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By Jason Michael
IN A PREVIOUS ARTICLE discussing the trial of Marion Miller in Scotland, a gender critical feminists charged with threatening and abusive homophobic and transphobic behaviour, we mentioned the similarity in the language used by the anti-gender movement and other movements. It would be useful now to explore this a little further in an effort to ascertain whether or not a relationship exists between these movements and so ask — if such a relationship exists — what this might mean with regard to how we think of and engage with gender critical feminism.
Given that there are few academic publications by gender critical theorists, it is not exactly easy to furnish the reader with a comprehensive definition of what gender critical feminism is. Gender critical activists will no doubt scoff at this and say it is exactly what it says on the tin — feminism which is gender critical. But this is something of an empty signifier. As a theory or set of theories broadly situated within the philosophical realm of radical feminism it produces very little that can be described as a critique of gender. Aleardo Zanghellini, a professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of Reading, addresses this lacuna in Philosophical Problems With the Gender-Critical Feminist Argument Against Trans Inclusion (Sage Open, 2020), where he comments:
Gender-critical interventions … have tended to take the form less of scholarship published in academic outlets than shorter online pieces in websites such as The Conversation, the Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog, and Medium.com, as well as contributions on Twitter. While academics often treat nonacademic online platforms as dissemination fora complementary to their academic output, the use of these platforms by gender-critical academics in the recent debate on gender recognition has tended to replace scholarly production.
This problem is compounded by the reality of the online gender critical ecosystem; there is a chorus of writers and theorists (qualified to widely varying degrees) producing articles and blog pieces on a plethora of topics and themes related to what is collectively accepted to be gender critical feminism. What we have then is an eclectic, often non-communicating, corpus of ideas and positions. Some common themes are present throughout, but there are as many contradictory and mutually exclusive ideas. Some deny the reality of gender altogether; seeing transgenderism as sexual deviance, fetishism, or as an attempt by some men to colonise women’s bodies. Others view transgenderism in a more nuanced way, attempting to differentiate between ‘genuine’ transgenderism and the malicious and dangerous transgenderism of men seeking access to women’s spaces.
We can discern in this a parallel with the logic of anti-immigrant racism; there are those who wish to keep the nation pure by the exclusion of all foreigners and there are others who try to justify their position by allowing for exceptions — the good or acceptable foreigner. At best, then, we can say that the anti-gender movement is precisely that, a movement with a wide array of opinions and a wider sympathetic or allied audience which acts to propagate the ideas coming principally from popular bloggers, writers, and activists. In the main, this is a deeply conservative movement which has been rejected by mainstream and radical feminism because of its strict insistence that the category of woman and/or female must be centred on bodily biological sex. ‘In response,’ writes Zanghellini, ‘feminist critics of gender-critical feminism insist that we have no unmediated access to biological realities: they too become cognitively significant to us through discourse, including the discourse of biology, which is itself (like any other discursive domain) structured by political values.’ Reducing ‘women’ or ‘females’ to their biological sex, as gender critical feminists do, accroding to mainstream feminism, is a political choice.
Social media — effectively the sole vehicle for the spread of gender critical ideas — has both amplified the most alarmist and extreme expressions of gender critical feminism and driven it deeper into bubbles or echo chambers which serve to create the impression among participants that this is mainstream feminism. Gender critical feminism is not mainstream feminism.
As is the case with all groups and communities, social movements develop their own unique language; a particular vocabulary, terminology, and style of speaking. Howard and Jane Giles, in their chapter ‘Ingroups and Outgroups’ (in Inter/Cultural Communication, 2013), explain it:
An important characteristic of the in-outgroup dichotomy is that groups mark their identities communicatively by the distinctive language and speech styles they create and use, the dress codes they adopt, and the festivals and pageants that highlight their unique traditions and rituals, and so forth.
The anti-gender movement has by innovation and borrowing manufactured its own in-speak, a language and vocabulary that at once fosters among its members a sense of belonging and provides them with a particular phraseology by which to communicate and articulate the ideas of the movement. This, of course, is useful to the observer in that it permits us to identify strands of thought which are native to the group, inherited from the wider group or groups from which it emerged, and those that it borrows from or shares with other groups which are influencing it.
‘Professor Stock is still in academia,’ writes SkyLark Phillips in the comments below an interview in Feminist Current with Kathleen Stock, a gender critical feminist and philosopher,
…and it has been taken over by gender identity ideology and woke politics. I can see why she would capitulate to trans when it comes to pronouns, calling women “cis”, and why she should would try to straddle the fence so to speak.
