I love Manchester but I must destroy it

As a hobby I collect bad arguments. One I have seen of late surrounding some really shitty and poorly reasoned comments by J K Rowling about gender, is an attempt to pretend that exceptions to the basic chromosomal binary sex classification (i.e. the high school text book simplification of XX & XY) don’t matter. It’s a fallacy we can call the low-percentage fallacy and it is not just present in TERF-pseudologic but in arguments about disability, minority language groups, ethnicity or religion. Essentially the idea is that if a categorical scheme works 99% of the time then voila! They have established some kind of platonic truth where the very real exceptions (which really do matter) don’t count even if the person making the argument concedes they exist.

Proportions need context. If we are talking social policy (and despite often chasing into the weeds of reproductive biology the Rowlingesque arguments are about social policy) then social context matters. A very basic context for a figure like 1% is one-percent of how many people?

For reasons nobody is entirely sure about, the UK is currently an epicentre of spectacularly bad reasoning of Rowling kind. So let’s use the UK as a context. The population of the UK is 66.65 million people and England is 53 million. 1% of 66.65 million is 666,500 or a bit over 6 hundred thousand. For further context the population of the city of Manchester is 510,746 (that’s not Greater Manchester just the city proper https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_Greater_Manchester )

We can use the low-percentage fallacy to make Manchester disappear in a Thanos-like click of my arithmetic fingers. Less than 1% of English people live in Manchester, so we can assume PEOPLE DON’T LIVE IN MANCHESTER. Do we need railway stations in Manchester? No, because nobody live in Manchester. How about the M62 motorway which connects Liverpool (where also nobody lives) to Manchester and then unto Leeds (where also nobody lives) and the rest of Yorkshire (where some people live but only if we aggregate* them enough)? Obviously a huge waste of time and money BECAUSE NOBODY LIVES THERE.

Why on Earth Manchester has not one but TWO football teams is a mystery as, again, nobody lives there (although most Man U fans really don’t live there…) Also, of the people who don’t live in Manchester, none of them are called Smith. It’s true! English people aren’t called Smith even though it is the most common surname in England (OK at 747,967 it just creeps up to 1.1% https://britishsurnames.co.uk/surname/smith/stats ). Weirdly, red haired people do exist in the UK but by the percentage-fallacy don’t exist in the human population.

It’s not just bad reasoning but it is a kind of error you see in some gee-whiz claims about AI algorithms that are “99% accurate”. It is also has a highly sinister aspect when considering minority ethnic groups in many countries, where groups who are proportionally small can be vanished from policy consideration despite amounting to hundreds of thousands of people. If the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia were a city (798,365 people in 2016 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/profile-of-indigenous-australians ) they would be the sixth largest city in the country (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Australia_by_population).

*[Also don’t aggravate people from Yorkshire.]

158 responses to “I love Manchester but I must destroy it”

  1. You have the best hobbies CF.

    If Oxfam is right, that there are 2,153 billionaires in a world of 7,800,000,000 people then — mutatis mutandis — they really, really don’t exist and we therefore can confiscate their monstrous wealth, which egregiously does exist.

    (Also: Trans women are women, trans men are men, trans people are people.)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I assume that people who assert that trans[wo]men are [wo]men do not require, and in fact would be outraged, at the suggestion that trans people should demonstrate some physical chromosomal ambiguity in order to be accepted for the gender they claim. So an argument about ignoring chromosomal ambiguity is a red herring.

    If I were to make the TERFy argument, it wouldn’t be about physical ambiguity, it would be that there is no such thing as an intrinsic gender of the mind, and there is no such thing as having a gender independent of one’s body. There are people who wish they were of the other gender, and who want to adopt cultural gender roles, behaviors, and appearances of the other gender, but that their declarations of “being” the other gender (or of no gender) is meaningless.


    • //So an argument about ignoring chromosomal ambiguity is a red herring.//

      Yes, it is a red herring.

      //there is no such thing as having a gender independent of one’s body//

      There’s maybe a thousand things wrong with that if examined closely (running a gamut from what aspect of anything a person does is truely independent of their bodies to the fact that societies attach genders to abstract objects) but I think you’d gain more from examining the idea yourself. It’s another red herring.

      Liked by 2 people

    • hyrosen: If I were to make the TERFy argument

      What do you mean, “if”? You just did make the TERFy argument. Ugh. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

    • There’s only one regular commentator left around here whose contributions are routinely worthless. I’ll leave you to figure out who that is.

      Liked by 1 person

    • it would be that there is no such thing as an intrinsic gender of the mind,

      The only thing I can say to that argument is that “gender dysphoria” (the feeling that an intrinsic gender-of-the-mind does not match current-gender-of-body) is surprisingly well cured by transitioning, so as to, simply by the efficacy of that treatment, be essentially proven to exist.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s not just bad reasoning but it is a kind of error you see in some gee-whiz claims about AI algorithms that are “99% accurate”.
    I never cease to be amazed (although I should know better) at the large fraction of people who can’t make the translation from “99% accurate” to “wrong 1% of the time”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is truly amazing how poor scientific education is among so many who don’t understand (or pretend to not understand) that:

    1) sex is biological and gender is sociological related to but not defining sex
    2) gender definitions/identities change within cultures and over time and again have never been binary in cultures
    3) trans people have been part of all cultures throughout recorded human history and have been going to the bathroom with you your entire life
    4) sex is non-binary and not determined solely by chromosomes — it is an extensively studied spectrum and errors about what sex people are at birth happen constantly
    5) intersex people not only exist and are not identical to trans but make up 1% of the human population, so about seventy million plus people and you can’t tell all of them are intersex by stripping them naked, anymore than you can tell anyone else’s sex from just their clothing or outward genitalia
    6) some intersex people remain intersex but still have to pick a bathroom in most cultures and some decide to transition to one degree or another to being non-intersex, just like non-intersex people who are trans or non-binary, etc.

    Transphobes continually try to come up with simple, unscientific theories of humanity that have biologists and sociologists blinking in scientific pain. They demand that gender and sex be the exact same thing and strictly binary and then when scientists explain to them that this is not how scientific terms and chromosomes work, they start whining about how non-binary, intersex and trans people are all the same and/or mentally ill or trying to be trendy, just as they did/still do with gay people. All of the trans oppression arguments are nearly exactly the same as the arguments for discriminating and repressing gay rights and it’s not a coincidence that recent trans oppression campaigns ramped up right after marriage equality occurred in western countries and set back anti-gay movements. In the U.K. particularly, the anti-trans movement is funded by Rupert Murdoch and promoted by his publications. Transphobes trot out rigid, retro and sexist gender roles to bolster their arguments, ones that attempt to limit all women’s rights to their own bodily autonomy, including appearance, dress, behavior and careers. Which is a game of the far right that is really weird to see some cis lesbians use against themselves.

    Whenever cultures shift towards less persecution and more equality, in large part because of scientific development disproving old myths, we have groups screaming that no, we must stick with the old stuff because otherwise they’ll lose something, they won’t be as special, they’ll be threatened, horrible things will happen, all will be unnatural and words will have no meaning. They try to dress it up in moral concerns, criminal concerns and fake science. They recycle the same arguments over and over from one type of civil rights oppression to the next. Once all women were the hysterics to the anti-rights crowd, then gay women were the hysterics and now trans people and non-binary are the hysterics. And they keep pretending that intersex people — biologically non-binary — don’t exist at all because they’re very inconvenient for a completely erroneous claim of biological destiny on trans rights.

    Liked by 3 people

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia_transracialism_controversy

      Many of the people supportive of transgender activism and that trans[wo]men are [wo]men are furiously opposed to transracialism (the Rachel Dolezal case), despite the fact that hypodescent has led to people identifying as Black (or Elizabeth Warren identifying as native American) even if they don’t look like characteristic members of those races. When the same people are arguing that biology is irrelevant to gender but essential to race, that makes me believe that we are in the realm of ideology, not science.

      If people insist on detaching gender from biology, they must perforce provide some other definition for “man” and “woman”, otherwise what would it mean to identify as one? Inevitably, that is going to involve behavior and gender norms, and that has never been good for women, who have always gotten in trouble for not acting appropriately ladylike. That’s why so many women are TERFy. They don’t fear men sneaking into bathrooms, they fear that who they are is going to be warped by men redefining femininity, and that’s especially true for lesbians, who already don’t fit typical gender norms.

      Speaking of science, a study in Canada a couple of years ago of around a thousand people found that eighty-eight percent would not date a trans person. Not only that, of the people who said they would date a trans person, amusingly half of them picked a trans person of incongruent gender, basically treating those trans people as their starting gender, not their assumed one (so, half the lesbians who said they would date a trans person would date a trans man but not a trans woman). Where the rubber meets the road, professed belief that trans[wo]men are [wo]men is performative, not real. We good liberals will let people call themselves whatever gender they want, and we’ll let them put it on their legal documents, and we’ll use their correct pronouns, and we’ll let them into whatever bathrooms and sports teams they want to be in. But when it comes to dating, hard pass no.


      • hyrosen: Many of the people supportive of transgender activism and that trans[wo]men are [wo]men are furiously opposed to transracialism

        Oh, goodie. Just what this thread needed, a big dose of Whataboutism. 🙄

        hyrosen: Speaking of science, a study in Canada a couple of years ago of around a thousand people found that eighty-eight percent would not date a trans person.

        You do know that an opinion poll isn’t science, right?

        hyrosen: We good liberals

        Based on of all the things you’ve said in comments on this site, you shouldn’t be pretending to speak for liberals. You sure as hell don’t speak for me.

        Liked by 3 people

      • @JJ


        It’s in a peer-reviewed journal, so there’s that. And of course, properly conducted opinion polls are science, inasmuch as science involves using good methodology to discover truths about the world. Do you believe that asking people what they think is not a correct way to discover what they think, or that extrapolating from representative samples to wider populations is not science? Or is it only science if it confirms your ideology?


        • hyrosen: properly conducted opinion polls are science, inasmuch as science involves using good methodology to discover truths about the world. Do you believe that asking people what they think is not a correct way to discover what they think, or that extrapolating from representative samples to wider populations is not science? Or is it only science if it confirms your ideology?

          There is a difference between doing empirical research of physical science (science) and using a methodology to discover peoples’ opinions (opinion polls). Opinion polls/studies are not “truths about the world”, they are polls of peoples’ opinions which may or may not have been arrived at by a method which is reasonably free from bias. The people who submitted this study to Journal of Social and Personal Relationships are psychologists and sociologists, not scientists.

          Do you believe that what people think is the same thing as science? Is what Flat-Earthers think, science? Is what Coronavirus Deniers think, science?

          Liked by 2 people

  5. “They have established some kind of platonic truth where the very real exceptions (which really do matter) don’t count even if the person making the argument concedes they exist.”
    e.g., if rape almost never gets women pregnant (a common belief among conservative evangelicals) then we don’t need a rape exemption to abortion bans because so few women will be in that position.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do not need a rape exemption for abortion. If the reason for opposing abortion is that it is the destruction of a human life, how that life came into being is no excuse for destroying it. Similarly, we do not need a gender choice exemption for abortion. If we regard abortion as part of the right of a woman to make her own choices about her body, we must allow her to choose to terminate a pregnancy because she prefers not to have a child of a particular gender, without imposing external values upon her, and indeed without requiring her to explain her choice at all.


  6. There’s another thing that can go wrong with people that has nothing to do with XX or XY chromosomes, but can yet affect their perception of their gender, and that is hormones. For example, I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). What happens with PCOS is that your hormones get all muddled. To take myself as an example, I have a deeper voice than most women, I grow a noticeable beard if I don’t shave, and I go months without a period — one time it was over a year. This is all because my hormones are messed up, but what does that do to a brain? And hormones can be messed up when a fetus is in the womb. My mom also has PCOS — what kind of hormones was I exposed to in utero that may have made subtle changes to me?

    Now, I’ve also been a tomboy for as long as I can remember — when my cousins, sister, and I would play castle, I was always the king and never the queen. Now that I think about it, there’s a lot of times I imagined myself as a boy. Even today, I ponder transitioning every so often simply because I wouldn’t have to care about the things I’m supposed to care about as a female and the things I do care about are more accepted if it’s a male who cares about those things. Yes, some of this is resentment towards male privilege, but what I wouldn’t do to just wear a suit to a job interview instead of worrying about what the interviewers are going to think about my clothes, my hair, or my makeup (or lack thereof).

    When I walk into stores the combination of me being tall, broad-shouldered, and bearded, as well as my choice of clothes, has the store clerks referring to me as “sir.” I don’t correct them anymore, because it’s embarrassing for both of us and, as I’ve gotten used to it, I kinda like the idea of being mistaken for a guy.

    It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, but I’m straight-out genderqueer and it has nothing to do with the chromosomes I have or the shape of my genitals. It’s, in many ways, who I’ve always been if I’m honest with myself. It’s been in my head, my self-image, for as long as I can remember. From what I understand from a lot of fully trans people, they also have that self-image of themselves as the other gender than the one they were assigned at birth for as long as they can remember.

    IOW, chromosomes aren’t the be all end all of gender identity. I’m proof of that.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Absolutely. We are embodied just in the same way we live in places and our personalities collide and bounce around those physical realities chaotically. We are shaped by them but to say we are them is like looking at a pool table and saying “it determines where all these coloured balls will go” — it’s true in a sense but not in anyway that’s useful.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Can I try to sumerise the argument shortly how I see it (and please tell me if I am wrong):

      People are People. They are not 1 or 0 (men or women), but different in a lot of ways. (You know Spocks favorite saying in Star Trek) As long as there is no harm to others, it is not our decision how other people should live.

      For me the discusion ends here (this is nothing against the people discusing here in the tread), if you don’t exect this you are not worth wasting my time (and I am not very well imformed in gender discusion, never heard for example of katsters PCOS before)

      Liked by 4 people

      • Haw! No, actually, that’s my logo. I’ve been drawing cats like that my entire life, and I’m a bit iffy about having my profile pic on a lot of sites being actual pictures of me. (That said, I do have one that I can pull out that isn’t half-bad.)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Are you saying chromosomes are complex or that sex is not binary? Bc while chromosomes are more complex than what we thought 50 years ago, sex is reproduction which is achieved with a sperm and an ovum. Intersex conditions don’t mean a 3rd sex as they don’t provide a 3rd sexual gamete.


        • As *strict* categories? Absolutely. Sexuality isn’t a great sorting hat either.

          Note that doesn’t mean words have no meaning or that there aren’t obvious groupings that *largely* work. There are homosexual people and hetrosexual people and lots of people for whom the terms don’t quite work.

          As heuristics for grouping people you aren’t going to be horribly wrong *most* of the time. That’s the flip side of being 90% (or whatever) correct. It works for approximate groupings of people.

          As the basis for social policy or laws or basic rights or accessibility or core truths about the breadth of human experience then we hit the same issue as destroying Manchester. Proportionally small groupings in a large enough group amount to a lot of people.

          For example, am I Australian or British (or even Irish or European)? These aren’t horrible categories unless there are social/legal demands that they be *strict* categories i.e. that prevent me being multiple things and different in different contexts. And those are all quite well defined categories with not just rules and definitions but also processes for assigning them legally.

          Liked by 2 people

      • I’m neither homosexual nor heterosexual. I’m asexual, which means that in many ways, I don’t get the human obsession with sexual relations. The two times I’ve really fallen in love, one happened to be male and one happened to be female. I didn’t fall in love with their genitals or gender presentation, I fell in love with their minds. Thus, again, I don’t fit in the nice little boxes. In fact, for a long time, I wondered what was wrong with me, since I wasn’t attracted to either gender. The strict categorization once again worked to hurt me because I didn’t fit in either of the boxes.

        This is lived experience — and it bothers me that my experience is written off as not existing.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. He gave away the game when he described E Warren “identifying” as indigenous. That been a “sincerely-held belief” (to borrow a phrase) based on her family lore. I know a guy who claimed to be part Cherokee (like lots of people in the US South) whose Ancestry spit test disproved his family lore. That is a very common thing nowadays. She didn’t “identify” as Cherokee. She had been told she was Cherokee. With that, you are just resorting to political slurs and dogwhistles.

    I can’t tell if your opinions are bad faith, trolling, or just an inability to perceive a world where most things are fluid and fall along a spectrum. Probably some combination of all three.

    I remember as a young person going to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and reading the little info plaque by the alligator tank that described an interesting fact that opened my teenage mind to the notion that nature was diverse, complex and mutable (all characteristics that enhance survival). In essence: “Some reptiles such as crocodilians and some turtles are known to display temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), where the ambient temperature of the developing eggs determines the individual’s sex. For example in the American alligator’s eggs, incubation at 33 ºC produces mostly males, while incubation at 30 ºC produces mostly females.”

    So when I read a scientific article on brains and the biology of trans-ness — that there is some evidence that hormonal fluctuations at certain points in the brain development (that might be different at other points in fetal development) might indeed lead to a human condition where a brain “was” coded male/female/other during its formative stage, while the genital expression was coded as something else during its formative stage. That’s biology, not sociology. (I don’t know about the actual science here, but the explanation is certainly convincing to this lay person)

    Also, as another example of DNA mutating and being expressed in different ways and different stages of the life span of the same biological entity: see the amazing caterpillar/butterfly transition, something that is taught in grade 1 science class in Canada. “Any single individual of any species is going to have the same DNA throughout its entire lifespan. What changes in butterflies is, particularly between a caterpillar and an adult butterfly, is they go through metamorphosis. And during this process there’s a hormone which is found in most insects as they change from a larvae into an adult, which is called ecdysone, and that hormone triggers metamorphosis and it changes how DNA expression works.”

    Hormones are powerful, powerful things. If you are going to rely on SCIENCE !!1!!111 and biology as your criteria, trans people are who they say they are.

    The business about even liberals not wanting to dating trans people is the reddest of herrings that has nothing to do with any of this. You’re in the realm of talking about prejudice, preferences, fears, revulsions, inconsistences of human belief and practice, lack of personal exposure etc.. not anything to do with the actual issue of people being who they say they are. I wouldn’t date an a bottled water magnate or a pharmabro or a libertarian, but that has nothing to do biology.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Elizabeth Warren doesn’t even identify as Native American — she believed, based on family stories, that she had a Native American ancestor, stories that she found out were true when she took a DNA test. She never used that story to get a scholarship or a place at a university, though she did join a club or society for Native Americans.

      It’s important to get facts right if you’re going to make an argument. (Not you, RC, the guy you’re replying to.) It’s also a good idea to stick to the subject of the argument and not go off on tangents about who people want to go out on dates with.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I enjoy some gentle trolling for presumably the same reason our host comments on MGC posts. There’s some fun to be had in pointing out inconsistencies (“someone is WRONG on the internet!”), and it also helps people sharpen their arguments if they’re faced with opposition. Of course, you run into Poe’s law as well, as all the defenders of Elizabeth Warren here demonstrate. (She’s great, I would vote for her in a heartbeat, and nothing is going to stop me from making the occasional joke about this nevertheless.)

    For example, @JJ claims that “psychologists and sociologists [are] not scientists” (which I suspect would come as a surprise to them). We often see trans activists citing studies dealing with children beginning the transitioning process, or about the frequency of suicide attempts among people with gender dysphoria who transition as opposed to those who don’t, and saying that those studies (which claim results that the activists like) indicate that their point of view is “settled science.” If @JJ believes that psychology is not science, then does @JJ also disagree that these trans matters are “settled science”?

    @Regular Commenter speaks about brains being coded male or female. If you’re going to disassociate gender from the sex of the body, and decide instead that there is a male or female mind and/or brain, you should understand why TERFism might be popular among feminists and lesbians. They have forever been accused of not being feminine, not having motherly instincts, and in general of not being real women. They thought they were finally getting past all that, and that there was no right way to be a woman. You were a woman because your body was female, and you were a “correct” woman no matter what you wanted to do – be an engineer or be a teacher, get married or not, have children or not, dress any way you wanted, love whomever you want. Then along come people whom they see as men telling them that their bodies are irrelevant, that being a woman is a state of mind, and while not describing that state of mind, often adopting cultural gender norms seen as hyper-feminine (remember how Caitlyn Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair?). Some people are very much going to see that as an attack, especially since a large focus of trans activism is on forcing acknowledgment upon the unwilling.


    • Your trolling is not fucking gentle when you’re supporting viewpoints that get people killed.

      Go spend a few years “gently” trolling some right-wing Christians about the existence of God, and your doctor about the germ theory of disease, and stop playing “what if” with other people’s life and health.

      Trans women are women, trans men are men, and hyrosen is a troll who hasn’t shown us his karyotype.

      (Camestros, I hope that letting my anger at admitted trolling show doesn’t violate the salon rules.)

      Liked by 4 people

      • I comment on the beliefs of the religious too, you can be sure.

        “You must accept my view of the world because otherwise I will be in danger” is a very peculiar form of logical argument, because it says nothing about its veracity. It’s more akin to blackmail. You spoke of Christians. That’s the situation we’re in – we can accept that someone has a belief and should be permitted to hold that belief, without accepting that the belief is true, and without having any obligation to act as if that belief is true.

        Rod Dreher, over at The American Conservative, is always going on histrionically about how Christians are in danger of persecution in America from woke liberals. I don’t accept his views as the truth either. (He’s banned me from commenting over there because I was a little less gentle.)

        There exist groups who call themselves Messianic Jews (e.g. Jews for Jesus) who insist that it is possible to both be Jewish and to believe in Jesus. No other denomination of Judaism accepts them as Jewish, and their members would not be permitted to participate in religious services in any but their own synagogues. There is even the possibility of them being in harm’s way – they are so despised that they are sometimes physically attacked by Orthodox Jews. But no ordinary Jew, even one who believes very much in religious freedom, would feel any obligation to accept the views of Messianic Jews as correct in order to protect them from danger.


    • hyrosen: I enjoy some gentle trolling

      You should be aware that your “gentle trolling” comes off as profound ignorance and/or malicious bad faith and makes you look like a jerk. You have zero credibility at this point.

      When I say that psychologists and sociologists are not scientists, I mean that their subject matter is non-provable. Psychology and sociology are soft sciences which generate information on human tendencies and thought processes rather than absolute facts. The study you cited documents personal beliefs, not facts — and yet you cited it as if it actually proved something.

      With regard to transgender people, the “settled science” is that sex and gender are non-binary.

      Liked by 2 people

      • @JJ The study proves that 88% of the surveyed people would not date a trans person, and of the ones who would, half of them are picking a trans person whose starting, not professed, gender matches the gender of people they want to date. Given that this is a peer-reviewed journal article, we are justified in extrapolating these views to the wider population of whom this survey is representative.

        I’m certain that if asked, far fewer than 94% of people would say that trans[wo]men are not [wo]men, and I take that to mean that many people don’t really believe that trans people are of the gender they say they are, but they’re not about to make a fuss over it because people should be allowed to live their lives as they see fit as long as they’re not bothering anyone else. But if it comes to fully accepting them as a dating partner, the acceptance rate plummets. It’s like all those movies in the 50s and 60s where a white daughter brings home a Black boyfriend to her ostensibly liberal family and hilarity (or not) ensues.


        • hyrosen: The study proves that 88% of the surveyed people would not date a trans person, and of the ones who would, half of them are picking a trans person whose starting, not professed, gender matches the gender of people they want to date.

          Yes, yes, an opinion poll of who people would be willing to date is certainly proof of who those people would be willing to date, but “Who People Are Willing To Date” is not the subject of this post. The subject of this post is “Trans Women Are Women”, and an opinion poll/study of who people would be willing to date is irrelevant to that subject.

          Are you really as stupid as you are making yourself look? Or do you actually just enjoy making yourself look stupid? 🙄

          Liked by 2 people

  10. Transphobes decide (or more accurately are taught all their lives,) that they are in charge of the culture, of people’s identities and their civil rights over those identities, of what science will and will not be allowed — or more often, demand science be replaced with pseudo-science, of what public policy will be allowed to rule trans people’s lives, careers and physical safety, and then declare that if they don’t get to be in charge of those things and repress trans people (as well as intersex and non-binary people,) that’s trans activists “forcing” things on them. It’s the same justifications used for the other kinds of bigotry as well, for keeping status quo hierarchies. They’re in charge, thanks to those hierarchies, and they don’t want culture or language or bigoted repression changed and any trans people standing up for their civil rights in defiance of their self-appointed authority is causing them supposed horrible harm.

    So yes, they want to nuke Manchester and Manchester defying that is putting a crimp in their status and their power play pocketbook, which is totally unreasonable and degenerate to them because they’ve grown up to believe their hierarchy status is perfectly normal and reasonable. And they will whine about how awful it is that trans people exist and get to share public spaces and have autonomy over their own bodies and have the law protect their equal civil rights (to the extent that they actually get those things in a culture, which is sadly not much.) Because there are “problems” with trans people having equal civil rights, problems that they make up and desperately try to find justifications for. And if you shoot down some of those with legal and scientific facts, they just switch to a new set. It was rather wild watching J.K. Rowling do that. And then if you shoot down those, they will complain they’re being persecuted because you’ve shown that persecution of the marginalized isn’t quite as accepted as reasonable as they thought it still was and because you refuse to go along with them being in charge of the culture.

    Trans women don’t take away my rights as a cis woman. That’s a “problem” they made up to justify bigotry and repression. Trans people having their equal civil rights enhances the equality of my own rights as a cis woman in the culture, because the arguments used against trans people having equal civil rights are the same arguments used against all women having equal rights to men and can be used again to repress my rights (and in fact currently are — hysteria and irrational, mentally ill, strident, corrupting young people, over-reaching, etc.) It is anti-trans activists who also threaten my civil rights as a cis woman, by insisting that there are various tests and standards they invent or cling to that women must pass to be women in the society, tests and standards that are rigid, repressive and controlled by bigots who use that repression to accumulate more exploitative power and control of the society. Tests that insist I don’t have equal civil rights and bodily autonomy to determine who I am in the culture but instead will be told what I am and what I can do and how I can look, including that I don’t pass whatever tests they set up to qualify for their notion of womanhood and my rights curtailed accordingly.

    Already cis women who don’t fit old notions of womanhood in their genitalia or gender appearance are being harassed about going into bathrooms and lockerrooms because anti-trans sentiment provides an excuse for sexist harassment and controlling women, for crackdowns on women’s civil rights to limit them under the justification that it is necessary in order to protect from “problems” concerning trans people. Crackdowns done by people whose deep ignorance of aspects of human biology would be laughable if it wasn’t being used to create serious and violent harm. One bigotry is used to advance another. Likewise many cis men are being harassed about entering men’s rooms and lockerrooms under the same justifications that they don’t fit the profile of “men.” Intersex, non-binary and non-conforming people whose appearance doesn’t conform to bigots’ notions of genders face the same.

    And that’s just the bathroom issue that the far right ginned up as a new fundraiser and policy goal after anti-gay efforts declined in money and effectiveness. That doesn’t even get into the medical issues cis women face from anti-trans persecution campaigns on public and heathcare policy. The idea that I as a cis woman can only get equal rights if another group is deprived of their civil rights is sickening and the opposite of factual reality. Equal civil rights is not the freaking Hunger Games. The more equality and equal protection under the law trans people get, the more secure my own equal rights as a cis woman become and the less possible are justifications for sexist discrimination as acceptable culture and policy.

    I had to tell my daughter the other day about the old argument/justification back in the day by anti-gay activists that most gay men weren’t really gay but were pretending to be gay in order to get close to women, get women to strip naked around them and then sexually assault them. She hadn’t heard that one because, while it is still around, it’s not as popular as it was for the anti-gay movements in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. And it’s an argument that’s recycled for trans persecution — that illogically straight cis men have to put on a dress and go through hell to just walk into a woman’s bathroom and rape women, something they’ve never needed; (they don’t even need to be straight to rape women, as rape is about power, not sexual attraction or release.) At the same time, anti-trans people will also argue that trans women are mainly gay cis men who can’t bear being gay and so want to be a woman to be “straight” rather than rape women through camouflage and so must be “saved from themselves and the evil activists who corrupt them” — straight out of the anti-feminist and anti-gay old playbooks.

    Active bigots just throw whatever they can come up with or re-use against the wall and see if they can get anything to stick, usually with the help of wealthy backers or government money they’ve siphoned off, to increase political and monetary power. Rowling seems to have decided to become a wealthy backer and to be interested in political power through repression, no matter that her arguments are contradictory, don’t make sense and are not backed by science in the least. But if she keeps posing the rights and existence of transpeople and other queer people as a “problem” or rather, multiple problems, of some sort that must be controlled, she can get/back political people she wants into office and try to control the culture — including all women’s rights. Hierarchy is a hell of a drug. If you can manage to nuke Manchester, you’re powerful and if you’re powerful, you’re safe and right and good. And usually they want to keep doing it, because it’s never safe enough from people demanding equal rights.

    This bunch of articles, in response to Rowling’s recent rantings, has a lot of useful links and actual scientific information:


    Liked by 2 people

  11. 1% of most things in this world turns out to be a pretty big number.

    JkR is a bigoted numpty.

    Trans people are who they say they are. Use their preferred names and pronouns.

    This has been “Stuff That’s So Obvious We Shouldn’t Have To Say It, Yet We Still Do”.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. @JJ Yes, I’m just that stupid. You win!

    If people who like to date women say that transwomen are women but they wouldn’t want to date them, that’s an indication that they may not believe that transwomen are really women.


    • I have exclusively dated cis men in my life.
      You claim to be a cis man.
      I wouldn’t date you.

      So I guess you’re not a real man.

      According to your very own logic, you’re not a man.

      Liked by 2 people

    • hyrosen: If people who like to date women say that transwomen are women but they wouldn’t want to date them, that’s an indication that they may not believe that transwomen are really women.

      Again, what individuals may or may not believe is irrelevant.

      Liked by 2 people

      • @JJ What people believe is relevant if you’re hoping those people will put your favored policies into place. Otherwise you think you’re making progress and you get blindsided by Brexit, by Trump, by Duterte, by Orban, by Bolsonaro.

        If I had to guess the number one spot that will face resistance to transgender people being accepted for their claimed gender, in a way that will astonish activists, I would pick women’s sports, not bathrooms. We’ll see.

        I have an anecdote. I’m a huge fan of Magic the Gathering, a fantasy collectible card game. The company that makes it, Wizards of the Coast (now owned by Hasbro), is very much trying to make the card art and lore be inclusive. They have cut down on cheesecake in the art, they have men and women equally being knights and soldiers, they have many Black characters, and they had a prominent transwoman character, Alesha Who Smiles at Death, supported by a moving short story on their web site. But as you might expect for such a nerdy game, the designers skew very heavily white and male. A number of years ago, they held a public design contest, the prize of which would be the opportunity to be an intern at the company and work on making new cards. Lo and behold, the winner of the contest was a woman! But as it turns out, she was not just a woman, she was a transwoman.

        Can you at least understand that some women looking for equality and representation in this male-dominated space might feel crestfallen at that result? If you can’t, I think that’s where the world is going to surprise you.


        • hyrosen: What people believe is relevant if you’re hoping those people will put your favored policies into place… Can you at least understand that some women looking for equality and representation in this male-dominated space might feel crestfallen at that result?

          Imagine how many trans women felt validated that a trans woman was selected for such an important role, given how oppressed and demeaned and marginalized and murdered trans women have been over the years.

          As far your claim that people not wanting to date a trans person = people not willing to recognize trans men as men and trans women as women, that’s an egregiously-false equivalency.

          I have absolutely no interest in dating someone of my own gender. That doesn’t stop me from believing that gay women and bisexual women and trans women are still women with a right to their own identities and their own bodies — and that does not harm me in any way, nor does them forming mutual relationships with whichever persons they choose harm me in any way, nor does them using the same restroom as me harm me in any way.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Re. the sports. I enjoy ultrarunning and I would expect most competitors to welcome the participation of trans athletes in races under whatever gender they choose. It’s just another friendly person on the trail and many people are just there to have fun. However, there would definitely be a lot of resistance when it comes to podium places or top 10 finishes. The people going for those can be very competitive and trans women would have a distinct advantage, probably more so than non-runners appreciate.


          • But they’d only have the same advantage that some cis women would have. Also, the number of trans people is small, so the population of trans people at athletic extremes is teeny-tiny to non-existent i.e. in raw numbers more cis women would exceed any given physical advantage than trans women.

            I don’t know enough about sport to know what would be a physical advantage in running but let’s imagine it was a simple “who is tallest” competition. The competitors all turn up and everybody stands up straight. Whoever is tallest wins!

            So this tall-sport would have gendered leagues because, on average, men are taller than women. Oh dear but what about transgender women? I don’t know but it’s plausible that transgender women are on average taller than cis women. Ah ha! Transgender women have an advantage? Suprisingly, nope. There are oodles more cis women, so the range of cis women’s heights will exceed the range of transgender women’s heights and there will be more really tall cis women than really tall transgender women just because there are so many, many more cis women.

            Liked by 1 person

            • You are right about the small numbers of trans competitors and it’s not something that I’ve seen cause an issue yet. I can see how it will though, despite the small numbers.

              Sports aren’t sex-segregated because of the average differences between male and female but because of the differences in maximum athletic potential and the number of competitors at that end of the distribution curve. I’m a 90th percentile marathon runner, which is good but far from great, but I’m quite unlikely to be beaten by a female runner in a small-scale local race. I’ve even beaten a female Olympic athlete in a mountain ultra. For this reason, I don’t think it would take too long before competitive issues would arise.


              • //Sports aren’t sex-segregated because of the average differences between male and female but because of the differences in maximum athletic potential and the number of competitors at that end of the distribution curve//

                Hence my example about height. There will always be more cis women than trans women at the extreme end of a normal distribution because there are so, so many more cis women. Pick almost any trait, because the variety of body shapes and sizes among cis women is large and because most women are cis women (by a very large amount) the extremes will be mainly cis women.


                • //Hence my example about height. There will always be more cis women than trans women at the extreme end of a normal distribution because there are so, so many more cis women. Pick almost any trait, because the variety of body shapes and sizes among cis women is large and because most women are cis women (by a very large amount) the extremes will be mainly cis women.//

                  I guess my practical experiences about sport don’t count for much, but if you want to apply this logic, there is only of me and I am vastly outnumbered by cis women, including those at the extreme end of the normal distribution, so there shouldn’t really be any problem with me competing in the female category.

                  Liked by 1 person

        • //Can you at least understand that…//

          I absolutely go out of my way to understand why people are wrong. It’s another of my hobbies. It’s best to assume that when I point out people are wrong, I either already understand how they ended up being wrong or I am trying to find out.

          Liked by 3 people

    • Tying this in with recent topical SFF drama, Myke Cole was publicly and very forcefully declaring on Twitter that ‘Trans women are women’ while privately being super transphobic and mean about trans people.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. I’ve always found the biological argument with regards to transpersons entirely irrelevant. First, because we have no science showing that people identifying with a gender also has biological reasons for doing it instead of social ones. Second because it doesn’t matter. The relevant thing is helping people, making them feel welcome and protecting their health. Science saying what is good for transpersons is not dependent on analysises of difference in their biological makeup.

    I mostly think tying the identities of transpersons to biology is a mistake and something that can give a bad backlash. It is as stupid as always looking for the gay gene. Or the foot fetish gene. Or whatever. Just accept people and be decent to them.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’ve never identified as either gender internally. I have a female body, it’s easier to go with that, but I think I’d be there same person with an outtie as I am with an innie.
      Someone wants to identify as a woman/man and live as a woman/man, I should care?

      Liked by 1 person

  14. @JJ The “and murdered” part is false, in the sense that transgender people are not being murdered at anywhere near the rate of the general population, and especially not at the rate of the young Black male population, which, depending on where you lie on the transphobia scale, most of the transwomen killed either were or are. (This source is from the here-unpopular Quillette, but anyway, https://quillette.com/2019/12/07/are-we-in-the-midst-of-a-transgender-murder-epidemic/).

    Trans people had every right to be pleased by the outcome of the Great Designer Search, but given the ratio of cis women to trans women, it only takes a small percentage of unhappy cis women to overwhelm the number of pleased trans ones.

    You are also wrong about the “does not harm me in any way.” The potential harm is that when cis women look for equality and representation, they may find accomplishments of trans women being touted as such. If a Messianic Jew were elected president of the U.S., and I was told to be happy now that we had our first Jewish president, I wouldn’t feel represented, I would feel mocked. It’s the same sort of issue that swirled about Barack Obama when he started running for president, namely, was he “Black enough” given his background and upbringing. That is, his experience was not that of a “typical” Black American, so it was not clear how much of a kinship such Americans ought to feel for him. (Fortunately, that was resolved as “yes, Black enough” except for some diehards like Cornel West and Tavis Smiley.)

    Similarly, many issues faced by cis women at work – maternity leave, lactation rooms, day care, being hit on – are largely not a factor for transwomen, who have their own complex set of workplace problems to deal with. Some cis women may worry that trans women in gender fairness groups will be looking to address their own problems rather than those of cis women, again making “does not harm me in any way” less than true.

    Over time, this will probably work its way out, as transwomen become perceived as unthreatening, but activists pushing for things to change quickly may find themselves pushed back. Imagine if the Masterpiece Cakeshop case had occurred before same-sex marriage became the law of the land in America rather than after.


    • hyrosen: The “and murdered” part is false

      Aaaaaaand… predictably, like clockwork, you attempt to derail the argument again — and with a link to Quillette to boot, despite admitting that you know the site is poorly-regarded because of its bigotry and wildly-biased pieces. This derail is irrelevant to this discussion, and I’m not going to dignify it by responding to it.

      hyrosen: Trans people had every right to be pleased by the outcome of the Great Designer Search, but given the ratio of cis women to trans women, it only takes a small percentage of unhappy cis women to overwhelm the number of pleased trans ones.

      Change every occurrence of “Trans” in that paragraph to “black” and every occurrence of “cis” to “white”, and you’ll understand why this is also an irrelevant argument to the statement “Trans Women Are Women”. There will always be bigots who are unhappy to see marginalized people getting things that they feel should belong to only themselves. That’s a function of bigotry.

      hyrosen: The potential harm is that when cis women look for equality and representation, they may find accomplishments of trans women being touted as such.

      That’s not potential harm. That’s a win.

      hyrosen: If a Messianic Jew were elected president of the U.S., and I was told to be happy now that we had our first Jewish president, I wouldn’t feel represented, I would feel mocked.

      I’m sure that has meaning for you, but I don’t know why you would expect it to have meaning for me or for other people. The President isn’t there to represent people of any religion. I expect the President of the U.S. to discharge the duties of their office without any regard to, or influence of, religion. (And yes, I am frequently disappointed by Presidents’ failure to live up to this requirement of their office.)

      hyrosen: Some cis women may worry that trans women in gender fairness groups will be looking to address their own problems rather than those of cis women, again making “does not harm me in any way” less than true.

      Part 1 of that sentence does not prove Part 2. That’s not harm. Gender equality is not a zero-sum proposition (despite the fact that you obviously think that it is). Womens’ rights are womens’ rights. Again, replace “trans” with “black” and “cis” with “white” in that sentence, and you’ll see why it’s not a valid argument. Bigots will always feel harmed when the people they’re bigoted against gain equal rights.

      Did you not ever participate in debate in high school or university? Has no one ever explained to you that reasoned discussion requires your arguments to actually be germane to the subject under discussion?

      Liked by 2 people

      • @JJ You’re the one who wrote “and murdered” in bold italics, so I don’t know why you consider it derailing when I respond to that. Maybe that’s how they taught you to debate in high-school or university? As for Quillette, when you need to speak truth to power, sometimes the soapbox has to be planted in the muck because no other place will let you speak.

        Changing cis and trans to white and Black doesn’t show that my argument is wrong. Making that change mirrors some of the arguments made against the Women’s March, that it was concerned only with white women’s issues. Change cis to Jewish and trans to Black, and you have the huge fight over the Women’s March leadership and the Movement for Black Lives platform. where anti-Israeli and antisemitic sentiments became part of the agenda.

        You suggest that fighting for more things is better. I disagree. Fighting for more things dilutes effort and splinters support, because not everyone agrees with everything. Then the enemies of the movement are only too happy to use these internal conflicts to derail progress altogether. Just as Fred Brooks said in The Mythical Man-Month that adding more people to a late project makes it later, adding more issues to a progressive agenda makes the whole thing fail.


        • hyrosen: You suggest that fighting for more things is better.

          No, I insist that fighting for the right things is better. Making excuses about “let the equality for trans women sit on the back burner, because we need to get equality for cis women first” is not fighting for the right things.

          And again, the topic of this post — which you have continually, repeatedly tried to derail with all of your numerous side arguments — is not “What Strategy Should We Use To Get Equality For Women”, it’s

          Trans Women Are Women.

          Liked by 3 people

  15. Hi Cam

    I don’t know enough about sport to know what would be a physical advantage in running but let’s imagine it was a simple “who is tallest” competition.

    Unfortunately, running….and every other sport that can be measured rather than scored*…requires more than just showing up and being fitted for a medal.

    Check the records for any measured** sport on Wikipedia. You will find that it is almost uniformly true that male times/weights/measured performances will exceed those of women competitors. The performance differences between the genders are generally significant.

    The one stand-out exception that I found was a woman who held world records in several swimming categories that were marginally faster than the fastest man in the same category.

    Those performance differentials are the result (to a non-trivial extent) of the biological difference between men and women. There are other factors as well (cultural biases against girls in sports, funding/opportunity differentials, etc). The non-biological differences are, thankfully, being reduced. The biological differences will always exist to some degree.

    (* scored events (e.g. gymnastics, basketball, figure skating diving) still involve a lot of athleticism. no denigration intended.)

    (** i.e. timed over a set course, weights lifted, etc. – e.g. rowing, running, swimming, speed skating, weight lifting….)

    Hi robmatic1

    You are right about the small numbers of trans competitors and it’s not something that I’ve seen cause an issue yet. I can see how it will though, despite the small numbers.

    Over the last year or so, there have been some stories about high school-aged transwomen blowing away all of the existing high school records in several states. For those female athletes that are competing for college scholarships, this sort of thing can be a very big issue.


    It’s regrettable that the following can’t/won’t be assumed.

    None of this is to suggest that morally/ethically/legally less than men. Nor does it suggest that transfolks are less than non-trans folks.

    Wisdom includes not getting angry unnecessarily. The Law ignores trifles and the wise man does, too. – Job:A Comedy of Justice


      • Hi Cam,

        I got the larger point. IMO, you may be doing a double Manchester when the discussion wanders into competitive sports. Should we consider the relatively low number of women displaced by transwomen to be considered a percentage fallacy and treated as if they do not exist?

        We segregate sports by gender because there are obvious, biological differences between them that will result in far fewer women competing at the highest levels of almost every competition if they weren’t segregated.

        I don’t have any easy answers….’cause there ain’t any. Nor am I defending Rowling. I’ve only read snippets of what she has said.

        I don’t have issues. I have subscriptions.


        • // IMO, you may be doing a double Manchester when the discussion wanders into competitive sports. //

          Nope, it’s just the flip side of the original point: proportions need contexts of the raw numbers. You are literally making a basic error of numerical reasoning, which would be OK because it’s an easy one to make, but you made it in a reply to a comment where I had just explained the error.

          This is going to end up with me drawing graphs, I can tell.

          // Should we consider the relatively low number of women displaced by transwomen to be considered a percentage fallacy and treated as if they do not exist?//

          Packed a lot of leading assumptions in there Dann. People are ‘displaced’ by other people with physical advantages all the time in competitive sport *because that’s the idea* and, as I keep pointing out, pick almost ANY metric (eg “bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size”) there will be more cis women at the extremes than trans women. Why? Because there are a lot, lot more cis women. *Social* factors (including sexism AND transphobia) are the factors that will reduce the numbers of cis women in sport. Importantly transphobic prejudices severely impact cis-women in sport, particularly sports coded as masculine (eg weight lifting) but also sports such as tennis (eg look at the insults directed as the Williams sisters because of their body shapes.)

          Liked by 2 people

    • //Over the last year or so, there have been some stories about high school-aged transwomen blowing away all of the existing high school records in several states. For those female athletes that are competing for college scholarships, this sort of thing can be a very big issue.//

      Do high-school aged people in the US medically transition? If not, that seems exceptionally unfair.


      • They generally take puberty-blockers and/or a ton of the hormones of the gender they identify as, so that brings them into line with those born into/always identifying that gender.

        So a trans girl has a low amount of testosterone and a trans boy has a high one.

        If they want surgery, they generally can’t get it till they’re 18 and thus already in college.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. With regard to sports, it occurred to me that events such as the Paralympics have a great many specific categories, to ensure that people (potentially with all sorts of different disabilities [and abilities]) can compete on an approximately equal basis… it shouldn’t, in principle, be impossible to run regular sports on the same basis, maybe taking into account broad categories like height and weight, and/or things like specific hormone levels (which might also help with the problems of drug-related cheating.) So trans men and women would simply compete as normal in the appropriate categories, regardless of their gender identity. (I have no idea how to implement this, because sports and I are pretty much strangers – if there was a sport of competitive laziness, I wouldn’t even bother to take part in that.)

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s how trans progress will be achieved. We’ll finesse away most of the issues where people feel impinged upon. Bathrooms and locker rooms will be built to provide greater privacy so that people will not need to see nude people or be seen in the nude. Sports will be divided up into competency categories, much as colleges have varsity and club teams and boxing has weight categories, instead of by gender. In the U.S., the Supreme Court will come down firmly on the side of allowing religious institutions wide latitude in whom they hire. Then for the most part, we’ll be in the position that @Connie Collins proposed, where people will not care how other people live their lives, because it really won’t affect them, nor will they be forced to make obeisance to the dicta of the liberal or conservative overlords.


  17. On the sports thing, there are roughly two things that give men a physical advantage. One is that during adolescence male bodies grow longer and heavier bones, which provide a biomechanical advantage in some sports (the longer the lever etc). The second is that having a lot of testosterone makes it easier to develop muscle and reduce body fat. The latter advantage is not present for trans women who are taking hormones (it’s like the opposite of taking steroids). The former advantage is not present for trans women who transitioned at/before puberty. This is somewhat of a simplification. There are other biological differences that effect athletic performance, though I suspect many of those could also be classified as caused by (has a lot of testosterone or grew a male body). However, chances are, if a trans teen is participating in high school sports they don’t have a significant advantage.

    It amuses me greatly in these kinds of discussions that no one is concerned about trans men beating cis men at gymnastics or stealing all the good jobs as jockeys because of their smaller size and greater flexibility…

    Liked by 6 people

    • //It amuses me greatly in these kinds of discussions that no one is concerned about trans men beating cis men at gymnastics or stealing all the good jobs as jockeys because of their smaller size and greater flexibility…//

      The jockey sector isn’t sex-segregated anyway. There are successful female jockeys, just perhaps not as many as there should be because the industry is chauvinistic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • //. It amuses me greatly in these kinds of discussions that no one is concerned about trans men beating cis men at gymnastics or stealing all the good jobs as jockeys because of their smaller size and greater flexibility…///

      Well yes. Of course it’s all about trans women. People-with-vaginas have every reason to be uncomfortable around people-with-penises. People-with-penises are (as we established in another thread) statistically larger and stronger than everyone else. Furthermore, they’re more aggressive, more physically violent, are responsible for the overwhelming majority of sexual assaults and, in the first world at least, more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt about bad behavior (you know, boys will be boys and all that). Why shouldn’t cis women have concerns about being forced to share space with persons who share all the gross physical characteristics of people who could cause them great harm and furthermore get clean away with it.

      If I’m hanging out with the guys and a group of trans men comes over to join us—well, I may discover that I have some issues I need to work out. Concern for my physical safety would not, in a million years, be one of them.


      • This is the same disingenuous claim as Hyrosen already made. A moment’s thought reveals that *nobody* is actually checking who has or doesn’t have penises. So what will be people be basic this judgement on?

        Just like the sport claims, transphobia impacts cis-women and specifically cis-women who don’t look feminine enough.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve said elsewhere in the thread that I often get perceived as a man when I’m out in the world and I’ve gotten my share of dirty looks. Nobody’s confronted me about it, but I’m worried about a confrontation either inside or just outside. I’m using the damn bathroom of the sex I was assigned at birth and haven’t made any move to change but because people perceive me as a man, I get the distinct feeling that other women don’t want me in there. That said, I’m not entirely comfortable using the men’s room.

        I distinctly suspect that if somebody is wearing woman’s clothes, they are much less likely to get the dirty stares and mutters. I mean, unless you want the bathroom police posted outside of every bathroom checking everybody’s genitals, how are you necessarily going to know who’s using the woman’s bathroom with a penis or vice versa?

        Besides, to transition, you have to live as your preferred gender. I think most trans people are going to fly under the radar as much as possible and do their best to act like their preferred gender.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. If 88% of people polled believed in their deepest heart of hearts that the sun revolved around the earth, not a single orbit would change because of it.

    Trans women are women.

    Liked by 5 people

    • That claim is exactly the one made by people who believe that trans women are men, not to mention anti-vaxxers and flat-earthers and true believers of every religion ever.

      Your beliefs don’t impose an obligation on anyone else to believe them, not are your beliefs true just because you have them. Your invocation of orbits should give you pause about believing whatever social theory is currently popular.


      • Um, er…. no. Orbits and such are objectively measurable and objectively demonstrable, and no amount of belief or conviction will sway them one way or another.*

        Same goes for the flat earth – it is possible to prove the earth is round, using little more than observational astronomy, a few deep holes in the ground, and some straight sticks. We know this, because it’s how the ancient Greeks did it.

        And the same goes for sex and gender – it is objectively demonstrable that not all women have two X chromosomes, and not all men have one X and one Y. Most do, I grant you, but there is that minority of exceptional cases – which I think is the point of Cam’s original post; just because they’re a minority and an inconvenience to those with a strict gender binary worldview, that doesn’t mean a) they don’t exist or b) they don’t have rights.

        *Strictly speaking, you could argue for a position based on relativity, in which case the sun orbits around *me*, and also around *you*, even if we are in different places, because both of us are at the exact centre of the universe, wherever we are. And this is why it’s better to use a Newtonian approximation for large, slow-moving things like planets… and in a Newtonian model, orbits are measurable and demonstrable, and it’s demonstrable that the earth goes around the sun, and none of your piety, wit or tears will change that.

        Liked by 3 people

      • We’ve come full circle back to my original comment. There are no trans activists who would require that a trans person submit proof of biological ambiguity in order to be accepted for their claimed gender. Indeed, I’m sure they would fight against that with all their heart. The people pointing out that physical ambiguities exist are putting up a strawman. Trans activists argue that gender can be completely dissociated from bodies, not that there are bodies which are not definitively of some gender.

        You also seem to have your notion of objective reality the wrong way round. The objective reality people point to a penis and say “man”. It’s the trans activists who say “pay no attention to that penis, she’s a woman if she says she is”.


        • //The objective reality people point to a penis and say “man”.//

          They literally don’t. They *claim* that is what they are doing but instead point to all sorts of proxies and then claim that’s the same as pointing to a penis and then claim somebody who share all those proxies but doesn’t have a penis is a liar.

          I don’t know about your neighbourhood and I’m not going to judge but typically people don’t display their genitals in public. That’s the objective reality of the social-dimension of gender *IT REALLY AIN’T ABOUT GENITALS*

          Liked by 3 people

        • hyrosen: We’ve come full circle

          There is no “we”. There is just you, doing malicious trolling and making spurious arguments. And you do not get to speak for anyone else.

          Trans Women Are Women.

          Liked by 2 people

  19. Sorry, it’s against my religion to engage with tedious bigots who aren’t even making novel arguments.

    Liked by 4 people

      • I feel chastened at not being interesting enough. Or perhaps it’s just the dictum that if all else fails, pound the table. I’m boring, I’m a bigot, I’m illogical, …

        Trans activists would like to portray TERFs as claiming that there are no biologically ambiguous people, because then they can claim that TERFs are obviously wrong, hence this “destroying Manchester” post. But at the same time, trans activists would never say that a trans person has to present some biological bona fides in order to be “properly” trans. Trans activists say that when a person claims a gender, the person is of that gender regardless of their body.


  20. //A moment’s thought reveals that *nobody* is actually checking who has or doesn’t have penises. So what will be people be basic this judgement on?//

    I agree that “people-with-penises” lacks a certain je ne sais quoi and doesn’t really capture my intent. If there’s a suitable term for a member of the union of the class of cis men and the class of trans women who haven’t transitioned, I’d be happy to use it instead.

    If I may temporarily revert to the language of the 1980s, the point I was trying to make is something like this:

    “Men are (statistically) bigger, stronger, and more violent than women. They commit the overwhelming majority of of sexual assaults, are more likely to be in positions of authority, to abuse that authority, and to escape the consequences of any of the above. Interactions between the sexes are fraught for women in ways that they aren’t for men. If the men are Actually gender-dysphoric women, that doesn’t change the equation. Women are justified in desiring safe spaces in which men are not permitted.”

    I actually had conversations about this at the time. Back then, I was skeptical. I have apparently turned into a second wave feminist in my dotage, which is not what I would have expected.

    And going back to Angharad:

    //It amuses me greatly in these kinds of discussions that no one is concerned about trans men beating cis men at gymnastics or stealing all the good jobs as jockeys because of their smaller size and greater flexibility…//

    It amuses me too, in that the people who are required to make all the sacrifices are…cis women! When in the entire course of human history has that Ever happened!!


    • //It amuses me too, in that the people who are required to make all the sacrifices are…cis women! //

      Again…looking at what various people keep proposing or trying to get at, attempts to separate out trans-women from the circle of women, *numerically* has negative impacts on…guess who? Yup, cis-women.

      Social spaces/ socially-definied spaces aren’t ever going to operate on criteria such as chromosomes (which as I already pointed out has huge problems) nor are they going to operate on criteria based on checking people’s genitals.

      Aside from the morality of it all this is a mess of type I &II errors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_positives_and_false_negatives) and in LARGE NUMBERS for one group (Cis-women) and really small numbers for the another group (trans-women), each and every poorly thought out scheme to carve a simple social distinction will impact *more* cis-women than trans-women *IN SOME WAY*. This will either be by excluding some cis-women from women’s space for appearing too masculine (oh…and in the US & UK there’s a hefty racist aspect to that *as well*) or places suspicion and social pressure on cis-women against appearing too masculine. [That’s not to dismiss the impact on trans-women. The impact is proportionally greater on them for lots of reasons. However, numerically the point stands – excluding trans-women always negatively impacts cis-women and unavoidably so.]

      This is a pattern.

      It’s a pattern I’ve talked about before in other contexts.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Another thought. Cheryl Morgan (who is herself a trans woman) brought up the TERF argument that you can tell a trans woman from a cis woman by their shoe size.

        I wear a US 12 mens. That works out to approximately a 45.5 Euro/11.5 UK, and a whopping size 14 in US woman’s, which is not a normally stocked shoe size. Thus, I wear men’s shoes. So, if we want to go by that, again, I’m going to get mistaken for the boogieman for the feet that came in the package I was born with — the package that also includes a decided lack of penis if you want to decide gender by genitals.

        The more and more I think about it, the attempts to separate out the cis women from the trans women just by looking is the sort of thing that might get me ran out of town on a rail. And my crime? Not being in the normal range of women’s bodies and not particularly caring about things women are supposed to care about.

        Liked by 5 people

        • //Another thought. Cheryl Morgan (who is herself a trans woman) brought up the TERF argument that you can tell a trans woman from a cis woman by their shoe size.//

          Wow, weirdly I’d be a trans-man by that criteria (I’m not but I have relatively small feet for my height)

          Liked by 2 people

      • I’m a ciswoman, have long hair and dress fairly feminine. However, I’m also fairly tall, broad-shouldered (to the point that I sometimes have to wear men’s shirts, because women’s shirts don’t fit me) and have more body hair than usual for a ciswoman. And yes, I have been asked if I’m trans or if I used to be a man.

        So in short, once we start policing who is and isn’t allowed in the women’s bathroom, every woman, whether cis or trans, could have her right to use the bathroom questioned.

        Liked by 5 people

      • @katster @Cora: in my 20s I was more than once mistaken for male simply because I had short (for a woman) hair and was in t-shirt and jeans but wearing a man’s hat. I was very thin in those days so I guess nothing about me screamed GIRL. Despite being short and not hairy.

        My mother told me stories of my babyhood, where she’d put me in pink ruffles and bows and still get complimented on her “fine big boy”. I was a chonk until age 2 or so, and practically bald to the point that she’d have to tape the pink bow onto my head.

        So: Pink. Ruffles. Bows. And still constantly misgendered.

        Many cons have to share hotel and function space with, shall we say, “less than woke” groups. If a woman is thin and is cosplaying a male character, will she get grief? (Yes.)

        Liked by 3 people

      • We’re talking past each other: I’ve never denied that the border between what I suppose I’ll call physically male and physically female (seriously, do these notions have names we can use in polite company?) is porous and full of ambiguities. That doesn’t mean that the distinction isn’t useful. I can’t decide where to shelve THE DYING EARTH. That doesn’t make science fiction and fantasy the same thing.

        My point is that the concern about assault by the physically male is widespread, and somewhat rational. I sometimes go for a stroll around the neighborhood after dark. No woman I know would ever do that, and if I actually did encounter one, I’d make a point of crossing the street. Every woman I know has stories of being intimidated, patronized, or just plain unsettled by physically male people around them; of having to always be on guard in public spaces. Might they sometimes get the chromosomes wrong? Sure! BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER!! Might the guy in the elevator who’s standing just a little too close be a trans woman? Totally irrelevant!

        My point is that the stress is real. Wanting a place to socialize without having to deal with it (1) should be taken seriously and (2) is not evidence of transphobia.

        I don’t have any great ideas how to accommodate all these conflicting agendas. (Cost-benefit analysis, perhaps? The pain of exclusion of X women equals Y hours of undesired social encounters?) I’m fairly sure that getting into women’s faces and screaming “TERF” isn’t one of them.


      • Yep, already going on for years. Caster Semenyas is a cis woman runner and is biologically female. But based on her APPEARANCE as declared not feminine enough (rigid, bigoted gender roles,) and running ability, the governing body insisted that she receive genetic testing to compete. Other cis women runners were not required to do this testing — discrimination. Her genetic testing showed that she was biologically female but like many females in 4 billion of us, has a Y chromosome and higher than average testosterone for a woman. And that is because sex — biology — is not binary in humans or other animals. This is an established scientific fact that anti-trans people lie about constantly.

        So the governing body wanted her to have surgery, because they are repressive bigots who believe they can control women’s bodies. She refused. So they insisted that she take medication to reduce her testosterone levels if she wanted to compete, because they are repressive bigots. She was 18 years old. Her advantages from her biology were no different from other cis women who have longer and stronger bones than the global average for women, or height, weight, larger muscle mass, metabolism, etc. advantages over the average for women. (Because the average is an average, not the only.) But faced with bigoted repression, she took the meds for five years and experienced harmful side effects from the medication that affected her running ability, health and gave her depression. The governing body accused her of not taking her medications and intentionally running slower to pretend she didn’t have the testosterone advantage. They defamed her even when she wasn’t a threat to other cis woman athletes because they wanted to drum her out of the sport entirely.

        In 2015, the governing body dropped some testosterone regulations, but to compete in certain races, they were still requiring her and other cis woman athletes in the same boat to reduce testosterone levels. When she legally appealed the rulings, the governing body declared that she should legally be considered biologically male and again be drummed out of the sport. They won and she lost her first case in Swedish courts. But she won a temporary reprieve from taking the medication on appeal for some types of races. The case is not only about her but a whole range of woman athletes who have been stripped of their civil rights, the rights to their bodies, medical care, etc. The UN Human Rights Commission has issued a report calling for an end to sports governing bodies requiring and enforcing medical discrimination of these women athletes based on her case. It has been declared a human rights violation, and the fact that she is a black athlete is not irrelevant. Very likely white women runners in the same boat have been given fewer restrictions. For ten years, Caster, a woman and a female, has had to fight for her civil rights in sport.

        Only a few years ago, Mack Beggs, a trans teen at the time, tried to be on his high school’s boys wrestling team. But the Texas school laws were that you had to participate in sports according to your assigned birth gender — bigoted legal repression. They refused to recognize trans teens. They insisted that he wrestle on the girl’s team, so he did and he beat the girls in the state championships several years in a row. The crowd booed him each time because they didn’t like a boy wrestling girls in the competition. Which he wouldn’t have been doing if the legal government authorities had recognized he was a boy. Once he got to university, he was able to wrestle as a man on the men’s team.

