Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: The TERF Wars about Trans Identity

  1. Top | #1
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Lebanon, OR
    Posts
    6,058
    Archived
    16,829
    Total Posts
    22,887
    Rep Power
    79

    The TERF Wars about Trans Identity

    The Annals of the TERF-Wars | Jane Clare Jones

    A TERF is a Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminist, someone who claims that transwomen are men trying to invade female territory, as far as I understand it.

    Some excerpts:
    Prologue: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

    Transsexual women: We just want some basic human rights.

    Women: Okay.

    Transsexual women: We have this condition called gender dysphoria and it’s really painful and we need to transition to live as the other sex because it’s the treatment for the dysphoria.

    Women: Yeah, that sounds tough. Okay, if that’s what you need to do.

    Transsexual women: We’d like you to treat us as women.

    Most women: Um, okay. Sure, we can do that if that helps.
    and
    Episode 1: The First War Begins. Scene 1: Cyberspace – probably around 2013

    Trans activists: So hey, when we said we’d like you to treat us like women that wasn’t right, because actually, we ARE women and we demand that you treat us exactly like women because we are women and that you to stop violently excluding us from all your women things.

    Women: Um, we thought you were male people who had to transition to help with your dysphoria?

    Trans activists: No, that is out-dated and pathologizing. Women are women because they have a gender identity which makes them women.

    Women: Um, we thought we were woman because we’re female?

    Trans activists: No, you are women because you have magic womanish essence that makes you women. We have the same magic womanish essence as you, it’s just that ours got stuck in the wrong body.

    Feminists: That sounds kind of sexist. Can you tell us what this woman-essence is, and how it gets stuck in the wrong body, because that sounds like a weird metaphys…..

    Trans activists: It’s SCIENCE.

    ...
    I recommend reading the whole thing.

    Some transpeople insist on being called all-woman and all-man, despite being psychologically female and somatically male (transwomen), and psychologically male and somatically female (transmen). Thus, they claim that some women have penises and don't have vaginas, and for this reason, they object to referring to penis possessors as men and vagina possessors as women.

    I also note that many transpeople go through a lot of trouble to get surgery that makes their somatic gender approximate their psychological gender.

  2. Top | #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,848
    Rep Power
    24
    I am not fully disagreeing with what you excerpted, but it mischaracterizes different viewpoints as though they only developed over time between the same people rather than differing viewpoints that have existed for a long time and have changed in their prevalence and in how those who hold them attempt to engage with each other.

    The conflict between feminism and transgenderism has been around for decades with formal writings on the issue dating back to at least the mid-1970's.
    What may more coincide with your more recent date of 2013 is the devolution from an intellectual debate and nuanced political discussion to a "war" of emotionalism and ad hominem attacks (such as the intended slurs of "TERF" and "Transphobic") in and effort to silence any views other than transwomen as being exactly identical to non-trans women. Along with the change in rhetoric is the change from having a discussion to some trans-activists adopting the growing tactic of too many on the left in shutting down discussion and preventing those with opposing views from speaking, even when they are not trying to discuss their views on the issues of disagreement (such as efforts to deplatform feminist Germaine Greer in 2015).

    Note the emphasized "some" refers to the fact that most so-called TERFs (including Germaine Greer) and many others labeled "Transphobic" b/c they oppose ignoring the objective differences between transwomen and non-transwomen are in fact still trans-activists themselves, fighting for and supporting the rights of trans-people to dress as they wish, get sex-changes, and not be discriminated against for being trans-gender. Just like lesbians and feminists can unite and fight for each other's equality and rights without presuming that being a lesbian and being a feminist are identical, so can feminists be trans-activists without accepting the assumption that other trans-activists hold that people have an innate psychological gender or that there are no meaningful sub-categories that differentiate trans-women from non-trans-women.

    The pre-"war" conflict is long standing because it is inherent to the very concept of gender norms that many feminists say are completely constructed and invalid, while trans-activists often make arguments that logically presume gender norms are real in innate to the person, which is logically entailed by claims that a person can be born a different psychological gender than their somatic gender. In fact, getting an the drastic operations that transexuals do would be nonsensical without this assumption. IF their is no "psychological gender" and somatic differences are the only differences, then somatic differences entirely determine the only real gender, which can only conflict with artificially constructed norms imposed on people with differing somatic biology. This rather widespread feminist view of gender means that a transwomen is a man in only sense the term has objective meaning and unlike women have had male-norms imposed upon them their whole life, and even after their "transition" usually do not have female-norms imposed upon them because most people are aware that they are trans and not biologically female from birth. By switching genders rather than just ignoring gender norms, transgenders are legitimizing and essentially endorsing those norms even though in their mind they are merely embracing their "true" innate psychological gender that feminists deny exists.

    What is making the conflict worse and more vitriolic and less likely to be resolved is the dishonest denial by many tanspersons and so-called "pro-trans feminists" that there is any logical conflict between the ideas of having a innate or "true" psychological gender and gender beyond somatic sex features being a social construct. Those who engage in this denial have nothing resembling a rational argument to defend it, which is why they simply try to silence anyone who point it out and dishonestly label them "transphobic", which only empowers and gives cover to those who are actually transphobic and the true political/moral enemies of both camps (conservatives and the alt-right).
    Last edited by ronburgundy; 11-28-2018 at 08:39 PM.

