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Passport applications now require you to state Gender not Sex

(19 Posts)
HairyLittleCarrot Thu 03-Dec-15 18:48:35

Just filled out a passport renewal for my son and noticed that I was forced to complete his "Gender" and not his Sex. Complete with helpful pop up for those who are unsure. The gender options are female and male.

I've checked and his original passport five years ago has sex as the category.

So no longer any option for us to answer factually.

And no option for those of us who reject gender, who are revulsed by the compulsion to have a gender ascribed to us. I don't want to be asked to state my gender. I don't have one. I only have a sex.

Biological sex is dead. Gender has won.

I feel miserable.

TheEmperorIsNaked Thu 03-Dec-15 19:30:17

DP is disabled and recently started looking at gadgets that would make him a bit more independent. There's a government website where you can complete a questionnaire and it gives you suggestions for suitable apparatus. Many of the things available aim to help with using the toilet alone so anatomy is very important. However the quiz asks you to state your gender rather than sex.


Oakmaiden Thu 03-Dec-15 19:31:29

But SEX is a rude word, innit?

Whereas gender is wishy washy and meaningless. Therefore far more appropriate for official paperwork.

IShouldBeSoLurky Thu 03-Dec-15 20:03:36

Yes, I genuinely think people tend to use 'gender' rather than 'sex' because 'sex' is considered a tiny bit risqué, not out of any trans-sensitive motive.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 03-Dec-15 20:09:43

Lots of scientific papers use gender to mean biological sex. For most people, they are interchangeable terms.

HairyLittleCarrot Thu 03-Dec-15 20:21:48

But in this case sex has been replaced by gender very recently, in a climate of transgender awareness, and of course the helpful notes are referencing trans - based on the assumption that the rest of us don't need or want to change our gender.

This was an active decision involving the expense of amending all forms, websites and most importantly, the actual passports themselves. This is a conscious decision which will have been through approval processes and in consultation with legislation.

I don't think it's an accident or considered to be interchangeable with biological sex here. Else there would be no helpful notes telling you how to change from one to the other on your passport application.

PrimeDirective Thu 03-Dec-15 20:25:32

I don't understand why this is a problem

TheFallenMadonna Thu 03-Dec-15 20:33:09

Fair enough. I sat through a presentation at school recently, where the visiting speaker said that sex was "just what was between the legs" and gender, more important, was how you felt yourself to be. And I had a whole bunch of issues with both definitions. Since I first learned to distinguish between them, definitions and indeed terminology (feminine to female gender for example) have shifted, and yet it was being presented as scientific fact.

HairyLittleCarrot Thu 03-Dec-15 20:48:12


What do you think gender means? How do you answer that question without defining gender?

Gender and sex mean very, very different things. They are not the same.

For me it's a problem because I have a biological sex, and the world treats me a certain way because of it.

I do not have a gender.

Lots of institutions seem to be shifting towards forcing people to ignore the very important and factual reality of biological sex, and telling us that gender trumps sex.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 03-Dec-15 20:58:44

is there really one agreed definition of gender?

Hovis2001 Thu 03-Dec-15 21:01:37

If they're going for 'gender' options, they should bally well have 'man' and 'woman'. Female and male are biological terms FFS.

CollatalieSisters Thu 03-Dec-15 21:18:11

If they're going to have gender rather than sex, male/female isn't exactly inclusive, is it?

chilledwarmth Fri 04-Dec-15 01:19:16

Does it really matter? Are you a man, or are you a woman, that's all they want to know.

VestalVirgin Fri 04-Dec-15 14:40:51

It matters, because I am biologically a woman (sex) but reject the submissive role in society that is assigned to me because of it (gender).

I have never been so glad that there is no word for gender in my native language.

Hopefully, they won't change it to something utterly ridiculous like "sex identity" here.

Iggi999 Fri 04-Dec-15 14:46:17

That is worrying.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 04-Dec-15 15:31:36

I would be less irritated with that if there were more options;

I reject the patriarchy

Shame it's not a fillable box.

QueenStromba Fri 04-Dec-15 16:34:15

Meanwhile they haven't even managed make the relatively small change of adding mothers' names to marriage certificates because it would apparently be a bureaucratic nightmare. We were promised that almost a year and a half ago and my shiny new marriage certificate does not have my mother's name on it. It's almost as if XY individuals matter more than XX individuals even if we're all supposedly women.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 05-Dec-15 19:22:27

I would prefer if they scrapped parents ' names entirely on marriage certificates. I'm not sure what the point is. The information is available on each partner's own birth cerificate if it's needed for genealogy purposes.

Can anyone tell me if UK birth certificates still only have a space for father's occupation? I didn't notice at the time but on looking at my son's birth certificate it has his father's occupation but not mine.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 07-Dec-15 05:42:42

Birth certificates ask for both parents occupation now.

I hate the gender/sex boxes on forms too. You see it all the time, gender m/f - irrelevant! I made the
Mistake recently of reading buzzfeed comments, honestly, the misunderstanding of what gender and sex actually are is so prevalent and shit like this propagates that.

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