Monday, July 5, 2021

The Case Against Trans Ideology

Helen Joyce writes for a decidedly serious publication-- The Economist. Now she has written a manifesto against what she calls trans ideology. Her book, expected in September is called Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality.

In so doing, she joins others like Abigail Shrier in calling foul on an appalling ideological movement-- the one that seems hellbent on mutilating as many children as possible, regardless of parental consent.

To announce and market her book Joyce has written a longish article for The Daily Mail. I happily share some of its more salient points. Many of the arguments are not new, yet Joyce expresses them with exemplary clarity and precision. Thus, she is worth a post.

She opens with an apt analysis of the trans rights movement:

What 'trans rights' actually refers to is gender self-identification. This means that others are forced to agree someone is the gender they say they are. 

It requires that everyone else accept trans people's subjective beliefs as objective reality.

This is not a human right at all. It is akin to a new state religion, complete with blasphemy laws.

Underlying my objections is a scientific fact: that biological sex has an objective basis. 

Sexual dimorphism – the two sexes, male and female – first appeared on Earth 1.2 billion years ago. 

Mammals – animals like humans that grow their young inside them, rather than laying eggs – date back 210 million years. In all that time, no mammal has ever changed sex.

The differences between men and women therefore date back an extremely long time and their bodies and psyches have been shaped by evolution in ways that matter profoundly for health and happiness. 

The distinction between the sexes is not likely to be amenable to social engineering, no matter how much some people want it to be.

As you know, gender reassignment clinics have been taken over by activists. Parents are deprived of any say in what happens to their children. One man in Washington state had to move his family out of the state to save his autistic child from hospital based activists. One man in Canada is in jail for refusing to address his trans child by his/her preferred pronouns. 

It is nothing if not human sacrifice. And we thought we were civilized. And, as Abigail Shrier has already pointed out, the victims are invariably teenage girls. About it, feminism has, to my knowledge, nothing to say about any of it:

But, as gender clinics have come under activists' sway, the treatment offered has taken an ideological turn. 

Instead of advising parents to watch and wait with sympathy and kindness, they work on the assumption that childhood gender dysphoria destines someone to trans adulthood.

They recommend immediate 'social transition' – a change of name, pronouns and dress – followed by drugs to block puberty, cross-sex hormones and surgery, often while the patient is still in their teens. 

This is a fast track to sexual dysfunction and sterility in adulthood.

In the past few years, a new group of trans-identifying minors has emerged: teenage girls. 

This demographic now predominates at gender clinics worldwide. 

And again these girls are fast-tracked to hormones and surgery, even though there is no evidence that these will help – and good reason to think they will not.

The message is spread by social-justice warriors on social media alongside the medical profession and schools, which have added gender-identity ideology to the curriculum. 

Tragically, this story will end in shattered lives.

And now, for the damage. Of course, this ideological contagion is thus far limited to the Western world. While we rail about Asia, we are the ones who have made it routine to mutilate children, and to persecute anyone who protests:

But as gender self-identification is written into laws around the world, the collateral damage is mounting. 

Women have lost their jobs for saying that male and female are objective, socially significant categories. 

Female athletes are forced to compete against males. Children are sterilised.

These things are happening partly because of an admirable but poorly thought-out sense of compassion for trans people. What finally pushed me to write my book was meeting some of gender-identity ideology's most poignant victims. 

They are detransitioners: people who took hormonal and sometimes surgical steps towards transition, only to realise that they had made a catastrophic mistake.

What is the mistake?

Their most obvious wounds are physical: mastectomies; castration; bodies shaped by cross-sex hormones.

But the mental wounds go deeper. They bought into an ideology that is incoherent and constantly shifting and where the slightest deviation is ferociously punished.

They were led to believe that parents who expressed concern about the impact of powerful drugs on developing minds and bodies were hateful bigots and that the only conceivable alternative to transition was suicide.

This new ideology of body-denialism at the heart of gender-identity politics is especially harmful for women, since female bodies make demands in ways that male ones don't.

Female bodies bear almost all the burden of reproduction and ignoring that fact doesn't change it.

If this is not straight-up misogyny, the term has no meaning. A biochemical and surgical mutilation of the female body-- in the name of human rights and leftist ideology:

The NHS explains that 'the concept of virginity for people with vaginas has a complicated history'. 