In a single comment we see an entire worldview laid bare in the language; ‘identity ideology,’ ‘woke politics,’ and ‘“cis”’ (not cis but “cis”). This is a vocabulary we would not expect to hear out on the street. We are clearly looking at the jargon or lingo of a group. People can be identified and situated by the jargon they use. We shall leave the etymology of these words and terms to another article, but what we will do here is attempt to construct a genealogy for them in order to discover points of contact and influence with other social movements and groups — and we can do that with these.
What is important to note, prior to building a genealogy, is that these terms — ‘identity ideology,’ ‘woke,’ and ‘“cis”’ — are holophrastic; they each express a complex set of ideas within a single word or phrase. ‘Woke,’ for example, as gender critical feminists use it, identifies an entire attitude or disposition towards the world. The ‘woke’ are [typically] young, naive, idealists who position themselves on an ill-defined platform of progressivism and who seek to transform the world without understanding the complexities of tradition and the values of the status quo. We find the same happening with ‘identity ideology’ and ‘“cis”.’
These terms, then, themselves betray an attitude and disposition towards the world in those who use them, and they tend to come as a package of ideas and assumptions — birds of a feather fly together. But what is striking is that not one of these terms (or the manner in which they are used) originated within the anti-gender movement. They have been adopted in a process of collaboration and cross-pollination with the alt- and the far-right.
Many gender critical activists online bemoan the ‘imposed’ use of the prefix ‘cis’ — or ‘“cis”’ — to ‘woman’ and ‘man,’ seeing it as a neologism or a ‘made-up word’ foisted on people who are using language and ‘new words’ to disrupt society. But this is simply not the case. ‘Cis’ and ‘trans’ are Latin prefixes denoting ‘on the same side’ and ‘over on the other side’ respectively, and these have long been used in English and other languages influenced by Latin. ‘Cislunar’ — look it up — just means between here and the moon. ‘Transatlantic’ is something on the other side of the Atlantic. Likewise, cisgenger — when discussing gender (note: this too is jargon) — is the performance of gender related to asigned physical sex and transgender is the performance of gender related to the opposite physical sex to that asigned at birth. It’s not rocket science. Cislunar might be.
Yet, ‘“cis”’ is used by many gender critical feminists in exactly the same way that homophobes used ‘“hetero”’ in the 1980s and 90s: I am not ‘hetero’ anything. I am a [real] man/woman! No one ever suggested that a heterosexual men or woman was anything but a man or a woman, but gay men and lesbians were men and women too — real men and women (they still are). The prefixes ‘hetero’ and ‘homo’ were used when discussing sexuality in exactly the same way ‘cis’ and ‘trans’ are used to discuss gender. A cis-man or cis-woman is still a man or woman. Nothing has changed. The way in which ‘“cis”’ is being used has a direct pedigree from the homophobic language of the past.
‘Woke’ is more disturbing. Not as disturbing as the use of ‘identity ideology’ and its cognates, but still disturbing. It originated within African American culture and came to describe an awareness of the realities of Jim Crow laws and the racist structures of oppression experienced by people of colour in the United States. It has had a long history in Black resistance culture and movements, and has lately found a home in the Black Lives Matter movement. As part of the language of resistance, it means being awake to the dangers of white supremacism in society. In a calculated and cynical effort to disempower this language, white right-wing culture co-opted the term and applied it to what it presented as the ‘regressive left’ and predominantly white middle-class protest movements. The plan was to render it toothless by overuse and ridicule. From the outset, this linguistic and cultural appropriation by the right was a key strategy in the culture war designed to undermine and weaken the language and therefore the cohesion of Black and leftist progressive movements.
Seeing ‘woke’ adopted by gender critical feminists is frustrating, but it is not necessarily rightist. It is most definitely reactionary. Yet, it does expose a point of contact with the alt- and far-right which has been spewing its bile at the ‘woke’ and its cognates ‘social justice warriors’ and ‘snowflakes’ for more than a decade. When it comes to the gender arena of the culture war, gender critical feminists and the far-right (along with conservative Christians) have found common cause and there is no shortage of examples of key personalities on the far-right and in the anti-gender movement collaborating and sharing safe spaces.
‘Identity ideology’ — also ‘gender ideology’ and sometimes ‘trans ideology’ — is truly fascinating. It uses ‘ideology’ as a pejorative, as a bad thing. This is the first sign of its coding, and it follows a long tradition in the west of conservative anti-Communist propaganda. In the US conservative imagination Communism is an ‘ideology,’ and ideology is wicked and evil. It ignores the fact that capitalism and neoliberalism are also ideologies — everything is ideological. The far-right in the US has maintained the Hitlerist take on Communist ideology; seeing in it a hidden ‘cabal (from the Hebrew Kabbalah)’ — a secretive political clique or faction, a conspiracy — of Bolsheviks and Jews. This coding is extremely antisemitic, and it is passed on in this coded thinking.
