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Taylor Swift on gender on the US census

(15 Posts)
newrubylane Mon 29-Jun-20 18:55:47

Taylor Swift is claiming that the US 2020 census erases transgender and non-binary people because it only gives two gender (her word) options - male and female.

I've checked. The census asks for sex, not gender. So of course they are not being 'erased' because they fall into one of those two sex categories regardless of how they identify. I expect many of them will jump on this bandwagon regardless, though.

Now she might be justified in her argument that the US government should be collecting gender info, because as she says, if you don't have data on a group then it's easy to ignore them. But that's a different argument.

I think I'd support collecting both sets of data, but not solely gender (not that I'm in America).

So many people weighing in on the debate who don't understand the distinction between the two. As a general rule I love Taylor, but 🙄

OP’s posts: |
contactusdeletus Mon 29-Jun-20 21:44:14

Personally I've thought for a while that Taylor is gay and inching her way out of the closet. I also think she's a privileged white woman who moves in luvvie Hollywood type circles. Her exposure to trans women and non-binary people are mostly the gay male type or the androgynous lesbian type. She only sees one side of the issue, so of course she comes out swinging on behalf of her friends.

I do think it's also a little more self-interested than wanting to defend her friends though. She has cultured a VERY hetero image over the course of her career. Since splitting from her label she's tried to fight that, but it's obviously a process. Her fans won't adjust to the new her overnight. What she's trying to do now is link herself with "the LGBT community" so the connection is there in people's minds without her having to make it personal. Speaking on trans issues is an easy way for her to do that. If she decides to stay in the closet after all, she can say she was just being an ally - because it's obvious she's not trans herself. If she was to campaign this hard on behalf of lesbians, I think people would start to ask if she has skin in the game herself, and she would be forced to make a statement one way or the other.

Just my opinion, of course, but I think Taylor has come close to coming out and then got cold feet quite a few times over the last few years. I wish her well with it, but I hope she realizes that the likes of Tumblr and Twitter don't represent reality. There has been a real turning of the tide among lesbian and bi women on the trans issue.

We can't speak without being shouted down, but what we can do is quietly disengage from celesbians who betray us on that front. Ellen Page used to be hugely popular among lesbians, but you hardly hear of her now. Same with Tegan and Sara. Hannah Gadsby's new show has also failed to make waves the way her previous one did. We notice when someone who is rich or safe in a long term relationship sells the rest of us down the river to cotton ceiling rhetoric. And we are getting sick of this shit. Just look at the runaway popularity of Gentleman Jack - a straightforward Victorian lesbian love story, sans gender identity wank - compared with the lack of interest in the revived L Word, "Generation Q" or whatever it's called. I instantly looked at that and knew it wasn't for me. Sure enough, I've seen and heard very little about it.

You'd think their PR people would make the connection. Things that had a huge lesbian audience mysteriously lose their appeal when the gender identity stuff starts getting pushed at our expense. Gee, I wonder why?

Taylor has a surprisingly big lesbian fanbase, and will want their support if she does decide to come out. She'll also want the support of normal, non-internet activist type people. Throwing in her lot so firmly with trans activists will derail that. She'll become Jameela Jamil and scupper her own support.

Long story short, I wasn't surprised but I cringed to see it.

ShinyFootball Mon 29-Jun-20 21:59:37

For the census the information that would be really valuable would be


Male Female Intersex/ DSD (sorry not sure of the right term and also most people with DSD know their sex I think?)

Gender Identity

Ah it gets tricky. I was going to say man woman but that undermines these as sex related terms which is not great. Masculine/ feminine/ non binary etc?

I'm sure a wording could be worked out.

But the push is to REMOVE sex and only have gender.

But that is useless. A major part of the point of census is planning.

Understanding the age and sex split feeds into things like

School provision (more young women means more babies)
Provision for the elderly (more older women means more as we live longer)
And onwards into things like sports facilities, public transport, library provision, all sorts of stuff

Removing the knowledge of male/ female is non trivial.

It is striking that the push is never to expand- to include extra things - more unisex facilities, another question on equalities things, a wing in a prison, fundraise for refuges, but to either do away with things, or commandeer services etc that were set up/ agitated for etc with years of fundraising, lobbying etc by others.

Wearywithteens Mon 29-Jun-20 21:59:39

I can imagine that living under a Trump regime this is a very brave and progressive thing for her to do but from this side of the pond I’m just disappointed. She is such a great role model for young girls and this ideology sadly does not help girls or women.

ShinyFootball Mon 29-Jun-20 22:03:34

Also, the assumption by stonewall etc that most people 'strongly identify with' their birth sex. How do they know this?

Most people think gender on a form means sex.

From my asking around, this is not a key part of the identity of many people at all.

In particular, lots of women and especially feminists who have been fighting for YEARS, decades, centuries even, to be seen as PEOPLE first.

The whole thing is such a fuck you to women.

BovaryX Tue 30-Jun-20 08:41:34

I can imagine that living under a Trump regime this is a very brave and progressive thing for her to do

There is nothing remotely 'brave or progressive' about parroting the talking points of the liberal establishment which dominates celebrity culture.

Needmoresleep Tue 30-Jun-20 08:54:22

I spotted this, and actually saw it as a good thing.

Trans people should not be erased. Nor can they change sex.

There needs to be a proper societal debate about how the needs of different groups are protected: girls, vulnerable women, vulnerable transpeople (and yes many are vulnerable)

This does not happen by one group simply demanding the withdrawal of protections for another. This does not happen without reliable information.

