Back to the TERF War – at Last?

Getting the feeling more sensible voices are prevailing in this war at last. Maybe I can stop posting about it sometime soon. (To me – without specific skin in the feminist<>trans-gender debate aka “TERF War” – this is simply a raging example of my meta-agenda about received rationality in a world where everyone has rights and opinions – or rather thinks these form the basis of all arguments, especially if their opinions are based on so-called (*) facts.)

Anyway, the latest move?

@femi_sorry made a fairly insensitive tweet about needing new words to distinguish women across both the sex-based and gender-based aspects, referring only to women (cue pile-on). I pointed out he was basically right and applies to both / all genders / sexes.

Interestingly, I got a couple of responses from extremists on the RadFem / GenderCrit side accusing the TransRightsActivist side of fascism intent in their gender driven conspiracy … which is the problem. People trading labels in binary battles against evil enemies over what are really much more complex issues, both technical and social over many contexts and timescales.

We really do need “labels” for the classes in our language, but must not treat these labels as the identities of the individuals and tribes we are in dialogue with. And if we’re not in dialogue all we’re doing is trading “fascist” insults in some degenerate, polarising “debate”. (My annoying habit of overusing scare-quotes is a recognition / admission of needing to use a label for a class, but warning not to treat them as identity labels. Of course in short-form media exchanges the labels are essential to short-hand, but deadly without the scare-quote / trigger warnings.)

Obviously he only mentioned women in the euphemistic context of “pregnant people”.

The extremists on both sides [biological-sex is all there is] vs [new trans-rights trump existing female and gay rights] are defending their positions like dogs with bones – probably tactically from their “thin end of a wedge” perspectives of the other “fascist” side. Don’t give ’em an inch, Pike.

Constructive dialogue is squeezed-out.

#GoodFences #ThinEndWedge #IdentityPolitics

[(*) So-called, not because they might not be “facts” (there are lots of them out there) but questionable whether any fact is relevant to any given point at issue.]


Post Notes:

[@Irmenberga (x99) was in one of those threads, but blocked me (here below):

“its like describing what happened to gallileo as a ‘science vs religion war’. the war only goes one way. we all respect their right to believe in bullshit. we just deny their right to force others to deny science. […] i am blocking you now. you obviously dont understand this area and you have nothing useful to add and no genuine interest in informing yourself.”

Ironic to bring in the Galileo parallel, before blocking me and accusing me of being ill informed. (Obviously my research in this area involved included Alice Dreger’s “Galileo’s Middle Finger” from 5 years ago, and at the meta-level for more than two decades. More links on request.)

The “war” is very much two-way, in both the TERF war and Galileo cases. Denying anyone else has any counter point to make – that there is only one (right) side in the war – is the dogma of course, the fascism each extremist accuses the other of.]

[Post Note:
As I noted above Man/Male/Woman/Female are objective facts about sex, Masculine / Feminine are subjective characteristics of gender.
Germaine Greer agrees:

Linguistically, it’s not complicated.]

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