Category Archive 'Transgenderism'

16 Nov 2019

On Reading the Reflections of a Transgendered Economist

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Donald “Dierdre” McCloskey today.

Last night, I was glancing through the web-sites I follow a bit less frequently than daily and brought up Quillette. The second or third article I opened drew my appalled attention, and kept me thinking about it uneasily all night, in much the manner one is haunted afterwards by the sight of a blood-and-compound-fractures-everywhere motorcycle crash.

The name of the author, “Dierdre” McCloskey, rang a faint bell. When I looked him/her up, that proved to be no surprise, this McCloskey person was actually the rather well-known author of a much positively reviewed book on “The Bourgeois Virtues.”

Professor McCloskey, not surprisingly, of course, for a graduate of Harvard and best-selling author, writes very well in a characteristically restrained, yet Olympian, manner, treating the bizarre topic under discussion, the author’s decision at age 53 to “change gender,” with good humor and detached mild irony.

The fine quality of the writing, however, and the author’s smug, self-congratulatory tone, struck me as outrageously incongruous considering all the issues being so artfully glanced over and avoided.

It’s been a long time now since, at age 53, I became a woman. Actually, I’m an old woman more than twenty years on, who walks sometimes with a nice fold-up cane, and has had two hip-joint replacements, and lives in a loft in downtown Chicago with 8,000 books, delighting in her dogs, her birth family, her friends scattered from Chile to China, her Episcopal church across the street, her eating club near the Art Institute, and above all her teaching and writing as a professor. Or, as the Italians so charmingly say, as una professoressa. …

But of course one can’t “really” change gender, can one? The “really” comes up when an angry conservative man or an angry essentialist feminist writes in a blog or an editorial or a comment page. The angry folk are correct, biologically speaking. That’s why their anger sounds to them like common sense. Every cell in my body shouts XY, XY, XY! I do wish they would shut up. Wretched little chromosomes. In some magical future I suppose we’ll be able to change XYs into XXs. But not now.

And more importantly a gender changer age 53, as I was in 1995, can’t have had the history of a born girl and woman. She cannot have had the good and the bad experiences of girlhood and motherhood and the rest. No science can change her life history. …

I had a normal boy’s life, and the advantage in a macho field like economics of being a man for half of my academic career. The question of what you are is qualitative, not quantitative. What sort? What life? What team? In late 1995, I chose to switch teams. …

It’s a Romantic fallacy to think that people have simple and eternal essences. They change. In a free society, shouldn’t they be allowed to? Tell me.

My wife soon remarried, and lives with her new husband and still enjoys the square dancing she and I loved in the last five years of our happy if sometimes tempestuous thirty years of marriage. Bless ‘em. She’s not spoken to me. In that autumn of first realization in 1995 I left to my wife—stupidly, husband-style—the task of telling my children, my grown son and my college-freshman daughter. Women do emotional work, Donald must have thought, if he thought at all, which I don’t recall he did. I should have gone myself in Donald drag to my children. Not that gender change is a theorem, to be “explained” with the snap shut of a proof. It’s a story, and in October 1995 it was in the middle of Act 1. But my confused and self-absorbed neglect was an awful mistake.

My daughter still lives in the Midwest; she is married and has a child. I’ve told in Crossing about how, a year later, when she was still in college, I saw her that one time, very early in my transition, a weeping father in a dress begging for a hug. My friend Patty had advised against the meeting, wisely. Later I occasionally wrote to her, fruitlessly, and a long time afterwards helped her financially. Her lone letter in reply said “Thanks for the money. I still don’t want you in my life. …

My son lives not too far from me. He too won’t speak. None of my marriage-family, out to cousins, is permitted to speak to any of my birth family, out to cousins. Is my son enforcing the embargo with threats? I don’t know. His wife’s father, a professor of law whom I persuaded once to meet me at O’Hare airport, won’t help, because he’s afraid of losing his daughter. To what? Not to love or to tolerance of human change. Hmm.

