Addressing genderist moaning about identity…

A Freudian Nightmare addressed some objections peddled by Judith Butler, who defends gender on the basis of identity, and shows how these objections are rooted on an equivocation between the present and the future.

It isn’t true that if gender were eradicated, so too would an “important domain of pleasure for many people,” since that eradication is in the future, and only present people– i.e. people who grew up with gender– can have an already-existing and “important” investment in gender. Because gender is socially constructed and only gains meaning in people’s lives by being a central fact of their socialization, future people who, if gender were eradicated, would not grow up under a system of gender can not be said to have an investment in gender. It may be possible to coherently say that gender is “an important domain of pleasure” for future people but only if one believes that gender is an important domain of pleasure for all people, merely because they are people. But because other domains of pleasure can (and always will be) invented and opened to people, it is hard to understand what justification there is for preserving gender specifically. Especially as we, as feminists, understand that it has so many drawbacks, among those the “dysphoria” of trans people, the body-hating of femininity, and the woman-hating of masculinity.

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