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Recognizing Gender Critical Feminism as Anti-Trans Activism (guest post)

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“Our main point is that readers need to understand that the central problem is not how to uplift the message of ‘gender-critical’ voices, but how to understand them as activists, and how to manage content that is disrespectful, fear-mongering, and misleading, while avoiding harm to the scholarly community.” The following is a guest post* by three philosophers who wish to remain anonymous (though their identity is known to me). Recognizing Gender Critical Feminism as Anti-Trans Activism by three anonymous philosophers A recent letter published at Inside Higher Education argues that we should not censure writings by so-called “gender-critical” philosophers. We agree with the authors of the letter that philosophy should be “a discipline in which sensitive and controversial issues are investigated with patience, care and insight.” But “gender-critical” writings, which the letter defends, do not advance us toward this ideal. The current crop of trans-exclusionary “gender-critical” philosophers is first and foremost an activist movement. Their writings and behavior are best understood as aimed at achieving their activist ends, such as preventing trans women from using facilities designated for women, or making it more difficult for trans women to be legally recognized as women. Like other activists, they will denigrate or vilify their opponents, make use of dogwhistles, appeal to people’s baser emotions to increase support for their cause, and ignore inconvenient facts. Far from being worthwhile contributions to a scholarly discussion, their writings rehash discredited claims from the 1980s (if not earlier), express demeaning and offensive ideas about trans people, and inhibit truly careful, critical, and thoughtful scholarly debate. We don’t want to advance a view about the correct way to respond to these writings. We understand the worry that suppressing them could do more harm than good. Our main point is that readers need to understand. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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