In 2000 I had moved from sweet Iowa City to a new job at the University of Illinois at Chicago, deciding to live downtown. I learned that a neighbor on the very same hallway was also a well-known libertarian, someone who wrote blazingly on human freedom. True, I noted, he and his wife were strangely distant towards me. Odd. I heard that every month the man hosted a soirée of free-market types. Oh, nice. Natural for me, I thought. But a note I left suggesting I might join got no response. Hmm. Oh, well. I’ve got plenty to do.

Then one day I learned with a jolt from another libertarian economist that my son came to the very same soirée, and knew that I lived thirty feet down the hallway. Good Lord. My Episcopal God was tapping me on the shoulder, hard. In the same hallway. Hope flared. Huzzah!! With the strange neighbor’s help, surely, I thought, I can get back my marriage family, my children, my grandchildren. After all, the neighbor believes in freedom. True, my son had chosen not to knock on the door down the hall. But, well, hope. I left a wrapped copy of Crossing at the neighbor’s door.

Next morning I opened my own door to get the newspaper. The package, unopened, lay on the welcome mat, a message scribbled on it, “We don’t want to have anything to do with you.” My breath stopped. I couldn’t cry. Hope left as shockingly quickly as it had arrived. I thought: So that’s why his wife so awkwardly wouldn’t let her children collect Hallowe’en candy from my door last October. Not even to indulge the sentimental middle-aged lady down the hall. So-called lady. Thus freedom. Maybe my son had claimed to them that I had been an evil father or something. I don’t know. By a decade later they had become at least ordinarily courteous in encounters on the elevator, and I invited them once by note to eat at my club. A note in return:

“No, we are your son’s friends.” And so?

I have not seen my son’s children, now in college or high school, or my daughter’s child, just now in school. The forbidding of children and grandchildren was at first like being stabbed in the chest, the knife twisted in the wound. Early on, I would send Christmas gifts to the grandchildren. But I gave up after a while. Strange, isn’t it, that I care about these offspring I’ve never seen? But there it is. Blood is thicker than water, I suppose.

What worries me most—with the decades, the stab wound hurts less—is the loss to my children and then their children. I would have been a good father, an aunt, whatever you want to say, and anyway a grandparent, nearby and visiting out of state. Youngsters benefit from having more people in their lives, more models of how to live and to love. …

How does a new gender feel after all these years?

Great.

Most decisions leave at least a small regret, a 4:00 a.m. wakefulness. Did you marry the right person? (In my case, yes.) Did you choose the right profession? (In my case, yes.) Should Donald have stayed at his beloved University of Chicago, which in 1980 he left from irritation at the reluctance in the Economics Department, though not in History, to promote him right away to full professor? (A hard one, that; but on the whole, yes.) But becoming Deirdre has evoked not the slightest passing instant of regret. Not once. Nada. …

During the late 1990s shortly after my transition I had called up a male dean at Harvard and asked him if Harvard could change my degree to the women’s college, Radcliffe. “Oh, I don’t think we can do that.” “But the U. S. State Department,” I whined, “had no trouble changing my passport from male to female.” Pause. Then with a smile in his voice, “Yes. But Harvard is older than the U.S. Department of State.” Goodness. Some things never change.

Am I an “angry person?”

Yes and no. Reading Professor McCloskey’s essay did not make me angry, it made me very, very sad. What does make me angry is the patently obvious recognition that Professor McCloskey is, at some level, a very defective and mentally-deranged specimen of humanity afflicted with impulses and desires most of us would consider unbecoming, disgraceful, and bizarre, and the knowledge that a deliberately calculated and conceived political movement using appeals to sentimentality and ressentiment as leverage has successfully persuaded the contemporary elite community of fashion to accept an outrageous Falsehood as Truth and mental illness and sexual perversity as a legitimate societal constituency and a worthy cause.

OK, let us grant that Professor McCloskey really did experience an involuntary, unsolicited in any way, hankering to dress in female clothes and live life as a woman.

