Train wreck indeed.

Other than vintage military facilities, there is privacy in modern restrooms (walls and doors around the thrones, and even most urinals). I've never seen a changing room at a fitness center where there was not a clear view of people changing after showering. There are men who are self-conscious about their own endowment who would also be uncomfortable with a woman in the locker room. It's not just women who have the issue.

If a person (I'm including transgenders) sends a "dick-pic", unsolicited to a woman he could lose his job, be sued, and depending on age disparity be arrested, Yet Jared, with a straight face claimed that they should be able to present the real "thing" unsolicited to women and in some cases underage girls, in a fitness center locker room. He was writing about pre-op transgenders who would have unexpected genitalia in the locker room after all.

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Yeah, it's really unbelievable to me that he could even try to make these arguments. I don't think I've ever come across somebody who was so absolutely disinterested in the safety and boundaries of women and girls. It's hard to surprise me after all these conversations, but I was genuinely shocked.

And again, the real issue is men. It's laws that make no meaningful distinction between men and women. The implications of these laws to women's safety are just so obvious.

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"I don't think I've ever come across somebody who was so absolutely disinterested in the safety and boundaries of women and girls." Let me introduce you to a place called Twitter. (teasing a bit, but I had a few discussions with men on Twitter in regard to the Wi Spa event, and they would go on for some time but they always, ALWAYS, ended with the man getting angry at my request for consideration of acceptable boundaries... so I'd have to block them).

I came across your substack via Andrew Sullivan, and I'm glad that I clicked the link. You were so patient in the discussion you shared up above (until the end, but these things can only go on for so long). Everything you said is in line with my feelings on the issue: it's not about "trans women" (I myself do not believe humans can change sex; and I cannot explain what it feels like to be a woman despite being born female), it's about predatory males that will take advantage of the loosening of the societal expectations, and anyone with common sense knows this. The numbers alone make it inevitable: the number of predatory men that will take advantage of new policies, despite being a small percentage of men overall, is still going to be *way higher* than the number of MtF transgender people that "just want to pee." I'm not willing to put my safety, or the safety of my daughters, and other women and girls on the line.

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I used to run into this subconsciously sexualizing mindset when I was a Pagan on various chat discussions years ago. There's a school of thought in Paganism, based on its origins with modern-day founder Gerald Gardner that Pagan circles could be conducted 'skyclad', or naked. There was often debate about whether this was necessary or not and the ones who argued the loudest in favour of it were always men. I pointed it out a few times, and people laughed but the guys tended to shut up. Consciously or not, I think it was about the thrill of being naked with naked chicks. Interestingly, Gardner mandated 'skyclad' because he himself was a nudist (this is going back to the 1930s) and also had sexually liberal viewpoints for the time (well, maybe not for a man, lol).

My feeling is regardless of how one identifies, dicks stay out of women's changing rooms and bathrooms. Too many AGPs (autogynephilics) out there. A transwoman with a vagina has made a REAL commitment to becoming a woman and I take her more seriously - and as less of a threat.

(That's my take on safety, YMMV)

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One almost wonders if Jared is a chick with a dick.

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Per usual, thoughtful and well written. Some people (Jared included) refuse to entertain a different point of view, even when presented with sound arguments and clear reasoning. I enjoy your writing and look forward to what you have in store.

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Thanks Heather!

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All of these arguments would be improved with semantics. Male / Female = Biology. Man / Woman = Gender. That said, if there is no relationship between sex and gender (biology and self concept) why is there any need for "Gender confirmation surgery" at all?

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Yep, I completely agree. So much of the toxicity in this debate is because people don’t understand this difference. I was accused of “misgendering” somebody recently because I referred to them as male. We can’t have a conversation about these issues if we can’t agree on what the language means.

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Jan 28, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

Whoa. This was an intense and somewhat confusing (on the part of Jared) dialogue. You have an amazing ability to cut through the bullshit to the essence of truth. It takes courage, and in this case, exceptional stamina.

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Jan 25, 2022Liked by Steve QJ


Interesting discussion. I’m following you because you don’t often appear to follow many others with insults etc. So, it was fascinating to see how ‘worked up’ you got over the inability of someone to see ( and clearly respond to) the simple dilemma that you posed. That is that whilst many trans ( perhaps all) will never pose a threat- there are still two unresolved issues. One is the sensibility and sensitivity of penis’s being displayed in female spaces. And the second is that self declaration of gender opens up the possibility of an abuse by men ( not true trans folk who we hopefully all support in terms of equality etc) in gaining access to women’s spaces.

