Friday, April 29, 2016

Pope Francis, is suicide still a sin?

We can no longer consider all such cases to be gravely sinful situations and thus deprived of Grace. Therefore the Church must accompany such persons closely and in certain cases include access to the sacraments. How that works exactly with a corpse remains a mystery. I'm sure Cardinal Kasper can enlighten us on this.

The root of all bigotry

Language categorizes, categorizing is stereotyping, stereotyping is bigotry. Ergo, language is bigotry. We should grunt at one another.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Yet another argument against same-sex "marriage"

“Marriage Equality” will destroy paternity laws.

The Obergefell Decision mandates the extension of all the incidents of marriage to same-sex “marriage”. Probably the most salient of these is the presumption of paternity, which will have to be changed to the genderless “presumption of parentage”. The basis of this presumption will have to change as well. Up until now the basis has been biology but this won’t work for same-sex couples because no same-sex couple can have a child on their own. Therefore, the basis for this new presumption of parentage will have to change to contractual intent (this has actually already happened in several jurisdictions). Presumption of parentage cannot be based on both biology and intent, it must be one or the other. Otherwise, there would be a mess of conflicting claims between same-sex couples and their surrogates or sperm donors.

If contractual intent and not biology determines parentage, then how can the laws regarding paternity suits stand? They can’t. Paternity laws are premised upon exactly that which “marriage equality” denies, that there is a connection between reproduction and parenthood, and it must deny this connection. The arguments for “marriage equality” go down the drain if it is admitted that parenting is normatively a sexual, not an asexual, enterprise. And if parenting is normatively a sexual enterprise, then the state has a good reason to single out heterosexual relationships for special regulation, but that now, of course, is appalling bigotry. The Supreme Court has so ruled.

Because intent determines parentage, lack of intent will determine non-parentage, and, thus, lack of intent becomes a full-proof defense against a Paternity Suit. A man who had a one-night-stand that was not fully protected can always say that his intent was only to have a good time and NOT to become a parent. This vitiates the whole point of Paternity Laws.

Blame Descartes

Just as in Cartesian Philosophy there is no relation between the mind and the body, in the doctrine of gender identity, there is no relation between gender and sex.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world

Just waiting for someone to get fired for having whistled "Lola" in the elevator.

So, are there any other lunacies I must accept...

…in order to be re-admitted to civilized society?

Let’s see, I must accept same-sex “marriage”. If I don't that must mean that I want to prevent same-sex couples from breeding because not recognizing same-sex "marriage" is EXACTLY THE SAME THING as criminalizing interracial marriage.

I must accept “same-sex birth certificates” even though it is BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for a same-sex couple to make a baby.

I must accept that girls have penises and boys have vaginas.
I must accept that the sex of parents does not matter and that, therefore, amoebas raised me.

Are there any more lunacies I must accept? Please, tell me.

I want an answer

How does one know when one is outside the Cave and finally basking in the sunlight of Platonic Truth?

Just a quick thought

Nietzsche could not do without the concept of eternity because without it everything he cherished would lose value.  In other words, he could not refute Parmenides.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Progressive Journalist tries to help with my identity crisis

Me:
I have an Identity Crisis! I don't know if I'm a Straight Man or a Butch Non-Op Lesbian Transwoman. And according to the current concept of gender identity, there is no way of knowing one way or the other. Gender identity is really silly.

PJ:
If that confusion is causing you distress, I’d recommend seeing a therapist.

If you are lying, I’d point out that the fact that you know you’re lying disproves your point quite neatly.

Me:
There’s no way of knowing because gender identity is an unintelligible black box.

PJ:
Well, if you are a Butch Non-Op Lesbian Transwoman, then you should come out as such and help others better understand your identity. Only you can make sense of what it means to you.