The relationship between this use of ideology and ‘identity ideology’ may not be immediately apparent, but it has made some rather interesting appearances. Addressing this imagined/feared ‘cabal’ of global elites — internationalists and ‘Big Pharma,’ Scott Howard in his 2020 exposé, The Transgender Industrial Complex, let slip:
The history of transgenderism as we know it is believed to have originated in Jewish circles in early 20th century Germany, but Howard’s research shows that references to breaking down gender in Jewish circles go back to the 14th century, hundreds of years before Martha Baer, a B’nai B’rith member in Germany, became the world’s first ‘sex-change’ operation recipient. There is an interesting anecdote where a Jew involved in gender ideology converted to Catholicism and exposed the movement as an attempt to provoke moral chaos in European host societies.
What we have here is a conspiracist mode of thinking, one which picks up and runs with the Nazi antisemitic conspiracy of an international Jewish plot to undermine and disrupt western society. The Jew — as the imagined enemy of civilisation — is behind ‘ideology.’ The repetition of ‘identity ideology’ qua ‘trans ideology’ within gender critical feminism is a repetition of this far-right conspiracy theory in which a Jewish-Communist cabal is scheming the downfall of the west. Two things worth adding here are the centrality of money to the idea — that this is all about making money — and the fact that one of the first targets of the Nazis in Germany was the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft in Berlin (6 May 1933), an institute which campaigned on progressive and rational grounds for LGBT rights and tolerance. Its founder, Magnus Hirschfeld, coined the term ‘transsexualism.’ Money? Well, ‘money’ is a common code in far-right and neo-Nazi circles for ‘the Jew.’
Does this mean gender critical feminists are far-right neo-Nazis? Does this mean that the anti-gender movement is a far-right movement? No and no. But in parts yes and yes. Graham Linehan — ‘the king of feminism’ — exposed his own comfort with the far-right. In a discussion on his Substack site about online discussion he remarked:
I think Kiwi Farms does amazing work but it’s not useful as a resource because some of the comments are so grotesque that it just looks like Stormfront or something. They should do a spin off site, properly moderated for hate speech, and show people what they have. It would be like the Wikileaks of the trans scandal.
Sure, he’s not comfortable with the neo-Nazi tone of the comments on the site, but he is aware of the politics of the users it attracts. And still, aware that gender critical activists are using it and that it is interested in the ‘trans scandal,’ his problem is not with it being like ‘Stormfront.’ His problem is that it is obviously like Stormfront. We see this time and again within the gender critical feminist movement, a willing cooperation and callaboration between radical feminists and very open neo-Nazis and far-right activists. It stands to reason, then, that they are influencing each other’s ingroup language. This is something academics across Europe have been picking up on and a recent report by the European Parliamentary Forum, Tip of the Iceberg (2021), has joined many of the dots, showing relationships and funding links between the far-right (globally) and the anti-gender movement (globally). Gender critical feminists may not all be far-right racists, but they are part of a movement that is within the ecosystem of a highly organised and connected — and well-funded — far-right. They are flying with the crows and they are talking much of the same talk.
Gender Critical Antisemitism
31 thoughts on “Flying with the Crows”
I take slight exception to the notion, apparently promulgated here, that by being critical of identity politics or any of its offshoots – in particular Butler’s pernicious reading of Foucault, or finding reason to be concerned that a rather badly thought through version of this is being woven surreptitiously into Scottish social policy and culture, or that any criticism of this is cancelled silenced or otherwise disregarded, I am flying thereby with right wing crows, unbeknownst to innocent little me, my thoughts pandering to a conservative agenda.
I image Foucault both turning in his grave and laughing his head off at the extent to which this nasty little episode in humanity’s culture wars has embedded itself so completely in public discourse.
These are indeed very interesting times.
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“… ‘Cis’ and ‘trans’ are Latin prefixes denoting ‘on the same side’ and ‘over on the other side’ respectively, and these have long been used in English and other languages influenced by Latin… ”
Yes, of course they are, Jeggit, but why should women have the appendage ‘cis’ tacked on as if they are a sub section of ‘woman’? We have been women for millennia, since humans, a dimorphic species, walked the Earth.
Again, she, GC feminists are probably ‘conservative’ inasmuch as they wish to conserve their womanhood. To link that to right-wing ideologues is beneath you. To link that to religious fundamentalists is beneath you.
