Human culture has taught us for as long as it has existed that reproduction is a right, rather than a privilege. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because nothing that depends upon the participation of more than one person can possibly be properly considered a right. While one certainly has the…
This is odd for me. I agree with the conclusion of the writing but not how it is arrived at. Here are my main objections:
It’s always interesting to see a classical Liberal position on this sort of thing. Not good, mind you, but interesting. I mean, if you think Property or the concept of Liberty is more of a right than your right to control and use your own body, I really don’t know what to say to you. Congrats on your Liberalism/libertarianism? Seriously, though, if Liberty does not include reproductive rights then what exactly is Liberty and why is it a foundational right? If you think that because it takes more than one person to reproduce then reproduction is not a right, your analysis is shallow at best. Rights don’t have to be able to be realised by an individual to exist (unless, I suppose, you’re a classical Liberal or libertarian, although where does that leave the right to assemble?). Furthermore, the idea that the existence of reproductive rights is why people think they have the right to demand other people’s sex/gender is just utterly bizarre to me.
Okay, I get it to an extent, the author has conflated reproductive rights with the power that privileged people have aggregated to themselves in their sexist, egotistical belief that they have the right to fuck (not necessarily reproduce with, mind you) everyone. But they are not the same. Me claiming I have reproductive rights, that I have the right to use my body to reproduce, is not the same thing as someone claiming they have the ‘right’ to reproduce with me without my consent, knowledge, etc. I suppose if we lived in a world without involuntary sterilisation, forced births (aka, anti-abortion laws and actions), and so on, I could understand such a conflation. But to look at the issue of reproductive rights as what the privileged think reproductive rights are is wrong. Rights are to protect the oppressed.
In any event, I don’t buy this story that privileged people thinking they have the right to mate with whoever they want (but only if they have the right bits!) is why people try to figure out other people’s sex/gender. Which brings me to my other objection:
The part about how identifying other people’s sex/gender as natural is nonsense. People are pretty terrible at doing that which is why children have to be taught (and, almost all trans people I know, including myself, have had the experience of children asking them if they are a boy or a girl). Also, I’m going to be honest, I’m not loving the sex-negative, heterosexism vibe to that section, either. People are bad at telling sex/gender which is why misgendering happens to cis people as well as trans, and humans are more complicated in uses of sex/gender than reproducing the species. Overall, this part reminds me of evopsych “just so” stories in that it ignores inconvenient facts that don’t agree with the idea being put forth as well as being entirely too pat. Sex/gender is a social construct and a complicated one as all social constructs are.
Overall, even as the piece says that we should afford people equal dignity and respect who they are, it also mistakenly gives cis people the excuse of being “born this way” when they deny that equal dignity and respect to trans people. Plus, there’s that whole reproductive rights thing that kicks the piece off and feels like it arrived from Planet Pro-Life. Appreciate the conclusion, but hate what’s said to get us there.