So two questions.

1. Sex
2. Gender identity. (But phrased in a way that ordinary people who have not been expose to some of the madness can understand. 100+ boxes to tick would overwhelm many, though Jedi could be a popular option.)

FWIW I like Taylor Swift. Not only her penchant for fey English boys. Child star, but from Nashville not Hollywood. Discovering a voice, but, so far, not over doing it. She could end up being interesting not simply over-indulged.

Wearywithteens Tue 30-Jun-20 16:00:39

BovaryX - I agree with you - I should’ve said I imagine it looks like a brave and progressive thing...

I’ve lived in the US though and redneck fundamental Christian values are top of the heap for large swathes of the population. Anything that goes against the grain probably is quite brave for an ex-country-singer-all-American-pop-girl like Swift.

I’m not taking away the blood boiling naiveté of it.

TerribleCustomerCervix Tue 30-Jun-20 16:11:38

contactusdeletus, not sure I agree with the closeted lesbian theory.

My own theory is that following the “Taylor is a 🐍” meme that was doing the rounds after Kim Kardashian released that (doctored, as it turns out) snippet of a phone call between her and Kanye, she had a bit of a PR crisis. Although it was undeserved, her reputation took a bit of a hit.

The next thing, she comes out batting for the LGBT crowd. She’s always been, and still is, v active on Tumblr, where a lot of Trans stuff is a big talking crowd.

However, from a purely sceptical POV, it seems a bit calculated. One the one hand, she gets to seem woke and “aware”, and on the other, everyone from Madonna to Diana Ross would agree that being a Gay Icon doesn’t exactly do any harm to their careers.

contactusdeletus Wed 01-Jul-20 07:42:48

@TerribleCustomerCervix I'm honestly surprised more people don't see this! To me it's the most obvious thing since Ricky Martin. The Tom Hiddlestone thing was practically performance art. And she was dancing around with bisexual coloured hair in the You Need To Calm Down video. I think she was planning to come out back then and the loss of her masters made it seem like a bad idea.

I couldn't tell you if she's lesbian or bi or what, but the songs on her last few albums are very, shall we say, sapphic coded? It's all stuff about having to hide a secret love society would judge you for, and finally accepting yourself after a lifelong struggle. Coming out into the daylight is a big theme. It's not very subtle once you look past the tacked-on "he" pronouns.

The publicity point is probably true too. I think she massively remade her image after the Kim Kardashian thing. But there have been so many odd things with Taylor now that I genuinely have a harder time believing she's straight than the other way around.

I recognise this isn't really the place for the discussion, but it's one of those things I honestly thought was self evident by now. A Kristen Stewart situation grin

EmpressLangClegSpartacus Wed 01-Jul-20 07:47:57

2. Gender identity. (But phrased in a way that ordinary people who have not been expose to some of the madness can understand. 100+ boxes to tick would overwhelm many, though Jedi could be a popular option.)

It also needs to have an option for people who think gender identity is a load of sexist bollocks. Either including a ‘none’ option or making the question optional would work.

Cwenthryth Wed 01-Jul-20 08:16:19

The company I work for has just designed an equality & diversity staff survey, and the manager responsible asked for my feedback on the question design (clearly I’m known to have Opinions), I pointed out they only asked gender (Male/female/free text box/prefer not to say) and we discussed what information he was actually looking for etc, in the end they’ve gone with 2 questions, sex and gender separately, should give everyone the opportunity to answer in a truthful way that works for them (I will use the free text box for the gender question to say it’s not personally relevant to me or similar).

Needmoresleep Wed 01-Jul-20 08:16:32

Exactly. A bit like a question on religion.

ChattyLion Wed 01-Jul-20 08:30:56

The Tom Hiddlestone thing was practically performance art. grin I have to admit I had assumed TS was just pinkwashing her brand, because privileged celebs need a social justice angle for posting on social media. I thought TS would have worked out the diff between sex and gender for herself if she actually has skin in the game, but she wouldn’t be alone in that if she hadn’t.
I like her too, I think her feminism-lite schtick is nice. it’s a bit disappointing for her female solidarity for young women ‘girl squad‘ vibe to have to be packaged as kitschy to fit in with her campaigning for genderist dogma. It certainly doesn’t all hang together coherently in terms of PR messaging, that’s for sure, but it’s hard to know anyone’s personal motivations when ultra high profile celebs have so many layers of people around them professionally crafting things.

contactusdeletus Wed 01-Jul-20 12:42:33

I know! How quickly the world forgot the Hiddleswift world tour grin

It honestly amazes me how much Taylor gets away with though. Once you see it she's so not subtle.

I mean, she dropped ME! on Lesbian Visibility Day and spends the whole video frolicking about painting herself in rainbows. At one stage she even rejects a man's proposal in favour of a pussy (cat)! It was all very loud. And then she released the movie showing the song's recording process, and she's there talking to the guy from Panic at the Disco about how she wants the video to include cats and country and western boots and gay pride - "all the things that make me me". Really? Gay pride makes you you , Taylor? hmm Okie dokes.

Taylor caught a lot of flack for the "girl squad" but tbh I much preferred it to the sausage fest of drag queens and gay BFF's she's surrounded herself with this era. It was feminism-lite, sure, but I don't really look to my pop stars for feminism anyway, so I was okay with that. And I quite liked the girl power-ishness of it all. The priority placed on female friendships was a nice message to send girls, I thought.

Obviously it would have been nice if the friends weren't all total glamazons, but that's Hollywood for you.

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