Long Read

The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves

“I knew by the time I was eight that I didn’t want to be a boy,” says Melissa. “But I didn’t know what I wanted to be.” Born in a provincial English town in the early 1970s and brought up by evangelical Christians, the boy had never heard of a transsexual (a term that was widely used in the decades before “transgender” entered common usage in the 1990s). As for gay men, “they were all going to hell.” As soon as he could, he moved to London and “experimented,” presenting himself as a man at work and a woman in the evenings. In the early 2000s, his gender dysphoria—the distress caused by the feeling that your body is the wrong sex—came to a head. “The thought of being buried as an old man became simply unbearable.”

But even as Melissa came to that bleak realization, a new future for her was opening up. Britain, like many other countries, was planning to grant gender-dysphoric people a route to legal recognition as members of the opposite sex. Under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) of 2004, after a psychological evaluation and two years presenting themselves in their preferred sex role, they could change the sex on their birth certificates. Melissa, who takes female hormones and has undergone surgery to refashion her genitals into a female form, is now legally a woman. “People take me for what they see,” she says. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

The motive for such laws was largely compassion. Gender dysphoria was viewed as a rare and distressing condition that could be alleviated by accommodating sufferers as legal exceptions to the rules of biology. But a decade and a half later, a more radical notion is sweeping across the Western world, with English-speaking countries in the vanguard. The brainchild of a few sexologists, trans-activists and academics, it has spread via lobby groups and the internet, and on liberal campuses. It is now becoming consolidated in practice and codified into law, with profound consequences—not just for people who wish they had been born the opposite sex, but for everyone.

That notion is the deceptively simple, quasi-mystical idea that everyone is born with a “gender identity”—an innate sense of being a man or woman that usually, but not always, aligns with biological sex. If the two are in conflict, the person is “transgender” and it is their gender identity, not their biological sex, that indicates who they truly are. The theory has been expanded to include people who regard themselves non-binary, “agender,” gender-fluid or a host of other terms, meaning that they belong to neither sex or feel located at some indeterminate (and possibly shifting) point between the two. According to this theory, no one can determine a person’s gender identity except that person, and no one else can challenge it. As with religious belief, it is entirely subjective. A simple declaration—“gender self-identification”—is all it takes to override biology.

One consequence is a huge increase in the number of people who say they do not identify with their natal sex. In Britain, for example, since the GRA came into force, just 5,000 people have used its provisions. Now the government reckons that approximately 1% of the population is transgender—around 650,000 people.

Another consequence relates to the question of who is permitted to use single-sex facilities. What Americans call the “bathroom wars”—between liberals, who have embraced gender self-ID, and conservatives, who have largely resisted it—in fact goes far beyond public toilets. Changing rooms, school residential trips, rape and domestic-violence refuges, and prisons are going self-ID. So are electoral shortlists and even sporting competitions.

Redefining what it means to be a man or woman redefines what it means to be gay. Depending on how they identify, people with male bodies who prefer female sexual partners may regard themselves as either heterosexual men or lesbian women. It also affects women’s political activism, since defining womanhood as based on a feeling rather than anatomy is incompatible with the feminist position that women are oppressed because they are physically weaker than men and bear the entire burden of reproduction. And it affects education: Many schools now tell children that being a boy or girl is not a matter of what it says on their birth certificates, but what they feel like. Since that is a circular definition, lessons quickly degenerate into endorsing sex-stereotypes: If you like trains and trucks, maybe you’re a boy. If you like pink chiffon, a girl.

This essay will trace the evolution of the notion of gender identity and how it has supplanted biological sex in law and practice. It will examine the consequences for four groups in particular: children, women, gays and lesbians, and trans people themselves.

* * *

Like all mammals, humans come in two sexes. (The existence of intersex conditions in no way changes this fact. It is a highly misleading umbrella term for rare developmental disorders of the genitals and gonads, some of which are so minor their “sufferers” do not even know about them, and hardly any of which raise any doubt as to whether an individual is male or female or where they place on any sort of putative “sex spectrum.”) Females produce eggs and bear young; males produce sperm and impregnate the females. Unlike other mammals, however, humans live in complex societies, with rules about the behaviour and clothing proper to those sexes. But many societies have permitted exceptions, such as “two-spirit” people in some Amerindian tribes, regarded as possessing both male and female souls, or India’s hijras, males who dress as women and do women’s work (often prostitution).

None of these historical exceptions constitute a true cross-sex identity—i.e., people accepted wholly as members of the opposite sex. The history of that idea starts around 1930, when German doctors treating male cross-dressers started trying to refashion male genitals into simulacra of female ones. (The film The Danish Girl is an account of the first known operation, which proved fatal.) By the 1950s, such surgery was less dangerous; in 1952 Americans were riveted by Christine Jorgensen, a former soldier who returned from Denmark after male-to-female surgery and hormone treatment. “Ex-G.I. becomes blonde beauty” ran the headline in the New York Daily News.

For men, then as now, surgical reassignment consisted of removing the testicles and penis, and using their skin to fashion a neo-vagina and artificial labia. (Surgery for women is far more gruelling, and may include a full hysterectomy and double mastectomy, followed by the removal of skin, muscle and blood vessels from the lower arm to be fashioned into an artificial penis.) By the 1960s, male-to-female “sex changes” were available in many countries, including the United States. Surgeons generally required would-be patients to live as a member of the opposite sex for some time, and sought to screen out anyone likely to change their mind, or who was depressed, or psychotic, or had perverse reasons to transition—for example a man’s voyeuristic desire to gain access to women’s spaces or a pedophile’s to gain access to children.

Some specialists thought the desire to transition had external causes, such as childhood abuse, which might lead someone to reject the body that had been violated. Others posited internal causes, such as a disorder of body image akin to anorexia, or autogynephilia, a paraphilia by which a heterosexual man finds the idea of himself as a woman erotic and seeks to give flesh to that notion.

But alongside these varied theories ran two lines of thinking that originated in America in the 1950s and fused into a single, dominant narrative half a century later. One came from Robert Stoller, a psychoanalyst who worked with transsexuals. He coined the phrase “gender identity,” by which he meant a “complex system of beliefs about oneself: a sense of masculinity and femininity.” He did not say how it was formed (though, as traditional for psychoanalysts, he thought that if it was disturbed, the mother was probably to blame).

The other came from John Money, a sexologist who emphasized what he called “gender roles,” made up of “all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or woman.” Believing these to be malleable in early childhood, he recommended that baby boys born with abnormal genitalia, or maimed by botched circumcisions, be surgically altered so that their anatomy appeared female and brought up as girls. For years, he cited the results as proof that gender roles were indeed not innate. In fact, the best-known specimen turned out a tragic failure. The child, David Reimer, made an awkward, miserable girl and reverted to a male identity in his teens after learning the truth. He committed suicide in 2004, after a lifetime of depression.

Reimer’s story, which had become public five years earlier, was seized on as evidence against the existence of malleable gender roles. By then, queer theory was making inroads on campus. This hard-to-define field seeks to up-end conventional thinking about what is normative or deviant; innate or socially constructed; stable or mutating; singular or multiple. Post-modernists and post-structuralists had argued for years that many seemingly natural categories were in fact culturally constructed. Judith Butler’s hugely successful Gender Trouble, published in 1990, argued that gender—which she saw as a kind of performance—could not be separated from biological sex.

Over time, an even more audacious line of thinking emerged in some gender-studies and sociology departments, in which everything, including sexed bodies, is discursively constructed and there is no objective reality. Biological sex started to be described as “assigned at birth” rather than observed and recorded, or even recast as a spectrum rather than a binary. Some proponents claimed that binary sex was a Western, colonialist invention, or bolstered their claims with references to intersex conditions.

By twists and turns, a dominant theory about cross-sex identities had emerged. It held that humans come equipped with an innate, gendered sense of who they are—not just those who wished to transition from one sex to another, but also “cis” people (those content with their natal sex) and people who are non-binary, genderqueer or dozens of similar terms. In 2007, Julia Serano, a trans woman (natal male), called this sense “subconscious sex”: a “profound, inexplicable, intrinsic self-knowing”—much like a spirit. Since then, in a borrowing of Stoller’s term, it has come to be known as “gender identity.”

Though entirely at odds with the way most people live their lives and regard the society around them, this esoteric concept caught on—in part because it aligned with ideological trends on campus, and in part because those who disagreed with it didn’t see it as anything except harmless theorizing. “If the entire faculty believes something, and you never hear anyone discussing an alternative point of view, you come away believing it too,” says Michael Biggs of Oxford University, who studies social movements.

It also spread via social media, where teenagers seeking to understand their amorphous feelings of unease or discontent—a perennial feature of adolescence and young adulthood—could stumble across it. There, and in groups set up by trans people and trans children’s parents, a popular, activist version of the theory sprang up: Women have “pink brains” and men “blue brains,” which, in trans people, are the other way around; children may be “born in the wrong body,” which will become apparent when the boys demand long hair and dresses and the girls demand crops and dungarees—or, especially in red-state America, announce that “God made a mistake with me.”

Take the story of Jazz Jennings, born a boy in 2000, given a girl’s name and female pronouns by her parents while still a toddler, and a staple on American television as a trans girl since 2006. According to the book I am Jazz, published in 2011, “from the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body.” Her family “took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way.”

The final stage in the triumph of gender identity, over the past few years, has been its conversion into a political platform. The moment was opportune. The fight for same-sex marriage was over, and the groups that had campaigned for it, by now large, well-funded and politically powerful, were not averse to turning their attention to a fresh cause, not least because one would be needed if they were to survive. Many on the left were naturally inclined to believe in a new axis of oppression. Some on the right, including many conservatives, regretted having been slow to support same-sex marriage. This was a boat they were determined not to miss before it left dock.

Everything trans people had sought for decades, such as better treatment, more research into gender dysphoria and greater protection from harassment and discrimination, became absorbed into a single demand: instant, unfettered gender self-identification. The demand bears a superficial resemblance to a civil-rights movement, says Chetan Bhatt, a sociologist at the London School of Economics. But unlike grass-roots human-rights movements, its development has been top-down: It originated in elite institutions, including governments, universities, gender clinics and large charities, rather than community-based groups.

The movement has been shockingly successful. In many American states, access to designated single-sex facilities is now governed by self-ID. New Zealand is planning to allow people to change the sex on their birth certificates by making a statutory declaration; some Australian states are considering removing sex from birth certificates altogether. In Britain, all the main political parties support gender self-ID. (A public consultation on introducing it closed on October 19). Canada has gone furthest, granting gender identity the same status as sex, race, religion and other protected classes in federal human-rights laws. As a consequence, in many countries, and in many situations, it has become illegal to make any distinction between people who declare themselves members of a sex, and those born into it.

* * *

The first places affected by the new concept of gender identity were clinics. Vaguer diagnostic criteria, and a move to “de-medicalize” trans identities, together with wider awareness, have meant a big expansion in patient numbers. The mix of patients has changed, too. Clinics used to see few children, almost all of them pre-pubescent boys; now teenage girls are turning up in droves. The number of girls seen by GIDS, Britain’s national gender-ID service for children, has risen from 40 in 2009-10 to 1,806 in 2017-18.

GIDS tries to move slowly, offering counselling and seeking to explore various reasons why a child might wish to change sex. At least 13% of its patients have an autistic-spectrum disorder, compared with just 1% of the general population. This can lead to obsessive, rigid thinking about social categories. Around 40% have mental-health problems such as anxiety or depression. GIDS may prescribe drugs to delay puberty from around age 12, in order to give children time to reconsider without puberty changing their bodies irreversibly. It will not prescribe cross-sex hormones until age 16, or offer surgery until age 18.

In America, by contrast, an increasing number of clinics take a “gender-affirmative” approach, quickly acquiescing to a child’s professed cross-sex identity. Therapists at UCSF’s Child and Adolescent Gender Centre in San Francisco have supported social transition (change of name, pronouns and clothing) for children as young as three. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who is based in Los Angeles and backs the affirmative approach, has advocated mastectomies on trans boys (natal girls) as young as 13.

Some worry about this rush to treatment. Lisa Littman of Brown University recently surveyed parents who are skeptical of the gender-affirmative approach, and concluded that some female teenagers transitioning to male identities may be affected by a type of social contagion. Many had belonged to friendship groups that all asserted trans identities around the same time, often after binge-watching online videos by trans teenagers. She refers to the phenomenon as “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD).

Even when clinicians try to go slowly, it makes little difference. Most patients will already have learned the innate gender-ID narrative, and see no need for caution. Some parents press for faster treatment, saying they would “rather have a live daughter than a dead son.” (Advocacy groups commonly say that children unsupported to transition are very likely to kill themselves. The data do not support this claim—and indeed, it is highly irresponsible, since hearing that you are at particular risk of suicide is one of the risk factors for killing yourself.) And though puberty blockers are supposed to buy time, in fact they start a child down a path to irreversible changes. Emerging data suggests that they start a cascade of intervention, with almost every child given them proceeding to cross-sex hormones.

Privately, some experienced clinicians admit they are worried. One says she hears of people leaving the field more often than she used to, and sometimes fears that she is doing more harm than good. She thinks the wave of transitioning teenagers may be followed in a decade or two by another of “de-transitioners” reverting to their natal sex. Their bodies will have been irreversibly marked by cross-sex hormones and perhaps surgery. Some may sue, arguing that the adults around them should have known they could not fully comprehend what they were consenting to.

Those who missed puberty in their own sex will probably be sterile—indeed, sexually functionless. Jazz Jennings went on puberty blockers at age 11, and started cross-sex hormones at age 12. A particularly upsetting recent episode of the TV show I am Jazz shows a consultation with a surgeon who specializes in gender reassignment. “I haven’t experienced any sexual sensation,” says Jazz. “The doctor is saying an orgasm is like a sneeze. I don’t even know what she’s talking about.” (She has since had the operation.)

Less extreme, but more pervasive, is the impact of the new gender-identity theory on what children learn. Susan Matthews of Roehampton University in Britain has been looking at its appearance in teaching materials and workbooks. The difficulty for the authors, she says, is that the notion is not only subjective, but utterly ineffable, like describing the sensation of love or belief in God. So authors resort to waffling. Gender is “much more than the body you were born with,” according to Who are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity, which is aimed at five-year-olds. “Kids know a lot about themselves,” the book continues. “They know who they are by how they feel inside.”

But since no one knows what anyone else feels like—let alone what it feels like to be a member of the opposite sex—this sort of thing does not get you very far. So in many countries, guides and materials intended for schoolchildren and teachers resort to stereotypes. Australian teachers, for instance, are supposed to get children to “explore gender” by listing behaviours typical of boys and girls. For boys, the examples in the lesson plan include building things, liking action films and playing with toy cars. For girls, they include cooking, dancing, shopping, wearing makeup and gossiping. Next, teachers are supposed to explain that a transgender person is one whose sex assigned at birth “does not match the gender they identify as,” and to show a video about Nevo, a trans boy (natal girl) who is “undergoing a transition, medically and socially, to make his external appearance more masculine and to make his life better reflect how he feels inside. This is also known as affirming one’s gender identity.”

By the standards of the genre, this is sophisticated. A “gender spectrum” produced by Mermaids, a British lobby group, consists of pictures of Barbie and GI Joe, with a series of figurines in between them, morphing from curvy and pig-tailed to broad-shouldered and stocky. Bish, a British website aimed at teenagers, encourages them to work out their “gender identities” by placing themselves on several “gender spectrums” with words like rational, tough, active and independent under “looks masculine,” and emotional, soft, passive and sharer under “looks feminine.”

