We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Barry’s sin was to misgender Caitlyn – misgendering being secular societies’ equivalent of blasphemy – and to ask why a one-time athlete’s decision to have a sex change, or whatever it’s called these days, has become such massive international news. ‘FFS’, he tweeted. ‘Why in heaven’s name is he such big news?’ In those nine little words, Barry committed two great crimes. First, he referred to Caitlyn/Bruce as ‘he’, which confirms that he is in thrall to the insane idea that people who have penises are men. And secondly, he dared to ask why a man having breast implants and a makeover for the cover of Vanity Fair made waves worldwide, hitting the headlines everywhere and causing Twitter to go into meltdown.

Brendan O’Neill writing about what happened when someone admits he is puzzled, as I am, about the bizarre amount of international media coverage over some Yank I had never heard of until recently getting his bits snipped off or whatever he did to warrant calling himself ‘Caitlyn’. Yeah whatever… but it appears applause is mandatory.

61 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • JohnK

    Apparently Bruce is now Caitlyn, and although he might be hung like a horse, if he identifies as a woman, it is very rude not to refer to him as a her. And by “very rude” I mean that if you work in the public sector or academia, you will be terminated.

    Being disrespectful to a trans person is now on a par with drawing a cartoon of Mo. How the left wing intelligentsia reconcile their transphilia with their islamophilia will be one to watch. Whatever happens, straight white males will be to blame. They always are.

  • james

    So… was Red Rum a mare?

  • I once fired a transgender person in a job interview. I did not mind her (his?) sex, but she just wasn’t a good candidate. Frankly, I only noticed she was a trans when she complained about my sexism. I said I did not mind anybody’s sexual orientation as long as the person had qualifications and professional experience in the field required. That was the end of the interview.

  • John Galt III

    Oh, I fervently wish that all Leftists, Democrats, Progressives and such all have sex change operations at a young age so as not to have children.

  • Snag

    About time for the “draw a cartoon of a transgender Mohammed” day.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Those of us teetering on the edge of the grave can remember a very similar journalistic frenzy over the first publicly announced sex change, that of George/Christine Jorgensen in 1952. I suppose Jenner’s has the novelty value of being the first to be publicized in a long time, and grasps our attention because, face it, we’re all basically monkeys.

  • RAB

    I don’t give a damn what sex you are, who you have it with, or how many. But I was always told that sex is 90% mental and 10% physical. So please you trannies, bi’s, etc etc get your heads straight, and enjoy yourselves. But please stop cluttering up the media with your tales of angst, because most of us couldn’t give a fuck.

  • thefrollickingmole

    If you really want to upset the twitterati and like idiots try this.

    The most beautiful words in the English language which they cant get their heads around.

    I dont care.

    I first learnt of its power when interviewing a refugee applicant who visibly cringed when he told me his religion (Madalean, from Iran). When I didnt show any reaction at all the relief that flooded his features was extremely visible.
    He d led a life where half the time he had to tell his religion it was legitimising abuse against him to have someone not give a shit about it was beyond comprehension to him.

    Yet you post “I dont care” and it puts sand in the gears of lefties minds. They cant (though they will try) stick you in the “haters” category, nor have they browbeaten the approval they seem to think a persons private peccadillos needs from everyone.

  • Dom

    There will come a time when transgenderism is cured in the fetal stage. I imagine there will be a great deal of resistance to this. “Why don’t you change a cis-fetus to s trains-fetus?”, they’ll say. Whatever. It will come to be obvious that a procedure before birth is better than surgery after birth.

    Actually, I think the same about homosexuality. There’s no need for it. Get rid of it.

  • Dom

    Btw, anyone else notice that mattress girl made a porn movie? Doesn’t it all make sense now?

  • mojo

    He’s connected to the Kardashian Media Machine. Big Phat butts is the least of it.

  • David Crawford

    “Caitlyn”, jeez Bruce, you chose the most white-trash, trailer park way to spell your name. Are you going to start talking about your “baby daddy” next? Can I expect to see you shopping in Wal Mart next week, wearing way too little cloth to cover way too much flesh. Wanting to be a woman is one thing, wanting to be a hillbilly is another.

  • Sean

    So, if you are a guy, and think you are Josephine rather than Napoleon, you don’t have a mental problem? And doctors will cut off your genitalia if you asked them to? Seriously?