Me:
It’s a thought experiment to show that gender identity has absolutely no functional meaning. Once again, according to the current conception of gender identity, you may not say that the penis determines maleness. Ian Mcewan said just that and was, as you know, pilloried for having said so. Gender identity cannot attach to certain ways of thinking because that’s neurosexism. Gender identity cannot attach to any sort of appearance such as dress, facial hair, etc., because that would be evil gender stereotyping. I’ve exhausted all the outward expressions to which gender identity can attach, and if gender identity has no outward expression, it is incommunicable and, thus, unintelligible. My thought experiment picks out two “gender identities” that are to all appearances EXACTLY the same, the only difference being the name of the “gender identity”. If two things are exactly the same, then, well, the different names they have cannot make a difference. This whole business with “gender identity” is a silly name game, and until you can come up with something other than a wholly incommunicable private feeling to which gender identity corresponds, I shall continue to stand by this point.

PJ:
Are you a Butch Non-Op Lesbian Transwoman? If not, how do you know?

Me:
There is no way for me to know given the current conception of ‘gender identity’. That’s the point.

PJ:
Well, how do you think about yourself? How do you dress yourself? How do you carry yourself? When you’re referred to as “him,” does that seem to fit? When you look in the mirror, do you see a body that represents who you feel you are? In particular, do you feel like having a penis matches your sense of self? Do you think it matches the way you feel most oriented toward sexuality?

And for all of these questions: Why or why not?

Me:
I think I’m a man, but I’m going by criteria that are horribly heterosexist, and the new wave of political correctness has forbidden the use of those criteria. I am supposed to use the criteria of ‘gender identity’, and according to those I do not know what to think. "Straight man” and "pre-op butch Lesbian woman" become synonyms, and the only reason why I would opt for the former is that it takes less time to pronounce.

I usually dress in pants and a shirt. Again, dress cannot determine my gender identity because that would be subordinating my identity to the vicissitudes of social construction.

I never got a chance to choose my pronouns. They were imposed upon me from the moment the physician said, “It’s a boy,” at my birth. I have never objected to this imposition but that’s only because I took the heteronormativity behind it for granted. I’m not allowed to do that anymore. I don’t object to masculine pronouns used to refer to me, and I would get very irate if someone would call me “she” but that’s only because I have internalized the heteronormativity that was imposed upon me. It has nothing to do with ‘gender identity’.

I cannot tell if I am a man or a woman by looking at my body in the mirror. To say that the body has anything to do with gender identity is to suggest that there are no women with penises, and that’s a horridly transphobic thing to say, as Ian McEwan found out.

I can view my penis as a membrum Viri or as something that obviates my need to purchase a strap-on. Does not solve the dilemma at all.

PJ:
I think the problem is that you’re trying to use an overgeneralized understanding of political correctness to obviate what actually defines gender.

The issue isn’t that dress, or appearance, or bodies do or don’t conform to heteronormativity. We have the spectrums of gender and expression that we have. The problem is trying to impose those on people who don’t identify the way you think they should. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them to define yourself.

It’s not a problem to say, “I have a penis and it matches how I understand my gender and so I’m not transgender.” It’s only a problem to say “all people who have penises are men regardless of whether their anatomy matches their identity and sense of self.”

Just because most of our concepts of gender have been socially constructed over time doesn’t mean they aren’t powerful forces, nor does it mean they cannot be internalized, nor does it mean that they are not significant factors for how we understand our identities and achieve positive mental health outcomes.

Me:
And, again, if the determination of gender identity varies so wildly from person to person such that there can be no reliable outward markers, then gender identity is not amenable to any kind of objective definition and, therefore, certainly not to a legal one.

And while I’m at it, I might as well ask this: As I understand it gender in gender studies used to be a social construct. Whereas sex was a given, the interpretation of it, i.e. gender, was purely a societal imposition. Now it is a core part of one’s identity. When exactly did this complete switcheroo take place? Of course, I am assuming that social construct is the opposite of core part of one’s identity. I suppose this assumption could be challenged, and even the core part of personal identity is a social construct, but if it is, then what are we to make of the central claim of transgender activists, namely that their gender identities are being squashed by unfair social constructs? That one social construct is at war with another? Well, it’s possible, I guess, but if even one’s core identity is a social construct, then how the devil can it be a personal identity at all? Not in any Aristotelian sense according to which identity inheres in the person and is not imposed from without. And not in a Sartrean sense, if identity is understood to be personal meaning, for aren’t we all supposed to make our own meanings and not have them foisted upon us by society? 