No evidence that can be brought into the public realm following verification, shows differences in brain samples of trans women to suggest they are actually women. Tests have been carried out, but these prove nothing, and most were carried out after oestrogen had been given to the test subjects. Some very slight similarities between female brains and homosexual trans brains have been detected, but, again, there exists no substantive proof that female brains can exist in a male body (which is male down to the cellular structure, gene level) and vice versa.
What of heterosexual trans woman? Both Ray Blanchard and Michael Bailey, and others, after extensive research and tests, came to the conclusion that most Western trans women were actually AGP males (autogynephiles). They have been vilified by the trans lobby because heterosexual trans women who claim to be women (cross-dressers, transvestites, AGPs) do want to admit that they are autogynephiles, the condition being a paraphilia, and a sexual paraphilia. If this is correct, and no other evidence exists to refute it, these are heterosexual men who claim they are women who will be given access to women and girls – children. No one asked women whether we wanted this. It was a fait accompli. A grossly insulting fait accompli that shows, like nothing else, that women and girls are regarded with little other than utter disrespect when the chips are down, as inferior creatures to men who can be anything they want to be on their own say-so.
Black face is bad, as any black person would tell you. The reason that it is bad is because it is white appropriation of the black race, experience, life. No white person can blacken his or her face and know what it is to be black, let alone BECOME black. The implications of such a belief is tantamount to erasure of a whole race of people whose life history is very, very different from that of white people. Someone wearing a dress and putting on make-up doth not a woman make either. The parallels are obvious, or should be. You cannot appropriate someone’s else’s sex. All you can do is be an approximate simile to the sex you crave to be. You can be a trans woman. You will always be a man, and, if archaeologists dig up your skeleton in a couple of millennia, they will mark you down as a man because every bone in your body carried your DNA and cellular structure, whatever you might have believed two thousand years previously, when you were alive.
Trans women are entitled to live how they choose, to dress as they wish, to live as they want, with whomsoever they want, but they cannot appropriate the female sex for themselves. The latest siren call from this lobby is that straight, heterosexual men should have sex with trans woman unless they want to be called transphobes. Given that well over 90% of trans women are heterosexual and retain all their male sex organs, both internal and external – which is precisely why women and girls perceive them as a threat – it will be very interesting to see how straight men react to that ultimatum. I suspect that it is one thing to try and control women’s every move and breath, which men have tried since they realized that women bore their biological children, but quite another when trying the same thing with men.
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Mostly wrong. You have not been women for millennia. English is not that old as a language.
Eh? Are you saying that males and females could not distinguish one from the other millennia ago? The word, ‘woman’ may not have existed, but maybe a grunt that meant adult human female? Your argument is circular, of course: if there was no ‘woman’, there could not have been any ‘man’ either? The bible uses Adam and Eve, and its basic teachings were written almost two thousand + years ago, so the scribes must have had some notion that there were two sexes.
In any case, the desire to keep men out of female spaces and rights is sex-based and based on experience of men from the female perspective. Are you also claiming that because a man dons a frock and make-up he is incapable of violence? Of sexual feelings, especially when he still has his male sex organs?
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This is a dispute about language and definitions. ‘Adult human female.’ You made this about language, not me. So no, English is not that old.
Jeggit: it is a dispute about biological sex and science. It is about the existence of two sexes, absolutely crucial to the continued reproduction of the human species. I rather think that outweighs language in its more intricate forms and nuances, which are, indeed, recent, my point being that if a particular form of grunt meant women and another meant man, another meant girls and yet another meant boy, then even embryonic communication and ‘language’ understood the existence of two sexes. Homosexuality is found in almost all mammalian species, trans not so much. I’m sure that early man and woman also had a grunt to define that, too. Early man – and I mean, man, and still to be witnessed in tribal societies – used ‘make-up’ and dressing up to make himself appear attractive and strong, manly and whatever. There is nothing wrong with that, and would also appear to be innate to our species. There is a vast difference between dressing up and wearing make-up and actually BEING the opposite sex.
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‘Adult human female.’ No, this was always about definitions, therefore language.
Language, not biologial sex? So an ‘adult human female’ trans woman can reproduce? At its most basic, that is what biological sex is: on the one hand, the large, immotile female gamete, the ovum; and the motile, male gamete, the sperm. Even where either females or males are unable to produce their particular gamete, they still have all the requisite cellular/gene structure to be able to do so, meaning they are still either female or male. Even homosexual females and males have the capacity to reproduce. It is imperative to the reproductive process and the continuation of the human species that female and male recognize each other. If someone chooses not to reproduce, or is homosexual, that, in no way, reduces the ability to tell female from male and vice versa.
