Is a trans woman really a woman?

Yes. But what can we say if told that we have testicles, so our sex is male, so we are men? It’s scientific, innit?

The word “man” has always had a different meaning from adult human with testicles. Rudyard Kipling: if you can show unswerving integrity, moral courage, and gentle acceptance of others’ inadequacies; if you never complain or show weakness, and

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

You’ll be a Man, which may or may not be different from a “man”.

Well I tried my damnedest, and I couldn’t. Force anything that hard and it breaks.

Someone quoted George Orwell: Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Ah, they is a martyr for Truth, rather than a tedious, pedantic, unmannerly oaf, calling me a “man”. Actually, that quote supports me rather than them. They seeks to simplify, we multiply words to seek to express nuance- gender queer, gender fluid, non-binary, trans woman. They wants to appear so Clear, Definite and Right, and is angry and desperate.

Trying to answer with science- “I have a woman’s brain, look at this study of white matter”– is a good start. That argument sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. Scientific analysis shows many variations on the genitals, in intersex conditions, and in the genes of those who appear to be cis. However, you are on the “man” side if you have or had working testicles and penis, and I share the feminist objection to asserting that innate gendered differences in brains cause men as a group to behave differently from all women. There is too great a range of behaviours in both genders for it to be so rigid. I feel the words “man” and “woman” have a use.

“Manliness”, “manhood” and “man” define an ideal, which is enforced in the culture. We don’t fit it. The answer is, change the culture, but that can’t be done quickly. Meanwhile, some people transition. We have been doing it for thousands of years, and the threat of death has not stopped us. I could not have accepted my feminine self without transition. As things stand, presenting male is just too difficult for me.

Then, this powerless group becomes a political football. EU human rights law has led to the Gender Recognition Act in Britain. The law says I am female. It makes my life easier. It is generally a working compromise. I dress female, use a female name, make some effort to lighten my voice, and mostly get by. Vulnerable people, for whom this is the most important thing in our lives mostly get tolerated. It takes all sorts to make a world. Me identifying as female is weird for some people, but then some people identify as Scottish first, or British, or Glaswegian, or European, and the relative importance differs for each person- and some of us get very steamed up about that. Anything human is rarely cut and dried. It is continually changing.

Some of the objection is transphobic. Ew. Men in women’s clothes! I want to be myself. I might look a bit odd. Greater acceptance of diversity benefits everyone, freeing us to benefit from each others’ gifts unrestricted by the strain of trying to appear normal. Everyone becomes aware of more possibilities, some of which they might try out. Everyone feels less need to conform, so as none of us fits stereotypes completely we are all more free.

It is possible that acceptance of a trans woman as a woman in some exceptional situations may harm other vulnerable people. That is certainly not true in every case, and the risk of someone being upset at seeing a trans woman in some random public loo is not a good reason for prohibiting all trans women from women’s loos. There might be particular circumstances where a trans woman should not use women’s space. I am open to persuasion. We should behave considerately in women’s space, but then, everyone should behave considerately in every public space.

That particular individual is incorrigible. Consider more of their drivellings: if we erase the notion of biological sex from the language, it would be impossible to walk into a wrong bathroom or discriminate against the opposite sex. But then we will live in the 1984 dystopia. What a martyr they is! I don’t want to erase the notion of biological sex, just permit the odd discrepancy, because human culture is complex, and changing it difficult, requiring bodges. Casting the issue in such apocalypic terms, they are surely justified in causing me such small discomfort as to instruct me what toilet to use. It is not an argument. There will be no meeting of minds. It is a power struggle.

Continued: Is a cis woman really a woman?

69 thoughts on “Is a trans woman really a woman?

  1. What’s wrong with being a female by gender? Well, presumably because it doesn’t sufficiently submerge the male sex with which many transgendered were born… and remain.

    Why does this matter? Why must a male who chooses a feminine gender identity unconditionally insist that he be considered a female when he is not? He is transgendered.

    This insistence presumes biological sex is of secondary concern when it is ‘merely’ a fact. And that’s the problem when a transgendered presumes to speak on behalf of the other sex, in this case females as if a representative of that biological fact when in truth he isn’t. He identifies with the feminine gender and may even go so far as have surgical procedures to further or reverse this pursuit but this simply does not alter the fact of biological sex. And there is absolutely no question that biological sex has tremendous differences in physiological development and medical concerns directly related to this brute fact. And in our society, it also has a tremendous impact on our patriarchal social systems.

    It may be politically correct to wave away uncomfortable facts in pursuit of correct gender politics. But facts have a way of staying permanent concerns no matter how much hand fluttering we go along with.

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      • Au contraire; you can be as feminine as you want and identify by gender as feminine. That’s fine. That’s the truth. You really do identify with the feminine. How I feel about it doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn.

        But you cannot arbitrarily change the fact of your biological sex. And that, too, is the truth. Respecting what’s true is not an act of bigotry, not a struggle to attain ‘power’, and framing it to be such is a political act to rationalize a reality-denying belief. Respecting what’s true is the basis of integrity. That, too, is true.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Oooh. Tildeb is keen on Truth and Integrity! That excuses him from the need to think or empathise.

          I can’t be as feminine as I want without transition, the social pressure is too great. I could not accept how feminine I am for years after transition. I would have killed myself by now, had I been unable to transition.

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    • Where have I heard that exact argument before? Ah yes, the definition of the word marriage. The word marriage can only be read narrowly because all of its weight must be placed – wait for it – on the genitalia of the couple. It is their genitalia that qualifies them for the word. Interesting.

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      • It’s not the same argument at all. Marriage is about equality legal rights… rights I think all adults of majority share. That is not the case in biological sex. We’re not one sex. We don;t share one sex. There are differences, Pink, that really do dramatically affect biological development and raise very different concerns. Women’s reproductive healthcare, for example, is very different and quite rightly so from men’s reproductive healthcare. Such differences matter.

        Now, you may not agree with this brute fact of biological sex-based differences but it’s a fact nevertheless. Sure, you may want to ignore this fact or pretend raising these factual differences is too politically incorrect, too inconvenient, too anti-egalitarian, and indicates bigotry, but that’s all on you projecting the way you think reality should be. But another inconvenient brute fact is that you are not the arbiter of reality. That job belongs to reality, one that has created sex-based differences. Gender identity is a social construct and not binary so I think we can construct whatever gender identity we want. But we can’t construct our biological sex and then claim the two are synonyms They’re not.

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        • Not only is it the same argument – but your comment is a textbook example of a false dichotomy.
          You reduce the meaning of the word woman to genitalia (and not even just that, genitalia at the moment of birth), and you do so arbitrarily. And you do so to exclude.
          Interestingly enough many people think the word woman means more than that. And that’s not really an issue because every language has a very useful type of word called an adjective which can further qualify or describe a noun!
          Because of that magical word, a house can be white or blue (or many other colours). A marriage can be same-sex. An American citizen doesn’t have to be white. It’s historically a new thing, but in Spain they can even have Female Judges, believe it or not, even though the word judge (Juez) is masculine. We can even find female voters in much of the world now even though the word only referred to people with male genitalia up until 100 years ago.
          In the case of gender, well, there’s a spectrum. One of which is trans-women. See what I did there? Trans is the adjective that describes what type of woman we’re talking about. You see, there’s no need to reduce the definition to exclude anyone. At least not in good faith.
          No one is trying to construct an artificial reality, simply acknowledging the complexities of the human being. Reducing and limiting with the intent of excluding helps nothing and no one.

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          • You are projecting, Pink. You accuse me falsely of saying/thinking/believing that I “reduce the meaning of the word woman to genitalia (and not even just that, genitalia at the moment of birth), and you do so arbitrarily. And you do so to exclude.”

            I say ‘falsely’ because I have neither said this nor intended this. I have simply and apparently to your great discomfort used the terms ‘male and female’ to indicate biological sex. Furthermore, I have said this difference is factual, affects development, and is real. This recognition is not arbitrary, Pink. It has absolutely nothing to do with me and so recognizing this fact is not an act – intentional and arbitrary and meant to exclude – whatsoever. All of these accusations are projected from you on to me without any factual basis. None. So you’ve fabricated this nice little argument as if recognizing what is true is bigoted and then smeared me with that label.

            Don’t do that. You have no right or justification.

            I have been very clear about supporting individuals to identify with whatever gender – a social construct – they choose and I feel I have no right to project my preferences about what different gender identities mean to me on to others as if I should sit in judgement and declare my pronouncements. Gender identity is an individual concern because individuals are the ones living it and I respect their decision without demanding detailed justification for their commitments. But let me very clear: gender should not come with legal attachments and this I think is a great failing of today’s society to start to meddle with individual legal rights and recognized freedoms by stealthily trying to replace this common foundation with the idiocy of tailored identity laws. And I see exactly the same disreputable tactic you’ve used here to try to further this subversion: by vilifying those who stand in the way on merit, on principle, on legitimate justification as zealous bigots and -phobes. Don’t be one of these ctrl Left fascists.

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            • Male and female?
              Really? So we’re not talking about man and woman anymore? Or pronouns? Or the Canadian professor?

              Are you giving your official authorisation for Clare or anyone else in her position to call themselves a trans-woman, or do they need to apply at a specific government office? What documents will they need? Is genital reassignment surgery a requirement?
              You can’t say you don’t mean things if the things are direct implications of your statements.
              Your comments imply Clare cannot call herself a woman. Simple as that.

