With Rhode Island’s governor, Democrat Gina Raimondo, decreeing that our state’s licenses will now allow a third gender option, the two most important questions about the policy are simply not being asked. By anybody.
To begin with, let’s note a bit of sleight-of-hand in the whole thing. Looking at my license, I see that it does not purport to tell my “gender.” Rather, my “M” appears under the word “sex.” That presentation means one of two things. The first possibility is that the governor’s new licenses will switch out “sex” for “gender.” Inasmuch as state law specifically requires applications for licenses to state the “sex,” this would be beyond the governor’s authority to do. (Note that the state’s license applications appear to be out of compliance with state law, in this regard, using the word, “gender.”)
The second possibility is that, after years (decades?) of activists’ insisting that “sex” and “gender” are not synonymous, the progressive mandate has reversed, requiring that they are. If this is the governor’s intent, she should be more forthcoming about it and state that she holds the more-radical view that there are actually more than two sexes. That is the insinuation of the radicals, but they probably correctly suspect that being more explicit would crack the rhetorical illusion they’re seeking to create.
The next important question is: Why is this information on the licenses at all? Is the descriptive information on our driver’s licenses simply there to make us comfortable with them? If so, I’d prefer to add a couple inches to my height and shave 10 to 15 pounds off my weight. I also don’t like the idea of being branded as visually impaired (and therefore wearing glasses). And yet, the application for a license requires that all of these things be attested honestly, under penalty of perjury. Why?
The central reason, of course, is to help police officers confirm that the person operating a vehicle is, in fact, the person on the license. Obviously, there is some variability, there, inasmuch as there is no law requiring drivers to report significant weight loss or gain, or bans on dying hair or wearing colored contact lenses, but these are questions that can be asked of drivers. In the case of somebody who is incapacitated, a person attempting to identify the license holder can verify things like actual eye color and sex.
If this reason, or any others, are not sufficient to justify biological accuracy on our licenses, why not just get rid of the questions altogether?
Postscript: By way of a parting question that I also haven’t seen asked elsewhere, will Raimondo’s new innovation require that people marking down their gender/sex as “X” register for the draft, which is only required of males? If not, can people unregister by changing their identification?
Featured image: The sample new license as it appeared on the RI DMV’s Web site as of this publication.