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willow OP wrote (edited )

found this unconvincing.

firstly, it seems self-refuting because the author had to articulate gender to write it; if you can't even state your principles without betraying them, are they of any use?

secondly, while i could understand (and probably agree with) an argument for refusing to identify as "non-binary" because it presupposes the existence of a gender binary, the author's position seems to be that the appropriate way to abolish gender would be to... not talk about it and hope it goes away?

i think the author is right that antifascism and post-leftism are "dependent on that which they are opposed to for their existence" while their conception of 'gender nihilism' is not, but i see no reason to suppose that's a virtue.

edit: after thinking about it, i'm not sure even the last point holds up. if your position is "i will not articulate gender", that position can only have meaning while gender exists. without gender, it's essentially equivalent to "i will not articulate sdfljksdjkfhsdkfjnsdf"; it has no meaning.

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

In what way did they articulate gender? They didn't identify as this or that.

the author's position seems to be that the appropriate way to abolish gender would be to... not talk about it and hope it goes away?

Do you think if we talk about our gender it will go away? I think there's a lot to still be said about the demand that we talk, particularly in the age of the internet & modern spectacle. I think there's an argument to be made that talking is how - or one way - we get captured (in gender in this case).

I'm not sure I've understood your last point in the edit, but the criticism of anti-fascism & post-left is a common one that I think is mostly correct.

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willow OP wrote

to address the last point first: i agree with the author that antifascism and post-leftism, and perhaps even anarchism itself (as opposed to anarchy) can only exist in opposition to something, but i don't see this as a criticism or negative aspect, although it may be an important analysis.

i disagree that "i will not articulate gender" exists without standing in opposition to something; specifically, in opposition the articulation of gender, a concept that relies on gender for its own existence. if gender does not exist, then neither does articulation of gender, and the concept of opposing the articulation of gender is meaningless. even a refusal to act can only be defined in opposition to the act refused.

In what way did they articulate gender? They didn't identify as this or that.

well, consider:

the gender nihilist also refuses to articulate the negation of gender

the author wishes to draw a distinction between the act of abolition of gender and its refusal, but i'm not convinced this line exists. gender, as a social construction, only exists so far as it is reproduced through articulation. if everyone were to simultaneously cease the articulation of gender, then gender would be immediately abolished. therefore the act of refusing to articulate gender is, in itself, an act of gender abolition.

they don't identify as this or that, but i don't think the act of identification is what is being refused:

Earlier critiques of identity espoused under the mantle of "anti-identity anarchism" fail in one crucial aspect: they position the critic in an active role. One who is "anti-identity" is pointing away from pre-existing categories. This act of "pointing away" is itself an articulation, which replaces the primary element with its negation, or more properly, the affirmation of its negation

the author includes the act of refusing to identify as, itself, an articulation of gender. it is not enough, they say, to refuse to choose an identity; we must refuse to even speak of the possibility of identity.

if we accept the refusal to articulate gender as an act of gender abolition (which i believe is the case) then this is self-refuting because the refusal to articulate immediately becomes an articulation.

Do you think if we talk about our gender it will go away?

well, i am opposed to the idea of talking about "our" gender. we might talk about the gender(s) externally imposed on us by society, but we do not have to accept that as ours.

I think there's a lot to still be said about the demand that we talk, particularly in the age of the internet & modern spectacle. I think there's an argument to be made that talking is how - or one way - we get captured (in gender in this case).

i agree. i think there's a lot to be said about, for example, the recent trend of 'stating pronouns' and 'accepting self-identity' and how this reproduces gender by demanding that pronouns be chosen and an identity be claimed, and the way those who refuse may be shunned. we see this in the way 'non-binary' and 'genderqueer' identities are used not to refute gender but to reinforce it.

but, at least for myself, i don't think this leads to the position that we should refuse to talk about it at all.

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willow OP wrote (edited )

something else that comes to mind. if we reject gender, then it is not something we do, but something that is done to us; it is not articulated by us, but by others on our behalf; or perhaps we can say: since everything we do is perceived by others through a lens of gender, our every action causes gender to be articulated in(/by?) others, whether we consent to that or not. the act of refusing to articulate gender becomes simply impossible in a system where gender exists.

edit: i am not sure if this might be seen as a form of victim blaming: that gender as a form of violence is done to us as a consequence of our actions. that isn't really the direction i was trying to go. i think the important distinction is that while we might cause the articulation of gender in others, this is done without our consent; much like a queer kiss might cause queerphobia to be articulated in others, but the action done is not consent to that.

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perkwunos wrote

You're assuming they're putting forth a political program but they aren't. They're trying to drive home the point that language is a trap and that true 'anarchy' (as opposed to anarchism) can be found in silence, but that silence is 'at the site of the individual' and isn't social or relational.

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/mortification-of-the-flesh https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/ausonia-calabrese-against-individualism

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lastfutures wrote

I'm usually not into Ausonia but I liked this one quite a bit. I find nihilist writing on silence interesting. Who do people think they are referring to with the gender negation criticisms? Because I don't think the approach here is incompatible at all with baedan.

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