At the moment, there is widespread confusion over what gender is, and what to make of Gender Envy (otherwise known as Gender Dysmorphia.) Part of the problem comes from trying to lump all minority groups together, and assuming that, because all non-conformists stand in opposition to an exclusive majority, all must have the same aim. Anyone who is different is supposed to live in Carnivalesque harmony, in a happy favela outside the city walls. (Although God only knows who’s left inside. Surely to be wholly conformist would be very unusual indeed.)
You would expect this reading of society to be rejected by gender equality activists, because it surrenders to the majority’s lazy dismissal of difference, seeing every transgression as identical in meaning and value: the only thing that is important is that they are all “weird”.
Not so: the internet has started a massive Scramble for Identity. There has been a frantic proliferation of defined minorities. Existing advocacy groups, founded on principles of inclusion and acceptance, have been swamped, attempting to support a vast range of new identities, even though some directly contradict others.
A good example of this is Stonewall, and the trouble it has representing the whole “LGBTQI+ Community.” The problem is that Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people (the “LGB” bit) are concerned with sexual preference, not changing gender. They are prohibited from loving who they want to, merely because they happen to be the same gender. They are often allied with feminists, who also experience discrimination simply because of the sexual group they were born into.
In contrast, Trans people (the “T”), are not in the business of advocating for, and celebrating, their birth gender, (or making the most of it.) In fact, they reject and disdain it, believing they can become the opposite gender by force of will and a little surgery. This causes friction with the LGB advocates and feminists who feel trans people have an insultingly simplistic view of what it is to be a woman or man, without having any real sense of what it involves to live that life or have those experiences. They are imposing themselves, and their half-baked assumptions on their target gender, thus fatally confusing the whole issue of gender advocacy, and turning pretty nasty if anyone points that out.
Meanwhile Intersex people (the “I”, I think), are a tiny minority caught in the middle of this civil war. They are either male or female by genotype, but their bodies present some sexual characteristics of both, so they appear to be of indeterminate sex. This is something they did not choose, which should make them closer to LGB people. However, they physically resemble Trans individuals and so may have experiences closer to theirs. Their cause seems to have been taken up and politicised almost by force by groups such as Stonewall.
And everyone seems to hate their own allies, believing them to be smug, virtue-signalling, mansplaining, white-privileged liberals. But then, all groups define themselves by their own micro-exclusions.
So, different interest groups are as likely to have conflicting aims as agreements, although they are likely to sympathise with each other’s ill treatment and marginalisation. It is impossible to advocate for all simultaneously. It is like trying to run a fundamentalist organisation that advocates for Christian, Muslim and Hindu fundamentalists at the same time, or an Ulster lobby that claims to speak for both Republicans and Unionists.
Attempts to lump all minority groups together and represent them all at once, will fatally dissipate a campaigning group’s focus and power, causing friction and schism, fostering suspicion and resentment within the organisation, squandering energy and time on self-defeating internal conflict, alienating ourselves from the majority of ordinary people, fatally undermining our causes, and, ultimately, destroying our organisations from the inside, while our true opponents, the fascists, the alt-right, the neo-cons, the evangelical Christian conservatives, look on from their hilltop forts and laugh.
In fact, these childish and nonsensical antics are so foolish and humiliating that you have to wonder if those promoting them are actually right-wing agent provocateurs trying (very effectively) to discredit the civil rights movements. Or are they just mischievous children? (or both?)
We are a multifarious species. We must admit that we are all one community made up of many, many multifaceted individuals who share each aspect of themselves with many others. We cannot be crammed into artificially divided and toxically bickering sub-communities.
Where there is discrimination, we should create single issue bodies to tackle it, so that people who share a grievance can campaign for redress on that issue alone, while remaining accepted and supported members of the wider community.