The lack of legal rights for transgender people in Norway was brought up in our parliament by the Socialist Party back in 2000. In May this year, after 16 years of lobbying and hard work by a lot of people, a new law finally passed that allows any people the right to define their own legal gender. The law came into effect on July 1st.
On the 30th of May Proposition 74L (2015–2016) passed with 79 votes against 13. The law grants any person over the age of 16 the right to determine their own legal gender, though still limited to female or male. Children between the age of 6 and 16 will also be able to change legal gender with parental consent.
There is, as some of you may have noticed, a debate going on in the skeptics community about the – how shall I put this – status of trans women. I’m very busy writing a book on the subject of gender diversity, so I spend little time on Facebook and Twitter these days, but from what I have seen there are a lot of problematic arguments flying around in various comments. Let me make a few comments of my own on some key points.
The media is currently full of people with opinions about feminism, like this pieces in Time, but little or no knowledge of the history of feminism and what feminism is in terms of its diversity of ideas and approaches. Feminism is constantly presented as a monolith, constructed as needed by cherry picking whatever suits the critic. Feminism is anything but.
Most people who know a bit about feminist history know that feminism came in waves. In addition there are several branches and off-shoots of feminism, like for instance queer theory. Sure, there are bad off-shoots too, off-shoots that hate men or anything they deem tainted by “maleness”, but they are not the norm.
It’s not news that there are people that deny the existence of every day sexism. There are always privileged people who deny the existence of oppression they do not face themselves. Here’s a copy of a letter published in The New York Times in 1906 written by a woman who responds to a man denying […]