              The idea of the fascist social justice warrior is getting old. How many of them are there? Enough to elect Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States? Disagreeing with you when you propose discrimination doesn’t make me fascist. Saying the word woman means more than genitalia doesn’t make me fascist either. I’m not reducing to exclude, you are.

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            • Words do matter, Pink. Clare cannot be a spokesperson for women because she is biologically male. She can be a spokesperson for transgendered but she crosses a border when she assumes her gender identity determines her biological sex. It doesn’t. She identifies as a woman but this does not make her female; it makes her transgendered.

              Your argument is facetious in the sense that it is not a case of bigotry and exclusion when biologically determined females are not biologically determined to be male and then complain of discrimination when presented with this biological fact. Then same is true that it is not a case of bigotry and exclusion when biologically determined males are not biologically determined to be females and then complain of discrimination when presented with this fact.

              Then bigotry and discrimination occurs when these two sexes are used as the basis to justify social status and privilege. Now we’re talking about assigned values to the biological sex. This we call ‘gender’. It is constructed not by biology but by society. A social construct does not trump biology and so Clare’s gender identity cannot trump her biology. She is male. Her transition is not a biological switch but an attempt to alter her gender. That’s why the correct term is transgendered. Not female. Not woman. Transgendered. And she is free to speak about gender issues from this platform but she is not free to change the fact of her male biology.

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            • Aaaaah. Now that was a beautiful attempt at wordplay. Almost to the level of the religious apologists.

              So you mean female, but sometimes woman, but not really woman, because she can be transgender but not a transgender woman…
              Do you not see the knots you’re tying yourself into to give this ridiculous argument a semblance of credibility.

              Your previous comment denied you were reducing womanhood to genitalia at birth, and now you’ve gone on t make precisely that argument. Funny, isn’t it, how you don’t even see what your doing? So busy you are in denying prejudice you can’t recognize that that’s what your pushing. And it’s not new. I know this from your previous comments. First you justified it with the sexual assaults that had never happened. When that was debunked you moved on to the train compartment issue (which haven’t existed since before I was born). You know what that means? You’re starting point is a prejudice and you’re looking for evidence to justify it.
              The idea a person has to be something to speak about it is the ultimate of the imbecility of identity politics. I don’t need to be a woman to speak about feminism, its history, its implications or the harm to society when it’s not implemented. I don’t need to be black to understand slavery is wrong. Your proposition relies on human beings being entirely devoid of empathy, imagination and compassion.

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            • Same tactic, Pink. What you’re trying to bury is the fact that there are very real physiological differences between the sexes… but we must ignore these completely, for that is what you are advocating, and pretend they don’t really exist, aren’t in fact real and have causal effects in real life, and that to avoid this charge of supporting patriarchy, we must go along with the politically correct con by pretending they don’t matter because, really,they only exist in the minds of the bigoted and the discriminatory.

              Now snow me under with another gish gallop of accusations of bigotry and discrimination for stating this fact and daring to presume that these real difference matter.

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            • So you haven’t read any of the mainstream feminist literature of the past 200 years which advocates for the opposite of what you propose?
              What are these imagined consequences you speak of and do they involve imaginary train compartments?

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    • The only ‘fact’ you have on the birth of a child is that they are born displaying particular genitalia. You speak like a machine when you suggest it is a fact that someone is biologically male or female, simply based on observation of penis or vagina at birth. You’ve trapped yourself in the language of your culture, pure and simple, and comically so given the way you tear into religious people who make similar errors of understanding. What about intersex people? What about XX males? Even if these clear biological distinctions didn’t exist, why would gender roles or observed biological differences determine someone’s identity?

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      • VW, why don’t you try Googling development differences in sex-based physiology before you shoot from the lip and presume I must have some agenda other than respecting what’s true??

        [Note- three comments fished from the trash to show how worthless they really are.]

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        • “Why don’t you try Googling”. You are such a stupid man, you cannot see when someone has greater understanding than you have. I allowed you one answer to direct questions, but as you have shown your ignorance with this comment, you will need to show some understanding, intelligence, wit or originality before you can get another comment through.

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      • If he answers you, I may let the comment through. He is standing for simple positions: I am a man, free speech is an unmitigated good, hate speech or oppressive speech merely a regressive left illusion. He insists on simplicity, I on complexity, I doubt there might be a meeting of minds.

        Incidentally I read a man today denying patriarchy on the ground that men are as oppressed as women by gender roles. Given that people are oppressed, I wish we could sympathise with each other more.

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        • It’s an interesting discussion, because he seems to be someone you could get through to but it’s like a brick wall of denial. He’s already photocopied and digested his Facts of Life and nothing we say can influence that.

