Guest post: If the questions are so terrible

Originally a comment by Bruce Gorton on In understanding and analyzing any claim.

I think TRAs have kind of weaponised a lot of the shortcut memes which the rest of the left didn’t realise were bad ideas at the time.

I mean “JAQing off”, was originally a criticism of anti-feminists wasting everyone’s time, by asking questions which were unproductive and which had been answered repeatedly over a course of decades.

I think what we didn’t realise was that we had created an ideology which had this neat out from having to answer those questions at all, where asking those questions was an immediate marker of an enemy.

To JAQ off should be to ask questions without reading the basic easily findable FAQ, it should not be to ask questions for which there are no comfortable answers.

There really is no way to answer “What is female” without either endorsing sexist ideology or going with blunt biology. If there was a way of doing this, I think we’d have seen it by now.

And the whole trans issue is fundamentally a matter of semantics, what do you mean by woman? What exactly are you talking about when you call someone a man?

We can talk about how gender is socially constructed. Great. Lots of things are socially constructed that we don’t really get a say in – they’re things that society decided to label us with.

Which means there is room for acceptance of trans ideology in all of this. That includes trans racial ideology.

But it isn’t undisputed room, because the damage done by these labels aren’t things that people chose to have done to them. The social roles that come with these labels are not good.

And dealing with the injustices to these labels requires figuring out who the injustices are being done to, and there are questions around whether the damage was chosen. There are a lot of definitional questions that need to be asked.

With examples of trans racial individuals, we understand that by making race a matter of choice, we undermine the fight for racial equality by giving the impression that say, a black man who is being oppressed could just decide to be white. We build the impression that being black is something that white people may well choose to be in order gain some sort of benefit.

We can see how it is problematic when it comes to making arguments against racism.

Trans, when it comes to sex, has the same problem.

Just what does it mean to identify with your gender? If it means fitting the gender role assigned to you at birth, is trans ideology validating those roles, if not how they are assigned in the first place?

These aren’t comfortable questions, and they aren’t being answered. Rather than answering these questions, there are accusations of denying people their humanity, as if a he or a her isn’t human. So far as I can see, the trans think they’re the only humans and that the rest of us are something else.

I have a developed a big problem with “dog whistles” – in that I am not a dog. I do not think people engaged in these discussions are dogs. The TRAs seem to think they are arguing with canines, and frankly it is a losing argument because they do not answer the questions being posed to them.

Instead of answering the questions, the TRAs attack the motives of the questioners, and it slowly turns into a situation where those of us who don’t particularly care about sports, aren’t really het up over bathrooms, and who honestly don’t give a damn about your pronouns and thus are happy to use whatever you prefer, we look at it and we increasingly find ourselves on the other side of the debate.

Because if the questions are so terrible, the answers must be worse.

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