Liberal Politics and Trans Rights — My Latest for Splice Today


Despite the fact Dudebro Classical Liberals have tarnished the word, I still consider myself a liberal. I believe in using free speech to criticize bad speech, a government that works for the people, and liberty and justice for all. I’m also transgender, so when I heard that Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay wrote an article for Areo Magazine called “An Argument for a Liberal and Rational Approach to Transgender Rights and Inclusion,” I had to read it.

I wasn’t expecting much at first, though. For starters, whenever cis straight people talk about a “rational approach” to LGBTQ rights, they end up sounding like the white moderates Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about. Also, Lindsay and I recently had an unproductive conversation on Twitter where I criticized him blaming Trump’s election exclusively on “social justice warriors,” and his response insinuated that I just shut up and go away. But I figured it’d be better if I read the article before criticizing them. It isn’t as bad as I thought, but still missed the mark.

The article begins with a false equivalence. “On the one hand,” Pluckrose and Lindsay write, “we have extreme social conservatives and gender critical radical feminists who claim that trans identity is a delusion and that the good of society depends on opposing it at every turn.” I agree; both social conservatives and TERFS (trans-exclusive radical feminists) perpetuate the deadly myth that trans women are really just men in drag that want to infiltrate women’s spaces in order to assault them (even though studies show trans women are more likely to be assaulted in public bathrooms than cis women). But then: “On the other, we have extreme trans activists who claim not only that trans people straightforwardly are the gender they experience themselves to be but that everyone else must be compelled to accept this, use corresponding language, and be fully inclusive of trans people in their choice of sexual partners.” I can understand objections to the last one, but what’s wrong with the first two? What’s so extreme about trans people wanting to been seen and accepted for who they are?

Click here to read the rest.

And in a strange turn of events, Helen Pluckrose loved the article!

Comments

  1. anat says

    Restrooms have individual stalls (except for the urinals at the men’s). during Gender Odyssey all the restrooms on the floor where the conference was taking place were made into one big all-gender restroom, I didn’t notice any problems. Changing rooms at stores have individual stalls and are often not-even gendered. I don’t notice any problems. At swimming pools and gyms there are often communal changing and showering spaces, though there often are some individual stalls. This needs improvement.

    Activists working to change the culture so that people stop using hurtful or oppressive language casually has a long history, and is an admirable pursuit. But it does take time to make an impact. But then, with the experience of previous activist movements, perhaps people now know more effective ways?

  2. brucegee1962 says

    “On the other, we have extreme trans activists who claim not only that trans people straightforwardly are the gender they experience themselves to be but that everyone else must be compelled to accept this, use corresponding language, and be fully inclusive of trans people in their choice of sexual partners.”

    The only problem I see is with the word “compelled.” If that was changed to the word “encouraged,” that would be an accurate non-straw description of reality.

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