We all experience, going through life, involuntary and unsolicited impulses toward thoughts, fantasies, and actions which, acted upon, would really be destructive, disgraceful, illegal, and simply wrong. Who has never experienced homicidal thoughts? Who has not been tempted by an opportunity for theft? Who has never received a sexual proposition for an encounter that was out of bounds?

The political constituency for sexual perversity successfully bamboozled our dim and cowardly elite by the simple tactic of pointing to the involuntary and spontaneous character of homosexual desire and its universal temporal and geographical minority manifestation as evidence the sanction of Nature.

“Ich kann nicht Anders!” (I cannot do otherwise!), Peter Lorre, the child murderer in Fritz Lang’s 1931 “M” protests to the Berlin Underworld gangster jury deciding on his fate. 1931 Berlin gangsters had a lot more sense than the International millennial-era elite. They unsympathetically condemned the murderer Hans Beckert for his crimes.

Consensual homosexuality and female impersonating are, of course, not exactly the same thing as murder. They are basically self-regarding activities that could be omitted from the book of criminal statutes in a libertarian state. But that does not mean they are not disgraceful and wrong. Or even that they do no harm.

Pretending to be something one is not is contemptible and wrong. I expect everyone has one or more unfulfilled personal dreams or fantasies. Lots of people would love to have become rich and famous. Large numbers of people yearn to be movie stars or astronauts. Pretty much everyone has one or more unfulfilled personal ambitions. But living one’s life pretending to be something one is not, ruining one’s marriage, destroying one’s family, breaking one’s vows in order to pretend that the impossible is true? Maybe people like Professor McCloskey should be “allowed” to do all those things, but they certainly should not be encouraged and applauded. Nor should the rest of us participate in their charades. And doctors should certainly should not be allowed to violate the Hippocratic Oath by chemically or surgically mutilating the human body in pursuit of fantasy.

Professor McCloskey writes well, but I fail to understand how anyone can take seriously the academic and scholarly conclusions of someone who thinks it is possible to base his own identity and life on an obvious Lie and an essentially futile fantasy.

RTWT

03 Oct 2019

British Employment Tribunal Says Doctor Can Be Fired For Declining to Refer to Trannies By Their Preferred Pronoun

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Daily Wire:

On Tuesday, a British [employment tribunal] ruled that belief in the Bible was “incompatible with human dignity.”

That statement came in a case involving Dr. David Mackereth, a devout Christian who had worked as an emergency doctor for the National Health Service for 26 years. He said he was fired from his job because he refused to call a biological man a woman. The court’s ruling stated: “Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.” The court added. “… in so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”

Also reported by the Independent and by the BBC:

The hearing was told he would refuse to refer to “any 6ft-tall bearded man” as “madam” following a conversation with a manager at an assessment centre and later left his role.

The tribunal panel – sitting in Birmingham – found the [Department for Work and Pensions] DWP had not breached the Equality Act. It stated there was no contravention and dismissed the complaints.

“A lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others,” the judgement said.

Dr Mackereth, 56, said he was “deeply concerned” by the ruling.

“Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended,” he said.

“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians to speak the truth. If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practise of medicine in the UK.”

23 Apr 2019

Camille Paglia: “The Movement Towards Androgyny Occurs in Late Phases of Culture, as a Civilization is Starting to Unravel”

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“The movement towards androgyny occurs in late phases of culture, as a civilization is starting to unravel. You can find it again and again and again through history. In the Greek art you could see it happening. All of a sudden the sculptures of handsome nude young men, athletes, that used to be very robust in the archaic period, suddenly begin to seem like wet noodles toward the end. And the people who live in such periods (late phases of culture) — whether it’s the Hellenistic era, whether it’s the Roman Empire, whether it’s the Mauve decade of Oscar Wilde in the 1890s, whether it’s Weimar Germany — people who live in such times feel that they are very sophisticated, they’re very cosmopolitan: “homosexuality, heterosexuality, so what, anything goes, and so on…” But from the perspective of historical distance, you can see that it’s a culture that no longer believes in itself. And then what you invariably get are people who are convinced of the power of heroic masculinity on the edges. Whether they be the Vandals and the Huns, or whether they’re the barbarians of ISIS, you see them starting to mass on the outsides of the culture. And that’s what we have right now. There’s a tremendous disconnect between the infatuation with the transgender movement in our own culture and what’s going on out there.”

