Author Topic: Reality's last stand


Reality's last stand
« on: February 16, 2023 »
Just because you do not take an interest in gender politics doesn't mean gender politics won't take an interest in you.
– updated Pericles

I may as well call this the trans board. This topic consumed it because I agree with Colin Wright that what we're witnessing really is reality's last stand (until the next last stand, I guess).

When one attempts to achieve equality and justice by distorting reality, inequality and injustice are never eliminated, just relocated.

Trans rights activists – the new Red Guard* – inhabit a different reality. Here's mine:

- You can't be born in the wrong body.
- You can't change sex. (Lots of people think you can.)
- 'Intersex' is a red herring. Very few trans identifying individuals have a developmental sexual disorder. In any case, sex is not a spectrum.
- Gender presentation is not a viable classification system for all the places where division of the sexes is important.
- You can't force others to see you as you wish to be seen. For safeguarding reasons, you shouldn't even try.
- We shouldn't be using euphemisms like "gender affirming care", especially when discussing health care for minors. Call it what it is: strong drugs with irreversible, serious effects, and major surgery. Even social transition is not without risk.
- Men as a sex class are far more violent than women. Trans women are men – or male, if you prefer, but I think separating 'men' from 'male' here is sophistry.
- Women's and girls' safety, rights and dignity have been sacrificed for a wrong-headed "inclusion".
- J.K. Rowling is about the furthest thing from a bigot there is.
- There is no middle ground.

Men can either be women or they can't (they can't). Therefore men either belong in women's spaces or they don't (they don't). Look, if you truly 'pass' (in all likelihood you don't, but women have been too polite to say so), then by definition nobody will notice and there's no issue as nobody wants genital police. Though I'm sure there's a pornhub category for it.

The problem is when you normalise men who can't be questioned for being where they shouldn't be. Like so.

* Also come in orange. Most of the comments run from clueless to horrifyingly clueless. There is a sprinkling of sanity.


Re: Reality's last stand
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2023 »
↑ All of which I've been saying for a few years now through my choice of links and quotes like these:

We need our damn words backThe 21st Century Salonnière
The words that refer to people’s biological, sexed realities – female, male, woman, man, girl, boy, mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, and all the rest – are taken. They are in use. They serve a useful purpose in every human society that uses them.

They are not available for appropriation and repurposing – not to mention, becoming taboo in the context of their former and commonly understood biological meanings. If we don’t like sex-based words being appropriated, redefined, and forbidden to us, we need to say no to that. We need not to play along with it.

In defence of medical hereticsYasmin Zenith
Something troubling is happening in premier UK medical institutions like the Royal College of Psychiatrists. There is a schism between the influential proponents of gender ideology, which is ascendant across the NHS, and those who view it as unscientific and an impediment to safe-guarding and freedom of speech. Dissenting clinicians are concerned about an increasingly dogmatic promotion of gender identity ideology.

Quote from: Fairislefandango
Quote from: MishyJDI quoting Katy Montgomerie
Sex isn’t just a M/F tickbox in your DNA somewhere.

Yes it is. Just because a tiny section of society has decided that 'woman' no longer means what literally everyone has always known it meant since humans have existed, and have decided it now means 'anyone who fancies being a woman', or claim that the fact that a tiny proportion of people are born with DSDs makes it 'complicated' to know who is male or female, that doesn't mean the rest of the world has to abandon all reason and agree with them.

In Defense of J.K. RowlingPamela Paul
Rowling could have just stayed in bed. She could have taken refuge in her wealth and fandom. In her “Harry Potter” universe, heroes are marked by courage and compassion. Her best characters learn to stand up to bullies and expose false accusations. And that even when it seems the world is set against you, you have to stand firm in your core beliefs in what’s right.

Defending those who have been scorned isn’t easy, especially for young people. It’s scary to stand up to bullies, as any “Harry Potter” reader knows. Let the grown-ups in the room lead the way. If more people stood up for J.K. Rowling, they would not only be doing right by her; they’d also be standing up for human rights, specifically women’s rights, gay rights and, yes, transgender rights. They’d also be standing up for the truth.

