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

The quest to eliminate sex in civil society is not just well-funded and wrong-headed, it taps into a dark truth about male power and sexuality. So entrenched are positions on either side of the debate that each word becomes a tribal signifier. As a hard-line feminist, I found the use of preferred pronouns throughout Trans jarring. But as a writer I appreciate some small battles must be conceded so as not to alienate the majority. Nonetheless, a nod to the feminist scholars who’ve been battling this behemoth for decades would have been welcome.

Trans gives a compelling, comprehensive overview of how and why this science-denying ideology has conquered the world. Ultimately, it is a story of inequality; both economic and sexed. Trans is a book that ought to be read by every legislator, policy maker and activist. But the bleak truth is that those whose minds are already closed will never open its cover.

Josephine Bartosch

29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • George Atkisson

    Or we could simply ignore the .5% of society represented by the Trans movement. Acknowledge them, don’t attack them, but deny them any influence over the greater society. Then go about our daily lives without tip-toeing around fearful of societal IEDs.

  • Here we go again. This song has been sung for decades by hard-line feminists. (Those I’ve met didn’t care much for men, either.) There’s an acronym for it: TERF. Trans-exclusive radical feminist.

    Half the troubles of the world have been caused by hard-liners of all kinds. Screw ’em. Mullahs, feminists, Bolsheviks, Woke, antifa – put ’em in a cage and let them fight it out. But don’t expect me to watch.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Thanks for the mention. I’ve ordered the paperback via Amazon, on the theory that the Kindle version might mysteriously vanish from my files one of these days.

  • llamas

    @ Ellen – would you kindly share your views – if any – on the recent spectacle of a ‘martial arts’ contest in which a congenital male competitor beat the ever-loving snot out of a congenital female competitor, and was then declared a ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ victor?

    Thank you.

    llater,

    llamas

  • bobby b

    Why is this book a trans thing instead of a “it’s really a gender spectrum” thing?

    I read such things and always come back to my uncle – the black sheep – who I only knew for about four years from 7 to 11, in the late ’60’s. Nicest man in the world. Sweet, gentle, smart. Suited male accountant by day, dressed and perfumed (and convincing) woman by evening. Always getting arrested and beaten up – the rels would take turns bailing him out and taking him to the ER.

    Before he moved away, I asked him why he did such things and he told me sadly that he was really a woman. I believed him. I was 12.

    None of this 57-varieties for him. It was a binary world – A or B – and something had switched wrong at some stage and left him backwards, he said. He believed in binary gender.

    It seems much different now. It’s a fashion statement, it’s a cry for attention, it’s politics, it’s “I’m unique!” It’s sweeping in more confused people than it is the right people. But it’s not what Uncle Norman lived. He had no interest in making a statement to the world. He just wanted the world to leave him be.

    Maybe living with that wish can make you mad enough to become what these new people have become – in your face, brash, demanding. Maybe Norman wasn’t that way simply because he had no strength of numbers backing him up. But I don’t see it working out for the best for them this way.

  • Stonyground

    I’m not sure why anyone would need to go to such great lengths to be unique. We all are really, I certainly am.

  • And the even smaller percentage of the radicals among that sector.

  • ’ But as a writer I appreciate some small battles must be conceded so as not to alienate the majority. ’

    First, they aren’t ‘the majority’ and second, the minute you concede anything, it’s a signal you’re on the ropes and if they push harder, you’ll concede something larger…

  • Ferox

    When wokies are telling me that somehow, a man can become a woman if only he feels womanly enough, if only he has enough surgeries, or if he uses weird pronouns, I am reminded of a line from a poem:

    “There is some shit I will not eat.”

    I simply WILL NOT ever accede to the ridiculous proposition that a man can become a woman, no matter how many alterations he makes to his body, or how much he feels like a woman inside, or whatever pronouns he decides to try to force others to use. Nope. There is some shit I just will not eat.

  • Paul Marks

    “Woke” doctrine is not tolerated in Russia or China (although Chinese Dictatorship is only to happy to back it in the West – especially in the United States), let alone in the Islamic world.