26 Nov 2018

More “Andrea Long Chu”

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“Andrea Long Chu”.

Yesterday’s NYT’s transitioning person’s editorial by a deeply disturbed guy who calls himself Andrea Long Chu, discussed previously here, rather lit Rod Dreher’s fuse and the usually meek and depressive Rod comes out sounding like Cato the Elder on a cranky day.

Chu says that the treatments doctors have given him are making him sicker, even making him desire suicide. But if he wants to suffer and to die, then he should have that right. Satisfying desire is the only thing that matters.

This poor man with asparagus-colored hair is going to submit to mutilation next week, and will have to spend the rest of his life inserting an object into the wound surgeons will have made in his pubic area, to prevent his body from healing itself. This man — “like many of my trans friends” — expects this medical procedure to make him no happier, and in fact may make him feel more miserable, even suicidal.

But he wants it. People like him want all of society to upend its laws, its customs, and its norms to facilitate that desire, and to act like there’s nothing wrong with it. And society is giving them what they want, and punishing those who deny that this is paradise.

Freeing the autonomous will from sex and gender norms is the summum bonum of contemporary American progressivism. The insatiably miserable Andrea Long Chu is its incarnation. …

We have gone beyond gay people to allow transgender people — fewer than one percent of the population — to change America forever.

Progressives! They make a desert and call it peace. They carve a gash and call it a vagina. They make us all insane, and call the sane crazy.

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The less attractive, but more obviously masculine, picture of “Andrea Long Chu” above comes, hilariously enough, from his “Buy Me a New Body” Go Fund Me site.

He wants $30,000 to mutilate himself with, and 271 people have already obligingly ponied up $10,998 in the course of three months.

25 Nov 2018

The NYT is Begging to be Taken Seriously (and It Obviously Does Not Deserve It)

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Andrea Long Chu

How does it feel to live in a time in which the grand establishment newspaper of record will publish, with grave seriousness and implicit nodding approval, the self-pitying posturings of a crazy who has created a personal identity and political ideology based on maladjustment and futile, self-destructive efforts to rebel against Nature and Reality?

Next Thursday, I will get a vagina. The procedure will last around six hours, and I will be in recovery for at least three months. Until the day I die, my body will regard the vagina as a wound; as a result, it will require regular, painful attention to maintain. This is what I want, but there is no guarantee it will make me happier. In fact, I don’t expect it to. That shouldn’t disqualify me from getting it.

I like to say that being trans is the second-worst thing that ever happened to me. (The worst was being born a boy.) …

I feel demonstrably worse since I started on hormones. One reason is that, absent the levies of the closet, years of repressed longing for the girlhood I never had have flooded my consciousness. I am a marshland of regret. Another reason is that I take estrogen — effectively, delayed-release sadness, a little aquamarine pill that more or less guarantees a good weep within six to eight hours.

Like many of my trans friends, I’ve watched my dysphoria balloon since I began transition. I now feel very strongly about the length of my index fingers — enough that I will sometimes shyly unthread my hand from my girlfriend’s as we walk down the street. When she tells me I’m beautiful, I resent it. I’ve been outside. I know what beautiful looks like. Don’t patronize me.

I was not suicidal before hormones. Now I often am.

I won’t go through with it, probably. Killing is icky. I tell you this not because I’m cruising for sympathy but to prepare you for what I’m telling you now: I still want this, all of it. I want the tears; I want the pain. Transition doesn’t have to make me happy for me to want it. Left to their own devices, people will rarely pursue what makes them feel good in the long term. Desire and happiness are independent agents.

