Dear Online “Activists,”
Hi. You don’t know me, but you still talk smack about me on the Internet. That’s cool – I know how that goes. Makes you feel better. Go ahead – vent your spleen. Spew it on me – I am a dyke. I’ve been taking this for years.
Feel better? Take a breath.
Here’s the thing – unless you haven’t learned how to read (and illiteracy is a real and devastating phenomenon, so I don’t say that sarcastically), stop making things up.
Five Important Facts About “Cathy Brennan”
1. Cathy Brennan doesn’t think transgender people should be fired from a job or denied access to public accommodations, housing or credit.
2. Cathy Brennan supports females. Cathy Brennan will not sugar-coat this to “make you feel better.” Females have female reproductive organs. It’s not female “brain sex” that makes Females the oppressed class vis-à-vis males.
3. Cathy Brennan supports sex-segregated spaces because females as a class suffer harm from males as a class.
4. Cathy Brennan does not support the sex stereotyping definition of “gender identity” that the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force peddles, which provides, with variation:
“Gender identity” means a gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth.
Gender Rights Maryland has blithely brushed off feminist challenges to the sex stereotyping definition by saying, “everyone has a gender identity” and “there’s no harm that has come from this definition.”
What is gender? The use of both “gender” and “sex” in the definition suggests that gender and sex must differ, somehow. If sex is male or female, gender is “Something Else.”
“Gender-related identity.” Let’s assume, for the moment, that gender is the same as sex. Read this as “Sex-related Identity.” What is a “Sex-related Identity”?
Recently, the Baltimore Sun quoted Jenna Fischetti thusly:
Fischetti emphasized that gender expression is not about sex or anatomy. She shows gender in the way she moves her hands, in her soft voice.
Excuse me, but these are sex stereotypes. There is nothing inherently, genetically, chromosomally, biologically female about the way females “move their hands” or “speak.” Jenna employs these Sex Stereotypes to “show gender” because Jenna wants you to think Jenna is Female.
“Regardless of assigned sex at birth.” Sex at birth, also known as “sex.” Your sex is male or female (let’s avoid the Intersex Derail, shall we?) Transsexual people want to change their sex. Transgender people – and innumerable gender queers – do not necessarily want to change sex – indeed; many of them just want to “fuck with gender.” That’s fine – but your desire to “express gender” should not override sex in the law – and that’s precisely what the sex stereotyping definition does.
5. Cathy Brennan supports a definition of Gender Identity that requires evidence of medical transition.
Here’s why – because sex stereotypes are wrong. It is wrong to lend credence to an idea that has shackled females for centuries. Sex stereotypes harm females because they limit the universe of who we can be. It doesn’t matter that “no harm has come from this definition,” as Dana Beyer repeatedly infers. The wrong is the definition itself. As feminists, we oppose sex stereotyping. The sex stereotyping definition is regressive. Gender identity as currently defined is regressive.
However, there must be “something” that’s needed, as there are actual transgender people who feel afraid to come out at work, or look for housing, or use a bathroom, for fear of harm.
Transgender people cannot transition without medical intervention. Period. Unless you believe that a Male can magically transition from a bee sting, Transgender people require medical intervention to transition. Thus, feminists propose an Objective definition of Gender Identity:
“Gender identity” means a person’s identification with the sex opposite her or his physiology or assigned sex at birth, which can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of a transsexual medical condition, or related condition, as deemed medically necessary by the American Medical Association.”
The Objective Definition protects transgender people from discrimination without harming females. The sex stereotyping definition harms females by lending legal support to the idea that “Gender Identity” exists independent of a sexist culture.
Online Activists, if you continue to assert “Cathy Brennan is a bigot,” I must ask…
Why do you favor a sex stereotyping definition when an objective definition that does not enshrine sex stereotypes into law would protect transgender people? Why do you value the protection of transgender people over females? Why do you expect feminists to do the same? Why do you support legislative efforts to say sex stereotypes are real?
You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. And don’t you think if females could “identify” our way out of oppression, we would have done that ages ago?
Friday, 23 March 2012