S3, Episode 6: For Women Only (Apr. 27th, 2019)

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It is currently very difficult to get your gender legally changed in the U.K, That might change. In recent months, philosophers have been drafted into making complicated and contentious arguments about what it is to be a man, woman, or any other gender in the service of advancing or blocking the movement for trans-rights and recognition. In particular, it has exposed a conflict between trans-rights advocates and a certain wing of feminism, a conflict that in fact has its roots in America in the 70s. On this episode, we look at the historical origins of this conflict by looking at a single event involving two women in the 70s, one of whom founded the gender-abolitionist wing of feminism, and the other founded transgender studies. That event, and those ideas, help us to understand the stakes and contentiousness today. This is part 1 of 2 on the metaphysics of gender, and in particular, the question of what is a woman?

Guest voices include Sandy Stone and Janice Raymond.

 

Readings

Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire (1979, 1994)

Sandy Stone’s The Empire Strikes Back (1987)

Open Letter to Olivia, 1977