As long as transgender medicine retains the alleviation of pain as its benchmark of success, it will reserve for itself, with a dictator’s benevolence, the right to withhold care from those who want it. Transgender people have been forced, for decades, to rely for care on a medical establishment that regards them with both suspicion and condescension. And yet as things stand today, there is still only one way to obtain hormones and surgery: to pretend that these treatments will make the pain go away.

The medical maxim “First, do no harm” assumes that health care providers possess both the means and the authority to decide what counts as harm. When doctors and patients disagree, the exercise of this prerogative can, itself, be harmful. Nonmaleficence is a principle violated in its very observation. Its true purpose is not to shield patients from injury but to install the medical professional as a little king of someone else’s body.

Let me be clear: I believe that surgeries of all kinds can and do make an enormous difference in the lives of trans people.

But I also believe that surgery’s only prerequisite should be a simple demonstration of want. Beyond this, no amount of pain, anticipated or continuing, justifies its withholding.

Nothing, not even surgery, will grant me the mute simplicity of having always been a woman. I will live with this, or I won’t. That’s fine. The negative passions — grief, self-loathing, shame, regret — are as much a human right as universal health care, or food. There are no good outcomes in transition. There are only people, begging to be taken seriously.

RTWT

Personally, I think that we sane and normal people have a lot more reason for melancholy based on sheer embarrassment over the contemptible intellectual state of our culture and establishment than does some nutcase who does not like the sexual characteristics he was born with.

I fail to understand how Society and the medical profession and government are all supposed to adapt to whims connected with sex on the part of an infinitesimally small number of deeply neurotic malcontents without feeling exactly the same obligation to “take seriously” and accommodate the wishes of every madman who thinks he is Napoleon.

29 Mar 2018

Wouldn’t It Just Have Been Simpler . . .?

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The Sun glowingly describes the latest breakthrough development in human relationships in Britain’s Brave New Progressive Society.

Transgender Army officer Hannah Winterbourne has married actor Jake Graf — who used to be a woman.

Captain Hannah, 31, who spent her first few years in the Army as a man, wed Jake, 40, in London.

The delighted bride said on Monday night: “I never thought when I was younger this could happen to me. It was always a pipe dream.”

The couple tied the knot with a romantic white wedding — saying: “We’re just like any other bride and groom.”

Captain Hannah wed Jake in a ceremony that she described as “like a Disney movie”.

Hannah who will now be ­living with Jake in Army married quarters near her barracks, added: “To me, I’m just another girl married to another guy. As you transition and meet someone new you kind of forget about your past.” …

Actor Jake, 40, said: “We’re just the same as everyone else, with our flaws and ups and downs — but a little bit different.”

Hannah and Jake revealed they first got together because of a Sun front-page story in January 2015 telling of her courageous decision to become a woman while still on Army active service. …

But the fact that Jake was also transgender made things easier.

Hannah, who is in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, said: “I didn’t have to explain myself. He knew how to deal with it. I’ve got a low voice but he understood. …

Now they are married, Hannah and Jake are eager to start a family.

She said: “We want kids sooner rather than later. I’ve definitely got broody since turning 30. A lot of my friends have got kids now. We’ll go for surrogacy in the first instance and see how it goes.”

Myself, I self-identify as a Scottish duke with a castle, 60,000-acres of grouse shooting, 6 miles of good salmon water, and a gun-room full of Purdeys and Bosses. When can I start transitioning?

23 Aug 2017

California School Teaches Transgenderism in Kindergarten, Parents Not Pleased

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From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.

CBS 13 Sacramento

The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class.

“These parents feel betrayed by the school district that they were not notified,” said Karen England with the Capitol Resource Institute.

The incident happened earlier this summer during the last few days of the academic school year.

At Monday night’s board meeting, the teacher at the center of the controversy spoke out. With emotions high, she addressed a packed house.

