The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Ludicrous Trans Wars

I once read that about one-third of North American tribes appear to have had roles for those born one sex who felt they were actually the other gender. Many other cultures have also had such roles.

Gender dysphoria is not new. What is new are technologies allowing us to change the body much more towards the other technology.

It is being made into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.

I’m not gender dysphoric, but if we had the ability to do full bodily changes and change back, I would certainly have lived at least a couple years a woman to expand my understanding and knowledge of human existence.

Who knows? I might have preferred it.

Not a big deal.

As the technology and social acceptance stand now, I wouldn’t do it just out of curiosity. But there’s certainly nothing wrong with gender-changing.

(I also, due to meditative experience, don’t see gender as fundamental. But it is important to being a human.)

Anyway, the trans-wars seem very misguided to me, overall. If someone wants to change their gender, let them and treat their choice with dignity. There may be some corner issues around some sports due to different skeletal structures, but that’s about it. For children, require a psychologist and a doctor to agree or something along those lines. For adults, it is really their own choice and no one else’s business, and children should be listened to, as well.

We’re walking towards a world in which half of non-human species and a billion or more humans die, while arguing about whether people know whether they want to be male or female and whether they should be allowed to make that choice.

Butt out of people’s private business that almost entirely affects only them and those close to them.

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  1. bruce wilder

    To a large extent, the “Trans Wars” are being fought after they have been won for pro-autonomy by pushing the “Overton Window” into the absurd.

    The controversy over biological men in women’s sports really should not be had and it certainly should not be an occasion for heaping abuse on anyone with an opinion. If sex (not gender) is a distinction used to define women’s sport, then it is.

    And, the reality that some parents (not many perhaps but numbers hardly matter to anyone arguing from speculative absolutes) abuse their own children around gender identity ought to be readily acknowledged and the state ready to intervene is denied by a few, who are then featured in reactionary Media. Whether people change their minds has been treated by some on the soi disant left as an analogue to the doctrines of gay conversion therapy of the 1980s, creating an opening for the people who play the Right on teevee to seem reasonable.

    Too much dogma on the idPol “left” makes it way too easy for the FoxNews/TalkRadio “right” to make itself seem reasonable instead of it really is — authoritarian/conformist. One might almost suspect people are paid to play these caricatures.

  2. Ian Welsh

    De-transitioning (and the related issue of when to get surgery (after some time, which is how it is already) and sports are issues that can be dealt with by reasonable people acting reasonably, and parental abuse is parental abuse (and terribly hard to deal with, because foster homes are shit.) Parental abuse around gender issues, I’m pretty sure, is a fraction of parental sexual abuse or parent violent abuse, or alcoholism, or…

    None of this is worth a culture war.

  3. GM

    The problem is that the reason why half of the species and much of humanity are going to die is the denial of objective physical reality that is a foundational component of our culture and socioeconomic system.

    Thinking that in humans sex is anything else but a strict binary is another instance of that same kind of denial, on the same level as the denial that evolution happened or that the laws of physics and thermodynamics forbid perpetual economic growth.

    If we want civilization to survive there can be nothing but absolute zero tolerance towards any denials of objective physical reality.

    So if someone wants to be “trans”, let he or she play games as much as he or she wants, but it should never be allowed for such people to dictate how society as a whole should think about biological reality, and it should always be remembered that if that person truly believes that, we have an instances of mental illness, for that is what the objective reality is.

    Also, I am not sure why the real reason we have “trans wars” is missing from the blog post — on one hand, these things are a very convenient tool for keeping society divided and distracted. on the other, males crossdressing, cutting off their genitalia and deeply concerned with their “feelings” are also males who are highly unlikely to start serious rebellions.

  4. Ché Pasa

    Why exactly must there be a so-called “culture war” over this? Oh, because it’s all about the power dynamic, whose rules are to rule as it were, and once we’re in that realm, everything quickly becomes an absurdity.

    How we treat one another in the United States, the Anglo-sphere and much of West is so often a matter of “who” and “what” we are perceived to be. Trans people don’t fit traditional gender categories and so were historically marginalized to the point of nonexistence. They certainly aren’t the only ones who received that lack of recognition and treatment. By asserting themselves and their “right to be” with the help and assistance of a social/governmental power faction, they upset the power dynamic in general. The struggle ultimately isn’t over trans rights, it’s over which power faction will come out on top and be able to set the rules for everyone.

    The reactionaries have lost much of their authority and power, but they still maintain a strong enough minority base and what they declare “tradition” on their side that they believe they have a right and duty to overthrow the ruling “liberals” and seize permanent power for themselves.

    Engaging in culture wars is one of the ways the reactionaries use to assemble and maintain a popular-appearing base of support. Many people simply don’t want and don’t like change, and will fight against what they see as imposed social change — such a trans rights — whether they are in any way affected or not. And in the United States and much of the rest of the Anglo-sphere, they often win.

    Hugh’s quote from Humpty Dumpty rings very true indeed.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  5. gnokgnoh

    GM, by the same token, gay men especially were thought to be so feminized that they would not stand up for themselves. I guess they showed you.

    So…trans are okay, as long as they keep their games to themselves and don’t challenge our clearly binary culture, where men are men and women are women, as god almighty intended. /s/s/s.

  6. John

    I find it interesting that chemical endocrine disruptors are rarely mentioned in this discussion. There is pervasive pollution with these chemicals and the disruptive effects are understood. Hermaphroditic bass in the upper reaches of the Potomac River, anyone ? And of course, endocrine disruption has been around forever but I suspect has never scaled like today with so many disruptive chemicals being introduced into the environment by human activity.

  7. Plague Species

    For children, require a psychologist and a doctor to agree or something along those lines.

    How old of children are we talking about here? My wife works with 3-6 year olds and idealogues are consistently trying to manipulate this group by projecting their own crap onto these young children who are not in a position to grasp any of it. She knows. She has first hand experience with them every day for many years now versus a psychiatrist who mostly has experience with a text book and couldn’t do what my wife does for a living without having his or her own psychiatrist even though he/she is a psychiatrist.

    Fyi, in her experience, the trans issue is not prevalent at this early age and don’t let any so-called expert tell you it is. This tells me it’s not as common as it’s feigned to be and as such, this should not be able to be made out to be substantial and affecting many people. It affects a minor fraction.

    Isn’t it interesting that NO MEN, in America at least, do what my wife does or could do what my wife does. So yeah, spend two years as my wife and be with 3 to 6 year olds for eight hours a day every day sans a short summer break and let’s see how it goes. I know I couldn’t do it for any length of time but I could last longer than McDonald Trump who wouldn’t last a second.

  8. Marcus Gardner

    In my experience, most parents inflict their personality/ideology/woundedness on their kids to the detriment of the latter. That’s like THE battleground of parenting. That the cultural discourse is so much about whether one allows/disallows one’s kid to change their gender is a joke, just like what Ian said about us destroying the earth while debating over trans rights and pronouns.

    But the media will highlight whatever hot button issues it needs to keep the masses’ rapt attention while the world burns.

