Activism, Free Speech, Human Rights, Must Reads, Sex, Social Science

Stonewall’s LGBT Guidance is Limiting the Free Speech of Gender Critical Academics

In 2015, the main trade union for UK academics, the University and College Union (UCU), objected to the government’s newly announced counter-terrorism strategy—specifically, the part concerned with universities’ legal duty to attempt to prevent student radicalisation. A central aspect of UCU’s highly critical response concerned the use of ill-defined, imprecise words in the strategy. One UCU briefing noted that (my italics):

it is important that branches become familiar with how the government defines ‘extremism’.. as follows: ‘Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.’ Branches should note the somewhat nebulous nature of so described ‘British values’ and the potentially very broad range of individuals and groups who may at some point fall foul of such a negatively constructed definition.

In a similar vein, a Professor and a senior lawyer expressed their concern that that the vagueness and lack of definition of terms like “terrorism,” “non-violent extremism,” “radicalisation,” and “fundamental British values”

could be understood to mean that…academics and students accustomed to expressing personal views at university would need to be warned of the risks of discussing certain issues.

They concluded (my italics):

But this is not correct, and universities should not let the imprecise and unclear language of the guidance draw them into placing unlawful restrictions on academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Reading this back, I grimace with some irony. For a strikingly analogous situation exists now in UK universities, one to which the UCU is not merely indifferent but arguably actively facilitates. Nebulous definitions of concepts like “gender identity” and “transphobia” are appearing in university policies and training, often based on guidance by the influential LGBT charity Stonewall, and with the approval of both senior management and UCU figures. The effect has been to curtail academic freedom.

Stonewall directly influences universities via its “Diversity Champions Programme”, whereby the charity gives institutions its imprimatur of approval if they sign up to a number of core principles. In a competitive market for students, high-profile branding that conveys so-called inclusivity is thought by university bosses to be worth having and paying handsomely for. As a condition of membership, specialist trans policies and training programmes are being rolled out across universities, along with a calendar’s worth of special events to reinforce the associated messages: Transgender Day of Remembrance, International Transgender Visibility Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Pride Month, and so on. In its briefing material Stonewall describes how “consistent messages of support for the LGBT community” are communicated at De Montfort University

via social media, plasma screens, student portals and internal emails. Messaging centres around significant days like Transgender Day of Remembrance and IDAHOBIT, with rainbow flags flying on campus for #DMUPride and other events. The visible commitment of De Montfort University’s Vice-Chancellor Dominic Shellard is key to success in this area.

I question why individual policies are needed for trans people alone, given that other minorities working and studying in UK universities tend to be covered only by general equalities policies. However, there’s clearly nothing wrong with making sure that trans students and staff are treated well, on a par with their fellows, with specialist arrangements in place where needed. The problem is that the trans-specific policies tend to go much further than this and stipulate what is appropriate to teach, say, and, perhaps,  also to think. Where teaching is explicitly informed by research, the dividing line between constraints upon teaching and constraints upon research is paper-thin. Some trans policies require that “any materials within relevant courses and modules will positively represent trans people and trans lives.” Another says that “Any historical content or comparative content containing what is now recognised as transphobic material needs to be clearly labelled with a trigger warning.” Nearly all such policies contain clauses about the outlawing of “transphobic propaganda” on campus.

Stonewall’s stated definition of transphobia, towards which institutions are supposed to display “zero tolerance”, is: “The fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans, including the denial/refusal to accept their gender identity” (my italics). In other words, a refusal to “accept” a person’s gender identity seems to be counted as automatically transphobic. The stated definition of gender identity is: “A person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.” Stonewall defines a trans woman as “someone who is assigned male at birth but identifies and lives as a woman” (notwithstanding that the charity is currently at the forefront of a public campaign to get the law changed so that no period of “living as a woman” is required for legal gender reassignment, but only an act of self-identification). An iconic Stonewall T-shirt, worn by hundreds at UK Pride parades, robustly declares that “Trans women are women. Get over it.” Another current Stonewall policy commitment is that all-women shortlists and quotas, originally set up in the name of equality of opportunity for females, should be open to trans women. “Trans women are women, and because of that it makes sense that they should have the same opportunity…as any other woman” says the charity’s website in a section called “The Truth about Trans.”

Whether or not you agree with such pronouncements, Stonewall’s substantive policy commitments and the intellectual presuppositions underpinning them are obviously academically contestable. As a “gender-critical” philosopher, I would argue that only some, but not all, people have a gender identity understood as Stonewall would have it—as an internal “sense” or feeling about whether one is really a man or a woman or neither, and one which potentially floats free of material facts about one’s sex, or about how that sex is perceived by others. I also argue that where such feelings do occur, they needn’t be innate, as Stonewall claims. Rather, I suggest, they often arrive, sometimes transiently, as the result of developing a certain personal narrative about where one fits, or doesn’t, in a social world already structured fairly rigidly around sex-based stereotypes. I argue that prioritising talk of gender identity, understood as an internal sense which can’t be directly perceived by others, is not an adequate substitute for describing in law and policy both the inevitable biological realities and the contingent social realities associated with belonging to a particular sex. While, as a matter of basic courtesy, I’m happy to use whatever pronouns and other descriptors a student or colleague wishes, I’d also argue that there are conceptual problems with assuming that, generally speaking, pronouns refer to one’s inner gender identity, rather than to something material or social.

Equally, on feminist grounds, I argue that serious questions should be raised about prioritising talk of internal gender identity over talk of biological sex, and about using preferred pronouns, when it comes to things like recording sexual crimes or gathering sexual assault statistics. I disagree that trans women should be on all-women shortlists, or have access to other means designed to improve equality of opportunity for biological females, since this would defeat the original, female-centred point. I argue that trans women attracted to females can’t technically count as “lesbians” as Stonewall claims they sometimes can. I argue that to question trans-identified kids about their feelings is not “conversion therapy,” as Stonewall suggests. (In fact, I argue, if the kids in question are gay, it may turn out that not questioning them is a form of indirect conversion therapy). And I’m against the policy of self-identification as the only criterion of eligibility for legal gender reassignment because of its predicted impact on females.

Do such views count as transphobic, according to Stonewall and the universities that sign up to its polices? It’s unclear. After all, arguably I’m someone who doesn’t “accept” gender identity, at least in an intellectual sense. In its document “Delivering LGBT-Inclusive Higher Education”, which is specifically aimed at universities, Stonewall says that “Speakers who hold strongly anti-LGBT views, such as…denying that trans people exist as the gender they say they are, cause LGBT people to feel deeply unsafe.” In Stonewall’s “Inclusive Policy Toolkit,” widely distributed to Diversity Champion Programme members, it cites this example of “bullying and harassment” taken from a University of Essex policy: “Refusing to address a trans person by…a correct gender pronoun.” Yet “address” here is also rather vague. Does it mean that when discussing with students where best to house trans women prisoners I have to refer to Karen White, who sexually assaulted female prisoners while in a women’s prison, as a ‘she’? (Newspapers described “her erect penis sticking out the top of her pants.”) As I say, personally I am more than happy to use preferred pronouns for colleagues and students and would consider it rude not to. But still. It is highly unusual, and rather chillingly heavy-handed, to find university policies prescribing specific politeness norms on pain of disciplinary procedures.