 So, I ask you, when did gender cease to be a social construct and start being a personal identity or, if you doubt the premise of the question, how can a social construct be a personal identity? If you argue, as you do above, that social construction becomes a personal identity by internalization, then I still must ask how is that identity in any way personal? It sounds to me that instead it is an absorption of the personal into the general and is, therefore, a nullification of the former.

PJ:
Take a queer studies course, already. I’m not your gender identity tutor — particularly given you’ve shown no desire to actually learn about or respect people.


Me:
According to you one must have a birth certificate to know that one has been born and take a queer studies course just to know the difference between a man and a woman. Did you have some college professor or some government agency teach you which hole of yours takes food, too? Geez.


[Postscript:
Me:
Do you think people who deny that women have penises and men vaginas are morally bad people?

PJ:
It depends.

First, I'd ask why they care.

If they just don't know anything about trans people, I'd probably just call them ignorant. I'd still say they bear responsibility for learning about trans people so they don't propagate harm.

If, like you, they claim to know better and engage in the space every day and constantly badger and reject transgender people, then yes, definitely morally bad. You're ego-driven and only care about being right (which you aren't anyway), with zero concern for the harm you've been told you do.

Isn't that the very definition of being morally bad? Knowing you're doing harm and continuing to do the harmful thing anyway?

Me:
Yes, that’s a good definition. It attaches to something communicable unlike “gender identity” which does not. Look, if you can come up with a definition to replace the one that involves sex organs, then I’ll gladly abandon the notion that men have penises and women have vaginas. But you can’t come up with any definition because any definition will involve the very heteronormative stereotyping you and the LGBT movement profess to repudiate and want to demolish. So, “gender identity" remains undefined, and yet you castigate me for knowing what it is and yet not respecting it. No, PJ, I don’t know what it is. How the deuce am I supposed to know what something is that eludes definition? Something that lacks definition, and "gender identity" lacks definition, is unintelligible, and that means it is unknowable. I am sure that you as an atheist have made a similar or even the exact same point about the “soul”. Believers cannot define the “soul” because it has no definition. Therefore, it is unintelligible and, thus, unknowable. Well, “gender identity” has the exact same status as the “soul” does for atheists like you. And if you are not a bad person for not respecting the “soul”, you hardly can say that I am bad for not respecting “gender identity”.

PJ:
I don't believe in souls, but I don't reject people who do.

Me:
(I should have made the rather obvious point  that if you can't ask atheists to believe in souls, then you certainly can't demand that people believe in "gender identity", which is just as metaphysically nebulous as atheists suppose souls to be.  PJ, as his is wont, committed the sophistry of conflating the rejection of the person's belief with rejection of the person.  If he followed the logic of the analogy, which he decidedly did not do, then he would have to say that acceptance of people who believe in souls entails the belief in souls, but he did not want to do that and, thus, he fucked up the analogy.)

Again, you miss the point. If you want the law to make classifications according to “gender identity”, and you’ve made it very clear that you do, then “gender identity” must have a definition. But you’ll continue to ignore this obvious difficulty (which has been pointed out to you ad nauseam) because you have no answer for it except to offer the incredibly lame definition of facial hair, make of watch, and hair length. And I’m sure that my pointing out your repeated failure to acknowledge this definitional problem makes me a bad person in your eyes.]


Sunday, April 17, 2016

A question

Gender used to be a social construct, not it's a core part of one's identity.  How did this happen?

Old Joke

Q.  What is the difference between a terrorist and an LGBT Activist?

A.  You can negotiate with the former.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Put this on a T-Shirt

Help!  I have an Identity Crisis!  

I don't know if I'm a Straight Man or 

a Butch Pre-Op Lesbian Transwoman.

Thought Experiment

What is the difference between a Straight Man and a very Butch Pre-Op Lesbian Transwoman?