  3. Top | #3
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Lebanon, OR
    Posts
    6,058
    Archived
    16,829
    Total Posts
    22,887
    Rep Power
    79
    I'm rather confused by that.

    But it seems like there are three main camps in this debate:
    1. Somatic gender is the only gender.
    2. One can have different somatic and psychological genders.
    3. Psychological gender is the only gender.

    (1) is what some anti-trans people seem to believe, and (3) is what some trans people seem to believe. I prefer (2).

  4. Top | #4
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    11,413
    Archived
    39,172
    Total Posts
    50,585
    Rep Power
    73
    1. Trans people have brains that share physical characteristics with the gender they identify with. It's not just in their heads.
    2. In addition to indeterminate gender identity, there is indeterminate physical gender. There are babies that are born with both sexual characteristics. As a society, we risk the lives of such infants performing unnecessary "sexual assignment" surgery on them just so that most people can go through life thinking that there are only cisgender males and cisgender females and nothing else.


    Naturally, when such people are confronted with non-binary, non-cis gender and gender identity, they throw tantrums and immediately seek to oppress, persecute anyone who isn't cisgender.

    Non-white feminists have been complaining for decades about racist white feminists. Why should anyone be surprised to find out that there are also transphobic feminists? This is why non-fascists spend time talking about intersectionality.

    There's no debate here. The science is as much against the TERFs as it is against other groups of transphobes. Transphobes are people who will deliberately harm a minority simply because they don't want to let go of a specific social construct that never had any validity in the first place.

  5. Top | #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    california
    Posts
    163
    Rep Power
    20
    Male: men (thinking)
    Female: women (feeling)
    Both: hermaphrodites
    Neither: schizoids

    Intravert
    Extrovert
    Ambivert
    Nonvert

    Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator
    Teachers = Trees of knowledge
    Fruit is free
    Will you eat or are you afraid it will bite you?

  6. Top | #6
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,478
    Rep Power
    17
    Watching the film Kindergarden Cop
    One of the single/divorcee moms at the school goes to up to Mr Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and expresses concern that her kid is acting weird - playing dress up with dolls.
    Mr Kimble says it's OK the (probably straight) boy is (probably) wanting to look up their dresses for entirely CIS heterosexual reasons.

    They both laugh and agree that's a relief.
    #phew #not_LGBT

  7. Top | #7
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    11,413
    Archived
    39,172
    Total Posts
    50,585
    Rep Power
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Watching the film Kindergarden Cop
    One of the single/divorcee moms at the school goes to up to Mr Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and expresses concern that her kid is acting weird - playing dress up with dolls.
    Mr Kimble says it's OK the (probably straight) boy is (probably) wanting to look up their dresses for entirely CIS heterosexual reasons.

    They both laugh and agree that's a relief.
    #phew #not_LGBT
    Up until fairly recently, such anti-LGBT humor was considered acceptable. Isn't it amazing how much society has changed in recent years?

  8. Top | #8
    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    5,321
    Archived
    372
    Total Posts
    5,693
    Rep Power
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    [list=1][*]Trans people have brains that share physical characteristics with the gender they identify with. It's not just in their heads.
    By that definition it is very much in their heads.

  9. Top | #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,848
    Rep Power
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    I'm rather confused by that.

    But it seems like there are three main camps in this debate:
    1. Somatic gender is the only gender.
    2. One can have different somatic and psychological genders.
    3. Psychological gender is the only gender.

    (1) is what some anti-trans people seem to believe, and (3) is what some trans people seem to believe. I prefer (2).
    Basically, my post argues that the science supports #2, with the caveat that "somatic" gender is problematic b/c "psychological gender" is heavily determined by brain attributes and the brain is part of the "body" (aka "soma"). IOW, the "conflict" is not between mind and body but between different parts of the body, namely parts of the brain that control psychological and behavioral tendencies versus non-neural parts of the body such as sex organs. For some trans-people there may not be a "conflict" so much as that neither their brain nor the rest of their body fall that close to what is typical of each gender category.

  10. Top | #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,848
    Rep Power
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    [list=1][*]Trans people have brains that share physical characteristics with the gender they identify with. It's not just in their heads.
    By that definition it is very much in their heads.
    That's incredibly disingenuous. You know what was meant, namely that the subjective experience of gender by trans is just as rooted in their brain biology as the subjective experience of being a boy or girl is for cis-genders. Thus, your implications that gender is binary and that trans people are just making it up or somehow denying their biological tendencies is bogus and anti-science.

Similar Threads

  1. The Law of Identity: What does it mean?
    By Speakpigeon in forum Metaphysics
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 04-10-2019, 08:31 AM
  2. Python & the Law of Identity
    By Speakpigeon in forum Computers and Technology
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 03-10-2019, 12:08 PM
  3. Identity Politics vs Othering
    By Jolly_Penguin in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 07-09-2018, 10:48 PM
  4. Mistaken Identity? Seriously?
    By RavenSky in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-07-2017, 02:08 AM
  5. Proxy Identity Politics
    By Jolly_Penguin in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 12-23-2016, 01:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •