Marco Buschmann und Lisa Paus bei der Bundespressekonferenz zur Vorstellung des Eckpunktepapiers zum Selbstbestimmungsgesetz im Haus der Bundespressekonferenz. Berlin, 30.06.2022 *** Marco Buschmann and Lisa Paus at the Federal Press Conference for the presentation of the key points paper on the Self-Determination Act in the House of the Federal Press Conference Berlin, 30 06 2022 Foto:xF.xKernx/xFuturexImage

Of course, one can play havoc with legal-political projects long before they have come into force as law. An example of this is the announced “Self-Determination Act”. The “Bild” newspaper headlined that the sex could now be changed once a year. In traditional feminist circles, it is speculated that toxic men could use this to sneak into women’s shelters. And of course, in order to make a career with the quota, the guys wouldn’t shy away from being promoted as women.

Chamber. The law with the promising name is intended to replace the old transsexual law and make life easier for transgender, intersex and non-binary people. They are the only people to whom the new regulations are aimed. There should be a simplified procedure for them to have the gender entry changed at the registry office and to have a new first name. For the vast majority of men and women far beyond puberty, this is a need that is difficult to imagine, which is why the Federal Minister of Justice will be right when he thinks that only a few will make use of the option. When the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2017 that a third entry option had to be provided for in the Civil Status Act in addition to “male” and “female”, many also saw the gender world as unhinged. In fact, men remained men and women remained women. The introduction of the “third sex” was not a sexual revolution but rather an act of egalitarian bureaucracy.

It could be the same this time. The name question remains. “Self-determination law” sounds in this context as if one should be able to choose one’s gender freely. In fact, this freedom should often not be that great. Because whoever feels like a woman in a man’s body does not choose, and also not who is between two genders. In many cases, the situation is likely to go hand in hand with different manifestations of mental suffering, which is not only caused by discrimination by others – which unfortunately is still possible. Genital and identity mismatches are also essentially a problem with oneself, not just with the environment. The “Self-Determination Act” has no solution for this and naturally cannot offer one.

Perhaps it would be wise to be frugal with the label. Otherwise there will be inflation. So wouldn’t the law that the Bundestag is planning to facilitate euthanasia be a “self-determination law”? Killing yourself is more self-determined than anything else. And could the term, at least in the opinion of no fewer, possibly fit future rules on abortion? After all, the central issue here seems to be self-determination in one’s own reproduction.

But even in such cases, self-determination is only one aspect of several, albeit the decisive one in the conflict. Everyone who wants to die has people who gave birth to them and often descendants to whom they mean something. That limits self-determination. It is also rarely self-determined when women have to decide against their embryo. Because it is regularly about pregnancies that are unwanted. In an emergency, one rarely decides freely about oneself, rather one reacts to it. The name, which sounds like development, disguises the fact that even with trans people and non-binary people it is less about self-determination and more about a necessary gender determination to be carried out in the sense of the legal system. Just a little more self-determined than before, when you had to submit to unpleasant questions.

Irrespective of this, the phenomenon must be cause for concern that more and more young people with trans feelings are filling psychiatric practices. But it is unlikely that the planned law will encourage others to do so. It is more likely that in identitarian crises it will offer adolescents an opportunity for action that can be reversed. Paper is patient.