The stereotyping has even made it as far as materials intended for adults. The British Association for Counselling Practitioners, which licenses marriage counsellors and so on, recently produced a guide to “Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity” for its members. It defines a woman thus: “It is important not to assume…that being a woman necessarily involves being able to bear children, or having XX sex chromosomes, or breasts. Being a woman in a British cultural context often means adhering to social norms of femininity, such as being nurturing, caring, social, emotional, vulnerable, and concerned with appearance.” For men, the list of attributes runs: “being competitive, ambitious, independent, rational, tough, sexual, confident, dominant, taking risks, and caring about their work.”

This sort of thing is sometimes followed by some garbled science, perhaps in the hope of making it look less flaky by comparison. The BACP claims that “the sex of a baby is medically assigned on the basis of the length of the clitoris/penis.” Bish claims that “genitals are on a spectrum in terms of: how much erectile tissue sticks out (clitorises and dicks and in between); where the prostate is; where the wee hole is; whether the gonads are inside or outside; vagina size.” (None of this is remotely true. A girl with an intersex condition may have an unusually large clitoris, for example—but it is not a penis. She does not urinate or ejaculate sperm out of it. And so on, through other intersex conditions.)

Rules about single-sex spaces and activities for children are also being rewritten. Schools in some areas of Britain use a Trans Inclusion Toolkit written by Allsorts, a trans lobby group. It says that admission to toilets, changing rooms, sports teams and dormitories on school trips should “in all cases” be according to gender self-ID. If parents complain that their daughters are disadvantaged by the inclusion of a trans girl (natal boy) in girls’ sporting competitions, they are simply to be told that “trans girls are girls.” Girlguiding in many countries now admits children born male provided they identify as girls, and accepts male leaders who identify as women. Leaders are told there is no reason to inform other children or their parents if male people will be sharing their accommodation on overnight trips.

Anyone expressing concerns is given short shrift. Helen Watts, a Rainbow leader in west London, was expelled from Girlguiding in September for raising hers. She wonders whether the organization has considered the implications for its insurance policy, and—since trans girls are physiologically male—who will accept responsibility if a girl is sexually assaulted or becomes pregnant on an overnight trip. She marvels at how the safeguarding procedures put in place after child-abuse scandals in boarding schools, the Catholic church and elsewhere are being ignored. “I know of a Guide leader who had to bring her four-year-old son on a weekend camping trip, and there had to be rules for where he was to shower and sleep,” she says. “Including male children along with female ones is a risk that you have to assess and manage—unless they say the magic words, ‘I’m a girl.’ ”

Some hear ominous echoes of another time when well-meaning adults in thrall to an ideology put children in harm’s way. The post-1968 sexual-liberation movement on continental Europe sought to overturn sexual taboos, and some thought that meant starting young. In German kindergartens run along radical-left lines, teachers encouraged children to fondle them, look at pornography and simulate intercourse. Contemporaneous accounts show how parents repressed their moral qualms by focusing on their beliefs about how an unrepressed child should behave.

Such child-abuse was motivated by political conviction, not sexual desire. But it did not take long for pedophiles to spy an opportunity. The radical left was led by men focused on legalizing homosexuality and smashing the nuclear family. Though they did not intend to endanger children, they gave them little thought. Many leftwing groupings tolerated organizations such as Britain’s Paedophile Information Exchange—not least because they had the same sworn enemies: traditionalist Catholics and evangelicals; hardline conservatives and fascists. The paedophiles made most headway in Germany’s Green Party, which for several years operated as their de facto parliamentary front.

In 1979, Eileen Fairweather was working at Spare Rib, a radical-feminist magazine. She was young and new to journalism, but assigned to read Paedophilia: The Radical Case, in which Tom O’Carroll, later imprisoned for child-abuse, argued for lowering the age of consent to four. She recalls “anguished, earnest” discussions with feminist friends about what they should write about it. “I did draft something, arguing that the existing age of consent was not ‘patriarchal’, but protected children,” she says. “But I never even dared show it to anyone.” No-one back then realized the extent and brutality of child-abuse. And the pedophile movement had so thoroughly hijacked the gay movement that, if you said you were against “child sexual liberation”—as, outrageously, they put it—you were branded “anti-gay.” She says she sees “the same intimidation and paralysis of intelligence” with the transgender debate, with people terrified to express legitimate concerns about infiltration and safeguarding.

Ms. Fairweather went on to win press awards in the 1990s for uncovering pedophile rings in British children’s homes and schools. She became an expert on how pedophiles exploit “institutional weaknesses and political correctness.” The problems with the new rules go beyond granting males access to places where girls sleep, wash and change, she says. They run counter to everything learned about child safeguarding from repeated scandals, including the importance of communication with parents and encouraging children to speak up when they are afraid.

The rules say, for example, that if a child expresses a cross-sex identity to a teacher, there is no need to tell parents. If one child queries the presence of another of the opposite sex in a single-sex activity or space, it is the child with concerns who should be removed. Obviously, the vast majority of trans-identified people are not pedophiles. But all of these changes do play into the hands of pedophiles, since such “trans-friendly spaces” could allow bad actors to insinuate themselves into children’s confidence, undermine their trust in parents, and teach children to remain silent if something makes them feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

* * *

The shift from single-sex spaces and activities goes far beyond schools and camping trips. Those spaces customarily reserved for women, whether for reasons of safety and privacy or to allow them to compete on fair terms, are now becoming open to people born male who identify as women. Perhaps the most surprising is sporting competitions.

In 2016, the International Olympics Committee stopped requiring athletes to have undergone gender-reassignment surgery and cross-sex hormone treatment before competing as a member of the opposite sex. Now it simply requires male athletes who wish to compete as women to lower their testosterone levels. That overlooks the permanent effects of having gone through male puberty, which include more muscle and a bigger frame, heart and lungs. But many other sporting authorities do not even require that much.

Several American states have used self-ID for youth competitions for some years. Both gold and silver in this year’s 100m girls’ dash in Connecticut went to natal males. In recent months, swimming competitions in America, and university athletics in Canada, have switched to self-ID. Next year, the Boston Marathon will, too. Judging by past form, any of around 150 men could win the women’s race by switching identity. In October, Rachel McKinnon, a trans woman, became a women’s world champion in a cycling competition. When the third-placed cyclist complained that a natal male had an unfair advantage, Ms. McKinnon called her a transphobe.

Far more women will be affected by the trend towards self-ID for single-sex spaces. For public toilets, gym changing rooms, women-only swimming sessions and the like, women who do not want to disrobe in mixed company may decide to opt out. Some have a strong preference for privacy; others have religious reasons. Rosa Freedman, a human-rights lawyer and Orthodox Jew, points out that her beliefs, and those of many Muslim women, mean she cannot use such spaces if the sexes mix.

Others are fearful for their safety. Though no reasonable person thinks most trans women (or men for that matter) are violent or rapists, most violent crimes are committed by males. There is no evidence that simply identifying as a woman means a male should be regarded as lower-risk. Women therefore have reason to be wary of biological males, including trans women, in situations where they are vulnerable. Many women also worry that predatory men will profess to identify as women in order to gain access to spaces where women are exposed.

Earlier this year Karen White, a self-identified trans woman with a record of sexual offences against women, was placed in a women’s prison in Britain—and promptly assaulted several other prisoners. In October, White was given a life sentence for these assaults and two previous rapes. The prosecution argued that White had used a “transgender persona” to gain access to vulnerable women to abuse. It is unclear how the decision to place White in a women’s prison was made: When deciding where to place trans offenders, Britain’s prison service is supposed to carry out a risk assessment.

But it is impossible to make such risk assessments meaningful, since few sexual or violent crimes against women lead to a conviction. Moreover, any male prisoner who transitions legally would count as a woman—and under gender self-ID that would be a matter of mere paperwork. To refuse placement in a women’s prison, the prison service would have to show that any woman with an equivalent risk profile should be held in a male prison, says Richard Garside of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, an independent charity. Yet women are held in male facilities only in “exceptional” circumstances—a very high bar.

Most British rape-crisis centres and domestic-violence refuges admit self-identified trans women, even though the Equality Act of 2010 permits them to restrict their services to biological females. According to someone who has worked in the women’s sector for more than 20 years, those running such services sometimes truly believe that is reasonable. But far more have gone self-ID because they fear becoming targets of trans-activist campaigns and losing funding.

Without single-sex services, vulnerable women will suffer, says Judith Green. In the 1980s, as a teenager, she suffered repeated sexual abuse, and eventually received help from a survivors’ group in Brighton that arranged self-help sessions and therapy. Participants had been traumatised at men’s hands and their recovery required them to rebuild trust, she says. For her, and many other women, that would have been impossible in a mixed-sex group, no matter how well-meaning or sympathetic the males.

A legal case in America shows the difficulty of squaring self-ID with women’s expectations of privacy in spaces designated for them. In 2015, Yvette Cormier, a member of a Planet Fitness club in Michigan, complained after finding Carlotta Sklodowska, a trans woman who appeared obviously male to Ms. Cormier, in the women’s changing room. The club, which had switched to self-ID some months earlier, responded by revoking Ms. Cormier’s membership. She sued for violation of privacy, emotional distress, breach of contract and more.

After several defeats, in July an appeals court agreed that Ms. Cormier had a case under consumer law. Her lawyers argued that she could not have known that males who said they identified as women would be admitted to the women’s changing room, and that the club admitted such males without any attempt to ensure their sincerity. At the next hearing, they plan to present a post from Ms. Sklodowska’s Facebook page in which she describes herself as a “male slut-in-training.”

Since it is impossible to tell why someone might wish to use facilities designated for the opposite sex, such cases may mean service-providers in places where self-ID is mandatory end up designating all facilities mixed-sex. That would be a bad outcome for women. Figures gathered by the Times, a British newspaper, under freedom-of-information laws found that the minority of changing-rooms in sports centres that are mixed-sex were the site of 90% of reported sexual assaults in changing-rooms of all kinds.

In March, a Vancouver human rights litigant described publicly as “JY” contacted Shelagh Poyer, a beautician who advertised body-waxing services from her home on Facebook Marketplace. JY, who uses a man’s name and whose profile picture is clearly male, asked if Ms Poyer did Brazilians (removal of pubic hair). “Not for men, sorry,” she replied. “I’m a woman, I transitioned last year,” JY replied. JY then made a complaint to British Columbia’s human-rights tribunal, alleging discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, seeking an apology and damages of C$2,500. (The tribunal has asked that JY be referred to only by those initials, rather than the full name, as would be usual for cases it hears.)

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a Canadian non-profit libertarian group, offered to represent Ms. Poyer. It prepared two defences: that waxing male genitalia requires different training and equipment, which she does not possess, and that, as a woman, she, too, has protected rights, namely to privacy and safety. They sought to remove the anonymity order, granted by the tribunal to avoid “outing” JY as transgender. To that end, they presented evidence to the tribunal that JY used a women’s gym and talked about being a trans woman online—in posts asking for advice on how to approach a naked 10-year-old girl to ask for a tampon, and whether it might be appropriate to enter a bathroom stall with a 10-year-old to show her how to put a tampon in.

JY said the account had been hacked, and withdrew the case. Ms. Poyer is now seeking costs and compensation for distress. But even if she gets them, she will be out of pocket: She has decided to stop advertising, and now takes only personal referrals. Fifteen cases brought by JY against other women who offer Brazilian-waxing services apparently are still ongoing. And a general question remains open: Under Canadian human-rights law, is a woman who is willing to perform intimate services involving nudity for women thereby obliged to perform that service for any male who claims to be a woman?

* * *

“This is a philosophy that agrees with the drunks on the Tube that I’m not a ‘real woman,’ ” says a young lesbian in London who gets her hair cut by a barber and wears suits from a men’s tailor. “We used to fight to smash open the pink and blue boxes of gender,” says a veteran of the fight to decriminalize homosexual relations. “Now they’re telling kids that if they don’t fit into one of those boxes, they must belong in the other one.” Both are among the growing number who think the doctrine of gender self-ID is a retrograde philosophy that relies on obsolete gender stereotypes and harms gay people.

One reason is the impact on children. Schools and parents often leap to the conclusion that a child who is gender non-conforming must be trans, says the experienced clinician I referenced earlier in this essay. In fact, the literature shows that such children are not particularly likely to continue asserting a cross-sex identity into adulthood—and that they are more likely than other children to simply be gay. Some conservative religious parents may prefer the idea of a trans child—born in the “wrong body” through no fault of their own—to a gay one, whom they regard as a sinner. In Iran and Pakistan, this preference of trans over gay has official backing; male homosexual relations are outlawed and gay men are pressed into male-to-female sex-change operations. In Iran, the state picks up the tab.

Some gay people think that organizations set up to fight for gay rights made a mistake in throwing their weight behind trans activism. In an open letter in the Times in October, some prominent gays and lesbians accuse Stonewall, Britain’s biggest LGBT charity, of “uncritically adopting a form of transgender politics which undermines…the concept of homosexuality itself.” (It added “T” for transgender to its “LGB” (lesbian, gay and bisexual) mission in 2015.) More than 7,000 people have now signed a petition in support of the letter. Yet Stonewall’s CEO, Ruth Hunt, has denied any need for a rethink, saying that “trans equality is at the heart of our mission for acceptance without exception.”

Jonathan Best, the former director of Queer Up North, a British gay and lesbian festival, collected some of the signatures on the open letter. He says that by endorsing gender identity, Stonewall is misrepresenting what it means to be gay. “Stonewall defines homosexuality as attraction to the same gender—but it’s actually same-sex attraction. Gender identity then says that a man is anyone who identifies as a man, no matter the biological sex. But being gay is only about sex and bodies—it’s nothing to do with gender identity.” That explanation falls under another of Stonewall’s definitions: “transphobia,” in which the organization includes any denial of or refusal to accept someone’s gender identity.

Get the L Out, a small group of lesbians who insist that opposite-sex-attracted males cannot be lesbians whatever their gender identity, forced its way to the front of the Pride march in London this year, with banners reading “Transactivism erases lesbians” and “lesbian equals female homosexual.” Ms. Hunt called the group “transphobic” and said it was spreading “myths and lies.”

Whether people are attracted to sexes or gender identities is an empirical question. A study published in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships in the Spring suggests it is usually the former (though the authors have a different interpretation, namely endemic transphobia). Participants stated whether they were men or women; cis or trans; and gay, straight or bisexual/queer. They also stated which groups they considered part of their dating pool. Only 12.5% included trans people at all, and almost half of those that did matched their orientations to trans people’s sex rather than gender identity (for example, a heterosexual man saying he would consider dating trans men but not trans women).

Mr. Best says he has received many supportive emails, and only a few from people calling him a bigot. Women who express views like his receive far worse, perhaps because the most vocal trans activists are trans women (natal males) who are attracted to women—by Stonewall’s definition, lesbians. Some of the most prominent tell female lesbians who express “genital preferences” (i.e., they will not date people with penises) that they should not be so closed-minded. In a YouTube video, Riley J. Dennis, a trans woman, attributes “preferences for women with vaginas over women with penises” to “cis-sexism”—anti-trans prejudice. “Look, it’s not like I require the women I date to be cool with having my dick inside them,” writes another trans woman, Avery Edison. “But being shut off from the very idea of it, not even considering that having my penis inside you is different from having a man’s penis inside you? That hurts.”

A recent letter from an “AMAB” (assigned male at birth) reader to Autostraddle, an online magazine for lesbians, asked for advice. I am masculine-presenting and don’t want to have any hormone or sex-change therapies and surgeries since I don’t believe that these are required to validate my female identity. How do I let other people know I’m a trans woman?” The reply offers sympathy about the misery of being “misgendered,” before concluding: “Fuck ’em, basically! You are beautiful and important and are a real woman and a real lesbian, so keep doing you.”

That query may have been a hoax that Autostraddle revealingly fell for: it, and the reply, have been taken down. But according to Charlie Montague, a young lesbian in Dunedin, New Zealand, both online dating sites and real-world meet-ups for lesbians now contain a fair share of males who have been through no sort of physical transition but describe themselves as lesbians. Some are predatory men who fantasize about sex with lesbians, she says; others genuinely regard themselves as same-sex attracted women. She and a few other “female lesbians” have set up a group, the Lesbian Rights Alliance Aotearoa. They have faced a barrage of abuse, both on- and offline. “When we say ‘no means no’, they regard that as transphobic,” she says. “They don’t like lesbians asserting firm boundaries.”

* * *

WOMAN; women (noun): adult human female.”

That, and the web address of the British government’s consultation on gender self-ID, is all it said on a poster that Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a feminist campaigner, paid to display in Liverpool during the annual conference of Britain’s opposition Labour Party in September. After a complaint that it was anti-trans “propaganda and hate speech,” the poster company apologized and took it down. An ad agency then refused to put the same message on Edinburgh buses, saying it was “likely to offend” the public. Renée Gerlich, a feminist activist in Wellington, designed posters to celebrate the 125th anniversary of New Zealand granting women the vote. Each consisted of a quote from a feminist, followed by “Suffragists fought for the female sex. Stop rewriting history.” When trans-activist groups complained to the poster company that the posters communicated a “subtle transphobia,” it refused to handle her order.

The main social-media platforms are making it very hard for women to discuss these issues. Meghan Murphy, a Canadian feminist who runs a website, Feminist Current, has been kicked off Twitter for “hateful conduct”—that is, tweeting that “Men aren’t women” and “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” Twitter also temporarily locked various women’s accounts for, inter alia, quoting remarks made by British parliamentarians in the debate over the Gender Recognition Act of 2004; for stating the British definition of rape (which can be committed only by a male, since it involves penetration by a penis); and for referring to JY of Brazilian-waxing fame as “he.” It even locked a trans woman’s account for self-describing as “male.”

Women seeking to organize in person are being silenced, too. After trans activists disrupted a discussion in London last year about self-ID, Ms. Green and some other feminists set up Woman’s Place UK (WPUK) to hold more such meetings. “It seemed so extraordinary that we were being stopped from openly having conversations we were all having in private,” she says. WPUK has scheduled nearly 20 meetings around Britain to date, every one of them disrupted. Some venues cancelled bookings after trans activists claimed it was a far-right hate group.

In Canada, even complaining can get a woman into trouble. In July, Kristi Hanna, a former resident at Palmerston House, a women’s shelter in Ontario, left after being assigned a transgender room-mate, who stomped around in combat boots, had facial and chest hair, and talked about a pregnant fiancée. All the residents found the situation intimidating, she says, and after two sleepless nights she complained and was told to “deal with it or leave.” But when she phoned Ontario’s human-rights legal helpline, she referred to the individual as a “man,” at which point the adviser said that her words and behaviour were potentially discriminatory and ended the call.

“I can’t think of any genuine human-rights activism that demands attacks on the rights and protections of other civil-society groups, or advocates hateful language against them,” says Professor Bhatt. Trans activism is also unusual in that it gives men a chance to claim they are oppressed compared with women, and plenty of opportunity to tell women to shut up, says Ms. Gerlich. “It’s a postmodern patriarchal backlash.”

The code of omertà extends to academia. After lobbying by trans activists, Brown University in Rhode Island withdrew a press release about Prof. Littman’s paper on ROGD, citing concerns that it might be used to “discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.” Last year, Bath Spa University, in southwest England, rejected a proposal by James Caspian, a psychotherapist who specializes in transgender clients, to write a thesis on de-transitioning, explaining that the research might be criticised on social media and it would be “better not to offend people.” Kathleen Stock, a philosopher at Sussex University, wrote a Medium post in May about the lack of discussion of gender self-ID within academic philosophy. Trans-activists called for her to be sacked—and she received dozens of supportive emails from other academics, most saying they dared not speak out publicly.

The aim of all this, says Jane Clare Jones, a British freelance writer and philosopher, is not only to silence dissent, but to make it impossible to state any distinction between trans women and cis ones. Since women are oppressed because they are female, not because of feminine feelings or presentation, this linguistic erasure is “profoundly anti-feminist.” Statements such as “trans women are women” and labels such as TERF are what Robert Jay Lifton, who wrote about indoctrination and mind control in Maoist China, dubbed thought-terminating clichés: “brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases…that become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.”

In the United States, criticism of gender self-ID is complicated by partisan politics. Women who elsewhere might sound the alarm do not want to be seen as in alliance with right-wing FOX News hosts and conservative Christians who are also against gay rights and abortion rights. The most organized opposition is in Britain, where government-mandated legislative consultations provided a focal point for campaigning groups such as WPUK. Mumsnet, a parenting website founded in 2000, is less hostile to women’s discussions of trans issues (though it now removes posts that “misgender” people). And the feisty British tabloid press has not shied away from covering rapists self-identifying themselves into women’s jails, boys allowed into Girlguiding and the like. The Daily Mail fought an injunction to be able to report on Jess Bradley, a trans woman suspended in July from the post of trans-rights officer at the National Union of Students because of allegations that she ran a blog named Exhibitionizm, where she posted pictures of her exposed penis, taken in public places and in her office.

The singular focus on gender self-ID, along with the shutting down of academic work on trans issues, harms not only women, but trans people. Although trans activists’ ire is focused on women who object to self-ID, it is overwhelmingly men who commit violence against trans people, a problem that by comparison is ignored. And other causes that are important to trans people, such as more research on the causes and treatment of gender dysphoria and its links with other mental-health issues, not to mention the long-term effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, have become taboo.

Overall, the push for gender self-ID does more harm than good to the interests of gender-dysphoric people whose main concern is to be accepted by members of the sex they wish they had been born into. And as we see more cases of people claiming transgender status in bad faith, we may see a backlash. “We were living quite happily in women’s spaces getting on with our lives before this stuff blew up,” says Melissa, the trans person I quoted at the beginning of this essay. Which is one reason why, far from supporting self-ID, she wants to see the rules for changing legal sex made tougher: “If you want access to women’s spaces, you should have to show you’re no more risk to women than other women are.”

Needless to say, she has been called “transphobic, a cis quisling, and a sell-out.” But women’s worries about their privacy and safety should not be brushed off or shouted down, she says. That is something women had to endure for millennia, under the old-fashioned patriarchal societies of yore. And they shouldn’t have to stand for it now that it has been rekindled under a new progressive guise.


Helen Joyce is finance editor for The Economist. She is writing here in a personal capacity.

Featured Image: Stonewall UK group marching at the gay London Pride event 2011.



  1. Emmanuel says

    I must say that the story of the heterosexual male who does not want to change his body or lifestyle but aspires to be acknowledged as a woman made me laugh out loud. It feel like we are living in the movie idiocracy. Or even better, life of Brian.

    • My own preference for these lovelies is mandatory euthanasia. We now have more creeps urinating in the western gene pool than certifiable human beings. I used to fear our civilization would soon end; I now fear it won’t.

      • jimhaz says

        No all wrong, however it is true that abnormal people MUST offer something back to be accepted.

        This is the problem with transgender activism – they actually have nothing to offer and thus I suspect they will never be accepted. Sure, we had some funny transsexuals – but activism is killing their tragic comedy.

    • DuppyConqueror says

      It was “not even considering that having my penis inside you is different from having a man’s penis inside you? That hurts.” that got me.

    • ADM64 says

      If enough straight men chose to publicly self-identify as transgenderr, non-transitioning lesbians and demanded access to women’s space and women’s sports, this entire insane movement would collapse.

    • Aerth says

      I love the part where trans claims that it is hurtful that lesbians does not consider his dick inside them may feel different than cis-male dick.

    • Lightning Rose says

      We should seriously look into the amount of endocrine disruptors in our food and water, especially the ubiquity of soy.

  2. I guess as long as you don’t call it eugenics, devising a program to sterilize mental defectives will be popular if you market it as “empowerment”.

  3. c young says

    And yet trans ideology is largely an extension of feminist ideology and its progressive underpinnings. It is now functioning as a disclosing liquid that reveals the defects that were always within feminist ideology.

    First, there are the rights-based ethics that underpins progressive ideology. This can only function when a small set of groups claim rights. Once rights ethics dominate, as they do now, rights conflict. It provides no methods for resolving conflicts between the absolute rights of radfems, orthodox jews and trans-women, just a competition to shout loudest.

    Second, there is victim-based ethics. Feminists once embraced this. It handed them unquestionable moral authority as victims of the patriarchy. Now they are hoisted on their own petard, the victimisers of trans people. Its far to simplistic.

    Third, there is the celebration of gender non-conformity for breaking of tyrannical social norms. This is central to radfem and trans ideology. Both decry stereotyping, i.e. basing your expectations on average behaviour, as oppressive. In fact, this is a product of basic human psychology – we use mental shortcuts – and is not a symptom of tyranny.

    Fourth, there is the current of postmodernism that is undermining our faith in the rational resolution of conflict. This is embraced by radfems when it is useful to them. When law, philosophy, maths, logic, science, or any other system, delivers inconvenient outcomes, it is invariably written off as contaminated by the patriarchy. Hence the wry smiles when radfems try to mobilise mainstream support in their war with the trans lobby with these tools they have long derided.

    The objective facts are these. We have two groups of outliers on gender’s bell curve – women with masculine traits and men with feminine ones.

    Unfortunately, the former decry the other 95% of women as dupes of the patriarchy, fooled into the wrong behavior. The latter desperately want to claim the status of that 95%, ignoring the impact of those claims on 3rd parties.

    The resolution is simple. They both deserve tolerance and acceptance, but their wild theories about gender should be given short shrift.

    • Steven says

      “Whatever – I am not looking to assign blame. Maybe if heteros hadn’t been so threatened by the mere existence of anomalies to their religious and “we be normal, you be sick” view of the world it wouldn’t have come to all this ”

      And yet you assign blame in the very next sentence…We get it heteros are evil

      • Steven says

        “Now trot off you asswipe and try to suck your own dick”

        OK I’ll try, once your mom gets off of it.

    • Kent M. Gold says

      “You Hereros didn’t give a fuck. ::::shrugs:::: now you know what living with in your face and authoritarian imposition of strict definitions for other people is like.”

      BAHAHAHAHA! Yes indeed. Heterosexual people have never had to deal with authoritarianism of definitions before now.

      Some of my hetero ancestors were forced to wear gold stars on their jackets for being defined as unclean Jews; were completely dispossessed and herded into death camps and slaughtered by the millions; but their suffering was nothing like what people who have sexualities outside the norm experience today.

      Thanks for the chuckle. Keep it weird. ?

      • jolly swag, man says

        if he had responded he might have noted that there were plenty of gays among the Nazis, such as Ernst Rohm and Edmund Heines, so being queer or otherwise is no assurance of virtue. au contraire.

    • They deserve tolerance if they are not hurting me or anyone else (I guess if they want to hurt themselves and doing so imposes no cost on anyone else, that’s fine). They do not deserve acceptance unless you agree that their “wild theories” are valid and correct.

      • I agree. Neither you nor anyone else need accept me or my ideas if you disagree or just don’t care for me. I wouldn’t claim to be everyone’s cup of tea. However, I would appreciate your (and everyone else’s) tolerance of my existence and behavior so long as I’m not hurting you/them just as I and most other Quillette readers/commenters/administrators tolerate you, VH.

        And for the record, I identify as a monkey. I like to eat bananas and drink water.

      • But have we really descended to the point that all opinions and all people are to be thought equal? There is of course no such thing as equality, neither among restaurants, automobiles, horses or even sub-atomic particles. Some people indeed have no value at all, as this argument proves, and should be utilized but as fertilizer if used at all.
        Tito Perdue
        white supremacist author

    • Molly says

      Many of the males identifying as women do not have “feminine traits” – they very much want to be female/be seen as female, for reasons that are rooted in sexuality, or are at least partly sexual.

    • Previous to second wave feminists, gender only had a grammatical meaning. When DeBeauvoir wrote about “gender”, she was not talking about “identities”, she was using it as a word to encompass the effects of sexist stereotypes upon the personalities (not identities).
      If you constantly encourage a boy to play violent games, and teach girls to always be obedient, this turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
      Feminists were using the word gender to break the stranglehold of stereotypes on everyday living, and this applied equally to males and females.
      But at some point around four decades ago, under pressure from religious puritanical forces which found the word sex unpronounceable to their chaste lips, gender came to be a euphemism for biological sex. That’s when the proverbial shit hit the fan.
      The sexism that feminists were working against, came to be the fetish of “gender identity” advocates. That is the OPPOSITE of what feminists wanted.
      But then came third wave feminism, and all of men’s desires came to dominate the neoliberal “feminist” discourse, what is today labelled “third wave” or “choice feminism” (as if unions were to practice “choice unionism”!
      Individualist identities, whether religious, cultural, or gendered, are all nonsense. A legal jurisdiction (state, country, city, or a region) can have a collective “identity” which is simply a statement of mathematical averages for any given place, a simple reality, but that individuals can demand that any personal “identity” they perceive must become a protected category makes no sense whatsoever.
      I’ve had short hair and worn pants and Doc Martens for half a century, have not been pressured into motherhood, and have done plenty of jobs stereotypically thought of as male. THIS is what second wave feminists were fighting for, alongside with males escaping from suit-tie standards, males being nurses, teachers, cooks, wear long hair, or shiny clothes and makeup.
      Sexist stereotypes harm everyone.
      Most people presenting with “gender identity” issues were brought up in fundamentalist religious environments, where sexist stereotypes were harshly applied, where homophobia was rampant.
      The same way countries where he/she’s are the most common are those countries exhibiting extreme macho, violent, fundamentalist faith, homophobic culture, and the euphemistic concept of “sex change” is their only escape from homophobia.
      That Western countries are now emulating Iran, India, Thailand, Brazil, is a damning statement on the state of culture in the West.

          • Monica says

            @tnt666 I don’t know what you are talking about. Brazil is not pioneer in creating status for “gender pushers”. Changing legal sex became legal in Brazil in 2009.

      • GG00dmn says

        Tnt, I’m of course pretty cool with what you describe as feminism and feminist goals, to each their own and so on.

        I’m pretty sure I take the Weinstein, Saad, Peterson understanding that while certainly aspects of oppressive patriarchal religious and social systems existed and exist, not every aspect of difference is dominance hierarchy and not every aspect of dominance hierarchy comes from an oppressive and illegitimate social construct or lie.

        Thorsten Veblen, left wing non-mainstream economist described primitive societies in which strong & fast & cunning males went out and secured the protein diet for their small tribe (family) by hunting. This hunting … and the ability to be warriors for defense OR aggression … gave them high social status. Protein food (meat) was a good for the tribe’s longevity and health.

        Women, young boys, and old men were stuck with the menial tasks — the necessary drudgery, not the sport. This included dragging home the kill, cleaning, cooking.