Teen Vogue offers a 'no-nonsense, 101 guide to masturbation for vagina owners'. Information campaigns from cancer charities tell 'anyone with a cervix' to get regular smear tests. 

An advert for Tampax enjoins the world to 'celebrate the diversity of all people who bleed'.

This language depicts women as orifices, providers of genetic material and vessels for growing offspring. This is not just dehumanising: it also obscures the fact that these body parts and functions come as a package.

How much harder it would have been to argue for the vote for women, or for paid maternity leave, or to end the exemption that allowed men to rape their wives at will, if the only way to refer to the beneficiaries of such policies had been to list bodily secretions and sexual organs.

Joyce points out that we never, in everyday bureaucratese, adopt warped phrasing for males:

If the stated reason for such language, to be inclusive of transmen (females who identify as male), were sincere, we would see similar linguistic manoeuvres so as not to exclude transwomen (males who identify as female) when talking about males.

There would be articles and advertising campaigns aimed at testicle-havers, semen-producers and the like. 

'Anyone with a prostate' would be told to get it checked. But no such language is used. The inconsistency is flagrant.

As we have recently seen in Los Angeles, allowing men who declare themselves to be women-- how can you decide objectively whether a belief is real?-- into spaces formerly reserved for women can cause trauma:

Transactivists generally dismiss fears that females will be harmed if transwomen access female single-sex spaces and services. 

Transwomen are merely going about their business, they say, and any concern is prejudiced, even prurient – in the cutesy catchphrase that has spread from the US to other countries: 'We just need to pee.'

Under gender self-identification, transwomen are not objectively distinct from other male people, so there is no way to calculate robust statistics about them.

The little evidence that exists shows that at least some of the males who identify as women are very dangerous indeed.

As I said, Joyce has made the case clearly and cogently.


Sam L. said...

The insanity increases...

370H55V said...

"These things are happening partly because of an admirable but poorly thought-out sense of compassion for trans people."

Should we really have "compassion" for such individuals? I can't help but wonder how many of them are gaming the system for the privileges attendant to their condition. Without his self-identification, Richard "Rachel" Levine would be an obscure family doctor treating sniffles and tummy aches in a small town in Pennsylvania and not assistant secretary of health and human services.

And I wonder the same about same-sex marriages. How many Chuck and Larrys ( are out there already?

And finally, I wonder why so many teenage girls would give up the privilege of being female--not only the power in relationships with men so biologically determined for millions of years, but also the structural power in institutions that only recently has been acquired.

ErisGuy said...

The distinction between the sexes is not likely to be amenable to social engineering, no matter how much some people want it to be.

Trans ideology is a small extension of the feminists’ war on nature.

Rip it out, branch (trans) and root (feminism).

The feminists’ war on the womb and motherhood must end.

ErisGuy said...

Feminism said “our bodies, our selves;” that women should take charge of their sexuality. Trans is small step on the road from breast enlargement, face-lifts, abortion, and every other regime, treatment, and surgery to take charge of one’s body, one’s sexuality, one’s self. Trans is the natural and (should have been wholly expected) end result of feminism.

n.n said...

Trans: a state or process of divergence from normal. Transgender medical, surgical, and psychiatric (e.g. indoctrination) conversion therapy. Genderphobia. Something to normalize (e.g. celebrate), tolerate, or reject? An empathetic appeal. A religious imperative. A basket of handmade tales.

The feminists’ war on the womb and motherhood must end.

Feminists and masculinists, too. A fetus, a technical term of art, a socially distanced abortion industrial complex.

The wicked solution (e.g. reduction of human life to property) to a purportedly hard problem. The Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic (e.g. politically congruent), relativistic (e.g. ethical), nominally "secular" religion. An ideology that denies women and men's, girls and boys' dignity and agency. Social justice Social progress. A progressive path and grade.

Can they abort the baby, cannibalize her profitable parts, sequester her carbon pollutants, and have her, too?

n.n said...

Feminism said “our bodies, our selves;”

While most people do not subscribe to the Pro-Choice religion, not limited to the wicked solution, who isn't pro choice: abstention, prevention, adoption, or compassion. There is no mystery.

Related are the sociopolitical myths a la "No Judgment", "No Labels", and political congruence ("="): "fat is beautiful", "healthy at any weight", and 80% of Covid-19 cases, and the attendant progressive medical expenses and quality of life.