          I think it’s true that men are oppressed by gender roles, it’s just the general form of oppression is difference. It’s not just about power and influence in society, it’s about freedom to do as you want with your life without being judged on your perceived gender.

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          • He has been commenting here since 2012. Mostly we have disagreed, because I have supported the value of Christianity in my particular way, but we were on the same side on certain Christian morality issues. I think he has been persuaded of his strong anti-trans line: this comment from 2013 seems positive. Possibly The Arbourist got to him. It’s also a question of how much attention you give something: he felt the need to tell me repeatedly that I am a man, that his need to say this is a free speech issue, and that nothing I can say in answer matters. I have never denied my genes or my lost gonads.

            For a time, he had value to me as I hone my arguments by writing them, but in the end he was simply too repetitive.

            The different are oppressed. Yes. Yet freedom to be different benefits everyone.

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  2. I don’t think we can get around the fact that there’s malicious intent behind this debate. It’s about no more and no less than using semantics to discriminate. Reducing a definition to a point where it can clearly be used to marginalise. That’s about power and oppression, not rights. It’s the sentiment motivating the religious liberty crowd.

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        • It’s not laughable when it is used to undermine feminism in its battle with patriarchy, when transgendered spokespeople demand inclusion and an equal platform on feminist issues as if they were biological women who share the same concerns, who face the same issues, who deal with the same daily conditions of living in a patriarchal society as female. They don’t. They can’t. They are the transgendered and they are not females in this case.

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          • Mainstream feminists across the board include transgender women under the woman and feminist umbrella. The only group that doesn’t are the TERF’s which represent numerically less than 1000 people worldwide. Yes, worldwide.

            Transgender people don’t undermine feminism. The same way gay men don’t undermine masculinity – and gay marriage doesn’t undermine marriage. In case you weren’t aware of it, trans-women face exceptional prejudice. Also worldwide. Up until 5 minutes ago most ended up in prostitution.
            They have more than a clue of what prejudice looks and feels like.

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          • I don’t see much about the practical consequences of all this theorising in what you say, Tildeb. I had testicles. So what? I should be forced at all times to wear a badge/t-shirt/sandwich board saying “I’m a man really”? I should be banned from women’s changing rooms and loos? I should take no part in feminist discussion?

            Mmm. I should not “demand an equal platform on feminist issues”. Well, people cannot demand platforms, only negotiate for them. My friend got on telly to discuss Doctor Who becoming female. I was dead envious. The producer had her contact details and not mine. So, no, I should not demand a platform, that would achieve nothing. Should I refuse it if a feminist offers it?

            Do you think all women face exactly the same issues? All of them? Do I share no issues at all with them?

            You said I should not speak for the female sex. I never have, I am even wary of claiming the word “feminist” as it means many different things. I don’t think anyone should, whatever their sex, as women’s experiences vary so much.

            You say my sex is male. So what?

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  3. I just want to know who transgendered me. Was it the social construct or myself? No, it is tildeb who is merely attempting to do so. I guess that biology maled me at birth, though.

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  4. That particular individual is incorrigible. Consider more of their drivellings: […] What a martyr they is! I don’t want to erase the notion of biological sex, just permit the odd discrepancy, because human culture is complex, and changing it difficult, requiring bodges. Casting the issue in such apocalypic terms, they are surely justified in causing me such small discomfort as to instruct me what toilet to use. It is not an argument. There will be no meeting of minds. It is a power struggle.

    Hi, the “incorrigible individual” here. You seem to battle a straw man because a) I am not instructing anyone what toilet to use and I think “toilet laws” on this matter should not exist at all, b) I have no interest in appearing “right” although I do want to be clear, if at all possible, c) I have no interest in being a martyr (you seem to know that martyrdom and playing a victim is a form of power struggle), and d) I have no interest in power or domination. I totally admit that biological men may identify themselves as females and biological women may identify themselves as men. Some people think that square pegs should be round and try to force them into round holes, but I don’t view this as a useful activity. I am not at all opposed to calling whoever the way they want to be called. So, perhaps, some “meeting of minds” can be possible. Sorry for not quite fitting your stereotype. Just as with gender identity, there is a whole spectrum of political identities between far right and far left.

    I see why you viewed my quote from Orwell as ironic. And, yes, you are right. We should not narrow the meaning of “he” and “she” to biology. (See, I’m doing my little step to meet your mind :-)). I quoted Orwell as an argument against changing the meaning of words for the sake of political correctness. I am not against calling trans-women “she”, especially if that’s what they want to be called, but I am against making it a crime to use “he” with regard to them. That law institutes a “thought crime”, does it not?

    They seeks to simplify, we multiply words to seek to express nuance- gender queer, gender fluid, non-binary, trans woman. They wants to appear so Clear, Definite and Right, and is angry and desperate.

