Trans Rights are Human Rights 2.0
Welcome to the Anthropocene, the time in history where the chemical and physical make up of Earth has been shaped by humans to a measurable extent. Babies born with two hundred chemicals in the umbilical cord blood? Check. Wild salmon testing positive for cocaine? Check. Glaciers breaking apart and flood plains getting re-arranged? Check and check. You get the idea, it’s the age of things coming full circle, of old dreams to conquer wildness and nature finally coming out the other side. For generations children dreamed of taming new lands, today they dream of saving sea turtles from plastic shopping bags.
As a species we have been pushing the envelope on a hyper masculine ideal and it has left us lopsided as a society. Wealth and power pools in tiny puddles, while a dry inequality spreads over most of our terrain. Masculinity that longtime ideal, and “ neutral” vehicle of change is suddenly understood to be stuck in a blind type of overdrive that burns power and gets nowhere.
Despite having outgrown these simple binary oppositions because they get nowhere we cling to them because the alternative seems like too much chaos, but at this point, the vehicle of the past can’t get us where we want to go. The spinning wheels of resisting change are the real cause of our chaos. Clinging to these old ideals that were instituted thousands of years ago comes at a cost. Time is wasted debating if something or someone should exist instead of simply accepting they do. The anthropocene is not a time for squabbling over such things as whether or not human rights are too expensive to protect.
The anthropocene does not need more plastic production made from fossil fuels, and it does not need or support rigid gender norms. What it does support is transformation, evolution, and a deep acceptance that this new world, which we think looks a lot like the Earth of our ancestors, is actually a whole new playing field, a different planet.
The Trans body of the moment is rooted in a right to self determination that the anthropocene requires. Sure, to many a transgendered body can seem alien, totally odd to our experience, but that does not mean it is not in some way a link to the future and maybe arguably to a past when gender was also less than binary. At the very least the transgender body, with its limitless expressions is a link back to a new understanding of words like “diversity.”
Protecting the transgendered body and its rights is important because the trans body will eventually develop into a spectrum that includes transhuman bodies in general. A transhuman body might be a body with a robotic leg or a chip implanted in its forearm, or it might be a body augmented or modified in some other way that up until recently, wasn’t even possible. I may never want a third arm, but I support your right to have one. The transbody doesn’t require technology to exist but with advanced technologies concepts of self, find the means of expansion. The transbody in this sense is a body 2.0, something beyond the standard homo sapiens.
Customizing our body to play the game of life as we perceive it is both a mental and physical need, and therefore a right. To take it to another level, as a human species, we need these first willing and able bodies to help lead the way to human 2.0. We need these beta testers of what is possible and we need them to be self directed and self determining, just like they were when humans first evolved.
The transbody brings us out the other end of binary and it demands self determination, so in that way the transbody is incredibly important for reminding us of our liberties and the need to advance them to even higher levels. The transbody is also important because it returns us to things that existed before the heavy imbalance, the total domination of single minded thinking. The transbody returns us to ideas of multiple genders, and to practical rule making, but it also returns us to metaphysics, to ideas of spirits inside bodies, to the value of authentic perspectives.
I don’t know why those bodies would want to serve the war machine, as it exists, but I do believe having them in it, helps reform that machine. The Earth will persist but we might not, but if we do our evolution will be required and that means our bodies and institutions will all be a part of this. We’ll have to work with oppositions and we will have to work through awkward moments that get us through the anger and fear of change and create in us a peace that accepts and works with change. Trans bodies will not always be defined by gender, but this is the starting point. To show trans bodies violence is to set up a war that no one will win.
If we want to make life in America great again, we have to look at what it all means. Does it mean that we all go back to wearing homesteading prairie outfits and killing previous inhabitants? Does it mean that men must figure out how make their own farm tools? Making America great probably doesn’t mean ignoring cultural advances or even technological ones so we go back and do things exactly the way we did in the past. Making it great probably means allowing and ensuring basic freedoms flourish. Greatness does not deny the chaos of change, but finds the order within it and makes peace with the changes.
Greatness probably means adopting a more live and let live attitude instead of returning to the roots of living that created this imbalance in the first place. No one is worth more than another and no one has the right to dictate someone else’s experience of the world. Trans rights are human rights and they are robot rights, they are refugee rights and all sorts of hybrid rights. Trans rights are the rights that blend and transcend the old technologies with the new imperatives appropriate to this age, and these must be protected as if our evolution depended on it.