  9. Feral Finster

    None of the trans wars or any of the other IdPol pissing contests (literally, in the vase of bathrooms) affect the way the economic pie is sliced.

  10. Astrid

    People should be allowed to do what they want, to the maximum extent possible, as long as those actions don’t harm others. I want to be acknowledged as a bear/otter hybrid.

    The problem is that the topic of transphobic has now become a way to persecute people for thought crimes, for decorating from orthodoxy that’s even more rigid than the previous binary regime. And where people can be dragged out for out of context words said years ago and put through the wringer.

    If someone’s identity is so fragile that they can’t handle other people’s words, that should be the listeners’ problem, not the speakers’.

    And at least based on my limited understanding, transphobic is far more often used against people on the left than the right, as an tool to persecute the left leaning critics of the PTB. Reminds me nothing so much as student radicals from the Cultural Revolution.

    It:s become the next Israel, where reasonable differences of opinion are shouted down and lives are gleefully being destroyed. Pointing out biological differences is as taboo as saying Israel is an apartaid state. All the while, this is serving as a distraction and wedge issue to ensure we don’t pay attention to all the really serious systemic issues that impacts everybody. It’s also a convenient new website issue for selfrighteous right wing merchants of hate to recruit from, now that abortion is fading from view.

  11. Hugh

    Biologically, gender, sexual orientation, and when life begins are spectrums, not either-or. Society can and does intervene and prohibit when there is an overwhelming social interest to do so, as when it establishes ages of consent or bans polygamy in an effort to prevent various kinds of abuse. I would note even here it is not black and white. Age of consent takes into account the relative ages of those involved, distinguishing between two underage teen-agers say and an adult and a minor. Similarly, adults have a great deal of freedom in choosing their living arrangements, just not with the state sanction of marriage. But as with the three examples with which I began, society as no overwhelming interest. It should stay out and leave it to science, medicine, and the choices of those involved.

  12. Willoweed

    As GM’s post shows the issue is he wants people to be a certain way and gets upset if they don’t do what his social expectations demand. People will complain about how boys wearing pink and being called with gender neutral pro-nouns will confuse the kids and the kids won’t know if they are boys. These people don’t realize they are admitting gender is partly a social construct. That they want to control other people and have them bullied into accepting the “correct” genders. Essentially pro-trans people are the individualists who want everyone to have control of their own bodies and lives while the other group is upset that everyone isn’t enforcing their gender expectations. The pro-trans people are opposing social control and it upsets those who are trying to enforce social control. This is why they get fanatical and so worked up about issues that have no impact on their lives, because they don’t want to face up to how they and society are the ones trying to dictate other people’s gender, behavior, and feelings.

  13. Willy

    As soon as conservative grifter Milo Yiannopoulos came out as “not-gay”, I knew that the trans culture war was going to be the Next Big Thing. For those not into conservative self-mockery, he once posted a “Trannies for Trump” piece on Breitbart (funded by the Mercers) where he got little pushback from the then-alt right readers. Now that it’s a “major issue caused by the left” you can’t make much money being a Trannie for Trump anymore. Militant insurrectionists are going to have to have to hide the lipstick for the next few years.

    So what does this have to do with Sidney Powell you might ask?

    I remember everybody who actually thought (more accurately fools-hoped) that she might have a case. Now that she’s embraced the “But, We All Know There A Sucker Born Every Day” legal defense, something her most-supportive fans can effortlessly pivot to, I’m hopeful that she’ll be able to fold the most serious new topic of our time, all these woke Trannies suddenly running around everywhere soiling American Greatness, into her legal defense as well. She was doing it for the straight children.

    Personally, I’m starting to worry about the Furries, so very ripe for being pegged as the next great enemy of America.

  14. Willy

    I tell conservatives who’re upset that America’s once great Wheaties box hero is now officially Caitlyn Jenner, fanciful feminine stylings and all, that the are the ones who caused this.

    If kleptocrats are free to send critical jobs and technologies to still-officially communist nations, and then create the largest gulag system in the world to warehouse all the lost workers (American, not communist gulags), then what’s a little kinky kosplay?

    Freedumb has consequences. And scapegoating “the left” for everything as useful distraction is eventually gonna get figured out.

  15. Willy

    “they are the ones who caused this” (not he or she wannabes)

  16. Ché Pasa

    So many people find their bliss in determining what others can think, say and do. That’s what politics in essence is about. Who has the power to make those determinations. Degenerate politics like ours depends on stirring up passions over… something… and just as often over nothing as long as it generates a feeling of Power and/or Victimhood. There is no rational argument for or against trans rights, for example, and we shouldn’t be having an argument or trying to rationalize it because human rights should be intrinsic. Not subject to debate. Human rights simply are… or should be. And that includes people of all ideas, ideals, ideologies, genders, ages, colors, creeds, nationalities and wherewithal. In fact, at one time, this was the widely stated and accepted goal of human societies all around the world, including — surprisingly — the United States. Now? Not so much.

    Now the goal seems to be creating and perpetuating out groups, and out groups within groups. Groups who have and can act on rights and authorities others don’t have and will never have. We see it daily, the creation and perpetuation of those whose lives and very beings don’t matter to other groups who depend on the power to make these determinations for their own feelings of importance and meaning.

    Simple physics. Force and reaction, and at least for the moment, there seems to be no way to stop it.

  17. Willy

    Plague, personally, I’ve only witnessed one obvious trannie in public the last several years. And I saw another playing pundit on a Youtube video. Plus Jenner and Milo. Maybe RuPaul. And I get out, even travel to the city regularly, though I live out in the sticks. I had a neighbor tell me he’s glad he lives way out here too, “because antifa is so violent and dangerous”. I wanted to get him started about all those violent and dangerous trannies too, to see how far he’d go with that, but I was just too busy that day.

  18. js

    Isn’t the fuss and distraction about trans issues mostly coming from the left and not even the right?
    When one wants to talk about ecological collapse or economic inequality or anti-capitalism but everything gets shunted into idpol instead? And it is what the “left” must focus on rather than those other issues? And Ian’s position is socially liberal/libertarian. Like I like to say: “I’m socially liberal and economically socialist!”.

    But the problem is social liberalism/libertarianism of the “live and let live”, “adults should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies so long as they don’t harm others” etc, isn’t even a thing anymore. It’s last fans seems to be Gen X, a weird libertarian sort of generation. It’s passe. And few on the left accept it as a morally acceptable position either to just be kind of tolerant in a low key way like that, they see such AS discrimination. One must be passionately committed to saying trans people experience life in the exact same way as women who are biologically female, or else thought-crime etc..

    I don’t think anyone except trans people sees gender as fundamental, consciousness is fundamental, but gender just is, and one doesn’t think about it that much except when it’s relevant (when bodily functions or sexuality is involved, when buying clothes, when one forced to think about it due to one’s social context), which I know, I know is cis priviledge right, to not think about it. Check my privilege.

  19. capelin

    The reason it’s a culture war is because the entrenched illegitimate power stuctures need scapegoats.