    Well, again, I am not angry or desperate as you seem to think I should be. I am more interested in educating myself about the issues of identity and the issues of language. And you have a good point here. (See, I’m doing another little step to meet your mind :-)) But let me note that we are not multiplying words here. We are expanding the meaning of the existing words in a quite confusing way. And I simply doubt that this activity eschews obfuscation and espouses elucidation or has anything to do with human rights. Wouldn’t you agree that biological sex and gender identity are different matters? Should we use different pronouns to refer to biological sex and to gender identity?

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  5. Language constructs are often strange, inadequate, and confusing. I was born in Russia, but grew up in Ukraine. Then learned English at school and some German in college. In Russian, Ukrainian, and German (I think, also in French, Spanish, and other Romance languages as well as in Slavic languages) all nouns have grammatical gender. I’m not sure why, but “chair”, “table” and “floor” are masculine in Russian and Ukrainian. “Wall” is feminine in both languages. “Door” is feminine in Russian, but is always used in a plural form in Ukrainian. “Window” is neuter. And the noun “dog” is feminine in Russian, but masculine in Ukrainian. Don’t ask me why, I’ll never know. English appears to be more logical with respect to grammatical gender as all nouns referring to inanimate objects are neuter. English is quite exceptional in this respect. I was taught that “he” and “she” are usually applied to humans whereas animals are usually referred to as “it”. Even a cow is “it” although it’s clearly a female because “male cows” are called “bulls”. When I came to the United States, I found to my surprise that foxes are often referred to as “he” in fairy tales. The noun “fox” is usually feminine in Russian, although there is a separate word for a male fox. People tend to refer to their pets as “he” or “she”, probably, because they tend to attach personalities to their pets. Neutered male cats are referred to as “he” despite the lack of testicles.

    Bottom line, this whole thing is fucked up beyond imagination. Now, here comes a law making it a crime to use one pronoun instead of another… This law is mixing up gender identity with biological sex and adding grammatical gender issues to the mix. Perhaps, you can see why this can be too much to handle for some folks. I’m actually ok with gender identities and all kinds of marriages, but my reaction to this law was “WHAAAT?!”. That’s the kind of situation when the word “Nazi” comes in comments out of nowhere and out of context. I guess, my Orwell quote was a euphemism Perhaps, it has little to do with my attitude towards LGBT folks.

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    • Welcome. Thank you for commenting and engaging, despite my referring to you as a drivelling martyr. Your first comment on Pink’s post called some trans activists obnoxious, repugnant extremists. That seems fairly angry to me. You went on, Naming things in a different way does not change the things. Well, phenomenology: it changes the way we perceive them, which is as good as.

      If you are not opposed to calling whoever the way they want to be called, how do you explain what you said earlier: there is a definition of “male” and “female” based on physiology. Given a physical human body alone, in most cases, it would be easy to say if it’s a male or a female. And it is a linguistic convention that pronoun “he” is used for males and pronoun “she” is used for females. Again, how people “feel” does not change reality. For me, even when making love, unless you are actually seeking to make babies, gender matters more than sex.

      Tildeb failed to answer. I will ask you the same question: what should be the practical consequences. Should I have access to women’s space, or not? Most of those insisting I am “male” would say no. That would make my life considerably more difficult.

      I don’t think the gender of languages is relevant. There was a dispute when a French government minister wanted to be referred to as “Madame la Ministre”- she won, eventually- but I don’t think a dog is always male in France, nor that its masculinity prevents us from seeing poodles as feminine. My femininity is different from that of a door, wall or window, which shows how naming different categories “feminine” can confuse the things.

      Daniel Douglas, whom Pink linked to, quoted the law in Canada, and I explained there why I thought it had the balance right. If someone insists on referring to me as “he” to my face, it’s a public order, or breach of the peace issue.

      What is your attitude towards LGBT folks?

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      • “If someone insists on referring to me as “he” to my face, it’s a public order, or breach of the peace issue.”

        And that’s mandated authoritarian language. Right there. That is fascism in principle and fascist in practice.

        You have the right to be offended by my speech but you don’t have the right to mandate what I must say. Your position, your opinion in this matter, disagrees with this fundamental principle of free speech (to serve the master of identity politics rather than truth). You are in fact mandating what I must say, what pronouns I must use. You claim ‘peace’ can only be obtained if I go along with your mandated speech. Not mine. Yours. And you see no problem with this. Your version of ‘peace’ looks exactly like the justification for totalitarianism. It’s a price you may be iwlling to make right up until the time when someone claims your existence detracts from their peace. And then it’s too ate to figure out where you went off the rails.

        You are in fact advocating against free speech in the pursuit of what you deem ‘correct’ identity language. And you want the to give to the State the power to enforce it and think well of yourself for being so forward thinking, so very ‘progressive’.