        Veblen then explains how this status difference evolved through time to warriors, priests, gentlemen-warriors, soldiers, nobility, kings, plus “explorers” and “conquerors” and finally those of modern day wealth accumulation who often engage in more ceremonial and symbolic “work” but leave or assign “drudgery” to people of lower status.

        This includes women of wealth whose “work” consists of organizing gala events and such, like Paris or the Kardashians, which may be difficult work at times, but not like 8-10+ hours in the chicken factory or what is called light assembly at which small-hands non-white female immigrants excel. [been there, done that, briefly]

        Key point being that “patriarchal oppression” evolved out of the greater tendency for physical and mental ability and cunning and aptitude to hunt animals and fight off invaders and become invaders. Not all males, but top males.

        Most or many male-mated-women do expect their mates to “bring home the bacon”.

        • gabrielle sinclair says

          …and possibly the male ability to beat the shit out of women and children helped?

      • Peter from Oz says

        ”Most people presenting with “gender identity” issues were brought up in fundamentalist religious environments, where sexist stereotypes were harshly applied, where homophobia was rampant.”
        Not true.

      • Breakfast Bear says

        Some of your comment wags the dog.

        “Sexist stereotypes harm everyone.”
        – – But they also may really, really help people too. I would say that treating all people as ‘beings’, and not applying a stereotype to people, is much more harmful. The Left often decries that people ‘dehumanize’, yet they don’t think this falls under that category. And many of these stereotypes are biologically encoded from hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, but the Left wants everyone to evolve to another subconscious in a single generation.

        Most people presenting ‘gender identity’ issues today are not brought up in fundamentalist religious environments. Most are brought up in modern, normal society, and I would argue that most have nearly the opposite problem (a detachment of parental guidance, not an overwhelming presence of one). The prevalence of gender identity issues on college campuses is proof.

        The West is not ’emulating’ the Middle East. In fact, it has dramatically turned the other way. The West is so much more tolerant of nearly everything (think about the trans movement in the west 50 years ago, or 100 years ago).

        The issue is that the trans movement isn’t embracing the Libertarian view that would free trans people, which is a moronic move. The way to obtain rights is to remove the barriers that exist, not to lobby for more laws and legislative exclusions.

      • Stereotypes don’t hurt anyone unless they’re used to quash the initiative of individual outliers in some way. Stereotypes exist because natural norms exist. Women, as a group, do tend to X while men, as a group, tend to Y. That’s just the way it is, and no amount of whinging about it will change it. One of the biggest problems we have is that outliers, who used to be unjustly stifled, are now seen as the norm, and they pressure all of their group to be as they are. But, for ex., if both the radical feminists and the too-rigid traditionalists would lay off, female outliers could do their thing while leaving most women to do what most women want to do — which is work centered around people (such as homemaking, nursing, psychology, etc.).

    • Normal people in the West simply MUST conquer their bias against genocide. If only my recommendations are followed, the American population will level out at about 2 million. Britain of course will disappear.

    • cl0ud says

      Ironically, Vicki…”Heteros” are the least affected by this. This is infighting within the homosexual and the transsexual communities.

      Nobody is challenging what it means to be a hetero when they say they’re a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.

      • Heterosexuals are the *most* affected by this; nothing is more excruciating than having one’s children targeted by these insane ideologues, and targeting our children they most certainly are.

    • Breakfast Bear says

      I’m sympathetic to being different. But the methods of normalization are wrong, and that’s where I think most of us critique this movement.

      If you want rights, the way to go about it is to integrate with the world, and to tell the government to get out of the way. That’s how it has been done over the last 100 years. Black people got rights not by trying to be different and highlighting their differences; they got them by showing it’s business as usual when they exist in the white world. Same for men vs women.

      The current trans-campaign is one of differentiation. It’s a campaign to gain other-than-you authority and power, and that’s where trans people will always get push back.

      There are very vocal trans people who want to tear down gender all together. Well, it turns out that such a concept is at odds not only with straight people who want gender, but also gay people who want gender, and trans people men who want to be women and trans women who want to be men.

      Those of us who were adults in the 90s saw the right/wrong campaign with the gay crowd. Tolerance of gay lifestyle wasn’t going to come about by those standing in the streets during a gay pride parade, dressed in leather, wearing pink boas, with fake phallus swinging about, screaming “We’re just like you!!” No. That’s not like hardly anybody, and no one is going to associate with it.

      Tolerance of gay lifestyle was established by gay couples going to normal jobs, having normal relationships, eating normal dinners. It wasn’t established by gay couples going to gay jobs, having gay relationships, and eating gay dinners.

      And this is what the trans movement doesn’t understand. They don’t want to actually do the work of integrating into society; they want society to bend and form around their own desires.

    • Hannah Lee says

      Jesus, Vicki, Off your meds? spewing vitriol on an online forum is so totally going to fix what ails you. I never had a problem with gay men or trasvestites… but trans women (ie men) competing with bio women in sporting events? using gendered bathrooms with my disabled daughter, showering with my daughter? that is enough of that nonsense. Trolling Quillette won’t fix you.

      • Peter from Oz says

        A bit rough around the edges is our Vicki, but often spot on. When she goes off on a tangent about male members, I often wonder if the lesbianism is just a pose. However, it’s all good clean fun.

  4. Markus says

    I grew up (as a male) in the 80’s under the 2nd wave feminism. I wasn’t the typical tough-guy person and hearing “all men are swine” and similar all the time, I sort of de-identified as a male. I was of course still male, but wore colored hair, earrings. I was still male and attracted to women, but I clearly didn’t want to be in the “swine” camp and hated the tough-guys (and their success with women /most of which didn’t think they were swine, but I didn’t know that/).

    Back then (luckily) there was no such thing as a “trans” option and I eventually grew up and got over it.

    But I can sort of understand why more feminine men with low self esteem are looking for a way out of the macho-male camp.

    It doesn’t have to be the full way (surgery), but those low-profile trans-lesbians are probably merely men that want to signal their dissociation from oppressor camp and avoid the constant white-male-oppressor critique (and probably rightfully so, because they’re not the type of men who would do this /and possibly aren’t white also/).

    Now they find themselves excluded again, team up and then you have a mob of low-self-esteem men who don’t fit in anywhere, but who can gain attention and sympathy through victim signaling.

    But then, the root of the issue, may well be, again, radical feminism.

    Talk about unintended consequence.

    • I was also raised with the slogan ” Alle men are swine”, and felt very happy with it, because, just learned how intelligent these animals really were, at the same level as dogs and cats even, and felt very sorry for their fate in the bio-industry. What I also liked, that women called us so, women, same sex as my mother, my sister, the other sex. In my time, this other sex was raised and educated not together with us, male youngsters, that was done elsewhere. There, in that male ambience, we learned, in literary classes, that in the 12th century, in Southern France, all of a sudden, poets thought that, we men, should never complain about women, but adore them. Whatever stupid, irrational or emotional things they would even come with, doesn’t matter. Ehret die Frauen, sie flechten und weben, himmlische Rosen ins irdische Leben. yes, that’s how it was, and is, and will be.

      • And just only imagine the slogan ” All women are sows”, completely impossible, sorry, that can’t be. I also red last year somewhere, ” In fact, a world without men would be much better”. But just imagine ” A world without girls and women”, also impossible. The moral of this is: Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi”. Hakuna matata!

    • Exactly Marcus. And it’s even worse in fanatically religious environments where sexist stereotypes are even harsher. How many boys were raised by very denigrating parents who raised boys to be violent, intransigent, domineering, strong, battle-ready, the same way those same parents who teach their girls to be submissive, compliant, pretty, empathetic. It ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.
      We had a short decadal window in the 70s, where the battle against stereotypes had gained a great deal of ground, but since then, marketing companies and the men’s backlash against feminists created a profitable market for all things gendered, doubling corporate profits, and creating a profitable black-market for hormones and cosmetic surgeries.
      Fixing this situation by teaching better biology classes would go a long way. People need to understand that our biological sex has reproductive implications, but outside of reproduction, there need not be stereotypical expectations of behaviour upon either sex.
      A world without stereotypes would be a world without “gender” issues.

      • GG00dmn says

        I suspect you’ve seen boys play rough with other boys for whom it’s unlikely they were ‘trained’ to be violent, battle-ready, etc.

        Animal videos sometimes show similar fighting-play, though less evolved as social customs probably.

      • D.B. Cooper says


        I’m struggling to state this without it coming across as condescending as it will invariably appear to be. As an aside, I’m largely failing at this.

        Having declared my intentions honorable, I simply wanted to point out a brute fact about stereotypes.

        You seem to be focusing, primarily (or only), on the pernicious effects of stereotypes; while ignoring the many benefits that they confer. Further, not only can a world without stereotypes not exist (with regards to our cognitive functions), you almost assuredly wouldn’t want it to. What’s more, if our antecedents lacked the ability to recognize patterns within their environment, and then, make reasonably well inferences (sufficiently high confidence level), you, nor I, nor anyone else would be here today. In short, stereotypes have predictive power. Our pattern recognition is highly adaptive because this predictive power (prior observartions from which we draw inferences) has a similarly high utility. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume, in the absence of a sufficiently high utility, stereotypes would not, or would likely not, be as adaptive as they are.

        Think of it this way, when you’re walking down the street and you see some menacing looking character, your intuitions are likely (maybe even unconsciously on some level) to alter your behavior – cross the street, turn around, etc. But consider that these intuitions are themselves inferences you’ve drawn from past observations/experiences, i.e., stereotypes. If you weren’t able to stereotype that menacing looking character and do so with a relatively high speed, you might be dead, robbed, assualted, etc. If you really want to be non-PC about it, what you’ve really just done is rationally discriminate against that person.

        Stereotypes are rarely if ever perfect, but if they didn’t reflect/correlate in some meaningful sense to reality, then they would in all likelihood not be a “stereotype” or not be one for any substantial period of time b/c the “stereotype” would quickly be invalidated by reality itself. Therefore, in my non-expert opinion, I would say that a majority of stereotypes, or most even, are more likely to be accurate than inaccurate; and if they’re more likely to be accurate than not, then they’re more likely to be useful than not.

      • Homeschooling Granny says

        tnt666, are you sure it’s all the parents fault? As a parent and now a grandparent, I find that parents don’t have all that much power to make kids turn out as they want. The most we can do is wrestle with the innate.

      • Andrew Mcguiness says

        @tnt666: Hooray! That window in the 70s seems to be forgotten by most. Everyone now – feminists, anti-feminist conservatives, transgenderists – is essentialist, something this article describes but doesn’t explicitly point out.

      • Breakfast Bear says

        Better biology classes would actually lead to more gender stereotypes.

        The gender stereotypes we have are probably encoded across thousands of years of human evolution. There’s something to the fact that many of the gender norms from 5,000 years ago are still in place today, despite the geographical and cultural differences.

        Boys are raised to be strong and battle ready, just maybe, because it’s biologically valuable to be raised in such a manner (at least it was until 100 years ago). Same for the issue with girls. From what I see, this was all highly valuable to society and growth (proven by the sheer amount of success/growth), but the Left wants us to tear down thousands of years of evolution in a single generation. Evolution is today’s genes accommodating the previous generation’s issues. Considering they claim to be the party of science, the Left wants to ignore a lot of it or deem it taboo.

        If we value the individual, then there’s no stereotypes to value. The issue is that the Left has thrown the baby out with the bathwater, and they are using stereotypes (and identity) to claim political power. The Left is highlighting gender differences, not squashing them. They’re constantly bringing up issues that no one thinks about, but whose real-life experience directly confutes the narrative of the Left (experience they never even thought about until the Left brought it up).

        • Daniel Flehmen says

          Why do you talk of gender roles in place for only 5000 years? Although there are exceptions, male dominance is the rule in mammals and has almost certainly been the case for many tens of millions of years. It is particularly strong among primates (again, with a handful of exceptions), including among our great ape relatives. The human evolutionary history of male dominance is obvious on the most cursory reflection – men are bigger and stronger and more physically aggressive than women, as in our close primate relatives. The fashionably abhorred gender roles have been basic to our biology since long before we were even remotely human.

          • Breakfast Bear says

            I use the 5,000 years comment because of the age of written-word.

            Anyone who believes in Science will know that you could easily say 100,000 years+. But for the sake of going off of things that were written down, I narrow down the timeline a bit.

    • Andrew Mcguiness says

      @Markus, well said! “But I can sort of understand why more feminine men with low self esteem are looking for a way out of the macho-male camp.” That, to me, is the elephant in the room. It seems to me, also, that 3rd-wave feminism was already drifting towards a de facto essentialist position. Claiming a different gender – one that’s invisible to anyone but yourself – is an effective way of getting around that, if you’re born male.

  5. northernobserver says

    Trans activism and social policy is based on a delusion. As long as it doesn’t become an institutionalized delusion we will be alright.
    I think the key is to pass laws making hormone blockers and genital assignment surgery before the age of majority illegal except by permission on a case by case basis by the medical board of the state authority that regulates the medical profession for the jurisdiction in question.
    Childhood sex assignment must be limited, rare and exceptional.

  6. Anon55344 says

    Do I believe an extremely small number of people were born with the wrong bodies? Yes I do.
    Do I believe sex and gender are on a continuum?
    Yes I do.
    But what bothers me most about the trans movement is what this article brought out about reinforcing gender stereotypes. Men’s and women’s work/roles have changed over time. If a person wants to do certain work or be in a certain role they can do so without changing their gender.

    • Of course “gender identities” are a spectrum because they are based on feelings and perceptions of social stereotypes.
      But biological sex is by no means a spectrum in any sexually reproducing being. 99.99% of humans fit neatly into:
      – XY genotype, male reproductive system, male external phenotype, male gametes: spermatozoids.
      – XX genotype, female reproductive system, female external phenotype, females games: ovules.
      Gametes are haploid cells. They have only half the genetic information of all other cells in our bodies.
      Females, being XX, only produce X haploids. Males, being XY, produce X and Y haploids.
      If a X sperm fertilises an egg, you have a female embryo, then a female child, then a female adult.
      If a Y sperm fertilises an egg, you have a male embryo, then a male child, then a male adult.
      This is foundational to all evolutionary biology.
      99.99% of humans correspond to this biology, but that in no way must dictate any life choice. Life choices have little to do with our biology.

      Biological research to demonstrate a “spectrum” in biology, would have to demonstrate a “spectrum” in our gametes (ovule, sperm), and that would hypothetically allow a “spectrum” of reproductive systems in sexually reproducing species.

      For now, the simple reality is ovule or spermatozoid, and these two are no spectrum. And there is not even a hint of research pointing to any “intermediate” gametes. What would something between a ovule and a spermatozoid even look like!!

      • GG00dmn says

        [99.99% of humans correspond to this biology, but that in no way must dictate any life choice. Life choices have little to do with our biology]

        Usually does. Sometimes not so much. Other physiological difference matter, as well as interests. I remember meeting a female long-term industrial welder. Cool. Note, in my long life I only met *one* female industrial welder. I have probably met other females who used welding in art.

        If life choices had so little to do with biology, I’d have met as many female welders as male welders, such that it would be unremarkable to everyone.

        That’s quite different from saying women shouldn’t weld or drive race cars. Not so sure about hardcore combat soldiers … for physiological reasons … even in the best sense of combat soldiers in wars of defense not Empire pawns.

