Why do courts and legislatures ban discrimination based on gender, and increasingly, gender identity, but exempt grooming and dress codes from the protections these laws offer? I argue that culpability for the courts’ and legislatures’ defense of hegemonic gender norms cannot be assigned to transgender rights movement, as some have done. These norms do not regulate only transgender people, they are not minoritizing—and neither should be the politics that seeks to transform them. The thought experiment of this review essay was to sever the analysis of particular political strategies from various assumptions about what gender really is. Agreement on the origin of gender is not required to challenge the ability of employers and judges to force people to adhere to gender norms. What is required is a shared commitment to the political value of gender equality.
Paisley Currah, Transgender Rights without a Theory of Gender?, 52 Tulsa L. Rev. 441 (2017).