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'Cancel Culture' Cannot Erase a Strong Argument

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/16/cancel-culture-cannot-erase-strong-argument


Thank you, Robert Jensen, for providing as always, clear thinking backed by decades of radical feminist critique and action. Also compassion and humanity. You have been, and remain, one of my heroes.


RJ is always on the mark. There is no rational critique of his position; hence the name-calling.

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Yet when it comes to reproduction, some people argue that “biological sex is a social construction,” which makes no more sense than claiming respiration is a social construction.

I get a sense of why folk may have taken offense with your behavior. It is one thing to present your opinion, Robert, it is quite another to take your denigrating and patronizing tone.

Your analogy is inaccurate. Human beings must breath or they will die. That is far different from the manifestation of sexual organs. Human beings now have the ability to change their sexual organs, so, at this point, sexual representation is now a choice.

I believe the author was trying to make his point using sexual reproduction not representation. No gender reassignment is available that lets you swap roles for producing eggs or sperm.

Nevertheless, I find the argument presented in this article not very interesting because the point of the discussion about cancel culture (to me) is that you should be able to make good or stupid arguments about whatever you want and if you have something else to say about a different topic (e.g. the author says he has something to say about ecology), then how much in demand you should be for that should be a function of how good your argument is on that topic (as perceived by the audience you are speaking to anyway) and nothing to do with what you say on other topics. (Of course there are limits - anyone advocating for violence when discussing a side topic isn’t going to be well received by progressives on a different topic).

I already said my piece on this topic at ~https://commons.commondreams.org/t/the-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate-should-be-seen-as-a-stance-against-trumpian-authoritarianism/80154/2. I preferred Isaac’s piece to this one, but I think Zaid Jilani (who signed the letter) covers the topic better than both of them.

Why this topic is a big deal to anyone who doesn’t self identify as trans is kinda a mystery to me. But then, so is the furor over homosexuality 🤷

Human beings now have the ability to change their sexual organs

Changing sexual organs is accomplished by plastic surgery. Only a person with two X chromosomes is a woman. Is that easier to understand, if not accept?

Point of information: Though rare, there are people born with chromosomal mixes other than XX and XY.

Robert Jensen’s offensive denigration of transgender people is inappropriate.

Your comment is at the heart of the debate. I find the perspective that you and the author of this article, articulate, similar to arguments of those, on the right, who deny transgender people the right to self-identify. I don’t promote, silencing of debate with those who have different perspectives, however, I do not support dehumanization of others.