To the many who agree with Stonewall’s stance and who disagree with me, no doubt such commitments seem perfectly benign and my worries overblown. But that’s the thing about freedom of speech: you tend not to notice it being curtailed until it’s your speech that’s being restricted. And that will only happen when you think or say something at odds with what those in authority want you to think or say. The nature of social conformity is such that, for many people, this doesn’t happen very often. In contrast, one would expect it to happen reasonably often to academics. Challenging prevailing orthodoxies is surely part of their point. Yet, in practice, there’s a climate of intolerance around gender-critical thought, with academics either being censored by others, or self-censoring for fear of professional consequences. Stonewall’s close ties to universities, vaguely worded and punitive-sounding university policies, and general prominence as a political lobbying group, have led to a situation in which academic interrogation of Stonewall’s ideas and policies is condemned as a transphobic act.

In this febrile atmosphere, a vocal minority of students, well versed in university procedures, has become trigger(ed)-happy when it comes to issuing complaints against academics they perceive to be transgressors. Equally, some academics—although #notallGenderStudiesProfs—are apparently happy to describe gender-critical views as attacks on vulnerable members of the trans community, not as intellectual challenges to ideas or powerful institutions. University administrators are often slow to protect gender-critical employees from harassment and, in some cases, terrifyingly quick to believe that such employees are bigoted.

I recently put out a call, asking UK academics for their personal testimonies about their experience of hostility to gender-critical thought. Tales poured in: of managers demanding that staff defend their Twitter histories; of institutions failing to protect staff from student and public harassment; of staff facing complaints for signing letters to newspapers about academic freedom; of a lost editorship of an academic journal and a lost membership of an editorial board; of research rejected from publications on vague suspicions of transphobia; of no-platforming; and of researchers being warned off by managers about pursuing gender-critical research in the first place. Many respondents were too frightened of professional consequences to put their names to their testimonies.

In my own case, I’ve experienced student complaints, FOI requests, campus protests, threats to milkshake me, the defacement of my office door, open letters to no-platform me, articles in the local press and student newspapers claiming I make the campus at my university “unsafe”, defamation by the Student Union Executive, an attempted smear campaign by academics at another institution, and various forms of student and public harassment. Occasionally, critics point to the fact that despite this I still manage to write and publish, suggesting that this gives the lie to any claim that I don’t have the freedom to do so. But I wonder how many gender-critical academics have been deterred from expressing their views by these tactics? This doesn’t feel like a normal environment, and the ability to cope with it shouldn’t be taken as a basic requirement in order to pursue gender-critical research. One of my correspondents talked of how her hands would shake before she posted a gender-critical comment on Twitter.

Academics’ anxiety in this area is enhanced by the fact that influential factions within their trade union seem gleefully in tune with the dominant institutional and cultural mood. At the UCU General Congress this year, a motion to protect the academic freedom of gender-critical academics failed to pass. A recent branch motion passed at the University of Edinburgh declares: “All of our members have the right to exist and be recognised as the gender they themselves identify as”; and “We should not support members in weaponizing their speech to question the existence of trans and non-binary colleagues.” (Needless to say, no gender-critical academic to my knowledge has ever denied the existence of trans and non-binary people, nor denied their right to live free from harm and discrimination, but that is usually pointed out in vain). The new General Secretary of the UCU, Jo Grady, has boasted of her use of Twitter blocklists, designed to filter out gender-critical thought. As it happens, I’ve received good support from my local UCU caseworker, but the availability of such support looks patchy at best. That’s hardly reassuring to nervous academics who are concerned about their livelihood, worried about being demonised, and considering whether to stick their head above the parapet.

And yet certain subjects need to be broached. Only this week, the UK Gender Identity Development Service for children and teens released new figures showing that the number of patients has risen yet again in the past year. Now 74 percent of its patients are female and 54 percent are under the age of 14. Academics need to understand why the numbers of female and younger patients are rising so rapidly. More generally, they need to better understand the variety of reasons people within different demographic groups transition. What makes a 50-year-old heterosexual male, married with kids, want to transition, will differ from what makes a 14-year-old teenage girl wish to do so. As Oxford’s Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine, Carl Heneghan, recently noted, further understanding is also urgently needed of the longterm effects of drugs offered to gender-dysphoric children and teens.

In psychology, there’s a need to develop compassionate therapeutic services for the “detransitioners” and “desistors” already emerging. Epidemiologists and sociologists need to record their numbers, and medics need to monitor any longterm effects of medications. We also need to hear more, from a sociological perspective, about the experience of “trans widows”—wives of late-transitioning males, either left with broken relationships, or forced to adapt to huge changes in their marriages.

Academics also need to fight for robust biological-sex-based data, alongside data about gender identity, in order to properly track and analyse the multiple differences—physically, psychologically, socially, politically—currently statistically correlated with each sex. No doubt some of these differences are culturally and historically contingent, but something can be contingent, yet as obdurate as biological reality and so still be in need of study.

Legal theorists need to explore the complex interactions and possible conflicts between special legal protections for sex and for gender reassignment. Policy-makers need to understand the material consequences for women, many of them survivors of sexual assault, of the current shift in policy towards “gender neutral” (I would say, unisex) spaces. We need to understand the social and political implications of LGBT organisations redefining homosexuality to exclude any reference to biological sex—as Stonewall has done—and thereby classifying some biological males attracted to women as “lesbians.” This is bound to have serious implications for female homosexuals which need to be explored.

Philosophers need to be free to explore and analyse the nature and consequences of metaphysical notions such as gender identity, both in themselves, and in terms of their practical implications for policy decisions. And, in my no doubt tendentious view, we also need feminist thought to explain how misogyny and habits of female socialisation have brought us to a place where nearly every women’s organisation permits biological males to access their resources on the basis of self-identification, but where hereditary titles still pass down the biologically male line, transition notwithstanding, and where the Freemasons will admit males, including transwomen, and trans men, but not non-transitioned females.

Of course, there shouldn’t be suppression in any other direction either. For instance, we shouldn’t suppress arguments in favour of prioritising gender identity, or of changing our concepts, laws, and policies to recognise it. We need to hear these points of view, fairly and non-defensively. But in the absence of complicating critical voices; of proper scrutiny of a large range of evidence; of consideration of a variety of academic perspectives and not just those politically committed to certain narrow outcomes in advance— in short, in the absence of what is business-as-usual in other areas of academic research—any conclusions drawn from such arguments look error-prone.

To get back to business-as-usual in this area, university managers need to put some distance between their own policies and the emotion-saturated simplifications of lobby groups like Stonewall. They need to be careful about embracing the PR-friendly waves of politicised campaigns to be “inclusive” and “diverse” without anticipating how such campaigns might intersect with various existing conditions to produce unintended consequences. And generally, they need to start thinking much harder about how to uphold freedom of speech in their universities so gender-critical academics can pursue and discuss their ideas, without undue anxiety, alongside different-minded peers.

 

Kathleen Stock is a professor of philosophy at Sussex University. She can be found on Twitter at @Docstockk

 

 

102 Comments

  1. Klaus C. says

    I’m prepared to accept people’s “innate sense of their own gender”, but I also accept differing sex as a biological fact.

    I can understand why many women are concerned that “self identification” is increasingly taking legal precedence over biological sex. Groups like Stonewall need to recognise that these concerns are serious and legitimate, but it’s likely that many such lobby groups are now dominated by radical trans people rather than LGB.

    It’s an unfortunate situation because acceptance of trans people would be much easier without the attempts to “colonise” biological sex categories, thereby converting them into “gender” categories.

