female in the paperwork, and wants to be classified as male.

Most trans I've seen tend to look mainly like what they start out life as (a la 'female' weight lifters), but a file photo of Suzuki I found on line shows him/her with a definite hairy chin. Either the doctors made a genuine mistake identifying his/her gender at birth, or s/he is taking hormones.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I love reading the comments from all these people who have got their knickers in a twist.

cleo:

Most trans I've seen tend to look mainly (sic) like what they start out life as (a la 'female' weight lifters),

Not all trans women look like that Caitlyn Jenner. It's not as simple as putting on a wig and saying you're a Trump supporter. Some actually look like feminine cis-women, and have had it chopped off. Many of the Asian ones make western cis women look butch.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

if you have a thing you are a dude. if you are committed enough to get the surgery then you can be a chick

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@starpunk with an average of 0.6% of the population either being born with intersex characteristics and/or identifying as transgender that’s around 48 million people around the world. But still few countries - more than one would guess though, for instance India recently introduced legal status registration under third gender - recognize legally one (or more) alternative to binary male/female.

While gender and sex are different, it is also important to notice that the number of people whose actual sex at birth does not conform to the standard male or female is similar to the percentage of people born with red hair…But doctors usually assign either one or the other sex (sometimes proceeding to what is basically a genital mutilation) and the family goes with it until often discovering later the child just doesn’t agree. Then paradoxically it’s the child who is seen as problematic.

It would be fun if we asked redhead children’s families to choose another hair color when born: “sorry yes we can see it’s neither blond nor black hair but these are the only legal possibilities, pick one we will implant the agreeable color and good luck when teenage kicks in and the red hair grow again. we cannot accept red hair, it would be shocking for people to see them in toilets (do you actually see people doing what they do?!?)”. If the comparison sounds crazy, remember European burnt redhead people for centuries saying they were witches. Medieval, like some comments here.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

*Most** trans I've seen...*

*Not all **trans women look like that Caitlyn Jenner. It's not as simple as putting on a wig and saying you're a Trump supporter. *

Of course most does not mean all.

I was thinking more of the weightlifter in the recent Olympics, can't remember her/his name, who had a definitely male physique but competed as a woman.

Caitlyn Jenner at least tries to look female, but it still shows. Sad.

And of course the ones that do pull it off (no pun intended) simply look how they want to look, and the rest of us are none the wiser, are we?

remember European burnt redhead people for centuries

Probably why there's not so many of them around now?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

any more than they can change their age or race.

Tell that to the "white" woman who identifies herself as being black!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Will this be normal in years to come ? It depends on your point of view. Most would think that reason and that would be base on discrimination. I take the my point of view with LBGT etc community whom have stolen the rainbow. Young children around the would who believe that a pot of gold was at the end of every rainbow now see a group of equality activist dress in erotic leather attire. Transexuals has stolen another sexuality and identity seeing that they were give one to start with. I don't dislike people who still and that disliking will always be in society. That not discrimination

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Olive

What are the boxes you tick to fall into the category “woman”?

Apparently, just feeling, not any objective criterion. There are so many questions the "transgender" activists never address. Like, does this also apply to pets, i.e. you do not know if the doggy you is male or female, before you ask them? How about police work? A body is found of undetermined gender, so we have investige first how it self-identified? I could go on for ages.

In the current situation, I think we should just drop the whole concept of "male" and "female", and simply report the DNA status of XY, XX where necessary.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yubaru

Tell that to the "white" woman who identifies herself as being black!

Google for Martina Black. Or Londonoli, who identifies as Korean.

Yep, self-identified race is the logical next step. Which is actually not a bad thing, because we would probably be better off if we are all one uni-race.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@WilliB “when necessary” is exactly the point. Why is it necessary for the person in the article to indicate her sex in order to marry the partner? When do we really need to know someone’s biological sex ? And no, the toilet and onsen are not good examples, they are sick obsessions.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Japan had three (3) genders in the past.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/arts/design/when-japan-had-a-third-gender.html

Times change. This isn't new. People are complicated.

Move on.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Is not this really about science and what scientists have totally agreed on as what is a male and what is a female?

One of my physical chemistry graduate classes got into a discussion about the chemiclal make up of the strands of DNA and specifically with the XX, and XY accents leading to gender.

Perhaps another category and rules need t o be added and amended to resolve the issue of a confused mind and actual physical pheno and genotypes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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