A few thoughts on the recently issued Statement of Solidarity with the NWSA Trans and Gender Variant Caucus. (see also )
Why Academia has Always been At War with Women
The Women’s Studies community has been targeted for take-over by patriarchal interests in many guises for several decades. One such approach uses the academic backdrop itself and perversely turns it into a poison pill to liquidate original thought, creativity, diversity – and I mean DIVERSITY rather than multiple choice. Why do I refer to patriarchal interests?
While science – all science – has its origin in women’s bodies, women’s bleeding with the moon, the whiney male of the species has long been jealous of Woman and more-or-less successfully tamed Woman’s knowledge and insights into what is today called “classical science and philosophy”, thought up by men and disseminated – pun intended – among men of the upper classes. In later millennia, the church appropriated rudiments of science, turned it into kitchen Latin (really is lousy Latin) and kept it from the non-ordained common folk. But since the church held not only the key to eternity but yuuuge amounts of land, resources, and power, that church monopoly was used to eliminate dissent, and especially female dissent, and especially property owning female dissent.
The Academic Company Store
Monopoly in knowledge, that means there’s only a single “company store” for knowledge. Which is why, in order to succeed in academia, original thought beyond a small new wrinkle in the well-traveled and non-threatening regurgitation of established doctrine is discouraged.
Now, when you go back to how Woman receives her knowledge, you immediately see that the two, academic company store and home-grown fare, are fundamentally incompatible.
Academia has never, ever been equipped to deal with anything that is as uncontrollable as Woman, except for claiming the ability to measure the uncontrollability. You get the drift.
Anyone invested in any academia-based entity therefore can be blackmailed into compliance . . or else, be branded and exiled into the academic desert.
The reason this matters is that the signers of the “Statement of Solidarity with the NWSA* Trans and Gender Variant Caucus” are all beholden to their status with the NWSA. Some not very kind metaphors come to mind but I leave it to the readers’ mind to come up with them. (*NWSA stands for the National Women’s Studies Association.)
Why All Hierarchies Always Had to Have Been At War with Women
In my childhood, long before electronic games and without the means, even had they existed, among our various toys, there were little tin figures, about one and a half inches tall, and miniature toy cars, all of which were moved by means of magnets underneath the table. What made these toys move on top of the table was an invisible power below. This is a relevant metaphor because in the conflict about the trans issue, we often seem to deal with motivation we cannot address, motivation that is unknown to the other person, i.e. under the table, and cannot be addressed. And we are frustrated beyond belief for trying to argue against a framing shell game where, whatever we answer or propose, the main issues remain framed in such a way that they remain untouchable by any discussion.
A look in that direction is helpful when we try to understand why especially school administrators, school nurses, psychologists, and any number of mid level administrators in many fields so staunchly undertake the crusades on the side of an allegedly unquestionable validity of anything the trans lobby demands. The trick here is to see whose validity is really at issue. Like most wheels in the works of patriarchal hierarchies, people at work in low- to mid-level administrative jobs live with a deep desire to feel meaning in their job; that they are mostly conscious of. But they also experience a deep powerlessness and – mostly below the table top of conscious awareness, a corresponding need for validation and power. By nature, this power has to be derived. It is the opposite of self-arising, It is, again, fundamentally incompatible with the essence of Woman’s relationship to life.
This makes low- and midlevel administrators very susceptible to the temptation to exert power and derive validation by way of directives, guidelines, laws and ordinances over those, whose power exists regardless of their professional validation or lack thereof: Women. Perversely, since an increasing number of women are stuck in those low-to mid-level (underpaid) jobs, it amounts to what appears like a war by women on women, especially in the matter of trans issues. Add to this the “sexy” look of it being a civil rights issue, and the official advocacy against biology becomes dogma.
Victim Status to Fuel the War on Women
Now to the trans-megaphone at hand. It is riddled with assumptions, self-importance, and entitlement, implied lies and deceptions. A flood of buzzwords, my friends, does not make for content. The assumption that a “statement by NWSA Trans Caucus co-chair Cael Keegan” (check the dude out) has us shake in our boots is a clinical sign of male-identified grandiosity. On the other hand, fascist propaganda always, really every fucking time, dresses itself up in victim garb. I’m sure Hitler did not invent that, and neither did “the Senator from Wisconsin” and neither did Bannon and Spencer and the soon to be second-shortest POTUS. (I give him two months.) Hence the framing of an openly expressed difference of opinion as “blatant hostility” and a questioning of some physiologically questionable premises as oppression and exclusion.
Self-Importance Proves this Crusade to be Male
But let’s look at the snow job from the other side. Actually, there are two other sides.
First, the implied claims and assertions:
Trans-scholarship is being excluded, probably for the very reason that we don’t really know what it is other then narcissistic umbilicus picking. Hollywood has covered it in “The Danish Girl”, yes? The real issue is that, from the male p.o.v., women’s studies urgently needed to be cut down to being as much of an adjunct to gender and anything-you-want studies as women were considered adjunct to the male, ever since she was made from Adam’s rib or climbed out of Zeus’ head, whichever came first..
(As I said, academia is more than systemically vulnerable to that crap.)
This scholarship claim as well as that of a validity of the “careful and critical engagement with intersectionality and privilege” cleverly bypasses the opportunity to actually question that very validity by framing it as the victim of oppression. So we are called to address the alleged oppression without asking “of what?” And tucked in here is an open threat: “cannot go unchecked.” The impersonal “cannot” creates the divinely ordained crusade-like righteous justification, and “unchecked” translates as a call to armed action. I don’t literally mean guns and knives but militarism and intimidation. “Agree or else.”
The Fingers Pointing Back
The other other side is the one where three giant fingers point back (ouch) at the source of the index finger pointing and screaming accusations of oppression, exclusion, invalidating, hostility and any number of phobia labels. (I, for example, have some very helpful ones, such as idiot-phobia, phoney-phobia, self-important-little-shit-phobia, all nothing fatal but annoying – where is my fly swatter.) But back to the three phalanges. To save some time here, I recommend videos of how trans lobbyists and their bussed-in foot soldiers harassed and verbally abused totally peaceful female participants in various events. Maybe I’ll post them here later. The bottom line of this other other side is that you will find hooligan behavior that makes a beer inundated soccer match pale by comparison.
And yet another other other side, the kind of stuff that happened in response to the claim of oppression of the Arian race as alleged in Mein Kampf:
Action Plan: Comply . . . Or Else
What to do with “individuals who have [perpetrated] this oppressive behavior on the listserv and in other academic settings”?
This is where the McCarthyism of the action plan comes in., which boils down to excluding (oops) and deplatforming (=excluding) and punishing those who “were warned, given an explanation, but nevertheless persisted.” After all, the purpose of the job listing links is to monitor all applicable job offerings and come down on any entity who is hiring a person who is not “certified trans-friendly”. The result will be a militant censorship against anyone getting any academic job who is not trans-conformist.
“Are you now or have you ever been. . ?“