        Well, it’s not forward thinking at all and it’s not progressive. It’s the antithesis of liberalism. It is regressive thinking of the worst kind because it is totalitarian in principle. You are willing to have me go to jail, to lose my freedom of autonomy, to serve your desire to make me speak language that you deem to be more important than my equal legal rights. Aren’t you the special one!

        You’re not. Any more than I am dictating to you what language you must use to satisfy MY identity politics.

        What you miss in your highly chauvinistic argument is that you undermine not just my but your own freedom to speak truth to power. You give up your right to offend me while at the same time argue that it is forward thinking and progressive to empower me – in the name of supporting identity politics in law – to determine on your behalf not only what I find offensive but to then arm me in law to have the state enforce government approved language. That’s identity politics in action. It is regressive and fascist and illiberal. Those who fail to see this universal danger have drunk the Kool-Aid of postmodern sociological thinking that turns all of us away from the individuals we are in fact – each sharing the same rights and freedoms – into a legally sanctioned mosaic of membership with various victim group identities.

        This doesn’t breed peace. It breeds violence once the law become the tool of government against those who must grant it consent to govern. It is a recipe for social disaster.

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        • Darling, you are never more ridiculous than when on your soap box. “Fundamental principles!” you fulminate. Freedom! Totalitarian!

          Do you use the N-word? If not, why not?

          I note you have still not answered my question. Should I be allowed to use women’s loos?

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          • “Darling’? I am offended. It’s not on the ‘Approved’ list.

            On this basis alone, I can lay a charge of ‘hate speech’ through the Human Rights Tribunal. It will cost you a minimum of $250,000 dollars to defend yourself and pay the Tribunal’s expenses and the conviction rate is 100%. That’s the reality of your opinion in action. Not bathrooms. Words.

            Or you can keep you mouth shut and be too afraid to offend anyone with any words. Say nothing. Go along. Behave yourself according to government regulations.

            There’s your new and improved version of freedom of speech in this Brave New World of identity politics. You’re arguing that this is a fair and balanced approach to making everyone in line with appropriately addressing your pronoun sensitivity.

            What is wrong with your thinking process here, Clare? It is broken.

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            • Sugarplum! Sweetykin! Hufflepuff!

              Rather than engaging with my arguments, you multiply idiocy. I assume you don’t use the N word, so you have conceded my point. I have an objection to male pronouns, which the culture accepts. You objecting to “darling” only makes you look foolish. I try not to offend people. What is wrong with that?

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            • Yes, this insistence on objecting to personally offensive words and making others kow tow to you by using the law to punish them is very, very foolish, isn’t it?

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            • Clare, I don’t use the word because I CHOOSE not use it. It is offensive TO ME. But, unlike you, I’m not going to support a government mandate to create and enforce a list of words ON YOU. That’s not liberalism; that’s fascism.

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      • Welcome. Thank you for commenting and engaging, despite my referring to you as a drivelling martyr.

        I’m not easily offended.

        Your first comment on Pink’s post called some trans activists obnoxious, repugnant extremists. That seems fairly angry to me.

        This was in response to a specific comment:

        He came to my campus and the students went crazy with blow horns and he had to leave to conduct the lecture outside. There is still graffiti all over the place defacing the inside of buildings calling him names.

        1) The comment does not mention “trans activists”, so don’t make me look as if I hate trans activists.
        2) My comment referred to a behavior which was blowing horns during a lecture at a university. And, yes, it is obnoxious, isn’t it? My point was that left extremists can be as repugnant as the right ones. You could say I’m hypocritical if I accused extremism from one side, but justified the same behavior from the other side. But I don’t.

        You went on, Naming things in a different way does not change the things. Well, phenomenology: it changes the way we perceive them, which is as good as.

        For social constructs — yes. For factual matter — no. If I say “day” instead of “night”, it won’t get any lighter. If you say that euthanasia is not a murder, but an act of mercy, I will not argue because “murder” and “mercy” are moral categories. Therefore, a trans woman is a woman if we consider gender identity, but a man if we consider biological sex. This distinction seems absolutely logical to me. Let me know if you think it is not. Does that answer the question in your second paragraph?

        Tildeb failed to answer. I will ask you the same question: what should be the practical consequences. Should I have access to women’s space, or not? Most of those insisting I am “male” would say no. That would make my life considerably more difficult.

        I personally do not have any objections. I don’t care who uses what bathrooms. Having witnessed 3 out of 4 births of my children in every spectacular detail, I can’t be embarrassed by any of either male or female physiological functions. I have translated the subtitles of this TED talk into Ukrainian. I see why it’s easier for transgender people to use the bathrooms of their gender identity rather than those of their biological sex. But I also understand the concern that the laws explicitly allowing them to do so can be abused by “peeping Toms”. This is why I think that “toilet laws” one way or the other should not exist. Mandating public places to have unisex single-stall “family” bathrooms and changing rooms would be a preferred solution. Many places like fitness clubs already have that.