  • mojo

    A very small percentage actually get the genital surgery. Reason: most of them are simply mentally deficient and/or crazy, and an ethical surgeon won’t touch them. Psychological work-up required.

    Anybody can have bolt-ons installed and buy a dress.

  • Mr Ed

    It must have been a remarkably prolonged, expensive, draining and difficult surgical procedure to remove every Y chromosome in the body and replace it with an X, presumably cloned from the original X chromosome in the cell already. I am really quite astonished at the progress made in biology.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    In most circumstances I am happy to describe people in the way they prefer. I don’t want to offend. The people I tend to like don’t want to offend and, equally, don’t want to be offended. They might politely express a preference as to how others describe them, but are willing to cut a little slack to someone who forgets, or who doesn’t know, or who sincerely disagrees, or who finds it hard to change their verbal habits. They don’t assume malice. I try to take this attitude when I am the one being described.

    By the way, don’t assume that all transsexuals who would prefer to be referred to by the pronoun-of-the-gender-they-are-transitioning-to (is there a briefer term?) actually like being the Left’s new pets.

  • George Atkisson

    Jenner has not gone to court to legally change his name. It is therefore legally proper to say he/him and call him Bruce. Socially? Your mileage may vary. I prefer the “I don’t care” so elegantly expressed above.

    The great glee and publicity here in the former colonies is due to 1.Having a new LGBT icon with which to beat the unenlightened, and 2. getting rid of on of those evil white males. If Serena Williams decided to do sex reassignment surgery to become a man, the same people extolling Jenner would hound Williams into hiding for betraying women everywhere.

  • Cal

    >the bizarre amount of international media coverage over some Yank I had never heard of until recently

    Well, not that I’m disagreeing with what you and O’Neill have said, but the reason why it’s big news is because Jenner and his ex-wife and the wife’s kids are enormously huge celebrities in the US. And Jenner is a track legend. It’s like Daley Thompson marrying Jordan and then having a sex change. (But even that doesn’t get close to how big they all are in the US).

  • Fair enough Cal, but why so much international attention? I had never ever heard of the bloke until recently. Moreover someone has a so-called sex change… whooptie doo. Whatever. I have no objection just not sure why anyone else should care that much (or indeed be required to care much). To me and indeed the linked article, the issue is why is this an international news story?

  • Snorri Godhi

    There are encouraging signs: there are people who are not afraid to say that men thinking they are women in men’s bodies, or vice versa, are mentally ill:
    (I link to Instapundit because the original article is beyond a paywall, and there is a long quote at Instapundit.)
    The fact that the author is an academic psychiatrist, at a US university for good measure, is even more surprising and encouraging.
    My own opinion, for what it’s worth, is that having a dissonance between genetic makeup and gender identity, is obviously a mental illness, since it causes obvious personal problems (not to mention a decrease of reproductive fitness) but the important issue is how best to deal with it. The article suggests that sex-reassignment surgery is not a successful strategy.

  • Personally I could not care less Snorri, but I do rather object to people thinking I must care (either for or against) and moreover demand I must participate in my choice of description. If they are polite about it I might pretend not to notice it is a bloke in a frock (I know someone called Rebecca who I am perfectly willing to do that for), but the other party does not get to decide that for me.

    I also laugh at a notion I recently read claiming “gender is a social construct”… no, gender is a biological fact, it is merely how we react to the chromosomal facts of gender that are by and large social constructs.

  • JohnK


    Bruce hasn’t had a sex change. He’s still got his frank’n’beans, but he now wears a dress and has announced he identifies as woman, and if you chance not to call him a her, you will be terminated for your extreme prejudice. All this while IS are throwing gays off buildings, but people who don’t call Bruce Jenner “she” are the real haters.

    For the record, I don’t care either.

  • Paul Marks

    Genetics is genetics – even if the man has his penis cut off, he is still XY (not XX)

    The whole thing is a personal matter for the person involved.

    It should be of no interest to anyone else.

    As for the P.C. media and education system (and so on).

    Well one good side about economic bust is that all this silly obsession with personal matters will be swept away.

  • Cal

    >Fair enough Cal, but why so much international attention?

    Because Bruce Jenner and the Karsashians are in the international news all the time. There’s hardly a day goes by without the Daily Mail having some story about them. Don’t you remember the recent car crash story about Bruce Jenner? No? Okay then.

