legitimacy vs legal recognition vs rights
April 10, 2014
the more i think about this submission to rubato the more irritated i get by the language and rhetoric used in it.
about the general conflation in white rhetoric of legitimacy with legel recognition. legal recognition is, unfortunately, necessary so long as we have to deal with oppressive settler states, the medical industrial complex, colonialism, and capitalism. getting documentation that matches your gender is critical in a society where state surveillance is the norm. where citizens much be tracked, watched, and managed. and, yes, necessary for surviving in such a state.
the problem (and this is where assimilation comes in) is that so many white ppl confuse gaining legal recognition as a stop-gap survival mechanism with legitimacy. seeking legitimacy from an oppressive state necessarily requires assimilation to the values of the state. it requires that you explicitely (and maybe just impliciely) submit yourself to state rule and control. by seeking legitimacy from the state, you legitimize the state. you reify this imaginary entity by granting it the authority to decide who is human and who is not. this is what legitimacy is all about. and you can only become human if you assimilate.
and invoking the language and rhetoric of ‘rights” is such a fucking liberal thing to do. and trades on, again, giving legitimacy and reality to oppressive states. because the thing about rights is that they are supposed to be inherent. acting as if any state has the ability to give or deny rights is to accept that these are not, in fact, rights. that they are privileges that require batering (see assimilation) with the state to gain. it also dilutes what rights actually are. is ita ‘right” for the state to either legally recognize your gender or to legitimize your gender ID? no. it is our ‘right”, however, to be free. and this includes the freedom to determine what my gender is without the need for some external legitimizing entity (this includes the medical industrial complex).
if you are asking (see the petition) the state to give you ‘rights,” you”ve already failed.</p>