Monday, January 23, 2012

Inclusionist? Not exactly...

I have noticed that in addition to using "separatist" as a club word to beat up on those who decline to identify as "transgender," "Cristan" Williams is fond of labeling himself as being an "inclusionist."  Now, I guess that might well be appropriate in one sense, as the word is pretty much made up.  "Inclusionism" is primarily a theological term for a specific view of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), but it is not a commonly used word either.  So, we have someone who is more properly referred to as a "gender fascist" using a made up word, based on a concept that has nothing to do with the actual discussion, which involves an artificial, highly subjective, political/social construct.  Yes, that Mr. William's for you.  

Now, there are all sorts of problems with using "separatist" including the fact that it is kind of hard to separate from something you are not a part of.  As I have said many times, "transgender" is an identity.  This is a concept that is completely lost on Mr. Williams.  In a comment he made in an argument with someone who does not identify as "transgender" he uses what is clearly a logical fallacy:
Let me pose a question to you: Does a lesbian ceases(sic) to be a homosexual (an umbrella term) if she doesn't self-identify as a homosexual?
Now, I can just imagine Mr. William's smug, self-satisfaction at what he no doubt thinks is a devastating, logical argument.  There is only one small problem.  It is a completely bogus argument.  Yes, "homosexual" can be described, quite properly, as an "umbrella term."  It is an objective term, easily defined, and is, most importantly, not an identity.  And that is where the argument falls apart.  Homosexual is not an identity, is is an objective fact.  

Now, the term "lesbian," on the other hand, is subjective, and is an identity.  Not all homosexual females identify as lesbian.  In fact, there is not clear, universal agreement on what the term lesbian even means.  I have seen some use it as a synonym for "homosexual female,"  while others have defined is as "a homosexual female who specifically has a dislike or even hatred for women,"  Some homosexual females identify as "gay women," declining to be called "lesbian," and they can be quite adamant about the terminology.  So, the term "lesbian" is comparable to the term "transgender," not "transsexual."

Now, "transsexual" like "homosexual" is an objective term.  It has a specific meaning.  "Transgender" is a subjective term.  There are no clear lines defining what is, and is not, "transgender."  For example, are drag queens "transgender?"  What about effeminate men, and butch women?  I have seen some argue that all homosexuals are "transgender" because they cross gender norms.  But such an argument is widely rejected.  Clearly, there is no objective definition for "transgender."  I was, and is, an identity...a social/political construct.  One can choose to identify as "transgender," but it is not a term that should ever be imposed on anyone.

And this is where what Mr. Williams calls the "inclusionist world view" falls apart:
The Inclusionist World View:
  1. We ALL face oppression because our history or our expression violates cultural gender stereotypes.
  2. Our oppressors LOVE our differences and NEVER want our differences to be seen as normal differences (on par with differences which violate cultural norms, eg Look Who’s Coming For Dinner)
  3. Our oppressors use our differences to “otherize” us so that oppression becomes a social meme.
  4. Our oppressors oppress us because they like the power, not because they don’t like our differences.
Okay, the first point is pretty much meaningless.  Anytime someone uses a term like "ALL" it is highly suspect.  Mr. Williams, of course, cannot back that statement up with any real evidence.  He cannot speak to the experience of ALL, but that does not stop him from doing exactly what he tries to attack others for.

The same is true for the second assertion.  "NEVER?"  Again, can he prove this?  Of course, not.  But this is, again, exactly what he accuses others of.  Funny how he does not follow his own rules.  But, that is exactly what one comes to expect from him.

Actually, it is generally the transgender movement itself that seeks to "otherize" (My, but Mr. Williams does like to make up word, doesn't he?) people.  In fact, I have seen people attacked for not identifying as being "other."

All of this is of course, a classic example of a straw argument:

And the final assertion, again one made without any real evidence, is patently absurd.  It might be true in some cases (key word: might) but otherwise, it is a broad brush assertion that cannot be backed up with objective evidence.  Funny, but thus Hitchen wannabe is being sliced up by what he likes to label "Hitchen's Razor."  But, that is not surprising.  Mr. WIlliams likes to define the debate on his terms, which are always slanted in his favor.

Now, of course Mr. Williams would never stop there.  He has rather self-servingly defined his world-view, making assertions not backed up by evidence as though they were absolute facts. So, he now presumes to define his opponent's supposed world-view.  
The Separatist World View:
  1. Transsexuals face oppression because people confuse us with crossdressers and drag queens.
  2. Our oppressors HATE what they view as being strange and/or deviant behavior.
  3. Transsexualism isn’t about strange and/or deviant behavior; it’s a medical condition and has nothing to do with breaking gender stereotypes in our culture.
  4. Our oppressors will stop oppressing us if we can get them to see that we aren’t like crossdressers and that we are instead like intersex people.
This is a gross oversimplification and distortion of people's actual positions.  Of course, only a fool would expect anything better from Williams. 

For example, confusion with crossdressers and drag queens is not the only reason that transsexuals face oppression, but it is a factor.  Those like Williams actually see themselves as the same as crossdressers and drag queens.  They derive a lot of their identity and pleasure from being at odds with society, and they resent those who do not share their...well, perversions.

It can certainly be shown, from evidence, that some people do confuse transsexuals with crossdressers and drag queens, including attributing to transsexuals motivations that are unique to crossdressers.

Does Mr. Williams really want to deny that those he refers to as "oppressors" do not hate what they view as deviant behavior?   That alone would pretty much render his position laughable.  But then he really shows his true colors....

Clearly, Williams sees transsexualism as both strange and deviant.  Of course, this is because Williams apparently himself identifies as strange and deviant and wants to look down on those he sees as denying being like him.  This is part of his obsessive accusations that "transsexuals" are elitist.  The simple fact is, transsexualism is a medical condition, and it is exactly the opposite of violating gender norms. (Again, Williams' use of "stereotypes" shows more about how he thinks.)  

And finally, he basically tries to make an assertion that education is not going to help transsexuals when time, and time again, the opposite has proven true.  In fact, it can be shown that for many years, transsexuals were often viewed more favorably before the transgender extremists started trying to co-opt them.  The situation was not perfect. but it was better than it is now.  

No, Williams calling himself an "inclusionist" is an attempt to hide what he really is.  A much more appropriate term is "gender fascist."  While he makes self-serving statements to the effect that he does not wish to force an identity on anyone, in practice, he shows the opposite.  He mocks those who decline to be labeled as transsexual, tries, in vain, to argue that they are simply denying what they really are, and attacks anyone who dares stand up to his silly attempts at debate.

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