    But obviously a lot of the huge attention in this case is because the left has decided that the ‘transwomen’ issue (or whatever they’re calling it) is a new ‘big cause’, and they’re tying it in with the celebrity aspect. I’m not denying that.

    (Jenner is actually a Republican, which might seem to be awkward for the left, but in fact that suits the left nicely, because they like to have the Republicans running along behind them, about 20 steps behind.)

  • There’s hardly a day goes by without the Daily Mail having some story about them.

    That might explain why I never heard of the guy until recently 😉

  • RAB

    Like Perry, as I said earlier, I couldn’t care less, but what becomes irksome is that we are often paying for these operations from our taxes, when real life saving operations rather than lifestyle enhancing ones should be the first priority. You want to play with your gender? Fine by me, but do it on your own dollar.

    A few months ago, and I swear this is true, I saw a story about a bloke who thought he was a woman trapped in a mans body, so he had the operations on the NHS, lovely set of tits and all. But after about 6 months he was finding being a woman all a bit too much of a hassle. Well there’s the high heels, and the pantyhose to keep adjusting, and the lovely tits were becoming a bit of a burden too, besides he really missed having a pee standing up. So now he wants to have an operation (on the NHS of course) to reverse the procedure and make him a man again! Three words for you sir… fuck off sunshine!

    Littlejohn has a doozy here too. First story…


  • E Henning

    It puzzles me that I read so little, if any, criticism of the doctors involved. As the article quoted on Instapundit states: ‘“Sex change” is biologically impossible’, and yet many doctors give so many people the opposite impression. People without normal gene structure or those with psychological disturbances of some kind need serious help. Misleading them with “impossible” procedures seems highly unethical.

  • pete

    It is very intolerant to insist that others use the pronoun you prefer to hear.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Perry writes, “I also laugh at a notion I recently read claiming “gender is a social construct”… no, gender is a biological fact, it is merely how we react to the chromosomal facts of gender that are by and large social constructs.”

    It is very strange that the current PC orthodoxy is that:

    – the gender of a child is a social construct built up by the expectations of parents, relatives and society in general. It can be changed.

    – but that sexuality, in the sense of heterosexuality or homosexuality, is inborn and unchangeable. It cannot be changed either by the person themselves and most definitely not by the expectations of parents, relatives and society.

    I don’t know enough to pronounce on the facts. I am sure they are complex. Where gender or sexuality falls on the spectrum of inborn vs acquired and fixed vs changeable, it makes no difference to my political view, which is the standard libertarian one. But for some reason it all makes a huge difference to the PC people. Yet I am old enough to remember the days when the PC orthodoxy about homosexuality was that it was a choice, entered into proudly. The Guardian columnist Julie Bindel is a holdover from those days. She says became a lesbian for political reasons.

  • RRS

    Here’s a possible clue:

    This kind of “news” or current events concern shades out having to think about the more critical matters of the times.

    That relief, however temporary, from such thinking goes with all the other palliatives so avidly sought and gratefully accepted by masses of people; most of whom claim “individuality” and its shell of “privacy.”

  • Ellen

    A door creaks open. Ellen emerges from her closet wearing women’s clothing, which is pretty much all there is in the closet.

    I have run into quite a few definitions related to sex and gender. To start, there is the sex assigned by the doctor once you’ve been born and (s)he’s had a good look at you. There is the chromosomal argument — XY = male, XX = female. Strangely enough, I know an XY female. She has androgen insensitivity syndrome, and thus emerged from her mother with female genitalia. She’s kept them to this day, perfectly happy with them. She has a husband. They’ve retired to Arizona, so this is pretty much the long run.

    The dynamics of the marriage are not standard. Once retired, her husband wanted to become a woman. So they took a month-long vacation in which he lived as one. He decided it wasn’t for him, so did nothing about it. They remain, happily married, the sexes the doctors assigned when they were born. The fact they’re both XY does not seem important to them.

    I know another couple. Both started out male. Both ended up taking female hormones. One had a sex-change operation, and the other didn’t. The one who didn’t is definitely the more feminine of the pair.

    Another couple. Born man and woman, married, had two children. The man got a sex-change operation. When they go to an event where cross-dressing and sex changes are expected, it’s the genetic woman who is immediately seen as the one whose sex was changed. (She is rather large. [He->she] is not.) They remain together.

    A single person. Assigned male at birth, ended up in Vietnam as a Ranger. (Sie sometimes tells tall tales. I’m not sure of this one’s degree of truth.) Sie is Lakota, whose tradition includes shamans of indeterminate sex. And sie is happily a shaman of indeterminate sex.

    Another single person. This is the one you’re talking about. Somewhat a nut, got her surgery without going through the proper steps, is no happier as a woman than she was as a man. The kind of person happiness does not come to.

    The tales are many. Most of the ones I’ve heard are reasonably happy. Your mileage may vary.

    As noted, there are many different definitions of sex and gender: chromosomal, somatic, hormonal, social. Surprisingly, the sex of one’s desired doesn’t really enter into it all. And there are many “others” — Klinefelter’s syndrome (XXY), “supermale” (XYY), intersex, AIS and a whole stack of others. We may pretend the world is binary, but the world is not all that interested in our opinion.

    Since we started off with me, let’s finish that way. By the definitions I’ve mentioned, I was born male – chromosomal, somatic, and hormonal. Socially, I’ve never been fully male. When parties split up, men in the living room, women in the kitchen, I usually ended up in the kitchen. While all my romances have been female, a surprisingly large fraction of them were lesbian.

    At the age of four, I was convinced I should have been female. That never went away. As I was heading towards fifty, I had troubles with both osteoporosis and mastitis. “Damn it,” I thought, “If I’m gonna get female problems, I want the good parts too.” Well, to make a long story shorter, I did it properly (Benjamin Standards of Care.) And for seventeen years now, I’ve only met the genetic standards of maleness. Hormonally, somatically, and socially, I’ve been female, if lesbian. I’ve been happy with it.

    Leftists have been mentioned. The Left thinks they own us. The Social Justice Warriors keep changing the terminology — I sure don’t know the currently acceptable terms for us. I don’t hang around with the Left, so I don’t care. It got too uncomfortable, so I — left.

    Don’t pay attention to the “so many regret their sex-change operation” people. There will be folk who regret anything. Very few of the people I’ve known have. Psychiatrists et al may disagree. They, too, see a biased sample.

    “You’re very sick,” the psychiatrist told his patient. Then a wave of insight came over him. “Of course, all of my patients are very sick.”

  • M2P

    Can I put the argument for the defence?

    Because the Jenners are massively famous in the US, and even in the UK any athletics fan of a certain age would remember Bruce. A transgender of this kind of profile helps to publicise it, and living in a society where such matters are discussed and accepted rather than vilified is generally a good thing. I had mates at school whose father went through a sex change, and the level of shock and disapproval that they went through (in the early 80s) was life-changingly awful.

    I felt the same irritations as many of you express above about gay marriage; I resented it being used as a litmus test to weed out the bigots, and I hated the way all of a sudden I had to go along with it. I’ve just been to a gay wedding in the USA and it was a delightful event, and actually I think the rather forced media blitz was quite right, however annoying it was at the time.

    It’s hard for most of us to imagine what it’s like feeling transgender (or whatever the expression is), but regardless of its causes it must be difficult enough without also having to deal with social disapproval. I think it’s fair to applaud Jenner and right to publicise it.

  • I think it’s fair to applaud Jenner and right to publicise it.

    Nah, still not getting it. I am perfectly happy to tolerate (and indeed have a transgendered acquaintance who I am perfectly happy to indulge). But frankly I feel my tolerance tested by seeing article after article that tells me it is not enough to tolerate, ‘we’ must celebrate some Yank bloke calling himself Doris or whatever. Er, no. I get irritated by heterosexual people getting overly pushy about their inner gender related feeling in front of me, so all this bizarre stream of publicity has the effect of actually making me more likely to tweet or blog provocative things, just to make it clear I still can. But frankly I would rather be writing about the Daesh or Putin, who seem to be getting less column inches than this guy.

  • Bod

    And that’s the point, Perry.

    I can’t claim it’s the Illuminati, Freemasons, or the Thetans that are responsible, but isn’t it awfully convenient that a gender-switching sleb is keeping everyone’s attention diverted *rather* than it being focused on the likes of Daesh, Putin, Shrillery McHildebeest etc?

  • Laird

    “I also laugh at a notion I recently read claiming “gender is a social construct”… no, gender is a biological fact, it is merely how we react to the chromosomal facts of gender that are by and large social constructs.”

    No, sex is a biological fact. “Gender” is a grammatical construct.

  • Where I come from gender and sex are used interchangeably so… no.

