This is part of a series on this book. This is the second edition. The original title was The Apartheid Of Sex.
In this edition Rothblatt elaborates on his original thesis and introduces us to the real project. A new type of human. Human Avatars.
I am allowing myself a wry chuckle at Rothblatt’s attempt to claim there are more than two sexes and also that “transgenderism” is a grassroots movement and labelling male and female is akin to South African apartheid. He also claims this emerged from feminist thinking which is a familiar distortion and, sadly, has convinced many a woman who claims the feminist label.
Rothblatt uses the fact that men and women don’t tend to adhere to sex stereotypes as an argument that male and female is a continuum. It is certainly true that many, I would even say most, people do not perform a pure Barbie or a G.I. Joe; I would argue that uber conformist “feminine” women or “masculine” men are a minority. If we were to draw up a list of characteristics, traditionally associated with either sex, I challenge you to find one person of your acquaintance who doesn’t deviate. This could be my body building, HGV driving, brother who is afraid of spiders and enjoys bird watching (feathered variety) and does a mean Beyoncé impression. Or his dynamo of an ex wife, a diminutive blonde, who dealt with the said spiders and is super ambitious, a leader and a force to be reckoned with. Rothblatt recognises all of this but, for him, it adds up to “Men can become women”; all entirely unconnected to his own identification as a “transgender woman” I am sure. 🤔
Sex assigned at birth.
The first step in embedding this ideology is to claim the identification of sex is problematic. Sadly the NHS and the British Medical Journal have both adopted this terminology. In fact there are a tiny number of babies, with an indeterminate sex at birth. A simple Karyotype test will confirm the biological sex and which disorder of sexual development (DSD) he, or she, suffers from. Each of these DSDs affect either males or females, conforming that we are, in fact sexually dimorphic.
Martina’s biology lets him down here because the vagina is not visible: he means the vulva. He is right that the life a baby will have be shaped from the moment they are dressed in pink or blue. The baby will be treated differently in conscious and unconscious ways. Girl babies are left to cry for longer, for example, boys rewarded for “cheeky” behaviour and girls admonished etc, etc.
From this Rothblatt leaps to the idea that sex is not immutable but is a “lifestyle choice”. Notice all these conclusions validate his choice to “live as a woman” whatever that means. Methinks the wish is father to the thought.
Professor Ann Fausto-Sterling.
It’s worth spending a bit of time on Fausto-Sterling and her views. The 4% is an exaggeration that includes all disorders of sexual development, many of which create no confusion about the sufferer’s biological sex and are only apparent when , for example, menstruation fails to start.
Here is another contribution from the Professor, in which she claims there are five sexes. Later she claimed she was being “ironic”.
I include this exchange because it amuses me. Colin is right but I have to admire her magisterial put down. 😂 (I know that makes me a bit contrary).
Rothblatt also presses Lewontin into service. I have made some enquiries about his work to try to determine if Rothblatt simply inserted (sex) and Lewontin was talking about race; for which he is well known. Lewontin has now passed on so we have to rely on his existing body of work.
This is a quote from Lewontin, he argued against classifying humans by biology in terms of race. From what I can ascertain he also railed against the exclusion of women from specific professions but I would doubt that he also thought men should be able to undress beside his wife. (He had a long marriage and they died within days of each other).
I am not entirely sure where Rothblatt lands, ultimately, in relation to brain sex. He seems to argue that there are no biological differences, between men and women in respect of our gray matter, but then he also talks of the “transgendered brain”; the idea that a female brain has landed in a male body. I am going to assume that the Lawyer in him throws a number of arguments at the issue, in the hope that one will stick.
Rothblatt spends a bit of time on this and brings our old friend Fausto-Sterling into play. All that needs saying is that nobody separates spaces by “brain sex”. Spaces are separated on the basis of which sexed body houses the brain.
New Feminist Thinking
Let us see which feminists he has pressed into service. Sylvia Law is based in New York and employed at a University so I am going to assume she is on the same page as Rothblatt. Ruth Bader Ginsberg argued for fair treatment for the sexes using a man as her first case, reasoning that the all male panel adjudicating may be stirred to sympathy for one of their brothers; I think she knew biological sex was real. Simone De Beauvoir gets trotted out all the time by the hard of thinking.
Simone De Beauvoir
What De Beauvoir was arguing was that what we assume to be the nature of women is actually largely due to. female socialisation. You can watch her talk about her position in this interview:
Here are a few clips:
Knows which sex gestates and bears children. Argues this is not the cause of female oppression it’s the pretext.
Finally Simone thinks women need spaces away from men to discuss issues that affect us.
Margaret Mead is an anthropologist most famous for her book Coming of Age in Samoa. She also wrote a book called Male and Female. In that book she examines the different ways women and men are expected to behave in different cultures. In some women are regarded as too weak in another women are the beast of burden and believed to have more capacity to carry loads on their heads. Sometimes the male children are seen as the vulnerable ones, in others it is the female children. Like De Beauvoir she sees the way being male or female, in terms of expected behaviours, as societally constructed. She does not, however, disregard the existence of two sexes.
You can read the entire book via open library.org. She does have a lot to say about the way different societies accommodate more “feminine” men who are sometimes accommodated, as homosexuals, via various manifestations of transvestism. She does bear in mind that however the expectations of the sexes vary between societies there is a core truth that appears in all societies.
John Money was a sexologist whose posthumous reputation is now besmirched by his role in the Rheimer twins. One of the twins had his penis burnt off during a botched circumcision. His parents came to Money for help and they were advised to raise one of the twins as a girl. Later it emerged that the twins had been sexually abused, by Money, when they were taken to see him. In the end the twin, raised as a girl, discovered his secret which explained his inability to fit in as a “girl”. He reverted to acknowledge his birth sex. Both twins committed suicide. Rothblatt mentions none of this.
Money is brought in to claim that differences between men and women are few and that the day is coming for a male pregnancy since fertilisation has occurred in women without wombs. Even uterus implants in females have a low success rate in terms of live births.
Rothblatt argues that technology has made the differences between males and females irrelevant because machinery can allow anyone to do the “heavy” work and formula can substitute for breast milk. Martine seems to have a bad case of womb envy.
I will leave this chapter there and return with Transgenderism, The Apartheid of Sex and Persona Creatus.
This should give you an idea of Rothblatt’s scattergun style of argument. He is a master of appropriation, cherry picking arguments, leaving out inconvenient facts. He is compulsively driven to mould the world to validate his desire to be the opposite sex while, at the same time, obliterating the reality of the sex to which he claims membership.
If you want to see male entitlement, ruthless quest for dominance and a desperation to achieve mastery there is no better case study.
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Researching the impact of Gender Identity Ideology on women’s rights, child safeguarding, freedom of speech and the truth. Speaking up in the hope that people wake up to the harm we are doing to our gay, autistic and other vulnerable groups.