    And I echo John’s comments upthread about endocrine disruptors (plastics, pesticides,etc) that mimic female hormones and bias reproduction and development that way.

    Gender dysphoria contains an element of “victim of pollution”.

    One can concurrently be a unique person charting your own brave new course; but to overlook the science (not just the upriver-hermaphrodite bass, this is widespread) is just more identity politics.

  20. different clue

    @Feral Finster,

    The IdPol pissing contests, including the Trans wars , default stealth-affect how the pie is sliced.
    Here is how they do it. They divert public energy and attention away from the pie-slice wars we should be waging, and ground that energy out into the IdPol pissing contests and the Trans wars.
    This benefits the current beneficiaries of the current pie-slice arrangements, who preserve their pie-slice benefits by diverting energy away from the pie-slice wars we should be waging, and towards the IdPol pissing contest wars and the Trans wars.

    We should add the Abortion Wars to that, because they are also a major energy attractant.

    I remember reading about the so-called ” Bathroom Bill” wars in North Carolina. But I only once read a passing referrence to how clever the Upper Class Warriors who wrote that bill really were. The ” Bathroom Bill” part of that legislation was the “delivery vehicle”. The banning of ” Living Wage” laws or ordinances by any city or county or region within North Carolina was the “payload”. Also, the Bill-writers and Bill-backers saw the ongoing trend of population and money growth in the “liberal” parts of North Carolina ( like the Research Triangle area). They foresaw that over time these areas would attract more population, money, power and eventually outvote and outlegislate the more conservative parts of North Carolina. So they wanted to outlaw ” regional and/or local Living Wage ordinances while they could.

    They also very cleverly foresaw that liberal and corporate groups and entities outside of North Carolina would see the Bathroom Bill part of the law, get offended, and call for boycotts of North Carolina. But the parts of North Carolina that non-resident persons and organizations interact with are mainly the “politically and culturally liberal” parts of the state. So such boycotts, including convention boycotts, would attrit and degrade the parts of the state where in-state and out-of-state cultural moderates and liberals were moving to, thereby slowing down the rate of that demographic shift and postponing the day of “moderate and liberal” political control in North Carolina overall.

    So the Trans and other Culture Wars are a very winning strategic and tactical combination for preserving Upper Class Minority Rule, and even trying to extend it in places. For the non-Upper Class Majority to realize that basic fact might be a first step in allowing the non-Upper Class Majority to begin thinking about how to tear down the Upper Class Minority, crush and smash it and grind it into the earth.

  21. Feral Finster

    Different Clue: in other words, the transwars distract people away from questioning how the pie is sliced, so as a result, the pie doesn’t get sliced up much differently from the way it is presently sliced.

    That is sort of my point. That is also why a Goldman Sachs or whatever can be all in for gender-neutral facilities and menstruating men and whatever, and be greeted with hosannas. Start talking about eliminating the carried interest loophole, and they’ll be much less congratulatory.

  22. nihil obstet

    Rulers create social and cultural structures which maintain authoritarian power. In western civilization, men are more valuable than women, sex is a way of enforcing that difference in value, marriage is a means of control. Conservatives claim that these differentials are real, innate, so that social justice is a philosophy that will always fail because it is unnatural.

    I remember when homosexuality was gaining acceptance, the right wing’s ongoing fight against feminism was working hard at the ways men and women naturally differ in how they relate to each other. But now some people weren’t “naturally” dealing with the other sex as described. It didn’t take long for scientists to discover a “gay gene” which rescued the whole “natural” layout of different abilities by sex.

    People are not rational and self-aware about how they have absorbed the culture into their perceptions of the world. Our rulers seem to be aware that the culture wars about sex are good for maintaining power. Individuals seem to develop beliefs based on their own situation — women without other economic resources married reasonably happily to successful men are less tolerant as a group than women less well placed economically.

    It’s all ideology.

  23. js

    Honestly though is there anything new in big corporations acting like big corporations? If it wasn’t the woke signaling, it would be giving to charity signaling – and that’s a decades old phenomena, corporations that treat their workers like garbage, will still find money for this or that charity PR exercise, out of the goodness of their hearts see. They are what they are.

    What about the rest of us?

  24. Willy

    Well js, there’s Biden’s $2T American Jobs Plan. Rumor has it (or will have it) that you’re gonna have to wear makeup and a dress for those jobs (unless of course, you’re switching the other way). But those rumors may go away when corporations figure out how much coin is gonna be in it for them.

  25. Ché Pasa

    Y’all are really overthinking this, yanno. Our rulers are not really all that clever, and they’d much rather just get on with the looting than bother with all this “idpol” and other nonsense and come up with other innovative strategies to keep the proles divided and at one another’s throats over nothing but their precious “feelings.”

    Folks kind of naturally segment into factions, it’s sort of innate in the human species. Controlling the rabble doesn’t take much work these days because the factions have solidified, and no matter what truth or falsehood lies behind divisive issues, some faction will be outraged, while others will push their demands on the rest, over and over again, world without end, amen. It happens quite naturally and it seems to be the UR state of most of us. The rare state is unity, and it rarely lasts.

    Even our overlords are factionalized and they get into the same pissing matches as the rest of us. Much better to take advantage of their factionalization than fretting endlessly about the latest “culture war” issue foisted by… who?… upon us, don’t you think?

    If we accept that human rights are inalienable, then the whole Trans War kerfuffle simply is not a thing. But how many truly accept the concept of human rights these days?

  26. Plague Species

    So, effectively, what we have related to this trans thing is a lot to do about nothing. Don’t discriminate against and persecute trans peeps and trans peeps don’t try to force an ideological agenda on the youth and “teach” them about how gender is a construct. First world problems.

  27. Plague Species

    Are there any trans people in the Biden administration? That would be interesting if there were. Trans okay. Weed smokers not okay. Both are okay as far as I’m concerned. Firing anyone because they smoked pot is a violation of their rights just as firing them for their gender or lack thereof is.

  28. DMC

    There’s a point being wholly overlooked here that can be summed up in a quote from an old friend of mine who has been a mid-wife and trainer of mid-wives: “In the United States, One percent of all live births result in some VISIBLE degree of gender ambiguity.” As OB/GYN’s are surgeons, they find it much easier to trim a little off than to add a little on, so “Presto, it’s a girl”. This ambiguity often is the result of thing’s like Klinefelter’s syndrome or other genetic conditions where the patient is something other than x/x or x/y. Often, these are not apparent until the onset of puberty. My point being that not all trans people are gender dysphoria cases, many actually ARE suffering from some degree of ACTUAL gender indeterminacy. Based on population of 330 million, we’d expect about 3.3 million cases of physical gender ambiguity. How does that compare gender dysphoria cases?
    There’s also a whole argument to be had that boils down to existentialism versus essentialism, where existentialists care about what things DO versus what things ARE, which is what essentialists are all about. Jordan Peterson, for instance, is the current poster boy for the new essentialists.

  29. Willy

    Our rulers are not really all that clever, and they’d much rather just get on with the looting than bother with all this “idpol” and other nonsense and come up with other innovative strategies to keep the proles divided and at one another’s throats over nothing but their precious “feelings.”

