Jul 30, 2022·edited Jul 30, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

General observation: whether it's the history of mathematics, contemporary software development, postmodernism, or this "trans" fad, the invention of new terms for non-new concepts should always arouse suspicion. You're being manipulated, and language is being used as a weapon.

These people are as obsessed with their gender identities as RKBA nutters are with their guns. Transphobic (afraid of them? I don't think so), transantagonisic, trans woman/man .... can you imagine how tiresome these people must be in person? Do you think it's possible to change the subject?

Note too that one of them concedes openly that not all "trans" people are dysphoric. For those who are not, I don't need to invent a new word, we already have one.


Truly dysphoric people are suffering and, unlike past attitudes toward homosexuality, the pain is not from bigotry, it's internal. They deserve our support and respect. I can't say the same for the other 99.9% who are clearly in it for attention and who urge young girls to get surgery. The activists whom Steve wrote about (like the one on Medium flipping off the reader) have a lot to answer for.

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"the invention of new terms for non-new concepts should always arouse suspicion. You're being manipulated, and language is being used as a weapon."

100%. It's a sure sign that academia has infused itself into the debate which pretty much ensures that post-modernism can't be far behind.

There are an awful lot of words in the English language. They're well understood and versatile enough to handle any situation. We don't need to redefine them or enforce new ones by diktat.

I don't mind language changing organically, but when there's any sense that I can't use ordinary words the way I choose, that sets off alarm bells.

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Well, when we discovered that protons and neutrons had substructure we needed a new word for the triplet particles comprising them, but James Joyce came to the rescue with "three quarks for Muster Mark."

But that's rare.

I would think that postmodernism would collapse under the weight of its ridiculousness. It hasn't yet.

I won't bore anyone with another run-through of my loathing for the singular they, but it's astonishing how many uh people justify it with the exact same arguments, excepting how far back it goes; one person tried to tell me that it goes back to the 11th century, which was Old English.

Judging by Twitter Likes, I have a lot of company.

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"can you imagine how tiresome these people must be in person? Do you think it's possible to change the subject?"

OMG, I noticed even in the '90s when running into a trans person became the very occasional thing, how self-obsessed they were. They weren't arrogant and aggressive the way they are today, but boy oh boy could they not shut up about transtioning and trans stuff. There is *nothing* I want to talk about all the time and on the basis of the two or three I knew, I just stayed away from transfolk just because they were so one-track-minded.

When I was still living in CT we had a transwoman join our Pagan group. She was a perfectly lovely person and I liked her but I avoided talking about trans stuff with her, and fortunately she only rarely brought it up, if there was a point to it (I remember she once told a hilarious story about being hassled by a couple of young misogynist guys, so she stepped out of her car, all six feet of her, used her man voice and...hilarity ensued :) ) One day, feeling comfortable enough with her, I asked her about it, and confessed that I'd never wanted to talk with her about it before because of my previous experiences and she kind of rolled her eyes...she knew what I was talking about.

Those early ones were the folks who truly were GD. Many of them today didn't always feel like that regardless of what they say - they're encouraged to tell a certain narrative the way the born-again Christian community doesn't like boring sin stories from new converts - they're subtly encouraged to embellish and exaggerate. An ex-fundy told a discussion forum I was on about it many years ago - this is why you find so many ex-Satanists, Pagans and atheists in the born-again set. Recruitment posts and videos on social media can take the normal pathologies and insecurities of young people and convince them the real problem is GD rather than just being young and trying to figure things out.

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One of the very few times I met someone at the gym and went home with him and had sex, the guy was gay and not at all trans-anything. He could communicate, we met several more times, then disappeared.

Years later I ran into him again and went to visit him. He had become a transvestite, wearing bright-colored feminine clothes, and looked , well, pretty weird. We talked for a while but every few minutes he would interject, apropos of nothing,

"my friends like it when I dress up"

Huh? Yeah I'm sure they do.

