Addressing A Defense Of WDI’s Call To “Eliminate The Practice Of Transgenderism”

WDI have called to “eliminate the practice of transgenderism”, a “Gender Critical” person attempted to defend that. This is my response.

In November 2020 the “Gender Critical” (GC) activist group Women’s Declaration International (WDI), formerly known as the WHRC, wrote a submission to the UK government which, amongst other things such as claiming trans people are the result of “sissy hypno porn”, calls to “eliminate the practice of transgenderism.

The [UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women] calls for the ‘elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women’ (Article 5). We consider that the practice of transgenderism clearly falls under this article because it is based on stereotyped roles for men and women.

The full text can be found here [pdf].

WDI are a major GC group that has public endorsement from many influential GC players such as Richard Dawkins, Kathleen Stock, Maya Forstater, Graham Linehan, Debbie Hayton and others. It is however rare to find GC people who will publicly defend the content of WDI demands, most likely because they are so plainly extreme and it would ruin the “reasonable” public image that the GC movement has been careful to create. Though I did manage to find a GC person who was willing to make a good faith argument in defense of the WDI. Here is their argument in full and my response.

Transgenderism is an ideology. It differs from being transgender in a way analogous to that in which Islamism differs from Islam. When Turkish politicians say they wish to eliminate Islamism, they don’t mean they wish to eliminate Muslims. Obviously. What the WDI wish to eliminate is the ideological belief that “woman” is defined by the reactionary stereotypes and restrictive expectations which many of us have been fighting against for so long. They perceive (rightly or wrongly) this ideology embodied in the assertion that one can become a woman by adopting and exemplifying these stereotypes and expectations. Very obviously, this doesn’t require anybody to cease to exist. It simply means they disagree with the proposition that “woman” is defined in those terms.

A classic anti-LGBT strategy is to define existing as an LGBT person as being an ideology and then saying they want to ban that “ideology” rather than the people themselves. To do that they pose being LGBT as an action rather than a state of being, then they set out to ban those “actions”. Like WDI explicitly do here. As we can clearly see with WDI calling to ban healthcare as well as legal protections.

This isn’t even arguably about some abstract definition. This is about taking real rights away from people with the goal of stopping that type of person existing — “morally mandating them out of existence”. And they aren’t shy about saying that.

What would a WDI world look like? Well they tell us. No healthcare for trans people. No legal or social recognition of them as either men and women, or as trans people. No protections for who they are or to present as they wish. No ability to transition in any sense. Obviously the trans people who would have transitioned in a sane world would still exist as people, excluding those we lose to suicide, but forced to live as cis people. “Eliminating the practice of transgenderism” -> wiping trans people out.

Identical to making “homosexual acts” illegal. An attempt to eradicate gay people without directly killing them. Because like all anti-LGBT bigots they think being LGBT is a choice that can and should be prevented.

(Also the idea that being trans is just gender stereotypes whilst simultaneously whining about how these days trans people don’t even have to try to conform to stereotypes is another classic GC internal contradiction).

Note I have chosen not to link to the original argument as it is from someone who has a much smaller platform than me, reasoning for this decision can be found here. I chose this argument not because it was characteristic of GC people and their views, but because it’s the best defense of the WDI that I’ve seen, most GC people simply refuse to engage on it. This was an attempt to steelman the GC position. If you think you have a better defense of WDI then I want to hear it, if you don’t maybe ask your favourite GC thought leader what their defense is, don’t let them deflect and then send it to me.

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Katy Montgomerie

Katy is a feminist, LGBT rights advocate, atheist, metalhead, insect enthusiast and trans woman