Why Is There an M/F Marker On Photo IDs?

It is complete bullshit when photo IDs — like driver’s licenses — require a (misnamed) “gender marker” (you know, that little “F” or “M” on the card). What is the point? There is a photo, and you can’t figure out whether a card matches a person without knowing what’s supposedly in their pants? It’s ridiculous.

I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business what’s going on with our bodies. Seriously, if you need the little “F’ or “M” to figure out whether I’m the person in the photo, you’re just stupid. And, once again, why do you need to know? Does that little “M”or “F” actually give you any relevant information?

I can understand the need for the photo. I can understand the name. I can understand the date of birth. Why does either gender or sex matter, and how is it pertinent to whatever a driver’s license or other photo ID might be used for?

Our society is so ridiculously fixated on putting us in boxes; there’s such value put on knowing and regulating our genders and our bodies. Frankly, I don’t think it’s any of the government’s business, and I certainly don’t think that designation of “F” or “M” has any place on our driver’s licenses and state IDs.

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2 responses to “Why Is There an M/F Marker On Photo IDs?

  1. Well, one of the functions of a state system is to count, categorize and control its population. Biological sex and the closely (in our society) linked gender binary is one way to do so. It ties into everything from determining who is allowed to marry who to getting in free at “ladies night” at the club to helping to ID half rotten corpses (in theory). Unfortunately gender and sex are so closely tied together in this society that an F on a photo id means a person will be addressed as a girl or woman or “she”. Hopefully someday the gender binary and sex binary wont be so closely tied together AND wont be glossed into binaries, but given how fundamental these categories are to many foundational aspects of this society’s functioning and this state’s organization and control of its population, I dont think it will become the norm for a long long time. Doesn’t mean we can’t start with our own actions, however.

  2. Well, yes. I suppose I meant “why is there?” less than “why should there be?” I’m just so sick of all of this.

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