Friday, April 15, 2016

What if the Left tried to enforce "gender identity"

Scene:  In front of two restrooms at a public library.  A person is between both of them, guarding their entrances.

A man approaches.

Guard:  Good day, Person.  You need to use the facilities?

Man:  Er, yes.  If you will excuse me, er--

Guard:  Just a moment, Person.  For security reasons I have to ask you a few questions.

Man:   Look, I really have to--

Guard:   This will only take a few seconds.  Perverts have been deliberately using the wrong bathrooms, thinking they are making some kind of clever social experiment, and we need to make sure that you are using the rest room that matches your true gender identity.

Man:  My what?  Come on, just let me use the men's room.

Guard:  Oh, you identify as a man?

Man:  Huh?   Of course, I am a man.  Are you blind or what?

Guard:  Not the question I asked, Person.  Have you always identified yourself as a man?

Man:  Look, I'm a man.  Just let me--

Guard:  Again, that's not what I asked, Person.  Have you always identified yourself as a man?

Man:  I don't know.  I never thought about it.  But I'm a man.  Let me use the men's room, PLEASE!

Guard:  Why do you think you're a man?

Man:  BECAUSE I HAVE A PENIS, YOU FUCKING IDIOT, THAT'S ABOUT TO GUSH IF YOU DON'T MOVE OUT OF MY WAY.

Guard:  Shh!  This is a library, Person.

Man:  Oh, sorry.  But did I give the right answer?

Guard:  No.  That was a wrong and very bigoted answer, Person.  Women have penises, too.  (Man is about to slug the guard, but Guard pulls out his gun).  Calm down, Person, calm down. Remember, this is a library.  No violence in this bastion of learning.

Man:  Sorry, but can't you see that I really have to go?

Guard:  I understand that, Person.  But the human being doesn't live by biological functions alone.  The human needs an identity, and we still have not sorted yours out.  Now, try again.  Think this time.  Why do you think you are a man?

Man:  (reduced to tears)  Because I have a deep, low voice?  Will that do?  Please, please, let that be the right answer, please!

Guard:  No, you just misgendered Caitlynn Jenner, and that's transphobic bigotry.

Man:  Because I dress like a man?  Come on, please, presentation is all that matters in transland, right?

Guard:  Person, that is transstereotyping.  And butch Lesbians don what bigots deem to be (does air quotes) "masculine" attire.  You should be ashamed of yourself, bigot.

Man:  FUCK IT:  I'M A MAN BECAUSE SOCIETY WITH ITS RIGID GENDER ROLES HAVE STRAITJACKETED ME INTO THINKING I WAS A MAN, BUT I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A BUTCH LESBIAN WOMAN WITH HER OWN NATURAL STRAP-ON.  BUT EVIL HETERONORMATIVE,  HETEROSEXIST, TRANSPHOBIC SOCIETY ALWAYS STIFLED MY TRUE IDENTITY.  THANKS FOR FINALLY GIVING ME AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THIS SOUL-CHANGING CATHARTHIS!

Guard:  Excellent, Ma'am.  This way, Ma'am.  (Points to the Ladies' Room.  Man rushes in.  Thereafter, all kinds of shrieks emanate from the Ladies' Room.  It sounds like something from a Freddy Krüger film.)  Sorry about the disturbance, folks, but we just got a new born-again identity.  CAN I GET AN AMEN!

You know you are a really pathetic loser...

...when you are writing your heart out to some pretty young woman and it suddenly dawns on you that you are attempting to re-write "Dover Beach".

Wittgenstein's Beetle in a Box

Something that is intelligible can only be so if it corresponds to something that is identifiable. For instance, sadness is (usually) identifiable by tears, anger by raised voices and tense glowers, and so on. Gender identity, on the other hand, does not have, according to current gender theory, any outward expression at all. Anatomy does not express gender identity because lots of transwomen have penises. Dress and behavior cannot express gender identity because such gender stereotyping would put gender in an oppressive box, and the whole idea of current gender theory is a rebellion against exactly that. So, if gender identity does not attach to anatomy, dress, or behaviour, to what outward expression does it attach?  Professor Reilly-Cooper contends (as do I and, I would hope, any person with a functioning intellect) that it does not attach to any outward expression at all and is, thus, as incommunicable and unintelligible as Wittgenstein’s Beetle in a Box. (That link is to Dr. Reilly-Cooper's hour-long talk on 'gender identity'.  You may not want to watch the whole thing although I highly recommend that you do.  If you just want to hear her point about Wittgenstein's Beetle in a Box, she makes it at the tail-end of her lecture, starting at 1:04:12.)

