Gender critical feminism being used as a smoke screen for anti-transgender views is a direct consequence of the transgender community abandoning the notion of brain sex. Brain sex was a testable hypothesis that has since been tested out as true. Yet so much activism has been built on gender identity. Two ideas which are based on social realities gender roles and markers of identity. This left a way for hateful people who call themselves feminist to sound reasonable.
The Transsexual Brain Is Real DEAL WITH IT.
Brain Sex the idea so simple and easy a seven-year-old could understand and explain it is, in essence true (ScienceDaily). This is not sexist, in fact most of the leading researchers on this topic are female. The differences are subtle but real and distinct from sexual orientation (Nienke M. Nota, 2018). Although there are some correlations between feminization of one area of the brain and an orientation towards masculine sex partners and masculinization of another area and orientation towards feminine sex partners. They are NOT the same thing AND NOT 100% separate either. It is one big grey area that both supports and refutes ideas dear to activist and dear to the likes of Ray Blanchard. As I suspected, and tried to model with math, long ago neither were exactly right or totally wrong.
Back in those days the popular idea was of a feminine essence a “hard wiring of the brain” as Lynn Conway would but it that was different. Something which at the time could only be known to the one expressing the feeling.
Any idea as fundamental as who and what you are should be simple enough to explain as a seven year old. Even if not everyone is woke enough to know that at seven some are.
Then just as technology was reaching a point where we could verify such a notion everything changed. The transgender community abandoned it in favor of an even more ephemeral idea that can’t be objectively verified even in principle. “identity”.
I get why, gatekeeping.
The problem is that any such knowledge will likely be used for gate keeping. It is the same ideation that is the reason any typology or categorization of transgender and/or transsexual people is dangerous. In the bad old days to get ANY help one had to convince their care givers that they fit the gender stereotypes of the gender they felt driven to live as. This was not just a “real life test” where one had to socially transition and get a job but it was a …beauty pageant. For all intents and purposes.
There is a great fear of going back to that… beauty pageant model…of telling who is trans enough or not. A model in which unless one looks like a model they are not trans enough. If one would not be straight and handsome as a female to male or feminine and into men, cisgender men as a male to female one would not be trans enough. That was a thing in the bad old days.
Except now it could be done with a brain scan.
Science does not care.
So there are good civil rights human rights focused reasons not to embrace the brain sex idea now that it is supported by hard scientific evidence. None of those reasons trump hard science. We have neuroanatomical proof in vivo, in living people, at every age before hormones and after, showing that our brains are different. Rather than pretending this information does not exist we should embrace it.
Being transgender/transsexual is as much a birth right of those of us who are as being a cisgender “normal” man or woman is to those who are.
What you do about that… if it means complete social and medical transition for you or not is a separate question.
What if you think you are trans and your brain gets scanned and it does not conform to what we think we know about the transgender brain. So what? Given the state of research on that it is way more likely science would just add to the catalog of what comprises a transgender brain rather than prescriptively tell someone they aren’t trans. It will be a LONG time before any responsible practitioner would feel comfortable diagnosing ANYTHING like this based on an FMRI or similar.
At worst all anyone would miss out on is a bit of affirmation that they are on the right path. The scary truth is … the verity of this life path for any person can only be affirmed by living it. The only real test for transgenderness is to try living across the gender line and seeing if it fits.
How Gender Critical Feminist Are Right and Wrong.
They are right to be skeptical of the idea that just because someone is a bit gender non-conforming they are therefore transgender and should socially transition or transsexual and should medically transition. Liking pink, liking dolls, liking certain games or activities, wearing pants or dresses, none of that makes a bit of difference. Liking football, digging in the mud, hunting, fishing, fighting, none of that makes a bit of difference.
Except as outward expressions of the sexually dimorphic aspects of the persons brain informed by societal expectations. We see people who think the way we do doing things and we naturally gravitate towards those like minds. In that sense and that sense only is gender identity a thing. It is an effect of having a certain brain sex not a cause.
Truly gender critical feminist… ones who don’t simply hate anyone with a Y chromosome get that. They are not threatened by it. They seek to change what our society says is OK for people who’s bodies and /or brains are feminine should do. That people should be free to do what they feel like without gender-based stereotypes. They seek to free XX and XY people from the tyranny of old worn out stereotypes many of which were imposed by marketers.
Pink is for girls? Marketing!
Classic example of marketers imposing a gender stereotype to sell toys. When I was seven the girls I wanted to be like most wore a blue uniform to the same catholic school I did. I wanted to wear that uniform. In spite of not because of the other kids calling me a girl due to how I acted. It was just what I felt would be more right for me. That said… because I liked the activities of a cub scout I was ok with that uniform. Then when I was sent to public school the next year I kinda wanted to be a brownie scout … scouts who were girls too. Wow! However then in public school I could wear what I wanted and the children’s fashion of the time was actually kind of unisex. Not many dresses on girls in my hood. I have shared the pictures before.
I can describe this plenty but maybe a person needs to have lived it to really know it. To me I was certain that somehow someway I would grow up to be a woman. The world gave me doubts now and again… the transphobia of so many did. Yet here I sit. Myself and the people like me are real and have always existed in some form or fashion.
As for Radical Feminist.
Then there are those hateful people who think what I lived is just a patriarchal conspiracy to oppress women and girls. They should please wrap themselves up in tinfoil and jump into the deepest part of Lake Superior. Anyone who thinks I am the way I am because some old men like it is out of their mind and in denial of the reality of oppression and violence transgender FTM men and MTF women experience.
Nienke M. Nota, B. P. (2018). Brain functional connectivity patterns in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria: Sex-atypical or not? Psychoneuroendocrinology. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.09.014
ScienceDaily. (n.d.). Transgender brains are more like their desired gender from an early age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180524112351.htm