[Notable chiefly because hitherto The New York Times hasn't been big on standing up for the truth]

Quote from: Medea
I'm relieved to finally see a straightforward and honest analysis of what Ms Rowling has actually written. The backlash against her has continued to shock me as those who claim that she is a transphobe direct others to refrain from reading her actual tweets and essay as doing so would "cause harm." This mandate to avoid primary sources is itself bizarre, but doing it in the name of justice and liberalism is alarming and profoundly anti-intellectual.

I deeply admire Ms. Rowling's advocacy for women and girls, and am all too aware that it is her love and uncompromising commitment to women that is at the root of this witch hunt. Same old misogyny, new approach.

AIBU To not feel safe in changing rooms
Quote from: YetAnotherSpartacus
Quote from: Burgoo
What does the data show? Not what you have experienced or what friends have. But the actual number of times this happens in a year? You can only really judge whether an emotion is reasonable based on how realistic the threat is. If it is 1% that is one thing, if it is 80% that is another.

Do you think that every time a woman is flashed at, groped, watched, been cat-called, had a heavy-breathing man sit right near her fondling his thigh she reports it and it becomes 'data'?

You're dreaming. Women's experiences of men's violence and unwanted attention are so much part of the wallpaper of our lives to be invisible.

Quote from: Fair Play For Women
The Defence Science & Tech laboratory @dstlmod has chosen one of their male scientists to be the face of international women and girls in science day.

How the Tavistock gender clinic ran out of controlHadley Freeman
How did the country’s only NHS clinic for gender dysphoric children not even understand what they were doing, and yet keep doing it? Thanks to Barnes and her book, we now know the answers to those questions, and many more.

I Thought I Was Saving Trans Kids. Now I’m Blowing the Whistle.Jamie Reed
Normally I'd pull a quote from the article, but for this one I'll just say read it and weep.

. . .

I don't know who is on the wrong side of history, but I'm content to stay on the other side of an incoherent movement rife with homophobia and misogyny, spearheaded by believers who sound like a cult and not one of the good ones.

One more:
Because you might LOL, which would be unseemly.



Without feathers
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2023 »

I've contacted a couple of people who responded to Marissa Higgins's piece, with a view to a collaboration in the interests of showing that these issues can be discussed civilly despite us having some very different views. Which means I'd probably have to stop using words like 'cult', apt as it seems to me.

If they're game and we succeed in writing something, I reckon I'll be tarred and feathered by most of the Kos commentariat. So there's that to potentially look forward to.


A fool such as I
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2023 »

A few more NYT letters to pass the time. There's been an incredible response to Paul, I can't do it justice.

Quote from: Anon
In response to the various supporters saying we just need to get to know some trans people, I have. I've met some lovely people, and some not so lovely. I support their civil rights, and I still support J.K. Rowling and the rights of biological women to sex-segregated spaces.

Very few women, if you ask them, will agree they want a world where women have no boundaries with trans women. There is no magic in the world – trans women by and large see women from the outside from a man's or boy's perspective, think that life looks good for any of a variety of reasons [one of the clearest signs they don't really understand what women's lives are like, IMO], and transition. In a society where men as a class rarely bother to empathize with women, the result is newly-made women who, like men, don't have any interest in actual women unless we stop complaining and let them set the agenda.

They also argue with us about our experience and what we are really like. They browbeat lesbians to embrace male anatomy if its owner calls it female. Just like the storied 'not all men,' it's of course true this is 'not all trans women' – but when you are making laws, you can't say 'only the real trans women can use women's spaces.' Basically, you have to let in any man who claims to be a woman, and he doesn't have to change anything at all about himself to do that.

Quote from: Anne
I remember being in graduate seminar grappling with and critiquing gender theorists such as Foucault and Judith Butler. Now I live in a world where Foucault is pop culture and trickle-down Judith Butler is spewing from Tik Tok videos—not that anyone espousing pop Foucault or trickle-down Judith Butler has actually read the sources they parrot.