A Question

Deutsche Bank has recently announced that it will not expand its operations in North Carolina because the bank is morally outraged that the state continues to segregate public rest rooms and locker rooms by sex instead of the black box of "gender identity".  Wow!  Bankers can perform moral outrage now?  Have Business Schools started requiring a class in moral outrage now?

And, yet, for all its moral outrage at the oh, so blatant atrocities happening right now in North Carolina, Deutsche Bank is set to expand its operations in Saudi Arabia,  a country that lets incorrectly dressed girls burn to death.

So, my question is this:  How did North Carolina become so much more evil than Saudi Arabia?


Thursday, April 14, 2016

This won't be an exaggeration for much longer

Person: Oh, guess what. I’m pregnant!

Person 2: Oh, that’s wonderful! Do you know yet if it’s a boy or a girl?

Person: You gender binary bigot! Get away from me! AND GIVE ME BACK ALL THOSE SPRINGSTEEN ALBUMS I GAVE YOU. A person like you enjoying the talent of such a brave and righteous fighter against bigotry? I can't. I just can't.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Euthypho Dilemma applied to Gender Identity

Is a woman a woman because she is a woman or because she says she is? If the former, then womanhood has a status independent of whatever the woman may think, and if the latter then womanhood is wholly dependent upon an ipse dixit, which is the classical definition of arbitrariness.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yet another exchange with PJ

Me:

Is gender identity anything other than a private feeling? Can it correspond to anything objectively verifiable? The answer to the latter question seems to be no. For if you say that gender identity corresponds to anatomy, then you are contradicting the deeply felt experiences of a person who has a penis and insists that she is a woman. If you say that gender identity corresponds to certain behaviours, dress, ways of thinking, etc., then that is simply gender stereotyping. So, if gender identity does not and cannot attach to anything bodily or anything having to do with appearance or behaviour, then it can only be a private feeling and an incommunicable one at that. Okay, well, if that’s the case, then gender identity is unintelligible, and why should an unintelligible private feeling have any title whatsoever to public recognition?

PJ:

I’m pretty sure if you ask a person, they can tell you what their gender is, so I don’t see how it’s private, incommunicable, or unintelligible. Maybe it’s just unintelligible to you because you pre-reject what a trans person would say anyway?

Me:

You’ve just admitted that gender is simply an ipse dixit, and, as you well know, an ipse dixit is meaningless.

PJ:

Except, everything anyone ever says about gender identity is that it has meaning and significance to them. So, it sounds like you just don’t care what trans people have to say for themselves. How that’s not bigotry I’ll never know, but of course you regularly admit it is.

Me:

You have drained gender of all objective meaning such that a person can say that its gender is farflinent and that would have has much meaning as “woman” or “man” under current gender theory.

PJ:

If somebody ever identifies themselves as farflinent to you, I would encourage you to ask them more questions about what that means and report back. I assume because you’re asking me, a non-transgender and non-farflinent individual, that you’re not actually looking to learn more about the experiences these people have in their identities.

Me:
Yeah, I have NOT denied this [i.e. that gender identity has meaning and significance to the individual]. What I have instead claimed is that its significance can have under current gender theory no objective significance. Therefore, the significance can only be private like, say, religious belief or the imaginary friendships of four-year-olds. And so my question still remains why should something that can only have private significance have any title to any kind of public recognition?

PJ:

Do you email Christian groups and complain about why their religious beliefs deserve any kind of public recognition? I haven’t seen any evidence showing the biological causes of any particular religious belief compared to the many studies demonstrating biological causes for gender identities.

