To define someone else’s identity

Do we believe in magic? Jolyon Maugham QC again:

To construct an argument around that because a man raped a women in a women’s prison it follows that trans women as a class pose a risk to women in prison is plain and simple bigotry of a type applied to eg black men, gay men, rape victims, jews etc etc

A reply:

No it’s not – TW are male – we want to exclude males from female only spaces like prisons. Unless it’s bigoted to have any female only spaces, any female only anything.

Jolyon QC:

That’s what, sadly, so many of these replies come to. That you have the right to define someone else’s identity and treat them accordingly. I find it really sad that so many whose self-conception is of protecting minorities and disadvantage find themselves arguing as you do.

When and why and how did clever people like QCs become so convinced that “identity” is such a magical category that everyone is required to take everyone’s word for her/his “identity” no matter what the identity, what the circumstances, what the details?

There is no such magic. You’d think lawyers of all people would know that, since they must have to deal with lying and liars and lies all the time. There is no magic that requires us to treat other people’s claimed “identities” as sacrosanct and forbidden to question.

Women are not “defining” a man’s identity by recognizing him as a man. They’re just heeding the evidence of their senses and their years of experience. There is no moral rule that says women have to take a man’s word for it that he’s a woman. People are working hard to invent such a rule and make it binding on everyone, but we still have room to resist.

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