    This insanity is confined to the West – and is helping destroy the West.

    Yes it started off as the Frankfurt School of Marxism (as a weapon to destroy “capitalist culture”), but it may now have a life-of-its-own. Some of these people may actually believe the insane ravings they come out with.

  • I simply WILL NOT ever accede to the ridiculous proposition that a man can become a woman, no matter how many alterations he makes to his body, or how much he feels like a woman inside, or whatever pronouns he decides to try to force others to use. Nope. There is some shit I just will not eat.

    They’re not making men into women though, are they?

    They’re making men into neutered Golem’s (as per Jewish folklore rather than JRR Tolkien’s)

    There is some shit I just will not eat.

    Perhaps the test is to find those that won’t “eat the shit”, since obviously these are enemies of the people and their “silence equals violence”.

  • Llamas – I dislike sports intensely, so I’m not the one to ask. But in all fairness, I’ve seen a photo of the two competitors you speak of. Their sport is severely in need of weight classes. Ignoring everything else, those two should not have been in the same ring.

    Bobby B – Thanks.

    Ferox – I don’t care if you won’t eat the shit. Just don’t fling it at me.

    John Galt – Neutered Golem? That’s going a bit far. Nobody put that command in my head, it has always been there; and you have to go all the way back to Genesis to find evidence I’m made of clay. I might accept “eunuch”, but whatever. My friends and family seem to think it an improvement.

  • Dr Evil

    As the article says, science-denying ideology. Ho human nor any mammal can change their genetic sex. If they want to live as a member of the opposite sex they will not be the first to have done so. I have no problem with that. It’s when they do it to get into women only spaces that I object not to mention sport. That French woman was mad taking on an ex-special forces ex-man in the MMA contest.

  • John Lewis

    Ellen,

    You speak a great deal of sense on here and provide a perspective many of us would otherwise struggle to see.

    For that reason I think referring to weight while ignoring the testosterone driven muscle bound elephant in this particular room is not worthy of you.

  • george m weinberg

    Mildly ot, the unicode 14 standard was just approved, and includes among other things a pregnant man and a nonbinary person wearing a crown.

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/09/melting-face-pregnant-person-and-35-other-emoji-approved-for-unicode-14-0/

  • llamas

    @Ellen – a fair answer, thank you. Me too on the sports.

    llater,

    llamas

  • @Ellen – Harsh, perhaps. I realise that your lived experience is different, but my lived experience with my friend Martin was also very different.

    He was always awkward and obsessive as a kid, but as soon as some fool put the idea into his head that “becoming a woman” would resolve his mental health issue he became obsessive about it (in the same way he was obsessive about other things) and there was never any further talk about medicating his obsessions, only about enabling his transition…which when it was complete was a disaster.

    So yes, “Neutered golem” is about right in my book. Enabled by both mental health and medical professionals who should have known better.

    My friend Martin is gone and what is left behind, this Martina is not him, nor even a shadow of his former self, just a shell of a human being filled with regret at what they have done to themselves with no way back to how they were.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . and there was never any further talk about medicating his obsessions, only enabling his transition . . . “

    Generational difference. Back when, you had to really want it, and you had to convince others. Now, they convince you, and naysaying is blasphemous. You’re not a person anymore, you’re a cause.

  • bobby b

    “I’m not sure why anyone would need to go to such great lengths to be unique. We all are really, I certainly am.”

    It’s probably a misuse of the word. Like when my peers all grew long hair, “to be different.” Trying to be unique usually stems from a fear of being unique. 🙂

  • John Lewis
    September 16, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Ellen,

    You speak a great deal of sense on here and provide a perspective many of us would otherwise struggle to see.

    For that reason I think referring to weight while ignoring the testosterone driven muscle bound elephant in this particular room is not worthy of you.

    If he was still testosterone driven, he should not have been there. They don’t (or perhaps didn’t) allow that kind of thing in sports. Testosterone and estrogen are not the same. There is substantial muscle loss after you’ve switched to estrogen for a couple years. And I read an article once, written by a feminist who’d begun transitioning to male, that after a few weeks she found to her horror that she was doing many of the same things she had despised in men. It was a moment of revelation for her. Never read a follow-up article.

