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0 votes
Just curious to get some insight from some trans and gender queer folks about the new bill in California. I'm conflicted in this considering I know trans kids in the school system. I feel that the more we assimilate into the system the deeper we sink into the quick sand. I also feel that it may help to alleviate some pain for some folks that are trapped inside a system of oppression.

Is it a good thing that cis people are talking about this? (most likely with very little or rather no understanding of what it means.)
by (270 points)
Why do you need exclusively trans/gender queer folks to respond to your question? Are cis folks not affected by legislation? That's the line of essentialism and identity politics. As a cis male anarchist, I have an opinion and analysis of this issue, but is it worth less than that of a trans semi- or non-anarchist?
why are you assuming they want to hear from semi- or non-anarchists, lawrence? you have a fine question, so why skew it by including that distraction from your point?
It's just math. I don't assume that all the people who post answers and comments on this forum are anarchists, so it seems to me that limiting the responding demographic to trans/gender queer folks makes it less than 10% likely that s/he will get a response that's specifically from anarchists.
I wasn't meaning to limit the response, I hoped that all would comment. I was just hoping to hear from some fellow trans or gender queer folks that I don't know. Some of my friends have very strong feelings about this issue one way or the other and honestly Im not sure where I lie.
And on the issue of trans legislation, I feel that I value a cis males opinion on what affects a trans person much less then that of the oppressed. Just like i wouldn't ask white people to talk about police violence or males to talk about sexual assault upon women. The story is always best told from those who are affected/oppressed. Its not that I dis trust you, like I don't trust our government to report the millions of democides that they commit on a daily basis. I just dont trust you to be able to express the emotion and feelings of what it is like to be a victim in this circumstance.
Supposition confirmed.
I'd be curious to hear if/why you think your opinion matters as much as a trans or gender queer person. Also, I would like to hear your opinion whether or not you were an anarchist.
I never said my opinion would matter "as much." My point was to ask you if you thought it would matter less. You have affirmed that.

Your weltanshauung appears to be neatly divided into oppressor and oppressed, privileging of the opinions of anyone you decide belongs to the latter category.

For want of a better single-word descriptor, yes, I am an anarchist. If you look at my answers posted here you might be able to see what sort.
I feel that in order to move past a hierarchical system we need to acknowledge what it does to our thought processes, and how it affects our emotions. we need to acknowledge oppression because if we don't it cant be healed. In this particular case it is about privilege and the oppressed. It's like asking men about abortion laws, ultimately it shouldn't be up to them. Yes your opinion matters but it shouldn't decide what is done with women's vaginas. I think another helpful analogy is concerning bathrooms. What is the mentality that gave white men the right to decide what bathrooms blacks used. I think its a position of privilege that breeds entitlement. Black people were made slaves because they were different and their lives were stripped from them. Trans folks are slaves to their given gender sometimes decided for them by doctors. Cis people create the  boundary between cis and trans, anything that isnt cis is trans. This is a physical and emotional prison created by society and fueled by the norm/privileged.  You are entitled to your opinion, and it affects you but it just aint your shit. Sometimes men just need to be humble and acknowledge that everything is not their place to help make decisions.

ps i also feel like we already don't like each other, which is sad. i just wanted some friends to discuss hard shit with but I feel that we are attacking each other. anyhow i can tell you don't like my opinions, but who knows maybe we could find something in common
If you think I don't like you or your opinions, you should read the things I post when I'm actually offended. Look, it's not whether or not I like you, but if you think I'm attacking you, then you need to defend your positions better. You seem like a sincere person who's just starting to get a sense of what anarchist ideas and perspectives are and what they might entail. But just as you say that men need to be humble, so you too need to be humble when arriving at a new place, instead of presuming that we all speak the same language and have the same values. Clearly you and I do not. That has nothing to do with whether or not we like each other, but has everything to do with expressing our ideas in a way that is comprehensible. I have tried to explain why I find much of what you write irritating.

Asking questions is a great way to learn stuff, but asking questions and making comments that are loaded down with activist jargon like "privilege" and "oppression" just make you sound like any other leftist do-gooder who's either still in college or just graduated and is now ready to become a "community organizer." I am not the only person on this board who bristles at such things.
great. would you care to share your opinion on the question so I can get some more insight. Just the question disregard the explanation of the question.

also what words should I use instead. I didn't got to college. I learned anarchy on the streets, so I may not be as well versed as many but we have been living it as best as we can for nearly a decade now.
also thanks for that link found some comments on diamond funny and insightful. never really liked the guy just all id read on the subject of pre history.  meaning ancient man
"Cis people create the  boundary between cis and trans... "

that statement is a great example of what i think annoys lawrence - and surely annoys me. not only are you lumping ALL cis and trans folk into their separate predefined boxes, but you are also pointing fingers at one of those boxes as the sole cause/creator of the boxes.  do you really think it is that cut-and-dried?

and let me say this: while i disagree with much of your perspective as i understand it, that does not mean i do not "like" you. i am often able to have good relationships with folks i strongly disagree with on various issues (otherwise i'd have next to zero relations). but those relationships are based on real, live interactions.

2 Answers

+2 votes
First, I don't live in CA, and I don't know the specifics of the legistaltion you are talking about, but I do live somewhere that this has been a topic of discussion and debate recently.

I personally find this complicated, and simple.

Simple because, yes, absolutely, every time the state accommodates an outsider group* it potentially (and most often does) pacify and further assimilate said group. This is historically proven, from civil rights to gay marriage. One of the easiest ways for the sate (or capital - labor laws anyone?) to quell unrest is to throw a bone to the discontented.

What makes this complicated (for me) is that sometimes these bones qualitatively improve the lives of people I care very much about. As a cis white guy, it feels a little disingenuous to tell others they shouldn't have the same privileges I do, based on things like race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Since I don't participate in statist politics, the point is somewhat null: I'm not going to sign that petition, or vote for that candidate or referendum.  Mostly what I have found is that while I am happy when people I care about are able to have more options, or experience less discrimination, and I can be critical of the fact that this is happening because the state has told us that is how we will be (which actually rarely does a damn thing to change individual behavior), and always addressing the way in which "rights" act to postpone or quell rebellion.

*I am choosing to use the term "outsider" because this doesn't just happen to minority groups, I could also say marginalized, but that still feels somehow not encompassing enough
by (22.1k points)
0 votes
You're right, I don't have very much to say about this.

It would be stupid and reactionary to say that I am against the law because it isn't revolutionary but also to say that the law is revolutionary *because* it is historic would be delusional. Probably, revolution is a siren pointing us in the entirely wrong direction while the laws are keeping us bound for a home that doesn't really want us. (I'm just making shit up at this point.)

The simple premises of the Revolutionary/Counter-Revolutionary paradigm really have nothing to say about most things in life. The truth of the matter has to be reached by all of us in our own way as we negotiate a path that has been circumscribed by so much circumstance and legacy that it exceeds the categories of our principles. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.
by (2.8k points)
edited by
All of this intellectual guff is just a way of saying that it's okay to be ambivalent.