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Irish gender recognition bill

(13 Posts)
Sansarya Thu 04-Jun-15 19:30:37

Judging from this article (posted by an Irish friend on Facebook as further proof of how progressive Ireland is) all it would take is for a man to sign a declaration saying "I am a woman" and then he'd legally be recognised as a woman. But surely it can't be as simplistic as that? Because if it is then I have some reservations, although that would probably get me branded a TERF in some quarters.

Blistory Fri 05-Jun-15 17:54:18

It is as simple as that. But Ireland is now being hailed as a progressive trans country.

I just don't understand how the trans lobbying power is so immense. Women have been fighting for equal rights for decades, the LGB community for decades, ethnic minorities, the disabled. And yet the smallest minority of all have the loudest voice and incredibly political power.

How the actual hell is that possible ?

Blistory Fri 05-Jun-15 17:55:01

oops - trans friendly country ^

GeorgeYeatsAutomaticWriter Fri 05-Jun-15 17:58:51

I've been refraining from posting on social media about this, because I don't want to get a shower of abuse.

Women and women's rights are at the bottom of the queue, as usual.

Sansarya Fri 05-Jun-15 22:31:36

I know it isn't a popular viewpoint on MN, but fucking hell, women in Ireland have been fighting for access to abortion for years and get ignored but this bill goes through?

vesuvia Fri 05-Jun-15 22:38:25

Blistory wrote - "the smallest minority of all have the loudest voice and incredibly political power. How the actual hell is that possible ?"

I think it has been achieved by transgenderism, which is a political ideology largely created and sustained by the Internet.

Before the Internet, transwomen's groups were too small to have political influence because, in those days, trans almost always meant transsexual and involved surgery and hormones. There were too few transsexual transwomen worldwide to make a political impact with their campaigning for the rights and welfare of pre-op and post-op transsexual transwomen.

I think the rise of transgenderism began when Internet use started to become popular in the mid-1990s enabling trans people to form large support groups for the first time. Transgenderism includes the politicization of gender identity and the widening of trans to include people who do not have surgery or take hormones. This widening of trans, from less than 100,000 transsexual transwomen worldwide only 20 years ago to millions of transwomen today, has given transwomen a much higher public profile and more social and political influence, even though transsexual transwomen are now only a small and perhaps even shrinking minority (15%) of transgender transwomen.

I think much of transgenderism's rapid success has been achieved because:

1) Transgenderism gives patriarchy an easy ride. Patriarchy is challenged much more by groups that oppose e.g. racism, poverty, homophobia and sexism.

2) Although transgenderism may well improve the lot of transwomen, it is also an extremely effective weapon for patriarchy in the patriarchal backlash against feminism. This suits patriarchy and it returns the favour by giving transgenderism a relatively easy ride.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 05-Jun-15 22:43:32

So now there will be a way to be a "woman" in Ireland but still keep all your human rights.

Fucking wonderful hmm

grumpyuncleR Sat 06-Jun-15 00:27:28

" it is also an extremely effective weapon for patriarchy in the patriarchal backlash against feminism"

Exactly. See this comment on politics.ie
www.politics.ie/forum/health-social-affairs/238446-finally-irish-transgender-people-have-equality-too-42.html#post9268823
[Comment 418, posted 04/06/2015 08:46 PM]
part of which reads-
"It is definitely no big deal to show these people a bit of understanding and tolerance. If that means pretending that they are women, then so what? Unless someone is materially harmed, who cares? These people have a tough life as it is. Plus these guys are just what we need- a big issue to divide the feminists, and get them infighting just like they were designed to do"

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 06-Jun-15 03:20:32

Although transgenderism may well improve the lot of transwomen, it is also an extremely effective weapon for patriarchy in the patriarchal backlash against feminism. This suits patriarchy and it returns the favour by giving transgenderism a relatively easy ride.

It has worked though, hasn't it? The liberal and radical feminist in me fight about this issue. Never mind anyone else.

Beachcomber Tue 09-Jun-15 16:17:32

There may be fighting now but I think this issue has the potential to bring on the fourth wave of feminism.

I agree with what vesuvia says (hi!) and would also add that transgenderism has made so many gains so quickly because it is neo-liberal men's rights movement which uses currently trendy ideas from queer theory/post-modernism/identity politics/individualism/fun feminism/sex pozzie/pro prostitution and propornism. And these are all things patriarchal society encourages because they are detrimental to class politics and women's ability to organize around the tenet that 'the personal is political'.

I think that ultimately this will bring liberal feminists and radical feminists back together (and I actually think the divide between classical liberal feminism and radical feminism is a false one). I hear women saying all the time now that they don't consider themselves to be a radical feminist (or even a feminist at all in the political sense) but that they agree with the radical analysis of transgenderism.

We need the classical liberal feminists to haul their movement back out of the hands of the pornified identity politickers and we're all set for a fourth wave - the backlash to the backlash if you will.

TalkingintheDark Wed 10-Jun-15 17:00:32

Here's to the backlash to the backlash. I agree this is hugely important and I certainly hope women will unite around this.

I'm new to this debate as I'd just had no idea that all of this was happening, so apologies if I'm saying what's been said umpteen times already, but my take on why this group have achieved so much change so quickly is that it's a different paradigm from every other group fighting for change/equality/rights. Every other situation is a case of the less powerful minority taking on the existing power base, and whatever rights they gain involve concessions of some kind from that power base.

It's an uphill struggle all the way: you're going against the status quo, fighting against a more powerful opponent from a position of relative weakness, trying to turn something around and replace what's been around since forever with something new.

Which I guess was the case with the original transactivists too.

But as vesuvia says, the demographic has changed, and the most vocal transactivists now are basically men demanding concessions from women - ie the members of the traditional power base using their traditional power and privilege over the less powerful group. And look how much easier that makes it.

They're walking in the well worn channels of men dismissing women's needs and rights for centuries. They are the more powerful group, asserting their dominance over the weaker. They're not fighting the status quo, they're reinforcing it. There is no uphill struggle because this is the way it's always been.

And yet to rub salt in the wound they get brownie points and extra support from those who traditionally are on the side of minorities, for being "progressive". Traditional male dominance and oppression dressed up as fighting for equality and minority rights. Marvellous.

Slightly off topic, but not really, I was saddened by Obama's message of congratulations to Jenner. I'm sad that he's been suckered by this charade. As an apparently loving husband and father of daughters, I would have hoped he'd examine the implications a bit further before agreeing so glibly that this is a marvellous step forward. But I guess it's a sign of just how far the trans lobby's power reaches, and how intelligent people - men and women - on the liberal spectrum have been seduced into thinking this is a good idea.

Beachcomber Sat 13-Jun-15 23:57:10

Yes exactly to what you say talkinginthedark. There's more I want to say but it's late and I'm working tomorrow. Marking place though.

TalkingintheDark Mon 15-Jun-15 18:54:05

Thanks, Beachcomber. This has all been news to me - honestly had no idea this agenda had been pushed so far and women's rights had been so vociferously and agressively sidelined. It has been an education following these threads, and yours has been one of the very sane voices it has been a relief to hear. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts, when you have the time - always a struggle to find time!

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