It was creepy and strange, it didn't matter what we were talking about, somewhere in the back of his mind he was constantly thinking about his impersonations. I left and never contacted him again.

And his eyes looked really weird, myopic, like he was in a different world.

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"𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘐’𝘮 𝘢 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐’𝘮 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐’𝘮 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘯. 𝘐 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘪𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘳𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘦 43 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦. 𝘐’𝘮 𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘰𝘯 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯." -Jenny

That was unexpected, at least to me. Shreds the idea of a monolithic community.

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Yep, absolutely. Buck Angel, one of the elders of the trans community, said something very similar just a few days ago (https://twitter.com/BuckAngel/status/1552840261268475905). There are plenty of trans people who acknowledge reality. They tend to be older though. They were trans at a point where it wasn't an ideology yet.

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I appreciate Jenny’s inherent honesty. As a natel woman who identifies as male, they are at least genuinely in tune with who they are, what they are, and who they would want to be. I can respect that because it’s not a lie. It’s a choice. Others responding seem to lack that clarity.

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Absolutely. One of the things I find most sad about this whole issue (and one of the things I think leads to so much of the nastiness) is the fact that it's all built on these incredibly fragile lies. The idea that one becomes their "authentic self" by convincing everybody around them to participate in that lie is even more bizarre.

So many young trans people are taught to be ashamed of or hide their tranistion. Their "deadname" must never be spoken. No reference can ever be made to the fact that they used to present differently. Differentiating between a trans woman and a woman is transphobic. Imagine how much more healthy the converation would be (and I suspect their mental health would be) if the facts of their transition could be discussed with pride.

I mean, I know that the whole point for some trans people is that they are treated 100% as nembers of the opposite sex. But given that literally changing sex is impossible, it always leaves this insecurity behind. I wish it was easier.

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"one of the things I think leads to so much of the nastiness" is the fact that it's all built on these incredibly fragile lies. "

Oh god this is so very true but not just for millisecond gender changes. This is EVERYWHERE. The more fanatic they are,the more they need to convince others and repress dissent. This is why those trans activists urge immediate transition, a few weeks after wondering "maybe I'm trans," don't think about it, go under the knife RIGHT NOW.

Like newlyweds who aren't getting along very well ... QUICK! Have a BABY!

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Prediction: if actual sex changes become possible, whether by nanosurgery or brain transplant or whatever, I predict the entire "trans" fad will disappear, leaving only the actually dysphoric.

I really dislike the pretense you mention. "Switched-On Bach" was recorded by *Walter* Carlos even if new printings say "Wendy." We are not supposed to mention that. Parenthetically, nothing she has recorded post-transition is worth a damn.

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‘Literally changing sex is impossible’

Here you have the truth, full stop. To be asked to live a lie is so inherently damaging - it can’t help but breed resentment and all kinds of negative reactions.

The years we spent living between two gay couples were magical ones. We loved them, accepted them, spent time in and out of each other’s houses, asked their advice on renovating our Victorian.

Ken was the unofficial mayor of the block, and Richard a talented architect. Matthew and I cooked together with joy and laughter, and David shared his magnificent Borsoi’s. No one cared who slept with who. No one demanded we change our perceptions of them to suit an alternate reality. They just were who they were, with pride. Beloved neighbors.

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Aug 1, 2022·edited Aug 1, 2022

" Imagine how much more healthy the converation would be (and I suspect their mental health would be) if the facts of their transition could be discussed with pride. "

Exactly this. It saddens me the direction that the trans community (and their 'allies') have taken the messaging and advocacy. This does much more harm to trans people and their cause. Not only is it harmful to the mental health of the gender dysphoric, but it is driving away those who would otherwise be allies.

There have been several times I have been being rudely and defiantly corrected, scolded or yelled at, for not using the correct pronoun when innocently mistaking trans women for being male. Needless to say, this does affect how I interact with trans women.

