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On Adichie's "Trans women are trans women" by @mxbees

(this is for my personal archiving purposes)

  1. bc everyone is talking about it i got curious enough to listen to the clip of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 2017-03-11 00:09:17
  2. like… its interesting to hear as a logician and a scholar of chinese logic. ‘trans women are trans women’.. 2017-03-11 00:10:52
  3. and while she never outright says it, the implication is pretty clear that she does mean to assert ‘trans women are not women’. 2017-03-11 00:12:53
  4. so we have two assertions: ‘trans women are trans women’ and ‘trans women are not women’. is this contradictory?. 2017-03-11 00:14:27
  5. one thing that should be clear: this is not the same biological essentialist/radfem trash that we usually see.. 2017-03-11 00:15:14
  6. anyway. this relates to chinese logic bc of gongsong longzi and his most famous assertion: a white horse is not a horse.. 2017-03-11 00:16:27
  7. i hope you can see the structural similarities to ‘a trans woman is not a woman’. these are logically equivalent claims. 2017-03-11 00:17:03
  8. the truly fascinating thing about ‘a white horse is not a horse’ is that in over two thousand years, no one has managed to make sense of it. 2017-03-11 00:17:35
  9. its an incoherent claim. now. this is my personal interpretation and one i didn’t get a chance to write a paper on while i was in the field.. 2017-03-11 00:18:24
  10. i read most of the research on this one essay (covering two thousand years and in three different languages).. 2017-03-11 00:18:59
  11. many, many very intelligent people have tried their hardest to apply some kind of framework in which this claim becomes coherent.. 2017-03-11 00:19:51
  12. all have, in my opinion, have failed. why? bc the claim violates one of the few ‘laws’ of logic that i think might actually be universal. 2017-03-11 00:20:55
  13. the law of identity. as in: if a, then a. a = a. so my thesis regarding gongsong longzi’s claim that ‘a white horse is not a horse’. 2017-03-11 00:22:17
  14. is that: there is no possible interpretation under which that statement is true (and/or coherent). it is always false.. 2017-03-11 00:22:47
  15. now. the real question, imo, is whether or not Adichie would say the same thing given any other adjective applied to ‘woman’.. 2017-03-11 00:26:22
  16. is an asian woman a woman? from a logical perspective, her answer shouldn’t be any different from what she said re: trans.. 2017-03-11 00:27:09
  17. of course, she was speaking as a feminist, not a logician. so i’m guessing her answer wouldn’t be the same.. 2017-03-11 00:27:29
  18. the main problem, as i see it, is that she is working with a false premise. and one i’m not sure why she’s using it.. 2017-03-11 00:33:52
  19. false premise: trans women are trying to speak to (appeal to) some kind of universal/shared experience of womanhood.. 2017-03-11 00:34:35
  20. of course, Adichie’s own argument ends up becoming circular because she likewise ends up appealing…. 2017-03-11 00:35:35
  21. …to a universal, shared womanhood in order to establish that trans women, having experienced male privilege don’t have access to it.. 2017-03-11 00:36:14
  22. the reason i find the deployment of this false premise peculiar is that i’m pretty sure Adichie already knows its false.. 2017-03-11 00:40:37
  23. or perhaps she doesn’t. but i’d be interested to know why she honestly believes trans women believe in a universal, shared womenhood.. 2017-03-11 00:41:36
  24. bc, let me tell you, if anyone knows that there is no such thing, its us. we know. ok. trust me.. 2017-03-11 00:42:08
  25. ok. i don’t think i have anything else to say. but bc i’ve never been one to mince words.. 2017-03-11 00:47:18
  26. and also, i think one of the big problems with the clip is just how evasive and… unclear the answer is.. 2017-03-11 00:48:16
  27. the question she was asked was ‘are trans women, women?’ and she answered ‘trans women are trans women’. 2017-03-11 00:50:03
  28. in the end, you should really ignore the rest of the clip. all it does muddy the water. that question is a yes or no question.. 2017-03-11 00:51:06
  29. look at her answer. is that answer a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’? to me, its a no. sure, its a qualified no. but its still a no.. 2017-03-11 00:53:15
  30. and a ‘no’ to that question is transmisogynist. end of story.. 2017-03-11 00:56:45
  31. but that’s all it means. it does not mean she’s a morally repugnant human who needs to be immediately disposed of.. 2017-03-11 00:57:17
  32. it also doesn’t mean her contributions to feminism and whatever else have all been rendered invalid.. 2017-03-11 00:58:18
  33. fin. 2017-03-11 00:58:23