Actually, that is not really the real question addressed in this article. It would have better worded as, "Should we continue to impose the term transgender on those who object?" The author, Dr. Jillian T. Weiss (Dr. Weiss is a law professor) makes the following comment:
Some transsexuals argue that biological studies indicate some differences between the brains of transsexuals and the sex attributed to them at birth. "Classic" or "true" transsexuals is sometimes a term used to refer to people who feel gender variant from a very young age, exhibit behavior and characteristics stereotypically attributed to the opposite sex from a young age (3-6 yrs), and who see to live as the opposite sex as soon as possible. When sex reassignment surgery was in its infancy, these were the only people allowed to access it.Now, while I find the term "gender variant" to be highly insulting, I otherwise agree with this definition. This is a pretty good description of what many of us experienced.
But then, Dr. Weiss goes on off in a very disturbing direction:
At this point in time, however, many people have come to the realization that one does not necessarily need to exhibit these very specific circumstances in order to be a good candidate for sex reassignment surgery. Others have also expressed the feeling that, even though they do have these characteristics, they do not want or need sex reassignment surgery. They are happy to live part-time or full-time in a different gender role without such surgical intervention. They may or may not take cross-gender hormones. They are perfectly happy the way they are.I am not sure who these "people" are, but I fear that they are seriously mistaken. I have encountered more than a few of these supposedly good candidates for surgery, both on-line and off. They tend, in many cases, to be anything but successful in their transitions. And while there are some, who may have been somewhat effeminate or butch as a child, if they do not have an overwhelming desire to pursue transition and surgical correction then, as was pointed out in an excellent article on this same subject at Enough Non-Sense, they have nothing in common with true or classic transsexuals.
Dr. Weiss does seem to understand, and acknowledge, that many do not like to be labeled as transgender. I am one of those who objects strongly to that term. But scrapping "transgender" is not the answer, unless one is going to return to more specific terms for everyone. I have no problem with those who identify as "transgender" calling themselves that. While I think it is a seriously flawed term, as I do not believe that gender can be changed, since I personally do not identify that way it is not my place to dictate what they can call themselves.
What is needed is to simply leave transsexuals or people with HBS alone. Stop trying to drag us into the political schemes of those who are transgender. They can demand the right to be able to claim to be a different sex without surgery...and I, and others can loudly disagree. Shoot, they can even argue that they should have rights, but not true transsexuals for all I care. I doubt they will win. Let them make all their silly claims, but leave transsexuals out of it. As one commenter puts it:
Ultimately, that is what this comes down to. While I do believe that provision should be made for those seriously pursuing surgical correction, who have a legitimate diagnosis of true transsexualism or HBS during the Real Life Test, I do not support the first option.
I only see two solutions to change the public perception:
1) Convince the public that anatomical males who "feel female inside" are ordinary women who should have access to women's spaces and legal status
2) Allow only anatomical females access to female spaces and legal status, and make sure the public is aware of this restriction when passing bills, etc.
I have little hope for #1.