Duncan: Academic analysis of GC Feminism versus the trans issue is shouted down by the trans lobby. Women academics have routinely been blacklisted for even suggesting that there might be some scientific and intellectual basis for their core belief that sex is innate. Foucault was, by his own admission, rather fond of wee boys. Judith Butler did some good academic work but her queer theory stuff is as much a cul de sac for humanity as Foucault’s. Women always seem to fall into this trap: they eulogise the work of some man who doesn’t even see them, never considered them and would ignore them anyway, even if he did. Because of men’s searing superiority which sees all things female as worthless and submissive (and autogynephilic trans women do, too, making the Greek ‘phile’ part pretty redundant, in truth).
I well remember the actor Anthony Hopkins talking about a trip to Africa he had made. he said that he had been astounded to learn and see with his own eyes that the female lions, the lionesses, actually did most of the hunting, and, when they did, the male lions got the ‘lion’s share’, often to the detriment of the cubs, unless they were that male lion’s cubs. When he delved further, the zoologists explained that the male lion has to be kept in tip-top breeding condition and that the females ensured that he ‘did his duty’ regularly. That was not the picture of the king of the jungle that he had had, and he expressed great admiration for the sheer hard work and effort the lionesses put into the welfare of the pride.
Sometimes, even with humans, we see things as we want to see them or imagine they are, when we might easily be looking through the lens of the telescope from the wrong end. Women’s contribution to society has never, ever been adequately acknowledged, but their potential has always been stifled. That should tell us something that, perhaps, our society simply does not wish to acknowledge. When a man claims he IS a woman, not a trans woman, but a woman, and when politicians tell us that they ARE women, they are negating all that a woman can be. It is not paying homage to women. It is probably the most insulting and misogynistic thing they could ever do, and I suspect they know that.
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As always, I thank you for your response. Most agreeable. And you know about the offer 🙂
One thing I have found fascinating is how everybody who reads Foucault takes something different away. I was probably at the end of the first wave of readers of Foucault in English translation during the 1980s. Rampant Thatcherism and much political activism while reading for a PhD, my understanding of Foucault was focused on his interactions with Derrida and Marx – in particular The Archaeology of Knowledge – which I used to understand why the meaning of the word “science” had changed so much in only a hundred years. I have since learned that others concentrate on other periods of Foucault’s oeuvre without really grasping its fundamentally radical methodological commitment, nor its location within the history of ideas. His work has become just another choice in the market place of ideas, read now with no class consciousness in a culture of acquisitive narcissism.
Be all that as it may, the most infuriating daily gripe is that it has become impossible to ask questions from what seems to be the straightforward perspective of common sense, or when adjudicating deeper matters, general philosophy, without these being designated “trigger questions” and then becoming pulled into some inane dialectic best confined to a student union. When I pose critical questions about the coherence of identity politics, or doubt the integrity of Butler’s reading of Foucault, I am not suddenly representing some ideological position, I am posing critical questions about identity politics or doubting Butler’s reading of Foucault.
It is almost as if the only way of engaging in debate is by choosing colours and being able to defend these colours against enemy attacks, knowing how to move the discourse to your advantage, still exemplified by the games played at Plato’s Symposium in which a bunch of men compete with each other for the favours, approval and affection of Socrates.
They’re publishing very little in journals. Very little.
Jason you use the expression, “Gender assigned”. Sex is not assigned. Sex is recognised. Can you imagine an obstetrician doing an ultrascan observing a child in the womb with a penis as swithering about whether to assign it the sex of mal or female? An if gender is unrelated the the sex of the child, how would she decide on which gender to assign it?
I treat Trans-people I meet with respect. I am, however, gender critical. Nouns and pronouns have a gender, masculine, or feminine, or neuter. People and animals have a sex, male or female.
I recommend this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGbz57wZ28A&t=7s
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Steelewires – this is an extremely dubious source you have shared. The IFTCC advocated conversion therapy (praying away the gay). This organisation is roundly rejected by mainstream psychotherapy and other professional bodies. Let me point you to some discussion on it from Hungary: https://hungarianspectrum.org/2019/01/19/endless-lies-on-every-channel-this-time-the-topic-is-homosexuality/
This ‘internet research’ is not real research. It is not real science either.
“Gender critical feminists may not all be far-right racists, but they are part of a movement that is within the ecosystem of a highly organised and connected — and well-funded — far-right”
Just one question then. Why are these organisations not lobbying for the retention of Scottish womens single sex spaces (including prisons) or helping us in any shape or form?
