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 a feminism, a conflict that 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, while 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.
In the Slate Plus segment, Barry talks to Janice Raymond about the most controversial passage in The Transsexual Empire.
For all back episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 of Hi-Phi Nation, visit www.hiphination.org.