Author Topic: Publish and be damned

Publish and be damned
« on: February 01, 2022 »
This may be of interest to forum and free speech anoraks.

The following was posted on Yet Another Cycling Forum's version of fight club, in a thread about transgender issues. Within hours it was moderated in the sense that it was deleted. Note that I've removed the names of forum members. Annotations are in brackets.

This thread is obviously way too big to split but in a way I think it's serving different purposes for approximately three groups of people: for some who have lived it their whole lives it's an expression of rage; for those who have been aware of and understood trans and related issues for a few decades, there's frustration at those who are ignorant; and for some like me, and I think Z,* it's "What does that mean? Who does it affect and how? What where when why?"

[* The first excised name. You'll see why I didn't go with the traditional X shortly.]

There are also those of us who've brought ourselves up to speed these past few tumultuous years and arrived at conclusions which I suppose almost everyone here figures puts us on the wrong side of history. The purpose this thread has served for me, lo these 55 pages now scanned, is to set it against things I've already read and see if there's anything new. I never knew so many Nazi references could be squeezed into a thread on this subject, for a start.

"I think we all agree, but we disagree on how we word/voice this agreement" ZZ has said in a quote I'm taking slightly out of context as it appears broadly to hold true. Perhaps it's because those who disagree dare not post here. Maybe they find Nazis triggering.

I profoundly disagreed from the very OP: IMO the police investigation of Miller and others tweeting their opinions has been chilling, the stuff of authoritarian nightmares. "YACF is made up of and thrives on variety," according to C-3PO [a site mod], so I shall step onto the ice.

Trans women are men. Trans men are women. Non-binary people are one or the other. To say otherwise is a polite societal and legal fiction. I fully support anybody's desire to present themselves however they wish and choose whatever gender identity suits, but sex does not change. Despite protestations to the contrary upthread, plenty of people claim otherwise. Just ask Professor Winston, or rather Fiona Bruce in that clip.

This is science as I understand it; of course, I'm also aware of those who don't fit neatly into XX or XY. And have probably already visited any of the links those who strongly disagree are likely to invite me to click. (I've done a lot of clicking.) Here's my own link. Warning: a little over an hour of three talking heads. Some of it is definitely skippable, but I reckon enough of it will be news to many. Especially the fact that they're not, you know, Nazis. Here's a shorter video, more to the point.

The rights of women and trans women are in conflict. This is screamingly obvious, as a visit to Mumsnet will show if it hasn't already come up in RL. I know what you think of the place, ZZZ [yet another person, if you've been counting Z's], but I don't recognise the Sex & gender discussions board as you portray it here. It's very heavily moderated, which alas doesn't guarantee that every post or thread will get the stamp of approval from the many hall monitors, or even sympathetic observers like me. They aren't a homogeneous group of screeching TERFs, which by wordcount may rival the N-word on this thread: they're individuals who turned up because they have serious, legitimate concerns (accompanied by a fair amount of introspection) and want to talk about it.

Nobody reasonable thinks or has said that all trans people are a threat in toilets or changing rooms or wherever. What we think is that trans women, i.e. men, offend at the same rate as men in general. Which is far higher than women. It's nothing personal.1 It's numbers. And history. And, much as I hate to put it this way, common sense.

People like me believe that women deserve privacy in certain settings, as do men, though it's also obv why trans men, who outnumber trans women, manage to mostly fly below the radar. It's entirely appropriate to have segregation in prisons, intimate care, rape crisis centres, etc. This doesn't make us Victorian prudes. We're humans with feelings, too.

Please remember that on the other end of the internet is a real life person, who is literally talking about their life, and right to define how they live their life. Yes, there's a political aspect; but be careful to try not to pull having a debate into making someone else feel like shit.

I hope I haven't made anyone feel like shit. Doubtless I've raised some blood pressure. My own is definitely up there, because I hate conflict.

Freedom of speech: use it or lose it.

It would have been so much easier not to post, but as someone who cares about the women in my life, and about the truth as I see it, I have skin in this game; thus to my own dismay2 I feel compelled to speak out. More and more people do, including, for example, the women increasingly finding themselves in competition with people like Lia Thomas and Veronica Ivy and Laurel Hubbard, as well as the girls – yes think of the children – who will be put off as collegiate and professional sports slide into hideous unfairness.

While personally I couldn't give a fig about sport, I can see how it's important to many. I look at, say, that interview with Philippa York posted upthread, and hear this.

It's safe to say that almost everyone I admire (Kathleen Stock comes immediately to mind) and sources I would quote

will be anathema to ZZZ, who is clearly the soul of this thread and largely deferred to in all matters trans. As far as I can tell, the working definition of transphobia here is anyone who isn't completely on board with whatever PinkNews, Stonewall, and a circle or caste of activists proclaim. I look at, say, the Council of Europe report referenced above, see that the relevant section is credited to Lui Asquith of Mermaids, and judge the source accordingly.

I don't hate or fear trans people, though can see why some of the rhetoric (exhibits A, B, C) is frightening enough to inspire more than mere unease. The world I live in sees by far the greatest amount of violence done to women, and linguistic savaging being committed in the name of well meant but oftimes literally clueless inclusiveness.

I'll close3 with a quote from a woman on Ovarit, despite that as a man and a person with basic empathy I can find objectionable speech therein without breaking a sweat. I've chosen the source with care as a mirror image of the hyperbolic content on this thread. It's a community of women who were kicked out of Reddit, which in my opinion houses the biggest and most fetid cesspools of all.