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        • Generally, the cubicles in women’s loos have high enough walls and doors not to see over them unless you stand on the porcelain, which people don’t do. A peeping tom could find much easier ways of pursuing his predilection than cross-dressing to frequent toilets. It is a manufactured concern.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The peeping tom concern is more about public changing rooms in fitness clubs, I suppose. Most of them already solve the problem by having private single-person changing rooms with a couple of lockers, a toilet, and a shower that can be used by anyone uncomfortable with undressing in front of others or by parents with children of an opposite sex. It’s a simple solution that solves many problems.

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      • Coming back to Peterson. I read the full text of Bill C-16. The word “pronoun” is not even mentioned there! It simply prohibits discrimination based on gender identity which seems simple and fair. Then I thought, where does this pronoun brouhaha come from? And I read this. The article explains that

        The idea that incorrect pronoun usage would become illegal seems to have originated from Jordan Peterson, who is not an expert in law, but a professor of psychology. This idea was then spread by the religious right.

        It appears to me that this is a typical straw man agrument in its most classical form. In his speech in Canadian Parliament on May 17, 2017, Peterson says that he found this notion in some regulations on related policies which have later been taken down. It’s easy to see why pronouns became the focus of the debate. Most people would agree that mandating certain language is an obvious infringement of free speech. It is stupid to prohibit insults or being insulted. It’s easy to argue that mandating or prohibiting pronouns is nonsense. But it is not the same as prohibiting discrimination. This tactic is very similar to the “slippery slope” argument against same-sex marriages: “what’s next? bestiality?” Same shit.

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        • Bill C-16 now says,

          The purpose of this Act is to extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

          From the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal definition, which is what the federal guidelines use to interpret discrimination on the basis of gender expression:

          Gender expression is how a person publicly presents their gender. This can include behaviour and outward appearance such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. A person’s chosen name and pronoun are also common ways of expressing gender.”

          “Discrimination happens when a person experiences negative treatment or impact, intentional or not, because of their gender identity or gender expression.”

          “Trans people and other persons can experience harassing behaviour because of their gender identity or expression.”

          So, yes, the use of ‘correct’ pronouns is now mandated on the basis of the the transgendered person’s whim. Woe – in the form of fines to businesses whose employees say what they might say (intentional or not) to prison terms for those held in contempt by this kangaroo court – to those who get it ‘wrong’.

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            • I quoted Bill C 16 for the changes (in bold) and quoted the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal document for next three.

              Of interest is the recent motion e-411 using the same language as this Bill to include ‘Islamophobia’… as determined in the same fashion by anyone offended – and thus POOF!ed into a discriminated victim – by any kind of criticisms of Islamism. It’s a never-ending move towards fascism by the Regressive Left as we constantly go along with PoMo bullshit and parse people into ever more victimized groups each deserving of protected snowflake treatment by the State from the ‘privileged’ majority.

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            • Look at the last six words. What does that mean? Again, it whatever the PoMo snowflakes want it to mean and they want the State to punish the offenders… determined to be such by the offendees.

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          • Even if your quote is correct,

            A person’s chosen name and pronoun are also common ways of expressing gender.”

            “Discrimination happens when a person experiences negative treatment or impact, intentional or not, because of their gender identity or gender expression.”

            Well, yes someone referring to himself as “she” is a way of expressing gender. What’s wrong with that? A name or a pronoun does not constitute “negative treatment” unless you are a “hugh mungus what?!” type of person. Where does the law mandates using certain pronouns?

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            • Nothing wrong with that at all.

              What’s wrong is being found guilty of committing a hate crime by not using the preferred pronoun… a personal and subjective selection according to the person being addressed… even if unintentional!

              Seriously. I kid you not.

              Since when did intention of an action be of no concern at all in legal matters?

              Well, welcome to the New and Improved PoMo world.

              Furthermore, the Tribunal can then levy fines and punitive damages to any business whose employee may make the intentional or unintentional act of ‘hate’… again, an act determined by the person who selects to be offended to turn a pronoun into a crime. Nice, eh? Who exactly is the ‘hugh mungus what’ here?

              The funny thing here is that the PoMo ‘thinkers’ want to be held in esteem by claiming a biological basis for their gender identity while at the same time decrying anyone who dares to use the same biological basis for sex classification as perpetrators of aggression and bigotry. It’s irrational. That’s why supporters of this PoMo bullshit don’t want to talk about – too boring, donchaknow – it but use megaphones and slurs to drown out legitimate opposition to their own hypocrisy.

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            • Pomo? Permanent Open Market Operations? An indigenous people of California?

