Positionality in the Gender Debate

Clearly this is a subject the internet has opinions about. Since 25 October 2020, when I first engaged in this discussion, I have lost somewhere in the region of two thousand Twitter followers, been on the receiving end of a handful of stressful dog-piles, and have experienced a shunning (where online followers are either too nervous or too angry to like or retweet anything posted by the shunned) — all indications of the internet’s displeasure. Lots of people in every corner of this furious argument have suffered similar, and sometimes worse, experiences.

The Great Conspiracy

The proposition is that the Scottish National Party — the party in government in Scotland, headed by Nicola Sturgeon — has been captured by an ‘entryist cabal’ which aims to push through policies which advance the objectives of a gender or trans ideology, and that the Scottish government is doing this in full knowledge that such legislation will be detrimental to the health and wellbeing — and to the lives — of women and girls. We see, especially on social media, a preponderance of this particular vocabulary (which we discussed in the last article).

Do Unto Others

But there are other ways to communicate. As a Christian of the Catholic tradition, I have serious reservations about the more radical aspects of Gender Theory. I do not, for example, believe that sex and gender are fluid, and — if we must define the human person in narrow and reductionist biological terms (we are more than the sum of our bits) — I struggle with the claim that ‘trans women are real women.’ But trans women and men are real people.