A thing we can’t know

The incoherence of it all.

Victoria Derbyshire asks “What about the suggestion that trans athletes should have a separate category of competition?”

So that muddies the waters right off the bat. The issue is trans women competing against women. Trans men aren’t being unfair to men or women by competing against men, so the issue isn’t “trans athletes” in general but trans women who compete against women. The bad question allows Clark to brush it off with “Come on, it’s 2 thousand 19 now” and similar generalities, ending up at “It’s totally unfair – we are human beings – nobody chooses to be transgender.” Wait, now – nobody? Do we know that? Does anybody know that? How could anybody know that?

Especially now that the standard has become “identifies as.” The Ideological Command is that if someone “identifies as” trans / a woman / a man / trans-non-binary / genderqueer and so on to infinity, then that is what she/he/they is. It is mandatory that we all take the identifying-as to equal being the category identified as; it’s a very serious crime to do anything short of that.

Given that fact, and the heated abusive rhetoric that backs up the mandate, how can we possibly know that no one chooses to be trans?

There’s also quite a lot of ideology around the idea that lots of people are potentially trans who haven’t quite realized it yet, or who are afraid to embrace it fully, or who are trans half the week and not the other half of the week. There’s quite a lot of moving between categories. There’s a lot of expansion of the categories, which means there’s a lot of variation in the descriptions of the categories. How, then, can we possibly know that no one chooses to be trans?

Also: there are a lot of psychopaths and narcissists and other kinds of shit-stirrers out there. There are a lot of trans women for whom the whole point of being a trans woman seems to be aggression against that inferior category of women who just are women, without the trans part. How, then, can we possibly know that no one chooses to be trans?

And even if none of that were true, still how could we know that no one chooses to be trans? It’s a mental state, and certainty about the mental state of all other people is not a thing we get to have.

Actually, it’s the other way around. Nobody chooses to be born whatever sex it is. We don’t choose it, it’s just a fact. We also don’t choose how well it suits us to be that sex rather than the other one, and that too is universal. There’s a range of intensity to how unheimlich our sex feels, and for some it’s so intense that they prefer to move to the other one – but that again is something no one can be certain about, including the person who feels it, because she or he doesn’t know how it compares to what everyone else feels. We all know only what it feels like to be ourselves, each one one at a time.

Lucy Clark is just wrong to make such a confident claim. Nobody can possibly know that no one chooses to be trans.

6 Responses to “A thing we can’t know”