  • David Crawford

    All you need to know is that they are going to make a reality TV series about Jenner’s “transition”. Vanity Fair and the Guardian believe they are being so virtuous publicizing Jenner and their choice. Rather, they are just unaware dupes of the television P.R. machine. Or, maybe, aware and willing dupes of the P.R. machine. Half-a-dozen of one, etc. You’re going to get another blast of this stuff when the reality series gets ready to premier. Another reason to kill your television (except for the sports part of course).

  • Alastair

    I agree with those standing up for Jenner. No government is imposing Bruce/Caitlyn on us, so there is no narrowly libertarian argument against him talking about why he has chosen to do or the media talking about it. Hence this is a debate about what individuals can/should do. I am surprised that libertarians would argue that there isn’t something positive about people celebrating diversity and their right to do whatever they want in the face of many many other people’s disapproval.

  • Bod

    Please. I’m not sure that in this day and age, anyone really needs to ‘stand up’ for Jenner. Least of all since he (oops, she) lives such a safe, cossetted lifestyle. He/she has done what she wanted to do, and, to align myself with a commenter up-thread, I don’t care that much about what he/she has done.

    Jenner brave? Maybe, but only for very narrowly (and generously-defined values of ‘brave’) – given that unless he/she emigrates to Iran or some genuinely unsympathetic shithole, he/she shouldn’t fear for his/her wellbeing. He/she doesn’t have to lie in bed every morning wondering whether it’s safe to show his/her face in public, or is there a risk of being doused in gasoline and immolated.

    The sand in the Vaseline here is the very fact that it’s *so* newsworthy, and that the SJWs (and hence the Right-thinking Solons of the media who so desperately need to appease them ) utterly demand that we approve – nay – embrace – the choice made by this individual, who, as I already noted I don’t care about.

    That’s what sticks in the craw. Or would, if I actually consumed conventional media products.

    And so the (successful) diversion of the proles continues.

  • No government is imposing Bruce/Caitlyn on us, so there is no narrowly libertarian argument against him talking about why he has chosen to do or the media talking about it.

    Incredible as it might a seem, neither I, nor Brendan O’Neill were arguing what Bruce Jenner or the media should be allowed to do. Not every discussion has to be a ‘libertarian’ one.

    Hence this is a debate about what individuals can/should do.

    Not really.

    Firstly I see this discussion being about why some American who has decided to wear a dress and call himself Caitlyn should get so much international coverage. And several people have stated it is because he is famous and comes from a famous clan apparently. Well ok, I believe them even if clearly I do not read the right sites. Not really within my area of interest but I think that does explain it at least to some extent.

    Secondly it is also about the spluttering outrage of some third parties when an Australian journalists decided to call Bruce ‘he’ in an off hand manner, implying it is outrageous to discuss strangers in terms of address they might not use themselves (presumably this bloke call himself ‘she’ now)… and for all I care ‘she’ can call ‘herself’ Her Feline Sublimeness or Catweasel, just as long as I am not expected to do likewise. I for one am fine with whatever this bloke does with his own life (indeed I have been told he did not in fact get The Chop, but I really do not care even if he did).

    So no, I do not think this is about what he should do or can do.

  • The sand in the Vaseline here is the very fact that it’s *so* newsworthy, and that the SJWs (and hence the Right-thinking Solons of the media who so desperately need to appease them ) utterly demand that we approve – nay – embrace – the choice made by this individual, who, as I already noted I don’t care about.

    Yeah I think this is indeed what this is about. Neither I nor the linked article really dispute this is a ‘life choice’ by this guy. The weirdness is not what he did but the media coverage and third party reactions.

  • The Sage

    I see all this, and wonder “What’s the fuss about?”

    Seeing Tula (Klinefelter’s w/XXXY) doing a photoset in Mayfair back in my student days put the whole thing into “yeah, whatever” territory for me. It may not be at the state of casual phenotype swapping from e.g. John Varley’s Nine Worlds yet, so that just means that anyone who does go through all the hoops probably needs it.

    I always find this story fun to throw into this sort of discussion.

  • John Mann

    Thanks for the link, Snorri.

    I may be wrong, Alastair, but it doesn’t look to me like this is about people standing up for Jenner. It’s about people getting extremely annoyed at Paul Barry, and demanding that he doesn’t say certain things.

