Contra Killing It As Usual, Laci Still on Coke
Sparks of fire were flying yesterday when the debate took part between Contra and Laci. Absolute behemoth of an intellectual genderqueer trans person was debating the most simpleton centrist person YouTube could’ve ever had, so naturally, things could’ve been only at their most uninteresting. Yeah, really.
I had the newly released documentary The Defiant Ones on my queue, watched thirty minutes, it was pretty cool for what it was… then I had to turn my eyes away from yet another great HBO production to a shoddily prepared stream with technical issues out the ass, and a format so cluttered it seems to only have been put together by Dr. Frankenstein. Like, what the hell was Laci thinking by doing this? Inviting one guest at a time and letting their ideas breathe separately as a way to avoid stirring up controversy I guess? I’m not going to talk much about the Meghan Murphy bit as she’s one colossal of a SWERF/TERF dick, but what her conversation amounted to is that trans women are basically stripping the power away from *real* women’s struggle, to which poor analysis I could only facepalm time and time again over, while my jaw dropped multiple times during that impressive display of failed mental gymnastics, I had to only wonder whether debate with radfems was even worth it at that point. When the conversation can’t take off beyond “Men are bad, and women should preserve their oppressive past like codified religious text.” it really makes one wonder whether they’re following the right line of thought. Such as it were, it was only logical that I spent most of that stream picking on multiple idiocies in a Discord server with some friends I watched it with together. Needless to say, we were entertained in the same way the pleasure of pulling someone’s eye out from a gory TV series would provide. Avoid anything but beverages if you’re willing to go the extra mile and take the most effective sleep aid I’ve ever taken in a while. Didn’t even require a chemical agent to completely shut my brain down while I was witnessing the bloody murder of interesting ideas with the usual “I’m horrible, but you know, all ideas are worth shit”. I think the shit I took mid-stream was worth the figurative denomination I gave to that conversation.
Once Contra hopped on, things got a little bit more interesting, albeit not as much as I would’ve wanted them to be, due to various reasons.
One of my main pet peeves with Laci is that she kept somehow circling the main point of truly understanding what gender is by way of avoiding to dodge Contra’s most introspective takes on what it is like to be genderqueer; perhaps the most all-encompassing widely documented trans experience. It just didn’t make a whole ton of sense that Laci would go to all that trouble inviting perhaps one of the loudest YouTube voices in the trans communities just to respond with “Interesting” at the reverberation of the slightest shakeup. It seemed like a breakthrough was going to be reached at that point with the brand of centrism Laci was boasting. It did not help that Laci started treading closely on the edge of bioessentialism and transphobia right after Contra quit the stream, basically saying to the audience that their ideas only matter so long as they are present, basically showing clear bias towards Meghan’s binary line of thinking versus Contra’s more nuanced and academic take on gender, however passionate and emotional at that time.
Contra, while she flexed her muscles pretty well during most of the debate, made the conventional mistake of contending with TERFs by talking about their self-worth on a very basic level. It breeds a superficial take on gender that doesn’t go beyond looking at what past and other cultures have attributed to various gender roles, and like a friend put it, it was way too focused on little nuggets of gender, instead of explaining what it actually is. Which I think could be the perfect summary for what happened during that shitfest. I don’t think Contra could’ve done a lot better, simply for what the format of debates had offered, but also because Laci is willing to listen, and not engage.
Laci is like the Kellyanne Conway of gender. She subverts a lot of the interesting problematics of gender to a simple non-issue of having way too many terms to describe a very complex social construct. I couldn’t possibly remember how many notions we had to unlearn past elementary school just because we were given the simple version to conceptualize a semblance of an understanding that we would later completely scrap for a totally new one. That’s the main problem with Laci’s point of view; she ends up agreeing with everything that she doesn’t effectively agree with anything. And that could be reflected throughout her whole stream; there’s a sense that while she might conflate sex and gender, and admitted that sex in and of itself is a spectrum, she couldn’t recognize gender’s diversity. Why is it so much more complicated that various sexual orientations would accommodate individuals according to their likes and their preferences, but not as what gender expression they choose to show? In my very own opinion, it’s Laci’s fear of being labeled as homophobic, let me explain.
Gay rights while still in their very infancy, met constantly with challenges, they are at a much more advanced legislative stage than trans rights. Laci knows she couldn’t get away with peddling right-wing talking points by pointing out to how gays can be degenerates (which they are not), so she rather chooses to take her wrath on trans people for they have chosen to rebel against the norm. I do applaud trans people’s courage for doing what they have done so far. I couldn’t confront my own family about my sexuality even if I was forced to bluntly for being in a very unsteady financial situation. It’s often a case of being able to support oneself before one can explore their own gender and sexuality. It is truly a sorry state of mind that our society puts much higher scrutiny on the most anecdotally defining parts of our personality as if they were the monolith of our being.
It appears in the same vein, that Laci’s little clinch is merely that she can’t comprehend more than two terms to describe people’s sexes, to which I have to immediately pull the shotgun and spray the pellets before the bullshit festers any further. Gender as it functions in the larger scale of society is distinct in the way it acts, but not any different than any other. I remember saying a while ago that women don’t become what they are just because they “look like women”, the fact of the matter is upbringing plays a huge part in it. Parents have a girl, they unconsciously look at what everybody else is doing, they follow suit, and so there have you a social construct very hard to dismantle and/or deny. You’re exposed to *insert gender* standards everywhere in our society, we’re expected to act a certain way outside, in school, in our houses, and it can be challenging to appease everyone from teachers, trying to fit in with the public, parents, and intake the pressure from everybody else trying to shape you in their own image. Befitting what they think *you* is that when the slightest change is made, the feeling of alienation somehow turns into anguish and disdain. Why would it matter that a man or a woman chooses to distance themselves from the gender identity that they’ve been conditioned to abide by all their life to something they finally feel comfortable with is a puzzle beyond my most ambitious attempts at understanding the logic that barely supports it.