              Your comments are: stupid- of course intention matters; repetitive and inelegant; insulting- my arguments are not “bullshit”; not argument, but assertion; and whiny. You have had a great deal of space here to put your case, and you have failed to say anything of value. Even if you take double the words, I doubt your fulminations will communicate anything beyond your entitled ignorance. Go and write a post for your own blog. Any further comments from you here will be trashed, including your whining about my unfairness. If you comment on other posts here, please take Pascal’s observation to heart: take the time to write a short comment, because your long comments are not worth the time they take to read. Make your comments concise, elegant and a propos.

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            • Stupid? And you’re correcting me? Sorry, you’re correcting the facts? Of course you are, Dearie. That’s what being Post Modern is all about.

              The law specifically states a crime of discrimination has still occurred according to the offended even if ‘unintentional.’ So it’s this law that’s stupid, isn’t it?

              Yes, the truth can be so inconvenient. So you think you can change it by insulting me. Grow up, Clare. Stop being so petulant when you can’t have it your own hypocritical way.

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            • I agree that turning using words into a crime is nonsense. But, again, show me the text in the law where this is spelled out. Are there precedents where people are convicted based on someone else feeling offended? Or is it a hypothetical possibility?

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            • Well, that’s just it, agrudzinsky: the Human Rights Tribunal isn’t a judicial body like a court and so it doesn’t have to have its criminal charges spelled out like in the Criminal Code. It simply makes pronouncements of punitive damages awarded to the offended and assigns all costs and damages to those brought before it. 100 % conviction rate. There is no appeal process except by petitioning the very Tribunal who decided how to interpret such Federal acts – Federal Acts deemed to be properly interpreted by the Tribunal according to the Houses that passed this execrable legislation! That’s why it’s a kangaroo court Clare thinks has struck the right balance. Gee, I wonder why?

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            • I cut him off. He wants to make my life unbearable, and says I am a fascist for objecting. A comment I trashed from him shows that he does not understand the difference between civil and criminal liability, so I don’t trust him to read legal primary sources accurately, or select useful secondary sources.

              On words as crime, what of falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre? I tend to feel the Scottish criminal offence of “Breach of the Peace” has value. You should not behave in public in a threatening or abusive manner. It tends to be extreme before the police and prosecuting authorities are involved, but reduces abusive behaviour.

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  6. I don;t classify people by their victim grouping. I classify people as the individuals they are. The rights and freedoms and responsibilities I desire are IDENTICAL to the ones I must allow for you. You imposing your word list on me is a fascist act because unlike you I recognize that I don’t share that right, do I? You are the one trying to disempower me and privilege your word list by law. That’s why it’s an attack on free speech. Yet by PoMo thinking, me standing up to such bullying tactics makes me the ‘aggressor’ and you the perpetual ‘victim’. And you’re willing to tear down liberalism and respect for the individual in your quest to make yourself feel empowered. Get over yourself.

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      • Why should I watch a video called “SJW Insanity”? Should I imagine it shows events and gives context fairly and reasonably, and if not why not?

        Bertrand Russell said he would rather his arguments were summarised by an intelligent opponent than a thick ally. (Not in so many words). Yet- who has a platform is a matter of power. Trans folk have little power. We are badly hurt, and some people want us hurt worse. So we disrupt the actions of those who seek to use power against us. Writing papers in philosophical journals is one thing, making speeches which encourage those who hate us quite another.

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        • I have looked up the term “SJW” after I watched the video. There is no commentary or bias in the video, except for the title. It simply shows a professor trying to speak, some people waiting to listen, and a crowd standing in the room banging on cow bells, blowing horns and chanting “transphobic piece of shit!” in megaphones. He finally walks outside and addresses those who can hear him saying things in defense of free speech and things like “don’t allow others impose their stereotypes on you” with the riot going on incessantly in the background.

          Regardless of the matter at hand, and regardless of what he had to say, an unbiased viewer of this situation would automatically sympathize with the professor rather than with the protesters, don’t you think so? He can’t call the police because of the irony of calling the police to shut down a protest to a lecture in defense of free speech. He knows that. Perhaps, the provocation was the goal of the protesters, but it didn’t work either.

          I’m trying to understand how this behavior can gain support for the transgender cause. Do you think that having nothing to say in response to Peterson except for blowing horns to shut him down is a “strong” argument?

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          • No-one is imposing any stereotype on anyone. We are simply asking for minimum courtesy. If he acts like a transphobic piece of shit, I see no harm in calling him that. As to whether that will “gain support”, nothing will gain your support. You have shown that clearly. The arguments are clear, and are on line- many are on this blog. Go and read them, then come and apologise. Or not, as you wish. But don’t expect me to accept your claims that you, Jordan Peterson, or any other transphobe is merely seeking free speech and truth.

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