Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Response To Katherine Stock On Transgenderism

This response--by one L. Mollica--to Katherine Stock is crap.
   It's such crap that there's really no reason to dignify it with a response. The arguments are crap--and tired crap at that. It deploys the standard ad miseracordium at the heart of transgender ideology: if you question our theory, you hurt our feelings deny us our humanity/right to exist. That makes it easy to also deploy the standard ad hominem: you are an evil person for having denied us our humanity/right to exist. Mollica's essay is just a damn mess. Eh, let Mollica speak for himself:
This recent essay by Kathleen Stock (a “philosophical” discussion of how trans women can all go shut up please, see I said “please” aren’t I being polite and why oh why are you persecuting me? TiM!!) is a bunch of morally outrageous and intellectually inane drivel. On its own, this fact would not merit much comment: lots of TERF’s (trans exclusionary radical feminists) write lots of stupid things, lots of wicked things, and lots in the unhappy intersection of the two. Telling me I’m an awful disgrace and should be content masquerading as a man in a dress is sort of, like, what makes TERF’s TERF’s. Stock’s is not a particularly interesting example of this genre, and on its own it probably wouldn’t have attracted my attention.
Standard-issue, hysterical nonsense. Nobody's telling Mollica et al. to shut up. Arguing cogently that you are wrong is not at all the same as telling you to shut up. Stock's essay is a pretty nice piece of public philosophy. It's measured. It's calm. It's the real deal. Mollica's essay is an overwrought train wreck of sloppy quasi-arguments that consists largely of unsupportable claims to the effect that Stock is awful and her essay isn't really philosophy.
   I mean, Stock is wrong about several things--including, probably, that men representing themselves as women "deserve" "to be treated as if they are women in many social contexts." But at least she's actually aiming to engage with the issues rationally. Mollica doesn't even seem to be trying.
   That's basically par for the course in this discussion. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost worth slogging through the comments on the Mollica piece to get to this enlightening take:

... what makes women women is that they are cogendered with me (or some other arbitrary woman), what makes men men is that they are cogendered with my father (or some other arbitrary man). If you want an analysis of cogenderedness, I am not sure I can give you one; being-the-same-gender as seems a more basic concept than any in terms of which I might try to define it, and is plain to very young children who lack any understanding of reproduction or biology generally.


9:17 AM  

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