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reframing our discourse

Your gender identity lies in your brain and not in your genitals but we just don’t understand how this process of fashioning a gender identity happens. How and why does someone identify as the opposite gender?

Yesterday I featured Felix Conrad’s very thought provoking blog post on what makes a transgender woman claim that she is a woman and have the world take her at face value. In the not too distant past this was addressed in part through stealth transitions but in today’s open and media savvy world that is almost impossible.

Felix makes the valid point that conservatives (who can usually think no further than their nose) focus on chromosomes, DNA and genitals while our arguments are more esoteric and philosophical. This reality is what permits attacks from radical feminism, pseudoscience and religious bigotry.

I am on the record here that I believe a transitioned woman has every right to be respected and treated as any other woman but to counteract the argumentation from these fringe groups we need to up our game and not counter with just emotive claims. Gender lies on a more metaphysical plain that transcends biology except that we have not been able to capture its essence under a microscope much to the chagrin of the transgender person who understands from a very young age that something is amiss.

However, like it or not, developing a new idiom becomes pivotal if we are going to live in this new more open world which is not always so welcoming.


Comments

  1. "Developing a new idiom" is an interesting notion. Square pegs may indeed require square holes rather than brute force.

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    Replies
    1. Your thoughtfulness is wonderful. The issue of gender goes to consciousness, i.e, most transgender individuals are "conscious" of the situation very early in life. David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. wrote in his book, Power vs. Force, (1995) how consciousness affects all aspects of the "material" world. It also provides a window into why some people are accepting, and some bigots, depending on their conscious development. His ideas are slowly being brought into serious scientific study by physicists, relating quantum mechanics to the material world.

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    2. there is no question that consciousness plays a pivotal role here and, just like humans are more than the sum of chemicals and we have self awareness, gender must undoubtedly play into that whole idea. Its funny how conservatives tend to be religious and believe in a soul and yet are so limited in the areas where more esoteric thinking is required...

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  2. I only have a moment so I'll be brief. Although I wish I was born female and am on a slow road to transition, I don't see myself saying I'm a woman unless it's in a situation where, for example, my voice or something else spawns the question. I see myself as a transgender woman, and by that I mean that yes, I expect to be treated like any other woman, use the facilities, etc., but biologically despite hormones, and historically (such as girlhood) I don't see myself standing up to women and insisting that I'm a woman just like them. That said I want to be included in all women's-only retreats, organizations, and so forth - like all women.

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