That anomalies exist means ‘gender=reproductive system’ isn’t as neat a definition as bioessentialists claim.

It means that a woman may be someone who may have XX chromosomes but be missing core reproductive organs.

It means it may someone who has some female internal organs but doesn’t have a vagina.

It means it may be someone who has a ridiculous amount of testosterone that they would need to show their private parts to prove that they aren’t a man.

A cis woman with facial hair.

It means a variation of biological arrangements – which sometimes may include an overlapping of both female and male features. Biology is a fascinating science for this reason.

The person is most likely called a she because of features that may be more outward than inward i.e. has a vagina (but may also be based on chromosomes if the doctors/parents who designated them a she had access to information about their chromosomes). It is for this same reason that many intersex people are forced to live as an imposed gender from birth. We (everyday people) typically don’t do scans or carry out chromosomal tests to know who has a womb or who has whatever chromosomal arrangements. 

Even those who believe that women are only those with female reproductive organs will see a femme man who makes up as a woman and a stone butch woman as man. Because ‘must have so-and-so reproductive system’ is a definition that only (somewhat) works on paper. Except you want everyone to be subjected to private-part searches and biological tests, we are still going to define gender based on presentation. Because it’s a fucking social construct. It is based on how we see things in our everyday lives.

Yes, there’s more to the female reproductive system apart from the uterus. And there are XX people missing a couple of the organs in that system and some XXY (or some other chromosomal combination) people with more organs from that system. So, the question I have tried to raise before still stands: in our social, everyday life, how do you define someone as woman if you don’t have access to their bio scans and tests? If they are typically very masc in their presentation and wear chest binders and packers, how would you tell they are really a woman?


Written by Elizabeth George.


Additional contribution by the publisher:

You may find this Facebook video about cis women having beards/facial hair interesting. Here’s the link;

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