This is our truth, tell us yours
this is a space where we invite people to tell us their truths, if however your truth is that trans women are not women, dont bother commenting.
This weekend the refrigerator of mindless comment has been well stocked with frozen peaches. Germaine Greer, who in my youth seemed to present an alternative to the feminists telling me deep throating was a physical impossibility, has jumped so many sharks her home country is thinking of offering her a life guard job. I dont wish to link to her comments, suffice to say they are dripping with the venom of someone who senses money in clickbait.
This weekend also produced this wonderful post by Carter in which he mused on how his sense of who, and what he was has been shaped by those he comes into contact with. He was very complimentary on my part in this, and of course I am all too aware of the impact he has had on me and my ideas.Its sometimes hard to remember the naive person who just wanted to experience submission, and who once, totally unironically, had the signature “labels are for beans not people.” As he has changed, so have I in a mutual symbiosis. I was particularly struck by the contrast with Greer and her ilk, their refusal to countenance that the next generation, or even their own contemporaries.
We live in a time of ever broadening ideas about gender and sexuality.The old strict binaries are under assault as people demand not to be forced into ready made boxes just to keep those of the previous generation happy.This should be a cause for celebration, particularly for feminism. The feminist struggle has been one which says simply because a woman may have a womb, she should not be defined by it. Simply because historically women have been seen as weak, or unintellectual, or natural nurturers, does not mean they should still be defined as such. Feminism began, and in its strongest moments has been the smashing of binaries, the demand we do not have to be whore or madonna, mother or career woman,
The refusal to rejoice in change, to actively fight against it, to demand that the world stop at a particular place keeps reminding me that unless we are willing to always learn then we run the risk of becoming dinosaurs like Dawkins and Greer. Dinosaurs can of course be scary, and cause a lot of damage. However they are obsolete, doomed for extinction in a world that has evolved past them.
As humans we have the most amazing gift however, we can choose whether to be a dinosaur or not. Greer at any moment could choose to see the wonderful new vistas opening around her as an opportunity. She could chose to learn from the next generation instead of mocking them. She could be a wise elder, sitting at the feet of the children, showing in her willingness to take that position her wisdom.
There is a buddhist story, that a king went to the Buddha to ask for a blessing. The Buddha replied, grandfather dies, father dies, son dies. The king was angered, until he was asked which order he would prefer? Ideas like people have their time, they live and they die. Hanging onto them against the order of things, growing angry because we believe the ideas of the son should die before the ideas of the grandfather shows us reacting like the king, or like Dawkins and Greer. We have wisdom when we realise our ideas should be superseded, and look to adapt and change.The death of an idea is not the end, it is the beginning, if we are not wishing to live in a world of zombies and dinosaurs.