        17 states in the U.S. have regulations banning trans athletes from competing as their trans gender. So yes, there are concerted efforts going on about trans athletes to get their civil rights, but also intersex, non-binary, non-conforming gender, DSD and other biological variants like Caster that are part of sex being non-binary, etc., to get them their civil rights of equal opportunity. And bigotry will be used to try to discriminate them out of competing in athletics on the grounds that they have an “unfair” advantage. But what advantages they may or may not have are no more unfair than tall people having an advantage playing basketball. But for those who conform to biological and sociological gender “norms,” mainly in appearance, discrimination against those athletes gives them an advantage in less competition.

        And that’s what bigotry is used for — advantages social and economic for those in dominant groups who are deemed to fit rigid definitions and get to have full civil rights, as well as increased political, legal and social power to repress, harm and silence those they’re marginalizing — to rule and to exploit and to benefit. And they do so with justifications that the marginalized make them feel icky or suspicious or upset about sharing the stage — which the dominant on top of the hierarchy shouldn’t have to accept. That acceptance of these people as equals is somehow harmful and threatening due to bigoted myths. That they get to say what those who don’t conform to their notions of sex and gender can do, be, live, work, earn, look like, have families, what medical treatment they can have or be forced to have, etc.

        And this is the same as keeping gay and bisexual people from the right to marry, to raise and adopt children, etc. It’s the same as anti-choice and anti-contraception dodges to remove women’s rights, to get rid of the legal definition of women being equal human beings, in charge of their own bodies, reproductive systems and medical care in an age of modern medicine and giving them instead the legal status of breeding livestock, physically harmed by forced pregnancies. It’s all the same root discrimination — we have rights and you don’t — you do what we say, you keep quiet about it and we can hurt you as we please. And those who pursue continuing that repression can earn a lot of money, including getting government money, and a lot of political power to arrange things the way they want through it, to keep on top of all the ladders.

        Trans activists are making some headway on trans rights and that’s what brought Rowling’s bigotry fully out of the woodwork and ramped up anti-trans media grifting backed by the right wing. Rowling has now repeatedly and blatantly lied about trans people and the trans rights movement. Hundreds of people who are medical professionals and biologists, public policy experts and trans rights activists have debunked those lies with facts and science to her. She has ignored them and lied some more. Hundreds have explained how repressing trans rights legally and economically harms cis women, particularly many gay cis women, and she and her friends ignore that, claim they are champions of women’s rights, which can only succeed, they feel, by repressing trans people’s rights and the rights of millions of other queer and intersex lives. Rowling doesn’t care about trans people, intersex or non-binary people. But she also doesn’t care about cis women either. She cares about and decided to actively pursue the political and legal power to control human bodies and identities — of all of us — for political gain. She and her friends are campaigning to keep repressive laws in place and keep trans people from being seen as equal and normal in societies — same as anti-gay activists do towards gay and bisexual people.

        She wants control and security of power and she’ll lie to get it, statistics and rights be damned. Nuking Manchester means she rules and apparently, she wants to rule on this. The parallels to Voldemort’s ideology and fears are pretty stunning and have been of great confusion and hurt to the Millenials raised on her books and movies and the Gen Z’s coming up behind them. Because they believed that Harry, who learned integrity, was the hero, and apparently for Rowling he is not.

        Liked by 2 people

      • //Aside from the morality of it all…//

        Quick question: do you have a position on sex- and/or gender-exclusive spaces in general?


      • @Lurkertype
        Between the ages of approx. 4 and 6, I had very short hair, because it was supposedly practical. I was also wearing pants, sweaters and t-shirts a lot and even lederhosen on occasion (I was so glad when I finally outgrew those bloody lederhosen). Plus, it was the 1970s, when gender neutral clothing was in fashion. And I got mistaken for a boy all the time.

        Eventually, I put my foot down and flat out refused any further haircuts and declared that i wanted to wear my hair long (I still wear it long 40 years later) and that I wanted the hairstyle of Princess Leia. I never managed that last bit, probably because not even Carrie Fisher had Leia’s hairstyle – she used hairpieces.

        People get accidentally misgendered all the time and if we start policing who is allowed in which bathroom, we’ll get a lot of false positives.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @Katster: Wow, I thought I had big feet at a guys 10.5 shoe.
        I’ll say this, nowadays it’s easier to find women’s styles in large size, since there’s a more obvious market. So, yay, if you like heels or prettied-up shoes.


  21. Two things:

    (1) My point in bringing up cis women re: sacrifices. The equation isn’t with trans women, it’s with cis men. We’re not being asked to give up anything of importance!

    (2) There will be always trade offs. Any policy change will have winners and losers. Hypocrisy, unexamined bias, and bad faith abound—and it’s not usually restricted to one side. All that said, “let’s just accept one sides demands and ignore the other’s” doesn’t follow. Women of a certain age are being asked (maybe “ordered” is le mot juste) to give up something they fought for over decades, against people I have no doubt everyone here agrees were truly awful. Maybe that’s the right thing to do! But make the damn case! Consider the possibility that their concerns are honest! Perhaps there are situations where they might have a point! (See below for one such.)

    Also, I disagree that trans rights are never subtractive (CW: sexual violence, enraging ideological blindness):


    • You’re using a common bigotry tactic here, dude, which is to hold an entire marginalized group responsible for the behavior of one of them so that you can justify repressing them having equal rights. It’s used on Black people — look at all the black on black crime! — and on women seeking feminism — this woman lied about sexual assault so sexual assault is rarely real! — and on and on. That white people commit more crime does not somehow lead to the conclusion that white people as a group are problematic for violence and crime because white people are dominant and control laws and the justice system. Only the marginalized group trying to get equality is held responsible for behavior of all in the group and it’s used as a justification for their rights to be stripped and them to be discriminated against.

      You’re using the gay variant of this tactic, which proposes that since some gay men have raped people, gay men are clearly high risk for raping people and particularly being pedophiles who will probably rape teens! That straight men rape in high numbers, however, is never used as justification for limiting straight men’s rights, discriminating against them and beating and killing them as threats to society, unlike gay men.

      In this case, one, exactly one, trans woman was put in a woman’s prison and she raped women. And therefore all trans women are likely rapists — never mind that they are at high risk as a group for being raped. And that’s argued, as you’re arguing, to be sufficient justification to discriminate against trans women about how they live, where they can go, how they can work, date, have medical care, etc., in favor of cis people as the dominant group who are only allowed full rights.

      But, in a woman’s prison, cis straight women rape other women, as do cis lesbians. In fact, outside of prison, some cis straight women rape people. Rape is about power and control, and in prison rape is currency for entire gangs to control other prisoners. And yet, despite having plenty of cis straight women raping other women in prison, we do not say that this is a sign that all cis straight women are potentially dangerous, that fearing and discriminating against them is a reasonable and justified response and that they should be stripped of their civil rights over it.

      Our society does make the argument that cis lesbian women who rape other women in prison or otherwise are a clear indication that all lesbians are dangerous to straight women and it’s used as a justification for discrimination and stripping them of their civil rights. One of the main arguments for discrimination against lesbians has been again that they will rape women and in particular teenage girls, and that straight women are also highly uncomfortable sharing spaces such as lockerrooms with lesbians and bisexuals because of their supposed potential for raping the straight women, hitting on/harassing straight women and/or getting to see straight women — and girls! — naked. But for the purposes of anti-trans persecution, anti-trans activists usually put that aside and ignore those beliefs by their new right-wing allies.

      So it’s a con. The behavior of one or a few individuals is held as evidence that all those in the marginalized group are inferior and inherently dangerous — collective guilt, while the dominant groups can have as many individuals do such behavior as they like and it will be treated as individuals, not a group trait. But, but, trans women are strong because all men are strong (they’re not,) and can overpower women who are all weak (they’re not,) so they’re way more threatening to rape cis women than cis lesbians. Many trans women are not strong at all, and as has already been pointed out, medical transition makes them less strong. Most trans women are scared and just want to pass and be accepted without having to get too close to cis women to have their being trans revealed. And trans women have little access to cis women that cis men can’t simply crash — and often do. Locker rooms, public bathrooms, dressing rooms — men routinely go into them and rape or grope. Because it’s about power, not access.

      And many trans women are women who are straight — they are sexually interested in men, not women. Not that this matters because again rape isn’t about sexual attraction, it’s about the power to humiliate, control and harm the victim. But the big fear for many cis straight men — the one also used to justify stripping trans people of their rights — is that they will be attracted to a trans woman, find out she’s trans, and then you guessed it, the trans women will rape them with their penis, even though the trans women may not have a penis. Or trick the cis straight guy into sex and then they’ll be supposedly gay. And so many cis straight men find that justification to harass, rape, beat and kill trans women, who are some of the most murdered people in the demographics. And yet people have no problem forcing trans women into men’s spaces, like men’s restrooms so that cis men can beat and rape them. That’s fine. It’s only cis women and cis straight men we’re supposed to care about and give extra rights to, while trans women and men lose theirs as a perfectly fine “sacrifice.” Because trans people are seen as inferior, not human.

      So again, it’s a con. It’s not honest, equal or reasonable. Turn an individual in a marginalized group into a bigoted myth for the whole group and use the myth to punish, dehumanize and persecute everyone in the marginalized group as supposedly justified, systematic oppression. That’s not equality and it’s not feminism, and everyone who actually believes in equality, including for trans people, has every right to use their free speech to “yell” at anti-trans activists that they are authoritarian bigots trying to hurt people. The trans person said something angry to me and wants equal rights so both sides have bad behavior nonsense again is another common justification for blocking civil rights as well. I doubt this is all going to register with you as you’ve been making bigoted argument after argument in bad faith, but you pissed me off, so I bothered to respond.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You will no doubt disbelieve me, but I do not in fact believe that trans women are all rapists. I do believe that some are—roughly the same number, percentage-wise—as cis men. Which supports my position that the reluctance that some cis women have for inviting trans women into women-only space is rational.


      • No, the fear that some cis women have about trans women isn’t rational. It’s bigotry and they’ve been trained in it by our society which promotes the myth that trans women are really men — denying their existence and their rights — and therefore a lot of them are rapists, as justification for blocking and stripping trans people of their civil rights, including legal recognition, as well as blocking the rights of non-binary, intersex, queer people and cis people who don’t conform to bigoted gender “norms.” The supposed fear that some cis people have of trans people is the same as white people who fear that Black people will start a race war and come kill them and so Black people deserve poverty, police harassment and violence, imprisonment, exclusion, etc. It’s a trained script which lets them invalidate millions of people as not really human and deserving of equal rights and certainly not the right to protest.

        Instead, trans women have to be punished for challenging the power structure we have — contained, segregated, deprived of medical care, harassed, sexually assaulted, beaten, fired from jobs, or hiding in the closet to keep from these things happening to them. And of course, there are a lot of trans women who are murdered. They’re murdered because cis people pretend they’re a threat due to being trans — bigotry. They want trans people erased — forced into hiding and silence, blocked from medical transition aids and basic healthcare, scared from violence, without power or equal voice, freely harassed and obeying reactionary and scientifically inaccurate restrictions of sex and gender. And if they can do that to trans people, it lets them do it to anyone who isn’t cis binary and it gives them a lot of political and economic power. And that authoritarian, hierarchical power is then extended to restrictions and discrimination of cis women, particularly lesbians, POC, the disabled, etc. Because you have to constantly protect that power against challenges that rights should be equal in the society, rather than what people are used to and makes them comfortable — that dominant groups, like cis people, rule over, exploit and control the groups they’ve marginalized, such as trans and non-binary people.

        The demand that we see prejudiced cis women’s concerns as reasonable, rational and most importantly, primary over trans people’s rights, is how systemic bigotry works. Because some cis women and cis men are uncomfortable and scared of trans women’s existence and because cis people rule the society due to systemic bigotry, therefore trans people are to be stripped of their equal rights to make cis people feel better and powerful. That’s not equality or democracy; it’s status quo authoritarianism. And it’s violent and enforced by violence and unjust laws.

        Liked by 3 people

        • As point of curiosity, are cis women irrational to feel nervous around men? Because trans women commit violent crime at about the same rate.


      • Wow. That’s a whopper. So you also lied that you believe trans women to be women. And you’re wrong on biology, social conditioning and crime rates. I’d given you a smidgen of good faith but it was a fake out. I take back saying you aren’t an active bigot towards trans people. You’re part of the Mumsy sect and a waste of further breath. Enjoy trying to harm more trans women with your concern trolling.


    • Why do you find it appalling? You’ve been making the argument that it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do to trans people, that anti-trans folk have reasonable and “honest” concerns about this and those concerns were applied to Caster, who was declared trans even though she’s cis. And that’s why she was treated that way and discriminated against — she was treated as a trans person and still is being treated as trans. So for you, it’s understandable that cis people should want to treat trans people that way, so why have a problem with cis people treating Caster — who they regard as trans — that way? It’s an “honest” concern, according to you, that should be honored.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I am not, now or at any time previous, in favor of requiring hormone treatments as a condition for participating in competitive activity.

    I shouldn’t have to say this, but apparently you haven’t read anything I’ve written.


  23. Oh yes, I did read what you wrote. You trotted out a rape case by a trans women as proof that cis women should be scared of trans women and so maybe it isn’t so wrong to deprive trans people of equal rights. You trotted out a whole bunch of transphobic talking points. You acted like cis women being concerned about trans women in bathrooms is an old thing when it is a relatively new “fear” they ginned up to protest trans civil rights.

    You’re not in favor of a cis woman who is biologically female being forced to take medications to block hormones to compete, because you care about cis rights. But Caster and other women athletes were not treated as cis. They were declared TRANS by cis people with power and they have been discriminated against as TRANS WOMEN who the people who regulate the sports want to treat as MEN pretending to be women. They wanted to eject Caster from the sport entirely as a man — and eject her from women’s locker rooms. They wanted her to undergo medical surgery, even though that was pointless. The medical discrimination, forcing her and causing her harm, is the discrimination they do to trans people in society. It was appalling treatment because it’s what they do to trans people. Which you don’t give a crap about.

    Trans people are forced to stop taking medications and hormones all the time or blocked from getting them, including to compete in sports. Many of the people who have had to detransition have not done so willingly but because of medical conditions that bigoted doctors wouldn’t treat unless they did detransition or from being broke and forced to do so to get aid. Trans people are ordered into therapy and involuntarily committed to mental asylums. They are blocked or fired from jobs — can’t compete — because they are trans. They are refused facilities and bathrooms, apartments, loans, things cis people take for granted.

    They have to go to court for years to get their basic rights that we take for granted. The Supreme Court in the U.S. recently ruled in favor of a civil rights class action suit of gay, lesbian and trans people on discrimination in the workplace under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The lead person in that suit was Aimee Stephens, a trans woman who was fired from her job as a funeral home director for being trans. It being the U.S., that also blocked her from having health insurance. Sadly, she died from kidney failure before the verdict came down. It is this very progress on trans rights that has Rowling and her buddies up in arms, that they are fighting against happening any further and trying to roll back trans rights. They want trans people fired, harassed, deprived of medical treatment or forced into medical treatment and forced to detransition. And one of the best ways to force trans people to detransition their outer identities? Make life so difficult for them by declaring that they can’t use women’s restrooms and locker rooms and other spaces on the grounds that some cis women are scared of them that they are forced to do so. It’s a calculated attack on their rights, not a real concern.