Why don’t they have the same influence and access to Scottish politicians as that pro trans lobby group Stonewall?
Perhaps you could let us know who they are and how they could help, then perhaps the hundreds of us who were demonstrating outside Holyrood this morning can stay home and put our feet up.
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Indeed, Nallyanders. Even if there were a scrap of truth in the claim that the far right and the religious right bankroll women’s rights and direct operations, we would have screeds written about it by male journalists and cited by male politicians to try and undermine what would be a counter movement to the trans movement. There is no such link to American women’s rights groups, let alone UK ones, and the reality is that each group – women’s groups, religious groups, far right groups are all coming at this from different sources and directions, each with its own axe to grind. Ours, women’s, is survival as a sex. That is our motivation, that and to protect our children. Far right religious groups are notoriously anti female and the political far right is even worse. The far left in the UK has always eaten its own children through its own stupidity; and it always opens the door wide to the right. Moreover, it has always had the reputation of being considerably more anti woman and misogynist that the right.
The trans lobby funding can, and has, however, been followed by a number of both Canadian and American journalists of reputation, and by academics who have followed the money back to billionaires, a few of whom are themselves trans women in Big Tech, Big Pharma, etc. Governments across the Western world fund Stonewall and other LGBTQI+++++ groups and political parties scramble for their donations. Women nowhere, either in the West or the East, or the South or the North, own global corporations and tell governments what to do through lobbyists. It is always men. Women and children (pro rata) are the poor of the world, even in the rich West. We put our hands in our pockets to fund our actions and groups, money saved up from the child tax or the housekeeping or from our own salaries.
Both Ray Blanchard and Michael Bailey were smeared and ostracised for suggesting that a sexual paraphilia (autogynephiiia) is at the root of the trans gender movement in the West, but recent evidence from women who have endured years of living with autogynephilic men supports their findings, and also adds to the growing evidence that narcissism is rife in this group, with narcissistic rage exploding outwards when they are challenged. This is what they want to place in our spaces and rights and then tell us that there is no problem. Tell that to the woman prisoner who was raped by a sex offender ‘trans woman’ who had been placed in prison beside her.
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There is a lot written about it. But you won’t find much of it on Twitter or Facebook. Try the European Council and the EPF.
You might want to look at what the EPF and the European Council are saying about the connections between the anti-gender movement and the far-right. Do you honestly believe this is a global conspiracy against women? Can you prove this to me?
Jeggit: are you claiming that women’s groups are in a conspiracy with the far right? A conspiracy against women? Oh, yes,, since men realized that the children women bear are biologically theirs, too. Every species on this planet reproduces – in different ways, perhaps – and in the human species, as in other mammalian species, young are reproduced through the species being dimorphic. Men, at gene level, do not want to rear the young of other men and risk not passing on their genes. Women, on the other hand, although far more restricted as to the numbers of children they produce always pass on their genes if they have children.
The lion example again: the male lion will kill any cubs that he knows are not his; and the females have to keep him in tip-top breeding condition so that they can breed more cubs and keep the pride and the species going. Like panda eating only low-nutrition bamboo and breeding only rarely, lions are helping in their own extinction by killing cubs because these have to replaced whenever a new male lion challenges the existing one and kills the existing cubs. The drive to pass on genes is so powerful in the male that it can lead to devastating consequences for the lion population at pride level.
In chimpanzee society (not bonobos, which are female-led) very occasionally, as in lion society, a male might go too far in his brutality and the females form a tight-knit ‘armed forces’ to get rid of him, and will kill him, if necessary. I think, although the comparisons can be taken too far, that we ignore our instincts at our peril, Civilization is a veneer for our species, and it is largely driven by female priorities.
Controlling women is now endemic in our species because of that probably not-fully-understood drive to pass on the genes of the male, and it has taken on a life of its own that is wholly detrimental to women’s well being in all societies across the world. One of these fine days, the tipping point will be reached. We may even have arrived at it already with the trans issue.
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No. I have not said that at all. What I said was that there is a degree of collaboration and they are influencing one another – and yes, this is happening.
What collaboration? Funding? Evidence? Isn’t it possible that all these groups are fundamentally opposed to trans women’s occupation of women’s spaces and rights for reasons of their own. The far right is almost always, in its various manifestations, deeply conservative so far as women are concerned. Isnlt it more likely that they would support men – even men in dresses – as opposed to women?