I really like to live and let people live their lives as they see fit, so long as they're not actively hurting people in the process. Sometimes this thought creeps into my mind because I want to help people who are so disassociated from their own bodies that they feel like an alien trapped inside of a shell. I especially want to help because I've been there. I've had those thoughts and I've had those feelings. For a long time, being against trans was like being against LGB for me; what place did I have to speak on behalf of other's pain and experience, or to deny them of treatment that they said was required?

What it always comes down to though is that the LGB movement genuinely supported loving yourself as you were, that you could be who you are, in the body that you have, loving the people that you do, and that it was OK, that it was innate, that it was normal. Accepting same-sex attraction requires that everyone change absolutely nothing. A woman dating another woman affects no one but the two people in a relationship, unless you're simply morally outraged. The trans lobby instead tells you that if your mind doesn't fit a certain criteria, based on literally anything, then you need to change yourself. It pushes that it's normal to hate your body, and that to love your body, you need medication, surgery, and treatment for life. It normalizes self hate in the guise of self acceptance. On top of that, it requires everyone else to capitulate in both language and actions. Changing how words are used and what they mean, and forcing others to be quiet about their discomfort and needs for safety.

I will never feel wrong about opposing a movement that pushes for the normalization of experimental cosmetic surgery on children and teens. I will never feel wrong about opposing a movement that enforces gender stereotypes. I will never feel wrong about opposing a movement that disregards genuine safeguarding concerns. I will never feel wrong for opposing a movement where any critic or call for discussion is met with overt aggression and threats.

1. The personal is political warrants its own thread entirely.

2. Because this promises to be a black hole, sucking in time itself. There are probably literally a gajillion bones of contention to be picked here, god help me. I don't relish the thought of offending any of you, including, believe it or not, Biggus Dickus.[4] I've got enough on my plate as it is, what with rambling bike frames and talkative bunnies.

If there's one thing that truly was a new piece of information, it was the narrative of ZZZ's suffering, complete with genetic bio. (And I thought my intestinal malrotation undiagnosed till adulthood was rare.) What can I say to that but fucking hell mate, I'm sorry.

However, it does not change what I would do were I ruler of the universe, which among other things, including intensive medical research into the cessation of all excretory functions – it's the only way – would be to decree that men accept non gender-conforming men with open arms under pain of banishment to Amsterdam. This is the worst destination I can think of at the moment because a lifetime ago I was sexually assaulted there and actually held hostage (only for a few hours, and it was hardly an underground box with a breathing tube). We all live a life, eh?

3. Now I'm done.

[4. This guy deserved a more creative fake username here, as he's a giver of bountiful offence. Credit to Monty Python of course]


I'd been quite worried about what I'd gotten myself into, but this was practically comic relief.

Where to start. Would I even have to, seeing as they had apparently "killfiled" me? #NoDebate can be a blessing.

Not sure where they got their information that Magdalen Berns was "A literal right wing Nazi" who "literally posted hate saying she wanted trans people and Jewish people to be killed before she died."

The most I've come up with in my own research, granted nothing more arduous so far than a trip to her page on Wikipedia [not exactly a cheerleader of gender critical feminists], is that Berns had criticisms of some things George Soros funded. If you want to explore this further and make up your own mind, which I always advise despite the dangers,

here are a few links which one imagines featured in this game of telephone:

Transphobia and Antisemitism
JK Rowling, “Gender Ideology” and Antisemitism
The Open Society Foundations

The rest could have been written by a standard gender warrior 'bot.

For completeness, the clickable OP:

"Gays next, then blacks, then anyone who can't take a joke."* FTFY.

Oddly enough I'd only clocked P&OBI was UNMODERATED shortly before all this transpired – shame on me for not reading when I originally signed in. As if it mattered in the end.

I removed usernames

as a nod to the fact that the board is unavailable to the great unwashed unregistered masses. Even crossposting this {if this counts} gave me pause, but it seems fair enough given that it's now the only copy of my deathless prose in existence.

As for the deletion, I'm tempted to say enjoy your bubble, but I'm sure they already do. My assumption is that "trans women are men" was considered beyond the pale. Either that or my post was so perfectly unassailable and they simply couldn't handle it. You decide!

When writing "Now I'm done" I had a premonition that someone with access to a delete button would soon be nodding to themselves thinking "you sure are." I'll never know what their thinking was, as the mods aren't very communicative.

Pretty sure there's a sacred caste and I'm not in it.

It's a pity, but I'm not going to cry about it. Posting about it, on the other hand...

And another thing...

It's worth pondering the registration agreement of the forum:

#3 is actually courtesy me. The precursor to Yacf was of course acf, where I used to be fond of saying "Every time you post, think about what kind of forum you want." Perhaps this sounded a bit tiring, so it got bumped down in favour of the wit and wisdom of Bill & Ted.

While the powers that be are of course entitled to configure their ethos however they wish, the lesson here seems to be, it's open season on unpopular truths.

It's also worth considering how this would have been handled on that Mumsnet board in an alternate universe where I was the outlier. Unless you're breaking a rule, your post is allowed to stand so people can tear into it as they see fit. I've seen it happen enough times to know how it goes: either the outlier posts and runs (known as "plopping"), or they stay and fight their corner – typically getting more and more desperate and ad hominem-y until they leave the thread, change their username or open another account and start all over again.

The regulars even have a long-running series of 'Bunbury' threads devoted to community disruptors. Did my contribution make me a dastardly

disruptor, in addition to being a sympathiser of those pining for Reich 4.0 (or 4.1)? Just putting it out there.

on edit:
Fuck it. 'ZZZ' is Steph. Ugh.

Also, note that one of the jokey moderators is 'H. van Norman Hilberry', the gentleman who stood ready with an axe to stop the world's first nuclear reactor from taking out Chicago if need be. I get it. Yet another captured forum.