    You were appalled by Caster’s case, but you just ignored the other case of trans man, Mack, who faced death threats and violence because he was forced as a teen by bigoted cis adults in power to compete as a girl — or he could not compete at all and get scholarships for college, etc., and because he was a trans man. Those rules are in place in Texas because Texas right wingers put them in place, to use discrimination against trans people and others to obtain and maintain political control of the state and raise money off of it. Religious churches that campaign against trans rights raise money and increase political and theocratic power over laws from harming trans people. Which you think is reasonable and fair because they are scared of trans people’s existence.

    For trans people, every cis person is potentially violent, but you don’t care about that “rational” fear, only the ones some cis people claim because they don’t want trans people to be legally equals and in control of their own identities and lives. You see cis people as fully human beings. You don’t see trans people as equally full human beings, so you think it is rational and reasonable to discriminate against them to the advantage and benefit of cis people who don’t want to give up bigoted beliefs and fears. And that discrimination campaign and rigid norms extends to the rights of intersex, non-binary, non-gender conforming and other queer people, as well as people like Caster — millions of people.

    But they don’t count because there are still less of them than cis people. So cis people who want to and get power can nuke them. And you’re calling that rational.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. You will be shocked to know that I agree with almost everything you said. I’m arguing that a there are certain narrowly tailored situations where Some restrictions are may be justified.

    For what it’s worth, I have no problems whatsoever with bathrooms, I have a lot of problems with prisons, I’m strongly against murder, assault and denial of medical benefits. I’m much more ambivalent regarding competitive athletics, but there were some interesting thoughts in that other thread about how to address that. Religious conservatives are a real threat, and should be opposed at every opportunity.

    I believe that trans women (and trans men!) are fully human and their concerns should be taken seriously and considered sympathetically, which is not the same thing as believing that their preferences should be granted unconditionally—other groups have concerns that should also be taken seriously and considered sympathetically.

    I believe that Trans women are women (although it would be helpful to know what people mean by “women”). I believe that women, however defined, are not a monolithic block, and that not all women share the same priorities. (Trans women will never have to worry about accidental pregnancy.)

    I believe that a fair amount of trans rhetoric is disturbingly misogynistic, although I haven’t seen that here, and social media is an imperfect mirror of the world as a whole. Pace our host, I agree that there are consistent patterns of wrongness. Misunderstanding and/or misuse of statistics is one one of them. Women being told to shut up every time they try to assert themselves. Is another.

    Finally, I believe that it is mid-morning here and I need to do a more convincing job of pretending to work.


    • No, I’m not shocked to hear that you think trans people can have some civil rights, as a treat. It’s a typical mindset of being in a dominant group — that you decide whether marginalized people get full civil rights or not and what they get, that it be debated — and that the debate is reasonable — whether to keep discriminating against them, endangering them and blocking them as second class citizens in favor of cis people and bigoted cis people’s priorities or treat them legally as equal human beings whom cis people don’t get to control.

      What you believe should be allowed or done to trans people is irrelevant to them having full and equal civil rights with cis people, fully protected by the laws — rather than determined by the “beliefs” of cis people. What you are calling trans people’s “preferences” like they are spoiled toddlers are their civil rights which they are being deprived of — and which you get to fully enjoy as a cis person. Your idea that they can’t get everything they want — equal full civil rights — is anti-trans bigotry. It’s the same argument that’s been made to deny BIPOC, gay people, women in general of equal civil rights for their civil rights movements. It’s an argument that trans people are asking for “too many” civil rights — that they cannot have equality, only inferior status allowed by cis people that cis people in power are comfortable with.

      Civil rights are not a buffet. You don’t get to pick for trans people that they can have some rights — bathrooms, lockerrooms, which they were already using — but not prisons or competing in the entire field of sports. That’s marginalization and discrimination — and it’s exploiting trans people to gain political power for those who advance it as a legal agenda. If you’re actually for civil rights, then you don’t support the position that because some cis people feel the existence or rights of trans people are an imposition or they don’t like the competition or they want to say that trans women harbor loads of sneaky men rapists, that cis people should be accommodated — as rulers — and the trans people keep losing their rights. White people were scared and concerned to share water fountains with Black people in the U.S. South — that didn’t make it right or valid. And when they were forced to share, it still doesn’t make it right that they continue to discriminate against Black people in ways such as avoiding hiring them for jobs or using the police to herd them into prisons.

      “Misunderstanding and/or misuse of statistics is one one of them.”

      And yet, you did just that when you tried to claim anti-trans claims were justified because of one trans woman who raped in prison.

      “Women being told to shut up every time they try to assert themselves is another.”

      And again, that’s a bigoted arguing tactic. The dominant group asserts that they can say that trans people shouldn’t exist, are rapists, pedophiles, dangers to cis women’s status, mentally ill and unable to make their own decisions, should be blocked from healthcare and trans healthcare, should not be allowed to compete in sports by their gender, should not be legally recognized by their gender by the laws and governments, etc. and that’s their free speech — which is true. But it’s not them “asserting” themselves. It’s bigots who are in power in the society pursuing a status quo active hate campaign against trans people’s rights, particularly legal recognition of those rights so they remain marginalized. It’s “asserting” that trans women aren’t women and not allowed to assert themselves. The tactic is that bigoted cis women get to be prioritized as superior and important, patted on the head for their supposed upset, but that trans women and trans men, as well as the non-binary, intersex and other queer people and their allies who they are attacking, do not have free speech to talk back, to criticize, to stand up for their civil rights and call anti-trans people bigots. That it is unreasonable for them to use their free speech to stand up to bigotry advocating them harm. We have to be nice to the little cis women who want to control the definition of women and trans people’s medical treatment.

      But we do not. I have free speech to tell a cis woman spouting bigotry against trans rights to shut up. (And her speech against trans rights is again also an attack against my own rights as a cis woman.) We don’t in fact have to tolerate and participate in having a debate on whether trans people have a right to exist as their gender, to have that legally recognized and be able to live their lives equally to cis people. We don’t have to entertain bigoted ideas and fears as valid. Well, we wouldn’t except that bigoted cis people are politically and economically in charge and using that power to deprive the powerless of their rights and any attempt at social justice to rectify that. They want trans people to exhaust themselves speaking out for their rights and then claim that makes the trans people unreasonable, threatening, repressive. It’s a con and it’s to gain better political control for those who already have it.

      Rowling and anti-trans people are enraged at the idea that trans people have the equal right to choose their own identities as humans, to control those identities and their bodies — that they “can be women because they say they are” — and that in the U.K. trans groups have been working to get the government to legally recognize this. So the anti-trans contingent lies, making false allegations against trans activists and organizations, lying about trans people, lying about threats to cis women if trans people have equal rights. They want to control how gender is treated in the societies and keep status quo discrimination going, to have them be the ones to define not just trans-ness but what being a woman is for everybody, including behavior and appearance, in a rigid and scientifically false binary.

      If they were acting in good faith with genuine concerns, then they would be willing to listen to scientists and trans activists about how their claims are factually false and their policy goals discrimination. But they aren’t. Instead, they keep lying, especially about science and statistics, and claim they’re being persecuted if trans people do speak up and debunk their claims. They want free speech for them and not for trans people and their allies. If Rowling gave a crap about trans people and teens, she would sit down with the U.K. trans organizations that offered to talk with her about her “concerns.” But if she does that, she can’t then continue to demonize them as boogey monsters pursuing nefarious conspiracy schemes and hurting kids. She can’t then claim they’re trying to “shut her up” by using free speech to counter her lies and talk about the harm she’s advocating. So she’s refused. Instead the anti-trans movement is relentlessly going after, among other things, a trans organization that helps trans teens from suicide and when they get thrown out of their houses by their families for being trans, claiming that they are forcing and tricking trans teens into being trans. That’s a lie. It’s not a real concern. It’s to claim discrimination is justified and trans civil rights should not be advanced — to nuke Manchester.

      The Harper’s letter was basically primarily to go after and silence criticism of anti-trans people, framing such criticism and standing up for civil rights as a threat. We know that several people, including a black media person, were put on as signatories without their knowledge. Others were tricked into it. A trans media person was tricked and then learning what they’d done, apologized and retracted her signature. A right wing anti-trans media person who also signed the letter sent an online mob after her to harass and threaten her, to silence her “betrayal.” No other signatory of the letter supposedly protecting free speech and complaining about online barrages came to her aid and right to free speech and freedom of association, to not be a part of the letter. Another trans journalist at Vox criticized a prominent man colleague for signing the letter. She also was relentlessly chased on social media as trying to “cancel” her colleague by the same right wing signer and another right wing signer of the letter, and sent rape and death threats, attempted doxxings, etc., so much that she was driven off the Internet for a few days — silenced in criticizing a cishet white guy. None of the other signatories on the letter supporting free speech spoke against this, including the prominent man colleague. Free speech for them — not for trans people. It’s a con.

      So you can keep carrying water for anti-trans rhetoric and claiming we have to regard their lies and claims as genuine and important while not caring that they are harming trans people and many vulnerable others who don’t conform to Rowling’s idea of “womanhood” or gender identity. You can advocate that we ignore that these anti-trans campaigns get significant economic and political benefits from pursuing their bigoted cause and have ramped them up because the gay rights movement has been partially successful and because they don’t want the whole queer alphabet to advance equal civil rights any further. But what the anti-trans folk are doing is not genuine, is not feminism, is not pro-gay, is not civil rights. It’s repression and it only ends when we stand up for trans civil rights and say that anti-trans people’s claims and concerns are not valid and deliberately false, are harming and repressing people and that trans people should indeed have everything they want — full and equal civil rights including control over their own identities and bodies in all areas of society. Just like cis people get.

      You’re not an active bigot about trans people. But you are propping up the wall of discrimination to say that maybe we should consider if nuking Manchester is a reasonable and compromising idea. It’s not and never will be.

      Liked by 3 people

  25. Cora: “And I got mistaken for a boy all the time.”

    When my sister was four, she spent the summer, including our vacation trip, not being willing to wear a one-piece bathing suit and refusing to wear the top of a bikini because she found straps irritating. She had hair about down to her chin. When she would go to use the restroom, she was of course mistaken for a boy because she was wearing only the bikini bottoms. Even though they were bright pink or had flowers on them — which we arbitrarily assign as women’s stuff, we had to deal with women who didn’t want her to use the women’s restroom. They would have forced her to use the men’s room because she was at that particular time a child non-conforming to rigid gender roles.

    Anti-trans repression is about more than repressing, erasing and killing trans people — although that’s bad enough. It’s about policing and controlling all the bodies and controlling gender roles for political power. In particular, it’s about controlling WOMEN’S bodies and gender access to being lesser and less autonomous, with a side order of controlling and repressing gay people’s appearance and expression, again for political power and because it’s profitable. Gender roles in society have first and foremost been about controlling and limiting women.

    Trans people were leaders and pioneers in the gay rights movement back in the 1970’s, but many gay people weren’t happy they were part of the movement, thinking wrongly that they made gays less respectable and able to get acceptance and rights recognized from the straights. The lesbians in the U.K. who are currently helping to lead anti-trans movements against more social acceptance of trans people and progress on government policies and the NHS have the same idea. By repressing and erasing trans people, they hope to get rid of them, the non-binary, asexuals, etc. and get the alphabet down to LGB as a movement. They believe that’s going to give gay people more equality and a bigger voice politically and culturally. And they’re backed and given a platform by Rupert Murdoch — the right-wing king of global bigotry media — and curiously the people who run the main UK version of The Guardian. So quite a few of them are making bank and gaining prominence by going after trans people, just as anti-gay people go after them. And they are happy to lie, continually, and make the trans rights movement have to spend time and effort debunking their attacks.

    Historically and factually, repressing trans rights is going to do exactly the opposite of give gay people more equality and equal political power. In the U.S., Trump has blatantly and verbally sought to reverse having gay people serve openly in the military for his theocratic evangelical backers. He started with banning trans people from serving in the military any longer with transphobic lies as a justification, devastating many trans people’s careers and access to medical care. The Pentagon is now trying to reverse the ban and fight off attempts to harm gays in the military as well. In the U.S., evangelicals are trying to get religious exceptions so that they can fire or refuse to hire gay, non-binary and trans people, despite the Supreme Court ruling in Aimee Stephens’ case, and keep them from adopting and raising kids, etc.

    And it’s working because the Supreme Court just ruled that “religious” employers own their women employees’ bodies and healthcare — women are not human beings with full equal rights — and can deny them coverage for contraceptives, which are used for reproductive autonomy and also a host of medical conditions such as ovarian cysts, hormone imbalances and menstrual problems. And this is going to be expanded to no coverage for abortions and a host of other medical situations, such as anti-depression medications that these bigots decide women shouldn’t have due to their “religious beliefs.” And pharmacies can currently deny women contraceptives, abortion medications and hormones, as well as deny trans people hormone and other medications, whether trans-related or not.

    The U.K. anti-trans movement, likewise, is part of a wider movement of right-wing rich people to defund, privatize and chop up the healthcare system. That lets them get lots of sweet government money directly to them, depriving the poor economically and with healthcare access, which dampens their political voices and lets the right wing rich cut taxes for themselves with more political control. It lets them control poor women and their bodies, especially single mothers, with lack of access and expenses, and limits women’s ability to achieve equality and prominence in the workforce. It controls poor gays access to healthcare because they are particularly vulnerable. Well off, prominent gays figure they’ll be safe because they’re useful, but they are, in persecuting trans people, particularly on medical care and trying to declare trans people mentally ill — just as people do to gay folk — working against their own rights and the rights of all women. Repressing trans rights, trying to force them to detransition and hide, and killing them off all gives anti-trans people not just personal joy but economic and political power — and that’s the main goal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • When I was little, I also wore just the bikini bottoms, no top and no one-piece bathing suit. In the comparatively liberated 1970s, that was considered normal in Germany and hardly any little girls wore bikini tops, because why would they need any?

      Then we spent a year on the Mississippi Gulf coast, because my Dad was working on a project there. And just like at home, I went to the pool wearing only bikini bottoms. Until my American aunt from Kentucky (which was less liberal than the Gulf coast at the time and may still be) came to visit us and was horrified that a little girl would go swimming topless, because that sort of thing was illegal and immoral.

      My parents said, “Well, no one ever complained.” Whereupon my aunt said, “Well, of course not. They think she’s a boy.”

      And so I had an itchy bikini top foisted upon me.

      I don’t recall any trouble in bathrooms, though. I’ve also seen little boys in women’s bathrooms, usually because they went with a female relative, and have never seen anybody complain. It also makes no sense. Why would anybody feel bothered by a young child in the opposite gender bathroom?

      Liked by 4 people

      • Your aunt was incorrect — it wasn’t and isn’t illegal for young girls to not wear bathing suit tops. But it’s not conforming to bigoted, rigid notions of gender that ruled then and still dominate U.S. society. When my sister was doing it, it was in times where a 4 year old went to the bathroom by herself at a pool or hotel pool. Women do take their little boys into the ladies room now and little girls in men’s rooms with their dads, but that custom is only a few decades old, with family restrooms being even younger. It was a lot more rigid when my sister and I were kids because they wanted to have tight control over gender roles to limit girls and stop feminism.

