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Isn’t it interesting that this sort of experiential sharing can only go one way.  This sort of paradoxical thinking is rife within transactivist ideology.  Consider the claim of being ‘non-binary’.  The only way this term works is by creating, you guessed it, another binary between “cis” people (those who mostly follow gendered expectations) and “trans” (those who mostly go against gendered expectations).  Or…  the other possibility within the gender spectrum idea is that, in fact, we’re all non-binary as we all possess a distinct combination of masculine and feminine gendered traits and behaviours.

As with most debates when it comes to gender, there is always a good deal of heat and friction, but not much desire to go outside of established positions.  As food for though, consider what Rebecca Reilly-Cooper has to say on the subject of gender:

“Once we recognise that the number of gender identities is potentially infinite, we are forced to concede that nobody is deep down cisgender, because nobody is assigned the correct gender identity at birth. In fact, none of us was assigned a gender identity at birth at all. We were placed into one of two sex classes on the basis of our potential reproductive function, determined by our external genitals. We were then raised in accordance with the socially prescribed gender norms for people of that sex. We are all educated and inculcated into one of two roles, long before we are able to express our beliefs about our innate gender identity, or to determine for ourselves the precise point at which we fall on the gender continuum. So defining transgender people as those who at birth were not assigned the correct place on the gender spectrum has the implication that every single one of us is transgender; there are no cisgender people.

The logical conclusion of all this is: if gender is a spectrum, not a binary, then everyone is trans. Or alternatively, there are no trans people. Either way, this a profoundly unsatisfactory conclusion, and one that serves both to obscure the reality of female oppression, as well as to erase and invalidate the experiences of transsexual people.

The way to avoid this conclusion is to realise that gender is not a spectrum. It’s not a spectrum, because it’s not an innate, internal essence or property. Gender is not a fact about persons that we must take as fixed and essential, and then build our social institutions around that fact. Gender is socially constructed all the way through, an externally imposed hierarchy, with two classes, occupying two value positions: male over female, man over woman, masculinity over femininity.

The truth of the spectrum analogy lies in the fact that conformity to one’s place in the hierarchy, and to the roles it assigns to people, will vary from person to person. Some people will find it relatively easier and more painless to conform to the gender norms associated with their sex, while others find the gender roles associated with their sex so oppressive and limiting that they cannot tolerably live under them, and choose to transition to live in accordance with the opposite gender role.

Gender as a hierarchy perpetuates the subordination of female people to male people, and constrains the development of both sexes

Fortunately, what is a spectrum is human personality, in all its variety and complexity. (Actually that’s not a single spectrum either, because it is not simply one continuum between two extremes. It’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, humany-wumany stuff.) Gender is the value system that says there are two types of personality, determined by the reproductive organs you were born with. One of the first steps to liberating people from the cage that is gender is to challenge established gender norms, and to play with and explore your gender expression and presentation. Nobody, and certainly no radical feminist, wants to stop anyone from defining themselves in ways that make sense to them, or from expressing their personality in ways they find enjoyable and liberating.

So if you want to call yourself a genderqueer femme presenting demigirl, you go for it. Express that identity however you like. Have fun with it. A problem emerges only when you start making political claims on the basis of that label – when you start demanding that others call themselves cisgender, because you require there to be a bunch of conventional binary cis people for you to define yourself against; and when you insist that these cis people have structural advantage and political privilege over you, because they are socially read as the conformist binary people, while nobody really understands just how complex and luminous and multifaceted and unique your gender identity is. To call yourself non-binary or genderfluid while demanding that others call themselves cisgender is to insist that the vast majority of humans must stay in their boxes, because you identify as boxless.

The solution is not to reify gender by insisting on ever more gender categories that define the complexity of human personality in rigid and essentialist ways. The solution is to abolish gender altogether. We do not need gender. We would be better off without it. Gender as a hierarchy with two positions operates to naturalise and perpetuate the subordination of female people to male people, and constrains the development of individuals of both sexes. Reconceiving of gender as an identity spectrum represents no improvement.”