I have not had the same reaction when accidentally referring to a trans man as her (though admittedly, I have not had nearly as many real-life interactions with trans men that I know of).

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So grateful for people like Jenny and Alexander!

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"meaningful community doesn’t form around skin or religion or gender identity. And certainly not around nastiness and entitlement. Community forms around values. It forms around actions. It forms around the way we treat people who think differently to us": This is so simple and yet so important to keep in mind nowadays... it seems to me that when it comes to identity issues people are loosing the track, so thank you for expressing this beautiful and powerful message and let's hope more and more people will be able to escape the cages of there social identities and try to build connections based on values and ideas, "beyond their own victimhood".

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Very well said.

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I know Jenny, I became friends with her when I first joined Medium. She was one of the other female writers who wrote about feminism without identifying with victimhood. When I talk to her today, usually on Twitter, I go by he/him and call him Ian which is his new name. I like Jenny/Ian and especially that s/he is not a douche. But transmen rarely are. Transwomen, of the Moira kind, are the sources of most of all the sturm und drang.

It's funny how so many people think that putting on a dress or a sports jersey magically turns someone into a male-thinking man and a female-thinking woman (or, as in the case of the prison system, turning a sex offender into a progressive feminist). It's harder to change brains than bodies and frankly, plenty of transwomen are still, as Jenny pointed out, entitled men and quiet, don't-rock-the-boat transmen are doing what quiet girls who don't want attention do. I suspect transmen have a lot more to worry about than transwomen who are still able-bodied men. Can you just imagine a transman trying to join a football team? Even if he was large and strong (think of someone like Leslie Jones), how dangerous will this be? In addition to still being weaker than all your teammates, male sports are notoriously toxic masculine and these dudes may not take kindly to a transman on the team. And how does a toxic masculine male - or several of them - demonstrate to a woman that this is her place, and this is what she was made to do...?

Fun times in the locker room, indeed.

I'm putting my foot down on this "transwomen are women" crap. They are NOT. I can get along with them just fine as long as they're not entitled pindicks and respect my rights as a woman. I don't care how people 'identify' even if I might privately think they're insane. We're all deluded about something, we're the worst judges of ourselves, however positively or negatively we think about ourselves. So, I won't cast too many asparagus :) at people who identify as a different gender. There are some real ones, and having known one long before it was cool, I saw the very real challenges s/he faced as well as how painful it was to be forced into the man label when s/he really wanted to be a woman.

I'm not sure I believe Moira's that kind, though. He sounds way too much like an entitled, narcissistic man for me to take him too seriously.

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"But transmen rarely are. Transwomen, of the Moira kind, are the sources of most of all the sturm und drang."

Haha, yep, I often chuckle to myslef in conversations with trans people as I notice this. Trans men are almost invariably more reasonable, and absoluetly invariably less toxic than trans women. Whatever could explain that...

Moira sounds mind-bogglingly entitled. I'd never imagined that trans women would try to pull the misogyny card against trans men. I could barely believe what I was reading. 😅

I've never done the whole "trans women are women" thing. As you say, they're not. It's brainwashing. I can respect trans people without lying or erasing another whole class of people. I dabbled with "cis" for a while, but pretty much stopped using that too.

I heard from so many women who disliked it and thought, "I'm making so much effort to be respectful in how I refer to trans people, why wouldn't I make at least the same effort to be respectful about how I refer to women?"

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"I've never done the whole "trans women are women" thing. As you say, they're not. "

I got banned from Medium for those exact words. The email was signed

Roger (he/him)

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Yeah, that's the guy who banned me too. Although when I sent an angry email to support a few months ago complaining that they wouldn't stop sending me one of their newsletters even though I'd unsubscribed from everything, I heard from my former debate nemesis Elle Beau. When I responded back I was polite (but angry with Medium) and added "Ha ha Elle, do ya miss me???" She quite professionally ignored that, and handled my issue with full professionalism.

