Post Modernism keeps coming up at the root of many debates on contentious issues.  Gender identity politics one of the area where the influence of post-modernism can be seen.   This quote from Tildeb on Violetwisp’s blog is part of his critique of a segment of the left side of the political spectrum what Tildeb calls the Regressive left.  The claim is as follows:

“My claim is that there is a strong and growing element in the Left that is regressive, that operates by actions and sentiments that a anti-liberal in principle and demonstrate actions that are anti-Enlightenment in value… not least of which is saying that they do so on behalf of liberal principles and Enlightenment values but then actually committing the opposite. Furthermore, I claim the tactics used are fascist, that bullying and intimidation and violence and disruption and demonization are gaining wider and broader social acceptance… especially by people who should know better. In addition, from these sideline observers who should know better than appease and apologize for these hypocritical illiberals comes a kind of Fifth Column, people who go along, who do not soundly condemn, who rationalize excuses on behalf of others, who partake in the illusion of supporting ‘correctness’ by incorrect means and use a form of apologetics for Really Bad Ideas championed by the more militant advocates who presume they are defending victimized groups by these fascist methods.”

Many women are experiencing this phenomena vis-a-vis liberal feminism allied with trans-activism.  Females are routinely branded by the regressive left as TERFs for expressing a need for female only spaces, expressing their sexual preferences and defending the necessary boundaries they set in society in order for them to be safe.  The function of the term “terf” (trans exclusionary radical feminist) is to silence, shame, and coerce women into accepting men into their spaces and their feminism.  It has been a fairly successful campaign, but women are slowly seeing the downsides of a version of feminism that centres around the needs of males, having their peak trans moments and rejecting liberal feminism because essentially, it isn’t about women and their struggle for emancipation from the patriarchal structures of society.

Tildeb isn’t directly addressing feminist concerns, but this next portion of his comment illustrates exactly the issue with the regressive left’s take on reality and how it affects their argumentation.

“The point I keep raising is about the use of anti-liberal methods done in the name of liberal principles and then excused by those claiming to support liberal principles. Also, I keep raising the point but face significant reticence. from those I accuse of hypocrisy, of using a double standard, of going along with a very Post Modern framework and language not just about groups and power but this idea that everyone owns their own facts, their own truths, that any action illiberal intolerant action undertaken in defense of the victimized groups is somehow justified as well as exempt from legitimate criticism.”

Everyone can’t have their own set of facts and truths and have the naive expectation that others will go along with them.  Your deeply subjective personal thoughts and feelings are precisely that – *your* thoughts and feelings; expecting others to fall in line with your subjective whims is not only unreasonable, it is not how the world works.  Interfacing with society involves a give and take and mutual understanding of how the world works.  We teach children that their own desires and perspectives must be tempered with input from reality – they cannot have all the things, nor do things work precisely the way children think they should.   As children mature their outlook on the world becomes more nuanced and the interaction between their personal selves and the world begins to even out and the interplay between individual and society establishes itself into a generally beneficial mutual relationship.

The right to swing ones arms around is limited by the presence of others who may not want to be hit with said arms.  In other words feel free to exercise your freedom as long as you’re not infringing on the rights of others.  The same can be said of your subjective thoughts and feelings on gender and how your present yourself to the world.  By all means, identify however you wish.  That is your right, and I fully endorse an individuals right to do so.

But, your self-identification ends with you.  There should be no expectation that others have to take your subjective self-declared identity at face value.  So, if you happen to be male and identify as a woman fine.  But the expectation that others *must* treat you as a woman goes against the conception of rights we have in a liberal society.  Others may have different views on gender and identity and they have the exact same rights as the person who happens to be a male identifying as woman.

The problem is that people who do not go along with the self-identification of others are unjustly maligned, harassed, and their views marginalized by the current liberal feminists/transactivist movement.  People who believe that the social construction of gender is harmful and should be abolished have their views routinely mislabelled -phobic or bigoted when really they are just stating their opinion (of course, being backed by fact and observable reality is nice too).

So, let’s try and further the bounds of the debate and see where it takes us.


A big thank you Tildeb for clearly putting into words some of key points of the post modern gender identity debate and the surrounding controversy.