Tuesday, May 12, 2020

repeat from last year, because Kathleen Stock is still struggling with the relation of philosophy, rationalist formalism,  to empiricism and knowledge.
Today:
Philosopher Kathleen Stock, linking to Philosopher Holly Lawford-Smith on Twitter
If you’re tempted by the currently fashionable philosophical idea that working descriptive categories are a bit like clubs, and should be “expanded” or “ameliorated” for humane reasons, to be more “inclusive” of people who want to be counted, then see if this tests your resolve.
Lawford-Smith
this is a real paper:
‘How dare you pretend to be disabled?’ The discounting of transabled people and their claims in disability movements and studies

Abstract
Although the contours of the ‘disabled person’ category are questioned by anti-ableist activists, they remain rigid regarding transabled people (who want to become disabled). For anti-ableist activists, transabled people do not count as disabled. They are perceived to: be falsely disabled; steal resources from disabled people; and be disrespectful by denying, fetishizing, or appropriating marginalized realities. By combining critical discourse analysis, genealogy, and deconstruction, I examine these negative discourses to encourage alliances between anti-ableist activists and transabled people. Ideas developed in disability and trans studies reveal the limits of these discourses anchored in ableist and cisnormative* assumptions.
Yesterday:
Leiter
Blast from the past: when the Associate Editors of Hypatia defamed Rebecca Tuvel
Back in 2017
Tuvel's paper: In Defense of Transracialism

Stock supports Tuvel

If you accept that Tuvel's paper is reasonable then you have to accept that "transablism" is reasonable.

That's a problem for professional rationalists. When the rubber meets the road, Stock and Lawford-Smith, as women and feminists, go against their training. They won't admit it but they do. Leiter is so caught up in defending the profession, and so removed from the issues themselves, that he ties himself in knots.

repeat:
Feminist philosophers do that as well, when they can twist their rationalizations towards what they want. Empiricism for philosophers is always the last option, only in a crisis, even if only a crisis of confidence 
From "Retroactive withdrawal of consent"  to "Trans men are men (but transwomen are not women)"

According to Lawford-Smith, trans men are men because they're aspiring to authority through their awareness of a man's world, while transwomen are playing at weakness they can't know. Political justification becomes the foundation of objective truth. And all of this ratiocination is necessary because we want to avoid "pathologizing".
Liberalism in its desperate optimism renders everything perverse.
As the article has circulated over the last few days, reaction has been strong, with many of those sharing the piece asking why it was published. 
A statement endorsed by 2,500 writers, editors and librarians (many of them at academic institutions) says the piece by Harris "calls into question the very identity of transgender people.
Daniel Harris.
And yet what is the actual difference between Michael Jackson  whittling his nose down to a brittle sliver of bone and whitening  his skin with alpha hydroxy acid and arsenic in order to efface his blackness and the TG sanding down her brow bone and hacking off a sizeable chunk of her mandible in order to efface her gender? Why is the one decried as a racially reprehensible instance of self‑mutilation, self‑denial, and self‑loathing and the other extolled as a celebratory instance of self‑liberation? Why is it not only okay but valiant for Caitlyn Jenner to liberate her inner woman through rhinoplasties and  laryngeal shaves while it is deplorable and pathetic for Michael Jackson to liberate his inner Caucasian through bleaching and cleft chin augmentation? When Rachel Dolezal goes to the Palm Beach tanning salon for her weekly $30 dip, she is committing the unconscionable  crime of appropriating blackness (or, in her case, as the Gawker put it, not blackness but “Medium Brown Spray Tan”), but when Laverne  Cox, one of the breakoutperformers [sic] on the television show Orange Is the New Black, slaps on a transdermal estrogen patch, she is lauded as a hero and role model. All of the arguments against plastic surgery—that it is dangerous, even fatal, often botched, and symptomatic of either extreme body dysmorphia or a lamentable effort to accommodate  Hollywood’s chauvinistic ageism—can be leveled against those who transition from one sex to another. The trophy wife and the TG swim, it seems, in the same surgeon‑infested seas.
Drag, like all art forms, is conservative. It's the performance of overdetermined femininity, by men who wish they were women. Life is making lemonade from lemons.
"I've been up all night alone, wondering about my identity. Trying to look for an explanation for living this strange, stylized sexuality. Realization cuts feeling off. I try to explain my identity as being a male who has assumed the attitudes and somewhat the emotions of a female. I don't know what role to play."
Fascism is demanding we confirm that your art is our reality. I've said that before more than once. I'm not going to search to find where.

Self-reporting: "I'm a liberal"

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