    My own rulers working at much lower levels weren’t all that clever either, costing those various companies millions. What they were instead was cunning. After all their clusterfuck incompetencies which many could see coming, after all the obvious excuses and all the obvious scapegoats, they remained. And some even got promoted. Much has been written about this. A true competitor is open to every possibility of any kind, while most of us regulars have a great many places we’d never imagine letting ourselves to go.

  30. Ché Pasa

    Dr. Rachel Levine was appointed by Biden to be Asst. Sec. Health, and she was confirmed with at least some R votes in the senate, but not before some veiled slurs from the usual suspects.

    I have a relative who’s a trans activist; served 4 years in the Marines, 20 in the Nat Guard, transitioned upon retirement but it wasn’t a surprise. Has been advocating on behalf of trans rights for nigh on ten years now.

    The point is human rights, and the fact that some still haven’t got right with the idea, who believe others aren’t due the same rights and respect as they themselves, and the others have to constantly fight for basic human rights and dignity is the problem.

    Dumb as our rulers often are, they did figure out that keeping that fight front burnered essentially forever can indeed keep the rabble fighting one another essentially forever. It’s endlessly amusing to the Overclass.

  31. js

    Considering whole obscure liberal activists orgs exist that literally do nothing, not just are ineffective but literally do nothing, but are funded by huge foundations, considering what the intelligence agencies could infiltrate … who knows.

  32. someofparts

    It’s a way to keep the conversation away from the topic of poor women with children.

    Trans issues are necessarily internecine concerns among the well-to-do. Who cares if the homeless are gender dysphoric. It’s not as if they can afford to do anything about it.

    Let’s start talking about all the impoverished women raising children. Start looking at that problem and before you know it, basic questions about our socio/economic practices and assumptions rise to our attention. Can’t have that.

    It’s a shiny object meant to keep us talking about problems whose solutions would have no impact at all on the structural injustices that are the real problems in our world.

  33. bruce wilder

    Sex is always intriguing, and the fascination of many people as onlookers with fluid or deconstructed gender identity plays a part in making any controversy involving trans persons “a shiny object”.

    Creating political theatre out of such controversies does wear out the themes and, as the cultural taboos that once shored up conformity around stereotypical sexual roles have faded away, due ironically in no small part to their cynical abuse by Republican politicians to get out the evangelical vote, it is harder to find convincing moral frames for narratives that will attract eyeballs.

    The propaganda is increasingly ludicrous because it is less and less attached to the politics of genuine policy questions, which, as Ian observes seem eminently amenable to settlement with reasonable good will. The propaganda is all about having enemies who are completely unreasonable and despicable (unlike one’s own lovely self). The point isn’t “human rights”, it is the feeling of being on the side of the angels and against the devils, of being a good person right with the community (which ever community one chooses to reference), and opportunities for social aggression or cheerleading are a bonus.

    As others have observed, there is now a pronounced class dimension to controversy over race or sex, as such issues can be reduced to the etiquette of polite language and polite opinion for the purposes of class-marking, condescension and the social aggression authorized by the awesome righteousness of corporate “values”. The young, college-educated — not the debt peons so much as those inheriting their privilege in the least economically upwardly mobile generation in American history — have an insatiable need to mark their righteous superiority in the systemically least consequential ways imaginable

  34. GM

    As GM’s post shows the issue is he wants people to be a certain way and gets upset if they don’t do what his social expectations demand.

    Incorrect. Read how that post started.

    There is objective physical reality, and it cannot be changed by what people wish to be.

    Willful denial of that reality is suicidal in the long term because it leads to taking decisions divorced from it on issues that actually matter. Such as climate, resource depletion, etc.

    It’s not that I want people to be males and females, it is that people are males and females and nothing else, and those categories are immutable.

    People will complain about how boys wearing pink and being called with gender neutral pro-nouns will confuse the kids and the kids won’t know if they are boys. These people don’t realize they are admitting gender is partly a social construct.

    Gender is indeed a “social construct”, i.e. it is something that does not objectively exist. BTW, lots of language around the world don’t have such a word at all, they only have a word for biological sex and that exhausts the terms in which they think about these things. And it is quite difficult to explain to them what all the fuss it is about in the West. “Gender” as a distinct concept arose to no small extent as a linguistic accident of the English language.

    But there is no such thing in nature, and the concept is completely meaningless when it comes to things that matter though, and the things that matter have all to do with reproduction. And to that it is only biological sex that matters.

    That they want to control other people and have them bullied into accepting the “correct” genders.

    As I said, there is no such thing as “gender”, much less a “correct gender” or and “incorrect gender”.

    Two categories of people think there is — scientifically illiterate brainwashed lunatics incapable of independent thought, and scientifically illiterate imbeciles incapable of any thought.

  35. GM

    As others have observed, there is now a pronounced class dimension to controversy over race or sex, as such issues can be reduced to the etiquette of polite language and polite opinion for the purposes of class-marking, condescension and the social aggression authorized by the awesome righteousness of corporate “values”


    Back in the days the aristocracy had developed a very complex etiquette of behavior, the purpose of which wasn’t so much to adhere to it because it was some sort of objective standard for proper behavior that was necessary for the maintenance of society, it was there to separate the people belonging to the upper class from the riff-raff that had not been trained in the intricacies of that behavioral code.

    Whether they consciously realize it or not, the reality is that the long-term trajectory for much of what is now upper middle class people is downwards as society gets stratified more and more. So it will be (and already is) a vicious fight for who is to remain in the class of the privileged servants to the new aristocracy as opposed to falling down in the ranks of the fully disposable lower classes.

    And there is a probably an element of that playing in a role in making the behavior of these people so vicious — they have to affirm their belonging to that class by showing how fully they adhere to the behavioral code that is now again developing to separate the upper class from the riff-raff that has not been trained in it (poor people in inner Detroit do not read Judith Butler). If in the process they can banish some of the competition away from the ranks of their shrinking class by exposing them as some sort of evil -ists, all the better.

  36. Plague Species

    Perfectly stated, someofparts.

  37. Plague Species

    Civilization is a construct but I won’t argue that it doesn’t exist. Constructs are indeed very real and have very real implications, especially a construct as prodigious as civilization. Perhaps the same can be said about consciousness. It’s a construct. This is all a dream. That’s me in the corner. Losing my religion.

  38. Plague Species

    The propaganda is all about having enemies who are completely unreasonable and despicable (unlike one’s own lovely self). The point isn’t “human rights”, it is the feeling of being on the side of the angels and against the devils, of being a good person right with the community (which ever community one chooses to reference), and opportunities for social aggression or cheerleading are a bonus.

    Bruce making the case with QAnon not to take the vaccine because those who do are vain self-righteous arrogant f*ckwits who want to be seen as right with the community.

  39. Ché Pasa

    The point isn’t “human rights”, it is the feeling of being…

    Thank you, Bruce, for illustrating my point that the very concept of human rights, once paramount, has all but vanished in the contemporary environment. No, now the concept is that my rights — or my group’s rights, immutable and absolute, must triumph over your rights which only exist upon my sufferance.

    That’s how there can conceptually be this — or really any other — social struggle. Someone or group must be on top, with all rights and privileges thereof, while everyone else is reduced to constant struggle for basic human rights and dignity.

    Should we acknowledge the existence of a constellation of basic human rights which apply to all, inalienably, and reject the notions of our libertarian overlords than only a select few worthies should have such rights and privileges which they routinely deny to others?

    The struggle for trans rights, I submit, would not exist but for the rejection of human rights as a fundamental social organizing principle.

  40. someofparts

    PS – gosh, thanks

    If your wife is a teacher, hope she has been able to get vaccinated.

  41. js

    “It’s not that I want people to be males and females, it is that people are males and females and nothing else, and those categories are immutable. ”

    come on this is just silly, there are genuinely intersex (not trans) people. Not a huge % of the population but still.

    Maybe neither gender or sex really matter all that much.

  42. js

    And even if people are males and females and intersex, what that means other than reproduction and a few other things like raw physical strength, does seem to be socially constructed. Even down to the clothes that males or females wear, people didn’t evolve wearing clothes.

  43. Willy

    As far as human rights principles goes, I’d think that basic human rights principles would need to be agreed upon by all the various factions. This seems like a bit of a chore to me.

    Secular progressive: “What’s so refreshing about this Pope is that he seems to be all about Christian principles.”
    Conservative Christian: “I’d pick Trump over the Pope any day.”

    Progressive worker: ”I think it’s my basic right to get some retraining after you’ve busted my union and sent my job overseas.”
    Conservative owner: ”I release you from my service. Go now and die in what way seems best to you.”

    Obviously I’m biased against modern conservatives (not the old school variety who seemed to know that theirs was a position to debate from and not necessarily always the only solution to complex socioeconomic problems).

    There’s a bit of a gap to bridge.

  44. gnokgnoh

    Che, where is this observation coming from? “No, now the concept is that my rights — or my group’s rights, immutable and absolute, must triumph over your rights which only exist upon my sufferance.”

    Rights are not immutable and absolute, they are what we agree they are, whether in the Constitution or by legislation. Many of had to be fought for by the people or groups seeking them. Which of these rights must triumph over someone else’s rights?

    Gay marriage did not remove anyone else’s rights. Transgendered people in the military don’t do that either. Women getting the right to vote did not take away anyone else’s rights. Let’s take a more recent example, not detaining someone pretrial because they cannot afford bail, unless they are a violent threat to the community. The right to not lose one’s freedom unless proven guilty does not tread on anyone else’s rights.

    Provide some examples of your observations, please. Or, perhaps, some empirical evidence.

  45. Astrid


    What about when trans activists start attaching others for refusing to use their preferred pronoun, for refusing to let them into battered women’s shelters, or refusing their participation in women’s sports? Sure, in a perfect world, these are teeny issues that can easily be resolved amicably by both sides taking half a step back, but that doesn’t seem to be the world we live in.

    Instead, it seems that trans rights is just the next wedge issue, now that the populace appear to be growing indifferent to gay marriage and abortion. So we talk about rhetorical wrangling for 1 percent of the population ( see also antisemitism), while the world burns around us.

  46. DMC

    Speaking of the biologically ignorant, anyone who actually has studied even some biology will tell you that gender has always been a spectrum, that intersexed individuals can be found in every single species you care to mention. For instance, before he wound up doing his famous studies of human sexuality, Dr Kinsey mostly studied wasps, whose work on sex and gender variation,found to be on a spectrum rather than an absolute dichotomy. To insist that this dichotomy is absolute and through nature it’s just absurd on the face of it. So I’m afraid if there’s anyone ignorant of basic biology here it’s GM. He’s not arguing science he’s arguing essentialism.

  47. Ché Pasa


    I’ve been describing power dynamics, “who is to be master, that’s all,” as Humpty Dumpty would say, that take place constantly over social and legal issues such as rights, trans rights in this case, but there are so many others.

    The struggle is over who is to be on top, who will rule, who’s rights (and lives) matter and whose don’t.

    Yes, we know — or we should know — that women’s rights, trans rights, civil rights for minorities, etc, etc, do not perceptibly impinge on anyone else’s rights, except for the fact that “granting” the oppressed or different or marginalized the same rights as the same rights as are guaranteed to the majority (or a powerful minority) imposes limitations on the ability to exclude and oppress, and that is, for many Americans, a fate worse than death.

    That’s why I say try starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and go from there. By that document universal rights and fundamental dignity were (supposed to be) guaranteed (eventually) to everyone on Earth, but we have seen over and over again that the ideals expressed in the UDHR are not agreed to anymore by large swaths of the global and US population, and by their lack of agreement, or in some cases even knowledge, they insist that the goals are no longer worthy, and oppression, marginalization, and dehumanization are to continue, redoubled where necessary.

    The minor quibbles over language and such are the least of our worries. The basic issue is that too many simply don’t want to lose their power to demonize, oppress, and dehumanize their selected targets, and they have shown they will fight to maintain it.

  48. bruce wilder

    The rhetoric of “human rights” is employed, as Che Pasa demonstrates, to claim noble aims for one’s own preferences as opposed to the aims of others. I do not think “human rights” are much implicated, though, in actually ginning up this “ludicrous” set of controversies, this culture war.

    The poses that seem to generate the most friction are demanding the pronouns of one’s choosing from others and asserting that denial of the apparent “facts” of sexual biology in favor of a report of a subjective experience is a form of schizoid mental illness. In both cases, there is a kind of narcissism of the spirit involved, expressed in a willingness to struggle with others over the social construction of interpersonal, transactional space, not the grand hierarchies of social domination and oppression.

  49. Ché Pasa

    Bruce, I think I implied, if I didn’t state, that the struggles and arguments over language are mostly petty. But ultimately the request of others to use pronouns of the requester’s choice and the refusal to do so is about dignity which is fundamental to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  50. DMC

    Or to put it really simply, who are YOU to be telling anybody what gender they are? You don’t suppose their lived experience rather trumps your suppositions? Or do you just like being a rude asshole? Jordan Peterson REALLY likes his privilege to be rude to people of his choosing. Do you suppose that terms like “hermaphrodite” and “androgyne” are analogous to “unicorn” in referring to sets with no actually existent members? I’ve got news for you bubby, until you’ve scanned about 100, 000 samples of any given species, biologists would consider your data as “anecdotal”. Vast data pools, analyzed on an unbiased basis are the difference between doing science and just pulling things out of your ass.
    But I do concur that “idpol” as such is a deliberate distraction from more universal issues. Addressing social justice claims are important, but may be slightly farther down the list of priorities than, say, climate change, the pandemic, the oligarchy and so on. Essentialists will take this to mean Social Justice claims are are of no importance at all, which has been their game from the beginning but which is not what I am saying at all. Priorities need to be set. If you expect a particular pronoun, it helps to present as that gender or to announce at the outset that you are a “they”.

  51. Hugh

    “I do not think ‘human rights’ are much implicated”

    Well, they seldom are unless they’re your rights. If they are someone else’s rights, it is much easier to dismiss them. This is reminiscent of the civil rights movement. There were not two legitimate sides to the problem. There were those marching for equality and others defending Jim Crow. It’s the same here.

  52. gnokgnoh

    My brother in law’s daughter talks about micro-aggressions. He’s obsessed with them, now. I simply point out that micro-aggressions are the same thing as someone doing something that annoys someone else and that person asking them to please not do that, while I tap his leg incessantly under the table.

    Call someone what they want to be called. It’s polite.

  53. js

    It’s not just the facts of biology, which only really applies to a few things, it’s socialization, one is socialized as a certain gender and doesn’t have the exact same experiences if they aren’t (that’s not subjectivity, socialization by definition isn’t entirely subjective). The pronoun thing usually manifests in having to give oneself pronouns when one could care less about pronouns.

  54. nettles

    I wish Kanye West won for president. Things would be better probably.

  55. scarnoc

    A rare instance where I strongly disagree with Ian. The contemporary focus on transgender identities is just another signal that western capitalist society is in collapse. Numerically, transgender people are utterly unimportant. Why has this tiny minority of people been made the standard bearers of personal liberty? Because it’s the ultimate consumer choice: it’s an attempt to manifest the falsehood that a human being has no boundaries within the capitalist marketplace. The fantasy of ‘choosing to experience another gender’ is just that, a fantasy. But our demon-haunted civilization is happy to sell people any identity they desire, and defend your right to buy it. It’s just another commodity tranche, and the rulers use it to accumulate more power.

  56. bruce wilder

    Of course it is reminiscent of the civil rights movement and the sexual revolution. Caitlyn Jenner, Christine Jorgenson. Compare and contrast.

  57. Willy

    Christine was hotter. But it lost a bit after she spoke and a mans voice came out.

  58. Astrid

    Politeness is contextual. What one person feels is polite/respectful can feel oppressive to the other person. The other person shouldn’t be forced to be polite in accordance to the standard of others and should not be made to suffer for simply failing other person’s particular standards of conduct, just as the other person shouldn’t suffer for asking for their preferred treatment. They should either reach some kind of understanding between themselves that is acceptable to both or break away if there difference cannot be bridged. The very thought that people’s careers and lives are being ruined over this abstraction is disturbing.

    We shouldn’t force people to be polite with threats of career destruction, especially in a world where most of populace is a job loss from potential lifetime penury and misery.

    And if this was over something more important than words or meaningless represention, like physical protection or discrimination protection, that would be something. But this is just being fought over word usage for a tiny minority. Meanwhile much more substantive topics that affect all of us or most of us are waived off.

    This is like frantically scrubbing deck chairs while the Titanic has already struck the iceberg and is rapidly taking on water. The PMC obviously want to feel that the deck chair scrubbing demonstrates their virtue and for now, they are on a high enough deck that they aren’t drowning in water yet.

  59. Hugh

    Yes, we should follow the advice of the wise Rand Paul and let people discriminate against whom they please, especially if they are a minority. In fact, the smaller the minority, the more the discrimination because why not? We’ve already written them off.

  60. Ché Pasa

    Realize that our rulers are a tiny minority whose rights are all but absolute and are enforced over and above those of anyone else, often with violence up to and including death for those who disagree, resist, or contest their authority.

    The request or refusal to use a desired pronoun is not the equivalent. But somehow it’s been made to be in the minds of some of those for whom the bigger picture and problem is perhaps too big.

    The refusal to behave toward others with basic courtesy, compassion, and consideration is one of the hallmarks of a disintegrating society and political culture.

  61. nihil obstet

    There are two different issues here. First, you should refer to a person by the pronoun they want. Second, we should not spend time and energy seeking to know everybody’s preference when it’s not the topic. That is, if you’re in a meeting on labor unions, it’s a distraction for most to announce their preferred pronouns as part of the introduction. However, if pronoun matters to someone, they should be able to include it in their own introduction.

    This is rather like the late 60s and 70s when a major issue in progressive circles was whether to address women as Mrs., Ms., or Miss. It’s still a major issue for some women, but it’s been a few decades since I’ve heard a discussion of it. Somehow we’ve learned to deal with it.

  62. Trinity

    Ian points out that some Native tribes were more likely to accept and support personal idiosyncrasies compared to western control cultures. No surprise there, their cultures continue to exemplify a sane alternative to ours.

    And I also agree with Astrid that adults unable to handle someone else’s words are responsible for that condition, which immediately brings to mind college students demanding “safe spaces”. It’s not a good sign when we can’t teach our children how to handle others’ malicious words while supporting (normalizing) a transfer of responsibility for our feelings.

    Childhood used to be about learning how to deal, and provided the space, in terms of time and place, in which to do so. But what do you do when your present and future exist in unbounded time and place and solely to provide profits for monopoly corporations?

    Setting aside how the “safe space” college students are assigning responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings to others, which itself is a disturbing trend not limited to college students, I want to share a story about another trend I heard about on a podcast. It’s a podcast of three Jungian analysts in the US who are good friends and discuss things. I wanted to learn more about Jung, but this one episode was disturbing but illustrative. Not because of anything the three friends did, but because of what they were discussing, which is a trend where 14 year old girls want to transition to male, and the first step on that journey is to cut off their breasts.

    I want to emphasize that I do not have a problem with anyone changing their own bodies, but I think 14 is too young to know who you really are. As the three Jungians explored this apparently growing phenomena, there at least three major reasons behind it:

    1) parents who want to support their children in every way. I cannot imagine a parent consenting to this when I was 14 (1970’s) they would rightly advise a child to “wait and see” which is just common sense. But the teen’s decision and age is also why our disastrous mental health care system gets involved, potentially compounding this disaster in the making.

    2) the second is that these young children at age 14 already know that to be a (white) man in our culture is a much better life than being a woman in our culture. The advantages far outweigh any disadvantages, it’s like automatically being picked for the winning team.

    3) the third and the worst: social media pressure on these 14 year old girls is so incredibly intense they literally don’t want to be girls. Every aspect of their lives not only exists on a server somewhere for everyone to see “forever”, but also requires constant competition, maintenance, and striving to “keep up” (buy products, maintain a very specific level of attractiveness, have the right friends, etc.) Worse for them is that this won’t stop as they age, it will only get worse: college, marriage, homemaking, children, looking “right”, doing the “right” things, having the right “job”, owning the “right” things, married to the “right” person, and having the right clothes/hair/nails/shoes/look/figure/facial features.

    Given this context, their decision begins to make sense. How “sick” is their choice really? Or the better question is, what/who is sick and what/who is rational?

    What the f*ck have we done to our children?

    Maybe the pandemic has reduced their social burden, and maybe parents are wising up to how detrimental social media is, especially for children, and especially for girls. Girls (I know this from experience) are more likely to be targets of both sexes, that hasn’t changed, but the avenues and opportunities for bullying have substantially increased.

    Might as well switch to the winning team when having breasts means second class status and a life of slavery to consumerism. Right?

  63. js

    “Second, we should not spend time and energy seeking to know everybody’s preference when it’s not the topic. That is, if you’re in a meeting on labor unions, it’s a distraction for most to announce their preferred pronouns as part of the introduction”

    And it is supposed to be inclusive but it probably alienates as many people as it includes. It alienates to a degree: anyone over 40. “what is this all about? oh well I want to stop construction of this nuclear waste storage facility, I better give my pronoun”. And it alienates probably to a much larger degree anyone not middle class culturally or highly formally educated. Middle class culturally may or may not be making it economically due to the decline of the middle class, but it still describes something. It’s second nature to the graduate degree crowd, but it really isn’t to everyone else.

    And then noone can really remember a bunch of strangers pronouns anyway, so it ends up just being what it is trying not to be, a focus on anyone who looks a little ambiguous gendered and remembering their pronoun. And then one probably has minimal occasion to even use pronouns in the meeting about unions anyway!

    But sure if someone one actually knows wants to be referred to a certain way, it is rude not to.

  64. Antibody

    The biggest problem with the trans thing is that it confuses a person “self-identifying” as a female human (or vice versa) with being a female human. This denies basic biological reality.

    Human beings are mammals. We don’t get special exemptions from observable reality only because we have self-reflective consciousness and a propensity for self-delusion.

    Only a society that has seriously lost its way would make reality denial a centerpiece of its ideology.

    This brings us to western liberalism itself. It is an ideology that thinks it isn’t an ideology but reality itself. That’s why liberals go purple with outrage when it is challenged.

    Western liberalism is so convinced of its own inherent righteousness that it has become sclerotic and moribund and unable to honestly reflect on itself and admit that it is a fallible human creation.

    The “trans thing” is the perfect encapsulation of western liberalism’s extreme tendency to confuse liberal ideology with universal reality.

    It has become a secular religion.

  65. Joseph E. Kelleam

    No trans thread is complete without this oldie:

    Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
    It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, except for Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Lola – The Kinks

  66. someofparts

    Probably talking about contemporary trans issues is not complete without including this source.

    I haven’t read/won’t be reading the book. I learned about it by listening to the author talk to Joe Rogan for a couple of hours.

    It sounds like, as usual, the problem is not the issue per se. As Ian points out, this has been a non-problem for others cultures that handled it without any fuss.

    The problem is the way the matter is being processed through our oh-so-dysfunctional culture. It sounds like parents, psychologists, and even doctors are being pressured to do this for teenagers without proper oversight. That’s the problem.

  67. Lisa Mullin

    As a trans woman (who came out years ago on this very blog) let’s clear up some misconceptions.

    1. This is a very deliberate political campaign by the Christian Right and their Allies
    One they don’t hide either. They see attacking trans people as a tactic to roll back the rights of both gay people…and cis/heterosexual (cis/het) women.

    2. It started in 2015 in the Houston HERO referendum, where the campaign against it ran only on trans women (framed as dangerous men) in women’s toilets.

    3. At the 2017 Value Voters conference this became official policy, stating:
    ”In other words, separate trans activists from the gay rights movement, and their agenda becomes much easier to oppose. As Kilgannon explained, “Trans and gender identity are a tough sell, so focus on gender identity to divide and conquer.”
    ”Kilgannon identified a wide coalition of potential allies outside the Christian Right who could confront trans friendly measures”
    ….this includes the infamous TERFs who have opposed trans people’s existence since the 1970s.

    4. The term ‘gender ideology’ was actually invented by the Catholic church in the late 1990s to oppose feminism.

    5. This has all been dovetailed together into opposing trans people’s existence .. and using attacks on trans rights as a Trojan Horse to attack both cis/het women’s and gay rights… across the world by right wing, Christian right, TERf, etc groups,

    6. For example it is the the the reason given for the GOP/groups/countries to oppose things like:
    -The US Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
    -The Istanbul Convention on violence against women and children
    All opposed because they supposedly use ‘gender ideology’ and cover trans women and girls, with no one mentioning that this harms 330+ million US women and 4 billion women worldwide.

    -Similarly wanting to force schools to out gender nonconforming (GNC) youth to their parents actually hits gay youth far more than the much smaller number of trans youth.

    Being anti trans is the gift to the religious right that never stops giving


  68. Lisa Mullin

    One result of all this (plus lazy and/or bigoted media) is a standard set of propaganda memes about trans people has been popularised, ranging from cruel to the outright hysterical.

    For example the entire UK media is virulently anti trans, worldwide the Murdoch media runs a relentless propaganda campaign against trans people.

    To give an example of how bad this is: 2 BBC New Night reporters ran a hit piece (in word and as a TV program) on the UKs only centre for trans adolescents, quoting an article in the British Medical Journal as one of their sources…without mentioning that the 2 reporters had wrote it (it was only a letter by them to the BMJ).
    Those 2 reporters are now up for an award for outstanding journalism… Goebbels would be proud of them.
    Murdoch’s The Australian has had a journalist, Bernard Lane, employed to run endless (it is his only job) anti trans articles for 2 years now.

    Naturally this is all sourced from either Christian Right sources (Catholic church, Heritage, FRC, ADF, etc etc) or created by (or amplified by) TERFs, plus a few dinosaur psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists and therapists who all believe that their conversion therapy (basically psychological torture and/or faith healing) will ‘cure’ trans people (despite the fact that even they cant prove it does).

    To give an example of how hysterical this can get, The Australian actually ran an article quoting an anti trans dinosaur (not mentioned was that he is a Christian Right member and who has never even met a trans adolescent) advocating that mothers who support their trans children be compulsorily treated as having a metal illness (with incarceration and drugs if necessary) for doing so…fathers of course are never mentioned…

    One other thing that stands out is the recycling of anti-gay propaganda from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2009s against trans people. There is a terrific thread on twitter by The Implausible Girl that demonstrates this perfectly. For lazy bigoted media all they do is dust off what they used to write about gay people (looking at you Daily Mail, Sun, etc).

    Heck for 46 years now we have been hearing that including trans girls and trans women in girls and women’s sports will ‘end girls and women’s sports’…. odd how that hasn’t happened, eh?

    The anti trans propaganda always focusses, in very sexist way, on: trans girls, trans women and adolescent trans men. Adult trans men are never mentioned because they are an ‘inconvenient fact’.
    -Trans women (like myself) are always painted as: ‘mentally ill’, ‘dangerous sexual perverts’ , ‘forcing our way into women’s safe spaces to rape them’…
    -Trans girls as: ‘getting a micro penis’, ‘losing sexual function’…yet at the same time .. ‘beating cis girls in sports’ and … ‘dangerous, mentally ill sexual perverts’…
    -Trans boys as ‘losing their beautiful breasts’, ‘not being able to have children’ or ‘breast feed’.

    Hmm, seems to be theme there.

  69. Lisa Mullin

    As Ian rightly noted trans (and non binary) people have existed throughout time in every society (using different terminology of course), so much so that we can state that trans people, like gay people, like intersex people, are a natural art of humanity.

    An interesting fact is that there are far more intersex people (17 in every 1,000 people), that is those with a physical intersex condition, than there are trans people (only 6 in every 1,000 people)…and there is an increasing debate (based on modern evidence) that being trans is a neurological intersex condition (warning: that is still controversial).

    Modern evidence includes Monash university finding in 2019 that there are genetic factors involved, Liege university using fMRI in 2019 to find different functionality of trans adolescents brains that match their stated gender, brain dissection evidence, MRI evidence, fetal hormone exposure evidence, twin studies and so on.

    As noted by the Endocrine Society the scientific consensus is that a complex mix of genetics and fetal hormone exposure (and genetic responses to that exposure ) causes (small but critical) brain differences in trans people, that matches their stated gender.

    A recent study into pre pubescent trans kids, who have only done a social transition (hormone therapy only starts during puberty), which showed they were identical in every measurable way (except by examining their genitals) to their cis peers.

    That included showing that trans kids showed the whole spectrum of gendered appearance and behaviour, such as just like you get cis girls who are girly and some are tomboyish, it was the same for trans girls. The results were the same for trans boys, with them matching the spectrum of their cis boy peers.
    What this shows was that the common idea that being trans (both pre and after transition) was just about gender nonconformity ..was wrong (as trans people had been saying for decades). That gender identity and presentation of gender conforming, or nonconforming, appearance and behaviour … were not the same things.

  70. Lisa Mullin

    Reading through the comments is depressing in how anti trans propaganda memes dominate.

    Lets get rid of a few:

    1) It has been known since the 1960s that trans adolescents, like adults, won’t stop being matter how much you torture them.
    2) Trans women and girls are uniformly unsuccessful in women’s and girl’s sports (which is why it is the same 4 or 5 that keeps getting shown). In fact it is trans boys and men..competing against cis boys and men..that tend to be more successful.
    3) The modern protocols for trans adolescents (social transition, puberty blockers from puberty Tanner Stage 2, then HRT at 15 or 16) first started in 1989 and are the world standard for them.

    Because they work.

    4) Trans adolescents who can transition as teenagers and are supported by their families show incredible drops in depression, suicidality, etc. From 8-12 times the average to close to the average.
    5) No conversion therapy of any kind (including ECT, incarceration for years, behavioural modification, drugs, psychotherapy, etc) works. Even those who do/did it (like Levine, Zucker, etc) admit they have no proof it works.
    6) On the other hand, there is massive proof of the harm it causes. It doubles suicidality in trans adults and adolescents, it increases by 4 times if done to trans kids under 10.

    Which is why every psych/medical/endocrine/health/etc org in the developed world condemns trans conversion therapy (as well as the equally unsuccessful and harmful gay conversion therapy).

    7) Puberty blockers don’t: decrease IQ, cause reduced bone density (except in a very few cases which are treatable and reverses when HRT is started), sterilize.
    Bone density tests are part of the clinical protocols.
    8) Hormone therapy can sterilize trans women..eventually.. but fertility reservation is easy (I have a friend who did that and has 3 kids now). It rarely causes infertility in trans men, most of whom if they want children simply stop taking testosterone.

    9) From the sports point of view, a pre pubescent trans girl has no advantage over cis girls.
    A trans adolescent girl who has had blockers and/or HRT has no advantage over female cis adolescents.
    A trans adult woman, who had a male puberty loses any potential advantages within 1-2 years of taking estrogen and testosterone blockers.
    10) There are no world class trans women sports competitors, let alone winners.
    Trans women have been able to compete in the Olympics in women’s competitions since 2003…since then none have even managed to qualify.
    11) Statistically, if trans and cis women were identical in sports ability, then 2-4 medals would have been won by them at the last Olympics…none even managed to qualify.
    12) One trans woman set a world record in a minor cycling class, in a minor age class (35-39). What is forgotten that this is slower than the record for the 40-44 and 45-49 age classes..all set by cis women.

    13) Trans women and men can orgasm after GRS at the same rate a cis women and men can.

    14) No 13 or 14 year old trans boys are having breast removal surgery (except for medical reasons, just as for cis girls), in most places the minimum legal age is 18…and if they get puberty blockers and then HRT, they won’t need to.
    15) No one mentions that if a trans kid is forced to go through a cis puberty it means they will need far more gender confirming surgeries and procedures. Such as:
    Breast surgeries, facial hair removal, adam’s apple surgery, facial surgery, voice training, etc, etc.

    The ‘big pharma conspiracy’ nuts forget that fact, that if you force a trans youth through a cis puberty they need more surgical/medical/etc procedures than if they got blockers and HRT as teenagers.

    16) The true (and proven) desistance rate (where a trans kid spontaneously stops being trans ) is:
    Pre pubescent trans kids: only 4% will stop being trans by start of puberty.
    Adolescent trans kids: less than 1% will stop being trans by adulthood (a fact known since the 1960s).
    17) Detransition rates are very low. Multiple studies in multiple countries show the detransition rate is only between 1 and 6 in every 1,000 who transition. 99.9% to 99.4% are happier transitioning (except for the transphobia we get) . A bit higher percentage will ..temporarily.. detransition due to hostility (often by parents, work,etc) then later transition again (I have a friend that did that).
    18) Trans men have a lower detransition rate than trans women do, and have a lower regret rate for gender confirming surgery.

    What is also not mentioned is the majority who detransitiion do not become cis people, they become non binary (such in the book Stone Butch Blues).

    19) Only 6 in every 1,000 women is a trans woman. Only 6 in every 1,000 men is a trans man. We are not rare, but we are uncommon. More people have a physical intersex condition (17 in every 1,000).

    20) Gender Dysphoria (from the US DSM 5, known as Gender Incongruance in the far more used WHO’s ICD 11) is a symptom of being trans but not able to transition.
    Not all pre transition trans people feel it the same way, or to the same intensity.
    In itself it is not being trans.
    The only..only.. proven way to end it is transitioning, nothing else has ever worked (and everything has been tried).

    21) Trans people have a wide range of sexualities. According to a UK Govt survey: 84% of trans people are LGBQ *after* transitioning. Only 16% would be considered by others as gay or lesbian before they transitioned.

    22) Trans people and allies fought for over 20 years to stop non trans GNC (gender nonconforming) youth being pathologised (as they were in the DSM 4) as mentally ill and forced into conversion therapy to make them gender conforming.
    Now the DSM 5 and ICD 11 specifically exclude them.

    23) No non trans GNC child or adolescent ..or being forced into transitioning, the DSM 5, ICD 11, the clinical standards of care, exclude them from being diagnosed as being transgender.
    If you tried to do that (as happened in the past and still happens to far too many intersex kids), then THEY would suffer gender dysphoria and have to transition again (there are more than a few intersex people who are also trans because they were wrongly assigned a gender).

    24) Being GNC is not enough to be diagnosed as being trans, equally many trans youth are not very GNC before they transition.
    25) Gender expression is NOT Gender Identity.

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