Essentially, creating new ‘gender-identities’ is akin to making new prison cells with the penitentiary system we call gender and then insisting that your prison cell is more oppressed that some other persons prison cell.  Why not buck the system instead and drop the gendered stereotypes that the penitentiary is based on and that are currently hurting everyone.  Dispensing with the gender hierarchy is the goal we should be striving for, not gilding our particular cells at the expense of others.

 

 

“There has been little acknowledgement of the way in which trans politics demands far more of women than it does of men, perhaps because this would require an acknowledgement of the fact that male/female remains as much, if not more, of a dominant axis of oppression as trans/cis. Why aren’t we claiming that “men” needs to become a more inclusive category? If men can get pregnant too, why aren’t men’s rights activists campaigning for abortion rights? Why does pregnancy become a de-politicised “people’s” issue while testicular cancer remains a men’s issue? If sex is irrelevant, why are female people always the ones expected to cede linguistic and physical ground?

Pregnant with my third child, I faced more than one self-righteous male informing me that “biological sex is a construct.” The arrogance of this is staggering. Every single human being on this planet exists because of the reproductive labour of female bodies. Around 830 women die every day due to preventable pregnancy complications. The world is missing an estimated 90 to 100 million women due to the extermination of female – not feminine – infants. In such a situation, to boldly declare that you “see no sex difference” reveals both ignorance and privilege. We’re back to the idea that female people cannot be credible witnesses to their own lives.

If men were genuinely invested in supporting trans women, there’s an obvious thing they could do: stop pretending it is inevitable for “masculine” men to respond with violence to the idea that those who wish to socially transition to womanhood remain biologically male. As feminists have been arguing for decades, maleness and femininity can coexist. If the thought of that makes some men violent, then the problem lies with how men see maleness, not with feminists refusing to treat womanhood as a catch-all category for anything men don’t want to be.

Andrea Dworkin suggested when it comes to justifying misogyny, the right has religion while the left has nature. Trans politics has offered up a suitably postmodern amalgam of both. Are we dealing with scientifically verifiable proof of the “gendered” brain? Or with some mystic, soul-like essence known as “gender identity”? In many ways, it doesn’t matter which, as long as both are reinforcing a male view of how masculinity and femininity work.

I am tired of men posing as more open-minded than feminists, when in fact they’re behaving in the exact same way men have always behaved towards women. If you’re a male person telling a female person to be silent about her experiences of gender and power, you’re not only doing feminism wrong, you’re exemplifying the very values you claim to undermine. “

*slow clap*

 

Catch the rest of the article here.

“In the past several years ‘gender’ has been radically re-defined by a reactionary movement that has transformed it from a set of conventions and constraints on what men and women can be or do, to an interior mental state. Chrissie Daz is right in saying that something fundamental has changed in the way in which gender is understood in the twenty first century, with the new transgender warriors representing a major paradigm shift in gender thinking over the last forty years. An idea once wielded by the liberal left against conservative sexist and heterosexist social norms, gender has now been retooled as a weapon in the armoury of a regressive politics that is not only sexist but homophobic. Today’s transgender movement reinforces the myth that ‘men’ and ‘women’ are altogether different species of human beings, not just reproductively, but mentally — with different desires, different needs, different aptitudes, and different minds. Now transgender spokespersons support the traditionally conservative naturalisation of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ as innate psychological states, intrinsic in the human subject from birth and arising from brain chemistry or other hormonal interactions of the body. The progressive idea that there is no uniform way that all boys as such (or all girls as such) necessarily ‘feel’ or ‘think’ has been scrapped.
Instead of railing against a rigid heterosexist gender binary (as their rhetoric would suggest) the new Trans warriors assume that their innate sense of self (‘identity’) is inherently ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ prior to any socialisation. Apparently, the influence of cultural indoctrination is negligible. Gender has been de-politicised, naturalised and medicalised in the same stroke.”

 

The take away is that trans-ideology is sexist and homophobic excluding it from any reasonable sort of feminism. :)

 

 

 

Yeah.  So trans community what is the plan to deal members who choose to behave like this?  I’m curious because this particular sub-set seems to be defining what trans-activism is all about and illustrating quite succinctly the threat it poses to women.

 

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