    And is this really about Jenner having the right to do what he wants? Nobody is denying him the right to have surgery. Nobody is denying him the right to call himself “she”. Nobody is denying him the right to ask others to call him a “she”. However, it seems to me that for Jenner to ask people to refer to him as “she” is a bit like me asking other people to address me as “your holiness.”

  • Dom

    There is a sense in which this is being pushed on us. ABC Family — a family oriented network — is showing Becoming Us, a reality series of a young boy who’s father is becoming a woman. The ads say, the show is about family values and family love.

    Too many people think that tolerance is not enough, that there should be more, an actual embracing of it, that it must define a new kind of family.

  • lucklucky

    It is not bizarre, it is Marxism.

  • Marxism is bizarre.

  • Cal

    >it doesn’t look to me like this is about people standing up for Jenner. It’s about people getting extremely annoyed at Paul Barry, and demanding that he doesn’t say certain things.

    Yes, the issue here is the hysteria shown by leftists — even towards other leftists who haven’t got the memo yet.

  • Jon

    Perry – you said

    “Firstly I see this discussion being about why some American who has decided to wear a dress and call himself Caitlyn should get so much international coverage.”

    Isn’t it possible that he’s getting this much coverage because he’s famous, not least for being quite a butch bloke and having a lot of attractive daughters, and because his family has been used to sell papers across the world? I find his family’s shrill attention-seeking nauseating, but isn’t it possible that newspapers are just responding to a demand for information about his family, and by extension, him? We didn’t see you complaining when Kim Kardashian’s ass was all over the papers. Isn’t it therefore possible that your offence stems from something that you find uncomfortable? I couldn’t be less interested in the royal baby – I’m glad she’s healthy and they seem happy, but no more than I feel towards other humans – but I’m not arguing that papers should censor their coverage if they think it will perpetuate their dying revenue model for another month or two.

    And if so, are you arguing that newspaper editors censor their efforts to sell papers to appease your feelings?

    If it were any other topic, I think we all know where you’d come down. Sorry – you’re gonna have to man up (I know ;-)). Live by the freedom of the press, and you’ll get pissed off by it from time to time too.

    BTW your argument that you ‘tolerate’ Rebecca doesn’t mean you can’t be boorish about other trans people (not least because your ‘tolerance’ is a pretty boorish stance to begin with). Once more on this site, I find myself disappointed with the tone of comment from people purporting to be libertarians. If one is gonna be a dick, that’s fine, but don’t advocate libertarian attitudes for your own way of life only to propose their denial to others because you don’t like what they get upto. That’s not libertarianism, it’s just being a dick.

    Also Perry – if you’re confused about the difference between sex and gender – ask yourself what people born with both genitalia should be called. He or She? Laird is right about grammar. To accord someone the respect of the pronoun they’re requesting doesn’t actually cost you anything. It’s not a behaviour that’s forced on you on threat of imprisonment (contrary to what the tin foil hat brigade above are saying) but if you churlishly insist on denying someone that pleasantry, don’t you think it’s going to undermine their willingness, and those who care about that person’s willingness, to listen to you when you want something back – like, say, their vote? Maybe libertarians are so electorally ineffectual because they’re too busy being right to actually treat people politely?

  • Jon

    I’ve also realised I’ve used “he” and “she” pretty interchangeably throughout my diatribe. Maybe we should abandon gender- based pronouns altogether!

    Anyway – you get my point!

  • And if so, are you arguing that newspaper editors censor their efforts to sell papers to appease your feelings?

    You seem very confused about this conversation. Please quote me where I say the newspapers must appease my feeling or be censored. Indeed my only feelings re. the media are ones of surprise that this guy, who I am told is famous in America (I had never heard of him until very recently) was getting more coverage than the crisis in the Ukraine. What really surprises me is that this American gets so much coverage for putting on a dress in the UK. I am aware the Kardashians exist and Kim appears to be famous for being famous and having a huge arse, and the other ones are famous for something else I guess. That is the sum total of my knowledge, and we have more than enough talentless domestic slappers I have no need to study the ones across the Pond at any length.

    There are two issues here… one: I am not ‘pissed off’ by the media coverage , I am amazed by it (again, kindly quote where I express anger at the media rather than surprise, or did you not actually read what I wrote?). Two: going after an Australian because he called a guy ‘he’ indicates some people think tolerance is not enough and acceptance and engagement are required. Nah.

    (not least because your ‘tolerance’ is a pretty boorish stance to begin with)

    Why? What is wrong with tolerating something someone else does that I do not particularly care for? Would you prefer I pretend I do not find it a tad creepy? I just do not feel any urge to engage and play along with someone I do not even know.