    Many so-called “cis” people such as myself just don’t care about gender (it means nothing to me personally). As a gay male I’m not sexually attracted to “trans men” because my sexual attractions are concerned with sex, not gender, and I can appreciate that this is also the case for many lesbians. Nonetheless I’m prepared to accept people in a wide range of social contexts however they present themselves gender-wise.

    But women as defined by biology should be entitled to their own safe spaces, their own lobby groups and adequate government policies addressing their unique concerns.

    The fact that this is even being questioned is pretty depressing after all the supposed progress society has made in establishing coherent ideas of women’s rights.

    • Kauf Buch says

      TO Kalus
      You’re buying into the “just a little bit of HIV won’t hurt you” siren call of the Left.

      If fact, even as a homosexual (may God save your soul), in the eyes of Leftists, you are a heretic-to-be-burned-at-the-sexual-stakes stating that gender EXISTS…the Left’s sexual claims are SO contradictory, it’s a JOKE at this point.

      Furthermore, it helps healthy, honest conversation NOT to use the Left’s invented, manipulative language (designed to fog reality), such as “cis” this and that.

      • Klaus C. says

        You seem to use the term “Left” or “Leftist” in every single sentence. Sounds somewhat obsessive and is not very meaningful.

        Also, you don’t seem to understand that for the radical trans lobby, “gender” is all-important.

        It’s their critics who argue that gender is a superficial, socially constructed category, whereas sex, as determined by the body, is of more significance.

        That’s why Kathleen Stock, author of the piece above and a critic of transgender politics, describes herself as “gender-critical”.

        • Kauf Buch says

          Umm…if you don’t think politics (i.e. my use of the term “Left”) has to do with Free Speech and/or its restrictions, you’re a tad in denial.

        • Geordie says

          Once you realise that ‘gender’ is a euphemism for ‘stereotype’, the scales fall from your eyes.

          • Devin says

            While it’s partially true that gender could be explained as “biologically influenced stereotypes”, it isn’t correct to simply say “gender is a euphemism for stereotype”.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Klause C.

      “But women as defined by biology should be entitled to their own safe spaces, their own lobby groups and adequate government policies addressing their unique concerns.”

      I’ve given this subject a lot of thought, and I agree with you. Women should have these things.

      Men (including straight white men) should have them, too. Don’t you agree?

      • Klaus C. says

        Not sure how much demand there is for men’s safe spaces in a general sense (men are most at risk from other men), or general men’s lobby groups for that matter, but yes, government policies addressing male concerns (particularly health concerns) are needed and are increasingly appearing.

        • ga gamba says

          Perhaps you have a very limited definition of risk. Maybe it has been too strongly influenced by women’s idea of it.

          May men have their own definition of safe? They don’t have to comply with the women’s definition, right? Free of having to look over their shoulders and suppress their words and actions for fear of women’s rebuke. That reduced anxiety has to count for something, yeah? I know many gay clubs are tired of women, often straight ones, taking over the places on hen dos and making pests of themselves. May men have pest-free, annoyance-free, or anxiety-free “safe spaces”?

        • NashTiger says

          Justice Kavanaugh may have something to say on this

        • Geary Johansen says

          @ Morgan & Klaus C.

          I am neither MRA, nor MGTOW, but I do think that there is something to be said for the prospect of men having the opportunity to discuss their lives in the absence of women, it’s the only way we ever get any bloody sympathy, even if it does also involve getting a whole tonne of good-humoured scorn and derision, as a side order.

          Having been through CBT myself, I do understand that men, in particular, sometimes fall shy of seeking help when they need it. But where women go wrong, is insisting that talking about our feelings will help us feel better about things. It won’t- because we are fundamentally different in this respect- even young boys report feeling weird and uncomfortable when talking about the way they feel, as opposed to girls who derive a good deal of comfort from the same process. As far as I was concerned, having gone through CBT with a counsellor, one of the chief benefits was that when women asked me about my feelings during that period of my life, I could always defer in saying that I had already dealt with it, with a professional, so why rehash it?

          But I do think it does real harm to ‘sell’ counselling and psychology to men, as a chance to discuss their feelings. Instead it should explained as an unfortunately unpleasant, but necessary diagnostic, and as a precursor to finding coping strategies that help you avoid situations that provoke unhealthy emotions, or as a means of gradually exposing yourself to whatever is affecting you in an adverse way, until it no longer bothers you.

          Back to male groups though. There has been a good deal of controversy surrounding the types of drug rehabilitation therapies available in the US, which can drain insurance funds and raise premiums- with horse therapy, just one of the more mad alternative. But one thing that is proven to be universally positive, not to mention cheap, is the group support mechanism.

          With men, there are a lot of things we know to keep silent. There are always the tiny little things that women do, which annoy us, that we do not tell them about, because it would be hurtful and provoke fights- which given the chance to air with our fellow men, we might find that we are being unreasonable, or work out a way to broach the subject without getting slaughtered. There are work related matters, which we might want advice on, but certainly don’t want sympathy for and more often than not simply want to vent about. And of course, you don’t want to tell your wife that you’re so angry you’re thinking about quitting, especially when you’re not serious about it and just want to blow off steam.

          So yes, I do think there’s space for a men’s group that isn’t hopelessly anti-woman. Women have the WI, so why couldn’t we have something similar for fishing, car work, build your own PC’s and home maintenance?

    • Kauf Buch says

      “But women as defined by biology should be entitled to their own safe spaces, their own lobby groups and adequate government policies addressing their unique concerns.”

      Well, then! Have I got a deal for you: your promotion of sex-based segregation is already practiced in another culture…MOVE TO AN ISLAMIC COUNTRY!

      I’m sure they’ll welcome you and your lifestyle with open arms…oh, wait.
      SEE what happens when you get all tangled up in the Left’s gobbeldygoop?

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Klaus

      I wish someone could explain this innate sense of gender to me. I don’t seem to have it. I wear men’s clothes because I’m male and don’t want to draw attention to myself at the grocery store. If I were female I’d wear women’s clothes for the same reason. I can’t imagine it being traumatizing to do so. If it were, that would seem to be a clear sign of mental illness, because it would be completely irrational.

      • Klaus C. says

        Same here Asenath, my “gender” is not something I even think about – as you say, it’s just conventions of dress and presentation – but clearly this concept is central to the lives of many trans people, or so they tell us.

        Even my sex is not something I personally experience as being of any central importance in my life, it’s just a rather boring physical fact.

        Trans people tend to present a very contradictory picture of their preoccupation with gender, on the one hand telling us it’s something that causes them much distress (hence the demand for hormones, surgery and other medical interventions), on the other hand insisting that it’s all normal and healthy, so it’s hard to make much sense of trans ideology.

        • Stephanie says

          There was an excellent article in Quillette several months ago about how gender is a grammatical construct and its recent association with sex has been a social disaster.

          Our mentally ill had less ability to fall down the path of self-mutilation, sterilization, and political radicalism when man meant person-of-sperm and woman person-of-egg. Appropriating the concept of gender from grammar allowed for the most useless kind of academic to unleash a Pandora’s box of confusion onto the world.

          I’m all for using people’s preferred pronouns: last thing I want is to upset a mentally unbalanced person, and a small proportion of the trans people I met live sufficiently as the opposite sex (not even wanting people to know they’re trans because trans activists are horrible) that I can respect their life choice. But changing the concept of man and woman away from the definitions they’ve held for thousands of years is unacceptable.

    • Area Man says

      I’m straight, but as an early follower of Dan Savage (print & podcast), I distinctly remember when trans activists hitched their wagon to the gay rights movement. While some didn’t seem to notice anything incongruous about this, I never saw the two movements as analogous.