But the biggest debate that I have never seen aired relates to a comment you made about ‘feeling’ male or otherwise. Like you, I have no idea what it feels like to be male. I’ve spoken to most of the people I know and male or female they don’t have a clue. Or if they do they cannot express it. Please could someone out there tell me what one ‘feels’ as regards their gender.

Please could any trans person tell me why their gender ‘feels’ wrong and how on Earth they no with certainty that ‘their’ feelings correspond to the (whole population) of the opposite sex. I have read extensively but cannot find an answer to this seemingly central issue. What does it feel like to be a man or a woman? Is the problem that once someone says how that works others will contradict them and a massive argument ensure? Both of these are genuine questions.

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Jan 25, 2022·edited Jan 25, 2022Author

"So, it was fascinating to see how ‘worked up’ you got over the inability of someone to see ( and clearly respond to) the simple dilemma that you posed."

😅 Yeah, it was fascinating to watch in myself! This conversation took place over the course of a few days. And it was one of the few that I couldn't get out of my head once I'd stepped away from the computer. I was talking to my friends about it. Reading and re-reading his replies wondering if I was the one missing something. It was a trip!

As I've said, I've had so many conversations on so many topics. Most of them about race. I've spoken to plenty of outright racists over the years, and I've never found it so difficult to separate my dislike for somebody's views from my dislike for the person. I think it was just the dishonesty and stupidity of his arguments, coupled with his utter disdain for the boundaries and safety of women and girls, that created the perfect storm.

As for what it feels like to be a man or a woman, I've also asked many of my friends. None of them could answer either, because the concept is logically incoherent at best and regressive at worst. It's fascinating to hear the same people talking about getting rid of gender also talking about how girls how like "boy's toys" or boys who are sensitive must literally be the opposite gender.

That said, as I wrote in the conversation, I don't think trans people are faking. Feelings simply *are* logically incoherent sometimes. I compare it to being in love. How do you know you've been in love? Could you describe it to somebody else? Do you think if you asked somebody to define it their definition would map perfectly onto yours? Yet I'm guessing you're certain that you've been in love at some point.

I think some trans people create an image of manhood or womanhood in their minds and they project onto it. For others it's about being perceived in a certain way (or not having to live up to the expectations of their gender). Others simply feel intense discomfort with their secondary sex characteristics and want to change them. I'm sure for others it's something else. Arguably the notion that there is such a thing as a "feeling" that accompanies gender is a feature of being trans. I've never met somebody who *isnt* trans who experienced the same feeling.

The fundamental problem is that you're not allowed to admit that gender dysphoria is a mental condition anymore. But of course it is. How else do you describe a condition where your internal sense of yourself doesn't match external reality? How else do you describe a condition that if left untreated leads to higher incidence of suicide and self harm? There needn't be shame in admitting that it's a condition. Just as we don't shame people for having schizophrenia, say. The question is simply how do we best help people with dysphoria? I absolutely believe we should help them (and everybody) as much as possible. We just need to figure out how to do so without opening women up to harm.

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Hey Derek, I don't know if you've ever read the Lisa Littman paper on ROGD (Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria) but it was ridiculously, needlessly controversial. She identified what she thinks is behind a lot of the alleged 'gender dysphoria' of children and teenagers, both of whom, if you keep up on the news of such, are being subjected to life-altering surgeries and harmful pre-puberty hormone blockers because they 'feel like' they're born into the wrong body. The weird thing is is it historically started in early childhood, yet ROGD seems to start in adolescence, coinciding, she notes, with the rise of social media. It's worth a read, or at least a skim, but it identifies other reasons for feeling 'gender dysphoric' other than genuinely feeling like one should have been born a wo/man. Including some fairly fucked up reasons like 'not wanting to live in a misogynist society' (girls) and 'not wanting to live in a homophobic society (gay girls/boys).


