Monday, July 23, 2018

Possibly An Interesting Discussion

I say possibly because I haven’t read all the article in a two week discussion on the Economist on trans rights.
After two weeks, our transgender identity series comes to a close
Of course our participants have not reached a consensus, writes Helen Joyce, but disagreements are par for the course in a liberal society
By H.J.
Jul 17th 2018

In 2016 Deborah Cameron, a feminist and linguist at Oxford University, wrote a “brief history” of the word “gender”. It used to refer primarily to the socially imposed division of the sexes, she explains. “Feminists of my generation understood gender as part of the apparatus of patriarchy: a social system, built on the biological foundation of human sexual dimorphism, which allocated different roles, rights and responsibilities to male and female humans.”

To women who understand the word “gender” thus, being described as a “cisgender woman” (a coinage by analogy with “trans”: “cis” is the Latin prefix for “on this side of”) can be taken to imply that they are content to live within the narrow confines of femininity under the patriarchy: subservient, abused and underpaid. Such women often describe themselves as “gender-critical”, and when a man says he must transition because he “feels like a woman” they deny there is any such feeling. To people who say they must transition in order to match their gender identity, they respond that gender is an externally imposed constraint that can—and should, for everyone’s benefit—be shrugged away.

But, as Professor Cameron goes on to explain, that is no longer what the word “gender” means to everyone. In recent years a new meaning has come to the fore: “a form of identity, located in and asserted by individuals rather than imposed on them from outside”. Gender in this sense is not just distinct from sex; it has no necessary connection to sex, she explains. For people who use “gender” this way, the point of the “cis” prefix is not to indicate that someone likes pink (or blue) and skirts (or trousers), or that a woman accepts sexual assault, mansplaining and discrimination as their lot in life. And when people object to being described as “cis”, it is their turn to bristle. If “trans” people are the only ones who need a qualifier before “woman” or “man”, then everyone else is…what? “Normal”?
Discussion is good… but.

But when one party wants to deny your existence or your basic human rights it is not open to discussion.

You want to discuss banning us from going the bathroom or being served in a restaurant… that is oppression and is not open to discussion.

You want to discuss if being trans is a choice or not… fine.

You want to discuss if God hates us… fine. But don’t force your religious views on us.

Simone de Beauvoir in her famous book “The Second Sex” where he said “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman,” I think over time the definition of gender has changed. But I think that the definition of “gender” has changed because of science, we now know that the sense of maleness and femaleness is located in the brain, is that gender or is it something different.

I think there can be a lot of debate about “gender” but in that debate we cannot allow our existence to be questioned.


  1. Perhaps you should check your disingenuousness and hypocrisy. How dare you invite a "discussion" where you dictate what can be discussed. Get real!. Oh wait, I forgot. Reality is transphobic.

  2. The Nazi wanted to have a discussion while they were denying the rights of millions of Jews to exist.
    The Rwanda wanted to have a discussion while they were denying the rights of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and Hutu to exist.
    The Serbs wanted to have a discussion while they were killing hundreds of thousands of Bosnians.
    You want to have a discussion about trans right fine, but first you must recognize my right to exist. That is not open to discussion.