Sunday, October 24, 2021

TERF Corps

Judith Butler
It does not matter that chromosomal and endocrinological differences complicate the binarism of sex and that sex assignment is revisable. The anti-gender advocates claim that “gender ideologists” deny the material differences between men and women, but their materialism quickly devolves into the assertion that the two sexes are timeless “facts”. The anti-gender movement is not a conservative position with a clear set of principles. No, as a fascist trend, it mobilizes a range of rhetorical strategies from across the political spectrum to maximize the fear of infiltration and destruction that comes from a diverse set of economic and social forces. It does not strive for consistency, for its incoherence is part of its power.

In his well-known list of the elements of fascism, Umberto Eco writes, “the fascist game can be played in many forms,” for fascism is “a collage … a beehive of contradictions”. Indeed, this perfectly describes anti-gender ideology today. It is a reactionary incitement, an incendiary bundle of contradictory and incoherent claims and accusations. They feast off the very instability they promise to contain, and their own discourse only delivers more chaos. Through a spate of inconsistent and hyperbolic claims, they concoct a world of multiple imminent threats to make the case for authoritarian rule and censorship.