… Roman Archaeology (and a PhD in philosophy), so I’m not sure what point you are making? Chemistry? Are you being ironic? Is the point that trans men and trans women have always existed in many cultures for as long as there has been human activity, and I don’t know that? Well, yes I do know that and frankly they have always made quite a performance of their gender. It’…
No, I’m not being ironic. However, you seem to be being purposely obtuse. With your credentials, you surely would know what the prefixes trans and cis mean. And for someone with a Ph.D. in philosophy, you don’t seem to have mastered logic. If you can agree here that we have existed since the beginning of time, then you can’t say we don’t exist, which you later assert.
Trans women are women. The only assertions to the contrary involve some bizarre, simplified, 7th grade understanding of biology. Actual biologists disagree with a definition of woman that relies only on the presence of a specific kind of genitals at birth.
Even if the science were sound, I would think you, as an anthropologist, would know that societies and cultures since the beginning of time — including ours — go far beyond simple biology in defining gender. Even Western culture — long seen as uptight and conservative when it comes to gender — Is changing in terms of the support given to transgender people (https://www.prri.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/LGBT-Survey-D.pdf; https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/global-attitudes-toward-transgender-people). Therefore, not only are you ignoring science, but, increasingly, the attitudes of your own culture.
I imagine you are going to say something about patriarchy and it’s domination of our culture here. Let me just point out that the attitudes cited above are growing in popularity despite coming from patriarchal cultures. If it were otherwise, that attitude would already have prevailed. In fact — and you probably know this from your studies of world history and the history of ancient cultures — the less patriarchal the society, the more prevalent pro-trans attitudes were/are. Matriarchal societies traditionally embraced trans identities; patriarchal societies, not so much.
In summary, just because you say it doesn’t make it so. As a scholar (which I assume you are with the advanced degrees you mention), is it really your assertion that women are women just because they were born with a vulva? You and I both know that doesn’t square with actual science or the shared cultural meaning of the word woman.