The Dutch Senate passed a new law to allow people to change the “gender” marker in their official identity papers to their preferred gender. The law does away with previous requirements for taking hormones and surgery, including irreversible sterilization, though it is a step short of complete personal autonomy for the decision. Thus, the Netherlands will allow any person to “change their gender” (sic) on identity documents with a simple declaration, thus obliterating the category of “sex” as a meaningful legal category.
According to Human Rights Watch, which has “researched” – and fundraised off of – this issue, in 1985, the Netherlands was among the first European nations to adopt legislation granting “transgender people—individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned them at birth—legal recognition of their gender identity, albeit under onerous legal conditions.” The law allowed trans people to “change their gender” on official documents only on condition that they have altered their bodies through hormones and surgery, and that they are permanently and irreversibly infertile. This is what is known as “a legal sex change.”
“These requirements routinely leave trans people with identity documents that do not match their deeply felt gender identity, resulting in frequent public humiliation, vulnerability to discrimination, and great difficulty finding or holding a job,” according to Human Rights Watch.
According to Human Rights Watch, the “conditions imposed by article 1:28 of the Civil Code violate transgender people’s rights to personal autonomy and physical integrity and deny transgender people the ability to define their own gender identity,” deemed by the European Court of Human Rights to be “one of the most basic essentials of self-determination.”
No word from Human Rights Watch about the rights of Women to have space away from the male-bodied who identify as “Women.”