“Gender identity” is a misnomer, it would be better phrased as personality or sense of fashion and aesthetic. Of course, as many trans activist have righteously pointed out to me that what I’m referring to is “gender expression”, not “gender identity” and then fail to cite a discernible difference. The truth is, gender identity simply doesn’t exist despite what a patriarchal society desperately wants you to believe, and I understand many of you do believe. It’s easy after all to think certain qualities are exclusive to male or female people when we live in a world that’s so invested in the programming of gender. From birth many children are surrounded by an environment that is suppose to represent that child’s biological sex. The boy and his blue room with cars and the girl and her pink room with dolls and it goes from there, spiraling out into insidious directions. This is nothing short of indoctrination, it’s a wicked system and nothing to celebrate and certainly nothing to build an identity around.
In 2014, it is PC to not question anything, to have nothing in the way of a class analysis or critical thinking skills, everything is off limits. While I believe in free speech, I do also understand that “free speech” just means that fines or other legal penalties can’t be imposed by the government. Being silenced or shut down in other forums is not an imposition on free speech, it’s just annoying. However, who is the arbiter of the opinion that is allowed to be heard? Where is this great and supreme moral justice that demand we all agree to agree? In some cases backlash and silencing are understandable. I don’t mind if a virulent racist speech is removed from sites, if that certain person is de-platformed and blacklisted, in fact I support that. Sign me up to shut that shit down. However, this silencing has been extending to radical feminist and other gender abolitionist who seek to address the harms of gender. It’s one thing to participate in speech that perpetuates oppression and another to participate in speech about one’s own oppression. Females especially are oppressed, and this is because of their sex, so females of all people should be the one’s with the right to lead the conversation on gender, and here we are in 2014, females being shut down by males who identify as female, males who want to be the voice when it comes to gender. I’m not wrong by the way, Trans women lead the transgender movement, not trans men.
Transgender people are deeply invested in gender, to the point that they literally build their lives out of and around it. Building their lives around stereotypes of men and women and then demanding that they are seen as such. Demanding that we acknowledge these stereotypes as something innate in ourselves because of our biological sex. Because if we don’t we offend their sense of identity. Feminism in particular has been fighting against that for a very long time now, as have many gay activist, and yet here we find ourselves at the paradigm shift. The GLBT movement have embraced Trans politics and queer theory as have many mainstream liberal/ 3rd wave feminist outlets. Essentially they have signed on, throwing their hands up in the air, after all that time, after all that work and saying, we are wrong! These *man* made Stereotypes about men and women are TRUE. This acceptance feels very defeating, and it’s unfortunate, but I hold to the hope that we will continue to move on, that this divergence is just a flash in the pan.
How did this happen though? Where did it start? I can’t speak for where this started in feminism, but for the gay community I feel it was the over exaggeration of Sylvia Rivera’s limited involvement in the Stonewall riots that trans revisionist used as a platform for increased trans acceptance. Also I do think that many gay men have a empathy for other gender non-conforming males, that we see their plight as somewhat similar to ours, that we can feel the pain they have and do face for “not being a man.” However, this is no reason to alter our political output, as many gay men have, but just all the more reason to reiterate it.
Gender hurts females first and foremost, with men ranking as collateral damage, gay men, trans women, and other men who do not live up to the role of “man” suffer. However that suffering pales in comparison when it comes to the class of people gender inflicts the most harm on, which is women. It is anti-female, and pro-patriarchy to want to celebrate an oppressive construct, and by adding 1000+ gender options on social medias, by legislating policy around gender identity, you’re doing nothing to get rid of this system, you’re just making it a more complex construct, and a more dangerous one. Despite your feelings, your gender identity just doesn’t mean anything, and that’s how we should treat it.