Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Julie Bindel's Basic Human Rights Error (and a little on Jim Carey)

Here is a message I sent to Julie Bindel via facebook. I have no idea is she's read it. She has not yet replied but I expect she gets a lot of messages these days. Still I hope others might find it interesting.

You see I think it's vital not just to tell people they are wrong but to explain why they are wrong to them and then to give them the opportunity to realise their mistake and to change their views.

We must always give people opportunities to redeem themselves and I'm sure Julie Bindel though she was doing the right thing, that she had no idea where she crossed the line from attempting to protect people from being railroaded into SRS (good) to preventing people from getting SRS (ver very bad) especially as I'm sure she does not understand what doing the latter actually means in Human Rights terms.

So this is what I have to say to Julie Bindel:

Regarding Human Rights, Bodily Autonomy and Transgender.

Doesn't the human right of Bodily Autonomy aka Somatic Soverignty wherein every person has the right to do with their body whatever they wish and to refuse consent to anything being done to their body no matter the reason mean you should change some of your stated views on SRS access for Transexuals?

Now I'd like to point out that the same right is the explanation of what makes a whole host of things right or wrong

Rape and a Jehovahs Wittness forced to undergo a life-saving blood transfusion are both wrong according to this argument because each involves disregarding lack of consent regarding the body.

The right to Abortion comes from Bodily Autonomy too.

This means that just as people have a right to body-alteration from ear piercing, tattooing, cosmetic surgery, ritual initiation scarrification and genital modifications like circumcision, penile subincision and SRS.

It also means that no-one should be forced to undergo any of those procedures or coerced into doing so.

So then if your position is that no-one should HAVE to undergo SRS in order to obtain fair treatment, legal recognition and access to essential services then you'd be consistent with this right.

But if you say that people should NOT have access to the procedure or that access should be somehow restricted then you are arguing counter to the Human Right of Bodily Autonomy.

And if Bodily autonomy is not a basic human right then abortion can not be justified under human rights, nor protecting children (male and female both) from circumcision either and many many other things.

I do hope you ponder this aspect of Human Rights as certainly your views on SRS as are being reported are contrary to the Yogyakarta Principles and Bodily Autonomy, but with such a very small clarification could be a progressive and strong position in favour of Bodily Autonomy. All by ensuring you advocate for unrestricted access to SRS but no requirement at all for it!

Where it all depends on the individuals right to choose without coercion either way.

If however there is a flaw in my reasoning please do point it out as understanding these Human Rights issues is important to me.


I hope she has read it, I hope she thinks about what it means.
You see by saying people do not have the right to do anything they want with and to their own bodies including refusing anything anyone else wants to do to them you unravel the fundamental foundation of all human rights. It is the most basic principle, the core, the root, the source of all Human Rights, Civil Rights and of all the positive gains in social justice of the last several centuries.

Without that basic right rape is no longer universally wrong but only wrong if those in political power or cultural/religious authority say so. The basis of Abortion as a right is the mothers capacity to do with her body what she wants, whether she chooses to continue to carry or not the child to term. I could go on listing examples but hopefully everyone can grasp it already.

So as Julie Bindel considers herself an advocate for Human Rights I'm sure that once she understands what it is she's been arguing for she'll modify her views accordingly. Because I'm sure she thought she was arguing for protecting peoples right to choose, to not be shoehorned into SRS, but in fact she's been arguing for an end to the basic fundamental principle of human rights she thought she was protecting, a persons right to choose.

In her attempts to defend it she crossed the line and called for the destruction of the ideal she thought she was protecting, presumably by looking at the situation too narrowly and missing the big picture, the consequence of how far she took her argument.

But it's easy to bring her views into line with Basic Human Rights, with Bodily Autonomy, with every persons right to choose...

She just has to say no-one should need SRS or hormones or anything else to get all the legal rights recognition and services that any other citizen gets including full recognition as their self-identified sex/gender.

And say that also no-one should be denied access to SRS if they want it.

That way she supports choice. That way she supports Human Rights.
And if she does so we should support her, and if she does not we should keep trying to explain it to her.

Oh and in other news it seems that according to reports Jim Carey is a Crossdresser, that the occassion of his wearing his partners swimsuit was not isolated.

Well we need more people out of the closet including celebrities so I hope soon to be saying "Good on you!"

But before I celebrate this I'm waiting for the apology. You know... for the Transphobia in Ace Ventura... so when he gives that apology I'll praise him and until he does i'll say:

"Jim Carey, your an (extreme expletive) hypocrit!"

These aren't complex things though it takes a little strencth of character to admit a wrongdoing intentional or otherwise or a mistake in an argument.
C'mon Julie, c'mon Jim. It's the right thing to do.

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