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How do I respond?


Aggie1

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It has been said “The best offense is a good defense.”

 

It seems that the prevailing political forces are lined up for the midterms and the battlefield taking shape is Trans Rights.

 

There have been a number of salvos fired recently on both sides of this battlefield.

 

The latest target is Lia Thomas. The latest argument is based on “biology.”

 

The pro trans side says that trans identity is based on biology, hormonal response, brain chemistry, genes that may or may not activate based on environmental conditions, SRY genes, embryonic triggers.

 

The anti trans community argues that the male-female difference is based on biology. XX vs XY.

 

Here are some of the memes that are beginning to spread.

 

During confirmation hearings of the Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, she was asked if she could provide a definition of a woman. She said, “No, I can’t.”  Then she clarified “I’m not a biologist.”  There is a meme going around that shows scenes from Lord of the Rings where the Nazgul says "No man can kill me." Eowyn's response is "I am no man". The Nazgul says "Then what are you?" and she responds with "I don't know. I'm not a biologist."

Another example. Lia Thomas was debated in the stands in a tweet that is going viral

https://twitter.com/madeleinekearns/status/1504541889999085575?s=21

The critical exchange between the opposing parties goes like this:

“Are you a biologist?”

“No, I’m not a vet either. But I know a dog when I see one.”

 

I have a feeling we am going to face an increased level of hyperbolic criticism between now and the midterm elections. How do we prepare mentally for the onslaught? Suggested reading material? Websites? Books? News sources?

 

 

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It's also said that the best revenge is living well. Not that I am feeling particularly vengeful, nor am I advocating the cultivation of vengeful feelings. My point is that by living our lives as peaceful and productive citizens, being visible, being ourselves, being truthful, we illustrate our validity. We do not need to be verified by biologists or anyone else. Indeed, if directly attacked we do need to take care of ourselves, and we do need to take care of our trans siblings. I believe there is strength and community. We talk to each other, we lean on each other, we share with each other, and I think what's more convincing than endless and fruitless arguments about the science and medicalization of gender identity is the personal touch of lived individual experiences and narratives. Trans culture is human culture - WE ARE, and we do not need to be clinically proved or established. I wish everyone peace of mind and heart.

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51 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

by living our lives as peaceful and productive citizens, being visible, being ourselves, being truthful, we illustrate our validity.

I agree wholeheartedly. I work in retail and I have quite a few guests come intentionally through my checklane. I am aware that some do know that I am trans, but more importantly they see me as human. 

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I agree on tending to what's in our garden and in our control, which is focusing on my relation to people and community as "just another human person", and more, how I treat others whatever politics they have. 

But I do realize it's basically a rhetorical warzone and it's important for me to tell my story and lived experience. It's absurd kids who know they are trans would be forced to go through puberty and then have to then undo it all. And I have experienced the darker side of untreated gender dysphoria. 

Julia Serano has made several of her articles and data free on her Medium site as a resource that covers much of this stuff. 

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21 hours ago, Aggie1 said:

 

It has been said “The best offense is a good defense.”

 

It seems that the prevailing political forces are lined up for the midterms and the battlefield taking shape is Trans Rights.

 

There have been a number of salvos fired recently on both sides of this battlefield.

 

The latest target is Lia Thomas. The latest argument is based on “biology.”

 

The pro trans side says that trans identity is based on biology, hormonal response, brain chemistry, genes that may or may not activate based on environmental conditions, SRY genes, embryonic triggers.

 

The anti trans community argues that the male-female difference is based on biology. XX vs XY.

 

Here are some of the memes that are beginning to spread.

 

During confirmation hearings of the Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, she was asked if she could provide a definition of a woman. She said, “No, I can’t.”  Then she clarified “I’m not a biologist.”  There is a meme going around that shows scenes from Lord of the Rings where the Nazgul says "No man can kill me." Eowyn's response is "I am no man". The Nazgul says "Then what are you?" and she responds with "I don't know. I'm not a biologist."

 

Another example. Lia Thomas was debated in the stands in a tweet that is going viral

https://twitter.com/madeleinekearns/status/1504541889999085575?s=21

The critical exchange between the opposing parties goes like this:

“Are you a biologist?”

“No, I’m not a vet either. But I know a dog when I see one.”

 

I have a feeling we am going to face an increased level of hyperbolic criticism between now and the midterm elections. How do we prepare mentally for the onslaught? Suggested reading material? Websites? Books? News sources?

