[Another blog from TGV_Advocacy.]
There is not a different process for gendering of intersex persons from transsex persons. Even if one rejects O’Keefe’s point about the intersex nature of transsex persons, there is not so much space/resources in people that there can be subject-specific processes for intersex persons, transsex persons, gay and lesbian persons, cissexual persons, cissexual, cisgender persons. Besides, Occam’s Razor would militate against such.
The point about intersex persons is their existence is an overt challenge not only to the gendering process, but to the way we all are sexed–which is the more fundamental status: gender privilege is erected upon sex status and privilege.
The point about transsex persons is their existence is a covert challenge, not only to the gendering process, but to the way we are sexed–the consequences to the gendering process are on display all the time in the controversies around [trans]gender ideology.
In social work we are taught about praxis, which is itself derived from the work of Paulo Freire; it is really a simple concept:
Abstraction is itself not evil, it is just reflection; it becomes evil when it is divorced from action.
When it becomes estranged from action and experience.
The question in the lives of gay and lesbian people has made the fundamental contribution to understanding, even creating, the notion called heterosexual privilege.
The question in the lives of feminists has made the fundamental contribution to understanding, even creating, the notion called sexism, based upon gendering.
The question in the lives of intersex persons has made the fundamental contribution to understanding the overt nature of sex, what it is, how it is conceptualized and reified.
The question in the lives of transgender(ed) persons has made, along with gay and lesbian people and feminists, the fundamental contribution to understanding, even creating, the notion of gendering. This question illuminates cisgender privilege.
The question in the lives of transsex persons has made, along with intersex persons, the fundamental contribution to understanding the nature of sex–rather like bisexual persons, transsex persons appear to be one thing when they are another (before and early in the process of transition). What is illuminated by this question is cissexual privilege.
What is common to all these apparently disparate processes is that questioning of what is apparently fixed, determined by “science” and the way people are, moves what is apparent understanding beyond what the “normal” “majority” experience and understand.
When we are embedded within something, like heterosexuality, misogyny, cisgenderism, cissexuality, we cannot see or understand it. We must move outside–be forced outside; this allows us to raise the question, to abstract.
To understand we must abstract, rather like unravelling a rope to see what threads make it up, but then, as part of our praxis–which is, of course, a dialectic–we must ravel the threads back together.
The evil comes when understanding is stopped at any of these stations: people, as part of the human condition, find it quite natural not to understand life questions that are not their own.
This is why we are a perceived threat to the “moral majority” crowd, and even to others who are part of what some have called TBLG. The “moral majority” is, of course, neither “moral” nor a “majority” because we, all of us, throw the light of truth not only on our own lives, but everyone’s life and each other’s.
I can only say that advocacy evolves out of analysis and theory, which must themselves be grounded in lived experience and return to lived experience:
action=>reflection=>action=>reflection . . . . .
This is the dialectic of praxis; praxis is the only challenge to oppression.