Me:

[responding to PJ's suggestion that I should ask a self-identified farflinent more questions about its identity] That would be farflinentphobic, would it not? If an identity as a woman or a man is based upon nothing more than a feeling, then it seems to me that it is simply bigotry to ask a self-identified farflinent to come up with more justification for its identity than you would want from a self-identified man or woman.

PJ:

I know it’s hard for you to grasp, but there’s a difference between asking to learn more about a person’s gender and demanding a justification for it.

Me:

Okay, I can work with that as well, if a man tells you he is a man simply because he feels that he is a man, is there anything more to learn? If you ask if he has a penis, that’s just hateful transphobia, right? If you ask him if he thinks like a man or dresses like a man, then that betrays an expectation that gender identity should fulfill gender stereotypes, and that’s also very, very hateful and oh, so oppressive. Therefore, the self-report of a private feeling must suffice. You can’t learn anything more beyond that. And if that’s the case for any self-identified man or woman, then I have no idea why it should not equally be the case for a self-identified farflinent. What am I missing here, O Enlightened One?

PJ:

Why is it important for you to dissect what makes a person feel like their gender identity?

It seems like you have a rigid predisposition for understanding gender, and if someone can’t explain their identity to you in those terms, it isn’t legitimate.

Likewise, you aren’t interested in allowing a person to explain their gender to you if it doesn’t fit within that framework.

The answer to your question is this: you have a narrow view of gender identity (your “gender theory,” which is terminology I don’t know or use) that doesn’t actually allow for transgender people. You are upset because you can’t understand transgender people, but then you ask that they fit into the tiny boxes you have for them, and when they don’t, you dismiss them. You also then take umbrage that they couldn’t and also don’t care if your questions come off as insensitive because you feel like you deserve those answers.

If you actually want to be satisfied with all of this, you have to abandon your preconceptions. You have to actually meet some transgender people and let them talk to you about their identities on their terms, and you have to take them at their word. Only then will it make sense to you.

In the meantime, you’re just annoying me because I write stuff every day that operates on a level you can’t process from your narrow framework. But because you actually need to REALIZE trans people — learn about them as real individuals instead of just concepts — there’s not much I can do to open that framework for you.
So, take me at my word when I tell you that your schema for gender is just not grand enough to account for what’s happening in the world. If you truly want to resolve your cognitive dissonance, you’re going to have to rethink your understanding of gender in a way that actually allows for these experiences to fit.

Me:

In other words, you can’t tell me why gender identity is something more than a private feeling or an ipse dixit, so you just insult me. Typical.

PJ:

Well, you’re predisposed to dismiss it, so what does it matter what I say?

Besides, I disagree with your premise that a private feeling is insignificant. This is who these people are, and there are a lot of them, and their experiences are similar such that we’ve long established standards of care for supporting them. Why is your gut instinct to be skeptical? To look for reasons to doubt them and reject them?

I pointed out that religion is a private feeling, and one that has ZERO biological motivations and yet an incredible influence on policy and public life. You don’t hold it to the same scrutiny, though, which seems to suggest just a bias against transgender people. If you have another way of explaining that, I welcome to hear it, but I don’t think you do, which is why you avoided that point when I made it earlier in the thread.

You don’t seem satisfied by any response I can give you except to humor your rejection of trans people, which is never going to happen. Why do you keep writing?

Me:

Not once have you contradicted my claim that gender identity does not correspond with anatomy, ways of thinking, appearance or dress. These are the only objective correlatives I can think of, and you have not suggested any other. In the absence of any objective correlative, then, I think its fair to say that gender identity can only be a private feeling or, as Professor Reilly-Cooper puts it, Wittgenstein’s beetle-in-the-box. What am I missing here?

PJ:

Why is it an either/or question? Anatomy is part of gender. Appearance and dress is part of gender. A person’s sense of their role in society is part of gender. You’re just applying a limited schema and expecting it to fit. It’s just so much more complex than you want to give it credit for.

