Sunday, February 11, 2018

Why being a woman is more than a being a woman

 a future male-to-female cyborg, why not?
aLfrEdo tRifF

I wish to follow this piece of news, which turned into this and this and worse, this (that's lots of ricochets blurring the issue at hand).

McGowan declared:
Caitlyn Jenner you do not understand what being a woman is about at all. You want to be a woman and stand with us— well learn us.
The point is misplaced. McGowan is a biological woman, not a transgender female. She can't be one. Caitlyn Jenner will never be the woman McGowan has in mind. A transgender female, Caitlyn is what McGowan could never come to be, even if she wanted to.

Each of us belongs in both a biological club and a gender club. Bio is DNA-bounded. Gender is a role-bounded. The TRANS club is gender-bounded. Its members feel and desire other than their respective DNA-bounds. They don't ever leave —can't— their biological clubs. True, transgender people fiddle with their bodies to make it look different (a M-F seeks a female body, the F-M transgender seeks a male body), but that's not a biological change. Some transgender individuals may not want neither male nor female bodies to fit their gender choice.

The reason is that the TRANS club may be a form of otherness plain and simple —and this is still a debatable point— beyond sex.*

Caitlyn Jenner's boobs, makeup, garments etc, are non-essential —if that's what drives McGowan's point. Does Caitlyn Jenner, minus her boobs, makes her any less a female? Or does McGowan's menstrual cycles more of a woman? Methinks not. Yet, a female coming from a M-F TRANS club should feel different than a female being in her own WOMEN's club (I'm sure the argument can be made that sex + desires make up for a normative difference).

This fight over being a woman is not literal! Which is what both McGowan and Andi Dier miss.

(Moreover, the Gender-bounded club is not, like its DNA counterpart, permanent. One can enter and leave it. It has happened).

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*Imagine the possibility of "cyborg" as another gender form in the foreseeable future. Though I sympathize with Donna Haraway's desire to expand Feminist take on gender, I disagree that cyborgs are necessarily genderless (all we need are female-isomorphic algorithms).