    If one is gonna be a dick, that’s fine, but don’t advocate libertarian attitudes for your own way of life only to propose their denial to others because you don’t like what they get upto. That’s not libertarianism, it’s just being a dick.

    Yeah you really have not read what I wrote and thus are arguing against what you think I wrote, rather than what it actually there. Go back and show where I propose ‘denial’ for someone else’s… well… anything. All I have said is some bloke’s decision to wear a dress does not mean everyone else (such as the journalist who tweeted) has to carefully play along and call the bloke in a dress ‘she’. This has nothing to do with libertarian anything. It is not an issue of liberty because no one is talking about banning anything. Moreover, sorry, for the vast majority of people it is not even a social faux pas to call a bloke in a dress ‘he’, particularly not to that person’s face.

  • Anonymous, today

    I’m another transgender libertarian who reads this blog coming out of the woodwork.
    For the record, the trans people I speak to aren’t exactly keen on Jenner either. The general consensus is that all this cloying praise for a millionaire who has ‘come out’ via extensive plastic surgery and expert soft-focus photography is hardly helpful for the thousands who don’t have that luxury.

    Furthermore seeing as this is a place that likes to (rightly) mock those on the left who make moral pronouncements without having any real understanding of the facts, reading this makes me want to quote Orwell:
    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    Anyone who thinks all this is about “deluded men being humoured” should go and read about the biology of sex determination, amongst other things. This would be informative too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_transsexualism

  • Cal

    >Anyway – you get my point!

    Not sure I do.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Good to see that some people found my link useful.
    Perry, my main point was that it is still possible for an American prof to write in an American newspaper that sex change operations are a mistake. This seems relevant to your main point.

    The debate about gender (or, to address Laird’s concerns, gender identity, gi for short) as a social construct, has an interesting implication: if gi is a social construct, then Mr(s) Jenner’s gi in particular is also a social construct, and when a social construct is in conflict with a biological reality, which do you think should be adapted to the other?

    Of course, the theory that gi is a social construct has been thoroughly falsified by the tragic experience of David Reimer.

  • I’m really glad that Bruce chose “Caitlyn” instead of the Kardashianesque “Kaitlyn”…

    as an aside, if the Kardashians persist in using “K” as a first-letter naming convention, pretty soon all they’ll be left with is “Kunt” — although I suspect that Mama Kardashian has already reserved that one for herself.

  • Rich Rostrom

    This issue is a collision of several different things. As Snorri Godhi noted, the Reimer case shows that neurological gender identity can be intractable, and is separate from genital anatomy. Thus, for a very small number of people, there can be a persistent, profoundly uncomfortable conflict.

    For those people, SRS is often appropriate.

    But what else is going on? Social conservatives are in general hostile to the whole notion, so transgenderism is a very convenient stick for the cultural Left to beat normality with. There are also a considerable number of sexual fetishists attracted by it (“autogynephilia”), who of course are supported by the Left as well. Social-rebel youngsters are pulled into it: it’s a way to be “transgressive”. Thus one gets such weirdness as “genderqueer activism”.

    Ironically, the Left is at odds with many transsexuals who want only to become normal members of the other sex, embodying as much as possible the traditional norms of appearance and behavior, i.e. those nasty sexist stereotypes. Jenner has been attacked on this basis.

    Incidentally, I think all this is evidence of “Peak Gay”. Here’s two more anecdotes.

    At Target, a U.S. discount store, in the men’s-wear section, a rack of swimsuits and related items in the “rainbow” color scheme, with signage and embossed mottos.

    This year’s Tony Awards: the musical awards dominated by Fun Home, based on the autobiographical work of lesbian comics artist Alison Bechdel. An excerpt was performed: “Small Alison”‘s passionate, enthralled solo on seeing a butch workwoman in a diner – sung by an 11-year-old girl. (Is it only me that sees something creepy in having a child act out homosexual yearnings? Must be – thunderous applause.)


    How the left wing intelligentsia reconcile their transphilia with their islamophilia will be one to watch.

    Iran has a high rate of sex changes. Apparently if a male homosexual is caught at it, he can escape execution be claiming to be “really a woman”; the surgery is heavily subsidized.