For more detail on 'autogynephilic' transwomen, check out Dr. Raymond Blanchard's "The Man Who Would Be Queen", about transgenders ('transsexuals' as they were still called back in 2003 or '04 when it was published) for a more mainstream, somewhat less academic take than the Littman paper (but still, Littman isn't ridiculously dry and full). Blanchard pioneered research into gender dysphoria and the people who changed, several years before it became 'cool'. He identified two kinds: Autogynephilic (AGP) transwomen who derived sexual pleasure from dressign as, acting as, or fantasizing about being a woman, and homosexual transgenders, who thought life would be easier as a woman, and they'd be more attractive to men. (The ugly reality: Being a transgender woman, with or without a penis, makes you one of the least desired romantic partners by everyone).

My *theory* is that the AGP transwomen (and cross-dressing supporters - we called them 'cross-dressers' back in the day or 'transvestites', don't use either of those words publicly unless you're tired of possessing your hide) are the ones toting all the traditional cis-het misogynist drama to the protests and Twitter flamings. This is my big interest in the trans craze/movement: What's up with all the misogynists in dresses and the Regressive Left feminists who love them?

Blanchard didn't focus on transmen in his book. My issue with his book is that he never really addressed people who went transgender *because they really felt born into the wrong body*. These are the kids who present as being girly, feminine or gay, who say they want to be girls or women, *and don't outgrow it*. I believe those folk exist, and I've known a few, but I think a lot of people, especially young people, are doing it now because it's 'cool', and also because they're being led astray by what should be responsible grownups around them to think that changing gender will solve all their problems.

You can download the PDF version of Blanchard's book legally here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281747420_The_Man_Who_Would_Be_Queen

Eye-opening stuff. I've also been listening to panels and podcasts about it. I want to be supportive of the folks who really do just want to live their lives without a lot of drama, versus the ones who act rather a lot like Joe Rogan in lipstick and a dress.

(Sorry...disturbing mental image alert? :) )

BTW, the trans community hates the Blanchard book for many reasons, mostly because it fails to be woke enough for 2022. It's not a perfect book, and neither is the Littman paper, but they've got plenty to recommend and think about. Meanwhile, I pursue my intellectual interest in AGP transwomen in order to answer the transmisogyny issue.

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First I would like to thank you for a comprehensive note you have sent in reply.

There are two issues for me. One is related to the psychology of feeling or not feeling aligned with your sex (to shorthand that discussion for now). Of course it goes without saying that any psychological distress a person is feeling needs recognition and some sympathy. But obviously various people (medical, psychiatric or those from a sociological background) may then argue about what the best remedy for relieving that distress may be. I’m sure it’s different for many people that share similar distress about their sexuality. Having worked in mental health for many years it became obvious that whereas people might present in similar ways, it was only after careful analysis with that particular individual that you could understand that problem in any context. You do highlight some of the complexity in the subject, but complexity I fear that at least some people don’t seem to want to acknowledge.

Anyway thats a hugely complex set of issues and thanks for the references (as there is always more to learn.)

But I’m equally (perhaps more) interested in the dynamics of those that involve themselves in the vitriolic arguments that ensue over this particular issue.

The trans voices (I have sought out-are some of the quieter voices) and they seem to be more moderate and sane and acknowledge lots of the potential conflicts of interest between various groups of people involved (women’s rights versus trans rights etc). But there certainly are some voices that will not even allow for any discussion to take place at all. Which really makes me think there is something else going on for those individuals other than any anger about the issue they profess to be angry about. But maybe I’m wrong on that.

But I come back to a point I have made before to many other folk.

(Actually it’s a set of questions.)

Is there anyone out there (maybe I will read something in the links kindly sent) that can tell me ( a 67 year old man that should know by now) what it ‘feels like’ to be a man?

Or a woman that can tell me what it feels like to be a woman?

Or what it feels like not to ‘feel like’ the sex assigned at birth?

If any of those questions appears insulting to anyone reading I apologise beforehand. But nobody I have ever spoken to (Male or Female) has ever given me the answer to any of those questions. (up till now anyway.)

Thanks again for the links I will certainly take a look.



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My interest in the trans movement is because I have a dog in this fight: I'm a natal woman who focuses and writes about women and others taking back their power, and I'm trying to figure out where the misogyny is coming from with the loudmouth extremely male 'transwomen' activists.

I got kicked off the Medium platform last fall because i criticized the trans community too much, and that is verboten to the far left mindset that seems to have infected the editorial staff there. I was also at the time in an argument with one of the Regressive Left feminists who writes reams on 'patriarchy' and 'misogyny' yet argued to me that if a man says he's a woman he's a woman, and who didn't want to acknowledge the extreme misogyny in some of these TRAs (trans-rights activists, the loudest of all being almost exclusively 'transwomen').