With all of that aside, let’s explore some of the facets that Contra brought up during the debate, graciously brushed off by Laci as being “yet another opinion”. Sure Laci, sure.
So Contra brought up the very interesting, and veracious point of cultural shifts in gender roles throughout time and how it relates to the TERF-y or sometimes even transphobic argument of trans people playing “dress-up”. Now let me clarify something: Such as appearances are most impactful in our perception of ourselves and others, it only makes sense that clothes would be first to take the hit in an identity/gender expression change. As wet laundry, it’s somewhat of an unpopular opinion of mine (for what it’s worth, I’m cis, so take it with a huge grain of salt), you don’t need to change anything about yourself to express yourself as a different gender. Androgynous looks have always been somewhat of a passion of mine, I’ve always liked clothing that blends the line between woman and man, maybe teaching a very elementary school version to the layman on how both can intersect and take from each other. Woman, and man are mere abstract concepts of what we deem them to be after they have been conceived to become what they are. In Contra’s case, it shouldn’t matter in the slightest that she (pay close attention to my deliberate usage of the female pronoun) wears feminine clothing, because guess what, there is really nothing such as “feminine clothing”. Did you know these paper bills you pay with stuff hold value under the unspoken agreement that you’re all willing to trade with? “Playing dress up” is not a currency I’m not willing to exchange in the debate of whether trans people are mentally confused, they are not. While gender dysphoria might be managed through more than shady methods, it isn’t in the slightest bit justifiable to subvert the question of whether trans women and men can eventually lose the “trans” without being put under heavy fire for not portraying themselves as what that has been imposed on them their entire life. Unironically, it exactly sounds like the “skeptic” line of thinking in how religion passed down from parents might not hold as much value as we might think it does.
Concepts of “deity”, the divine, have existed since the dawn of time. Now the fact that some people were able to outgrow that very fact is proving that however convenient our evolutionary advantage might be as being mostly all ‘bout dat Dick in Vagina fuckery, we reached a point where we as sentient, intelligent beings can no longer allow ourselves to be shackled by the limitations of our natural predispositions. Should we be hunting goose for dinner and slash our world population to one-thousandth of its current count? There’s something inherently wrong with looking at natural traits in empirical lenses, while totally overlooking the transcendent advantage our advanced cognition gives us over every other animal. How many hospitals are out there should provide the smallest clue for “skeptics” on why nothing of what we internally possess is longer fit for what we can currently sense.
What is most embarrassing of all, is Laci’s inability to comprehend what social constructs even are. Something seems to suggest she hadn’t proper education in that regard, but this doesn’t spare her the hot iron strike of my criticism for the simple fact I, as a fucking university dropout somehow managed to collect more knowledge on trans issues than Laci Green. This is when you know you truly loaded the nine, and set it off on your foot with most of your audience too oblivious to notice.
Perhaps what I had hoped for the conversation to evolve into is a discussion on the nature of gender, and this is when I realized I would much rather prefer that two trans people of either similar backgrounds or different outlooks could discuss it, because honestly, I’m no longer going to watch these debates. Simply for they seem to only inform the toddler level of knowledge transphobes and TERFs seemingly share.
Laci put Contra on the defensive, so what she did from there was discuss basic facts about her being, what could potentially justify her existence to a person so far off from the gender theory discussion that it wouldn’t make it a total pain in the ass to get her ideas across, but this is a mistake. Gender essentialists need to be educated. They need to be told the harsh truth in the bluntest of forms, whether solicited or not. The notion that somehow people averse to understanding the nature of gender are to be spared from an expert’s analysis simply for their point of view is quite honestly asinine, and just goes to show how politicized the debate can be. What the right-wing runs on currently is tokenism, and the benefit of the doubt. That shouldn’t carry them far enough in the long run, but it is important to realize this early on rather than waste years on discussing semantics and pitiful asks for memory allocation regarding befittingly complex terms to describe gender. Seriously guys, it is possible for our brains to handle more than two opposite poles.
Trans people -I think- should collaborate more, and strive to further deepen the understanding of their theory. Dig in deeper, make sure that the knowledge is available out there, that the argument is bulletproof for empiricists whenever confronted. Discussing the nature of gender expression and how it relates to the gender of birth, the gender society assigns you, what you are personally most comfortable with, what you can perform best, what best fits the combination of looks and predisposed knowledge from your pre-teens, how this intertwines with traditional outlook on clothing, the controversial opinion that non-binary people should shave their ass off to even have a semblance of credibility in claiming their identity, what value does cis contribution hold to the cause of a topic best explored by people who have experienced it or those outside it… Those are questions worth delving into, but for the time being, conversation around them are like clogged toilets with how much bullshit TERFs managed to shorn out in so little time.
There is nothing I will inform you better on when it comes trans issues simply for the fact that I’m not trans myself. It is best if you check Kat Blaque, ContraPoints, Riley Dennis, and Malmrose Projects. Feel free to inform me about others as I’m looking to learn as well.
Moral of the story brothers, sisters, enbies, and individuals who do not wish to identify with either and any gender, I feel a responsibility as a human being to accurately portray your issues despite my inexistent experience. That means that you, cis people, and pardon me for being the stereotypical radfem for a minute, but you need to grow the fuck up and learn about topics from people who know them best.