Guest post: If none of the female students did

Originally a comment by Bjarte Foshaug on Ad absurdum.

I wonder what Bristol SU would do if every single male student self-defined as women.

Or, perhaps more to the point, if none of the female students did. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, these are the points I think need to be hammered home at every opportunity and in every possible way:

• Redefining “woman” in terms of thoughts and feeling to make it tautologically true that “trans women are women” makes it no longer true that biological females who fail to think or feel in the proper “female”/”feminine” manner are women.

• Even if we were to accept that – according to their own definition (if they had one) – TIMs are “women” it still doesn’t imply that they belong in the same spaces as biological females, because then there is no longer any justification for saying that the latter are “women” in any relevant sense of the word (the flying mammals vs. clubs for hitting baseballs distinction again). As Daniel Dennett put it in a different context, it’s all “just a bad pun”. Indeed if you have what it takes to detect a pun when you hear one, you know pretty much everything you need to know to debunk all of gender ideology.

• What the trans lobby is advocating is not taking the circle that already includes the biological females and expanding it to also include the TIMs, but replacing the circle entirely.

• The old circle included roughly half the world’s population. It’s far from clear that the new one includes anyone but the TIMs, so who is really being most “exclusionary” here?

• What exactly are the ways of thinking and feeling required to qualify a “woman” anyway (circular logic doesn’t count), and how do we make sure that only people who really do think / feel in the ways required are allowed into “women only” spaces?

• Any “gendering” what so ever is misgendering, and any bathroom, sporting event, domestic abuse shelter, prison etc. that’s “gendered” in any way is gender-inappropriate in my case.

• If trans men are men, then I’m not. If TIM’s are women, they are the only “women” as far as I’m concerned.

One further advantage of this approach is that there is nothing the TAs can object to without totally giving the lie to the idea that this is all about trans people’s right to define “who they are”. There is no way to claim access to the spaces of biological females without defining who the latter are as well. If I am what you are, then you are what I am. So ultimately what they are saying is: “Biological females are whatever they have to be to make me one of them, and they don’t get a say in the matter”.

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