What Twitter pile on are you watching right now (1 Viewer)

shitepipe

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I'll just add though ...


I totally agree about there being no reason "those two positions should be in conflict". We can assign the blame for this conflict anyway we like (and all parties to it as usual blame the other) but it seems to me that it is yet another unecessary culture war being stoked by the right with the ultimate aim of damaging if not destroying feminism itself.

Case in point - there was a really excellent article in (I think) The New Yorker last year about how this fight between "radical feminism" and "trans activists" developed in the UK over the last few years and I went searching for it because I thought I would post a link. Did a bunch of searches to no avail because I couldn't remember the name of the author but what I did find was a whole bunch of polemical articles about it on a website called American Conservative.

Not quite the NYer but still a long form article- any chance it was this one? Jacqueline Rose · Who do you think you are? Trans Narratives · LRB 4 May 2016
 

Lili Marlene

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Oh Jacqueline Rose. I studied children's lit for a few years and she's still a controversial figure in that area for "post-structuralists are a waste everyone's time" reasons because of her book, The case of Peter Pan, or, The impossibility of children's fiction. It really turned the entire discipline on its head. I remember some lecturers specifically warning against reading her.

It's a great book iirc but it's not one to read if you're just looking for recommendations for a nice book for your young nephew this christmas.
 

shitepipe

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Oh Jacqueline Rose. I studied children's lit for a few years and she's still a controversial figure in that area for "post-structuralists are a waste everyone's time" reasons because of her book, The case of Peter Pan, or, The impossibility of children's fiction. It really turned the entire discipline on its head. I remember some lecturers specifically warning against reading her.

It's a great book iirc but it's not one to read if you're just looking for recommendations for a nice book for your young nephew this christmas.
I read the article about 4 years ago and can't remember a thing about it except it being a thorough analysis to the issues at stake. So, is she on the 'post-structuralist' side or does she think they are a waste of everyone's time?
 

hugh

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Not quite the NYer but still a long form article- any chance it was this one? Jacqueline Rose · Who do you think you are? Trans Narratives · LRB 4 May 2016

Not that either. But thanks for pointing it out as I might give it a read. By the way - on a complete sidenote - the London Review Of Books is great. I took out a proper print subscription at the start of March lockdown and it was super-cheap (goes back to full price after six months or so but still good value).

I like to able to say now that I take the London Review Of Books.
 

shitepipe

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Not that either. But thanks for pointing it out as I might give it a read. By the way - on a complete sidenote - the London Review Of Books is great. I took out a proper print subscription at the start of March lockdown and it was super-cheap (goes back to full price after six months or so but still good value).

I like to able to say now that I take the London Review Of Books.

I LOVE it- subscribed about 5 years ago (also with the great cheap intro offer) and devour every copy. The only downside is I now have no time to read actuaI books...
 

hugh

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It's so refreshing to read long considered pieces about things as opposed to hot takes on the Internet and click-bait journalism.
 

Lili Marlene

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I read the article about 4 years ago and can't remember a thing about it except it being a thorough analysis to the issues at stake. So, is she on the 'post-structuralist' side or does she think they are a waste of everyone's time?
I haven't read that article! Seeing her name there just reminded me of a very similar debate though.

I was gonna say it was less toxic but that was then, who knows what that field is like now; maybe they're all doxxing each other and issuing death threats because some people still want to study Harry PotTERF.
 

Lili Marlene

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ahem
Over the weekend, Róisín Ingle was at the centre of a Twitter storm. Her crime was to tweet a link to a long essay by Suzanne Moore, explaining why she has left the Guardian. Moore, alongside JK Rowling, has become the wicked witch of TERF: so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminism.

Ingle’s admiration for Moore’s essay (about her whole professional life as a journalist) means she is contaminated by the same heresy. Given that the R rate for this infection is well over 1, it may well spread to anyone who does not think Ingle should apologise.

How on earth did we get here? How has the defence of the human rights of an oppressed and vulnerable minority – trans people – ended up as the search, yet again, for a woman to blame? Why has the real enemy, patriarchy, disappeared from view?

In this feverish climate, I have no great hopes for any attempt to address these questions. But that does not remove the duty to try.

Róisín Ingle’s admiration for an essay by departed Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore (above) means she is contaminated by the same heresy of trans-exclusionary radical feminism.