“I’m so proud of my students, it was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation,” she said.

The teacher defended her actions to read two children’s books about transgenderism including one titled “I am Jazz.” She says the books were given to her by a transgender child going through a transition.

“The kindergartners came home very confused, about whether or not you can pick your gender, whether or not they really were a boy or a girl,” said England.

Parents say besides the books, the transgender student at some point during class also changed clothes and was revealed as her true gender.

And many parents say they feel betrayed and blindsided.

“I want her to hear from me as a parent what her gender identity means to her and our family, not from a book that may be controversial,” a parent said.

“My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy,” another parent said.

RTWT

13 Mar 2017

Camille Paglia on Transgenderism and the Late Stages of Culture

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08 Mar 2017

Catholic Slogans Banned in Madrid

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At Return of Kings, Spanish blogger Juan Sanchez Villalobos reports that Catholic slogans on a Madrid bus responding to a leftist transgender propaganda meme quickly provoked official and unofficial hostility.

A bright orange bus appeared in public on Monday in the city of Madrid with several phrases written on its sides stating blatant biological facts: “Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina. Don’t let them fool you. If you are born a man, you are a man. If you are a woman, you’ll keep being one”.

The vehicle was commissioned by a Catholic organization called Hazte Oir (Make Yourself Heard), which has campaigned against abortion in the past. The bus is allegedly a response to a campaign displayed across northern Spain by a Basque organization which exhibited drawings of nude children holding hands and stating that some boys have vulvas and some girls penises. Their campaign was funded by an anonymous donor from New York who’s goal was to “raise social awareness about transgender children.”

It didn’t take long for the government officials to spring into action. Madrid’s City Council, which is ruled by liberals, promised to take the “necessary measures” to stop the bus from touring the city saying the vehicle did not comply with local traffic ordinances. The regional government, ruled by cuckservatives, said that it was consulting with the Attorney General over whether the bus broke any “hate crime” laws. The cities of Barcelona and Valencia, both with progressive governments, announced penalties up to 3,000 Euros if the bus dares to come to their cities.

At any case their complaints have been successful and the bus was impounded by the police and taken off the road. The judge said the bus would remain immobilized until the slogans were removed, adding that the messages went beyond simply advertising the group’s ideology and attacked the dignity of certain people by denying their sexual orientation.

The orange bus has also sparked a furious backlash and hundreds of threats on Twitter by SJWs. “Less tweets and more burning and stoning the bus.” They incite him to burn it, paint it, throw eggs or use artifacts like a a bazooka to destroy it.

Read the whole thing.

16 May 2016

Trump Trans

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TrumpTransCartoon

11 Apr 2016

A British Heretic Repents

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IanMcEwan

In the old days, people would die for their convictions. Protestants and Catholics alike suffered themselves to be racked, torn with irons, and burned alive to uphold the truth as they perceived it. You can still see scorch marks on the door of Balliol College from the burning of Latimer, Cranmer, and Ridley.

Brendan O’Neill, in National Review, describes how the confrontation between Heresy and Orthodoxy plays out in our own time. No scorch marks for Ian McEwan!

For a worldview that claims to be all about freedom and choice and “being oneself,” transgenderism sure is tetchy and intolerant. Consider what has just happened to the celebrated British novelist Ian McEwan. Last week, during a speech at the Royal Institution in London, McEwan took a genteel swipe at the politics of identity. He said identity politics is becoming increasingly consumerist, where we now pluck a ready-made “self” from “the shelves of a personal-identity supermarket.” The making up of one’s identity has gone so far that “some men in full possession of a penis are identifying as women and demanding entry to women-only colleges,” he said. Then came his killer line: “Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to think of people with penises as men.”