Me:

Yes, if a person who identifies as a man has a vagina, then according to current gender theory (a term I use for convenience) it is a man’s vagina. And if a self-identified woman has a penis, then it is a woman’s penis. But that gainsays my point as little as saying that if a boy has a watch, then it is a boy’s watch. Ownership says nothing about identity. My point was that gender identity as it is now understood has no objective markers. Anatomy does not mark out gender identity, neither does dress or behaviour. To say that a certain anatomy, dress, or behaviour is gendered by the person’s gendered identity does not answer the question of whether gender identity is a black box. It merely begs it.

PJ:

If you were motivated by compassion and doing right by people, I would encourage you to ask transgender people your questions so that you can better understand their journey.

Instead you waste hours of both of our times complaining that you can't make sense of your own bigotry. I can't help you, and I'm not really interested in trying anymore.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Freedom Fighters

Bruce Springsteen is more than old enough to remember that Ronald Reagan instilled in the American psyche the term "Freedom Fighter" as a moniker for the Contras.  So, does The Boss really want to compare LGBT Activists to those murderous thugs who terrorized Nicaragua all through the Eighties and when they were through, left that country the second poorest (after Haiti) in Latin America?

The Bathroom Wars are really getting silly.

A cryptic post

The Celestine Prophecy
Consider the Lobster
The Atheist's Guide to Reality
The Unity of Philosophical Experience
Love and Responsibility
The Ethical Slut

Only I and ----- know what all these books have in common.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Would some enlightened gay man or Lesbian help me out, please? (or Gender Identity is Hamlet)

How the deuce is transgender theory compatible with justice for gays and Lesbians? I am still trying to figure this one out. Perhaps, an enlightened person as you profess to be can help me out. On one theory, transgender people inhabit gender rôles different from the gender assigned at birth. But this makes their identity depend upon the very thing that is the source of oppression for gays and Lesbians, namely heteronormativity. So, that won’t do at all.

Another theory, that seems to be vogue right now, states that gender identity has absolutely nothing to do with gender stereotypes, such as manner of dress or behaviour, and can have nothing do with any parts of the body because gender identity obviously often conflicts with the gendered interpretations that society has imposed upon the penis, vagina, XX and XY chromosomes, and so on. But this means that gender identity can correspond to nothing other than a wholly private feeling.

This theory does successfully divorce gender identity from that monstrous archenemy of the gay and Lesbian cause, heteronormativity, but in doing so makes one’s gender identity wholly opaque to all others for gender identity can have no reliable markers. Any possible marker you name will conflict with other claims that transgender or gay and Lesbian activists want to make. If you say that the penis identifies the male, then that contradicts that claim of the transwoman that she was always a woman, even when she had a penis or even if she still has one. And if you say that dress and behaviour constitute gender identity, you are once again bringing back the greatest oppressor of gays and Lesbians, that vile villain heteronormativity.

Therefore, gender identity must be nothing but a wholly private feeling.

But if it is that, then how the deuce can a wholly private feeling be the source of attraction? Attraction must be communicable in a way that a wholly private feeling is not. If gender is completely subjective, then how does it make sense for a straight man to say that he is attracted to women or a Lesbian to say that she is attracted to women? It makes more sense to say that you are attracted to sadness or anger because at least those feelings have, what gender identity apparently lacks, an objective correlative (See, T.S. Eliot is useful for something) that can be communicated.

You can still say, I suppose, that a straight man is attracted to vagina and a gay man is attracted to penis, and that erotic relationships have nothing whatsoever to do with gender identity at all. But would this not reduce all romantic relationships to the fetishizing of body parts? And wouldn’t that just fly in the face of the insistence that gay and Lesbian relationships are not fetishes or perversions but instead loving relationships of mutual respect? True, gender theory, on my account, would reduce ALL romantic relationships, homo- AND heterosexual, to the status of mere fetishes, and that’s a genuine equality, I suppose, but it comes at the price of making everyone, except the sexually abstinent, a fetishizing pervert, and I thought you guys wanted an equality of dignity and respect and not this kind of equality of fetishes and perversions.


What am I missing here?