I have been told that I must deal with a “misogynistic” statement expressed on Freethoughtblogs by Lux Pickel. They said, “Centering our pro-abortion rhetoric around women is inherently erasing of the existence and needs of trans individuals.“
I have two points to make here.
There is a gross misunderstanding about what I can do. I do not manage FtB in any sense of the word — this is a kind of anarchic collective with a group of fully autonomous blogs. I have no particular authority. In fact, I’d say I have less authority, because there’s definitely an anti-authoritarian mindset here, and the fact that so many people think that because of my traffic (which is totally irrelevant to status at FtB) I must be the boss has fostered a bit of a counter-reaction. So the last thing that would get a proposal approved is having me author it.
This is not to say this is a good situation. The lack of central authority here has, in my opinion, been a detriment to the progress of the network. If I had to do it all over again, I would have set up a board of directors with some limited authority, and which would have included independent non-bloggers, to make essential decisions about the overall direction of the network. But we didn’t, and I am not in charge of the network. That seems very hard for a lot of people to grasp, that we might have devolved power here to the group rather than keeping it all in the hands of the founders.
Even if I were the Omnipotent Tyrannical Overlord of FtB, though, I wouldn’t do anything about Lux’s post. I agree with them.
Here’s the problem. Gynecological services, including abortion, ought to be essential rights for all people who have female plumbing — ovaries, uteruses, all the tissues that developed under the influence of low levels of testosterone in the embryo. This is not synonymous with the psychological and sociological concept of “woman”. There are people who identify as men who have the capacity to get pregnant; there are people who identify as women who cannot get pregnant, and will never need an abortion. The naive expectation that the organization of some ducts in the nether region will always coordinate perfectly with the arrangement of neurons and synapses in the cranial region is mistaken. We are making a gross category error when we try to force all aspects of personhood to fit precisely into a simplistic conformist gender binary.
This can also work the other way: there are people who identify as women who will face medical issues like erectile dysfunction and prostate disease. That should be respected and treated as a matter of course, not as some weird peculiarity that is the subject of debates about what kind of doctor they should see.
And no, I’m not really interested in debating the ontological status of individuals with or without ovaries, or with or without testes. You’ll have to argue with the entire network, not just me, if you expect to get some kind of change in policy on it. Good luck with that!