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Wow.  All of this.   Thank you Jane Clare Jones.

 

“That identity necessarily involves relation all becomes painfully, politically obvious in how this whole thing is playing out in practice. Someone can claim that trans people have an absolute right to determine their identity, but were that actually a simple ontological truth, then we wouldn’t be in an endless, fraught spiral about pronouns and misgendering and the world’s recalcitrant refusal to offer up the correct ‘validation.’ Being what you are is not merely a matter of a feeling, or of a ‘feeling of some fundamental essence.’ It’s a matter of being recognised by other human beings as the thing that you think you are.[2] It’s a matter of social relations. And this is why we’re in this whole fucking nightmare mess. Because we have a political movement claiming, on the one hand, that this is just a matter of identity, and it doesn’t affect anyone else, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just a nasty evil bigot, while, at the same time, because identity is all about social relations, they’re throwing a ton of their political weight into trying to control people’s speech, and behaviours, to enforce the validation of those identities.

[…]

The issue about the conflict over spaces, and the conflict about competing rights, is, in some sense, simply an amplification of this fundamental ontological issue. The trans rights movement is committed to claiming that trans people’s access to spaces, and trans people’s rights, has no impact on women’s spaces, or women’s rights, in just the same way as they claim that trans people are the sole and singular arbiters of their own identities, and it doesn’t affect anyone else. Were any of this actually true, this god-awful scrap wouldn’t be happening, because, despite the daily bullshit turned out by the trans rights movement, none of it is happening because a bunch of left-wing feminist women were suddenly afflicted by a plague of inexplicable hatred. The fact that it’s manifestly untrue that this doesn’t affect anyone else – and that, despite quintupling-down, the advocates of the ideology know that it’s untrue – is entirely given by the exhaustive efforts to control the ways people respond to trans people. Indeed, as we saw when we looked at Stonewall’s definition of ‘transphobia,’ it is given, most chillingly, by the effort to proscribe as an act of hatred the refusal – or to be blunt, often just the plain inability – to ‘correctly’ recognise a trans person’s identity.

[…]

This is what I’m talking about when I say that the totalitarianism we see from the trans rights movement – the threats, the slurs, the bullying, the demands for validation, the lists of narcissistic diktats, the inveterate Woke Stasi bullshit policing of people’s Twitter likes and retweets – is all, at a basic ontological level, baked in. If you ground a political movement on the idea that people are actually something that they’re not – or, to be a bit more charitable, you decide, for the first time in history, that the identity of someone does not reside is any observable feature of that someone, but only in some imperceptible internal magic essence – then you will inevitably end up trying to turn that imperceptible essence into a reality by rigidly disciplining other people’s recognition procedures, and disciplining them, moreover, away from what they actually do recognise. Even if this didn’t all cash out into an fuck-off huge rights conflict over access to women’s spaces (which it inevitably does, for exactly the reason of the social recognition such access conveys), the claim that trans rights has no effect on anyone else would still, at this base ontological level, be a MASSIVE fucking lie. No purported civil rights movement has ever tried to mandate, with such coercive force, how people speak, what they can and can’t believe, and what they must pretend to perceive, all in contravention of what they actually do perceive.”

The unhappy pull quote from the article – “PWR BTTM’s response crystallizes a problem at the heart of modern gender politics, wherein language and personal experience are given precedence over material and systemic reality. ”

 

 

Exhibit #1

Exhibit #2

I’m not sure where the idea started that being a movement that deals with a particular political struggle should be about other topics not related to said struggle. Feminism – the struggle to liberate females from the patriarchal structures and norms of society is about female emancipation. If you happen to be a woman (and by woman I mean adult human female) then yes, this is your movement and it should centre around you and the problems that you face.

If you are not female, then don’t expect (demand, whine, threaten, etc.) for the feminism movement to be all about you. If there is a specific set of problems and challenges specific to your situation, then the solution is make your own goddamn movement and not co-opt the one that has been built by and expressly for females.

Exclusionary? Every effective class struggle is exclusionary – or do you remember all those successful strikes overseen by the business class?

Me neither.

So ‘Amen’ to exclusion and ‘Ramen’ to effective class politics and actions.

Why, oh why, don’t we see more white leaders in the #BLM? Or why aren’t there more white leaders/representation in the Canadian indigenous Idle No More movement? Could it possibly be because you don’t let the class that is oppressing you (even if they strongly feel they belong in your class) run your movement?

So, Men, in your various forms, please understand that feminism isn’t about you.  Will men benefit from feminist reforms?  Absolutely, and do what you can to further feminist action, as long as you know that your role is secondary (in the most optimistic case) in the movement.  Understand that there is no shame in being an ally, but for heaven’s sake realize that when you make feminism about *you* it isn’t feminism anymore.

Found a much better response that mine, the Bewilderness is on fire today:

Just incase you thought this might be a few ‘bad apples’, wrong again.

It is nice to see another progressive move in the developing world.
clipped from www.cbc.ca

Gay sex decriminalized in India’s capital

Gay rights activists participate in a rally in Calcutta on Thursday after the Delhi High Court ruled that treating consensual gay sex as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India's constitution.
Gay rights activists participate in a rally in Calcutta on Thursday after the Delhi High Court ruled that treating consensual gay sex as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India’s constitution.
A court ruled Thursday to decriminalize homosexuality in the Indian capital, a groundbreaking decision that could bring more freedom to gays in this deeply conservative country.
The Delhi High Court ruled that treating consensual gay sex as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India’s constitution. The ruling, the first of its kind in India, applies only in New Delhi.
“I’m so excited, and I haven’t been able to process the news yet,” Anjali Gopalan, the executive director of the Naz Foundation India Trust, a sexual health organization that had filed the petition, told reporters. “We’ve finally entered the 21st century.”

See the rest of the story at the CBC.

Joyce Arthur on her post from the Pro Choice Action Network made quite few relevant observations about the abortion debate.  Here she frames the issue in terms of a woman’s rights and the prevalence of abortion.

“Anti-choicers insist that the key question in the abortion debate is whether a fetus is a person or not. If so, abortion is murder, they say, and therefore obviously immoral and illegal. That is not the key question at all, of course – anti-choicers are committing the “fetus focus fallacy.” The practice of abortion is unrelated to the status of the fetus – it hinges totally on the aspirations and needs of women. Women have abortions regardless of the law, regardless of the risk to their lives or health, regardless of the morality of abortion, and regardless of what the fetus may or may not be. On average, abortion rates do not differ substantially between countries where it’s legal and countries where it’s illegal.[2] Which reveals a more pertinent question: Do we provide women with safe legal abortions, or do we let them suffer and die from dangerous illegal abortions?

Some anti-choicers argue that even though women will have abortions regardless, that doesn’t mean we should make abortion legal, since we don’t legalize murder just because some people will commit murder anyway. This analogy fails because everyone in society agrees that murder is wrong and must be punished, but there is no such consensus on abortion. Second, very few people commit murder, but a majority of women will either have an abortion, or would have one if they experienced an unwanted pregnancy. As we learned from Prohibition (of alcohol), criminalizing behavior that large numbers of people engage in has disastrous consequences for public health and law and order.”

The argument from self ownership thread brought to my attention some of the ways the issue of abortion is dealt with.  Semantic difficulties seems to be an area where a more thorough investigation is warranted.  The language problem is described quite accurately by Joyce Arthur on her post from the Pro Choice Action Network.

[a]… major fallacy perpetrated by the anti-choice is their interchangeable use of the word “person” with the terms “human”, “humanity” or “human being”. These terms are not synonymous. For example, anti-choicers often confuse the adjective “human” and the noun “human being,” giving them the same meaning. I’m struck by the question they often pose to pro-choicers: “But isn’t it human?” – as if we think a fetus is really a creature from outer space.

If you point out that a fetus consists of human tissue and DNA, anti-choicers triumphantly claim you just conceded it’s a human being. Now, a flake of dandruff from my head is human, but it is not a human being, and in this sense, neither is a fertilized egg. Anti-choicers will respond that a fertilized egg is not like dandruff, because the egg consists of a unique set of chromosomes that makes it a distinct human being. But with cloning, a cell from my dandruff is enough to create a new human being. Although it would have my identical genetic make-up, it would still be a unique individual, because human beings are much more than our genes. Also, both a fertilized egg and a cloned cell represent a potential, not an actual human being.

It’s a worn cliché, but it bears repeating – an acorn isn’t an oak tree and the egg you had for breakfast isn’t a chicken.  So the only objective scientific fact we have is that fertilized eggs are human (the adjective) – not that they are human beings (the noun).

Pro-Choice argumentation seems to be a little underrepresented on the web.  I found an insightful article from the Pro-Choice Action Network that provides some useful argumentation against the anti-choice arguments.  I will include the main section of the Fetus Focus Fallacy in this post.

“Anti-choicers insist that the key question in the abortion debate is whether a fetus is a person or not. If so, abortion is murder, they say, and therefore obviously immoral and illegal. That is not the key question at all, of course – anti-choicers are committing the “fetus focus fallacy.” The practice of abortion is unrelated to the status of the fetus – it hinges totally on the aspirations and needs of women. Women have abortions regardless of the law, regardless of the risk to their lives or health, regardless of the morality of abortion, and regardless of what the fetus may or may not be. On average, abortion rates do not differ substantially between countries where it’s legal and countries where it’s illegal.[2] Which reveals a more pertinent question: Do we provide women with safe legal abortions, or do we let them suffer and die from dangerous illegal abortions? Read the rest of this entry »

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