Can you guess what happened next? Yes, McEwan was subjected to a Twitch hunt, to that 21st-century bloodsport in which anyone who expresses an unpopular view or makes a less than PC utterance or simply misspeaks a little will be “called out” (shamed) by the bedroom-bound, Twitter-living, self-styled guardians of correct thinking. Twits went berserk over his apparently perverse linking of penises with maleness. They branded him a bigot, weird, a transphobe. Trans-rights activists put the boot in, too. Stonewall, the LGBT activist group, slammed McEwan for being “uninformed” and said his weird worldview doesn’t only “denigrate the trans experience, it denies its very existence.” Paris Lees, a trans woman and journalist, scolded McEwan, telling him his “ideas about penises are outdated.” He should apologize, the mob said.

And he did. All the virtual tomato-throwing at this heretic who dared to say that people with penises are men had the desired effect. It elicited a public backtrack. In an open letter in the Guardian, McEwan accused some of his critics of being “righteous and cross,” yet he then bowed and scraped before the trans religion. Transgenderism “should be respected,” he said. Then, most strikingly, he obediently expressed the key tenet of the trans ideology: “Biology is not always destiny.” Remarkable. In the space of a few days, he went from raising interesting, awkward questions about trans identity to repeating in a national newspaper the trans mantra that “biology is not destiny.” For those of us who believe in freedom of thought, it was an ugly sight, reminiscent of those poor souls dragged before the Inquisition and set free only when they dutifully bought into their inquisitors’ belief system and publicly declared: “I believe in Jesus Christ.”

Read the whole thing.

15 Aug 2014

Forbidden Editorials

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Gagged

Andrew Sullivan’s little munchkins are manning his blog while the great poof vacations on the Cape. Phoebe Maltz Bovy (who actually gets a byline — you go, girl!) yesterday identified two pieces so notable for thought crime that they may not be quoted or linked.

Piece 1 was a rant contending that “Transphobia is Perfectly Normal” by Gavin MacInnes at Thought Catalog. Bovy says:

I tend to agree with Allen, who writes:

    I refuse to link to it—that’s how bad it is. McInnes willfully misgenders all transgender people, Janet Mock included, while pathologizing them as “nuts” and fixating at great length on the state of their genitals. It’s repulsive.

    McInnes’ piece doesn’t deserve a formal response.

Yep. McInnes does not simply make an argument about gender identity that falls outside conventional liberal (and, as Allen notes, medical) norms. Such an argument might be buried below what it is he did write, but it’s hard to say, given the muck surrounding any possible substance. I’m also not keen to drive traffic to something odious…

Actually, his editorial is pretty short, and most of it consists of intentionally-colorful-and colloquial rhetoric. But MacInnes does really make one serious argument: the argument that, when you play along with the particular fantasy and encourage all this, you are helping psychologically defective people harm themselves. Quote:

By pretending this is all perfectly sane, you are enabling these poor bastards to mutilate themselves. This insane war on pronouns is about telling people what to do. It may empower you to shut down a school’s computer system because they phrased your gender wrong, but that’s just a game to you. To them, it’s a life-changing event that fucks them up. To fight against transphobia is to justify trannies. To justify trannies is to allow mentally ill people to mutilate themselves. When your actions are getting people mutilated, you’re at war with them.

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The other case of forbidden speech was an August 1 editorial in the Times of Israel (republished here) by Jochanan Gordon, titled “When Genocide is Permissible.”

Gordon’s editorial was quickly removed from the Times of Israel web-site and, a bit later, also taken down from The Five Towns Jewish Times web-site with this explanation:

An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion. We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea.

The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention. We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.

Gordon has since grovelled for forgiveness, deleted his Twitter account and gone into hiding.

In reality, though, Gordon’s sin consists entirely of his use of the word “genocide.” Gordon was really trying to justify the “disproportionate” Israeli response to Hamas’s rocket attacks. He implicitly (and most unwisely) accepts the accusation that what Israel has been doing in Gaza is a kind of genocide, and then argues that Israel is justified by its right of self defense. He never actually advocates real genocide. He just agrees to term what Israel is already doing “genocide,” and contends that Israel’s actions are necessary and ought to continue. He should have used a different word.


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