Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fluidity

Two articles surfaced this week and quickly went viral among gender critical feminists and LGBT rights supporters alike. I have a lot to say and no time to organize it into a single, cohesive narrative, so I'm just going to do a "thought dump:"

  • As much as I hate disclaimers, it's important that I make clear I support trans people's rights to live as they want without discrimination or fear. However, I've become quite disillusioned over the past few years now that I cannot do this without adopting an ideology that says cis people over here, trans over there, and everyone else? Well, slot yourselves accordingly -- but never question.
  • Wiggly definitions based on "feelings." If cis simply means "not trans" (and not dysphoric) then I am cis. If cis means "identifies with your birth gender" then I am not. I do not identity with womanhood -- in fact, I've fought so actively against it and it's stereotypes I'm pretty isolated in my conservative, working-class part of the USA. I don't "identify" with gender, period. I "do" some gendered things (like putting on makeup, etc.) because it's easier and I like it. (Though I'm under no illusions that this is a feminist act.) Society sees me as a woman. Therefore, my reactions and perceptions are treated as "female" whether I'd agree or not. I do not live in a nice academic bubble.
  • I supposed I could call myself "genderqueer" or "agender," since both of those terms are vague enough, but it feels intellectually dishonest. If I am no longer a woman, am I then opting out of sexism? How does that work exactly?
  • Young people didn't invent gender nonconformity. They just gave it a fancy new vocabulary.
  • Old person moment: when I was a kid, "identity" was something transient. You were a goth or a prep, a skater or an art freak -- whatever.What's happening now seems exactly like this but with far more greater consequences. You can take out the piercings, the all black clothing, but HRT's changes are (a lot of them anyway) irreversible.