      As a soft libertarian I didn’t give a shit what anyone does as long as it doesn’t impose on me. Then Dan Savage–the man who did more to normalize homosexuality than virtually anyone else in the US in the 90s/early 00s–was glitter-bombed by a trans activist in 2011. That’s when I knew the trans community was sideways.

    • Justyne Thyme says

      “In this febrile atmosphere, a vocal minority of students, well versed in university procedures, has become trigger(ed)-happy when it comes to issuing complaints against academics they perceive to be transgressors.”

      Professor Stock: Your sentence quoted above is a bit incomplete, and probably should have terminated with, “.. perceive to be transgressors (pun intended)” or “… perceive to be transgressors (no pun intended)”.

      😉

      • Dan T. says

        Is it mandatory now that all puns be declared or disclaimed? You can’t leave any to the imagination?

        • Justyne Thyme says

          @Dan T – “mandatory now…”?

          Nope. But in this particular case, with such a serious subject matter, I wondered if this bit of momentary light-heartedness was intentional or not.

  2. Kauf Buch says

    There’s XX and there’s XY.
    Because I believe in science.

    The rest is mental illness being fig-leafed as Leftist Identity Politics.
    And, part of Leftist Identity Politics is the totalitarian control/manipulation of language.
    Hence, “inclusive” means Leftist-approved “exclusive” discrimination.

    • Dave says

      The XX XY thing isn’t quite so simple, there is XXY or XYY etc, very rare intersex, the possibility of male external reproductive organs with female internal ones or other variations. Not at all uncommon across the entire tree of life. But yeah this self ID without question is all madness. While it will help some genuinely confused people, it also gives a free pass to sexually depraved male psychos to get themselves in women’s prisons where they can do what they want

      • Kauf Buch says

        TO Dave
        Yes, [trigger warning…ha!] genetic freaks have existed for millennia (the term, “hermaphrodite,” anyone?).
        In this case, such outliers are merely that; they do NOT negate the “rule” of XX/XY.
        And, yes, all this P.C. sex-language cr+p is just that: a trap to confuse and commandeer the “narrative.”

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Dave

        Let’s rediscover normalcy. Yes, there are no end of freaks and we should be nice to them, but it is silly to think that the whole of society should properly revolve around the freaks. Use the word in it’s unloaded sense, I’m not being nasty. Yes, there are chromosomal defects, but we still have only two sexes really. There are folks with three legs, but it’s ok if clothing stores don’t stock three legged pants. It isn’t Hate if they don’t. Normalcy is good. Normalcy should even be politely encouraged.

      • Stephanie says

        Dave, of course there are such things as genetic defects, but they are irrelevant to the trans conversation. Trans activists wedge them into the conversation as a diversion and we should reject that.

        But we should also define men and women as people having sperm and eggs, respectfully. That was the definition before we understood genetics and applies neatly to intersex people, too. The vast majority of those (all of them?) have either sperm or eggs.

    • Lance says

      I’m in partial agreement with you. I’m not saying mental illness is the cause, but what truly bugs me is the absolute dismissal (by those on the left) of the possibility that mental illness could be a causal factor.

      • Devin says

        @Lance

        Couldn’t agree more with your summation. Seems as though many on the Left have shifted the narrative away from the idea of transgenderism as a form of dysphoria, perhaps because acknowledging the background frame of mental illness would undermine many of the heavy-handed and simplistic solutions that they propose.

        • Lance says

          Hell yes, this! Dysphoria itself is a term of emotional unrest, at a minimum, and ultimately a pathology. Though there seems to be an inherent inability on the part of pro-trans activists to reconcile this aspect of the term with the bleeding heart desire to spread the breadth of its LGTB+ ranks by annexation.

    • Captain Obvious says

      And caving to the barmy “demands” of 0.04% of the population is a CHOICE y’all are making. The question is WHY?

      • Lance says

        You think that’s bad? Wait until after you factor in the intersectionality quotient. What percentage of the population is hispanic septuagenarian lesbian? Or, asian quadriplegic trans-man? Wait until you piss off one of those groups.

        • Lance says

          Last comment was directed to Captain Obvious – in case it wasn’t… obvious.

  3. markbul says

    The inmates are truly running the asylum. People who suffer from a delusion of sexual identity have successfully cowed the powers that be into giving up their power. Thank God I’m in my 60s, and won’t have to deal with this insanity for much longer.

    • DiamondLil says

      I don’t know about that, Mark. A lot can go wrong in the 20+ years you probably have left.

    • Stephen Phillips says

      I think you have nailed it. The whole trans mess is such because it is being driven by deluded individuals who are then pandered to by the ‘intelligencia’. I work in mental health and for us it is still a delusionary state to be treated (with care and compassion).

  4. Michael Bolt says

    “But women as defined by biology should be entitled to their own safe spaces, their own lobby groups and adequate government policies addressing their unique concerns.”

    Completely agree. Can’t understand where all this magical thinking is coming from.

    Sex differences between the two sexes are very clear.

    • Kauf Buch says

      TO MB
      Sure sounds like a call for sex-based segregation.
      How “progressive.” (/sarcasm)

      • ga gamba says

        Well, the universities are now allowing all kinds of segregation (race, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc) for preferred constituents. Of course, some are not permitted these preferences.

      • V 2.0 says

        Frankly this tendency towards segregation is scarier than a late night walk through a bad neighborhood. I can handle the odd misogynist (given that actual serial killers are rare and as long as I don’t end up dead I’ll get over whatever happens) but the thought of being trapped in some ‘safe space’ with the sorts of women who like safe spaces fills me with terror and loathing. It’s like the days when women used to retreat to the drawing room to gossip, drink tea and talk about their lady troubles so the men could pee and discuss politics (the important stuff) without offending them. Shudder….

      • Stephanie says

        Kauf, 80 % of sexual assaults that happen in bathrooms and changing rooms happen in mixed-sex facilities. Preventing sexual assaults requires sex-segregation in some circumstances.

        • Kauf Buch says

          TO Stephanie
          (NOTE: I tried MUCH earlier to respond to your post, but Quilette’s server was “down”)

          Sweet, sweet silly little girl,
          Bathrooms are BATHROOMS…where we all pee and poop…
          The other person and I were talking about [POLITICAL/Mentally Ill] “Safe Spaces.”
          It’s not THAT hard to understand the difference.

          DON’T equate the two, sweetie.

    • Stephen Phillips says

      You cannot have a rational conversation with the irrational. Sorry but there it is. Many years of working with people suffering from irrationality, delusional and psychotic states has taught me not to get worried when the conversation takes a downward spiral into fantasy.
      However we cannot buy into it, that is dangerous.

  5. Etiamsi omnes says

    Do they reconstruct you a circumcised one if you’re a trans-Jew? I always wondered…

    • Etiamsi omnes says

      I mean: when the Turks took Constantinople they interrupted a fascinating conversation about the sex of angels. And so here we are back at square one, now…

      • Etiamsi omnes says

        …and the Infidels back under our walls. How cracked up they must be…

        • Etiamsi omnes says

          @Opal –
          “Do you live in Constantinople?”

          No, Opal, I DON’T live in Constantinople. I’m trying to make a point.

          A point as to the number of angels one can seat on a point, if it be that of a needle, dear.

      • Dan T. says

        Charlie’s variety are female, at least.

    • DiamondLil says

      Personally, I now identify as a tall, leggy blonde with a fat bank account, and I will bring hate crime charges against anyone who disagrees with me.