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According to the research I’ve done the Transactivists are the bullies. Here’s a video by Marian Rutigliano, DO, an emergency medicine specialist in Washington, DC and has been practicing for 31 years. She graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1988 and specializes in emergency medicine and internal medicine. She currently works evaluating research on the human health effects of toxic chemicals. She explained the poor outcomes of transition-affirming therapies for children with gender dysphoria at The Heritage Foundation.
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The ‘Heritage Foundation?’ Stop! Wait! When you say ‘research,’ what do you mean by that? Are we talking actual academic research and peer-reviewed articles or are we talking ‘the internet?’ Do you know who and what the Heritage Foundation is? Here is an excerpt from its Wikipedia page:
“In 2021, the Heritage Foundation said that one of its two priorities (along with pushing to tighten voting laws) was to push Republican-controlled states to ban or restrict critical race theory instruction. The Heritage Foundation sought to get Republicans in Congress to put anti-critical race theory provisions into must-pass legislation such as the annual defense spending bill.”
Have a read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heritage_Foundation#Voter_fraud_claims
Thanks for your response to my comment! I’m not an academic. I’m a retired Pastor and my continuing education after graduating has been in New Testament Studies, Pastoral theology, counselling, and Islam. Not all research has to be in peer reviewed academic journals. Of course popular research does not have the same weight as well founded academic research, but it needn’t be worthless. I actually knew nothing about the Heritage Foundation. The title of the video interested me, I trusted the academic and medical qualifications of Dr Rutigliano, and when I listened to her presentation with its well founded citations I considered it something worth sharing. Also my own experience has been Transactivists bullying me to try to make me submit to their ideology by innuendo. The Transwomen I’ve been acquainted with have not at all been bullies.
I do find myself distancing myself from the politics of the Heritage Foundation. But soiled wrapping may contain a relatively clean content. I think this video does.
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My friend, this is exactly how the far-right operates. It mixes real science and pseudoscience in order to construct a distorted narrative which is easy packaged to the non-scientific community. Of course some trans activists can be nasty – they are people too. But these are extremist organisations working to propagate a truly horrible agenda. Very often now I am talking with gender critical friends who are firing YouTube videos at me about bad liberalism and the evils of critical race theory. These right-wing ideas are in the same soup pot, and this is the same mix of brew the Nazis were serving up in the 1930s. We have to be vigilant and careful.
Jason, I hope you don’t feel got at by me by me adding to my comment. Since academic accountability is important to you. You may be interested in The Open University’s https://healthwellbeing.open.ac.uk/special-interest-groups/ou-gender-critical-research-network/#:~:text=Gender%20Critical%20Research%20Network%20This%20research%20network%20brings,within%20academia%20is%20kept%20open%20for%20those%20explorations.
Dr John Pike gave an interview about Gender and Sport, which is area of research at The Open University.
The Critic Inside the new gender critical research network
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No, not at all. I welcome it. If I appear to be a little short it is because I have been under fire over this all day (and most of the remarks are not anywhere near as polite as yours). Yes, I am familiar with these academics. They don’t publish a great deal, and this is instructive. Kathleen Stock is an exception, but her philosophy is weak. For this I would point you to this paper by Prof Aleardo Zanghellini:
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I usually largely agree with what you write. Thanks for pointing me to Aleardo Zanghellini’s paper!
Duncan: I absolutely agree that we read into philosophers often what we want to see. We are all guilty of that. It is the same with, say, Wagner, some of whose stuff is beautiful and nothing to do with Nazism. However, and I can speak only personally, and not having read Foucault to the depth that you may have, I find his philosophy a cul de sac. I think that men and women are different creatures when it comes to intellectualism and much more is forgiven men. The trans activists target women because they believe they will cave in to brutality. I happen to believe they are wrong, and what they will do is change our evolutionary path forever, by forcing women to take stands on matters that they have rarely done in the past. We wonlt go back after this, even if this stuff goes through. It has shown us that some men will stop at nothing to control women and take away everything from them. In another blog’s thread, I pointed out how Russian women, Kurdish women and Eritrean women all took up arms against their particular aggressor and helped to beat them to a standstill. I am also of the opinion that had they armed the women and girls of Afghanistan, the Taliban and ISIS might not have taken control again.
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Excellent post, lawrenceab. ‘Trans’ is genuinely a very good source of grounding, and I would recommend also, the “Response to Aleardo Zanghellini”, which demolishes his arguments with counter arguments and answers his extremely patronizing piece. So much women’s writing is condemned as ‘pop’. Much can be gained from anecdotal stuff and sheer hard research on-line. I am not on Twitter, but I have been told by others who are that the wealth of stuff from vicious trans activists and from paraphilic trans women themselves, condemns their motivations out of their own mouths. It is not hate speech to question an ideology or even an identity that does not conform to accepted norms that have existed for millennia.