        My sister did manage to use restrooms by asserting she was a girl and calling in parental help if necessary. But one lady went up to my mother at a hotel pool and tried to scold her about my sister doing it and that it was endangering and also wrong for a girl to appear as a boy. Because it was and still is a sexist society. The anti-trans movement is deeply, deeply sexist, as we know.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Kat Goodwin: My sister did manage to use restrooms by asserting she was a girl and calling in parental help if necessary. But one lady went up to my mother at a hotel pool and tried to scold her about my sister doing it and that it was endangering and also wrong for a girl to appear as a boy.

          It’s also this creepy thing that primarily Christians and especially Americans seem to do — sexualizing children, and insisting that there is somehow harm in a small child being taken to do their thing in a stall in a bathroom for the opposite sex, or little girls not wearing tops, or little boys seeing womens’ breasts, that somehow these children will be having sexualized thoughts. It’s creepy and disgusting — and I have no doubt that these people are also projecting and inculcating these neuroses into their own children.

          Liked by 2 people

  26. Religious freedom means nothing if the government can force you to act against your beliefs. Religious freedom is not just the freedom to worship, it’s the freedom to conduct your life according to your principles, and that includes not being forced to participate in activities that go against them.

    Gay activists with their baker, photographer, and florist lawsuits, trans activists with their bathroom, locker room, and sports lawsuits, and feminists with their contraceptive lawsuits are all about demanding that other people kowtow to their beliefs instead of focusing on acquiring freedom for themselves. Liberal activists would even force doctors to perform procedures that the doctors think are medically inappropriate and unethical.

    As with cancel culture, the goal is to punish heretics under the guise of fighting for justice. 7-2 losses in the Supreme Court should start giving you a hint that this isn’t going to happen, no matter how much you want it to.


    • @hyrosen

      I’m sorry, but you are getting more and more ridiculous with each statement you make. And you call yourself a “liberal”? I don’t think so.

      Religious freedom is not just the freedom to worship, it’s the freedom to conduct your life according to your principles, and that includes not being forced to participate in activities that go against them.

      So if my Christian religious “principles” include a belief that Jews are wrong for refusing to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and refusing to serve them in my restaurant or bake a cake for them because of that, this would be a-okay with you?

      And to flip that on its head, if some Jews believe that Christians are wrong because they accept Jesus as the Messiah, and refusing to serve them in their restaurant and bake a cake for any Christian who comes into their cake shop, that would also be okay?

      Or, say, an atheist thinks that a person of any religion is wrong for believing in a God, because obviously it’s irrational to believe in a deity and the atheist is not going to bake a cake for an irrational person, that would also be acceptable?

      You see where that goes? Once you start with this bullshit, anybody can discriminate against anybody else for any reason, as long as it’s quote-unquote “sincerely held” beliefs. Which naturally leads to people lying through their fucking teeth, and pretending to have “sincerely held” beliefs, just so they can discriminate against people they don’t like. And people they don’t like almost always include people of color, women, and LGBT people, because said people don’t conduct themselves according to, to phrase the execrable Rush Limbaugh, “the way things ought to be,” at least according to the people in power.

      The only way to stop this is to ban it across the board, and put your foot down and say, as long as you are offering a public service (such as a cake shop), or working in a job that serves the public, you cannot pick and choose. You have to serve everybody who comes in your door, and I don’t give a fuck what your religious beliefs are, because your religious beliefs ARE NOT THE IMPORTANT THING HERE. The IMPORTANT thing is the public can go into any PUBLIC PLACE and get a PUBLIC SERVICE without having to worry about some religious and/or nonreligious bigot (because those exist too) refusing them service for no fucking reason. (And sorry for yelling, but I’m really fed up with your bullshit disingenuous arguments.) If you don’t like that, then get the fuck out of the public sphere.

      For frak’s sake, Civil Rights Act settled this decades ago. And yes, the recent Supreme Court decision is flat wrong, and was decided by super-conservative hand-picked (by the Heritage Foundation) Supreme Court justices determined to turn back decades of progress. I don’t care how religious you are, your religion only applies to you, NOT everyone else. It’s none of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s goddamn business what drugs their female employees choose to purchase with their insurance money.

      This kind of nonsense is stuff I see on conservative sites every day. The separation between church and state exists for a goddamn reason. Otherwise, you have religious tyranny, just like Iran. Or Gilead.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Bonnie: “So if my Christian religious “principles” include a belief that Jews are wrong for refusing to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and refusing to serve them in my restaurant or bake a cake for them because of that, this would be a-okay with you?”

        Oh yes, he’s clearly fine with it in supporting his white right-wing bigoted Christian Dominionist friends. Through the unconstitutional loopholes they’ve managed against the 1st amendment so far for religious repression in the U.S., trying to discriminate against and force people to bend at the alter of their particular sects, they’ve been able to ban Jews from adopting from right wing Christian adoption agencies, ones that grift lots of federal money and are tax-exempt no less. It’s one of the reasons they supported Trump into office — he promised that they’d get extreme right Christian theocracy and he delivered on the ban. And that’s just the start of what they are planning to do under the unconstitutional Religious Freedom Restorative Act and other initiatives, with help from Trump and some lovely Supreme Court decisions. Some of them were kids when there were signs saying no Jews allowed in swimming pools or banned from being able to buy property in certain neighborhoods and they’d like to go back to it.

        After all, their beliefs on Jews range from considering them non-white to believing that Jews murdered white Jesus and will burn in a fiery pit in the afterlife, that Jews run the globe through a secret banking empire trying to create the New World Order of liberalism, gun seizure and race wars and are thus essentially Satanic, that George Soros leads the Jewish cabal and an assorted army of socialists, Muslims and black people to create false flag incidents with crisis actors to make conservatives and white supremacists look bad to that it’s fine to cozy up with Israel for arms sales in the Middle East as they expect all their Jewish friends there to die according to end times prophecy and bring on the Second Coming apocalypse. But the best one is the one that millions of U.S. white supremacy Christian bigots believe in as part of the Quanon cult — that Jews not only are running the New World Order banking Illuminati, but that they also run a massive pedophile trafficking ring and eat babies. Some of the Q cult have made it into being Republican candidates for Congress this year, with several of them having a good chance of winning in the general. In Congress, they will work very hard for the religious “freedom” to repress the rights of Jews, whose leaders they expect will be arrested any time now.

        So the Seven Pillars strategy of these people is to install theocracy over democracy in government/law, the courts, businesses, etc. and be able to block the civil rights of Jews, gays and queer folk, Muslims, Sikhs, atheists, the disabled, women and so on. And they’ve already made great progress on it, with much help from right-wing Jewish media and government grifters who are apparently okay with having their rights curtailed for being in the wrong and clearly evil religion. But still friends forever, kiss kiss, have some cash, enjoy your secondary citizen status and hope that they only use concentration camps for Latinos. (One of the animus against Latino refugees from Central America from white evangelicals is that a lot of the refugees are Catholic and would swell the Catholic ranks if let into the U.S., and the evangelical sects would like to ban and discriminate against Catholics as not real Christains too. But Catholics are pursuing their own religious repression efforts as part of the whole movement, so they sometimes have uneasy alliances such as for the lucrative anti-choice campaigns. That they picked out of a hat as a wedge issue for fundraising and political gain.)

        Liked by 2 people

  27. I should also add, trying to use Title IX to punish men in kangaroo courts without due process. That’s failed too.


      • Yep, a good chunk of it in the U.K. is that it politically enables certain suppressive factions in the Labour party. They’re using hurting trans people to jockey for political power in the government. And it seems that Rowling is part of those factions.

        Another big chunk of it is preying on bigoted women’s fears that their kids will be trans by presenting trans women as threats and trans men as mentally ill — the Mumsy set. If they can get parents screaming about keeping trans kids and teens away from their precious children, they can stop schools recognizing and supporting trans rights. That gives them more power for their ideology over the schools. Which supports similar anti-gay rights stances in schools.

        Liked by 2 people

  28. hyrosen: Religious freedom means nothing if the government can force you to act against your beliefs.

    In other words, you are claiming that people should be allowed to defy U.S. law with impunity, if their religion says it’s okay, because… RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!

    That’s certainly a… hot take. 🙄

    Liked by 3 people

    • …and oddly he seems to be saying it’s fine to discriminate against say Christians or Jews of Buddhists in the name of ‘religious freedom’. It’s a very odd kind of ‘freedom’ he’s calling for.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Freedom of religion means you get to live your religious beliefs. That includes requiring that teachers and other employees involved in religious affairs hold the same religious beliefs, and if they do not, to not work there. If you want to consider that as “discrimination against”, then yes, I support such discrimination.

        Freedom of religion also means defying the law as needed, and having the courts decide what the outcome should be. In Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, the Supreme Court decided that ordinances against animal sacrifice violated the religious freedom rights of Santeria believers. In Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal, the Supreme Court ruled that laws against the importation of hoasca and the use of diemethyltryptamine as a sacrament violated the freedom of religion of the Union of the Plants church.

        French children should violate the law against wearing religious symbols in school.


        • But would you be delighted with the idea of Christians or Jews or Muslims being banned from locker rooms or being banned from going to particular toilets or routinely denined service in secular shops?

          Liked by 1 person

        • hyrosen: Freedom of religion means you get to live your religious beliefs

          You forgot the second part of that: …as long as doing so does not harm someone else or infringe on their freedom of religion, and as long as it does not harm the general public interest.

          I’m sure you wouldn’t argue that someone whose religion tells them to physically harm Jewish people has the freedom to exercise that religious belief with impunity.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Most of these issues need to be handled case by case to see where the dividing line between freedom of religion and public interest lies. We do know that the US federal government and many states have passed bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, indicating that they wish the balance tilted towards more individual religious freedom, in response to courts leaning the other way.

        The recent SCOTUS cases illustrated that balance well. A funeral home could not fire an employee for being trans. Catholic organizations do not have to provide birth control to their employees. Religion teachers can be required to be religious.

        It’s possible to imagine a parade of horribles as per@JJ, just as it’s possible to imagine a parade of horribles in cancel culture or in police defunding. But most of those never happen and the slippery slope isn’t that slippery. Things can be fixed when needed. Mostly the parade of horribles is used to try to derail minor things of which the derailer disapproves. (I do that myself a bit with my cancel culture comments).


        • You are dodging the questions asked of you, which leads me to believe all your arguments are in bad faith. Since this thread is getting a little long, I’ll do some copy paste so you can’t miss them.

          So if my Christian religious “principles” include a belief that Jews are wrong for refusing to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and refusing to serve them in my restaurant or bake a cake for them because of that, this would be a-okay with you?

          And to flip that on its head, if some Jews believe that Christians are wrong because they accept Jesus as the Messiah, and refusing to serve them in their restaurant and bake a cake for any Christian who comes into their cake shop, that would also be okay?

          Or, say, an atheist thinks that a person of any religion is wrong for believing in a God, because obviously it’s irrational to believe in a deity and the atheist is not going to bake a cake for an irrational person, that would also be acceptable?

          Yes or No, please, and no more ducking.

          Liked by 1 person

    • It’s been a pretty wide-ranging discussion, so I don’t know which goalposts you’re talking about. Naturally I don’t think I’m saying anything incorrect, but my assumption is that you will regard anything that doesn’t fit into the accepted liberal doctrine as wrong. If nothing else, though, you should notice that all over the world, right-wing populist leaders have taken power with the consent of the governed, so at least realize that you have failed to convince many people of the correctness of your principles.

      The funny thing is that I have voted for the Democratic candidate in every election since the 80s, except that I voted for Michael Bloomberg for mayor. If you won’t accept that you’re wrong, would you at least believe that you’re failing to calibrate your message if you’re not able to convince people like me? You may not care, since you are the custodian of a literate oddly-tinted cat and not a politician, but it’s that failure to reach aligned but not identical people that results in things like Trump getting elected president.


      • Don’t be silly. We have talked about lots of things, so there are lots of points.

        This is how I started off – same goalposts, same thinking.

        I don’t believe that there is a gender of the mind, only a gender of the body. Different societies have different social gender roles for men and women, and there are people who wish they were a different gender so that they can assume that role, or do not wish to assume any gender role at all. As well, there are people whose bodies have various gender-ambiguous physical characteristics, and so inhabit a borderland between physically male and and physically female, likely closer to one than another. But since trans activism does not require, and in fact would never require, physical ambiguity for trans recognition, physical ambiguity is a red herring for transgenderism.

        The fact that trans people often assume stereotypical gender roles, such as Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair and now Valentina Sampaio in Sports Illustrated, is discomforting for many feminists and lesbians, because they have struggled to free themselves from the same gender roles that trans woman are assuming. They see an implication that if such trans women are women, cis women who reject traditional gender roles will be seen as not women, as they have been in the past. That it is not what your brain says that makes you a woman, but rather that you act in the way your society says a woman should act.

        Trans activists also ignore prevalent social stereotypes deeply ingrained in our society:
        — As portrayed in every teen sex comedy ever, it is a social assumption that men want to see arbitrary women naked, that those women do not want to be seen naked by men, and that men will use every possible trick and stratagem to see women naked anyway. Think, for example, of the various “fappenings” where hackers have broken into phones of actresses in order to find and release their nude photos.
        — As stereotyped by the raincoat flasher, Louis CK, and the endless number of men who have gotten into trouble sending penis photos, it is a social assumption that there are men who wish to expose themselves to women who do not want to see them exposed, and that men will do this anyway.
        — As stereotyped by the catcalling construction worker, it is a social assumption that men want to gain the attention of women, whether or not women want to grant that attention.
        — Women are raised with cultural and religious taboos against being seen naked by men and seeing men naked.
        — Mental health issues, such as addictions, compulsive behaviours, depression, eating disorders, and so on, are extraordinarily resilient and resistant to treatment and change. Psychoactive medications are chancy, and often fail to work consistently over time.
        — Many women’s issues in the workplace revolve around children, such as maternity leave, lactation rooms, and day care. Others involve sexual aggression from men in the workplace, especially from men in power positions.

        Against that, trans activists demand that their statement that “transwomen are women” be accepted unswervingly, that questions about the effects of transitioning, even in children, are “settled science”, that once a person declares that they are a transwoman, any social taboos about men must never be applied to them, and that trans women have the same standing in seeking workplace equity for women that cis women do.

        You may believe that, but many people do not. There’s more, too. Dealing with gender-segregated sports. Demanding that people use invented pronouns. Demanding that transgressors must be punished for misgendering and dead-naming. Claiming that the pain that trans people have experienced in their lives imposes an obligation to soothe them.

        The goalposts are where they are. You don’t like the strength of the defensive line, and you would like to have them removed from the field so that your way is unimpeded, but they’re not moving.


      • hyrosen: It’s been a pretty wide-ranging discussion

        That’s because you keep moving the goalposts every time someone plays whack-a-mole with your latest spurious talking point.

        hyrosen: would you at least believe that you’re failing to calibrate your message if you’re not able to convince people like me?

