It occurred to me that I have been seeing so many posts on social media about people getting sex changes lately that it reminded me of The Sneetches, that old Dr. Seuss book. Originally, it was just because people were changing their outward appearance, like the Sneetches did by getting the stars on their bellies removed and put back on. However, then I started thinking about it, and actually there’s more there than I originally thought. Of course, the comparison is imperfect, and it breaks down, but humor me for a moment.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story of the Sneetches, I feel sorry for your lacking childhood, but it’s better late than never!
Now, what drove the plain-bellied Sneetches to desire stars? Well, one group was saying that they were superior, due to their physical appearance. The plain-bellied Sneetches didn’t bother to realize that they could have their own groups, doing all the same things, but rather they envied the other Sneetches, and wanted what they had.
Then, in swoops a sly salesman, who has just the technology to change their appearance, thereby giving them exactly what they always wanted. Surely now they can be included with the other group! Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out that simply. The salesman sold the other group the same bag of goods, and suddenly, the new thing to be envied was the lack of stars! Quickly! Change your appearance! All to belong to the group you feel like you should belong to! All for a nominal fee. After all, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be the best, and there’s no reason anybody should be able to judge you.
Of course, you will say, that isn’t the case! This isn’t merely a matter of taste! (couldn’t help myself)
You’ll say that the issues are deeper! In reality, all you’ve done is made the issues cheaper. (last one. promise.)
The general idea is that you feel, inside, the opposite gender that you were born as. Which is fascinating, because this seems to reinforce an idea that society has long been against. The idea that there are a set of feelings that belong to one gender, and a set of feelings that belong to another gender.
The Sneetches who change are heroes and brave, and the Sneetches who don’t (and anyone who suggests they shouldn’t) are not true to themselves, and aught to be shunned and looked down on. Don’t invite them to the discussion table, or the frankfurter roasts.
What of McBean? Well, a mere $3/$10 scheme seems laughable when compared to the tens of thousands of dollars the process costs today. But can you teach a Sneetch? Will there come a day when we can “be comfortable in our own skin” , realize that “being different is ok”? Well, probably not without the idea that everyone is made in the image of God, and thereby has worth in themselves, and that gender differences aren’t actually a bad thing. Maybe one day we will even be able to discuss what those differences are, and how they compliment one another, without racing to be the first one to get offended.
Though for now, McBean has us running about, until we don’t know “whether this one was that one. . .or that one was this one. Or which one was what one. . .or what one was who.” with McBean raking in the green over our confusion. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be happy to say, that all the Sneetches got very smart on that day.