      • Doug F says

        And of course the bank when they dispute your claim. Those Nazis…

  6. Yendys says

    Nothing here that we don’t already know, but it’s very important that the information gets documented and the posts get written and published.

    Here in Vancouver, Canada, a raft of similar gender insanity has been happening over the past few years in every possible corner of public life: in waxing salons; in a women’s prison; in K-12 school policy and curricula; in BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital; in BC Family Court; in women’s marches; and in…and in…and in…

    And that’s without even taking on the West’s mass delusion of so-called ‘islamophobia’ that has an identical chill on thought and speech.

    Agendas driven by a few sociopaths, and then normalized and institutionalized by indoctrinated cult followers in any places where rules can be made: universities, bureaucracies, corporate HR departments…

    The West needs to fear measles less and intersectionalism more.

    • bumble bee says

      @Yendys

      The West needs to fear democrats and liberals of all grades. The only way sanity will come back is to vote the supporters out. People like to politicize everything, well politics has consequences and by getting them all out, and those that support them even against ones better judgement should end this. It may take a few election cycles, but if people want this then vote or allow it to not only continue, but turn every more ridiculous.

      • Booo! The Scary Left Is Coming For You! says

        The massive political Left Wing juggernaut you lot are always on about doesn’t exist. The rise of left identity politics has coincided with a full retreat on the political front. If you truly oppose left-leaning policy positions (even the ones that have nothing to do with gender) then one should think you’d be happy with this development.

        • Heike says

          The only reason leftists are losing at the polls is because that’s the only part of our culture we get to vote on.

          The rest is corporatism, what the Left used to call fascism, and other forms of authoritarian control. Go ahead and try free speech in front of an arts board, or a star chamber tribunal, or a human rights council. See how far it gets you there.

      • Doug F says

        Bumble – I think that a society needs a blend of thoughts. Almost all the important issues are important issues because there is some truth on both sides, and we try to find the right balancing point.

        It is people (predominantly on the far left) that are effectively working to limit the conversation that scare the heck out of me. Only because they appear to be winning the hearts and minds of our youth.

  7. ‘Phobia’ means an irrational fear. It does not mean hate. If someone’s words make me “feel deeply unsafe” then I have a phobia, not them.

    • Captain Obvious says

      Most normal people are deeply uncomfortable around people in the grip of “alternate reality,” aka psychotic break. If you’re a man, no matter how much you insist you are really a woman or a dog you are still a man to the rest of us. Your insistence that we pretend to go along with your break with reality makes us want to get TF out of the room ASAP. No different than prefering not to be in the presence of someone babbling in tongues to themselves, spinning in circles, jerking off on the subway or crapping on the floor. Nuts is NUTS and it makes healthy sane people nervous. TFB.

  8. Hestia says

    I have already started writing 1976 as my date of birth on many documents – instead of 1956. And if anyone contradicts me or of the governments has issues with it, j will scram holy hell of ageism. I feel, look, and think of myself as a 43-year old, and based on liberal ideology, I should be able to state that as a fact. It feels good. I am No Longer 63, but 43!!

  9. Denny Sinnoh says

    H,
    OT a little:
    I often have to fill out “anonymous” surveys at work for evaluation of bosses.

    Completely anonymous — they say — so there is no fear of retaliation, and it is said I can give my honest opinion.

    Oddly, These surveys still want to know my age, gender, how long employed, etc.
    Should I make “mistakes” filling in my age, gender race,etc?

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Denny Sinnoh

      I wouldn’t trust them to be truthful about the anonymous nature of the survey.

      And since the chances of them transferring your supervisor simply because you say she isn’t a very good supervisor is zero, there seems little point in you being truthful in return.

  10. Morgan Foster says

    “Transgender Day of Remembrance, International Transgender Visibility Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Pride Month, and so on.”

    Let us not forget International Day Against Blancophobia.

  11. Joe Blow says

    These people have a mental illness, and society is not doing them any favors by indulging their fantasies.

  12. Snarknation says

    I identify as Napoleon Bonaparte on Mon,Wed and Fri. and a voracious aardvark on Tues, Thurs and Sat. and on Sunday I identify as a nebulous mist. I demand a foggy French speaking country I can rule filled with termites and a population who applauds my narcissism. Come comrades, let us bless the world with our self absorbed preoccupations! Just think of the value of our contributions to human misunderstanding. Why do something useful in the world? When the mushroom clouds come at least you’ll know what gender you are as you vaporize and can revel in the accomplishments of your profound introspection from beyond. Perhaps on the other side you can use the bathroom of your choice. Oh Joy! Welcome to the age of superficialities.

    • Just Sayin' says

      Snark, we cannot take you seriously… you failed to state your pronouns.

  13. Farris says

    “But that’s the thing about freedom of speech: you tend not to notice it being curtailed until it’s your speech that’s being restricted.”

    “Yet, in practice, there’s a climate of intolerance around gender-critical thought, with academics either being censored by others, or self-censoring for fear of professional consequences.”

    Regarding the first quote, I can’t help but wonder if the author spoke up when Climate skeptics, immigration restrictors or IQ theorists were silenced. Not chastising the author but pointing out that divide and conquer is how Freedom of Expression dies. The current climate is to delight when the other side suffers a blow or incurs a restriction. No one is standing up for the ideal of Free Speech, which means standing up for unpopular or disagreeable speech. It means standing of for the speech of those who would enjoy seeing your own speech curtailed. Otherwise the circle of permitted speech grows tighter and tighter until freedom of speech no longer exists. The ACLU once defended the Nazi party. I believe that was the high water mark of that organization. The choice is between standing for higher ideals or selfish interests. If a people can’t or refuse to agree on which principles are worth fighting for, they are destined for tyranny. Protecting freedom for all holds tyranny in check. Hate speech or speech requiring a “trigger warning” is simply speech some find disagreeable. Perhaps those who cannot tolerate disagreeable speech, should not debate or proselytize. Or to quote Harry Truman, “If you cant stand the heat, get out of kitchen.”

  14. David of Kirkland says

    People would be more accepting of different people’s lives/bodies if they were free to interact and deal with them on their own terms. Nobody likes be forced to accept other people’s behaviors, lifestyles or looks. This is the legal coercion of free people that creates the conflicts and ensures they will live on indefinitely.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @David of Kirkland

      “Nobody likes be forced to accept other people’s behaviors, lifestyles or looks.”

      I’ve been fortunate in my life to have never been asked by my employers to work under the supervision of a big, ugly man wearing bright red lipstick and high heels.

      However, I can see younger people being pressured to accept this kind of thing in the future, and finding it as deeply repugnant as I would in their place. Coercion in the workplace, if not legal coercion by the state.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Morgan Foster

        ” a big, ugly man wearing bright red lipstick and high heels.”

        Hey, just thinking: would it be Hate if shoe manufacturers didn’t offer size 14 high heals for the transwimin? Wouldn’t they be unsafe in any store that didn’t sell them?

  15. Jeremiah says

    The insanely massive shift of gender clinics from biological men to teenage biological girls pretty clearly suggests a fad or social contagion effect

    • Kencathedrus says

      @Jeremiah: Big Pharma are totally behind this.

  16. tarstarkas says

    I am Trans. Celebrate it and support it or else.

    I am Trans. I believe all people are equal, except for they, who are more than equal.

    I am Trans. Believe me, obey me, bow down to me (especially TERFS), and never, ever criticize me, or be cancelled or worse.

    And they are wondering why younger people are becoming less tolerant of the whole alphabet complex?

    They are not Trans. They are insane. We should hospitalize, institutionalize, and treat them until they are sane again, not cater to their every whim.

    I am not speaking of the true Trans, who do their best to blend in with the gender of their choice, who are deathly afraid of and angry at these monsters who have taken over the name. I am talking only about those men who would tear down society to regain power. These men are losers, angry at being shoved to the bottom of the intersectionality pole, claiming victimhood in order to scramble back up to second place ahead of the women most of them hate and despise.

  17. Jezza says

    Here’s a sad story: a person who was unable to relate to any other screwed up his courage and decided to march with all the other splinters of the Heterophobe Alliance proclaiming ” I stick carrots up my bum and I’m PROUD.” This breakfree moment had consequences: he went on to marry the love of his life in a beautiful ceremony – marquee, flowers, compliant celebrant, a three-tiered cake with white icing, on top a little mannikin of himself suit jacket and tie, white tutu, no knickers, next to a vertical orange carrot. Did they live happily ever after? They did not. The bride’s six-year-old niece, bless her little hob-nailed boots, fed his husband to her pet rabbit!
    AHAHAHAAAAAAA

  18. Jezza says

    On a more serious note, how desperately pitiful is the condition known as formicophilia? That is, sexual gratification from allowing ants to crawl over one’s body.

  19. Jezza says

    The big battle now is not for freedom of speech, freedom of expression, or freedom of religion; it is for freedom of conscience.

  20. Martin28 says

    Nebulous definitions and labeling anyone who dares to disagree as a hater—justifying the milkshaking and deplatforming threats that the author describes—sounds familiar. These are characteristics of every branch of the social justice movement.

  21. Andrew Melville says

    The whole LGBT machine is not just wrong but so dreadfully boring. Do whatever you wish, with whomever you wish (except animals and children) and dressed and multilated as it suits. No one, repeat no one else gives a flying fuck what you do or what you feel. Just don’t bore the arse off me by talking about it. And stop trying to indoctrinate children.

    • Kencathedrus says

      @Andrew: this mirrors my feelings exactly. I hate how this stuff is seeping into sex education at schools. It’s assumed that children would embrace LGBQT-theory if only their ‘nasty bigoted’ parents didn’t stand in their way. I was 13 when I first got taught ‘Homosexuality’ at school. I found it repellent even then and had no idea why this had to be taught in class. It made us children all very uncomfortable.

  22. Uomo Qualunque says

    I’m seriously starting to think that the only group of people who ever cared in the slightest about things like fairness and equality are straight white men. Because every other group seems to only use those concepts as masks they can hide behind, while pushing for policies that only have their own interests in mind. It’s simply about power and nothing else.

    Women shamelessly asked for privileges in the name of ‘equal opportunities’, with great success I may add, and are now becoming increasingly frustrated with the fact that they may lose some of that power due to trans-friendly policies. As a straight white man, should I laugh at them for finally getting a taste of their own medicine, or despair of a world where mental illness is getting normalized?

  23. AJ says

    The author is right that challenge to the trans-gender orthodoxy should be
    permitted if not encouraged in universities. There are very worrying issue in
    the promotion of transgender ideology. It encourages and supports
    medical interventions which have irreversible consequences and the safety and
    efficacy of which have not been established. The encouragement of transition
    as a solution to confusion regarding sexual identity amongst the young is
    particularly worrying and that those who advocate a cautious approach are
    smeared and demonised as transphobic is completely wrong.

    The problem is that the author does not examine the roots and environment
    which allowed the suppression of debate about transgender issue to occur.
    There is evidence that she herself continues to support this environment and
    the suppression of debate about ideas she dislikes.

    The modern university environment encourages believes as orthodox established facts
    which are directly counter to a mass of evidence. The blank slate theory of gender,
    patriarchy fall into this category. This opened the door to other ideologies which
    run counter to evidence including transgender ideology. The general idea that expressions
    of opinion which the listener does not like are unacceptable and should be suppressed
    is encapsulated in the the authors use of the word ‘misogyny’. This is used by feminists
    to suppress any arguments against feminist orthodoxy as being invalid and grounded in
    an imagined hatred of women. This technique of demonising those with a different point
    of view to avoid a debate was established by feminists and has simply been copied by
    transgender activists.

    What we need sis a return to the idea that we should deal respectfully with those whose
    ideas we disagree with, that hearing a wide range of points of view and debating them
    is a strengthening and positive experience not a negative experience, that we should
    seek to judge everyone on their actions and their arguments on their merits. We need
    to get rid of the raft of measure to discriminate in favour of ‘victim’ groups and
    against ‘victimiser’ because they are damaging and unfair to everyone.

    The complaints in the article are special pleading that feminists and women need to
    be treated differently from everyone else and their opinions protected from suppression
    while suppressing everyone who does not believe what they believe.

  24. Simon says

    The current wave of free speech restrictions on campus seem to result from the conflation of several censorship strategies led by non-coordinate actors on the intellectual field.

    On one hand, on might underline the inquisitional role held by some actors. There are sectorial foundations eager to prescribe deontologic codes to public institutions on topics they pretend to have the monopoly of expertise. They can also exert discursive pressures on some researchers through means of ideological intimidation or distribute morality accreditations. There are college students prone to intervene on curricular design through direct contestation of their professor’s teachings, or through legal actions organized against university administrations.
    On the other hand, one might mention the existence of an increasing self-censorship among other actors. There is a high propensity, on the part of college executives, to access active censors’ requirements, be it for promotional purposes, through virtue-signalling, or in order to avoid student disturbance. There also is an increased peer pressure, in academic journals, to avoid challenging opinions which might end in retaliatory measures from the group of active censors.

    I don’t have any expertise on the subject, but I would intuitively say that there two ranges of converging factors.

    On the part of lgbt foundations and politicized students, there is an epistemic shift from the emphasis on social sciences as conformed to scientific standards to academic knowledge conformed to ideological prerequisites. The current situation is the logical path followed by the identification of knowledge to discourse (let’s say, the Foucault’s moment), then from discourse to identity (let’s say, Stuart Hall’s moment). There is a confusion between a proposition as an extrinsinc property of the locutor – I am not a scholastics when I try to reconstruct the thinking of Thomas Aquina -, to statement as an intrinsic property of the individual – I study queer studies because I claim my right to identity recognition from public officials.
    In that context, being gender critical does not mean being scientifically cautious : it means exerting an epistemic violence on a specific minority. Questioning the rationale behind the basic philosophical axioms behind queer studies is not a legitimate inquiry. Indeed, by attacking the philosophical preconceptions of your students, you attack him or her intuitu personae. The epistemological foundations of queer studies are beyond critical reach. They do not express philosophical propositions. They are political statements expressed through conceptual means. Yet your political affiliation define your identity, as well as your position in the hierarchical structure of power. Given that you are a protected minority, your political statements must also be protected, even though they are disputable on a pure epistemic base. The sacrality of these opinions lead to an inquisitional type of discursive coercion.

    On the part of academic administrations, I think their pusillanimity is twofold. It’s partly due to the effectiveness of the methods of coercion used by foundations and students. There are numerous modus operandi, from public shaming, stigmate attachment, call for boycott to physical abuse. All of them can be coined by the term « agit-prop ». And it seems we live in a favorable era for agit-prop and propaganda of the deed, whose spectacular effectiveness would be better understood if it was put in the broader perspective of contemporary trends in general politics. I have never been convinced and my awareness was never raised by any public performance. But somehow, it seems sufficient as a method of agenda-making and public opinion building.
    But I think the appeal of such ideologies and the responsiveness of university officials is a result of the neoliberal assault on humanities and social sciences departements. Universities depend less on public fundings, and more on the private sector, be it nonprofit or lucrative. University is no longer an island in the field of ideological apparatuses but the theater of a static warfare, of an intellectual struggle for position between several actors. Bowing to the leftist mob’s pressure is a matter of nodality in the competitive and selective market of ideas. I can list two. Cultural industries, on the hand, ask universities to product marketable ideologies and identities for mass consumption. This is the Disney-like appropriation of queer studies or the Netflix-like appropriation of race studies. Nonprofit foundations, on the other hand, see universities both as a recruitment pool and an audience. In the long run, their main goal is having governements implement the policies they advocate, such as gender assignment based on self-identification or transgendered restroom, instead of potentially more reasonable solutions. In that context, classical, academic proven approaches are of no use. Why bother discussing epistemological constructivism through analytical and logical control while queer studies offer turnkey representations for mass consumption ? Why study conscientious disciplines such as philology, linguistics or textual archeology … when we have reading strategies allowing us to flood the sector of scientific publishing with quickly-written, peremptory articles ?

    (Sorry for my awkward phrasings, I’m French)

    • Kencathedrus says

      @Simon: ‘…I think the appeal of such ideologies and the responsiveness of university officials is a result of the neoliberal assault on humanities and social sciences departements [sic].’

      I’m in complete agreement with you. In wanting to attract and retain students, university administrators no longer care about the quality of course content, they just care about student satisfaction surveys and ‘butts on seats’. In this regard, a professor who challenges students’ persecution complexes risks being labelled racist, bigoted or sexist which is a fireable offense in academia. Useless courses like Women’s Studies and Queer Theory are becoming increasingly popular because they confirm the students’ limited world view rather than challenge and expand upon it.

      If you’re a logical rational being with a mind of your own, working in academia is maddening.

  25. Alx says

    When you go to a hardware store there are hundreds of different sizes, types, material and types of usage nuts and bolts. That there is such variety in nuts and bols, does not negate them being nuts and bolts.

    That there are hundreds of different types of batteries does not negate they all have a positive and negative charges.

    Let’s not be stupid, there is only make and female but your mileage may vary on their application.

  26. Martin28 says

    @Alx
    To take your analogy one step further, the batteries line up in a specific way to generate something: electricity. The male and female line up in a specific way to generate something: New human beings. All the discussion of 37 flavors of sexuality ignore the biological fact that only one kind generates human beings. Maybe that’s why ancient religions held that kind sacred.

  27. Old Boy says

    25 years ago:
    “I have always been unhappy and didn’t know why. I’ve had serious problems in my relationships and felt disconnected from everyone. Nobody could figure out what was wrong until I read and heard about something everyone thought was extremely rare. It wasn’t rare, it was just suppressed by society. Now after talking with a psychologist I realize that all my problems stem from repressed memories of being sexually abused by my parents when I was a baby. Now that I’ve recovered my memories, I can move forward with my life.”

    Today:
    “I have always been unhappy and didn’t know why. I’ve had serious problems in my relationships and felt disconnected from everyone. Nobody could figure out what was wrong until I read and heard about something everyone thought was extremely rare. It wasn’t rare, it was just suppressed by society. Now after talking with a psychologist I realize that all my problems stem from the fact that my gender doesn’t match my biological sex. Now that I’m expressing my authentic self, I can move forward with my life.”

  28. Lance says

    All these national/international recognition-awareness days? Sorry, but there’s no putting that toothpaste back in the tube. The only thing I see affecting those so-called events is the degree to which they are observed (which I do not anticipate ascending to global popularity, nor being widely celebrated beyond the relevant population).

  29. Robin says

    The irony of a female professor whining about free speech. Much like the recent article in Quillette by Julie Bindel claiming to be a victim by those nasty trans people. Did you seriously think speech was ‘free’?? My you are naive.

    The other heretics who were cast out of the Temple they created, Jordan Peterson, Brett Weinstein, Lawrence Summers, etc. The formerly complicit are resurrected as being courageous for failing to pass a purity test they created. What is “diversity” but a code-word for the institutionalized, legalized and normalized discrimination against men? Particularly white men. I’m sure Kathleen Stock had no problem with diversity when it got her a job. Now with a quick Google search I can see you have been identified as ‘trans-phobic’ and being pilloried publicly. It sure sucks doesn’t it?

    What would you like us to say Ms Stock? How about “welcome to the world you created”…? Or, “it’s your bed, you made it, now sleep in it”? Here is a sentence you could practice… “would you like fries with that?”

  30. northernobserver says

    Why, because she doesn’t validate your visions? She doesn’t sooth your feelings?
    You want meaning John, go to Church and pray. But keep your violent political fantasies the hell away from our friends and families.

  31. Westerners are deeply confused people says

    Gender == sex.

    Gender != sex.

    Sex is binary.

    Sex is a spectrum.

    Gender is a social construction.

    Gender identity is an innate psychological property of individuals.

    … … you Westerners are really confused, aren’t you?

    Sex is binary; gender & sex are 1:1 for 99.%, & for the statistical outliers, mental health issue complicates things; gender identity is a reifed abstraction, not even rising to the level of a social construction, which deeply confused people in Western academe advance.

    SMH Westerners are soooooo confused here.

    • Kauf Buch says

      “SMH Westerners Leftists are soooooo confused here.”
      There. fixed it for you!

    • Julia says

      Basically, the whole thing stems from expanding the definition of “gender” in English. Try to compare “sex” to “cucumber” and introduce “your cucumber identity”.

      But what about languages where “gender” doesn’t exist or is only a grammatical term? Savages!

  32. Winston Smith says

    Props to professor Stock, yet again. Her stuff is always clear and on-target. And it takes a considerable amount of grit to go up against the “trans” cultural apparatus. The left, having lurched to a wild extreme, has few good arguments for its positions; it has adapted by responding to argument with ad hominems and attempts at personal and professional destruction.

    I’ll lodge a small criticism–not really directed at Stock, but at something about the overall dialectical milieu: “gender critical” radical feminists take a lot of flak for having the temerity to question “trans” mythology…but no other group is really permitted to criticize it at all. I suggest that this shows that, even the few dissenters from this newly orthodox mythology have accepted–or at least operate within–the dialectical rules imposed by extreme-left progressivism. “TERFs” are (barely) allowed to say their peace because of their position in the “progressive stack” (women, feminists, often lesbians). A white male (a fortiori a straight or conservative one!) so audacious as to point out that this particular emperor has no clothes is likely to get the Michael Bailey treatment–accused of every grotesque perversion under the sun, against all evidence.

    It’s great that Stock et al. speak out; but we all need to do so. “Trans” mythology is dangerous–but even moreso, the leftist mindset that makes open inquiry into thoughtcrime…and that aims to exclude straights and whites and males from conversation entirely.

  33. Julia says

    “no gender-critical academic to my knowledge has ever denied the existence of trans and non-binary people”

    This is just funny. What kind of gender critical academic believes in non-binary mammals? Or just an academic, period. Oh, and I don’t think that academia should employ people who are delusional about basic things like their own biology (it wouldn’t cross to illegal discrimination as delusions don’t include trans who are aware of their own sex).