Where TRA misogyny comes from seems to be a subject most trans movement supporters aren't much interested in, most mystifyingly of all from 'feminists'.

As for your questions, I have no idea. I don't think anyone really thinks about that question except those who truly were born that way, a small percentage, and those who've been encouraged to think that way after trans became fashionable.

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Jan 24, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

Please post the rest of it...

I love this part, "I am very empathetic to sex abuse survivors, but this also doesn’t justify the vilification of the penis. If it’s not erect and being poked in your face, you can easily ignore one even if a person is being shamelessly out there with it, as trans women aren’t known for doing. In any case you shouldn’t be looking at anyone’s crotch long enough to be intimidated."

I guess that logic leads me to wonder why trans women can't simply continue to use the men's changing room...ignoring the occasional glimpse of flaccid genitalia because of it's overwhelming insignificance...

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"I guess that logic leads me to wonder why trans women can't simply continue to use the men's changing room"

Ah, logic.😅 Sadly, logic is pretty scarce in this debate, but in this particular example, the reason is the same reason why women are concerned with laws that erase the boundaries between man and woman; some men are real scumbags.

If a trans woman could use the male changing room without risking being raped or beaten up by transphobes, this would clearly be the ideal solution. But unfortunately, trans women already face a fair amount of abuse at the hands of men. And forcing them into male-only environments would only create more.

The existence of trans people means we're going to have to make some changes to the way society operates. I have no problem with that. Trans people have just as much right to safety and dignity as anybody else. But they can't just bully their way into that. Especially not at the expense of women.

The funny thing about this whole debate is that as much as it's framed as about trans people, it's simply about women's rights. Note how absolutely nobody is worrying about trans men in male changing rooms. In fact, if anybody *is* raising concerns about trans men, it's how to protect them from men! Why? Because it was never about excluding trans people. It's about safeguarding women.

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Classic male misogyny. One of the most interesting things about the trans movement is how it's made traditional misogyny socially acceptable again.

Anyone notice women are being asked, by guys like Jared (yeah, you can tell he's a guy even without the name) to once again put their own needs and wants aside to cater to what men want? Even otherwise in-your-face feminists will sit down and be good little girls when men (the kind with penises) demand equality, in women's-only spaces. Funny how transmen don't do that.

It's why, regardless of how you wrap it, even if you surgically change the genitals, we still always remain to a certain degree, our birth sex, if only between our ears.

Transwomen demonstrate this over and over and over again. It's always transwomen, not transmen, demanding what they want and you goddamn natal women are not going to get in my way! Sit down and shut up, you transphobic c--t!

Funny how transmen, also, aren't pushing to be included in men's sports. I guess for transwomen playing against a bunch of girls is an easier win. It's really all about what a bunch of men want, who want to be women but are unwilling to give up their male entitlement to the world revolving around them and *their* needs and desires.

I've been doing a lot of research into the transgender craze (and it *is* a craze) since I got kicked off of Medium for criticizing them (I'm willing to bet it was that more than defending Dave Chappelle, since about the only other Medium writer who did defend him was Rebecca Stevens, and she said nothing, IIRC, about trans jokes). What I'm learning is how our brains *are* different, and cause us to behave differently, although neuroscientists are quick to downplay the significance.

I also think we need to have more of a public discussion about autogynephilic transwomen, a subject that REALLY gets under their hairy little skins :)

So it's the transmen who sit on the sidelines, mostly silently, while a bunch of narcissistic awfully traditionally cis-het-acting transwomen steal the thunder and push allies away, as the left is superlative at doing.

BTW I'm not convinced transwomen aren't more of a threat to women than people think. Just as the media ignore white cops killing white unarmed men, I suspect they're not covering transwomen assaults against natal women. Some natal female lesbians have claimed transwomen *with penises* push them for sex and claim they're transphobic (!) if they don't have them (a flip from men pushing women for sex and claiming they're lesbians if they don't). As for transwomen in female prisons, just Google Karen White transgender prisoner for information on the UK's best-documented case of a sex offender taking advantage of new 'woke' laws allowing it, and the Regressive Left applauding it. Kid in a candy store.

Nice job, 'feminists'!

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"Anyone notice women are being asked, by guys like Jared (yeah, you can tell he's a guy even without the name) to once again put their own needs and wants aside to cater to what men want?"

