There are so many other things going on here. Survival. Solidarity. Empathy. To me those are the keys… not making sure everyone is on the same page theoretically. Imagine one person saying, “I’m just trying to breathe here” and receiving the answer, “But what does that mean for ME?”
This strikes me as a strange argument. Taking into consideration how our actions affect others who are oppressed and struggling, listening to their concerns and taking them into account, is pretty much the definition of solidarity.
There was a, at the time the hidden-camera street harassment video went viral. I think he expected Cooper to basically side with those arguing that the video contributed to racial bias, if inadvertently, and leave it at that. Instead, she recognized the validity of that argument (and expanded it: the reception of the video also tended to sideline the vulnerability of black girls and women to street harassment); but then went on to suggest that black men, rather than focusing on this exclusively, could find their solidarity with women by seeing the problem within a shared framework of wanting to occupy public space and not be harassed – in their case, by police, in women’s, by men. It wasn’t a rhetorical game, but an accurate framing of the problems that could allow people to see their struggles in common terms rather than being set against each other.
It seems to me that this shared frame for solidarity has been missing from the current discussions, but it certainly exists. I’ve been arguing for a while that we can look at these struggles in terms of freedom, specifically freedom of self-definition and self-determination. The existential freedom to craft our identity and our own path rather than being chained to a false essence. The claim to that freedom unites all struggles for liberation, and those who oppose it with essentialist arguments, be they feminists, trans activists, or those hostile to these movements, are opposing liberation.
By the way, I think Lady Mondegreen’s suggestion on the other thread about asking some trans people who want to have a real discussion to write some posts was a good one. I think there are people who for whatever reason want to divide and sow hostility between our groups and movements, but that our goals are actually the same and we can better realize that through dialogue that focuses on what unites us rather than divides us. (And, in purely selfish terms, I’m sure I could learn a lot from it.)
*Yes two in one day. What can I say? She’s on a roll.