To these children, Gentlemen and Ladies will henceforth be two homelands toward which each of their souls will take flight on divergent wings, and regarding which it will be all the more impossible for them to reach an agreement since, being in fact the same homeland, neither can give ground regarding the one’s unsurpassed excellence without detracting from the other’s glory.
From “The Insistence of the Letter in the Unconscious,” by Jacques Lacan
He’s talking about two bathrooms with identical doors which are given meaning by the gender specific signs attached. But it works on another level as well: from the moment a baby is identified as female (“girled”) or male, she or he is “read” differently. Many brilliant feminists have written about this; I’m not adding to the conversation. But so fascinating!