I definitely agree with that, but at the same time I also think it’s possible to identify when people are NOT having a go at any particular group and are actually attempting to raise reasonable points and questions, only for their arguments to be shut down by people wrongly claiming that they are just being whatever-ist or whoever-phobic. This doesn’t foster any kind of solidarity or create any dialogue, at best it just makes people stay silent for fear of being labelled bigots (sometimes for fear of losing their jobs, or their friends) and at worst it actually pushes them further towards those kinds of extreme views by making them feel their valid opinions are being misinterpreted and ignored.I sometimes feel the ones who often make this issue actually political and blow it up are the ones who feign genuine concern over sporting fairness and rather use this (legitimate but, in my opinion, pretty small) issue to delegitimate transgender rights and people in general. I find the tone of some of these pieces give away the intentions of the author pretty easily.
As for Dawkins, I’m not sure quite what he’s thinking there (and to be honest he has lost me more in recent years as he’s moved further away from the message of “people can be good without religion” towards “religion is always bad for people” even towards religious people who keep it to themselves and aren’t doing anyone any harm) and he could definitely have phrased that better, but I do think it’s really important that mental health and exploring WHY people feel the way they do are the first points of call for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable in their own skin, for whatever reason. Is there, perhaps (I say, knowing full well this could be construed as a transphobic argument, but it absolutely is not intended as such) an argument for saying that it’s better to help people feel like they are okay being who they are, that it’s fine for someone to live their life as whatever gender they like, wear whatever they like, use whatever pronouns they like but at the same time accept that they can never biologically become the opposite sex, and that no amount of drugs or surgery will ever change that? I don’t intend that as a hateful or hurtful thing to say, I just look at it from my own point of view and think: I’m short and I’m losing my hair. Those things make me a bit insecure but I think the healthiest thing for me to do about that is accept those facts about myself and become comfortable with the reality of my biology rather than take drugs or get a hair transplant (I couldn’t afford one anyway) and wear platform shoes. Perhaps a lot of people would disagree and say I should do whatever I like to make myself more comfortable about my appearance, and if the NHS was to start offering free hair transplants who knows, perhaps I would. The influence of big pharma on how people are encouraged to believe drugs are the answer to all their problems should perhaps wait for another time, but I do think it has a massive impact on how people, including but not limited to transgender people, are treated, and therefore societal attitudes as well. People trust doctors and medical science. Perhaps they shouldn’t, necessarily.
Once again Vash, I don’t really disagree. I think any movement to lift disadvantaged people UP is generally a positive thing, it’s the putting DOWN and silencing of other disadvantaged people and the splintering of those groups into ever smaller, pettier and more ineffectual ones that irks me so much. White people living in poverty or men who feel marginalised and ignored don’t like being told they have it good by non-white people or women, this creates division not solidarity and, as I mentioned above, I think works to drive a lot of those white people and men who SHOULD be the natural ally of the downtrodden into the arms of actual racists and misogynists. And that’s just horribly sad and negative for everyone. As is the destruction by the genuinely privileged (those with wealth and power) of the sort of people who DO try and bring people together in solidarity, like Jeremy Corbyn. That, I’m sure we can agree on.I think things like fourth wave feminism and BLM and Trans rights movements ect have had tangible positive effects and these kinds of "identity politics" if that's what they are, are actually crucial in my opinion. What is also crucial, that is perhaps sometimes lacking, is the will and energy to find ways of bringing about unity and solidarity.