      • Anon55344 says

        “biological sex is by no means a spectrum in any sexually reproducing being. 99.99% of humans fit neatly into:”

        But the 0.01% are very interesting and call into question the certainty of only two distinct sexes. An XY zygote was resistant to testosterone. Therefore it developed small female parts. It was raised as a female, and thought of itself as female. It was attracted to men. After it was married to a man they found they could not conceive a child. The doctor they went to gave it high doses of female hormones and the XY individual conceived a child.

  7. Markus says

    Isn’t it weird that you are not legally able to choose to use your sexual organs for their intended purpose until a certain age. But before that age, you can legally choose to have them cut off or mutilated.

  8. “That they aren’t attuned to that very real risk shows the limits to their understanding of what it is to be female or a child.”

    Spot on. I suspect a great many MTF transpeople are narcissists. Why should they have to understand us? We’re just fodder for the fantasy mill.

    • Seren says

      I totally agree …I have personal experience that backs your notion about NPD absolutely ….

      • This article goes a long way to explain what’s going on with a lot of the “male lesbian” stuff: “But There’s No Such Thing as Autogynephilia: Phone Sex, the Male Gaze, and How Blanchard and Trans Activists Both Get it Wrong”: https://tinyurl.com/ybgpqf4z

    • Gary Goodman says

      [We’re just fodder for the fantasy mill.]
      I watched a few trans woman videos. One was a girlish late teen newbie, just doing clothing and makeup with friends. First time not staying home.
      One is a well-known online fully trans who later had trans surgery.
      Videos revealed, the most important thing is to “pass” to strangers in public. The wrong bone structure or head size is tragic.

      Rad-fems point out that trans-women (natal males) they meet act out overblown stereotypes of femininity and slut-acting, that normal women almost never do … unless they are drama-queen narcissists. Yet they behave very aggressively when challenged … like extreme males feeling insulted.

      Much more aggressive than trans-men who were natal females, trying to push their way into mens’ spaces.

  9. We are not born in our bodies. We are our bodies. Lots of people are unhappy with their bodies and have plastic surgery to change them, but do they say “I was born with the wrong nose”?

    Trans people are sick. They deserve compassion but should not be enabled. The entire western world is becoming codependent.

    • Ghatanathoah says

      @benita canova

      If a mad scientist removed your brain and put it in someone else’s body, you’d still be you. You wouldn’t be that other person. So we aren’t our bodies, or at the very least we are only a tiny portion of them (our brain).

      • Tijl van Emous says

        If a mad scientist removed your brain and put it in someone else’s body, you would die. And I don’t only mean in the obvious way. The brain is not some separate entity that doesn’t interact with the rest of the body. It is connected with it trough hormonal pathways, it’s dependency on the metabolism of the body and it’s the nervous system. A brain creates an entity in a certain environment, change it’s environment and it will create a different entity. AKA your previous entity just stopped existing and vanished (died).

    • GG00dmn says

      [“Benita Canove is a cunt”]

      An obvious masculine-aggressive sort of expression, Vicki. Are you sure?

  10. Circuses and Bread ?? (Don’t assume my gender) says

    Unfortunately the author missed the point. Transgenderism should be properly understood as a counterrevolutionary phenomenon. And a very Machiavellian one to be sure. From the point of view of social traditionalists, it’s of course a freak show. However, it’s unlikely that social traditionalists and their families will be sucked into this vortex. While I’m of course horrified when children are medically mutilated for the sake of progressive fashion, that’s still relatively unusual. I think that over time that will fall out of favor.

    But lets look on the bright side: Transgenderism is a well deserved stake in the heart of radical feminism. And it’s deliciously ironic that radical feminism gave rise to this. In the end Transgenderism has some promise of delivering what the radical feminists claim to want, but really don’t: a society where men and women (loosely defined) are equal.

    • TarsTarkas says

      It may be a bogus overreach but its continuing institutionalization is treating you and those like you as if you were worse than the patriarchy. Trans-activism is merely the latest method that pedophiles and rapists of natal women are using to force their way into your safe spaces and abuse you and muffle your cries of pain and protest, They are sick criminals who need to be locked up or worse.

      • GG00dmn says

        [Like it or not, as a bio woman, I help define what being a woman means.]

        By communicating like a grossly exaggerated stereotype of a male “sailor”?

        OF COURSE EVERYONE MUST BE ENTITLED to same basic rights, like freedom from violent aggression. It’s not as though I have never had the experience of over-exaggerated macho “pigs”. Some of them in rap.

        STORY TIME
        One older friend I know was present at the infamous split of the SDS Coalition opposing The War on the day that Bernardette Dohrn readied to launch Weather Underground … whose discredited tactics reversed the growing mainstream popularity of the antiwar movement.

        The key incident was several Black Panthers on stage spouting that the role of females in the revolution was to serve the males with pussy and assistance. Typical gangsta rap about bitches.

        The communists and socialists booed and shouted. B.D. told them to shut up because Chairman Mao said the BPP was “genuine revolutionary”.

        Then she held an impromptu side-meeting and announced the walkout. She left with some 40% of fashionable ideologues who were not tuned to enlarging to appeal to “the working class”. They apparently considered BPP vulgarity as “keepin it real”.

        Never mind that Mao *knowingly* starved to death tens of millions of peasant-collective farmers, per internal Chinese govt documents presented by modern Chinese in an Aus documentary. Even Khrushchev warned Mao not do but he didn’t care so he increased the starvation to meet higher quotas for faster industrialization.

        Makes Iran or Saudi Arabia seem like a paradise.

      • Peter from Oz says

        What is all this crap you spew about wiping donkeys?

    • Monica says

      @Ciscus and Bread Radical feminism is literally the branch of Feminism that has always been against transgenderism. You fucking idiots could at least try to avoid misinformation before letting us know you enjoy seeing women get screwed over by males who like to wear dresses (a little different from the tradicional way, women getting screwed over by males who like to wear pants). You are scum, just like all males “Equality” with men sets the bar very low for women. Btw, saying that women claim to want the opposite of what they actually want is very creepy. You sound like a rapist.

      • GG00dmn says

        [You sound like a rapist.]
        I have learned it’s OK to disagree that all males represent The Patriarchy or “scum” or as one blogger stated, all PIV is rape.

        That’s like how Scientology is a tool to eliminate Crime. Crime defined as any actions or statements opposing Scientology. Crime, because Scientologists are “saving lives” from Body Thetans and Death, so opponents are pro-Death.

        A very tiny minority of men, a fraction of the top 1%, fit the role of ‘masters of the universe’ in terms of finance & aggression. Two stories I recall from one woman and one man who quit Goldman-Sachs, for example.

        Other men may be frustrated wannabe oligarchs but lack the smarts and social skills and intelligence so they try to rule with an iron fist what little ground they can. Or are over-emotional brutes who get enraged easily. Or are mentally ill w substance abuse issues.

        I think the vast majority don’t fit those categories, but there is some tendency for sociopaths to claw their way to the top, because they can so they do and because others are reluctant to stand in their way. Same inside prisons where extortion gang is one tool to be top dog. That’s not new or about “social construction”. I cited Veblen earlier.

        Maybe the vast majority of men are trying to get by the same as women, and aiming for fairness.

    • As Billy Joel sang in “My Life”: Either way you still wake-up with yourself.

      That will never change; the post-op patient will still be the same mess as the pre-op patient. The up side for society is that post-op they’ll all be sterile.

  11. An informative and challenging article, though I have two quibbles:-

    “As with religious belief, it is entirely subjective.”
    Was this dig at religion really necessary?

    “The fight for same-sex marriage was over…”
    Not in Northern Ireland and many other places.

    • Big Jim Slade says

      …in my life are CS Lewis style reasoning humanoids…

      I can’t hear or read the word “humanoids” without remembering Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, God rest his hilarious soul. Also “ham-and-eggers,” although one encounters that rather less frequently.

    • You do know that Lewis was a deeply religious Anglican?
      And that from the perspective of Abrahamic monotheism, you too are made in the image of God? As are our trannie brother/sisters?

    • GG00dmn says

      Religion IS subjective. That’s why there’s different competing absolute truth religions about God, and infinite different experiences of relating to or connecting with God, and Allah.

      That’s not a dig, except to any who say God is objective truth. But if God is infinite spirit, encompassing all space and all time at once, eternity and infinity, God can’t be a single tangible object apart from other objects. That’s not the same as saying God “doesn’t exist” just “doesn’t exist materially”. Spirituality isn’t trying to be Materialism.

  12. Uptil now: Vicky Heal: 9 of of 24 comments, that’s way more than the 22% of last time, in a complaint of somebody here. And, what I remember, there was not only a complaint about quantity and percentage.

  13. Andrew Worth says

    Is Vicki a misandrist? Any man who was as hostile towards women as she is towards men (here and in the comments on a previous article) would be labeled a misogynist and be condemned by the vast majority of Quillette commenters.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Andrew Worth

      It goes to show you that intelligence is no defense against insanity. Hateful fundamentalist ideology can drive anyone loony. Fundamentalism is a drug the same way cocaine is — it takes you over.

    • Right or Happy says

      I don’t know. After reading about two posts of @Vick Heel a while back, I wrote him off as a whack job super troll and just scroll through without reading any time I see his heading.

      • Andrew Worth says

        I’ve never come across anyone so obsessed with dicks as you are Vicki.

      • Stephanie says

        @ Right or Happy, same. I’ve yet to read a comment of Vicki’s that was worth my time, I just scroll past now. The glimpse I catch of obscenities validates my choice every time. Whether he’s just a troll or not, I don’t know, but certainly adds nothing to the discourse.

  14. Ray Andrews says

    Thanks very much for an excellent essay, I’ll be paying for such quality as soon as Claire gets the comments section a bit more interactive.


    “At least 13% of its patients have an autistic-spectrum disorder”

    You’ll be hearing from the HRT, that comment discriminates and denies my right to exist. You have committed cis-neuro-centrism. Autism is not a disorder it is another choice on the neuro-diversity rainbow. As an Aspie, I am differently-thinking, but not disordered. My feelings are hurt and I am triggered. It’s the star chamber for you, or we could just settle here and now for, oh … $50,000, sound reasonable?

    BTW, I’m Napoleon, but that idiot over there who thinks he’s Wellington is a nutcase.

  15. Hannah Lee says

    Vicky really needs to get off line- all ‘she’ posts is BILE and VENOM. Of no use to any of us. just a Toxic, hateful Troll. Anything to actually contribute Vicky? sorry to waste your time. Great Article- I found the discussion and content to be helpful to my understanding of ‘trans’ issues….

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Hannah Lee

      Perhaps Claire might institute a community driven banning. That is, if say 50% of us request that someone be banned, they are banned. Perhaps for a few weeks at first, then permanently. Vicky does not lack intelligence or even thoughts, but she (sorry for assuming!) has no idea what constitutes civil discussion.

      • ga gamba says

        No, don’t ban ’em unless it’s something genuinely unlawful.

        Their own words damn them. Any clear-headed person coming across them would dismiss the writer as a disturbed crackpot.

        That said, it’s the internet and these are anonymous comments; false flags intended to smear others are not unknown.

        • Ray Andrews says

          @ga gamba

          Thing is tho that there is no signal. It’s true that these people demonstrate themselves to be what we say about them, but it doesn’t need the repetition. Eventually it’s just a waste of bandwidth.

          • ga gamba says

            It’s just noise not unlike that of angered motorists stuck in traffic.

            And there’s plenty of bandwidth for all but those in the undeveloped parts of the underdeveloped world. The throughput is excellent too; the data is travelling at the speed of light until the last few hundred metres for most of us reading and commenting.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @ga gamba

            Yabut I don’t mean the bandwidth of the internet, I mean the bandwidth of our minds. The few seconds it takes to evaluate and trash a junk comment could be better spent.

        • Big Jim Slade says

          Agreed: a “platform for free thought” that didn’t extend that philosophy to the comments would be misbranding itself.

          I could potentially support a feature that would allow one to hide posts from selected commenters, but in a comments section like this that does not require registration / account creation, thereby allowing commenters to easily change their handle from one comment to the next, that feature would be limited in its usefulness.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Big Jim Slade

            In general, I’m more sympathetic to the views expressed by Ga Gamba – despite the absurdity of forced alliteration…

            That said, however, I would be open to a feature (assuming it’s done right) that would allow one (user) to hide posts from selected commenters. That is, the ability to “hide” a commenter would be controled at this end, i.e., at our discretion. Maybe this is a common feature on other sites (I’m fairly illiterate when it comes to the subtles of such technological features), but whatever the case, I think it’s a plausible idea.

        • @D.B Cooper-

          That was my thought too. I already have a small list of posters who I skip reading as it just isn’t worth the mental cost to process their word salad. Their posts rarely amount to anything meaningful and I suspect most are really trolls who just want to destroy the conversation/forum. Communication isn’t communication if no one listens to you. That is just screaming at the wind. I don’t know if we have a good response to the hecklers veto.

          That being said, I have hope that those without communication skills, but something honest to say, can learn how to communicate effectually and join the conversation. That is why editing or banning is so troublesome. It leads to a very slippery slope. Even if the slope is just me falling into a comfortable silo and not really listening anymore.

    • Peter from Oz says

      A lot of the time Vicki is incisive and makes a valid point. You have to look past all that bluster and frustration.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Peter from Oz

        There is indeed somebody home, but then there are the ‘asswipe’ level comments. Perhaps we can persuade her to improve her game?

      • VH has, on occasion, made a valid point. Or at least a cogent, if absurd, point. For a valid point to have been made a lot of the time, a lot of the time Vicki would have to be actually making a point and not just lashing out with sundry profanity and other nonsense.

        • ga gamba says


          I suspect there may be a limit on the number of comments per string. This site’s comments section has it idiosyncrasies.

          They can be replied to, but it’s counter intuitive. Follow the string up until you reach the first Reply link you see. When you click it, the comment field will open immediately below. This gives the illusion the comment will be posted in that place. It won’t; at least in my experience it hasn’t. The comment will be posted at the end of the string.

          Just in case, I include an @name to make clear whose comment I’m replying to.

          Give it crack.

  16. I have to be honest and say I can’t bring myself to red these essays about transgenderism any more even the one I am inclined to agree with. This whole thing is nothing but a mental illness and there is not one whit, and I mean one whit outside of anecdotal stuff, of evidence that allowing these people to defy science and try to live as a member of the opposite sex improves there lives. What we need are laws that delay any of the worst apsects of this like hormones and plastic surgery until someone is at least 18 years old as the science, yes the actual science, shows that this is a transitory feeling in the most youths.

  17. We human beings are on the verge of discovering that we all repress developmental identity conflicts and related anxieties and that these adversely impact our behaviors and even our physical health. We can strain to defensively deny our inner reality by virtue signaling our “tolerance” for the myriad forms of sexual dysfunction, but in doing so we contradict ourselves, accepted science and common sense. The transgender movement has opened the door to looking within… and it will be difficult if not impossible to shut it.

  18. TheSnark says

    She’s just sign up under another name.

    Andrew Worth is right. If she was a man spewing out similar garbage against women, she’d have been banned already.

    • Dan Flehmen says

      Vicki is so aggressive and obnoxious that ‘she’ must be a man. But there I go, indulging in gender roles gain.

  19. Pingback: The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves – Quillette | Athe1stP0werBlog

  20. Pingback: The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves | Sassy Wire

  21. Lennart Edenpalm says

    Let´s see, Helen Joyce is working for the Economist. Then why is she- he – it are not writing about money, investment and GDP?

    Obviously, it is easier to write about stuff which modern, sensational and draws attention.

