Hey, Trans Girls!—Science Shows You’ve ALWAYS Been Female
Expect The Economist to uphold the status quo at others’ expense. This time The Economist enlists the rhetoric of one of those persons it deems expendable—Debbie Hayton (“Gender Identity Needs to Be Based on Objective Evidence Rather Than Feelings”). A “physics teacher at a school in the West Midlands, in Britain” and “a vocal campaigner for trans rights,” Hayton argues that “self-identification is an unwise step to take because it risks the credibility of the gender-recognition process … Trans people need more than feelings to protect them from an uncertain future.”
But at the end of her article, Hayton voids her entire argument
For Hayton, self-identification proposals allow “applicants to change their legal sex by simply declaring their intention ‘to live in their preferred gender’ for the rest of their life. They would no longer have to provide medical reports attesting to gender dysphoria, or evidence that they had lived in the target gender.”
But at the end of her article, Hayton voids her entire argument by stating:
“I am not female and I know that I cannot become female, but I can and do live in a way analogous to the way that women live. I make no claims I cannot justify, and my life is better for it.”—Debbie Hayton
Hold onto this.^^ Her self-disclosure is the crux of her failed rhetoric.
Sex Is NOT Gender
Hayton declares that she encourages her “pupils to think critically and judge arguments by the supporting evidence. Sadly in this debate, emotion has eclipsed reason,” evidencing “a clash between … the facts of life, namely sex and reproduction … and the idea that sex, or at least gender, is defined by thoughts and feelings rather than bodies.”
In conflating sex with gender, she runs afoul of something that biologists like Julia Serano and other scientists (here and here, for example) have definitively refuted. She thus perpetuates transphobic phony science:
“From a trans perspective, it is superficially attractive to base arguments on the concept of an innate gender identity that drives our character and personality …Should our bodies not match our gender identity, then our thoughts and feelings trump our chromosomes and genitals. Arguably, this line of thinking leads to the conclusion that trans women like me are not only women but also female, and have always been female.” — Debbie Hayton
From Your “Subjective Feelings” to My “Objectivity”
How does Hayton get from saying that she, a trans woman, is “not female” to calling gender self-identification proposals mere feelings?
- She posits gonads and chromosomes as the only objective indicators of gender despite the science proving gender identity is a biological reality.
- For Hayton, “gender identity is not easy to define, let alone prove” (uh, it is proven^^). So … you can’t convince yourself that you are female and have always been female. Doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t or haven’t in a clear, objective way.
- Next, Hayton calls Massachusetts’ legal definition of gender identity “not only circular but sexist, as it assesses behavior against stereotypes.” But Massachusetts and science have figured out what Hayton denies from the outset: gender isn’t about your chromosomes or reproductive organs.
- Hayton then applauds Scottish legislation that “redefines the word, ‘woman,’ to include a person who ‘is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process for the purpose of becoming female.’ Perhaps understandably it does not explain how it is possible for someone to change sex. Nor does it specify the nature of the process.” No. It’s very understandable, but not to Hayton. Hayton doesn’t believe she’s female nor that she’s always been female but that (as transphobes insist) being trans means BECOMING a gender one was previously not. Further, she from the outset blinds herself to the science that says otherwise. In that vacuum, she asserts that the definition she does get (gonads/ chromosomes) is therefore “objective.”
- In lieu of a gender self-identification process she can’t wrap her heart around, Hayton upholds the status-quo medical-establishment gatekeeper system as “based on objective evidence, crucially a clinical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and those medical reports. A medical practitioner testifies that changing legal sex is necessary to promote mental wellbeing.”
- The status quo she reinforces depends on a gender-identity foundation far beyond the chromosome/gonad one to which she limits herself. Gender self-identification proposals and laws are already based on objective science that repeatedly proves trans persons to be reliable and OBJECTIVE self-identifiers of their gender.
- Last, Hayton states that “If people with male reproductive systems can declare themselves to be trans women, and trans women are women, then female reproductive systems no longer define the class of people known as women.” Congratulations! That way of “defining a class of people” has been proven wrong by the courage and activism of trans persons and the work of scientists. But, from the outset, Hayton rejects all that as “subjective.”
Hayton doesn’t believe she’s female nor that she’s always been female but that (as transphobes insist) being trans means BECOMING a gender one was previously not. Further, she from the outset blinds herself to the science that says otherwise. In that vacuum, she asserts that the definition she does get (gonads/ chromosomes) is therefore “objective.”.
TL;DR—To sum up, Hayton:
- doesn’t believe she’s always been female (Why? I’m not sure, but she’s free to feel that way.)
- defines her gender identity solely in terms of chromosomes/gonads
- rejects any science and gender self-identification proposal that doesn’t fit her self-definition
- last, ironically relies on a gender self-identification status quo that depends on science she doesn’t personally believe about herself
I get that Debbie Hayton doesn’t believe she’s female. What I won’t allow is for her and The Economist to parade that subjective feeling as “objectivity” and to legislate it on the rest of us.
Hey, y’all! We trans folk’re here and we’re queer. #BringIt
Gender self-identification proposals and laws are already based on objective science that repeatedly proves trans persons to be reliable and OBJECTIVE self-identifiers of their gender.
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