An irony about the "gender critical" ~we need free inquiry~ stuff is that they rely HEAVILY on people being willing to treat some old and not really true feminist shibboleths as unquestionable to problematize trans people.
Particularly that all gender differences result from socialization, described like we’re behaviorists again: gender conforming behaviors are rewarded, reinforcing them; nonconforming behaviors punished, inhibiting them. A bunch of stimulus/response and ta da...gender differences!
The existence of trans people is hard to reconcile with this theory. That is... a problem for the theory, not trans people. It couldn't be a problem for trans people! That isn't how theories work.
The gender critics get a ton of mileage out of setting it up as though you have to accept this old school feminist, flat footed behaviorist picture or touch the third rail and say that đź’€GENDER DIFFERENCES ARE NATURALđź’€. Scary, effective conversational leverage, etc.
In real life it's a toy theory that is obviously inadequate. Gender is very complicated!! Maybe some stuff isn't entirely socialized, idk sex hormones are complicated and psychoactive and that discourse is full of misogynists so it is hard to tell what's happening.
But more importantly, we stopped being behaviorists because it doesn't work. It sucks. You can't account for what animals actually learn from their environments (supersaturated with stimuli!) just from external stuff. Learning is internally guided!
We're set up to categorize and learn from our environment in particular ways! You just come, for example, ready to pick out certain things in your environment as agents acting intentionally. It's nice.
A minimal modification to the old school feminist gender socialization story (that would also like... bring the psychological picture out of the 50s) is just... children don't just learn about gender from stimulus/response. For one thing, they're also watching co-gendered peers.
That means they have an internal representation of who their gendermates are! Some internal representations are just normal beliefs, but some, like how we recognize agents, are deeper, more basic in how we're oriented towards the world, and less rationally accessible than that.
There are so many ways that gender could work, the real way obviously has room for trans people (and also like... all the other features of real life gender), and the gender critics obscure this by making it seem like the only way to do it is to go for something anti-feminist
ok irony #2: the gender critics presenting themselves as being scientific in rejecting gender identity like "how could something not readily introspectively available and rationally explicable be a part of how we work???" idk buddy learn literally anything about human cognition
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