The atmosphere was akin to the inside of a volcano despite the very calming aura that both interlocutors of the debate seemed to have.
This is yet another entry in the long standing book of “Why proudly trans people should never debate TERF’s”. What we witnessed was simply ContraPoints trying to fight fire with fire, when the audience was capable of identifying the positions of bad faith Blaire White was taking in regards to the debate.
What I seemed to gather from watching it was that Blaire White thinks trans identity, or at least the veracity of one completely hinges on biological truths, and that’s ironically, not true.
Blaire White, like many of her supporters, seem to ignore that gender is not an arbitrary designation of gender one attaches to themselves the minute they exit their parent’s womb. If anything, we lack any semblance of consent on what and who we choose to be. The absence of consent in such a decision is the first sign that there’s about to be a clash between perceived personality and the one we actually would want to project into this world.
No matter how many times ContraPoints would wave the DSM-5 in front of Blaire White, she would not quite want to understand what the scientific consensus on the concept of gender identity would entail. What prompted the change to the most recent DSM in the first place if people might recall, is the fact that trans people were simply better off having their experiences examined from a curious lens rather than a dismissive and a pseudo-christian one. I struggled a little bit to find any meat to the debate to be perfectly honest. ContraPoints would present some very concise and clear evidence that Blaire’s words are bullshit in practical terms, but what we instead seem to be getting is just regurgitated words of “Well, if you’re born this way then…” No Blaire White. Gender doesn’t work that way.
I go on to retroactively explain it in future blog posts, and in my coming out story that much of what being trans is, isn’t just conforming to cis people’s conceptions of what gender is–a bunch of body parts that determine you’re a girl or a boy, and nothing in-between. Gender is the very absence of a face, and the conscious action of attaching one to oneself. This is crucial to understand as Blaire would meander in and out of small anecdotal facts regarding her own experience as a TERF who’s also trans. She tokenizes her own experience as one invalidating for the rest of trans people. A “Everyone else’s a fraud, I’m the only legitimate one” approach, but Contra right out of the gate dismisses her findings whilst acknowledging that she is indeed trans, and that her own understanding of transness may be applicable to her, but it may not be televised and publicized as it is in its current fashion if only due to the emotional onslaught it brings forth from the swaths of right-wing conservative red pill types. You simply can’t escape the harsh reality that much of what Blaire spouts is regurgitation of the very people who dismiss her existence. As Contra would later go on to brilliantly outline.
This is further a reminder that trans people stand the least to gain from debating TERFs, because what they get is not a better understanding of what they think, but rather, the complete confused faint recreation of the mumblings of a madman. I was watching Blaire White on my computer screen wondering what the absolute fuck I’m looking at. Because that debate had notoriously took an emotional toll on Contra. If Blaire White felt any sense of pride in talking to a particularly leftward icon of Philosophy YouTube, she shouldn’t have; if anything, this debate exposed the many ways Blaire White fundamentally misunderstands the concept.
It isn’t about disputing the status of trans women as ones who pretend to be trans, no, it was never about that. Being that gender, or rather “performing it” was never a question of imposteurship. It is not like if someone confessed to truly being a “man” that much would change. Believing in yourself, erecting a truth deeply hidden in the back of your mind isn’t revealing of mental illness, it’s acknowledging what was obvious from the get-go. Which is that you may not have experienced gender like the majority, but your experience is still valid, and is worth celebrating. Blaire White can go however, seek help for lack of empathy. That’s if anything, the only mental sufferance she seems to be going through.
Accepting trans people is a zero sum game, and imparting upon the notion that it’s even acceptable to discuss it, is folly, and won’t bring about the much needed change we’re due for in the coming years.
I debated whether including a link to the discussion was even worthwhile but fuck it. If I watched ‘Suicide Squad’ and deeply hated it, you might as well watch this equally of a trainwreck semblance of a discussion.