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angels on the head of a pin

A while back I went to Miranda Yardley’s blog and was not surprised to see what I found there.

First it must be said that Miranda does not look like a woman and I doubt she ever will which must color her perspective on things. She is selling the idea that being a transwoman is just another form of being male. However, just like with the application of the bathroom laws, at the rubber hits the road level, her argumentation doesn’t really apply itself well to real life.

Many transwomen look like women in every possible way and are living under society’s radar. As far anyone who deals with them is concerned they are women, and many have had husbands who never knew they were trans. How do they fit into a Miranda Yardley polemic which heartily feeds the TERFS and the Christian right?

The same applies for these women when they go to a public washroom where they are undetectable in every possible way. How would you enforce the arcane bathroom laws on them?

Hence the declaration that transwomen are just another form of male may work against a segment of the trans population, but it cannot practically work on all. Then there is the idea that we can reduce being a woman to exclusively being born with a vagina and ovaries. Some may say it is the only metric but at the ground level these transwomen live and act like any other women, making the Yardley distinction impossible to apply on any sort of practical level.

This form of argumentation is a bit esoteric anyway because it doesn’t matter in the context of having a job and paying your bills. Your colleagues need something from you and they don’t care about your life to that extent. If you are presenting female in every possible way, then that is how they are likely to address you.

The way I see it these philosophical arguments are really battles most often fought at the academic level where it is a gang war of words meant to injure and discredit. I see it as the equivalent of medieval scholasticism’s question of how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. But I can tell you that if I were personally dealing someone like Janet Mock (whose audio book Calie was so kind to pass on to me), I would have no issue thinking of her as a woman because that is all I see and hear.

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