    • Jamiroquai says

      The larger question is why she refused to print articles by writers on this issue within her own publication only to go on to write here, usurping the one space freelancers have to carve out a living. I am one of several writers who approached her on the issue of this subject and she published her friend K. Stock. The inbred nature of publishing in the UK is well known, but why leave her cushy salaried position to prey upon those spaces where she recycles others’ ideas?

      • Stephanie says

        The Economist doesn’t only write about economics, and they do publish articles skeptical of transgenderism.

        Goggle before you accuse.

  22. ga gamba says

    The New Patriarchy

    On balance, I’m quite happy with the history of the Patriarchy. Not only has it provided us an amazing quality of life, it’s remarkably flexible to redress shortcomings. A real McCoy system of male domination and oppression of women would make no concessions.

    As it is presently, the tyranny of the Patriarchy for those who live in the developed secular democracies is a bogeyman.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s assume the Patriarchy is hiding behind the shower curtain ever ready to spring forth and shout boo. I’d like to see a proof of concept. Show me a place that differs from the Patriarchy. You already have a list of what you dislike about it, right?

    Build Ladytown.

    Purchase an unincorporated part of the US, Canada, or elsewhere and construct the society of your dreams. It’s not as if the Patriarchy prevents women from having wealth and attaining knowledge and skills. What could be more strong and independent than constructing and managing an independent, self-sustaining town that’s strong enough to stand on its own and unsullied by whatever about the Patriarch is still holding you down. And back.

    You may exclude whomever you wish. Trans people. Toxic Men. Other men including chivalrous door openers. Choice feminists. Sex workers. Lean Inners. People who demand the unpaid labour of your explanations.

    What could be a better way than to say “Told ya so”?

    • TarsTarkas says

      We already have these communities. They’re called nunneries.

      • Burlats de Montaigne says

        Nunneries are/were built by men – like every other structure on the planet, from igloo to skyscraper. Even the house Ms Heal lives in. Ungrateful witch.

      • ga gamba says

        Nunneries are far from a fully functioning town of modern services, amenities, and infrastructure. Nunneries don’t have their own ISPs, police force, roads, elected representatives, hospitals, water treatment facilities, sewers, and shops.

        If you have troubles conceiving such a place, simply imagine a town of 50,000 people comprised entirely of radfems.

        Now, go build it.

  23. Ray Andrews says

    @ga gamba

    I’ve had similar thoughts. Let’s get the government out of the love business and let’s rediscover freedom of association. Yes, Feminopolis, the town where men are not allowed and the sisterhood rules. Negropolis too, where black lives matter and the all black citizens, the all black government and the all black cops decide for themselves what the policy will be as to the all black criminals — love, or law and order? Entirely up to them. New Sodom, where … San Fransisco taken to it’s logical conclusion. Honky Town, where the KKK can keep out … well, it’s a long list, but whoever isn’t white enough or don’t lahk Jeysus lahk they duz. Every Victimhood would be encouraged to have their own city (and leave the rest of us alone).

    • X. Citoyen says

      Where’s the fun in that? There are few things more rewarding (for some people) than being a hothouse freedom fighter. You get to rally the troops and speak truth to power that doesn’t speak back—nay, that pays you a salary to indulge in righteous outrage at it.

      The tinfoil hat crowd likes to say follow the money. If we did, we’d find that we’re paying people to conjure up injustices to fight against. I defy anyone to find a single activist (in Canada, at least) that is not directly paid or indirectly subsidized by one or more levels of gov’t—it’s institutionalized self-immolation.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @X. Citoyen

        Well said. Yes, it is fun … for them. Not so fun for the rest of us. If it was just noise one might ignore it, but these folks are now doing real and lasting harm.

        • George G says

          @X. Citoyen
          @Ray Andrews

          They could call them Victim-hoods . badoom tish…… I’ll get my coat

        • frances says

          @Ray Andrews
          And that’s why the lawyers will be needed – ‘real and lasting harm’ must be compensated for. It will be interesting to see how long it takes. I think about 10-15 years should do it. Today’s transgender children, as adults, may well take a dim view of the way parents and counsellors attended to their ‘best interests’ when too young to protect themselves. I suspect there will be a surge in claims.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @Ray Andrews

      Ray, at first blush, I would say we were simpatico, in lock-step even; but then, in an act of unprovoked aggression you turned on “Honky Town” and all that was holy. And, now, you exist in a state not dissimilar to Judas of Iscariot as held by the remaining – and considerably less treacherous – disciples of Christ, or Jeysus as the more cultured among us might say.

      Nevertheless, since you so eloquently molested the more righteous proclivities of my cultural heritage, and did so, with what I must concede was a rather shoddy attempt at phonetically modulating vocal intonations to match, what I consider, my exceedingly unique southern, white-trash drawl; I feel compelled, duty bound even, to remind you of the quaint fact that stereotypes are probabilistic, not deterministic. Which is to say, that while all rednecks are rednecks, some rednecks are more redneck than others.

      While I would not fault another man for playing the odds – stereotypes do have (more often than not) predictive power – I am inclined to disabuse you of what may accurately be described as a Tourette’s induced outburst of weasel speak, as evidenced, in your somewhat sophomoric attempt to arrogate semantic intuitions that you are not necessarily able or entitled to fill.

      But your apparent neuropsychiatric condition is not what concerns me. Well, it’s not the only thing that concerns me. What concerns me more generally – and there are so many – is your tenuous grasp of probability theory; which has led to – at least in this case – a tragic, yet unpardonable mischaracterization of “Honky Town” that was grievously indecent, bordering on bad faith. And what is of equal concern, more specifically, is how this weak inclination for population distributions has led to a rather pronounced tendency towards fatalistic thinking as it relates to our (‘Merica) rediscovering of “freedom of association”; which, I might add, you seem to imply will lead to the balkanization of ‘Merica – admittedly, I share this view.

      What’s most surprising, here, is that I would think someone as unaffiliated as you give ever impression of being, would be able to appreciate the distinction between the intellectual constraints of the average redneck (as portrayed via the silly diction in your comment), and the intellectual range born from the variance of a population distribution, i.e., bell curve / normal distribution. That is to say, a man of your obvious cognitive depth and ubiquitous nature would do well to not mistake the intellectually servility of the average Honky-tonk man as being representative of every Honky-tonk man. Despite exaggerated reports to the contrary, there are one or two of us who have the good sense to not impute (or confuse) a central tendency statistic (an average) onto an entire population distribution – sadly, the same cannot be said for every critic.

  24. V 2.0 says

    This article lost me when it started talking about safe spaces for women. I thought the whole point of the women’s movement was to remove restrictions placed on us under the assumption we could hold our own in the big bad world.

    There are many problems with this transgender fad (children making life changing decisions they will regret, demands for things like bathrooms and surgery with no thought of how this is going to be paid for, attempts to hijack language, the list goes on…) but women only spaces are not the answer. Unless you think Saudi Arabia is a matriarchal paradise.

    • Astrid says

      Give an inch and they’ll take a mile and go into domestic violence shelters designed for women and children. I’ve volunteered at ours and I’m certain the last thing women in this position need is to share space with a biological male presenting as something he is not. The reality is not all women have been able to hold their own in the big bad world and have been beaten and brutalized. They don’t need to men around while they are trying to recover and rebuild their lives.

      If transwomen are under such constant threats of being raped, beaten and murdered like they claim then they should ask Mr. Moneybags Pritzker to invest in shelters of their own.

          • Hannah Lee says

            AMEN (and the fact that I have to agree with such a basic fact is itself a sign of the madness….)- Let me say it again ‘No One with a Penis is a woman’ !

        • Astrid says

          Seems I hit a nerve. That always happens when I mention Mr. Moneybags Pritzker.

          Or maybe you and your ilk are a tad cranky tumblr is cracking down on pornography and is making your cult recruitment a tad difficult limiting your reach to vulnerable teen girls. Same with Starbucks announcing they’ll be denying access to porn sites. I’ve seen the trans activists reeling about these things over the past few days.

          You dudes may have won some battles but you won’t win the war.

          Reality ALWAYS wins. It may take its time getting there but it always catches up eventually.

          • The “nerve” hit was mine as a survivor of domestic violence, while you dismissed 55% of survivors of intimate partner violence and told them they needed to pursue market solutions you did not…

            And I know I’m a woman, dude, you’re just guessing. Reality is indeed winning, which is why so many people believe in gender equality and so many don’t believe in cisfeminism.

          • ga gamba says

            Sorry to read you were a victim of domestic abuse, Val.

            To aid your safety I urge you to avoid cohabiting with a female intimate partner. Lesbian partnerships are more abusive than heterosexual ones. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 46 percent of lesbian women and 43 percent of straight women had violent partners in their lives. A study by the University of Missouri at St. Louis’s National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center of lesbian partner violence found sexual abuse by a woman partner has been reported by up to 50% of lesbians.

            If you think the Patriarchy is bad, wait ’til you experience the terror of the Matriarchy.

  25. Peter from Oz says

    You are right Vicki they aren’t totally normal. You on the other hand are totally normal.

  26. Charlie says

    There has been reports of a decline testosterone in men, and perhaps women, probably due to a change from physically arduous out of doors work to sedentary office work. There also appears to be an increase in psychological disorders. As the body undertakes far less arduous and dangerous work; is there a massive decline in testosterone, steroids, adrenaline, oxygen in the blood red blood cells these psychological issues be solved by undertaking a years hard manual labour such as in logging camp where only manual tools were allowed and good quality organic food with plenty of real ale ( good for Vitamin B and making red blood cells). My experience is that hard manual work out of doors, in winter followed by good food and pint or two of real ale produces a wonderful sense of well being.

    • Andrew Leonard says

      There has been reports of a decline testosterone in men, and perhaps women, probably due to a change from physically arduous out of doors work to sedentary office work. There also appears to be an increase in psychological disorders.

      This is an under-appreciated subject. I find myself, more and more, moving toward seeing political and social trends as just epiphenomenon riding on real, underlying changes, rather than being driven primarily by ideological concepts, texts and activism. We are not the masters of our own destiny, as we like to think we are.

      The separation of sex and pregnancy afforded by the pill, rapidly declining testosterone levels, births rates below replacement rates, generally high living standards, and the rise of non-user pays online services, are real phenomena. The belief in gender as a spectrum and sex as a social construct are epiphenomenal. Governance at the epiphenomenal level is probably going to have some very bizarre and unintended consequences. This will, as usual, create the demand for even more governance.

      • pinkocan74 says

        This is a really interesting take I hadn’t really thought about that definitely deserves a closer look. Thanks for posting this.

  27. R Henry says

    “Gender dysphoria was viewed as a rare and distressing condition that could be alleviated by accommodating sufferers as legal exceptions to the rules of biology.”

    Entirely incorrect. The only appropriate treatments are designed to recover self respect and self acceptance. Any other approach is enablement of mental illness.

    • Grant says

      I love Vicki, who starts out semi rational, but as the booze kicks in becomes wonderfully bitter and angery. No need to suck my own magnificent dick, Vicki I have a lover who enjoys giving me pleasure as much as I enjoy giving her pleasure. It’s called love you old hag. It’s too late for you I imagine. Scratch your demented itch here. I can feel your writhing pain.

  28. R Henry says

    “Identity” is s postmodern social construct. Biology is reality.

  29. ATate says

    Whoah…that Vicki thing is quite a cunt ain’t it?

    Fun little twat to have around though. Wind her up and watch her go-go-go wheeeee

    Penis, penis, penis. Dick. Asswipe. Limp.

    What a fantastic little tart. Adorable.

  30. This essay is nothing more than a (long winded) whingeing complaint by an over-privileged white woman about the loss of some of her privileges. Things are apparently getting too equal for her and her sisters. Remember, feminism is supposed to be about equality and not the preservation of special privileges for the female sex.

    She bemoans the loss of women’s safe spaces. I say tough turkey. And as pointed out by Circuses and Bread, and others, above, it’s justice that feminist women are now being outraged by transgender women using the same classical feminist politically correct tactics and strategies they themselves invented and used. “You go (transgender) girl”. Remember when that was the all mighty empowering battle cry?

    And related to this subject, the following link is an unusual development reported lately in the battle of the women vs the transgender women:

    The Daily Chrenk
    Men are so good they even make better women

    Things are getting interesting. And weird.

  31. ATate says

    Vikie Heel-When he was hovering over you all sweaty and *limp* and you could smell the cigs and stale beer on his breath while he fumbled with his pants, did you imagine munching some salt and pepper vag would wash the ick away? Or is it just worse now knowing you couldn’t satisfy your Daddy or your dried out “friend”. How’s her lube taste? Plasticky?

    Maybe if you call us limp dicks some more it’ll wash the bad thoughts away?

    Probably not, but go on…give it go.

    The only reason he did was because he was getting fucked hard himself, by better men than he.

    Full circle now sweetheart, full circle.

  32. Grant says

    A segment of our population has gone completely insane. Logic a distant, foggy memory. The results are fascinating. Tragic, but fascinating. One can capitalize by buying stocks in pharmaceuticals, pot, ropes and bullets.
    The transgender fad is merely a symptom of a deep groaning confusion that permeates our culture. Teen female suicides double in 10 years, poor dead canaries,

      • ga gamba says


        I’m exercising the privilege of my privilege to not merely nullify your vote, I’m trumping it.

        BTW, if anyone here wants to know their privilege score check out https://intersectionalityscore.com/. I scored a whopping 2.

        Only Princes Philip and Charles have more privilege than I.

        • I scored 13. Accordingly, I humbly congratulate you on your well-deserved victory while simultaneously apologizing for my impudence and disadvantage.

        • Paul Ellis says

          Ga Gamba, are you the Pope? I tried to match your score, and after maxing out the usual suspects I could only get down to 2 by maxing Devout Christian. And yet, your usual perspective doesn’t seem to be that of a devout Christian. Are you one of those prominent Christians who appear not to believe in God?

          I’ve got it! You’re Rowan Williams!

  33. Christina Beymer says

    Well researched and balanced article. Damn that was long.

    There absolutely needs to be safe spaces (cringe word) for biological women and businesses who cater to them (see link below). Those wanting rational laws based on science might want to try adopting the language of emotion and getting offended. The facts are not working. I am about as liberal as they come and lately I’ve only found free speech on the center right (US perspective). The jack-ass SJWs go from zero to calling you hitler. This is something that all businesses and institutions need to address now.



      • Christina Beymer says

        There’s a group called Direct Action Everywhere. They do stuff like yell Moo over and over again in steak restaurants. They are harming animals. No one likes a militant vegan or a militant of any flavor. It doesn’t help the cause in the least. Of course they don’t know that they are harming animals—no words of common sense will penetrate. However facts still stand as facts whether or not people accept them or not.

  34. Brian says

    The Trans Hysteria Express will be far bigger than the 1980s ritual abuse hysteria. When it blows up, as always, the transbulance chasers will win.

  35. No Dice says

    The author of this piece was doing so well, at least until she turned it into men vs women, and women being “oppressed”. Nice try you feminist SJW piece of shit. The real problem is what this insane ideology is doing to children.

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  37. Markus says

    Did it occur to anyone, that something is missing in the following list?

    “It will examine the consequences for four groups in particular: children, women, gays and lesbians, and trans people themselves.”

    • Bernard Hill says

      ….pointing to the Guardian for anything is not credible these days Valerie.

  38. I’d like to think Quillette comments are better than this.

    Very interesting article.

    We either have some very bad trolls or have someone who embodies all that is wrong with these sort of tribal, non coherent, anti-science and contradictory viewpoints.

