Gender

Gender and biological sex what is the defining viewpoint. J K Rowling and those who accept her viewpoint say that biological sex is the defining issue. Women who menstruate etc. Of course we wont mention the many cis women AFAB who never  menstruate in their lives. To me defining a person in such simplistic biological terms is demeaning.

I was AMAB. Biologically I had male genitalia. I have never identified as male. By the time I was three I was having tantrums about why do people not realise I am a girl. It is the essence inside of the outer body that was to me undeniably female.

I am tired of the arguments that are continuing and the slanging matches that accompany them. This all needs to be dealt with by reasoned and civil debate. I have no time for the abuse thrown at both transphobes or transactivists. From my experience most transgender people wish to lead their lives with respect and dignity.

I have the greatest respect for Paris Lees, often described as a trans activist. Paris does not accept that definition, simply leading her life as best as she can by example and being a spokesman for trans people; not an activist which  seems to have gained a pejorative meaning through the current social media wars. The anacronym TERF is also pejorative though it only says what is in the tin, Trans Exclusion Radical Feminists which defines what they stand for.

I have been reading J A Butler on the Culture Wars. It is thirty years since she published Gender Trouble and the world in relation to Gender has changed immeasurably. In 2014 Time magazine declared there had been a Transgender Tipping Point around the time Caitlin Jenner hit the cover of their magazine. However there continues to be disagreement over biological essentialism which is the basis of and is reflected in the current media wars with radical feminist movements over transgender rights. In Septemebr 2020 J A Butler, who is the Professor of Comparative Literature at Berkeley University, exchanged emails with the New Statesman over this issue who subsequently published them in an edited form,

Interestingly JA Butler takes the view that TERFs do not represent the views of mainstream feminists who she considers support trans-rights and oppose transphobia and says that a “fringe movement is seeking to speak for the mainstream and that our responsibility is to refuse to allow that to happen”.

When asked about the JK Rowling point of view her response is quite clear

If we look closely at the example that you characterise as “mainstream” we can see that a domain of fantasy is at work, one which reflects more about the feminist who has such a fear than any actually existing situation in trans life. The feminist who holds such a view presumes that the penis does define the person, and that anyone with a penis would identify as a woman for the purposes of entering such changing rooms and posing a threat to the women inside. It assumes that the penis is the threat, or that any person who has a penis who identifies as a woman is engaging in a base, deceitful, and harmful form of disguise. This is a rich fantasy, and one that comes from powerful fears, but it does not describe a social reality. Trans women are often discriminated against in men’s bathrooms, and their modes of self-identification are ways of describing a lived reality, one that cannot be captured or regulated by the fantasies brought to bear upon them. The fact that such fantasies pass as public argument is itself cause for worry.

She clearly sees this as unrealistic. It does not reflect a social reality. Put more bluntly it is fear mongering and raises transphobia. JA Butler takes the view that the only way forward is by rational argument without the hysteria currently prevalent in the cancel culture of social media.

This is one of the reasons why i would want to have a Gender Recognition Certificate. It is a validation in some form that I am serious about my gender identity. 

Reasoned debate is the only way forward with as many trans people leading responsible normal lives to refute these views by example.

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