    (Use of pronouns is fraught in the world of gender. I usually go by looks and behavior. I knew one crossdresser that was very testosterone-driven. His wife was the closest I’ve ever met to a female drag king. For them, I used first names. I wasn’t going to step into that minefield.)

    I assert that gender is a continuum with a bimodal distribution. Sex is mostly XY and XX among humans, but there are the occasional people who didn’t get the standard assortment: XXY, XYY, XO. And there are some who get the standard assortment, but it’s out-of-specs. I knew an XY woman. She was very large, but very woman. Then there is that village in the Dominican Republic, where some of the girls turn into boys – physically – at puberty. They are called guevedoces.

    https://www.newsweek.com/rare-condition-causes-girls-become-boys-puberty-374934

    Most of us, by now, should have learned that sex and gender are confusing. Don’t try to force the format into a mold.

  • TomJ

    FWIW, weight classes are not sufficient. People who’ve been through male puberty have (on average) a greater power to weight ratio than those who haven’t. Ross Tucker (@ScienceOfSport on Twitter) is a good source for gen on this.

  • Eric Tavenner

    I assert that gender is a continuum with a bimodal distribution. Sex is mostly XY and XX among humans, but there are the occasional people who didn’t get the standard assortment: XXY, XYY, XO.

    And then there those with a normal gene set that develop brain structures and/or gross physical features for the opposite sex due to hormone imbalances during pregnancy.

  • William H. Stoddard

    A lot of the basic science for this was written up decades ago in Stoller’s Sex and Gender. Then there is the current fad for saying that people are whatever “gender” they feel like calling themselves, which has nothing at all to do with science.

  • Lee Moore

    In 1979 the visionary feminist ethicist Janice Raymond argued that transsexualism was born of the male desire to colonise womanhood. Today, some posit that trans ideology is part of the fourth industrial revolution: capitalism turning inwards to mine the human body and sell identities.

    A good example of the principle that being able to spot when other people are bonkers, does not exempt you from being bonkers yourself.

  • If he was still testosterone driven, he should not have been there. They don’t (or perhaps didn’t) allow that kind of thing in sports. (Ellen, September 16, 2021 at 6:22 pm)

    I think John Lewis (September 16, 2021 at 4:32 pm) was not suggesting the guy was taking testosterone just before the contest, like the female peoples-republics’ athletes of the old soviet empire days. John was saying that developing and living as an unqualified adult male had effects that are not wholly reversible, and were by no means wholly reversed by recent taking of trans drugs and procedures. (Indeed, in this particular case it was very obvious to observers that the more skilled contestant was nevertheless beaten by the merely very much stronger one.)

    IIRC, it was Theodore Dalrymple, in ‘The Wilder Shores of Marx’, who identified some communist theatre as lies whose purpose was not to fool their subject peoples but to humiliate them (so make them more compliant) by making them knowingly participate in the extreme and obvious lies.

    I am one of many who see trans invasion of women’s sport as one of these “whatever could be sincerely believed about trans, this cannot be” litmus tests that can distinguish between a possibly-sincere concern and a freedom-targeting fraud. Before 2015, the who-could-argue justification of the separate contests of many sports in modern times was that the normally-developed adult male has upper body strength advantages over the similarly normally-developed adult female. Alternatively, we return to the classical Greek Olympian idea that sport is for men – I see that as the likely de-facto final outcome if PC triumphs in this area.

    So on this one, I have to agree with the ‘TERFs’ – as their more-PC-than-thou enemies call them. (As Lee Moore says above, “being able to spot when other people are bonkers, does not exempt you from being bonkers yourself”. 🙂 )

  • Kirk

    I’m always grateful to these people for making it so easy to identify that they’re deranged and to be avoided. The problem isn’t that they’re nuts, it’s that there are way too many sane people who’ve failed to identify that they’re not dealing with rational people, but the functionally insane.