        Based on your continuous bad-faith arguments on this blog, I would categorize you as one of those people who is unconvinceable with rational arguments, and you are, as far as I’m concerned, a troll and a write-off.

        hyrosen: it’s that failure to reach aligned but not identical people that results in things like Trump getting elected president.

        No, it’s people who had the attitude of “fuck you” toward their fellow Americans who got Trump elected President. And sadly, a lot of them are what I would consider to be write-offs — people who are simply not persuadable with rational arguments, who make decisions based on spite and a willingness to cut their own nose off to spite their face (since the only people who’ve benefited from his presidency are the wealthy, and not the majority of the people who voted for him). But then, many of these people are busy killing themselves off right now with their refusal to believe in scientific evidence, so some of that problem is going to take care of itself.

        Liked by 3 people

      • It’s the duty of the King of Bad Takes to travel far and wide with the ceremonial Goal Posts of Fallacy, else he may be challenged by his rivals.

        Liked by 3 people

  29. @Hyrosen

    This last comment of yours is absolute gibberish, and stupid to boot. I don’t care what you believe about there being “no gender of the mind,” you are simply wrong, and the emerging science proves that you are wrong. Try this on for size.


    Also (and this is where you’re pissing me off again), why haven’t you answered my questions? You’re suddenly only talking to Cam now, and ignoring everyone else. Why are you doing that? If you can’t handle legitimate challenges to your previous comments, at least have the gumption to admit it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Obviously he doesn’t have any good answers and is too chicken to reply. Doesn’t want to reveal his complete lack of ability to debate honestly to… himself.

      You know how fragile the egos of old white American men are.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. @JJ It’s fine to write me off since my only political activity consists of writing stuff here and there online and voting, and I will almost certainly vote for the candidates that you prefer anyway. But it doesn’t take that many voters to turn an election, and if you write off enough people, you’re going to discover that they have written you off as well. No matter how much you dislike and disrespect people with opposing viewpoints, they vote as much as you do. You cannot compel their opinions. You cannot punish them for their opinions. Your only choice is to convince them, and if you find that you cannot, it would do you well to try to determine whether the fault is in those people or in your arguments. Possibly before you begin insulting them, but hey, what do I know?

    That Trump beat Clinton was horrific, and that this does not show you the problem with writing people off is horrific too. That same-sex marriage is now the law in America and this does not show you the utility of arguments from fairness is disappointing.

    @camestrosfelapton I would do my best to refer to Bogi Takács as e/em/eir/emself, but pretending that long-standing pronouns in English are just as “invented” as these is silly, pedantic, or both. This is the liberal problem in a nutshell – playing games with words and thinking it has an effect outside the epistemic closure.


    • //but pretending that long-standing pronouns in English are just as “invented” as these is silly, pedantic, or both. //

      [sigh] you said something ignorant and unthinking as a way of being dismissive about how people ask to be addressed. *THAT WAS YOUR WORD GAME* not mine and yours wasn’t a very nice ‘game’ but rather one of the ‘games’ that playground bullies play.

      If you want to play silly word games on a blog where pedantic, silly or both is practically my mission statement, then you will lose badly. I was being kind to you. I should have just pointed out how basically rude & shitty dismissing people’s choices like that was.


        • You could almost here the ‘snap’ as he went from complaining that people were reading his subtext instead of his text, to a sharp 180 of complaining that people were reading his text instead of his subtext.


      • I am not dismissive about how people want to be addressed, I am dismissive of using requests for how to be addressed as a way of forcing people to accept someone’s claims of what they are. I am also dismissive of demands that I use newly minted words.

        Some commentaries on the Book of Esther say that the reason Mordecai refused to bow to Haman was that Haman was deliberately wearing the idol of a Persian god around his neck, so that anyone who bowed to him would also be bowing to his god.

        While I might be polite and address someone in the way they would like, once it becomes compulsory, with punishment for failure, and an implicit acceptance of that person’s claims, I will refuse, just as I would refuse in a similar context to address a homeopath as “doctor”. You do not get to dictate my beliefs under the guise of etiquette.


        • //I am not dismissive about how people want to be addressed//

          You were literally dismissive about that very thing. If you want to correct your point, that’s fine – please go ahead and do that. Lying about it does you no favours.


    • hyrosen: Your only choice is to convince them, and if you find that you cannot, it would do you well to try to determine whether the fault is in those people or in your arguments.

      Nah, anyone who is still willing to vote for Trump despite 3.5 years of his colossal incompetence, appalling bigotry, and criminal activities is not someone who is going to be persuadable by any argument. It’s a waste of time and effort and an act of futility to try to do so.

      But those people are a minority of eligible American voters, anyway. The people who are willing to think for themselves and actually be open and willing to reason are the ones who are perhaps worth the time and effort.

      But again, people who have their heels dug in about binary gender are most likely the same as the ones who have/had their heels dug in about gays and lesbians — in both cases, the vast majority of those people who changed their minds did so not because of reasoned arguments, but because they knew someone who came out, and what had been a theoretical situation suddenly acquired a human face and a real personal stake for them. The people like me, who have always known that people reside across a vast spectrum of human range and that fairness and justice only lie in allowing them to define their own identity, don’t need to be persuaded.

      I don’t respond to your trolling, bigoted arguments because I think there’s any hope for you. I don’t think there is. But I will not allow your appalling bigotry to stand here on this blog unchallenged.

      Also, seriously, you might want to quit quoting religious texts as if they’re an authoritative source for whatever you seem to think they’re an authority, because it just makes you look brainwashed. It’s a mystery to me why you think such texts would carry weight with anyone else. If you can’t articulate rational defenses for your claims — and you are clearly unable to do so — a religious text isn’t going to be a persuasive substitution for rationality.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. You have to marvel when bigots argue that we cannot get rid of a bigoted hierarchy in our society that is repressing a marginalized group and depriving them of their equal civil rights and legal recognition of same because that’s “forcing” bigots not to be able to control the society as dictators who continue to repress, violently attack and exploit the marginalized group for their own elevated political power, wealth and status in the society.

    “You can’t force me to stop being bigoted!” they cry. And in an equal democracy, it’s true that we can’t stop them from having those views and being against societal change towards equality and equity. But we can condemn them for those views, as free speech and freedom of association. We can call out their lies, though of course they’re trying to exhaust us by doing so and trying to keep bigoted repression seen as a reasonable and justified argument in society. And we can collectively change the society and the laws to no longer be controlled by their bigoted views and the abuse and repression they use to keep the marginalized group from having equal civil rights in the society.

    That’s what all these civil rights movements are working on because civil rights are not performative. They’re inherent as human beings. Marginalized groups do not have to prove that all of them or individuals within them are “worthy” of equal civil rights, including equal access, equal opportunity, equal bodily and legal autonomy, etc. They do not have to prove that all of them are not a danger to the people in the dominant group. Because the hierarchy that demands it should not exist and is systemic bigotry.

    Active bigotry is concerned primarily with maintaining status and power, not people’s well-being. Anti-trans cis women claim that they’ll lose their elevated status in the society if trans people are equal to them. And yeah, that’s the idea. Because that status they’re touting isn’t equality — it’s repression and exploitative advantage from that repression. Which, if they actually believed in feminism, they should be against. But if they aren’t, that’s their choice of their personal views. But it doesn’t have to be how the society operates, by bigoted repression. So what they’re railing against isn’t even trans people themselves; it’s the idea that they don’t get to be dominant and in control of the society on the necks of trans people, in charge of gender roles. Their justifications for why they should remain in control of this are contradictory, false, greedy and violent. They consist, always, of saying the marginalized are dangerous, irrational, unreasonable, lying, undeserving, deluded, mentally ill, etc., for demanding equal rights in the society, so we should stay in charge of them and the system.

    If you don’t get that the trans rights and QA+ rights movements are the same as the BIPOC rights movements, the women’s movement, the gay rights movement, the disabled rights movement, etc., that they are all equal civil rights together and not in conflict, that’s a choice. But it doesn’t have to be the choice in charge. Which is what they are pissed and scared about when a group they’ve decided don’t count as equal get anywhere in the society on equal rights. And your political affiliation doesn’t matter — plenty of “liberals” are bigoted one way or another. We all grew up and were trained by bigoted hierarchy societies. Dismantling those hierarchies involves a lot of loss, pain and death at the hands of bigots who profit from it. But we know that we can change societies towards equality because we have and so repressed people will never stop trying to make that change and get their rights.

    And that happens to include cis women who aren’t going to sit around quietly and let anti-trans cis women take away our equal rights and right to control our gender identities under the claim that trans people and the non-binary have to be repressed to preserve gender norms they want to keep defining and controlling. That’s not feminist women — it’s sexist women. Anti-trans people are deeply, deeply sexist, which is sad. And exactly why we want to change the society towards real equality.


  32. I occasionally quote religious texts because religious texts, and the people who thought about them, sometimes have interesting things to say. People 2000 years ago were just as capable at developing insights into the human condition as people now. Maybe more. But as you say, they’re not proofs of anything.

    I went to school and worked with a trans person who is famous enough to warrant a Wikipedia entry – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexia_Massalin – but before she transitioned. I think I only met her once afterwards. Not that it means much (“I have Black friends.”) There’s a difference between accepting that people should be able to live their lives as they see fit and accepting that the story they tell about themselves is true. I wouldn’t normally go around telling religious people that their gods don’t exist, and I wouldn’t normally go around telling trans people that their gender is the one of their body. But if a religious person insisted that I must accept their god story as true, or a trans person insisted that I must accept their gender story as true, that’s when I would tell them that they were wrong.


  33. “a trans person insisted that I must accept their gender story as true,”

    I’m not inclined usually to bother with you any further, but this statement is at the heart of why anti-civil rights positions are battles of political power and control that are made in bad faith.

    Trans people aren’t “insisting that you accept their gender story as true.” If you individually want to have a bigoted view of trans people as not really their gender, no one can stop you. What trans people want is the same equal civil rights we cis people have — to have the society not block their ability to live as their gender and their free speech right to say what they would like to be called, just like the rest of us. They want the government to recognize their gender, just like governments recognize people’s religion, ethnicity and other identities, as equal, and to legally protect their equal rights to that identity. They want teen trans people to not be discriminated against in schools, to have equal access, opportunity, etc. for trans people to be able to use a bathroom and get and hold jobs. They want to have equal access to healthcare and trans healthcare as their gender without it being blocked by unjust laws. They want to be able to live their lives without being violently attacked and threatened by anti-trans cis people, just like cis people get to do. They are standing up for their equal civil rights in the societies where they live, rather than being treated as unequal, second class citizens who are discriminated against under the law because they are trans. They are not able to live their lives “as they see fit” as trans because the law and the society will not allow them to do so.

    Anti-trans people want to be/keep in control of the governments and societies over trans people’s equal civil rights. They want laws and regulations to force trans people and others to accept that their anti-trans myths are true and to keep discrimination continuing without legal protection towards trans people and non-binary people. They want to control the language, so that, unlike cis people, trans, intersex and non-binary people cannot state what they want to be called without violence and legal prosecution. They want trans teens blocked from the early, non-medical or reversible treatments of transition against their will, and they want it to be difficult for trans people to have access to medical care, especially if it’s government provided care. They want businesses to continue to be able to fire trans people for being trans — forcing trans people to accept that their anti-trans myths are true and stop being trans if they want to work. They want to keep trans people from being teachers, doctors and other professions, declaring trans people to be threats who must be punished. A number of trans people have had to detransition — give up their rights — to get access to medical care or be able to work because of anti-trans bigotry as policy. Many more are stuck in the closet, unable to live by their own gender identity as equals because of anti-trans discrimination in the law and violence against trans people for being trans — a violation of their civil rights.

    And what anti-trans people are mostly mad about is that there is a cultural shift slowly going on where more and more cis people do “accept trans people’s gender journey is true” — who treat trans people as their gender identity and who support trans people having equal civil rights to live openly as their gender, be recognized and rights legally protected by the governments and law, and have equal opportunity and access as cis people do. They reject as false the fake biology, sociology assertions and bigoted accusations anti-trans people make towards trans people as justification for depriving trans people of their legal rights and will not be forced to accept those anti-trans lies as true.

    It upsets anti-trans people that governments might recognize trans people as equal people, rather than the anti-trans policies controlling the law and social norms and discriminating against trans people — forcing people to keep accepting anti-trans myths as true. That their anti-trans myths will not be in power of the law and so they work to gain more political power and money by declaring trans people too much of a threat to “deserve” equal civil rights that cis people enjoy. Which is the same argument they made on gay rights.

    And it upsets anti-trans people that other cis people won’t be forced to their anti-trans myths as true, especially young people raised on less bigotry, that businesses and media may not accept their anti-trans myths as true and workplace policy. It upsets them that cis people who support trans people use their free speech to criticize anti-trans people as bigots and point out that they’re lying. It really upsets them that trans people who are supposed to be quiet and be forced to follow anti-trans people’s views of gender don’t do that and instead speak up and call for equal rights under the law. We’re not supposed to be able to criticize and debunk status quo anti-trans repression, because we’re supposed to be forced to accept the anti-trans view of gender as in charge and true, even though it is blatantly factually not true.

    And as they can’t control the law, the policies, the workplaces and other people to force them to accept the anti-trans bigotry as true in many places, as they can’t stop people using free speech to criticize them, condemning their views as bigoted and repressive and calling out their lies, they declare that repression and threat towards themselves. If they can’t rule over trans people and the law regarding gender, then everybody is a big meanie to them who don’t have the legitimate right to contradict them. Nobody can stop anti-trans bigots from holding bigoted views towards trans people. But we don’t have to live in a society where anti-trans views run and control the society, the law, access to services, jobs and workplaces, including bathrooms, and violate trans people’s civil rights as the social, legal norm. (And exploit the economic and political benefit from that discrimination.) We do not have to keep going along with status quo discrimination as the law of the land — all of us forced to live by the anti-trans people’s story of gender, an ignorant, authoritarian, lying, contradictory mess of a story that hurts people and takes away their equal rights.

    “I don’t want to accept trans people so they shouldn’t have equal civil rights under the law” is not a very good argument. (And it wasn’t for gay rights either.) Neither is the idea that religious people should be able to inflict their god beliefs with the power of secular law on their employees, customers, healthcare systems, governments and communities and pretend that’s “religious freedom” for anybody but them. It’s not democracy and it’s bigoted discrimination and control.

    Which you know, you’re just pretending.


  34. @Bonnie McDaniel I can’t figure out if I’ve been banned from this site. I tried answering you a bit ago, but my post seems to not have appeared.

    The answer to all your questions, if a yes or a no is required, is “yes”. The federal government and a number of states have passed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, often as bipartisan measures, that favor religious practice over public accommodation, many times after courts have ruled against such practice. In the unlikely event that the kind of arbitrary discrimination you invented in your question does occur, the pendulum will eventually swing back in favor of stronger public accommodation laws. What you miss is that the law, judges, and people in general aren’t stupid. They can tell when people are being racist and pretending religion, and when people hate religion but are pretending fairness.

    Meanwhile, as you like hypotheticals, should a tailor be forced to sew hoods and robes for a Klan rally? Should a Muslim bookshop owner be forced to sell copies of the Koran to a group that is planning to burn them? May a baker who accepts arbitrary images to be printed on cakes refuse to print one that says “transwomen are men”? May the baker refuse to print one that says “transwomen are women”?


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