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Old 05-06-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default Political heretics and heresies

This is an fork from the Presidential election thread.

Dark_crystal wrote:

"I expressed concern with Judith Butler in my Critical Theory class and the professor was shocked! Shocked! There seemed to be an expectation that being the token queer in the room meant I would be thrilled we were covering her.

But doesn't her idea that gender is a social construction kind of mean that she also believes that everyone who is medically transitioning is putting themselves through a great deal of pain and expense for nothing?

The class was like, no no no it's not like that really she comes around if you read her later stuff, but I have never gotten around to it. What is your take?"

Ninety days from now, at this time, my surgery will have been going on for two or three hours. I am deeply grateful this is the case because, in my bones, I think that the Butlerian 'gender is nothing but a social construct' idea has caught on like wildfire and the activists, following Butler and with *no* reflection on possible consequences, are going to wind up screwing up insurance covering transition related costs *just* as they were starting to recognize the medical necessity if those services. The logic is really straightforward an inescapable.

If gender is a social construct then the statement 'I feel that my body is one gender but my brain is another' is a meaningless statement. It has no more informational content than "I feel that I'm a baked potato in an oven at 450 degrees". I'm most obviously *not* a potato--baked or otherwise--so if I am saying that then whatever else is going on, I'm *not* actually a potato and I'm *not* actually in an oven being baked so that I can be dressed with butter, sour cream, cheese, etc. So, I think that there's a window that has opened up.

Honestly, I think that the social construct idea has been taken way too far. Everything is now a social construct if it is politically convenient for it to *be* a social construct and it is the rhetorical and political convenience which drives this not any actual serious thought about what might be intrinsic and what might not be.

If gender is a social construct then there are, quite literally, no such thing as transgender people because, quite literally, no one is even capable of feeling intrinsically male or female. Saying it must be metaphorical or devoid of all content whatsoever. "I'm so hot, I feel like the core of a star" can never actually describe my real physical condition since I'm most certainly not even the smallest conceivable star. Likewise, I knew I was always a girl has no content because I couldn't know that because no one knows that they are a girl because there's no such thing as feeling like one.

If I had the opportunity, I would like to ask Ms Butler what psychological problems she believes transsexuals like myself have that makes us believe that we feel something it is impossible to feel. Because when I started transition, this was my *last* option. I had ruled out being a gay man who was really fucked up in the head. I ruled out that I was suffering some kind of psychotic delusions. All that was left was gender orientation but Butler's theory precludes any possibility of my actually being transsexual as it is currently defined.

My kudos to you for actually speaking out against Butler in a university classroom. You, lady, have got ovaries made of titanium!

Proud member of the reality-based community.

"People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case. They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of cleverness. And so, the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasnít that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people. As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didnít measure up." (Terry Pratchett)
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