I want to do two…

A Twitter thread by @radicalhag

I want to do two related threads. The first is on state changes and is an idea from some books by a bloke called Jed McKenna I read when I thought I was spiritual.

It was the idea that some transformations require a genuine change of state, usually triggered by an event. There’s a before, an event and an after, and the before and after are not interchangeable. The state change is irreversible. Think caterpillar to butterfly.

He used being a vampire as an analogy. You can lie in a coffin in the dark during the day, react violently to garlic and drink blood. But that doesn’t make you a vampire and the behaviour is meaningless.

You become a vampire if another vampire bites you, and then all the other things happen spontaneously. An irreversible state change has happened.

My analogy was getting pregnant. You can wear loose clothes, vomit in the morning and go to ante-natal classes but that won’t make you pregnant, ever. You have to be inseminated, conceive, the zygote has to attach.

And then whatever conditions of pregnancy you experience will happen by themselves, and if nothing goes wrong you will give birth and be a mother. An irreversible state change.

I was, of course, thinking about this in the context of gender, looking for an analogy to ‘becoming a woman’, but of course in humans you can’t. There is currently no known procedure for actually changing sex.

And suggesting that making yourself *look* like a woman makes you really a woman screams male (sorry). Your version of woman is the one men see, not the one women live. Defining women by visual externals rather than body function is what men do.

If you have SRS, if you transition fully, I suppose that’s like taking the coffin and garlic really seriously, trying to live the life you’re aspiring to, perhaps going as far as you can with the inner transformational work. It’s easy to sympathise, as harsh as we sound.

We’re as hard as we are because we all know this is impossible; that what is actually happening is that the category reserved for women is being handed to males who want to look like us, and we are being told to shut up about it.

We’re being told that we may not speak about our own reality because we are not permitted to resist this extraordinary invasion of our being.

Donkeyskin on Mumsnet (I think):

There is no way to become us; we are a biological fact, not a club, and demanding that we pretend we don’t exist except as an identity is the worst misogyny I have ever seen. We are erased completely if we say yes to this. So we have nothing to lose by saying no.

So the other thread, which I will post here, is about what language we will tolerate.

Here’s the language thread: