Those on the margins

So a bishop and a rabbi walk into a pub issue a joint statement:


It’s a funny kind of “statement” because I can’t find it in any form except that image, only excerpts in a few news items, mostly churchy ones. I just zipped through the bishop’s tweets for the past couple of weeks in case he’d tweeted a link but nope. He seems like a very decent man, full of concern for the downtrodden, but I still have to take issue with some of the claims in this statement.

We have noted with sadness the increasing use of the term ‘transgender’ ideology and other derogatory terms about trans people.

It’s not derogatory to say there is such a thing as trans ideology. What else can we call it? There are claims about what “trans” means and how we are to behave toward people who say they are it; what can we call those claims if not ideology?

I suppose the answer would be “facts” or “the truth.” I suppose the idea is that calling it ideology implies invention as opposed to discovery.

Ok, fair enough, but then this is the core issue, isn’t it. Much of the bullying by activists and allies is around this push to convince everyone that it’s simply true that some people are “in the wrong body.” Much of the resistance is to this push.

So, the rabbi and the bishop are apparently saying we shouldn’t resist this push to accept that a set of very shaky claims is simply true new discoveries about human…sex? Gender? Essence?

But what if the claims are in fact as wrong and confused and fantasy-based as they appear to us? What if children and teenagers really are being mutilated on the strength of this new truth-or-ideology? Don’t we need to know that? Wouldn’t it in fact be a good thing if we discovered that hopla! people don’t need to mutilate themselves after all, because the idea that we can be born in “the wrong body” turns out to be an invention and not a fact?

Then they proceed to the usual – and undisputed – announcement that trans people shouldn’t be persecuted.

As faith leaders, we believe that trans people, like every other person, have every right to be cherished, and protected by society and in the gender in which they choose to live.

Watch out! They sneaked a stinger into the tail. Every person has every right to be in the gender in which they choose to live. If it’s what they choose to live in then it’s not a fact that it’s what they are, is it. It can’t be both. It can’t be a fact about them and a choice.

Anyway what does choosing to live in a gender mean? Not a lot, as we’ve explored ad infinitum here.

They think it’s time to “soften” the rhetoric, “so that trans people may indeed be seen as people.” But trans people already are seen as people. No gender-unbelievers consider them not people. No gender-unbelievers call them not people. If we’re going to soften the rhetoric, how about not claiming or hinting that gender skeptics say trans people are not people? How about seeing us “as people” too?

The world is far richer for their contribution…

Is it? I’m not seeing the enrichment.

They end by saying let’s talk about this in a new way, “one that looks to build up rather than destroy, and to honour rather than denigrate.” Build up what, though? Build up the idea that a man who says he thinks of himself as a woman is every bit as much a woman as a woman is, and probably better than she is at being a feminist because he is both a woman and trans, which=feminist squared.

Not doing that, soz.

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