Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Intelligencer -- Andrew Sullivan

  Yes, it is now confusing.  Andrew Sullivan has a thoughtful
perspective about this in his blog.  Biology and culture, Trans and
Cis are discussed in challenging way to all sides of the debate.

  “The proposed Equality Act — a federal nondiscrimination bill that has been introduced multiple times over the years in various formulations — would add “gender identity” to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, rendering that class protected by anti-discrimination laws, just as sex is. The TERF argument is that viewing “gender identity” as interchangeable with sex, and abolishing clear biological distinctions between men and women, is actually a threat to lesbian identity and even existence — because it calls into question who is actually a woman, and includes in that category human beings who have been or are biologically male, and remain attracted to women. How can lesbianism be redefined as having sex with someone who has a penis, they argue, without undermining the concept of lesbianism as a whole?”

  Studies of identical twins separated at birth tend to indicate that genetics and culture both contribute about evenly as to how we develop into adults. Usually, however, we can separate a respect for the dignity of all persons from making a judgment about their behavior.  When it comes to sexual preferences and “gender identity”, however, this familiar framework is complicated because the sexual preferences are presented as essential to who the individual is an not just a matter of behavior or choice. Yet at other times the claim is made the all values are only about the individual or social will. The confusing issues are thus likely to persist.