We understood in grad seminar that a lot of gender theory is questionable, because in order to fully buy it you have to believe that the body in no way matters. Bodies are not really real. Only language is true or real.

Soon we’ll hear that there’s no such thing as human, because a human body isn’t enough to prove that a human exists. When everything is just a social construction, you can believe and say anything, and nothing you believe or say has to rest on any concrete reality.

This belief in language is why trans activists and their allies attack people such as JK Rowling with such ferocity. When your world is built on nothing but words you need to restate and defend your “truth” over and over to continue to make it “real,” which also entails constantly attacking your critics and diligently policing any and all language that threatens your verbal sandcastle in the sky. It’s also why you have to bully others into using the language and thinking the thoughts that reify your “truth.”

Free speech is a threat to gender theory, because gender theory is solely based on speech. Gender theory is just words.

Next, comments on Kos showing the basic problem: we likely can't move past the article of faith TWAW. This foundational, thought terminating

mantra makes everything they go on to claim possible, and rebuttals from people like me ineffectual, because its stops reason in its tracks.

Quote from: jaimehlers
To add onto the "trans women are women" part of the article, I want to point out that people who argue otherwise are normalizing the kind of framing that has been used to other marginalized groups around the world prior to the genocide of those groups. Yes, really.

It's important to recognize and push back against this kind of thinking. "Trans women are women" is a good start, but I'd prefer something like "women are women whether they are trans or cis". Because that underscores the idea that a woman is a woman regardless of her chromosomes or whether she has the ability to give birth.
Quote from: Marissa Higgins
I actually really like that: women are women whether they’re trans or cis. I’m going to start trying to incorporate it more, thank you!
Quote from: jaimehlers
It's really easy to get sucked into framing traps like that.

It took me a long time to consciously realize this because I'm not exactly immune to framing like this either but women who are cis don't think of themselves as cis women, they just think of themselves as women. So why should women who are trans have to describe themselves as trans women?

It's as you said, trans women are women. But even that phrasing lets trans-exclusionary people like Rowling play word games like "I support trans people but I don't believe they're actually women". Which I'm sure you'd agree is not really supportive of them at all.

So, "women are women". It doesn't matter if they are trans or cis any more than it matters if they're hetero or lesbian.

Back to the bogs.

Quote from: tmseattle
Quote from: Cargill
From my experience over a long life, lots of women don’t want to use toilets that men also use…

Having a non-gender-specific “third” toilet would seem to be the common-sense solution.  We have plenty of unisex toilets for the disabled. What is the problem?

The problem is that trans-women shouldn’t be required to use a gender neutral restroom. I’ve been places where there the gender neutral restroom requires a key. And what it the gender neutral restroom is occupied? 

The solution is just to treat trans-women as women! What’s the problem with that?
Quote from: Cargill
I don’t have a problem with it … although I am male and not affected, so I don’t have a view based on personal experience.
Quote from: DarkPhoeix
TERFs would never go for this.  In fact, they’d like for society to be split into two groups; the TERFs, who get special privileges, and everybody else. And the line gets drawn by the TERFs themselves.
Quote from: VelvetElvis
It's not about bathrooms. It's about denying the fact that transwoman are women, that transmen are men and that nonbinary is just as valid as binary.

Quote from: tmseatle
Quote from: K S LaVida
It’s funny to see the insults hurled at somebody not 150% on board with the most extreme views on this issue.

Yeah, it’s so amazing that people are upset when people are not 150% on board with treating trans-women as women, or treating black women as women, or treating asian women as women, or queer women as women, or ..

Yeah those views are so extreme!

That last one is a sarcasm fail. That black women in particular are forever being hauled into their arguments is an even bigger fail.

As you can see, dear reader, there being no discussion here, I import it piecemeal from elsewhere.

It's a habit I cultivated after being censored and banned from old haunts where nuanced conversations are off the menu.

Quote from: BMScott
Quote from: Colorado Blue
I'm living through my trans relative and her/his transition right now. I can't imagine why she wants to become a man. But, I am going to support her/him in any way I can.

Your relative doesn’t want to become a man: she is a man.

