, 25 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
Given the Trump administration's recent rollback of trans rights that are enshrined in terms of "gender identity" this is rich. That they think GI has "no political value" just means they don't care that trans people are being discriminated against in healthcare & public life
It's entirely possible to be able to "name and refer" to sex-based oppression while still not denying the womanhood of trans women. This is why we have terms like "cis". Cis females and trans females are both women with different anatomy. See? Easy.
They dismiss the "political value" of concepts like gender identity, which are used to protect trans people, while denying the relevance of this position to right-wing politics. Maybe they haven't been reading the news lately, but Trump is explicitly attacking the trans community
Apparently saying that womanhood is "by definition" equated with features unique to cis females is not "biological essentialism" - despite clearly implying that there is a singular biological "essence" to womanhood that maps onto cis female biology.
Although none of these features is "necessary" for being a woman, they insist that all of them together, in some vague "cluster" sense, somehow "by definition" makes a woman. Some definition. And why not include the brain in this "cluster", which would thereby include trans women
"We're not essentialists about being female except that the essence of femaleness is enshrined by the cluster of features unique to cis females" - excluding the very possibility of overlapping cluster features with trans females (e.g. our brains, those of us on hormones, etc)
It's just SO convenient that your vague cluster non-definition of femaleness excludes any possibility of sharing features with trans women. But where did this "non normative" definition emerge from? From normative fictions hell-bent on excluding trans women from womanhood!
"We're not transphobic b/c we have several trans friends" - oh wow - congrats on having "several" trans friends. The irony is your views are actively harmful to the rights of people people - Trump is denying trans rights precisely on your view that gender identity has no "value"
Whether or not you think you are disgusted by or hate trans people - your gender critical beliefs are ACTIVELY HARMFUL to trans people - Trump is taking away our rights protected via the language of gender identity and you're giving him ammunition by saying it has no value
In other words, "we advocate for the removal of trans rights based on gender identity (happening NOW with Trump in a very real sense) based on hypothetical predictions about the FUTURE we have flimsy empirical evidence to support" - this is fear-mongering at its finest.
And what about the trans-misogynist violence trans women, especially TWOC, experience at the hands of cis men? Do we not care about their safety? No discussion of this. No mention of daily reality of trans women being assaulted and killed by men. Almost like they don't care.
This only scratches the surface of our anger. Trump is actively taking away our rights by removing protections for gender identity and you're arguing he is RIGHT to do so because gender identity has no "political value". And it's not just trans women.ALL trans people are affected
"We think that trans people deserve to be free from discrimination but we're gonna argue in our 'esoteric' writing that gender identity has no political value for organizing society, which happens to be the exact means through which Trump is TAKING AWAY TRANS RIGHTS"
So apparently trans men who pass as cis males "belong" in female spaces - yeah - that's going to really make cis women comfortable I'm sure. The question IS about our humanity - our identities are relevant to our humanity - our authenticity IS relevant to our humanity.
I'd really like them to stand face to face with a trans woman of color and tell her this BS. At the same time Stock et all were publishing this article, three TWOC were murdered. And yet they DARE to insinuate that trans women are in a "dominant group".
Oh yeah? And what money are you going to use to build millions of "third" spaces? In other words, your "solution" is really to not give a shit and remain complicit in the daily discrimination trans people face on account of not having our gender identity seen as having value
This is the problem with philosophers. They think that questions about "metaphysics" are sensible and have easy answers. The answer about GI is given by science, anthropology, phenomenology, history, and the personal experience of millions of people. I say FUCK metaphysics.
If you spent more time talking to trans people beyond your "several friends [who agree with you]" you'd realize gender identity cannot be reduced to mere "feelings". Trans discourse has gone far beyond such simplicities if you bothered to read it.
Nothing is stopping us from talking about oppression unique to cis females/AFAB people while ALSO acknowledging that trans females are also subject to an overlapping set of oppressions on the basis of their trans womanhood. Intersectional feminism has developed language for this
Trans females not only have different physiology from cis males they also internalize lessons from society differently from cis males. "Late-transitioning" trans women is not a monolithic category and thus this question is nothing but a loaded question, based on fear-mongering
Intersex people, AND trans people, suggest that your simplistic, overly-vague and essentialist "cis female cluster" definition of "female" is far too simple to capture the reality that expression of sexed characteristics is a spectrum that includes the mosaic of brain sex
The problem with philosophers is they try to reduce complex ethical phenomena to simplistic "either/or" dilemmas. I reject this dichotomy between moral rights vs "practical concerns".
Because....TRANS WOMEN ARE NOT CIS MEN. Framing this question in terms of YOUR limited definition of "female" begs the question against the possibility of seeing trans women as having the same GENDER as cis women.
Sheer practical reality. And money. Who's going to build these millions of additional third spaces? At what cost? Who's going to pay for it? The alternative solution is not only cheaper it's already been PROVEN TO WORK FOR DECADES
I fucked up the thread lol. This is my response to the recent Stock et al article in @Medium "Doing better in arguments about sex, gender, and trans rights": a thread

Content warning: discussion of possibly triggering arguments for "gender critical feminism"
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