I tell you, you'd be surprised. I'm often amazed to see women making exactly the same arguments the Jared makes here. In fact, there was a "non-binary" female arguing his corner in a parallel conversation. It's like this bizarre form of brainwashing.

That said, it's undeniable that there is deep, *deep* misogyny in trans activist circles. And yes, it's almost entirely about eroding women's identity and protections. But as well as misogyny, this is because trans men don't pose a threat to men.

Men don't care, and have no reason to care, if a trans man enters a male-only space. In fact, funnily enough, the only conversation I've seen on this topic is how to best protect trans men when they enter male spaces.

Everybody understands, whether they admit it or not, that females need spaces separate from men in some cases (yes, Karen White is a perfect example of this). It's just that some men, and even some women, think they're far enough removed from danger that they can just play along. I saw an absolutely perfect tweet on this topic recently:


I'd just change the last line to; "but nobody knew how to define 'woman' by then."

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Either way, it ends on a frighteningly cogent note.

The 'brainwashing' hornswoggles me too. While I'm not on board with Brian Alexander that the radical trans activist movement is a sinister attempt to undermine women and women's rights, I think he's in the right neighbourhood. I suspect some men may have taken advantage of the trans movement's popularity to do exactly that, at least at such point as they realized they could get Regressive Left feminists do do what they wanted simply by wearing a dress, claiming they're a woman, and further claiming victmhood. If one is a misogynist man who wants to get women to do what he wants, apparently he can don a dress, slap on a wig, call himself Loretta and be as hateful and misogynist and as douchey as he likes, *and get away with it*. Even get *applause* from the Regressive Left who damn Joe Rogan and Jordan Petersen for not being 'feminist enough' for them.

The great tragedy of this is that these people are the public, loudest face of the trans movement and theyr'e doing great damage to transwomen and men who really do feel happier living as they do and don't need a Fox News camera following them into the ladies' room. I think this misogynist transwoman shit is what drives more hatred against transfolk than anything Dave Chappelle, Maya Forstater or JK Rowling ever says.

I sweartaGoddess, sometimes I think the conspiracy theory about brainwashing chips in the COVID vaccines might be true, except they were put there by radical TRAs and they work to brainwash otherwise sane, rational women to turn two blind eyes to rank misogyny.

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Hello Steve QJ et.al. I’ve wandered over from Medium and at the risk of making a controversial first impression - isn’t this assumed now? I don’t even know anymore. Yesterday’s controversial is today’s championed and tomorrow’s who knows? For my part, I wish to ask an honest question of the assembled collective wisdom re: trans activism. My question is this “Does it not seem to you that radical trans activism seems like it was devised by true misogynists to undermine feminism?” Like a trolling got rolling and ended up morphing into, well, into something else. This is something that occurs to me as I’ve tried to make sense of it all.


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“Does it not seem to you that radical trans activism seems like it was devised by true misogynists to undermine feminism?"

Hi Brian! Welcome! Hmm, I don't know about this. I tend not to ascribe conscious motivation to social movements. There is undeniably a great deal of misogyny to be found in trans activist/ally circles. But was trans activism *devised* for this purpose? Are males undergoing gender reassignment surgery, and facing significant amounts of abuse and discrimination, because they want to undermine feminism? Do females who transition share this aim?

I think gender dysphoria is a real condition, I think "trans identity" has become a trendy form of rebellion for teenagers, many (most?) of whom don't actually have gender dysphoria, and I think "queer theory, which is a kind of postmodernism for sexuality and sexual identity, is a dangerous, regressive ideology which stands to do great harm to women and children.

Here's a video on the dangers of queer theory: https://youtu.be/Cb3-tlyuhVo

I think to do justice to this debate we need to find a way to tease these elements apart. I believe that people with gender dysphoria are suffering and need help and support. I believe this support shouldn't come at the expense of women's rights and safety. I believe the safeguards and boundaries we've built up to protect women and children should be modified with extraordinary caution, if at all.

People like Jared are ideologues. There's no actually thought happening there. Just mindless repetition of nonsensical, emotionally manipulative talking points in the hopes that the person he's speaking to is too timid or too unfamiliar with the topic to push back. But honestly, I don't think he even understands how misogynistic and creepy he is. I think he genuinely believes he's fighting the good fight. Probably because he was brainwashed by somebody when *he* was too unfamiliar or timid to push back.