Quote from: somewhereoutthere
Quote from: Goingallout
You just keep declaring stuff until it apparently should stick. What I’ve seen of her writings seems really reasonable. You’re not addressing that.

Okay so I think the issue is that you are arguing with people who actually do know what they're talking about.
/s. FTFY.

Chompsky lives for teachable moments.

Quote from: ravagerofworlds2
JKR did far more than just give to charity. For two decades she inspired children to read text, which is important for cognitive development. Using language in text has different effects on the human brain than watching/listening to video. I’ve spent far too many days listening to high school students in remedial English courses trying to improve their 5th grade reading skills just before the school gives them a diploma and sends them out into the world.

Now, there’s a whole movement to abstain people from reading a book series that is good for reading, not based on any specific passages from that series, but because of what people said the author said. Hmm… Attacking something that has demonstrably increased reading because of author perceptions? That just smacks of evil. I’ve enjoyed both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky’s works, I don’t really care about their politics in Czarist Russia.

Oh, let's go ahead and throw this in here too. (For the record, I've never had my IQ tested. On a good day I might be able to power a lightbulb. On a bad day, even this goes whooosh.)

Why Smart People Believe Stupid ThingsGurwinder
The prevailing view is that people adopt false beliefs because they’re too stupid or ignorant to grasp the truth. This may be true in some cases, but just as often the opposite is true: many delusions prey not on dim minds but on bright ones. And this has serious implications for education, society, and you personally.

Click pic for slow Bob. It's a song that really needs to be howled.

Re: Reality's last stand
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2023 »
Who benefits from the trans phenomenon?

1) Advertisers and marketers of gendered products and image

2) Capitalism in general - it's a case of divide and rule

3) Small-minded bureaucratic egotists, the perennial mediocre

4) A few psychiatric and medical practitioners with nothing better to do

What do we lose?

A-Z) A diverse gene-pool

We will have to debate it on through, as with any controversy, and I am grateful you scan things like mumsnet and Daily Kos so I don't have to. Much as the late sixties saw liberationism become the target of its own over-indulgences; now the urgent need to get together to quell climate disaster is being bogged down, but without even the need to flood the ghettos with drugs. Language is so cheap!

It's a fucking first-world problem, and I use the f-word advisedly. Now it's coming to the news that significant numbers of now gender-altered kids were gay, a few more nice middle class folks are smelling the coffee.

Never mind the gender stereotype. Here's a chemical castration.

But if my generation had made a better job of women's liberation it need not have come to this.

Re: Reality's last stand
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2023 »
I still maintain that the Harry Potter series is a bit crap.


  • London's hard-boiled black'n'white sweetie
Re: Reality's last stand
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2023 »
As a bun, well I fink sum ov these people should turn inter frogs. innit. Wotever makes yer hoppy!

Re: Reality's last stand
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2023 »
God knows I've made it difficult to determine who's who and what's what. For the record, I'm not Ernestine or Humbug. Nor am I Erma. All clear everyone?

I'm fond of frogs, which is what I call toads. Occasionally they turn up on my doorstep. I once half blinded a poor fellow whilst strimming, and was genuinely grieved.

"Kindly keep your distance."

My usual go-to on matters biological is Emma:

Googling* her and frogs also yielded the following, written by Katja Thieme (she/they), which needless to say doesn't sway me: A Pinch of Expertise Plus a Ton of Speculation. But I'll give shey this: I've read worse.

As for the Harry Potter franchise, the books came after my young adulthood and I wasn't moved to pick them up later. Nor did the movies appeal. That said, I applaud JK for getting so many kids thrilled to read.