 

 


Dang...this is literally the EXACT thing which triggered my recent mental breakdown; got triggered by the news. ...Thinking I might need to just STOP watching the news...but I like being informed about what's going on in the world...but what's going on in the world right now makes me so angry I feel like I'm going to explode at someone and get arrested, or cut myself and get hospitalized, or abuse substances and get a blood clot. ...I don't know how to deal with everything going on with me right now...and the Radical-Right's bigotry is just like, ONE tiny part of it; but it was the proverbial straw that broke this proverbial camel's back. ...Trying to pull myself back together again. ...Sometimes I don't want to though...sometimes I just wanna let myself lose control and be completely self-destructive, pushing everyone away...sometimes I just wanna watch the world burn and see how bad things can get for me. 😐

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What's crazy is that man and woman are matters of definition, not biology. Male/female and man/woman are different things, but it depends on personal definition. For some, they're synonymous, and for others, they're not. And there's always the question of "real" and what does anyone mean by real? What's a "real" man or woman or person? How is "real" defined? 

Short answer: It can't.

Long answer: "Real" can't be defined in this context and the connection between male/female and man/woman can't be defined either because it's all subjective. These concepts have become so socially ingrained that they hold meaning entirely within the social context, but it's impossible to remove them from it without destroying and rendering the terms completely invalid and without meaning. 

So I propose a new argument: The bodily autonomy argument. 

It's your body, and you are entitled to do whatever you deem fit with it. Someone trying to take that control away or roadblock it is in violation of your bodily autonomy. Turn this on someone else and I guarantee you they'll go "It's my body, I do what I want!" Congratulations, you've figured out basic autonomy and choice! Now extend that right (not courtesy, this isn't a suggestion, it's an order) to other people and you've got it! 

And I always find that anyone arguing against transgender people using biology or religion doesn't really have a good argument at all. Being transgender, especially on a chemical and biological level isn't very well understood, and I don't think it will be until we manage to pick apart common threads in every transgender person ever, or have better technology to study the brain. I honestly think trying to find a solid, concrete science in being transgender is a wild goose chase at this point in time, because the information varies wildly from person to person because it's-say it with me now-subjective. Granted, these are my personal views and they may change with new information, and if I said something wrong, please correct me. 

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2 hours ago, Sol said:

And there's always the question of "real" and what does anyone mean by real? What's a "real" man or woman or person? How is "real" defined? 

Great question! It’s one of those “absolute “ traps. It’s based on a schoolyard taunt. “A real man would…” it wipes away nuance in a single breath. If “all boy” or “all girl” is the gold standard, where does that put 99.999% of the rest of us!? Are we not “real”? So then what is the underlying reason for differences on the spectrum, because the spectrum is obviously real, since by definition not everyone is all boy, otherwise there would be no point in the taunt. The only thing everyone shares in common is DNA which is unique to everyone, ironically. DNA makes all of us different. And DNA is biology.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Nora Michels said:

Trying to pull myself back together again. ...Sometimes I don't want to though...sometimes I just wanna let myself lose control and be completely self-destructive, pushing everyone away...sometimes I just wanna watch the world burn and see how bad things can get for me. 😐

It’s impossible to change the whole world. Sometimes all you can do is change one small detail in your own life. For example, pick a wildflower, put it in a jar on your table and admire it. That wildflower that no one ever noticed before is me! Sometimes that’s all the strength we have to brighten our lives. Does it solve the world’s problems? No. But it brings balance into our own lives, and shifts our focus to something we do control from something we feel we have absolutely no control over.
 

It’s a subtle way to show ourselves respect. It helps to flip the script of those whose arguments are ad hominem and whose intent is to promote self loathing in others. If I see the intent behind the argument for what it really truly is, it breaks the cycle, and I’m less likely to absorb the message and thereby inadvertently do to myself what they want me to-hate myself. At least it works for me. YMMV.

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7 hours ago, stveee said:

But I do realize it's basically a rhetorical warzone and it's important for me to tell my story and lived experience.

Bravo well said! 

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21 hours ago, BrandiBri said:

some do know that I am trans, but more importantly they see me as human. 

Yes. We can’t let ourselves be gobsmacked by the rhetoric into denying our reality or creating a caricature of our existence. Some would deny not just our identity but our very humanity. I have remind myself I’m not interested in seeking anyones approval. I’m only interested in being the best version of humanity I’m capable of.

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22 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

Trans culture is human culture - WE ARE, and we do not need to be clinically proved or established.

This is so well stated! 

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