    Sad really. I desperately feel sorry for poor souls who find it difficult to find their place in the world. But given that there is 7+ billion of us I just don’t see why the scientific foundations of how we live need to be broken to satisfy the few.

    We are trying to play god and defeat natural selection. I don’t believe humans understand what the downstream affects of playing god will be and these sort of aggressive, uber minority movements really don’t progress the human condition at all.

  39. Another way in which the author is disingenuous, in addition to raising the abuse-victimization-theory (which presumes that cisGLB people and trans people adopt their identities because they were abused as children, instead of that sexual neurodivergence being read and punished… something the author believes is the case with cisGLB women, but not trans women, for some reason…)

    Some parents press for faster treatment, saying they would “rather have a live daughter than a dead son.”

    Interesting. Can you then explain why under-18s are the only age group to have more transmasculine-identified persons than transfeminine-identified persons?

    So much for the feminist focus on misogyny… as we cling to the idea that genital morphology is the ideal metric of sex in a species that does around 99% of its reproducing consensually.

  40. Northern Observer says

    After reading this it occurs to me that there oight to be a legal project to push all of Queerdom back to the age of majority. The whole gay teens drama was always the stepchild of the disturbed straight mummy who bewildered by her childs behaviour seeks to blame and mould the World to make her prince princess happy. The problem is that increasingly this is at the expense of the majority of children. No. More.

    • Meanwhile teenage, closeted trans lesbian, me, the same year I was sexually assaulted infront of 200 staff and students and nobody did anything, the capstone on a decade of mistreatment that made me the Post-Traumatic woman I am today:

      “These [forced transition] fantasies just demonstrate that I’m SO straight I can’t even picture MYSELF as male.”

      The disturbed, self-congratulatory, progressive, straight mummy in question hid the princess Peach dress I liked to play in (because she was the Super Mario 2 character who could jump at great length and precision) and stopped answering the phone when I came out at 26 for fear it’d turn my 13-year-old very-girly half-sister into a boy.

      Go find another anecdote to inflate into a causal relationship, please.

      • Markus says

        What as the nature of that assault? Did someone refuse to address you by your preferred personal pronoun (I hear this also falls under the category of “sexual assult” these days).

        • Markus: My attacker groped me, mainly on my C-cup (at the time) gynecomastic breasts for several minutes for yuks, Markus, despite my attempts to seek intervention, into a live microphone, and also to strike my attacker. Actual sexual assault. I could give less of a shit about the preferred pronouns, and one of my best friends can’t use them for fear of divine retribution. Thanks for demonstrating how easily you were taken in by Ms. Joyce’s affinity fraud. Not that you were the only one.

          Geordie: You don’t actually know what jargon is (please name the words you believe are jargon), and are, ironically, using the word as mental short-hand to signal to others who have internalized your beliefs that no thought is required… fucking ironic that.

          But you are right that I had shitty, narcissistic, boomer parents. Those were the ones who tried to keep me closeted. Dad, who took me out of an academic challenge program after the first grade, because he hoped that being around some lower-achieving bullies would stop me from acting so queer… when I came out 20 years later literally wept and said the only thing that would’ve been worse to learn was that I was a pedophile. I asked if he said terminal cancer would hurt less to hear, he said yes, and he lost both parents and a sister to cancer, all at early ages…

          To the extent that I have bad parents, I have generally learned from them via negative example. You appear to try to call my transness the product of their narcissism, without having the courage or intellectual coherence to back that implication up. Have fun with that. Have fun with your Derp. It’s not like it’s intimately involved in the furtherance of a civil rights crisis or the massive-assigned sex gaps in quality of life outcomes or anything…

          Sex is neurological and I have the depressed cis women taking a progesterone-only birth control pill to prove it.

          • But as a teenage, closeted trans lesbian Post-traumatic woman, are you actually a boy or a girl? And when if ever are you going to pack in blaming your parents and take responsibility for your life? And stop being such a boring whinger?

          • “But as a teenage, closeted trans lesbian Post-traumatic woman, are you actually a boy or a girl? And when if ever are you going to pack in blaming your parents and take responsibility for your life? And stop being such a boring whinger?”

            An impressive logical conundrum, totally-not-Geordie… I’m actually a girl. I’m actually a girl punished for her persistent failure to be a man, even when she had to articulate her experience based on what she was told about who she was from a very young age… even when she understood what was good for her and was trying really hard to keep up the ruse.

            I’m an economist by training, so to assume that everything that happens to me in my life is of my own doing would require me to unlearn years of observation and theory. Certainly I have more power than most, which is why I was able to consciously decide that repression wasn’t getting me anywhere. The reason I speak to the abuse I survived isn’t to say, oh-woe-is-me-don’t-anybody-say-anything-mean, it’s to talk about those who have convinced themselves that it’s not in their interests to stand up and do anything but internalize much of the twaddle that Ms. Murphy and Ms. Joyce perpetuate.

            The reason I know I’m taking responsibility for my life is that I’m the one living it, and I’m also the one pointing out sexist bullshit when I encounter it, like policing pronouns and denying trans women HRT at the same time:


            Feel free, totally-not-Geordie, to explain to me how I’m not taking personal responsibility for my life, not to mention a bit of civic responsibility for the lives around me? How am I less personally responsible than the people who try to navigate the gatekeeping system and then break down due to depression and anxiety, the people, mostly women, for whom I advocate? How am I not taking personal responsibility by acknowledging personal circumstance?

            Because from where I stand, you’re a tired retread of a flimsy reading of Nietche, except you didn’t, or don’t want to, recognize that the master’s mindset is a good means of divorcing the master from responsibility for their behavior and getting the slave to internalize same.

          • Geordie says

            Dear oh dear. A few points:

            1. I’m Geordie. I’m not wonderingscot. Wonderingscot is not me. I’ve nei idea who wonderingscot is, but he/she/it is not me.

            2. Valerie, pet, you’re clever but fucked up. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last. Ye deserve sympathy – actually, a good deal of it – but not indulgence. It will not do you, or anyone else, any good.

            3. Jargon consists of words that have a special meaning when used and understood by an in-group, but are weaponised and used by that in-group to try to demonstrate that the out-group is ignorant and stupid. That is exactly the way in which you use terns such as ‘cisGLB’. What does that mean? I neither know, nor care, and furthermore if you genuinely wanted to be understood you would use comprehensible terms and not solipsistic in-group jargon.

            So, hinnie, the best advice I can give ye, should ye choose to take it, is to get over yerself. Ye’ll be happier in yerself if ye do.


      • Geordie says

        Oh dear. Another sadly damaged person (offspring of a narcissistic hippy, by the sound of it) spraying envious bile over the less-damaged. Sorry, pet. We genuinely are sorry that you pulled the short straw. But your jargon-laden bollocks and narcissistic authoritarianism help neither you, nor anyone else.

      • northernobserver says

        So What, VK. Sooooo What. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQSoR1LVILE)
        We all have plenty of trauma and pain in our lives. It’s called life and maturity sunshine sparkles, but only the Queer hActivists and their millionaire corporate backers are narcissistic enough to try and flip reality on its head to suit THEIR needs in the naif belief that such flipping will make THEM feel better or at least make life better for the poor sweeties coming up.

        So what do we have today? The totalitarian intimidation and power of the Queer State obliterating anyone who questions their views, motives, policies, etc… It’s kill kill kill all the time. The Rainbow Tyranny holds 4 fingers to our face and makes us say it is only 3 as they torture us with social death. Or rather they shove their junk in our faces and ask us to politely say we see nothing but the sex organ they wish us to see on pain of annihilation.
        The illegitimacy of the whole Queer project is in the tyranny, the government coercion, the grade school indoctrination, the forced allied-ship. A healthy movement would not require such repressive measures. It seems that having accomplished something positive and liberal – gay marriage – the hActivist community was tempted by the power they amassed (like the kings in lord of the rings who became wraiths) and held on to it, having held on to it the needed to find causes to justify it and so they made causes… to our detriment.

        Did you know that they guy who wrote the Wynn Liberals sex ed curriculum Benjamin Levin was arrested for pedophilia? Haven’t heard much about that on the CBC have we. Fear of the Rainbow is strong in this country, especially elite circles, but no people will live in fear forever, an my advise to the rainbow people is you had better make peace with the breeders and traditionalist you spit on today because no people will live in a slavery forever, we shall overcome and deliver ourselves from your bondage.

  41. “I can’t think of any genuine human-rights activism that demands attacks on the rights and protections of other civil-society groups, or advocates hateful language against them,” says Professor Bhatt. Trans activism is also unusual in that it gives men a chance to claim they are oppressed compared with women, and plenty of opportunity to tell women to shut up, says Ms. Gerlich. “It’s a postmodern patriarchal backlash.”

    Dat One-Eighty… I didn’t think it was possible to be this hypocritical in this short a space of time.

    This paragraph is being used to defend domestic violence victims being left out of shelters. This paragraph is used to call out trans women dupes of a cisheteropatriarchal system that, at every turn, oppresses them*… it’s good the author didn’t have to stoop to calling trans women men, like most cisfeminist (not cis*woman who is feminist, a feminist who believes the primary victims of sexism in total utility terms are the female-assigned) authors who seek to do so, she relies on someone else.

    They demand attacks on the reproductive rights and legal protections of trans women (the horror stories that you had to be near a trans person never seem to involve the female-assigned for some reason, despite the massive amount of problematic behavior in which they often engage, as rape survivor Morgan M. Page can attest), and advocate hateful language against them… such hypocrites.

    *The out often look a little less-oppressed because of selection bias, but that selection bias is no more compelling a reason to argue against the idea that people should get access to public accommodations in a way that works for them, than is the thinly disguised temper tantrum of someone at learning that sex is more-complicated than what one learns in a junior high health class.

    • I also think that the two naughty V’s are not the same, due to stylistic features (Vicky never posts underlined links). But, certainly, both are carved, as we say, from the same type of wood, and a very timber unfriendly type it is. Why no moderation here? The time that I entered here, it was a very civilised place, unlike so many other blogs. What will happen now is that writers with a certain name, of the likes of Jordan Peterson and St.Pinker, will think twice to post here anymore, for not wanting to be related in some way with this type of screamers and street fighters. Really,really sad. Great pity!

  42. Morti says

    Looks like quite a deep problem, a more general one. It’s about things like extreme individualism (individual liberated from the limitations of his biology etc.) and the tendency to be all-inclusive. No matter how many identities you include someone will invent a new “oppressed” one to start again.

    Thinking of this makes me think of more philosophical concepts like ‘identity’, ‘individual’, ‘self’ and all that stuff. Pretty dense and no ultimate answer is to be expected for people have quarreled about these for millennia.

    If you recognize too many rights of too many groups eventually they start conflicting with each other and on top of that each right requires an enforcer – the state, which keeps growing bigger and more oppressive itself by trying to pursue this all-inclusivity and ultimate equality. You have police running after someone who wrote about women not having male sexual organs and this is quite extreme already, quite a hybrid of Orwellian and Monty-Pythonian.

    This thing will now take decades to unwrap. Years of campaigning, debating, researching, analysing, meta-analyses, draft proposals, conflicts are to be expected. The authoritarian tendencies of trans activists and some politicians won’t help here at all.

    Don’t try to call terms like ‘normalcy’, ‘reasonability’, ‘common sense’ etc. since they are quite subjective (or at best inter-subjective) and malleable. To be honest I don’t know what to really call here. Apart from pizza delivery service to have something to consume while watching all this.

  43. They believe they are the opposite sex, so we must tolerate them and their views and be their champions.

    They believe that the Earth is flat, so we must tolerate them and their views and be their champions.

    They believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old, so we must tolerate them and their views and be their champions.

    They believe that anthromorphic climate change is real, so we must tolerate them and their views and be their champions.

    They believe that anthromorphic climate change is false, so we must tolerate them and their views and be their champions.

    The common theme is that we must tolerate them and their views. Ironic that neither side of the political spectrum holds this true regardless of the belief or view. They each have their dogmas and add the “except when they don’t believe / follow my dogma” to the statement.

  44. Andrew Leonard says

    [On social media] and in groups set up by trans people and trans children’s parents, a popular, activist version of the theory sprang up: Women have “pink brains” and men “blue brains,” which, in trans people, are the other way around; children may be “born in the wrong body,” which will become apparent when the boys demand long hair and dresses and the girls demand crops and dungarees—or, especially in red-state America, announce that “God made a mistake with me.”

    This is folk psychologya human capacity to explain and predict the behavior and mental state of other people.

    The ongoing inability of science to understand the brain in detail, or even to provide an overview explanation of brain behavior, is now causing folk psychological “theories” to fill the vacuum. The human need for explanation can apparently no longer wait in some cases.

    Unfortunately, erroneous beliefs held by significant numbers, and protected from criticism by law and militant activism, can cause huge damage to existing social values. We badly need science to lift its game.

    • I love how the author decides that to believe in neurological sex is to believe in extreme stereotypes of femininity and masculinity.

      I am a beer-drinking, pants-wearing, Mets fan with math scores in the top percentile who has been accused of swearing like a longshoreman (guilty).

      I am also a trans lesbian.

      I am also a believer in the concept of neurological sex. There is an endocrine range in which a person will tend to feel less stress, depression, and anxiety, and attaining that range is a medical need, just as it is with cis*women seeking Hormone Replacement, to deal with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Menopause, or Premenustrual DYSPHORIA Disorder.

      Thanks for straw-mannning the argument, because you’re an intellectually incurious bully Ms. Joyce: Good thing that oversimplifcation’s not being adopted, oh wait, here it is, spewing folk psychology while shouting folk psychology.

        • Geordie says

          I ought to explain meself. Faith is belief without evidence. Theology is the attempt to systematise and rationalise that faith. Ye’ve constructed a theology to advance yer own interests. Fair enough; we all tend to do that. The problem is that ye’re using this to try to oppress the vast majority; to get them to succumb to yer outlier demands. It’s a power grab.

          Sorry, pet: we’re not having it. There’s enough elite/outlier oppression in other spheres to deal with already. We don’t need your shit too.

      • Boris says

        “I am also a trans lesbian.”

        You mean you’re a bloke who thinks you’re a girl who wants to shag women. Still got your dick? You, surely, are the very definition of pro- having cake and pro- eating cake.

        • Dan Flehmen says

          I am too old and too stupid to understand the infinite variety of deviance that is now so fashionable but I think Boris gets it. Valerie, can you tell us what distinguishes you from an ordinary heterosexual male? Remember, I am not very bright and studied the biology of sexual differentiation for only 20 years, so please keep it simple.

  45. Helen Joyce is really interested in the anecdote of an uncomfortable cis*woman… I wonder if she’d be similarly interested to speak to my roommate, who at the beginning of this decade, and facing homelessness, was rejected from BOTH shelters.

    This is what the concern-troll hack where a journalist should be ignores as she bends over backwards to argue it’s reasonable to be afraid of the male-assigned while making population-based-correlation arguments that legitimize illegitimate fears about Black people (much like the trans people she targets, disproportionately male-assigned)… poor people, and the mentally ill.

    Black Americans are 12.5% of the US population and roughly half of the recognized perpetrators of violent crime… is it reasonable for white cis women to demand separate public accommodations and shelters from them? What about white cis men?

  46. “it is overwhelmingly men who commit violence against trans people”

    Unless you count this act of mass-murder (while ignoring conveniently that trans women are the overwhelming victims of the atomistic violence this tired hack where a journalist should be centres…)


    Couple of female-assigned people fought for and instigated that, and it’s the largest, deadliest, persistent rollback of reproductive rights in modern US history.

