Trump Administration Tightens Definitions Relating to Sex and Gender (On Identity)
Media reacts predictably as the Trump administration further divides the country
Or: they defined ‘sex’ as whatever appears on one’s birth certificate. Today, from the New York Times: “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration.”
For my own safety: any outrage over this situation, or anything having to do with the transgender thing, is justified and legitimate; I am not trying to decry personal experience and emotion as mere ghosts (why do I feel I have to start with this?), nor am I trying to say that anything is as simple as either ‘fact’ or ‘emotion’ (in fact: a misunderstanding of the dichotomy between the two is what I find to be the culprit behind most dissidence). All I am trying to get at is how those two things work (fact and emotion, as basic concepts in the mind), how they interact, where they fit into the ‘bigger’ dichotomy between society and individuals, and whether moral outrage is the only thing which may lead to in-action prosperity (in-action: where ‘morals’ is just another part of the pie (a fairly big one, but not overwhelmingly). I understand the emotions going on here, and for the most part the facts (I think (for both of those there)), but all I am doing here is talking out of my (educated-ish) ass (primarily Kant in this one, but there’s some Nietzsche, and a bit of my own spin). I’m very confused as to why I need to feel so afraid to say anything on this topic, given that the people to whom I can only assume are the only people who need to hear me say this are the ones who claim ‘open-mindedness’ and a general need for ‘introspection’, but nobody’s perfect.
Clearly, and rightfully so (reference: a long history of discrimination (‘discrimination’: inherently void of emotional justification, as it’s been sacrificed for power’s sake), there is a fear out there. It’s a fear that’s been brewing for decades–likely longer–and it has to do with identity (the means of categorizing the complex parts of man by man), specifically: whether identity is inherent in man’s existence (as an Absolute), or if she can stamp it out. Obviously, politics and potential tyrants are in question here too, but the question of identity is one more mired with the intellectual human experience than the simple version of it supposed by pre-American politics or any current primal residue of hierarchical power (rather than intellectual power (primarily time-based, rather than solely action-based (space vs. time)–which is hierarchical (whereas intellectual power is prefaced by the inevitability of change))), ever could be. Because man can now recognize herself as ‘alive’, the question becomes ‘why'?’. Why should she have to?
The answer has to do with personal experience (for more history on the differences and similarities between Nietzsche and Kant, check this out).
As quantified as we can get (difference between intellectual and primal ‘existence’ (perspective)), there are no two ‘human experiences’ or ‘lives’ which could ever possibly be exactly the same, throughout the entirety of human existence, and this is even true within the parameters of a potentially ‘infinite’ universe such as the multiverse, but that’s for a different time (get it? ‘time’ xDD). This is because, in whichever reality humans ‘exist’ right now: time moves. No two times are ever the same, yet humans exist in-time (in a constant flux of understanding between the ‘moment’ and past/present/future), so even if two people did have the ‘exact same life’, they could never occupy the same spaces at the same times, and as such could never have the ‘same exact experience’. This makes experience complicated, much more complicated than the simple power politics utilized by the primal animal to advance herself into intellectual thinking could ever possibly understand–as that would render it no longer ‘primal’ in the first place–and as such humans need a way to actualize it, and to understand that actualization, as well as the new avenue towards understanding in reality that that actualization opens up. We need a way to quantify such a HUGE new potential for understanding, and where stand in it.
This is what we call identity.
‘Identity’ is a necessary part of Kant’s Understanding-Mind (‘the understanding’), used to realize where one stands in reality, in relation to the rest of reality (“The mind could never think its own identity in the manifoldness of its representations, and indeed think this identity a priori,” (a priori: before any experience), “if it did not have before its eyes the identity of its act, by which it subjects all synthesis of apprehension (which is empirical) to a transcendental unity, and thus renders possible their connection according to a priori rules.”–Critique of Pure Reason, Penguin Classics, pp. 140). It enables us to understand that while we may look and act in ways extremely similar to all other humans (on average) (or even all living things, to get real Kantian about it) 9and this is really where perspective comes into play, or: ‘where we stand’ in relation tot he world and reality), we are still Absolutely different, because, as far the time-moving part of the Intellect is concerned, experience trumps existence, because otherwise ‘existence’ could not be defined. It is a faculty of the understanding necessary so as to not be overwhelmed by the infinite vastness of time and space, and is so directly responsible (though far from fully) for the ability of humans to act in them (time and space).