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Thanks for the response. I didn’t mean to actually suggest the entire trans movement is illegitimate or based on nothing more than this. My views on the matter are probably best captured in the work of Debra Soh. The End of Gender. I worked in youth mental health for 30 years and agree 100% that gender is dysphoria is real. For the same reason I know the contagion factor is huge and does not reflect true dysphoria. My target is much smaller; the sharp end of the stick only. One example, an activist in Toronto - sorry I offer no links - who pursued a complaint through the Ontario Human Rights Commission based on a body waxing salon’s refusal to wax the individuals male genitalia because she was in fact a woman - via self identification. The staff at the salon held beliefs that included it being forbidden to handle genitals other than their husbands. What is acheived by this other than deliberately gaming the legal system seeking precedent and notoriety?

I look forward to hanging out, reading and sharing when I have something worth offering.

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I believe you're thinking of Jessica "Wax My Lady Balls" Yaniv: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Yaniv

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That’s the gal. I had the wrong province. Thanks for the link.

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You're welcome.

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While I fully understand your irritation at Jared, keeping your first rule is probably still a good idea. It doesn't help to get down into the mud with certain folks, slinging insults. Take the high road whenever you can; it's one of your strengths that you can make good cases which don't need the mud slinging; let others who cannot demonstrate the weakness of their position. (This is a constant struggle for me as well, I'm not looking down!).

I actually do think that Jared is trying to protect what he thinks is an exceedingly vulnerable population. He is not seeking to cause harm. So he's not a morally terrible person. However, no matter how noble the cause in his mind, he is using poor reasoning and evidence. For example pretending that the issue is seeing generic genitals without regard to sex - that was pretty blatant rationalization, which in a less fraught conversation he likely would not want to stand behind.

In Johnathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind" (which btw has my highest recommendation!!), he writes at one point about how and why people try to find supposedly 'rational' arguments to support a pre-determined "moral" outcome, and how that has been researched. He gives an example used by researchers, a story about a brother and sister (I decided to let readers follow it for themselves, description deleted). It's really interesting seeing the kinds of desperate mental acrobatics that people go through to "justify" with reasoning, a conclusion which was not reached by reasoning and which is resistant to being dislodged by reasoning. They will say nonsense things which under other circumstances they would see as nonsense, but convince themselves it makes sense somehow at the moment. It's very hard to get them to see something they don't want to see.

Nevertheless, we try - sometimes more for other people who might observe the interaction and still be less attached to a conclusion, than for the conversant. Or sometimes to plant a seed which will later blossom (very rarely immediately).

In that spirit, I would like to calmly ask Jared how one can reliably tell the difference between somebody who is genuinely trans, and somebody who merely claims to be trans for some other reason or purpose. The other purpose could be getting access to women's spaces for sexual kicks, to women's sports for success purposes, to women's prisons to seek an easier prison time with more potentials for sex, or anything else.

Is there any real world objective test which can be done - lab tests, brain scans, reaction times, etc? Is there any psychological test which can distinguish fraudulent from legitimate trans identification? Or is trans identity entirely subjective with no possibility of real world validation?

If he brings up brain scans, there is some interesting discussion to be had about the actual state of the research, which will likely not please him. (As a short summary, some trans identified folks do show statistical differences from their biological sex, but also from the other biological sex; researchers can distinguish separate clusters for cis males, cis females, trans males, trans females. The do not match the other sex tho. And other trans folks may not even pass this test, being closer to their biological sex cluster).

These are simple questions; don't let him divert to an easier topic, don't follow him onto another thread until he can answer this.

If there was a reliable means of testing, I think a lot of the problems would go away. Those who had objective evidence of trans status could be given some of those rights, those who did not would not get the rights. Real trans folks would be supported, imposters would be punished and removed from women's spaces (and would seldom try).

If he admits that there is no such thing now, ask if he would support an effort to develop such a scientifically valid test, so that we could meet the needs of trans folk to do their thing, and women to be able to have their spaces. A win/win which would greatly ease things for trans folks by respecting women's spaces too. For example, we could try to develop some procedure using brain scans and algorithms to determine who received certain rights. Nobody would need to undertake this certification process unless they wanted access to women's spaces; if not, go on their way unmolested.

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" For example pretending that the issue is seeing generic genitals without regard to sex - that was pretty blatant rationalization, which in a less fraught conversation he likely would not want to stand behind."

