• Enter search term(s):


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



Recent Posts

Gender-critical feminism is trans-positive feminism.

Date: August 22, 2012

In response to a discussion I’ve been reading recently:

Radical feminists are correct to criticize the equation/conflation of gender roles with gender identity. But that is not a position many transgender people I know hold. That orthodoxy comes from psychologist John Money’s 1972 book, Man and Woman, Boy and Girl: The Differentiation and Dimorphism of Gender Identity from Conception to Maturity. This is the same John Money from the notorious John/Joan experiment and coverup John Colapinto wrote about in As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl.

Money wrote, succinctly:

gender identity is the private experience of gender role, and gender role is the public expression of gender identity

I know many transgender people who do not desire to fit into either of the standard sets of gender roles, and whose gender identities are not based on their desired roles in the society in relation to their gender. For many transgender people, gender identity and gender roles are not internal/external sides of the same thing, but are clearly separated.

Unfortunately, we do not have a better way to explain gender identity, which explains why this antiquated conception of gender identity remains in circulation within medical community, among some transgender people, and in the society.

But I do not believe that transgender people should have to explain their gender identity: it just is. Or as feminist philosopher Naomi Scheman once wrote, “Transsexual lives are lived, hence livable.”

Once the society and its medical “gatekeepers” stop requiring transgender people to explain their gender identity, we can eliminate the need for transgender individuals to (either uncritically or strategically) go along with the lies John Money told, simply to receive medical care, win social acceptance, and survive.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply