Trans women are women, full stop, we’re told. “Trans women” needs to have a space in it, we’re told. Why? Because a “trans woman” is just a woman, like any other woman, and “trans” is but a largely irrelevant modifier.
Never mind the fact that “trans” means “transition” which is what this person does from the sex/gender that they allegedly aren’t, to the sex/gender that they allegedly are. And that if in fact a “trans woman” were a woman like everyone else, then it would not be necessary to socially construct, through language and clothes, this alleged woman, and to repeatedly ask others to participate in the construction.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
The reason why our language is so policed on this issue (“Don’t misgender! Don’t leave the space out of the word! Don’t use the word as a noun! Stop saying ‘breastfeeding’! Start saying ‘cis’! Repeat the official mantras!”) is because this social construction is a fragile house of cards that requires everyone’s cooperation to exist. This much is openly admitted, even as it’s denied: if a man says he’s a man this week, and a woman next, and a man again next, then we must agree, because there isn’t an underlying reality on the matter that exists apart from a lot of talking and vehement head nodding.
No other identification works this way. I don’t need signs and signals and language and social contracts to recognize cats or dolphins or oranges.
It’s all very much like Pascal’s wager. Nobody takes Pascal’s wager seriously because it contains a big, giant, glaring flaw: you can ask me to believe, but you can’t make me believe. If I’m not a believer then your wager doesn’t work, as it can result only in one of two unsatisfactory outcomes: either I still don’t believe and say so, or I still don’t believe but I say that I do because I’m afraid of this “hell” you speak of.
As with “trans women are women.” Congratulations, transgender activists, you’ve divided the sane world into two camps: those who still don’t believe you’re a woman and say so (sometimes persisting even after you call them the dirty word you made up for them), and those who still don’t believe but say they do because they’re afraid of being publicly shouted down by aggressive males (or perhaps because you’ve convinced them that it’s the way to be nice).
How important is it to extract pretend belief?
It’s very important when your identity requires the cooperation of others to exist, I guess.
Religious zealots and transgender zealots even have the same threat for nonbelievers: die in a fire.