While I appreciate your attempt to see the good, I think you're wrong here. Note, Jared makes his assertion that women "can easily ignore a penis if it's not erect and being poked in their face" in his very first comment. The conversation wasn't fraught. There *was* no conversation at that point. I think he's standing behind this claim because he simply doesn't care about women's rights or boundaries.

As for holding his feet to the fire on specific points, that's a useful tactic if you're engaged with somebody who is genuinely interested in thinking about an issue. But Jared's arguments were so trivially idiotic that it's clear he was either unwilling or unable to consider any perspective that didn't make it as easy as possible for people with penises to enter women's spaces. Regardless of the implications to their safety and comfort. As you say, this isn't unprecedented when somebody is desperate to defend a pre-determined position. But in those cases, it's next to impossible to get them to think clearly, in real-time, during conversation on the internet.

Sometimes, when I'm debating someone particularly unreasonable, my focus isn't really on changing their mind. Or, at least not on making them admit they were wrong at that moment. The odds of that happening online are vanishingly small. Instead, I'm working through the logic in the hope of planting seeds in their mind that might bear fruit later. And also for other readers. My conversation with Jared has been read by hundreds of people on Medium. It's more for their sake that I'm working through the points. I don't think anything I said would have made Jared acknowledge the flaws in his arguments, even though I find it very hard to believe he didn't see them. Indeed, whenever I made a point that he couldn't refute, he just ignored it and moved on.

So yes, I think Jared is concerned with protecting trans people, who are indeed a vulnerable population. I'm concerned with protecting them too. I'm simply not willing to unilaterally trample over the rights of *another* vulnerable population in order to do so. Compromise is required on both sides of this debate. There is no solution that will make everybody 100% happy. But it's the utter disdain for women's rights and boundaries that I found not just "irritating" but downright disgusting.

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Jan 24, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

Thank you for arguing on the behalf of women. You outline perfectly what the conflict is. Self ID is going to fail sooner or later and we are going to have to deal with the fallout. Unfortunately, some women are going to be hurt in the interim. There is a happy medium in here somewhere and a solution (some kind of testing or screening), but it won't be reached via defensive, irrational, hyperbolic thought.

I think the real truth about trans activists is that they are so desperate to secure rights for trans people, that they just don't care if they make the lives of cis women worse. They rationalize that trans folk have been harassed, vilified, incarcerated, murdered, and driven to suicide for millennia. So, it's their turn to ignore the well-being of others to achieve their agenda. I completely understand their POV. But I adamantly oppose it. It is not acceptable to diminish women's rights to secure rights for trans women.

Not even being able to have the conversation is a huge problem that is in the way of finding actual solutions. But, you are dealing with a "righteous mind." John McWhorter calls this type of woke person "the Elect" - people who have anointed themselves as the arbiters of ultimate truth and will not be swayed. Their cause is so righteous and just that any behavior or argument they make is also righteous and just, even if it causes harm to others.

I love how valiant you were in trying to reach this person. Your arguments were lucid, concise, and fair. You are seeking a solution that doesn't dehumanize anyone and works for everyone. He just refused to see that.

The whole fight against woke ideology is encapsulated in your statement: “God, you ’woke‘ lot are so convinced you have the moral high ground, you don’t even see that your arguments are almost always dripping with racism and/or misogyny.” This is the problem in a nutshell. They have declared the right to dehumanize in pursuit of their perfect world. And this position/sentiment is the very crux of every single mass extermination event that has ever happened on this planet.

One of the reasons I subscribed to your substack was to support your arguments. You are very, very good at reasoned debate, maybe the best I've read. And, I read widely on woke ideology as it scares the crap out of me. All puritanical, orthodox belief systems that justify destruction of people and lives scare the crap out of me. I say this as a former lefty, now independent. I so appreciate the work you are doing. Thank you!

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"They rationalize that trans folk have been harassed, vilified, incarcerated, murdered, and driven to suicide for millennia."

I mean, maybe I'm ignorant on this issue, but is this true? In the west, medical transition has only been feasible for what? The past 50 years at most? Before that trans people would have meant transvestites or sissies. Tomboys and butch women. They certainly faced stigma and abuse, they were certainly forced to hide who they were, and I'm very glad that's less the case today than it was. I think society as a whole benefits from continuing to free people from gender policing. But women have lived with the exact same problems in addition to those that come with being female.