However, and almost because of this fact, (the fact that identity is personalized understanding–and therefore Absolutely subjective in/for experience–and only has anything to do with generalities (or ‘society’) if used strictly as ‘fact’ (statistic)), identity, in itself, has no place in ‘intellectual power politics’ (again: different than ‘primal power politics’ for its relative lack of existential hierarchy). While this is not to say that that identity, or the emotion begot from ‘identity politics’ (juxtaposition of the complexities from which the intellect necessitates identity with the role that plays in intellectual power politics), has no place in politics all, of any variety (it obviously does inevitably (people are emotional, dude, however shitty you may find that to be; get over it)), its place is reactionary, given the question. Identity is who I am in relation to the world, as far as I can tell right now, not at ‘any time’, nor as something that is subconscious; identity is not what the world is in relation to me /> that’s philosophy (or: philosophic action??).
This whole ‘trans’ ‘issue’ here is only an ‘issue’ (outside of the shmucks who are going legislate discrimination–but, again, as MLK Jr. said (and very tangibly proved, by the way): you don’t beat those people by yelling and screaming, you beat them by arguing, and by understanding, no matter how objectively difficult and amoral that may be)) if we’re attempting to define any in-action process as something which could only be understood by groups of people rather than the individuals themselves (or: if the Intellect is a product of tangible action/reaction, rather than a product thought). Identity is personal before it is political, or collective, conceptually speaking. Not to say that it’s not collective at all, but it understands itself in relation to the individual before it possibly can the collective />otherwise: how could such a ‘collective’ even be defined?. Most individual people aren’t going to give a shit how you ‘identify’ /> whatever you want to be called, most people will call you that, and if they won’t /> FUCK THEM! Who gives a shit that some closed-minded asshole thinks her identity is more ‘important’ than yours? You don’t have the right to make that call, and neither does she. All you can do is do your best to recognize all people as human; it’s not your fault when someone else refuses that fact, just as it’s not theirs if you do. Loving disappointment has always proved more affective than forced lobotomy (in the intellect??), and lack of understanding the potential for specifics has always been its downfall.
The ‘real’ ‘issue’ comes up when you start trying to legislate how people should feel, because when thinking becomes too complex, feeling is far easier to control…
And when thinking is getting too complex: you’re talking science (or at least getting into its territory).
Just because some fuckmunch refused to treat you with respect doesn’t mean that the scientist has to bring the concept of ‘psychological respect’ into her lab, does it (unless she’s a psychologist, and has some epistemological reason to?? #TrueIdentityPolitics #AdamSmith #IdentityEconomics)? The scientist has to know what she’s dealing with, she needs it defined, at least in whatever context she’s looking at, otherwise how could she know what she’s even looking at? How can the concept of ‘respect’, in the above example, even come up at all?
And that’s all the Trump administration is doing here (yeah, aside from being dicks about it, but still). I heard an argument from Ben Shapiro on his podcast yesterday saying that without a basic definition of the sex (which can be different than ‘gender’, by the way; we only need to appropriate a context, and accept the differentiation between the two concepts), there’s no way to define ‘discrimination’. In other words: if there’s no difference between men and women, then there’s no way to discern discrimination against either (so: arguing the nonexistence of ‘women’ is arguing the inherent equality between ‘men’ and ‘women’ throughout all of time (not to say that I totally agree or not /> just something to think about)).
Is it possible that Trump is only doing this to piss people off? Or that he really does want to wipe the concept ‘transgender’ off the place of the planet? Sure, but he’d have to fight off a hell of an argument regarding whether personal identity or emotion has anything to do with the question of what it means to be human in order to do that, and I’m not sure that many of his supporters think that it doesn’t anyway (it’s a difference in rhetoric, or a misunderstanding of the economics/psychology dichotomy in relation to human experience and existence (Nietzsche)).
Or at least that’s my personal experience ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.