Många tycks ha svårt att acceptera byte av könsidentitet. Jag har aldrig riktigt förstått varför, och jag tycker att debatten i detta ämne oftast hamnar i olika pseudofrågor av sekundär eller ingen betydelse. Därför var det befriande att läsa Martha Nussbaums kommentar till Deirdre McCloskeys bok Crossing: A Transgender Memoir, som nu har fått ett nytt slutord. Nussbaum sätter, enligt min mening, fokus på det väsentliga:
What does the person who wins through opposition the chance to express her or his true gender identity gain thereby? Happiness? Maybe. But in Deirdre’s story happiness may or may not arrive. What is really and definitely there, making the whole journey worth the taking, is freedom. Freedom in the classical liberal sense is the great theme of McCloskey’s scholarship, in which McCloskey puts herself at odds with some fashionable left-wing views. In Crossing, liberal freedom acquires a profound personal meaning. What Donald lacked was not money or power, or even thoughts and dreams. It was freedom, a freedom society gives automatically to the cis-gendered, who can enact their identities, and pursue their deepest selves, without the threat of confinement to a mental institution, or the loss of those they love (so long as they follow “agential” norms). By now, lesbians and gay men have for the most part won freedom in that sense. But the whole story of Crossing, a story still sadly familiar in our time, is a story of the unfreedom of people whose gender identities diverge from the identity ascribed them at birth. They have to be locked up, or beaten up, or sexually assaulted, as punishment for who they are. What Deirdre most fundamentally achieves and celebrates is a new sense of freedom – of speech, of association, but also a deeper type of existential freedom, the freedom to be oneself in the world. She’s the same person, but liberated.
Kan det uttrycka bättre? Vi bör tillåta människor såväl den legala som sociala friheten att byta könsidentitet, och vi bör välkomna deras val och deras delvis nya och befriade jag i vår gemenskap.
McCloskey avslutar sin kommentar till kommentaren på detta vis:
The liberal vision that Martha and I share, of wholly unoppressed individuals permitted to change, drives the left and right to distraction. Yet it made the modern world, as against the naturalization of imposed differences, such as Aristotle declaring that some are born to be slaves or Marx declaring that the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle. Liberalism is under attack worldwide. Martha and I join in urging you, as we have in our lives, to change, and to welcome it. You come, too.
En inbjudan väl värd att beakta.