  • lucklucky

    June 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Marxism is bizarre”

    After i wrote, i was thinking to add that 🙂

    “How the left wing intelligentsia reconcile their transphilia with their islamophilia will be one to watch.”

    I think the left showed since almost 100 years ago that doesn’t need to reconcile anything. They dominate the media so they can say what they want.

    They have no causes because they have only one objective: destroy Western Civilization. That is why the causes they exploit are those that fit that objective. Do you see the Left up in arms about gender apartheid in many Muslim countries? Of course not. Apartheid never horrified the Left, fighting it was only a tool.
    That is why the Left for electoral proposes are building the US Apartheid since decades ago.

  • lucklucky

    An appropriate link for Seinfeld daughter mindset and what leftist domination of schools are making of children:


  • Jon

    Perry – I’ve had a good afternoon/ evening out so I’m pretty well oiled, I’ll dredge through the previous correspondence to justify my incoherent ramblings, but I wonder whether you could address my point about the pronoun convention for someone born with both genitalia? Do you think you should be allowed to express a pronoun of your choosing, or would it be polite to allow them to express a preference and have you willingly abide by it out of courtesy?

    My point in this regard is, if it’s possible for nature to make a “mistake” in allocating someone multiple sexual organs, don’t you think it may be possible for nature to also give people one set of sexual organs, but the sensation that they have been misallocated? And if so, wouldn’t it be preferential from a personal liberty perspective, to respect their desires in this regard, rather than impose our views on their personhood? In this sense, isn’t it therefore entirely consistent with personal liberty, that we respect a person’s chosen gender rather than the sexual organs that they happen to have been born with?

    Cal – there you go.

  • It is not a ‘personal liberty’ issue at all because no one is calling for anything to be prohibited.

    Unless I know the person, I am unconcerned what they want to be called if it is something other than what tends to prevail in my culture, and doing a Quentin Crisp still gets you called ‘him’ in my particular shire. And if someone walks around on all fours, I am not going to call them a horse no matter how politely they ask… unless I am drunk beyond caring or really like that person.

    So when some guy in America I do not know puts on a dress, I am probably going to default to calling him a “him”. If he was standing in front of me and I had some reason to be polite, I might play along, but… imagine me holding my finger and thumb half an inch apart… my willingness to play along extends about this far. I am tolerant, I am not particularly accepting and not at all indulgent. Do what you like on your turf but I dislike the idea of being expected to ‘engage’ with people’s quirks rather than just tolerate them.

  • bobby b

    “But I was always told that sex is 90% mental and 10% physical.”

    Well, married sex, maybe.

    You probably need to be an American guy older than fifty or so to understand why “Bruce Jenner is now a woman” is such a huge thing for non-teenyboppers. His performances in the 1976 decathlon – where he won the gold medal – left him with the public reputation of Greatest Athlete In The World.

    It was a well-publicized performance, it occurred in a time zone where Americans could actually watch live events without setting their alarms for 3:00 a.m., it included Nadia Comaneci’s Perfect 10.0 performance at the height of USA interest in gymnastics, the boxing team included greats such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and Leo Randolph – big big names in boxing – Edwin Moses set a new world record in the 400 hurdles, and all of this occurred during one of those spates of intensely-expressed American exceptionalism. Point is, everybody was watching.

    And we all watched as Jenner won the gold in the decathlon, which is a crushing contest consisting of ten separate events: the 100 meter dash, the long jump, the shot put, the high jump, the 400 meter dash, the 110 metres hurdles, the discus throw, the pole vault, the javelin throw, and the 1500 meter run. So, in this Olympics in which everyone was watching, we watched Jenner – who really wasn’t expected to do all that well – through ten events in which his point total kept growing and growing until he basically become a track-and-field god. The film clip of his final finish (1500m, IIRC) where he runs on after the finish carrying and waving an American flag was iconic in this country for decades.

    Context is everything. I’m still baffled when someone says “Bruce who?”, and I couldn’t for the life of me name a single Kardashian. But this is why it’s a big deal to over-fifty Americans. If he was just the Kardashiens’ father-figure, I doubt this would overlap generational attentions.

  • JoSid

    The accomplishments of the English athlete, Daley Thomson, completely outshone the achievements of Bruce Jenner and not just in one year, either. If you are looking for a Decathlon God then look no further. By and large, the world seems to have forgotten how wonderful he really was…but, there again, he is British, not American and, as far as I’m aware, doesn’t insist on being addressed as Dahlia or Delilah.