One great reality here is the suffering, generation after generation, of trans people. Though not in all cultures or at all times, they have been subjected to everything from ridicule and contempt to physical abuse and murder.

When any oppressed group begins to find its voice, there is a damburst of joyous liberation, but also of pain and anger. A history of shame has to be countered by fierce self-assertion. Dambursts never flow in neat channels. Things get messy. So be it.

Internalised self-hatred

The second, equally profound, reality is misogyny. States, churches, institutions and cultures have all been built around the need to sustain male dominance over women.

JK Rowling defends stance on transgender issues and reveals past abuse

Difficult Women: Whirlwind tour of feminism

‘It’s hard to come out as intersex . . . people still don’t know what it means’

The armed wing of this patriarchy is misogyny. Like the oppression of trans people, it is a full spectrum system of control whose weapons are both the literal ones used to kill and maim, and the subtler ones of internalised self-hatred and body shaming.

To dominate women, patriarchy has to create a rigid divide of gender, and then patrol that border. Everyone who crosses it can be defined as a threat

These two realities are aspects of the same system. The control of women’s bodies is the primary purpose of patriarchy. But this is a war with a lot of collateral damage.

In order to dominate women, patriarchy has to create a rigid divide of gender, and then patrol that border. Everyone who crosses it – gay men, lesbians, bisexual people, transsexual and transvestite people, intersex people, but also “girly men”, “mannish women”, any straight man or woman who does not wish to conform to the codes of masculinity or femininity – can be defined as a threat.

The great work of the women’s liberation and gay liberation movements has been to break down this construct of gender, to show how it is built and maintained, to play with it, to subject it to scrutiny, mockery, travesty.

This is one of history’s epochal achievements. And it’s an achievement for all of us. It potentially gives all of us the freedom to be who we are, to create relationships based on love and respect rather than on domination and submission, to raise our children without passing on to them the virus of shame with which we were infected.

Except that “achievement” is the wrong word. It’s not a done deal. It is fragile and brutally contested. As we’ve seen with other basic ideas of equality and democracy, it can be undone.

It ought to be obvious that protecting and expanding the gains that have been made in the struggle against patriarchy is a common cause. So how do we end up with this incipient civil war?

Shared project

The problem is that, while the undermining of gender is a shared project, the unravelling of sex is not. Gender is obviously an invention. Biological sex is not a simple or static idea – but it’s not a mere invention either. For most people, it is written in the body.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling: embroiled in row over her views and so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminism earlier this year. File photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

If you’re born in a body that does not match your deep sense of self, the notion that you can change your body may be, literally, a lifesaver. It is both a necessity and a joy. You need to think of biological sex as being just like gender, an invention that can be reinvented at will.

Unfortunately, for very many women, this same notion can seem to wipe out their experiences of their own bodies. If it were just an abstract idea, there would be no real issue. But misogyny is not an abstraction.

We can’t have dignity and decency unless we recognise the duty to hold in our heads more than one truth

It is a lived reality and one of the ways it continues to live is by telling women that their bodies are awkward, problematic, eternally unacceptable, always in need of remodelling. Those women need to be able to assert against this assault the truth of their own bodily existence, without shame or apology.

Which of these perspectives is valid? Both. Both come from real, personal, lived experience. Sometimes, we can’t have dignity and decency unless we recognise the duty to hold in our heads more than one truth at the same time.

We have to find a way to live with this legitimate divergence without imposing orthodoxies or denouncing heresies. If we are to be liberated from oppressive caricatures, we cannot resort to new ones. And we must not lose sight of the common enemy – the patriarchy that teaches us all to despise our bodies and distort our selves.
 

magicbastarder

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it's weird. for a topic you just know needs knowledge and nuance, he didn't even try. i'd have assumed he'd have more cop than to tackle the subject in such a hurried way.
i think he's senior enough in the IT that it would have been his idea to decide the topic, rather than being ordered by the editor, 'hey curly haired big thinker type, how's about you write me something about these trans people?'
 

Unicron

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i think he's senior enough in the IT that it would have been his idea to decide the topic, rather than being ordered by the editor, 'hey curly haired big thinker type, how's about you write me something about these trans people?'

He's also probably also senior enough to write about whatever takes his fancy, whether or not he's the right person to write a decent article on it. The old Kevin Myers situation.
 

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