Round and round we go

Installment seven billion something of the same old circular circle.

It’s actually not a clear message from Nicola at all. It’s the same old run-around.

There must be no transphobia!!!

But what are you defining as transphobia?

Trans people must have rights!!!

But nobody disagrees with that so what are you –

There must be no transphobia!!!

Yes, we have differences of opinion on gender recognition reform. We should debate them openly and respectfully. But no debate can be a cover for transphobia.

Yes but what is transphobia? Where are you drawing the border between openly debating the meaning of gender recognition and its reform, and transphobia? Please spell it out.

Trans people have as much right as any of us to be safe, secure, and valued for who they are. Transphobia is wrong and

Wait wait wait! Stop right there! You’re implying that we think trans people do not have as much right as any of us to be safe and secure! That’s an outrageous accusation. We’re not a bunch of Marjorie Taylor Greenes, we’re lefties and feminists, as you must know. We’re not advocating for anyone to be unsafe and insecure.

The issue is this “valued for who they are” bit, and you need to explain that rather than dashing on to tell us yet again that transphobiaiswrong.

It’s not actually true that there’s a core human right to be “valued for who [you, we, they] are.” There’s not even a core human right to be “valued.” That’s asking too much, which statements about human rights need to avoid, lest the whole idea become a joke.

And then there’s the “for who they are” bit, which is confused and confusing, because the whole meaning of “trans” negates the “who they are” aspect. We’re supposed to “value” trans people for who they are not, and there are situations and circumstances that can make that impossible and/or undesirable.

The unstated dogma underlying that silly formula is that we’re required to agree that trans people are, in every sense, who they say they are. The reason we can’t agree to that mandate is that sometimes it makes a difference. It makes a difference if a trans woman or girl gets an award or a scholarship or a job or an athletic prize that was meant for a woman or girl – an actual, literal, physical women or girl, as opposed to an actual literal physical man or boy who identifies as a woman or girl.

That’s it, that’s the issue. It has nothing to do with valuing or with phobia, it has everything to do with protecting the rights of women and girls.

It would be nice if women like Nicola Sturgeon and Jo Grady could take this on board.

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