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There is one woman on there (Asian, Tara someone-or-other) who is not a madwoman and writes reasonably. Not many others. Most of them write with unrepressed rage, firing at everyone.

Some of them are just astonishingly nasty, as confrontational and belligerent as anyone I have ever seen online, and I've on since Compuserve.

When I got back on (Morgoth & the Silmarrils) I started by seeking out "they/them" and then "trans" and blocking every one, not to be tempted into jumping in anymore since the curators have swallowed the rod and reel along with the hook line and sinker. I told "Roger" to perform an anatomically unlikely act and addressed him by his pronouns since they were clearly intended to be equivalent to his name.

I think I left Tara unblocked.

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I think you may be referring to TaraElla https://medium.com/@taraella

She is the one of the few trans woman I have read on medium who writes reasonable, thoughtful articles related to trans issues. For most others, it is all a bunch of name-calling, shaming and victim hood with click-bait titles and directed towards the radical, e.g., why would I want to read something titled "The TERFs are Scared of the Truth" ? Clearly, folks who are trying to understand and be supportive of the trans community are not the intended audience :-)

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Yeah, I like TaraElla. When we disagreed on something we both remained civil and polite. She's actually trying to help, rather than spit venom.

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I have noticed this as well. I can't think of any cases of an article, tweet, or personal interaction with a trans man that has been toxic. All my (admittedly limited) interactions with trans men have been rational/reasonable. As you said, I wonder what could explain that ;-)

Also interesting is that I don't recall hearing the question 'What is a man' in the context of discussions about trans issues, and rarely is the 'What is a woman' question asked by a woman. It seems that the most hostile anti-trans commentary has been from men and directed at trans women.

As Nicole's comment alludes to, there seems to be very little discussion, or concern, about trans men competing in men's sports. I think that says volumes about why there is concern about the fairness of trans women competing against women, and the need to preserve some woman-only spaces.

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"Obnoxious, unreasonable behaviour tends to do that. And so, if we’re exposed to enough Moiras, it’s tempting to assume their behaviour represents the “trans community."

The Moiras do represent the "trans" community; they are however unlikely to be representative of it. Most of us have no in-person exposure to the "trans" community. Any experience with them is likely to lead to efforts to avoid any more of it because they never talk about anything but their "gender identity" and they tend to be painfully self-absorbed.

But narcissism isn't combative rage, and the "trans" activists we read online or see in the media are almost all people of seething rage and combative belligerence. OK, not all "trans" people are like them, but they are the public face of the "trans" community.

Just as fundamentalist bigots have become the face of American Christianity and hate-crazed irrational people have become the face of conservatism.

That the corpus of these groups are not all like these horrid people is a mere footnote and of scholarly interest alone. I give you credit, Steve, for perennially observing this difference but your observation is not widely shared. Moreover, using the most extreme elements of The Other Side to represent the whole is a deeply established tactic, it works, and people are not about to stop using it.

A lot of Christians are decent and charitable people; most liberals are not outrage-spraying "woke" SJWs; some conservatives really do believe in sealed borders and small government.

It doesn't matter.

Because in every one of these cases it's the extremists who are running things. Minority though they may be. The ascendancy of the ugly minority is one of the sordid truths of these awful times.

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"Trans people sit above everybody on the victimhood hierarchy"

A women who works as a counselor to families once told me that it's the Victim who holds the most power in any system. It got me thinking how the powerful will play that card any time someone tries to take their power away (Trump's lost election and Justice Kavanaugh confirmation hearings came to mind at the time). Whether it is deliberate or instinctive, it's hard to tell, but some people (like Moira) know the truth of this and wield it.

It's a useful bypass - rather than use reasoning or give evidence, you can show how you are the one suffering most and cut any argument at the pass.

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"But meaningful community doesn’t form around skin or religion or gender identity. And certainly not around nastiness and entitlement. Community forms around values. It forms around actions. It forms around the way we treat people who think differently to us."

Thank you!!

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