Culture & Identity
Quillette is one of the few outlets willing to address the issue of how radical transgender activism endangers gay and lesbian youth, in no small measure by promoting the idea that gender nonstereotypical behavior (“effeminate” boys/”masculine” girls) indicates not homosexual orientation but transgender identity, and that these kids should be placed on puberty blockers as the first step to transitioning into the other gender (after which, presumably, they can live heterosexual lives). That sounds a lot like conversion therapy except with surgical finality. And yet LGBTQ movement groups have made transgender theory and activism their new central mission, and woe to anyone who questions the new transgender orthodoxy.
Helen Joyce delves into these risks in great depth in her article “The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves.”
Here’s another excerpt from Helen Joyce’s article:
Some gay people think that organizations set up to fight for gay rights made a mistake in throwing their weight behind trans activism. In an open letter in the Times in October, some prominent gays and lesbians accuse Stonewall, Britain’s biggest LGBT charity, of “uncritically adopting a form of transgender politics which undermines…the concept of homosexuality itself.” (It added “T” for transgender to its “LGB” (lesbian, gay and bisexual) mission in 2015.) More than 7,000 people have now signed a petition in support of the letter. Yet Stonewall’s CEO, Ruth Hunt, has denied any need for a rethink, saying that “trans equality is at the heart of our mission for acceptance without exception.”
You don’t have to agree with Meghan Murphy’s critique of transgenderism to see that something is very wrong in the way trans activists and their supporters react to opinions they dislike, especially when it comes to lesbian-feminists who don’t want to share locker rooms and showers with people who have male bodies.
Meghan Murphy writes:
In San Francisco, which one might assume to be a hot spot for lesbian pride, a group of women carrying signs that read, “Proud to be lesbian,” “Lesbian Visibility,” and “Lesbian not queer” were harassed and bullied. Feminist historian Max Dashu, who was in attendance, said she and the other “old lesbians” were surrounded by “young queers” who pushed them and chanted “TERFs, go home.” On Facebook, she wrote: “I’ve been to many marches, including dangerous ones, but this was the most vicious episode I have ever experienced, ever in my life.” As a result of Dashu attending the march alongside these heretic women, she was disinvited as a speaker, most ironically, from a group called the Modern Witches Confluence. When it comes to the campaign against TERFs in trans-compliant progressive circles, even self-described witches now go in for witch hunts.
From Spectator USA, same Facebook photo but a different article, this one by Julie Bindel about Meghan Murphy.
Wesley Yang writes:
We wouldn’t even be able to conceive of the microaggression were not the macroaggression stigmatized and on the retreat. My parents’ homes were reduced to rubble in Korea. To speak to them about a microaggression is just not credible, it’s simply absurd.
On the other hand, it’s also true that there’s a lot of pain that goes with being an Asian-American, which I write about. …
But… when one looks at remediating that through a system of policing speech and thought, then you cross over into this whole other territory where you’re talking about extinguishing human freedom for the purpose of pursuing some person’s ill-defined therapeutic grievance.
Has the message of anti-racism become as harmful a force in American life as racism itself?https://t.co/fD2DELPqIr
— reason (@reason) December 1, 2018
At some point, the fact that young gay kids are feeling pressured to identify as transgender will need to be addressed instead of ignored.
As Debra Soh writes:
“Transgender activism has successfully piggybacked onto the hard-won victories of the gay rights movement. The public understands that attitudes towards gay people were once abhorrent, and they also understand that many interventions aimed at “changing” gay people were unethical. Most empathic people have consequently been persuaded that being transgender is the same, in this regard, as being gay—that it is something that shouldn’t be questioned and is also immutable.
Yet of children who exhibit signs of gender dysphoria, we aren’t yet able to tell who will fall into the category of those who will desist (which is the majority) as opposed to the minority who persist and who would actually benefit from transitioning.”
And then there’s this. As Claire Fox writes:
“The bile that has been heaped on a single journalist for going against the trans activists’ script on the Gender Recognition Act is replicated in academia, political parties, and a whole manner of public institutions. The price for even raising the debate is to be labelled a bigot and to have one’s reputation trashed.”
