Friday, April 15, 2016

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.)

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