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What I'm reading

Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality is a takedown of the "trans agenda" by Canadian journalist Helen Joyce. Many of her stories are sad, such as the effeminate boy whose evangelical Christian mother was happy that he'd become a girl, a sex change being better than having a homosexual in the family. Some was hard to follow, & I'm not sure I ever understood who's really behind this "agenda." I do agree that the needs of women are getting overlooked, even trampled, but I'm still not sure it's as sweeping a problem as she says. Like her, it bothers me that even asking questions or for clarification in many settings "proves" that you're transphobic & ends the conversation. Cf. J.K. Rowling.


One of her most useful points is the difference, as formulated by author and scientist Kevin Simler, between crony beliefs and merit beliefs, "which are held and abandoned for different reasons... The idea is that beliefs can be thought of as 'employees' of our minds, some of which are 'hired' because they are competent, and others because of whom they know... Merit beliefs are based on evidence and if our understanding of the evidence changes, the beliefs do too. Crony beliefs, by contrast, are about fitting in, winning allies and making the right impression." 


One provocative passage: 

A remarkable example of deconstruction is provided by the definition of 'female' proposed by Andrea Long Chu, an American transwoman and author of Females: A Concern, published in 2019. 'Everybody is female, and everybody hates it,' writes Chu. 'Femaleness is a universal sex defined by self-negation . . . I'll define as female any psychic operation in which the self is sacrificed to make room for the desires of another . . . [The] barest essentials [of femaleness are] an open mouth, an expectant asshole, blank, blank eyes.' This definition is obviously influenced by pornography (and Chu has written that 'sissy porn did make me trans'). It is striking that receptive anal sex, which is possible for people of both sexes, is the act that Chu regards as defining females. If you actually are female, it is also highly offensive – and would be incomprehensible, if you did not understand that the aim is to enable males to count as females.


She points out that among the women suspended or banned from Twitter for various critiques of gender laws and proposals is one who said, "correctly, that the limited statistics available suggest that transwomen in the UK are more likely to commit murder than to be murdered."


I don't know that it's the best book on the topic & I'm open to reading a reasoned rebuttal. Not so much a "why I'm trans" or why trans people should have rights (of course they should) but one that really does address how to protect the privacy, safety & dignity of women.

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