“Gender is not a topic for a bunch of cis people to sit around and theorize about”

So. Let’s drop in on the Socratic Club at Oregon State University for a moment.

They were going to hold a debate about gender, but then they decided not to.

We are sorry to have to inform you that the debate on Thursday, February 25th on the topic “Is Gender a Choice?” has been canceled. Our debaters were informed that some students on campus are offended by the topic of the debate and may plan to protest the event as transphobic, despite the fact that we had both sides fully represented. Because of this one of our speakers did not feel comfortable proceeding with the event. We are disappointed, but understand.

Both sides of what? There are two sides, and only two sides? Well it was a debate, and I suppose debates generally do have two sides, except for political ones which can have anything up to 375.

Anyway, the thing that interested me was this comment by someone named Arlo:

Gender is not a topic for a bunch of cis people to sit around and theorize about, or debate about, as if trans people don’t really exist, or that their identities are something that can be questioned.
This is the transphobic BS we have to deal with daily.
So when we practice our free speech to point out how things are affecting us as a marginalized group, and people actually listen and do something about it, doesn’t mean you’ve been denied anything.
Get over yourselves. The fact that you are all on here arguing that you should be able to be bigoted shitbags shows that you have not lost your freedom of speech. You’re just getting called out on it.

The fact that any of you think trans people are just a small population of people just goes to show how little you know about the population whose identities you wanna debate about.

That interested me, especially the first sentence.

Gender is not a subject for “cis” people to talk about? It’s only trans people who get to talk about gender? Gender belongs to trans people, and no one else?

Why would that be? How could that possibly be the case? How could anyone think that? What is it about the current state of trans activism that is causing impressionable people to pick up such ideas? How could anyone think that trans people have a monopoly on gender, and only trans people have an interest in it?

Gender oppresses everyone. Gender oppresses boys and men who get bullied for not being tough and brutal enough. Gender oppresses girls and women for reasons I’ve been yammering about since before the railroads were built. Yes it is a subject for us to “sit around and theorize about” – all day long, in all weathers, in any company, whenever we feel like it. It’s not owned or monopolized or incorporated or patented by anyone who gets to shut us out of discussions about it.

A political movement that’s shot through with bullshit has am unhappy future. I hope trans activism can start to do better soon.

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