“Kvinner og jenter er hunkjønn og trenger menneskerettigheter som forholder seg til materiell virkelighet.”
I saw an excellent video of you speaking at the Feminist Question Time online meeting. You mentioned transhumanism and also something about research into DNA/ova I think – not sure I understood this correctly. Please could you point me in the direction of your research into these areas? Clearly transacitivism is an enormous global project and there must be a reason behind it. thank you if possible.
Hi Ed, thanks for reaching out! I left some links to further reading under the youtube video. The
I think it is very important to have a good grasp on the differences between the sexes, as the ova is at the core of many biotechnology laws and of proposed changes to these laws. In Norway, for instance, we just had the first changes to biotechnology laws in 12 years. The core changes were precisely this; donation of ova and research on mitochondrial DNA. This may not be bad in and of itself, but in a climate where the very definition of female is considered hate-speech by some, it makes it very difficult to have constructive dialogues about what these changes entail, in particularly for women.
The changes to biotechnology laws are presented as being about equality – the message somehow being that women feel oppressed unless they too can donate ova, both for surrogacy purposes and for research on mitochondrial DNA. I am all for research on mitochondrial DNA. But I think the combination of the erasure of “woman” from human rights, the aggressive assertion that being a woman has nothing to do with biology, and the idea that the male and female sperm are somehow comparable equal types of gametes, is creating very misleading narratives. It seems unlikely that we can develop applications for biotechnology based on informed, democratic processes, if people do not understand what “female” means, or what the female gametes actually do.
The female gamete, called ova, pass on two types of DNA. This capacity is why there even is such a thing as two sexes. Superficially, the difference between the male and female gametes, is the size. The ova is the largest cell in most species. This is because the bigger the cell is, the higher the chances are that the cell will pass on sufficient amounts of mitochondrial DNA, which is necessary to sustain life. About 1/5 of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, most likely because there were insufficient amounts of mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is critical for the development and maintenance of metabolism and cellular energy production. Without this there would be no multicellular life on this planet. It is solely passed on via the female, who is the one of the species that has the potential to produce ova. In fact, the female has developed primarily as an evolutionary result of the advantage presented by high amounts of mitochondrial DNA in a gamete. The higher amount of mitochondrial DNA, the higher the chances the egg has for sustainable development. The bigger the size of the cell, the higher the chances are there will be sufficient amounts of mtDNA. This is the evolutionary driving force behind anisogamy, the phenomenon where a species reproduce sexually by means of two differently sized gametes. (Homo Sapiens is one of the species where this phenomenon occurs.)
For some reason, the narratives around mitochondrial DNA and sex is excluding how all of this relates to the female. Similarly, the narratives surrounding women’s human rights are increasingly and aggressively excluding how being a woman or a girl relates to the biological property of being female. With this as a backdrop, proposed changes to biotechnology laws cannot possibly be reviewed on an informed basis. How can laws that in essence govern the administration of “female” be informed, when everyone are told there is no such thing as “female”?
There are many narratives and problems that needs space to be explored in relation to all things “trans”. I try to collect some of them at matriarken.no . I also highly recommend Jennifer Bilek’s writings at the11thhourblog.com .
Best Christina Ellingsen (sometimes writes under the pseudonym “matriarken”:)
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