I think the problem is that it’s difficult to have a conversation when the consequences are so high. Losing your job over publically stating your position on a contempory issue effectively shuts down debate and polarises the issue, which doesn’t help anyone.
That said, I don’t think it’s as simple as either “there are two sexes” or “transwomen are women”. When we reduce ideas down to slogans we lose the details of the meaning.
My 14 year old has come out as non-binary. They also have autism. I don’t disbelieve them and honestly, I can only accept their identity because the stats are that doing otherwise is harmful and potentially life-threatening for the child. I have been wary about telling people on these forums, because of the inclination to assume the parent has manipulated the child. It would be way easier for me and my child if they weren’t non-binary.
I have an interest in getting my child’s pronouns right so they feel accepted but I still get them wrong. I don’t actually forget they are non-binary, I just revert to their original pronouns because it’s ingrained in my brain.
Using an incorrect pronoun is something you can apologise for. It’s not hate speech, it’s a mistake. But backing up your mistake with an excuse that you forgot someone was non-binary is starting to turn into something else. Justifying the fact that you reject someone’s non-binary status due to their appearance is ignorant at best and antagonistic at worst.
Calling women cunts, TERFs, scum, hateful and vile is more clearly hate speech and Gregor Murray was suspended over it, which is appropriate. That they have facial hair doesn’t mean they are not non-binary. God, I don’t wax my upper lip any more, does that make me not female? The fact that they are probably an asshole doesn’t mean they are not non-binary. It doesn’t mean non-binary people are assholes. It doesn’t mean much of anything except that this one person is an asshole.
I don’t think Maya should have lost her job over her position on biological sex. I think we should be able to have conversations without being cancelled. I want to look at what it means for people like my child if we fully accept that there are only two sexes. Where does that leave them - just wrong? Another thing, like the autism, that society says is wrong with them instead of just different. Or can we get to a place where we are comfortable with two biological sexes and a range of ways to identify? To do that, people need to feel safe, not attacked.
I guess I could say that I am of the school of feminism that says gender is a construct and I’m very concerned about the current trend of splitting into gender-divided camps. Not just from trans groups but from feminists who want to tightly define women and exclude those outside that definition.
Anyway, this is a very challenging topic for me to verbalise my feelings on. I hated that nuEB shut it down completely because I need to work through it, but if I don’t respond to replies it’s just that I’m struggling. Not to mention having a crapload of other stuff I’m meant to be working on instead of thinking about this!