I have been bothered for a while about what I am calling Brain Sex Theory. This theory is very prevalent among trans activists and can be summarized as:
- The Gender Binary is real and biologically based
- Everyone has a Male or Female physical sex
- Everyone has a Male or Female biological, neurological sex (ie Brain Sex)
- Confusingly, Gender Identity is used as a synonym for Biological Brain Sex (ie Gender Identity is biological)
- Brain Sex develops in the womb
- All people fall into one of four categories: M-in-F (Male brain in Female body), M-in-M, F-in-F or F-in-M
- F-in-M and M-in-F are called transexuals. M-in-M and F-in-F are called cisexuals.
- There is a clear biological distinction between Cisexual/Transexual. (ie. cisexual is not a ambiguous concept but something in your dna, and anyone who is not transexual (gender non conformists) are cisexual)
- The term cis privilege is used to silence all critiques of brain sex activism. (This leads to the paradox that only brain sex activists are allowed to have an opinion about brain sex activism)
- Transexuality is a biological syndrome which can be treated with hormones and surgery
- “True” transexuals have their condition treated.
- Gender nonconformists are trendy, attention seeking cissexuals. (see attacks on subversivism)
This series of beliefs is very widely held. Among trans activists and allies, brain sex is presented as the only enlightened viewpoint. Brain Sex Activists identify trans people as sufferers of a biological condition. Unfortunately, this sets up brain sex activists on a collision course with feminists, genderqueers, gender non-conformists, social constructionists and gender activists who believe that gender is social.
In short, Brain Sex has become an identity rather than a theory. An attack on the theory becomes a personal attack on trans people which is labeled as hate, transphobia, transmisogyny (if the opponent was raised female) or cis privilege. Doubting the theory, makes you into the moral equivalent of a neo-nazi for whom the only ethical relation is outrage or a vicious counter attack. Dialog is not possible. It is the identity politics equivalent of zionism, which labels discussion of Israeli government policies as antisemitism, Isreal Critique = Jew Hater = Hitler.
Understanding the brain-sex concept is essential to understanding transgender politics today. Transgender activists are breaking through in mainstream media, universities, and queer organizations. Unfortunately this has been accompanied by a broad push to make brain-sex the only acceptable narrative within the “so-called” umbrella of transgender, just as it already is in mainstream media. Brain sex activists use the codeword “subversivism” for gender outlaws like myself, and the attacks on subversivism are becoming increasingly visible.
In future posts I will start documenting this anti-genderfluid activism, so you can decide for yourself. My parting words, Genderqueers need to start making themselves visible, and calling out Brain Sex Activists when they delegitimize us. Butches and FTM’s were cast out of lesbian feminist identity in the seventies. We need to make sure that gender-nonconformists do not become defined out of transgender identity and the social resources that have become available to Transgender activists.
If this piece makes you think, please join the discussion. If you leave a polite and civil comment I promise to reply.