I’ve never been quite sure what an Ide is, but I am told that today is the Ides of March – or at any rate one of them: other Roman days include the Nones and Calends, and I don’t know when these are. But! today’s post is about ideas, not Ides; the word just comes in handy for a silly pun. And I’m afraid it’s yet more trans stuff because the Ideas just keep coming. (See what I did there?) Because I seem to be coming round a little bit to the TERF position (if you don’t know what that is, see this post:
As I understand it, the position of TERFs is that transgender women are not real women and that their existence ‘invades female space’. Now I wouldn’t go that far – and especially I wouldn’t be as rude as Germaine Greer – but I know what Jenni Murray means when she talks about men retaining their privileges when they transition, in that they attained positions of power as a man which they then keep, or that like Lauren Jeska the athlete recently in the news, they win races with the physical strength they were born with as a man.
The trans position is generally that the trans person was ‘always’ a woman (or man, but I am focussing on female-to-male here). As my previous posts have shown, I am struggling to make sense of this: I don’t believe you can simply throw out biology as a determiner of either sex or gender. (I’ve gone into this quite recently – just scroll down a couple of posts.) It seems clear that those ‘born’ male often retain characteristics thought of as male, such as muscle bulk and a prominent jaw: in particular when they have a certain degree of physical strength, it seems unfair that they are then able to take advantage of this by competing in sports as a woman.
Why is there such an explosion in transgender stories at the moment? Is it simply an issue of the day? Have there always been the same number of cases? Is it because surgery and therapy are easier to access? Is it because society is more tolerant than before?
I remember the odd transgender story from my youth, notably Jan (formerly James) Morris – but nothing like we’ve seen in recent years. Why is that? It’s tempting to wonder whether some of it is due to the rise in women’s rights. If you can live as a woman without losing caste, why not?