I’d bet long money that every single person involved in this little dust-up has a graduate degree.
Warning: NSFW. Not that there are pictures or anything — and thank Allah for that!! — but the big, hairy, smelly thing in question is what you think it is. Male-to-female transsexuals, you see, claim to think of themselves as “real women” despite not having the requisite parts, and radical feminists ain’t havin’ none of that:
This is a struggle—laden with a hilarious level of acrimony—between men who insist they’re women and women who insist that the most crucial part of being a woman involves popping out of your mother’s vagina with a vagina of your own. The latter group is disparagingly referred to as TERFs—Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists—due to the fact that they feel male-to-female trannies are trying to party-crash their struggle against historical oppression. The TERFs argue that for men to pretend they’re women is insulting to real women. To them, it is a genital form of blackface.
And if that ain’t bad enough, there’s an argument about the smell:
The newly carved-out orifices of male-bodied transgenders do not resemble vaginas [and] create new microbial habitats in which infections develop and cause serious smell issues for their owners.
I don’t have much to add to this — Jim Goad sums it up pretty well, and Ace of Spades (from whence I got the link) has some funny commentary. I’d just like to note that all of this grotesquerie is a perfectly logical outcome of fundamental ivory tower premises.
As we saw yesterday, the Enlightenment kicked the idea of essences, or fundamentals, or whatever you want to call them, to the curb. It would never have occurred to, say, Condorcet to attempt turning a biological male into a biological female, but if you held his feet to the fire about it, he’d eventually have to declare that yes, this is within the bounds of science, because everything is within the bounds of science. Only the rules of math are absolute.
Please note: This is the least repugnant position for an Enlightened to hold.
If you take it one step further — as, we’ll soon see, postmodernists do — you’ll quickly end up arguing that even the rules of math aren’t absolute. They, too, are “social constructions” (no, really — read this Wiki summary of Paul Feyerabend. Bring lots of Tylenol). And if that’s the case, then yes, trannies are “real women,” because “real women” are whatever entities who lay claim to the title “real woman” say they are.
In effect, it all comes down to politics. The “community of meaning” which prevails will eventually do so by forcing governments to pass laws, and forcing courts to interpret those laws. The TERF wars are ultimately about who’s going to grab the political megaphone first. Which, again, is perfectly logical given the initial premises.
It’s a tempest in a teapot, then, since all blue-on-blue battles boil down to the hand on the megaphone. But it’s interesting for our purposes, in that for a moment the mask has slipped. Normally, you’d only hear about something like this buried five layers deep in impenetrable academic jargon. But just this once, the eggheads are speaking English… and it turns out that what they’re talking about is crotch funk.