Something Lady Mondegreen said on a post of PZ’s about (unfortunately) me:
I’m getting tired of this assertion that “troubling remarks,” or Ophelia’s perverse desire to listen (without necessarily agreeing) to people who have been declared “known TERFs,” somehow harms trans people or puts them “at risk.” That vague accusation is a good way to justify hyperbolic attacks, and a very good way to shut down discussion, but it’s unconvincing argument.
I’m pretty sure the people who actually beat, rape, and murder trans people are not reading B&W, or asking themselves, “what is gender, really?”
And can we please stop speaking of “trans people” as a monolith, all of whom feel the same way? Over at Butterflies and Wheels, there have been some fascinating threads in which people–trans people (apparently feeling unharmed), cis people, and people who feel neither label applies to them–have discussed their own experiences, thoughts, and feelings about gender. It’s been moving, and frankly a lot more thought-provoking than the didactic but painstakingly inoffensive stuff I gather we’re all supposed to prefer.
See the last para is a compliment to y’all.
What’s wrong with listening to people we disagree with? Isn’t that what we should be doing? Isn’t ignoring them just creating a copy of the right wing echo chamber that makes conservatives think they are in the majority on things like gay marriage and abortion? That atheists are evil people trying to destroy the country?
I, for one, want to know what people really think, not what people aligned with me think they think.
We need to listen to the people we consider enemies and horrible. We may dismiss 99% of what they say, but we need to know what their saying, if only to know how best to counter them.
Not to be all “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” but I think I made that point last week a couple of times. I do not believe for a moment that trans people are harmed by discussions about what constitutes social constructions of gender, what the motivation and manifestations of these constructions are in the larger social context and how we can best support those who do not or can not conform to these constructions.
Tigger_the_Wing, Double trans person, not a TERF says
Sambarge: Thank you.
Well, this one isn’t. Quite the opposite. As far as I’m concerned, the more people discuss all the various meanings and manifestations of gender, the better; and the less easy it will be for the haters to hide behind the notion that ‘everyone knows’ that there are only two kinds of people, really.
And how are we going to convince the fence-sitters to come over to our side, if we doubt the motives of those of us in the trenches trying to do the convincing, and treat them abominably?
Especially, ESPECIALLY, when all substantive political and social policy positions have been taken off the table.
Again, not a perfect analogy, but it’s like calling a person who supported the Civil Rights Acts, Voting Rights Acts, anti-lynching legislation, elimination of school segregation…etc. a racist because they though there was no biological basis for “race.” Society treats a certain segment of the population really poorly due to a socially driven, not genetic, grouping, but criticizing the grouping while battling against the malign effects of the socially imposed category is somehow evincing hatred toward that group.
I fully understand why people would disagree with Ophelia on the substance. I just don’t understand how this largely philosophical discussion (I have yet to see much science brought to bear on either side – for good reason, it’s difficult to obtain anything solid) demands that one side – or even the implication of a “side” – deserves a branding of heretic and transphobe.
Lady Mondegreen says
Well, yes, and to you as well, Ophelia, I suppose, but really my point was that you and the discussions you host here are more enlightening, more intellectually valuable, than pre-digested political axioms can ever be.