Elsewhere in the world, trans people are much more widely accepted as far as I understand. Although they aren't called trans. Thailand, India, Samoa. Gender fluidity is much more normalised in other cultures. What strikes me as unique about the trans movement in the West, is that it tries to deny or at least obfuscate the difference between male and female. These other cultures don't do this. And it's this denialism which I think is causing 90% of the tension.

In fact, one of the most prominent trans men, and a key figure in breaking down barriers in trans acceptance and visibility, Buck Angel, is an outcast in today's trans community because he's unwilling to obfuscate the difference between male and female.

And thank you for your kind words. Woke ideology is a genuinely terrifying threat to society. Puritanical is precisely the word. And the worst thing is that they've weaponised people's instincts to be kind to allow the most cruel, bigoted, spiteful people to believe they're on the "right side of history." These movements always collapse under their own evil in the end. The problem, as you say, is how much harm they'll do before that happens.

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I actually don't know if it's true. I know that it has been true for many gay people and I have read these claims pertaining to trans folk on various media. How much is true and how much is hyperbole I don't know. But, my general impression is that TRAs believe it's true.

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Tangent, I'm afraid. First of all I confess some indifference to these "trans" issues, given that over half the world's wildlife has disappeared since 1970, we are at the befinning og the greatest mass extinction since the Cretaceous collision, democracy in the USA is coming to an end, the world is entering a period of instability and violence that will likely dwarf the Second World War, and on and on and on ,,,

... yet the hot subject of debate is what a writer of children's books thinks about trans people.

Priorities, please.

I don't care what she thinks or says. I've known many transgendered people, dated a few of them, care about them (can't say the same for the "nonbinary" crowd), and if anyone wants to raise my taxes to help them, it is with my blessing.

It's not that we can't care about more than one issue at a time. But ... who gets to use which bathrooms? A lot of countries don't even gender-segregate them.

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Jan 24, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

Wow Jared you are a walking talking enigma in the worst way...each facet revealed of your core worsening in succession...Woke too weak a word for you...SteveQJ I so cherish your patience & wisdom!

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Thanks Paul!

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Hi Steve,

Just for a little context. I am working as a volunteer for the NHS (after finishing a mental health nursing career that ended with me as a Clinical educator.)

I have now contributed to the development, (and am now supporting the implementation) of the NHS Midlands Equality and Inclusion Strategy-focused around ‘anti-racist’ principles. A policy designed to help overcome both the overt (and the institutional racism) in the NHS.

And by the way I’m white (almost translucent actually😂) and heterosexual. So that’s me.

Having been teaching on ‘equality’ issues for years I too find some of the comments made on social-media crass, uninformed, often silly and more often pretty hateful.

But having a background in psychological interventions (through my mental health training training and training as a Therapist) I’m so much more interested in why people hold onto such venomous and hateful ‘states of mind’ rather than the specific ‘focus’ of that anger. Yes, of course we can all ‘lose it’ at times when confronted with some people’s bizarre arguments. Of course I’m no better than anyone else in that regard.

But I was always advised to ‘listen to the music-not the words’. Agreed, some angry people are often genuinely angry for the right reasons (oppression of certain groups, discrimination etc.) But then some people have this additional ‘super charged’ aggression-that feels less to do with social justice issue and more to do with their own psychology (for those that haven’t-see 12 Angry Men for a brilliant example)

And unfortunately that anger would still be there for them even if the world looked perfect to the rest of us.

Yes, Trans folk have rights, but so do all women and men. Yes, Trans folk are often discriminated against (amongst the many other groups in our society.)

But as Isiah Berlin says (rightfully) “freedom has two sides. Freedom ‘from’. In this case the women’s perspective. And freedom ‘to’. In this case the Trans perspective. So often those freedoms collide head on.” It seems that some people just don’t get that really simple point.

The other issue is that when we get angry with someone that’s stupid it can make us look even more stupid. Because It assumes that the person is actually making a conscious decision to be stupid. Most times we act stupid (and of course that includes me at times) we are not making a conscious choice at the time.

So when I used to work with very angry clients that were referred to me, I always wanted to find out so much more about the depth of the anger itself rather than the current ‘focus’ of that anger. Many times the root cause of that anger was discovered to be miles away from the rationale they originally offered me. But issues of social justice are a really good socially acceptable ‘hook’ to hang all that psychological angst on for those people.

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