    Let’s be brutally honest here: Gender roles are not what they are due to some overarching conspiracy on the part of males, started thousands of years ago. They’re what they are because of the roles; you need to fulfill a function in biology or society, the role is what drives it all, not the individual filling it. Some of these things are hard-wired biologically; a male may be a nurturing parent, filling the traditional female role within the family, but the reality is, that male is not going to get pregnant and carry the child he’s nurturing to term, either.

    Nobody set these things out; they are what they are because that’s how biology influences society. We’re still trying to adapt to the changes brought on by the reduction in maternal fatality rates wrought by one Ignace Semmelweis; I have a suspicion that that adaptation is going to take considerably longer to adapt to than a lot of other things, because the things it changed were so fundamental and deeply-rooted.

    A lot of the problem is that people refuse to have patience with it all; they want instantaneous “fixes” and adaptations that really need a half-dozen generations to work their way through trial and error. And, we’re really anticipating a bunch of stuff–Modern mechanization has indeed made it possible for a lot of women to be able to physically do traditional male labor, but the reality is, there are still a lot that they really, truly cannot physically do. It will be a long time before we’ve got the exoskeleton suits that allow for that, or the biological science to do away with sexual dimorphism. Until then, the physical fact is that the playing field is simply not level, and we need to recognize that. It would be really nice if we could say that NFL linebackers can be women, but the reality is that ain’t going to work at the present stage of things.

    An awful lot of this nuttiness is simply down to a lot of the activists railing against the nature of reality. No human being, in any capacity, had a damn thing to do with designing the biology we live with–Males are what they are, physically, because that made sense under the conditions we evolved under. Same with women–And, railing against the realities resulting from those facts won’t change a damn thing, and is massively unhealthy. The average person, at some point during puberty, took a look in their pants and went “Oh… I’m an outie/innie; that’s the cards I was dealt, that’s what I’m gonna play…”, and left it at that. Because, that’s what sane people do–Deal with reality as it is, not as you want it to be. Sex and gender is no big deal; unless, of course, you insist on making it one.

  • Lee Moore

    An awful lot of this nuttiness is simply down to a lot of the activists railing against the nature of reality.

    I agree, but I think there may be another factor at work. A friend of mine who was once a trainee lawyer – she qualified and then retired married – said that the tasks of a junior lawyer included drafting letters. Not necessarily hugely complicated ones, often just adminny ones. The letter would be passed up to the supervising lawyer, who would make the requisite amendments. And she noticed that all draft letters came back to her with no fewer than three corrections. Sometimes the corrections were indeed required, sometimes they were entirely gratuitous. She realised, she said, that her supervisor was psychologically unable to approve a letter as correct as drafted. He needed to make corrections, else he might be thought superfluous.

    And thusly with the complaining classes. In modern society, the great majority of people have very little of moment to complain about. And yet some folk have that need – they must complain about something. So a lot of the nuttiness of modern political discourse derives from the fact that some people feel the need to complain, even when there’s nothing to complain about. And it also expains why the nuttiest complainers are from the Eloi class – those who have never had to work in any kind of job where they might get their fingernails dirty.

    This is why, despite having moderately libertarian sentiments, I am occasionally drawn to the idea of conscription. Of both sexes of course. It’s not that I want to drill everyone into some particular orthodoxy. It’s just that it would benefit so many people to learn the difference between a vague ennui and actually having something to complain about.

  • Kirk

    Comment you often hear among the old-timers RE: the younger generations: “They’ve got it too easy…”.

    I used to think that this was typical curmudgeonly “Get off my lawn…” behavior, but I now believe that they’re on to something.

    Of course, the fact that I’m rapidly approaching official “old timer” status myself no doubt has nothing to do with it.

  • I don’t have a lawn. I live in a cooperative, and the monthly fees take care of lawn-mowing, snow-moving, and building maintenance. (Or rather, the fees are used to pay people to do that.) That is why I live here. Previously, I lived in a townhouse where the situation was similar. Several living places earlier, I was the one mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, and vacuuming the halls. But I got paid by only having to pay half the standard rental.

    Those younger generations are wrong. It’s us old folk that have it too easy. Other than that, I agree with Kirk.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>