Nick_A wrote: ↑Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:02 am
We have learned that there is really no difference between men and women. If a woman decides she is a man she must be considered a man. If a man considers himself a woman they are now women. You are what you decide you are.
Let's look more carefully at that argument.
On the one hand, it denies what is called "essentialism": namely, the belief that a person is "essentially" one thing or the other. It says, "You are not essentially
a man; you can become a woman. It denies the necessity of biological
So far, so good?
But secondly, it also affirms
essentialism, and does so in the strongest terms it can. It says, "You HAVE to become a woman; you are essentially that, and you'll be inauthentic if you don't transgender to that." In other words, it affirms the necessity of psychological
You are both not-compelled
to remain a man, but now are totally-compelled
to become a woman...and only on the basis of how you think you feel.
But why is this?
What makes psychology more determinative than biology? It's surely more easy to become deluded psychologically than it is to change one's DNA, is it not? That's one problem.
But here's a second: if there's essentially no such thing as necessarily being
a man or woman, then there's no such thing as becoming
essentially a man or a woman. You can't "need to be a woman" if being a woman is not an essential, stable thing
. You can't "need" something that has no objective existence.
So which way is it? Is "womanhood" essentially a real thing? Or is it whatever you make of it?
Here's a third thing: how does someone who has all his life been a DNA man know what it is to want to be a woman? How does he know his desire is authentic? How does he know that what he is longing for is the same experience as is had by a woman who was born a woman? Is it not just as likely that what he wants is a third thing, one shaped from his own imagination -- that is, he does not know what it means to BE are real woman, but he does know what HE THINKS IT MIGHT BE LIKE to be a woman?
So how do we know the desire for transgender transformation is, itself, a rational want? I don't mean that we have to doubt it's felt, and felt urgently, perhaps; I mean, how do we know that that feeling corresponds to what it means to actually be a woman?
In summary, then: are we essentialists, or not? We cannot be both essentialists and non-essentialists rationally. Are we sure that biology is more negotiable than psychology, and why would we think so? Then, how does a man know what "being a woman" is?
These are some major problems with the idea that transgendering is a kind of right or necessity.