Linguistic misunderstanding

A man cannot become a woman


“Woman” can mean A. a human born with ovaries, or B. the behavioral expectations about how these humans behave. If you say “a man cannot become a woman,” you‘re using definition A. If you disagree, you’re going by definition B.

There’s a running joke these days where someone asks a “leftist” what a woman is, and they cannot reply.

When trans-supporting and anti-trans people argue, the entire argument is often built on a misunderstanding. Each side thinks that the words “man” and “woman” mean completely different things than what the other side does. Dictionaries typically define woman as “adult human female.” In biology, a human female is a person born with ovaries, and no testicles. Vice versa for men. Simple.

Now the problem arises because of the secondary meanings of the words “man” and “woman,” which is what we mostly use in our everyday life.

If someone says “you’re not a real man!” they’re not literally claiming that you weren’t born with testicles, but rather that you don’t act the way in which society dictates that people with testicles should act. Similarly, if somebody says “real women have curves,” they don’t think that if you’re not curvy, you were surely not born with ovaries. They mean “I believe it’s socially desirable for people born with ovaries to have curves.”

There can never be an agreement if we don’t first agree on what the words we use mean. It’s come to be that a single word, “woman,” means both “human born with ovaries” and “the societal role that humans born with ovaries are expected, encouraged, and sometimes forced to play.”

If you were wondering, I’d define the social variant of the words man and woman as “a person who, if made to choose which societal role — that for those born with testicles or ovaries — is closer to the way they want to live their lives, they’d pick the role for those with { testicles or ovaries respectively }.”

It’s interesting to note that one out of every 20,000 to 64,000 babies born with a Y chromosome has Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) — which means their body does not react to testosterone. In other words, they are assigned female at birth and are identical to typical women, except for the fact that they don’t menstruate (due to the absence of a uterus or ovaries).

Even those who vehemently argue that gender is solely determined by one’s chromosomes (the presence of a Y chromosome always indicating a male) base their judgment of a person’s sex on their appearance, since they cannot test their DNA. Therefore, they would perceive people with AIS as women, demonstrating how it’s not solely about chromosomes in the first place.