No contest: The most asinine, frustratingly incomplete train of thought I have ever encountered is when someone responds to trans feminist lingo by saying something so unfathomably thick like “You just made those words up.”
Far be it from a clever “gotcha,” this argument literally wakes babies up in the middle of the night and starts a chorus of endless howling. Locusts drop from the sky, lightning carves out scenes of terror into the country side, crops world wide wilt and decay, paintings bleed, mirrors crack. It is an argument so broken in every conceivable sense that the Earth itself splits open to swallow you whole.
“You just made those words up.”
NO SHIT, SHERLOCK. JESUS CHRIST.
I don’t dispute that the word “transgender” is made up. That’s because it was made up, just like every other word in the entirety of all language ever. If you’re going to start becoming “language critical,” then do us all a favour and stop speaking, because every word of this sentence was, at one point, made up. Spare me your brain-cell killing argument and fuck off.
Words do not form spontaneously out of physical phenomenon. They’re not written into the code of reality itself. It’s not a crop you can harvest. They occur because a bunch of carbon-based lifeforms came together needed to start collaborating on how to communicate “food over there.” And after a few million years, those same carbon based lifeforms started being able to construct more and more sophisticated thoughts from their collaborations, all of which were built on words that were “made up” and all of which were inspired by the need to tell someone else about something.
So no shit, the idea of trans people is new to you. That’s because at best you saw us in the media as a corpse. When the internet allowed people across the world to come together to collaborate, your first thought wasn’t to seek out a forum where people were describing “an intense and pervasive sense of wrongness specifically triggered by the presence or absence of some bodily and/or social features commonly associated with gender.” That’s because you didn’t have the feeling. Or you did, and you heavily suppressed it. And those of us that did have it, and did seek others out to understand it, eventually decided we needed a shorter way to say “an intense and pervasive sense of wrongness specifically triggered by the presence or absence of some bodily and/or social features commonly associated with gender.”
So unless you think an initialism like AIAPSOWSTBTPOAOSBFCAWG is preferable, you should understand a phrase like “gender dysphoria” to simply be a series of grunts compelled by the need to try and encapsulate what some trans people experience.
Here’s another way of putting it: Imagine for a moment you were tasked with trying to describe colour to a person born without eyes.
This person born without eyes has no way of verifying what colour is or that it even exists given that they’ve lived without sight, so they’re probably going to be skeptical when you try to describe it. But you know there’s a difference between two blocks that are otherwise identical in mass and shape because they have a different paint job. You know it because you observe it. You know it because you can find other people to corroborate that observation.
Now imagine you’re the only person in your neighbourhood who has eyes, and thus you’re the only person in your neighbourhood who can observe colour. Would you want to be called crazy for observing a real phenomenon that others can’t see because of their condition?
That’s what it’s like trying to describe gender dysphoria to people who don’t have it. Y’all are folks without eyes, and trans people are trying to describe colour to you. Of course it sounds alien to you. You don’t have it.
Now imagine that people born without eyes literally built their careers on defaming you because you try to explain the concept of colour, and then you’ll have a rough idea of what it’s like trying to navigate medicine or academia as a trans person.
I swear to dog, next time I see this argument I hope my glare can melt glass. Finish the train of thought, you fucking knob. If gender variance can be dismissed because the language describing it is made up, then please consider having a massive existential crisis where you question the very fabric of your own reality and quietly fuck off to figure it out.
All. Of your words. Are made up.