* Sorry Ernestine and Humbug, I know neither of you are fond of the verb


Teach your children well
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2023 »
Trans picture books for little childrenShelley Charlesworth
In children’s picture books the foundational belief of gender identity theory is so simplified that its reliance on sex stereotypes is plain to see. Boys whose interests are seen as feminine or girls whose interests are more typically masculine become shorthand for being ‘trans.’
LGBT+ groups which offer school training schemes are the biggest users of trans picture books. These schemes get schools to sign up to policies to socially transition the ‘transgender child.’ Common to these policies is a belief that sex is on a spectrum whereas gender is innate, that the ‘transgender’ child’s right supersede all other rights, and that not to accede to them risks suicide. Parents who’ve already transitioned their child must be accommodated. They all distort equality law. Teachers are told they must validate new names and pronouns, behind parents’ backs if necessary.
In the world of trans publishing for children, fiction is written as fact, and factual content is, in reality, fiction. These non-fiction LGBT+ explainers are aimed, like the story books, at the primary school market. Because the language is counterfactual – she’s my dad – and arcane – cisgender, agender, gender neutral – readers and teachers are in need of these instruction manuals. The ABC of Gender Identity strays close to parody with its words for H and K.   “Horogender- Someone whose identity changes over time. Kynigender— Someone who is unable to pinpoint their gender due to stress of the questioning process.” This book is for 5yr-olds.
Stonewall recommend perhaps the most blatantly homophobic account of a male to female child transition, When Kayla Was Kyle. It’s the story of a little boy who is relentlessly bullied at school for not liking sport and being ‘different.’ When another boy discovers Kyle plays with Barbie dolls the bullying intensifies, he is called a girl and laughed at for liking dolls. His parents continue for some years to encourage him be like other boys. At his lowest and most friendless he tells his parents “I’m a mistake…I can’t live like this anymore… everyone hates me…I want to live in heaven.” Kyle’s parents then realise that Kyle can’t live as a boy but has to become Kayla. Suicide ideation is central to activist organisations like Mermaids, despite there being no evidence that children with gender distress are at a greater risk than children with other mental health conditions.  At no point does the author or any of the characters suggest that Kyle could be happy as a boy who likes dolls, or could grow up to be gay.
Ensuring that there are good books for children is a job for everyone: writers, agents, publishers, parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers and reviewers. It’s not that hard. Just don’t tell children, who are developmentally too young to understand, that they have an innate gender identity or that their interests mean they might be the opposite sex. Don’t tell them they can change their sex. Don’t normalise double mastectomies by sneaking such images into a book for 5year-olds. And let them know it’s absolutely fine to ask the question ‘are you a boy or are you a girl?’

See also My Body is Me


credo quia absurdum
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2023 »
I've been relieved to see that one of my usual haunts,, which I often visit to get a bracing dose of reality, knows what's what.

Who Decides for Children?
Quote from: Yves Smith
We have been forced to restrict discussion of trans issues, which I am not happy about, due to the aggression and efforts to thought police on the Internet of some trans advocates.

Quote from: SES
As far as I know, it was long understood in clinical practice that the vast majority of gender-questioning children and teens were young lesbians and gays who had difficulties accepting themselves. Given therapy and time, nearly all of them turned out to be self-accepting lesbian and gay young adults.

Given how I presented as a child, if I were now entering the school system in my province in Canada, I’d quite possibly be nudged into the transition stream by busybody guidance counsellors and social workers. The thought fills me with horror.

I think the LGB rights NGOs are partly to blame. I’m one of those mossback old gays (I’m 62) who regards gay marriage as “aping heteronormative behaviour,” as PK nicely put it. My partner of 29 years and I would never consider getting married – why do we have to keep symbolically trying to appease our fathers? Anyhow, my guess is that the NGOs had run out of things to push for once they had achieved concrete material progress in terms of LGB rights. Winning gay marriage was the first step in mission creep – a symbolic achievement that added little or nothing in terms of material rights to civil partnerships or common-law relationships. Then what? Disband the NGOs? Yeah, right.

Many gays and lesbians regard themselves as having been betrayed by what the LGB NGOs have morphed into: organizations promoting an agenda largely driven by straight men with a cross-dressing paraphilia, and that end up essentially promoting “conversion therapy” and sterilization for young, confused, closeted gays and lesbians.

It’s weird how gender ideology has become the credo quia absurdum of the woke religion. I guess that’s why such a fringe issue has been pushed to centre stage – I mean, if you can get people to believe this stuff …