"Real Talk on The Metaphysics of Gender", Robin Dembroff
The only uncontroversial thing about discourse surrounding gender ascriptions is that it is extremely controversial. These controversies, both in everyday and academic contexts, appear to center on metaphysical questions of what makes someone a man or a woman. In this paper, I argue that we should not look to metaphysical theories of gender to settle questions about who should be ascribed manhood or womanhood. What matters for determining ethical gender ascriptions are normative questions about how we ought to perceive and treat others, and not facts about who is a man or a woman. This claim has an important implication: It may be unethical to make true gender ascriptions, and ethical to make false ascriptions.