I entirely agree with you that the post is an example of ‘gender panic’ as described by Schilt, but I’m not sure about calling the gender abolitionist faction conservative since they generally tend leftward, want to redress assymmetrical power relationships and advocate a kind of gender revolution.
I consider myself generally radical rather than liberal but my first political tenet is ‘nobody under the bus for anything’ – that’s how I got here. Increasingly I feel & recognise that gender-as-power structure can only be dismantled through ending gender-as-coercion, beginning with not assigning sex at birth. What I would really like to do is persuade the trans-excluding gender abolition lobby that their pronouncements reify the tropes they wish to destroy, as you suggest here in your last paragraph.
Since sex (mostly but not exclusively f or m) in the body exists, is often recognisable and has social effects, gender (sex (mostly but not exclusively f or m) in social space) exists and will crystallise on top of it, regardless of any efforts to the contrary. We can only work to prevent gender from functioning as a system of power and exclusion. The ‘fallback to biology’ will always be conservative in effect because insisting on a hardened biological category will harden the functioning of gender as power *sigh*
In a [Western] society, where patriarchy dominates much of our daily lives, it is too easy to forget that there are also subtle (and not so subtle) web-like power structures which too many of us fail to recognise our own role in – the able bodied and the differently abled, people who enjoy stable mental health and those who don’t, white and black or colour, straight and gay/bi/queer, trans*gender and cis gender.
This a very simplified overview and there are of course many other variants, and interweaving hierarchy’s across all those and more. As we grapple with those concepts, peeling away the layers and struggling with continuously evolving understandings, working out where our oppressions and privileges are within those structures, there is often push back from those who have prefer their theologies more orthodox – more conservative.
Those with such staunch conservative tendancies do not tolerate ‘liberals’ (a word that is often spat out with…
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