    • Welcome to Quillette, VK! I’m sure you’re glad to be here as it’s clear that the internet is a big part of your environment and functions primarily as refuge habitat.

  47. Rebecca says

    Evidence free magical thinking is no basis for government policy. When MPs such as Layla Moran declare in Parliamentary debates that she can tell whether someone is male or female by “looking into their eyes, their soul” and “biology is irrelevant” we have left the land of evidenced research, careful balancing of rights, intelligent prediction and management of consequences far behind in favour of quasi mystical belief.

    Thank you for this excellent analysis, the more we speak up the more that those so disgracefully silenced will be able to get their voices heard and maybe, just maybe, rationality will prevail.

    • Morgan Foster says


      “those so disgracefully silenced”

      Many who have disgracefully silenced others are being disgracefully silenced themselves, and I’ll be the first to admit to a gleeful joy in viewing the spectacle. Nevertheless, I have hopes that trans radicalism will eventually prove to be a tipping point for society at large, allowing us all to step back from the abyss of social justice war.

  48. Ghoul says

    Vicki, if you say a trans woman is “mansplaining” you are misgendering it*. That comment would get you banned from twitter.

    * gender-neutral pronouns are ok, aren’t they?

  49. BenBen says

    How do transgender activists tackle vertical inheritance and meiosis? We must protect our children; this cannot be stressed enough. I am hopeful the cannibalistic elements of gender theory and homosexuality will erupt in internecine warfare. Jennifer Pritzker is carefully funding a rebranded form of eugenics as insidious and potentially dangerous as Germany’s T4 program.

  50. Great article, Helen, comprehensive, balanced and up to date.
    Thanks for taking the time to write it, I’m sharing it everywhere in SM.
    Trans-activism is the just the most recent face of the patriarchal deception. All them come and go like fashion styles, after some time they disappear as all lies do.
    This is still pretty new, then we’ll probably have to suffer it for another decade or two perhaps.

  51. Stephanie says

    Interesting and important piece, thank you.

    An underexamined point is how the way was paved for the transgender movement by feminists themselves. The embrace of victimhood politics, rejection of the (biologically-based) gender norms, shouting down those who disagree with insults like “sexist,” ect all resulted in a neat little handbook for social domination it was easy for transactivists to utilise.

    The author mentions the hesitancy of feminists to appear to align with conservatives, which I find quite telling. They still don’t understand that this is a monster of their own making. As a result, they continue to fail to extrapolate from their faulty morals to their current situation on the outside of the progressive fold. A few more years of self-reflection, and perhaps they’ll see that the conservatives were right on issues far beyond transgenderism.

    • ga gamba says

      An underexamined point is how the way was paved for the transgender movement by feminists themselves


      You keep pulling more rabbits like that out of your hat and it’ll make for a great conversation.

      The radfems are as demented as the gendertrenders, just in some different ways.

      In the end neither are equality advocates and both are happy to trample on other’s freedoms, often vindictively, in the mad zeal for equity.

      • @ Ga Gamba- “In the end neither are equality advocates and both are happy to trample on other’s freedoms, often vindictively, in the mad zeal for equity.”

        I don’t think the radfem’s or radical trans activists discussed here are after ‘equality’. They are after power and control. Not anti-patriarchy, but Pro-Matriarchy. It looks and sounds the same in the beginning, but wanting real equality and chasing social domination are not the same. (though I suspect I am harping on an ironic point of yours)

  52. Malcolm says

    A proposal for consideration and debate on the merits thereof:
    Women and girls in one bathroom, Men, People who were Men, and People who want to be Men, in the other. Same should go for sports. And treat everyone with the personal respect and dignity they deserve as individuals.

  53. Trevor Willis says

    I’ve always wanted to hang around in girls toilet’s. And all this time I had to do was say I’m female! I’m doing it.

  54. X. Citoyen says

    This piece exemplifies why Marcuse’s rejection of toleration in favour of validation is so destructive of social order. A liberal democracy can accommodate a lot of difference through toleration. But validation—and instant validation at that—demands more than a person can give. Worse, it winds up destroying the tolerance that might have been. And people wonder why the liberal centre is disappearing into polarized camps. The panacea that made them—toleration—has been corroded from the inside. One wonders how much longer the “liberal” in “liberal democracy” can last.

    • ga gamba says

      That’s a good comment, X. Recall two or three decades ago the call was for tolerance. “All we want is just to be tolerated. What does it matter to you what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms?” It was a justified request and fair expectation. As tolerance was achieved then it was the call to embrace. Now it’s the demand to be celebrated. We’re told that tolerance is insufficient. We must celebrate this and that. And if you don’t celebrate those who demand it, you’re an ist and an obic.

      It’s continuous nudges by progressives to manoeuvre, or, if you like, manipulate. But as the calls for became demands, and people came to realise the aggregate of all the nudges forward resembled a death march, progressives somehow lost the ability to form persuasive arguments and resorted to accusations of isms and obias for things far removed from genuine isms and obias. This was effective… for a while. For many about the worst thing was to be called an ist. But the mojo of the magic word has worn away. Now some are so poor at advancing an argument they don’t even try. On forums and in conversations where they voluntarily participate, when asked to justify their demands they accuse people of demanding their unpaid labour, as if they’re slaves.

      Progressives can’t tolerate free speech not only because they have difficulty forming arguments that are something more than double-standard gobbledygook, they understand a purpose of free speech is also to teach self control by forcing people to tolerate an activity they would like to suppress. We see neither tolerance for others nor self control from progressives. As we know now, for progressives tolerance was not an end state but just a step along the long path to re-engineer society, and this requires suppression and intolerance, by bullying and the threats if need be, for utopia to be achieved.

      • X. Citoyen says

        Ah yes, GG, activists shout down speakers with chants of “free speech is hate speech.” Then on the rare occasion that the authorities toss them out, they complain about the violation of their “right to free speech.” Without the suffering the least bit of cognitive dissonance, they reject others’ freedom to speak while claiming for themselves not only the freedom to speak, but the positive right to be listened to. It doesn’t surprise me, but the media’s failure to point out the moral inconsistency when interviewing these people is unconscionable because it feeds this illiberal behaviour.

        On the original matter, I’ve also noticed that validation (e.g., through celebration) is incompatible (in cases like this) with normalization. We don’t celebrate normal behaviour, for example, we celebrate exceptional behaviour or we celebrate what activists have persuaded the authorities to hold celebrations for. But such behaviour can never become normal so long as it’s celebrated. I’m not necessarily against normalization. I’m merely observing that it must remain abnormal so long as celebrating it is “required.”

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  56. Constantin says

    I think there is a fast and efficient way to give the death blow to the self-identification ideology: every man in the country should declare himself a trans-woman lesbian for one brief instance: when filling out the census questionnaire . There is no real harm that I could see coming out of such action, but the point would be really well made. There is absolutely no way that in the present terror climate imposed by the transgender movement zealots, anyone could be successfully prosecuted in such an action. Nor do I think would any police force dream to charge anyone. You don’t have to do anything at all – no change in habits, appearance, relationships, anything that will affect your life at all. In my view this would be a legitimate and fun act of civil disobedience that will at least teach the bureaucracy to get out of the business of subscribing to extremist ideologies. With luck, some return to reason may follow.

    • X. Citoyen says

      Ah, but that’s only a small part of it. Imagine what happens when people stop dutifully checking the race or ethnicity boxes the authorities want them to check off so they can work their Cosmic Justice schemes. Now the whole rotten edifice comes crashing down.

  57. Andrew Mcguiness says

    “Judith Butler’s hugely successful Gender Trouble, published in 1990, argued that gender—which she saw as a kind of performance—could not be separated from biological sex.” No it didn’t.

  58. Daniel says

    Things like objective truth or objective morality aren’t popular these days. But looking around at the howling madness, I can’t for the life of me see why. The circus described above is a direct result of people adopting an understanding of life that is not based on truth. It is a lie. And this is the insanity that lies cause.

  59. Chuck says

    Having lived a bit over a half century I am feeling very old. This world is changing way too fast. I remember back when Reagan called the USSR the evil empire. That felt silly but now in hindsight seems to have been the truth. This world now, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Sodam and Gomorrah and this thing called sin seems to be winning. It’s aging me, making me not want to be here, turning me into an old Cis man. Someone build an ark please.

    • Andrew Leonard says

      the Soviets thought Capitalism was a sin, but Reagan told them what he thought of their Communist empire.
      Perhaps the same silly tactic would work again?

  60. Chicago says

    Got me wondering how drag is any different than blackface.

  61. Erik Friesen says

    I see reports indicating that some parents are happier to have a son who is a “female trapped in a male body” because that carries less stigma than having a gay son. More generally, this is one debate that has become so silly I don’t waste time learning about the issue.

    I do work about those who come to regret having had body transformation via hormones and surgery. That’s a tough regret to carry all the way to the grave.

  62. Jim Matlock says

    There’s going to be whole lot of lawsuits starting in fifteen to twenty years, against trans-activist youth “counselors” and parents (mostly mothers) who pushed their four to ten year-old charges into sex change surgery because of some agenda.

    • Dan Flehmen says

      Lots of lawsuits, and let us fervently hope, lots of jail time for the ‘medical professionals’ who encourage and perform these atrocities on children.

  63. Jules Sylver says

    “Being a woman in a British cultural context often means adhering to social norms of femininity, such as being nurturing, caring, social, emotional, vulnerable, and concerned with appearance.” For men, the list of attributes runs: “being competitive, ambitious, independent, rational, tough, sexual, confident, dominant, taking risks, and caring about their work.”

    I was born in 1952. Feminism meant to me that I as a woman could work to incorporate competitiveness, ambition, independence, rationality, toughness, sexual confidence, and risk taking into my life.

    The trans movement is destroying all of that, and going right back to the 50s. Why did we even bother.

  64. Jasper Jigger says

    The trans phenomena is long-standing and well-known. I might have missed any reference to Kohlberg who said in about the mid 1960s that ‘At about age six, gender identity is fixed when children understand the immutable nature of both sex and gender’. This suggests that a persons biological sex along with their gender develops into gender identity. Kohlberg thought both sex and gender as invariant characteristics of gender identity. Freud didnt use the terms gender or gender identity. For him, it was all about genitals. Males have a penis and those without a penis are then female. Therefore, the role of the phallus – or lack of it – is fundamental to personal identity.
    According to Freud, children become aware that they posses a penis or do not posses a penis at around five years. This ‘awareness’ develops into the Oedipal Complex that casts the family as the creator of heterosexual desire. Campbell says, drawing on Freud, that the role of the family is to separate identification with the same-sex from desire – you can only desire what you are not and … only identify with the sex you do not desire. Judith Butler says that a persons identity doesn’t come from a persons ‘essence’ but rather their identity is a performance. Now, this is all fairly confusing stuff. What is certain is our knowledge about people, what it is that defines a persons biological sex and indeed how gender identity forms all continue to develop – understanding-wise. Its always been contentious. Some people think its all about biology and others favour the construcivist position. Its probably a combination of both. The famous transsexual case about a marriage is important because it spells out what it means, at least in law, to be a woman for the purposes of marriage. (Corbett v Corbett [1971] P 83) The law lord, Ormrod, was well qualified to speak about medical matters. He decided that a persons sex is determined by examining the congruence between a number of physiological features. These include, genitals, gonads, chromosomes and hormones. Ormord conceded that psychology also plays a role. I was interested, when I first read the marriage case, in the ways in which humans shape their understanding as new information emerges,. For example, knowledge about hormones and then chromosomes are relatively new – at least compared with out knowledge about genitals. It is strange, I think, when new scietific discoveries are held up as givning us the answers to may unanswered questions – at least until additional information comes to light, IN other words, our understanding continues to change. I support the idea that we teach our children about the history of trans including legal issues. That will initially subvert any attempts by those determined to cast our sex and our gender as mutable. We must teach our children to think.

  65. Watching says

    I am still afraid to walk in dark places, afraid of passing a man in a tight hall, afraid to be alone with a man in an elevator and so on. I am an ordinary female with ordinary fears. I have several women friends ( in 50’s) divorced, unable to date because “who wants to date a post menopausal woman”? So they are forced to live a long and lonely life alone as “discards” in the game of life in its sunset years. Women do suffer, still because of this asymmetry in male desire for younger females. I say this to make my case of some safe places for women. They do need safe domains, this much all women know despite the hysterical notions of equality. However, here I only advocate for the shelters that are for women only and do not mean to extend my case any further. Although the trans cases of wanting to room with women are few so far, even one is too much. For heavens sake, do the trans folks not see it? Doesn’t any one?

    • Both women and men should have the freedom of association. Too bad that feminists only want that right for females.

  66. Patrick says

    kids and people should know above all that their interests (hobbies, colours) do not define their gentialia.

    what happens to trans women who want to be in mother’s groups? not all natal women probably demand being part of a mother’s group without having given birth themselves. will mothers have to cease discussing their physical experiences because a trans woman is present? what happens here?

    men get strength in their power circles. women gain strength from their safe spaces. infiltrating one or the other by an opposite biology causes discomfort, whether or not someone is trans.

    the tampon case advice from a 10 year old was confusing. most 10 year olds don’t have their period so why would someone approach them for advice on it? or alternatively why would anyone try to educate a 10 year old stranger on their body as if they had authority to do so? just gross.

  67. Moses Maimonides says

    The Left is celebrating, encouraging, and benefiting from this flavor of overt mental illness. But as the article barely broaches, the REAL agenda is to normalize pedophilia. MARK MY WORD on this.

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  69. Heather says

    This article is very well written. The only problem I have with it is the referring to males by female pronouns, I think that shows a complilance with transgender ideology that I could never support. However, it is a good summery of what has been happening up to this point.

    I find it worrying that many politicians fail to speak out about the nonsense of transgender ideology, even though we know that many privately do not agree with it. I do not doubt some are understandably frightened of the backlash from transactivists. However, others are clearly have personal investment in pushing the transactvist agenda, whether that be financial or otherwise, they are undoubtedly getting something out of backing this dangerous ideology. Then there are others who seem to believe that what is written on social media represents the majority, and so try to play to the social media crowd.

    There needs to to be more pressure put on politicans to speak out and actually represent their constituents. They need to realise that those who use social media are often easily impressionable young people. It has also been long established that males tend to dominate social media and post the majority of comments on articles, more often than not they express anti-female and anti-feminist rhetoric (one only has to look at some of the comments on this article to see an example of this). In other words those on social media often do not represent the public as a whole and women’s voices are serverly under-represented on social media and the net in general. Of course any woman who dares to speak out against transgenderism or ‘misgenders’ a man is often banned from most social media sites anyway. So what politicians end up doing is listening to naive young people and sexist males (whether such males call themselves ‘women’ or not is irrelevant), as these are the majority of people commenting on social media, but they are not the majority of their constituents.

    Therefore, I suggest that any woman who has issues with transgender ideology write to their MP and highlight their objections, as is important that we force our elected representatives to actually represent us.

  70. Aerth says

    The whole issue now only cements the ugly truth – humans will be humans and it is in their nature to test the boundaries. People gave up fight over pronouns, labeling it as stupid and nothing worth making drama over, and here we are – 2018, when trans want access to single – sex spaces because of self -ID alone. I just pity other minority groups that can potentially emerge in the future as their fights may be much harder. Or not, cause humanity has a very hard time learning from past mistakes.

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