The problem for women is that their protections are almost all based on biological sex and on ‘prevention’ of something that ‘might happen’ because experience has taught us that our freedom from potential male violence is contingent on maintaining boundaries. All men are not a threat to women or girls or children, but some are, enough are, and we do not know who they are until they transgress. That is why all men should stay out of women’s spaces and rights – because the potential for transgression is always present. Ask any policeman or woman who deals with sex crimes to tell you about the tricks offenders use, the lies they tell, the games they play. That is why NO man can be allowed in female spaces and rights, however he identifies.
No one, though, should be cancelled and shut down. Frankly, I am very grateful to Jeggit for braving the storm and letting us speak on his blog. He has done us all a huge service. I do regret that he has come under fire, but he is brave to take the stance he has, even if, personally, I believe he is seriously misguided here.
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Hi Jason! I read the paper by Aleardo Zanghellini, and then I went on vacation. I just arrived home on Saturday night, so I’m only getting down to writing some thoughts now.
Zanghellini assumes that the use of a grammatical word, Gender, to refer to people is a proper use. This has become accepted usage, but it’s a category mistake. Nouns and pronouns have Gender, masculine, or feminine, or neuter. People and animals have sex. He does not justify this transference of meaning. He assumes Gnostic separation of the person from the body.
He uses the term Cis to refer to women with two X chromosomes, and assumes that a human being with an X and a Y chromosome can be women. This use of Cis is a term used by Transactivists to support the claim that there are two kinds of women, women with two X chromosomes and women with an X and a Y chromosome. This is based on the claim, which Zanghellini supports, that sex is non binary. He does not cite any scientific, peer reviewed journals to back up this claim. He goes on the assert that the claim that sex is binary is bad science. May it not be that denying the binary is bad science?
As a relevant aside, A Twitter Thread by Rebecca R Helm, an assistant professor of biology at the University of North Carolina Asheville, where she studies the development, evolution, and ecology of jellies, is being used by trans activists in the UK to argue against biological sex being a category for which rights are protected. She argues that the only gene that matters to sex is the SRY gene which during embryonic development turns on male associated genes. She questions whether this is biological sex. Dr. Miriam Grossman, a psychiatrist who specialises in the treatment of children and adolescents, responded to an enquiry I made to her about Helm’s assertion. She wrote, “Its true the SRY is the important part of the Y chromosome. So what if it very very rarely, due to an abnormal cell division ends up on an X chromosome? All sorts of genetic accidents occur. The exceptions prove the rule. Over 99.98% of us are normal XX or XY, females or males in terms of chromosomes, hormones and cellular function. Her argument is often used by gender activists – take the rare exceptions, normalize them, then claim there’s a “spectrum”. Well, 1:100 people have schizophrenia: hallucinations and delusions. Shall we say there’s a spectrum of perception, including seeing things that aren’t there? To deny the binary is to deny 21st century science.”
You may want to check out two links:
Sex differences in Medicine – Stanford University
Marianne Legato The Foundation For Gender Specific Medicine
Zanghellini ariticises the use of social media as sources of information or knowledge. He play the academic elite card. This raises the question of the place of philosophy in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. Are we to grant to philosophy the role of being the arbiter of what can be known and what is truth? As an academic discipline philosophy is useful as a tool for analysis and reasoning, but to grant it some kind of sovereignty is to grant it too much. I appreciated your quote, Jason, from Gregory of Nazianzus. I think Tertullian’s question is also relevant, ““What has Jerusalem to do with Athens, the Church with the Academy …? As a Christian, I see Jerusalem shining its light on Athens. I see all of life as illumed by the Christ and His Spirit. So, in all my thinking I seek to be illuminated by the Scriptures and the teaching of the Church, subordinate to Scripture. As John Calvin wrote, ““Therefore, in reading profane authors, the admirable light of truth displayed in them should remind us, that the human mind, however much fallen and perverted from its original integrity, is still adorned and invested with admirable gifts from its Creator. If we reflect that the Spirit of God is the only fountain of truth, we will be careful, as we would avoid offering insult to him, not to reject or condemn truth wherever it appears. In despising the gifts, we insult the Giver.” In other words, All truth is God’s truth”. You, yourself, Jason, use social media to communicate your knowledge and ideas to we plebeians.
This is your blog, Jason, and I imagine you will respond. I am, however, surprised that you adopt a gnostic point of view.
People have both a sex and a gender. This is well established.