There are as many gender identities as there are human beings…

This is the conclusion that Rebecca Reilly-Cooper comes to in trying to plumb the depths of the “gender identity” conversation. You can hear her argument in the youtube.

You can hear her in vehement disagreement with the Everyday feminism community on this. Today on that website I caught the 10 ways to avoid bi-erasure. The “bi”s have of course found themselves caught in the middle between many groups. Some gays and lesbians claim that “bi-s are gay in denial”. Megan Fox and others say “everyone’s a little bi”, etc.

The point of the piece is to bulwark the bi-identity. The more you read the piece, however, the more you see the underlying framework that “you are what you want to be at any given time or moment regardless of what you were in previous moments or what you will be in future moments or however anyone else interprets your behavior in any moment.”

This brings us back to the “pilgrims vs. tourist” identity paper. 

To refuse to be ‘fixed’ one way or the other. Not to get tied to the place. Not to wed one’s life to one vocation only. Not to swear consistency and loyalty to anything and anybody. Not to control the future, but to refuse to mortgage it: to take care that the consequences of the game do not outlive the game itself, and to renounce responsibility for such as do. To forbid the past to bear on the present. In short, to cut the present off at both ends, to sever the present from history, to abolish time in any other form but a flat collection or an arbitrary sequence of present moments; a continuous present.

Once disassembled and no more a vector, time no longer structures the space. On the ground, there is no more ‘forward’ and ‘backward’; it is just the ability not to stand still that counts. Fitness — the capacity to move swiftly where the action is and be ready to take in experiences as they come — takes precedence over health, that idea of the standard of normalcy and of keeping that standard stable and unscathed. All delay, including ‘delay of gratification,’ loses its meaning: there is no arrow-like time left to measure it.

And so the snag is no longer how to discover, invent, construct, assemble (even buy) an identity, but how to prevent it from sticking. Well constructed and durable identity turns from an asset into a liability. The hub of postmodern life strategy is not identity-building, but avoidance of fixation.

“Erasure” then is fundamentally your rejection of a person’s felt or authentic category and this, according to Everyday Feminism must not be done.

It’s more difficult, however, because most of their articles are all pushing back on other people and their categories meaning that while there is a group of sacred individuals whose self-categorization must be sacred others are not of this privileged class. The elect, the holy ones, the former victims now self-saved through their evolutionary self-salvation stand in judgment over all.

It’s really no different from any religion that offers the tools to save oneself.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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