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Kathleen Lowrey is one the few and the brave women inside the University of Alberta that manage to retain an authentically feminist outlook.  Furthermore, her criticisms of the new gender ideology are spot on and her insights are useful in understanding the ontology of transactivism in academic and real-world settings.

Sex, Ptolemaic Style

“The pervasiveness of this formula helps to explain the widespread enthusiasm for gender identity ideology in the academy. The relevant flippages are of at least three kinds. First is the reversal of the sex:gender relation as it is commonly understood. Ordinarily sex has primacy. It is the biological given upon which the cultural constructions of gender are elaborated. In gender identity ideology, the terms are reversed. Gender is essential, and sex is the unsteady social construct. Second is the relation of men to women. Conventionally, the social standing of men is understood to be privileged relative to that of women. This relationship is reversed in gender identity ideology. Trans identified men (“transwomen”) are figured as vulnerable relative to women and are even described as the most vulnerable of all women. Third, the quotidian apprehension is that children develop their gender identities as they grow up and engage with and adjust to cultural norms. Under gender identity ideology, it is asserted that children know from very young ages exactly their gender identities independent of cultural conditioning. As a corollary, adult men who express gender identities late in life that appear to be wholly fashioned out of sexist cultural norms about femininity have in fact been real women–the very realest of women–all along. The department colleague who was my most enthusiastic denouncer placed two signs on her office door after I put up gender critical feminist messaging on mine: “trans rights are human rights” and “transwomen are women.” She understood very well the messaging required of a “trans ally” and displayed it quite correctly.

Gender critical feminists like me notice, of course, that one infinitely more often sees and hears the slogan “transwomen are women” than its counterpart “transmen are men.” To understand why this is the case, you’d have to pay attention to patterns of power in the world rather than to Ptolemaic valence-flipping. One of the signs on my office door that most infuriated feminist academic women colleagues on social media described the parallels between men’s rights activism and trans rights activism. Many feminist academic women clearly saw it as their moral and intellectual duty to decry this assertion.”

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