Overruling the Visible: The Emperor’s New Gender

Oct 7, 2019 by

by Margaret Harper McCarthy, Public Discourse:

This week the Supreme Court will hear the Harris Funeral Homes case. In that case, the funeral home director is accused of discrimination “because of sex.” Specifically, he is accused of “sex stereotyping,” because he fired a man who announced that he would start coming to work dressed in female attire.

Given the normal meaning of “stereotype,” both in common parlance and in caselaw interpreting Title VII, one would expect that the dress code itself was the culprit, functioning as a rigid restriction of the sexes, like requiring women to wear earrings or makeup to work. But, in this case, the employee does not ask for the right to breach the “stereotypical” sex-specific attire. On the contrary, he is eager to abide by it. He says he wants to wear female attire because he is a woman. The employer’s alleged discrimination, then, is due to something else, something hitherto unknown in our law. It is due to his acting on “stereotypical notions of how sexual organs and gender identity ought to align,” as the Sixth Circuit Court put it. To put it in plain language, it is due to the employer’s “view” that his biologically male employee who claims to be a woman may not actually be one. It is breathtaking.

What is at stake here is much more than the right of an individual to free self-expression or an employer’s freedom of religion to hold and act on such “stereotypes.” Since everyone in the workplace of that individual employee will be asked to accept that he is “a woman,” what is at stake is whether or not their—and, by extension, every person’s—pre-ideological, innate knowledge of oneself as a boy or girl, imbibed quite literally at the maternal breast, will be for all practical and public purposes officially overruled as false, a “stereotype.”

Read here

Read also: Will the Supreme Court stand up for reality? by Ryan Anderson, New York Post


Related Posts


Share This