Online Gender Workshop, as ever, is brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood Crip Dyke
There have been quite a few thoughts expressed, here and elsewhere, about the appropriate uses of transsexual, transgender, trans, and trans*. The separation of sex and gender, while ostensibly default in a number of academic fields and feminist and trans philosophies or movements, is not something challenged only by right wing advocates of trans* oppressive policies. Many non-trans* feminists and many trans* liberation advocates openly oppose the use of these terms as separate. Some of that spills over onto debates about terms such as transgender.
I’d like to attempt to further explain why I believe it is so necessary to separate gender and sex in the first place, and thus at least some of the major reasons why I care about the particular uses of those trans*-community specific terms.
But I won’t.
Not yet, at least.
Here I’m going to post an exercise only, and then, fair warning!, I’m going to censor the hell out of the responses you give: If your first comment does not directly address the exercise, and doesn’t do it in a way that (in my opinionated view) attempts-in-good-faith to actually complete it and consider its implications, that comment and all subsequent comments on this thread will be deleted unless and until you do fulfill this one condition.
Once you’ve made a good faith effort at the exercise, this thread will be as open as any other. Evading my censorious hand will be quite easy, but it will not, on this thread, be virtually automatic.
Exercise 22: For the purposes of this exercise, the concept of sex is indistinguishable from the concept of gender and the expected implications that flow from that, e.g. if a speaker states that a person has a penis, anyone hearing will assume that person is a man and prefers pants to dresses, likewise no listener will be able to understand phrases like “that woman has a penis”, hold.
Under that condition, define “transsexual”.
Previous Gender Workshop entries that include exercises: