Saturday, December 20, 2008

As someone who will be directly affected by the "Conscience Protection Rule", I was tempted to write something about it, from an individualist anarchist perspective. But I see that Roderick Long has beaten me to it, writing what is basically the sane take on this so I don't have to:

The Conscience of the King

The core quote:
"So I can’t get excited about either the critique or the defense of this law. Indeed, it’s a great example of how the Rawlsian/Dworkinian [Ronald, not Andrea or poor Gerald] dream of a state apparatus that is neutral among its citizens’ competing conceptions of the good is ultimately incoherent."
Exactly so.

Monday, December 08, 2008

If I want 3 breasts and a tail, that's my goddamn business.

W. Gillis makes another essential (excuse the pun) post, while on sabbatical even.

The quote with the nitty gritty:
"Conversely the negation of gender does not mean the complete extinction of mini-skirts and aftershave. The destruction of identity has never meant the abolishment of it; what we oppose is rigidity in relations -- not the medium itself."
The medium is indestructible. You have to manifest via some sort of tropes.
The closest you could come to eliminating personal gender expression is to make all manifestation utterly uniform. I don't doubt that this is what some people would love to enact, to take a repression that designates 2 standard forms into one that makes 1 standard form for everyone, as if this makes people more free. (And that just leads to an argument about what the standard form should be. In many cultures, historically, everyone wore skirts.)
What I and many (but not all) transfolk would like to see is the opposite. Let six billion flowers bloom, so to speak.

Secondly, the phrase "unnecessary mutilation" applied to any elective body-modification horrifies me, as an anarchist. I'll fucking decide what's necessary and what's not, thanks.
We're all cyborgs already. We wear clothes over our natural fur or lack thereof, and shoes so we can walk on different kinds of terrain. Some of us even wear glass lenses over our eyes to help us see better!
And I heard some people even inject ink into their skin so they can wear art work on their bodies!!
Will the horrors never end?

There's a third thing, which is annoying to have to go over, but it's so embedded that I really should. If you want to abolish a forced gender identification relating to biological sex, that has to cut both ways (please excuse the pun again). That is to say, if you want to define "man" as simply "anyone who was born with a penis", then that's the definition. You can't sneak all kinds of other definitions of "man" and bundle them in with that. In fact, we transfolk are living proof of that. And perhaps that's a good portion of what makes certain elements within feminism a bit unnerved by us, to say the least.