I confess that I don’t understand the risks

From a comment on a guest post at Daily Nous, “When Tables Speak”: On the Existence of Trans Philosophy by Talia Mae Bettcher (who is a trans woman):

TMB suggests that trans people “find these same erasures and invalidations perpetuated within a philosophical context,” referring to being abused, assaulted, and stripped. But those things do not happen within philosophical contexts, or in any case asking whether trans women are women is not doing these things. She continues: “To invite me to a philosophical forum in which I prove my womanhood is to do something far different from inviting me to share my views on mathematical Platonism. Do you understand the risks?” I confess that I don’t understand the risks. What are they? I’d be very surprised to hear that inviting trans women to philosophical fora where they prove their womanhood has a lot of causal impact on the abuse, assault, etc. that trans women suffer outside of philosophical fora. I’d be even more surprised to hear that any causal link had been established by empirical inquiry.

That’s what I was saying (over and over again) on that post last week about (ironically, or inevitably, or both) the misogyny of the response to women trying to talk about what we mean by “identify as” and similar jargon. It’s both funny and disgusting that the basic point was “we can’t even discuss this without getting shouted at and bullied, which makes it hard even to discuss it” and that it instantly sparked comment after comment full of shouting and bullying and subject changing and accusation, as if to underline the very point I was making. And it all started with, basically, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISKS?

The risks of writing about it on a blog? No, I don’t understand those risks, because I don’t believe they exist. I think saying that is saying “shut up or else.” Nothing more.

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