    Maybe, academics just should pull their heads out of their asses and strive for intellectual honesty instead of endorsing anti-science while pretending to be agnostic. And this includes denying the existence of non-binary humans, precisely.

    • Captain Obvious says

      This was kinda simple when I was a child; Mom saved time here and there by plunking my baby brother in the bathtub with 4-year-old Me. “Ooh, he’s made different!” pretty much was all I ever needed to know, until like Puberty when middle-school Sex Ed taught us that Tab A fits into Slot B and that’s how babies get made. All of which is indisputable under natural law.

      Maybe things went off the rails when we started doing things for reasons other than reproduction, eh? Trying to cheat the system, as it were, by performing acts that won’t result in offspring. Given the rates of transmission of exotic diseases, maybe every single culture on earth discouraged these behaviors for a REASON? Because they, like, go against Nature which wrote the rules and distributes the consequences. One of those consequences is social disruption, as we’re seeing now. Of course, we have the option of not buying into these delusions. It’d be nice if the 99.96 majority would excercise enough fortitude to send this nonsense packing to the dustbin of weird moral panics. However, it gets clix so I’m not holding my breath!

      • Aerth says

        There are animal species that have sex outside periods when their females can be impregnated. Are they living against nature?

  34. Alexander Rawls says

    No vocal opposition to individual liberty or mutual respect? How are they going to square that circle when the most basic liberty — liberty of thought — means that respect cannot be commanded?

    If two people debate which of liberty or respect should take priority, they both get kicked out? And then what is left? Just shut the doors, turn off the lights, and let the west’s radical-left-dominated academia return to the earth.

    Might as well. It is nothing now but a source of infection anyway.

  35. Ron Kenji says

    Interesting editorial. A couple of quick reflections:

    On Freedom To Publish: You are free to publish, but publishers are free to reject you. And where is this piece appearing? Quillette, which is not infrequently catcalled in Twitter as being conservative, which is a mere hop and skip to alt-right. You can still think what you like, for now.

    On Gender Identity: I used to nod my head that sex is biological, while gender reflects a subjective feeling of maleness or femaleness. But it occurs to me that I can never know if I have a “boy brain” or a “girl brain”; I have access to exactly one consciousness, which is my own. I only know that I am a boy or girl by looking into my underpants. That I like or don’t like sports, dolls, cooking, driving Subarus, or complaining about the air conditioning is clearly statistically RELATED to my sex and to my sexual preferences, but in no way deterministic.

    The contrary view – that liking certain things makes you gay – is pretty obviously stereotyping and I thought we had outgrown this as a society.

    Therefore, I don’t think there is such a thing as gender identity.

    On Politeness:Of course I would never barge in with my skeptical remarks into a public space unasked, and I would use people’s preferred gender. But this is accommodation of the postulated disability of being “born in the wrong body.” Accommodation has a reasonable limit. I have no idea what constitutes reasonable accommodation in the trans context, but I do believe that the topic merits discussion by people who are affected by it, as users or merely paying for it via taxes. It is not good policy to have the people who benefit from the accommodation being given over all the power to determine and implement it, because some of the demands might be unfeasible.

  36. Alexander Allan says

    Transgender ideology is not about equality, diversity or definitions of sex or gender. It is purely about the pursuit of power – cultural marxism reaching it’s zenith and a natural extension of the cultural marxism of the sexual revolution through feminism.

    Gender is the ideological construct of one John Money, a highly unethical and dishonest psychologist in the, yes you have guest it , 60s. Before then it never existed except in terms of grammar. It is a tool of feminism and the sexual revolution. Feminist Monique Wittig in her essay One is Not Born a Woman writes:

    “We question “woman” which for us, as for Simone de Beauvoir, is only a myth. She said: “one is not born, but becomes a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society: it is civilisation as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine”

    “It is still the same method of finding in women and men a biological explanation of their division, outside of social facts. For me this could never constitute a lesbian approach to women’s oppression, since it assumes that the basis of society or the beginning of society lies in heterosexuality.”

    :…there are lesbians who affirm that “women and men are different species or races (the words are used interchangeably)….By doing this, by admitting that there is a “natural” division between women and men, we naturalise history,….

    She is not the only one to hold such extreme views. Kate Millet wrote women’s nature was “cultural, rather than biological” in her book Sexual Politics.

    Spot the singularity between these ideas and transgenderism?

    Second wave feminist ideology is merely being rebranded and taken to another level by the madhouse of secular reasoning. Whereas for Wttig et al the oppressor were men in totality, for the trans it is those who are “cis”, and the oppressor must be defeated for liberation.

    The only way this Hydra of the marxism can be stopped is by killing the beast: that is killing of the disastrous secular social experiment that is the sexual revolution. However I don’t see that happening soon, as secularist are too enchanted by this beast. Some think they can just chop the trans head off and preserve the rest of the beast of sexual revolution, but the trans head will just grow back as it is natural off shoot from the underlying premises that gave us all the errors that spurned the beast in the first place.

  37. Jezza says

    @ronkenji When I tried your method of determining sex by looking into my underpants, I discovered that I am a little shit.

  38. No sharia says

    Sick and tired of having the guy/lesbian/trans/non binary propagAnda rammed down my throat.

  39. Once Upon a Time says

    Inspired by a comment here, I realized that feminism, whose arguments were designed to erase “sex/gender” in order to create “equality” (because in the feminists’ eyes, as long as there were men and women performing different roles there was no equality) are simultaneously arguing against themselves by arguing that there actually IS a sex/gender INSIDE ONE’S HEAD. In other words, what used to be men and women acting out roles according to biological function on the OUTSIDE, became problematic. It is far better for us to FEEL what we are, and those FEELINGS are still, for the most part, DESIRES TO PERFORM the very STEREOTYPICAL roles the feminists deigned to erase in the name of equality.

    So, in the feminists’ eyes, utopia is a place where one cannot tell on the outside what’s on the inside (genitalia); which, in turn, complicates the act of reproduction, which, in turn, will eventually lead to the erasure of the species.

    The feminist utopia is basically the end of humanity. Think abortion. A useful idiot’s comment on Facebook: I love my abortion. This person spends her entire life railing to support the very ideas that have rendered her useless. No man, (which she rails about — no one is “man” enough for her!) No real job (pursuing her dream of becoming a comedian!) No savings, no family, no purpose other than shouting into the ether about how glad she is that she had an abortion. The line dies with her. That’s the feminist utopia. Useless idiots screaming into the ether, not reproducing, and eventually dying off.

    The sterilized females who stupidly took testosterone, who rendered themselves unattractive by doing so…again…the feminist utopia is a place where reproduction ceases. There is no future if the future is female, meaning, if we succumb to this way of thinking.

  40. Aerth says

    In the future, there will be a new minority emerging and they will ask for something trivial. Then, someone will show them all this trans madness and say “You see that? It started with pronouns”.

  41. erik friesen says

    I’m confused. I’m a male and I’m really attracted to just about every aspect of a female who is attracted to me physically and mentally, especially in the privacy of a cozy bedroom. But I never talk about it and I’d be appalled if my sexual identity and interests ever came up for discussion with me or others.

    Similarly, if I felt a male put his hand on my thigh under the table at a bar, I might feel some arousal and might even accept an offer of oral sex, depending on my options at the time. But I’d never talk about that either. My sex life is private.

    Further, I have no interest in anyone else’s sex life. I don’t think it makes for a well balanced life experience if someones human identity is consumed by gender issues anymore than I think it’s a good idea to invest most of ones life in religion, gun ownership, making money, being ultra muscular, etc.

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