Julie Bindel writes:
“On reflection, I should have known when I accepted the invitation from Goldstein that trouble would follow. One of the scheduled performers was Reece Lyons, whose poem, “I am a Woman, and I have a penis,” has been viewed 2.5-million times on YouTube. Following my ouster, Reece declared that “the concept of me and Julie Bindel even sharing the same space is, at the very least, debilitating to my mental welfare and to other LGBT members of the audience/line-up.”
From Huffington Post, which skews progressive left. That said, hard to see who is/isn’t most at fault. Downplaying support for marginalized LGBTQ communities such as the incarcerated in favor of marquee cases that gin up fundraising and name recognition seems bad. But making the agenda intersectional to embrace all marginalized communities and progressive causes seems bad for the mission, too.
Letting politics become your religion is a bad idea. The state is not God, and political power is not redemption.
Sen. Ben Sasse writes:
Americans have always had political disagreements with their neighbors, but in the past, political differences could disappear when Friday night ballgames rolled around and the whole town turned out wearing the same colors and cheering for the same team. Today our towns are hollower, and we’re not on the same team anymore. …
If too many Americans feel like we’re not “in this together” right now, it’s because we’re not. We are screaming at each other, and the country no longer has enough real social texture to absorb and wick away the hatred. The only way out is to rebuild our communities and launch new ones—one person-to-person relationship and one local institution at a time.
Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness, and race isn’t either, writes Yascha Mounk in The Atlantic. But wealth and privilege are.
Mounk also writes:
And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country.
Delving into the meaning of political correctness, Mounk writes:
In the extended interviews and focus groups, participants made clear that they were concerned about their day-to-day ability to express themselves: They worry that a lack of familiarity with a topic, or an unthinking word choice, could lead to serious social sanctions for them.
It turns out that while progressive activists tend to think that only hate speech is a problem, and devoted conservatives tend to think that only political correctness is a problem, a clear majority of all Americans holds a more nuanced point of view: They abhor racism. But they don’t think that the way we now practice political correctness represents a promising way to overcome racial injustice.
And while on the topic of political correctness:
When "womyn" isn't good enough https://t.co/5t4IpSsBYx
— Cathy Young (@CathyYoung63) October 10, 2018
Related: Thou shall not joke about the sacred Facebook holiday. Katie Herzog writes:
Under my status, an old friend’s ex-partner, someone I’d met once, commented that my “privilege was showing.” A surprising (to me) number of my actual friends agreed that my privilege was, indeed, hanging out. … What happened to us? Queer people used to be funny.
— Katie Herzog (@kittypurrzog) October 11, 2018
Walter Olson posted:
Brown University assistant professor Lisa Littman’s research, subjected to peer review, accepted and published in the journal PLOS One, “explored the reportedly growing phenomenon by which clusters of socially connected teenage girls, some beset by autism spectrum disorder and other mental health challenges, suddenly express feelings of gender dysphoria apparently without having experienced these earlier in life, as is more commonly the case.”
At Quillette.com, Jeffrey S Flier writes:
“Dr. Littman’s preliminary research suggested that this often occurs after heavy exposure to social-media content extolling the benefits of gender transition….[Following criticism by activists on social media and after hearing directly from unnamed individuals] Brown University deleted its initial promotional reference to Dr. Littman’s work from the university’s website—then replaced it with a note explaining how Dr. Littman’s work might harm members of the transgender community….
“Increasingly, research on politically charged topics is subject to indiscriminate attack on social media, which in turn can pressure school administrators to subvert established norms regarding the protection of free academic inquiry. What’s needed is a campaign to mobilize the academic community to protect our ability to conduct and communicate such research, whether or not the methods and conclusions provoke controversy or even outrage.”
More. David E. Bernstein writes:
Establishment voices that are usually raised very quickly at any hint of the politicization of science from right-wing political sources were notably silent. But can you imagine the reaction if the study had been one favorable to, say, same-sex marriage, and the same thing had happened after conservative evangelical Christian activists complained?
Gail Heriot writes, “This reminded me of when I drew the ire of transgender activists two years ago.”
Pretty sure the ROGD study would not have gotten any coverage in mainstream media had trans activists not tried to suppress it https://t.co/Uwgq2DxUXI
— Katie Herzog (@kittypurrzog) September 8, 2018