Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Faith and the Vicious God of Gender

I have been asked if I really believe there is no such thing as a trans child. I was taken aback a bit by the look of horror on the face of the obviously very caring, amiable and intelligent woman as she contemplated the twisted bigotry of the terfy old bloke in front of her. So I bottled it and muttered something meaningless and uncommitted.

Trans advocates and specialists in transgender children and youth, query the credentials of parents who criticise the uncritical, unquestioning acceptance of the trans identities that have become so common in children and young people.

At the core of the academic concept of gender is the idea that gender is not the same as sex, and that people, born into a male body, can be women, or something in between men and women. They have gender identity, an internal sense of gender that does not correspond with their sex as determined by genes, gametes and genitals.

This internal gender identity is considered to be important and more innate than mere sex. The sex that is based on your bits. The sex that unsophisticated people have been familiar with since we were just another mammal. The sex that parents witness from the day of a child's birth.

We are told a trans child is one who is born with a gender identity at odds with the mere physical reality of its genes, gonads and genitals. That they need their gender to be affirmed and their sex ignored.

Their sex will only be mentioned in the context of a treatment plan to suppress puberty, an lifelong artificial hormone regimen to induce a superficial expression of the secondary sexual characteristics considered correct for the kids gender identity. Breasts may have to be removed and some sort of living fleshlight or dildo constructed out of whatever tissue can be reconfigured.

If parents do not agree with this and enthusiastically affirm and support their child's journey to find their real selves, then they will be responsible for their child's almost inevitable death by suicide.

Why I Am Not a Believer.

I don't believe there is such a thing as a trans child. A child that has a male mind, a male brain in a female body.

We cannot deny the misery and distress of gender dysphoria, thats real, thats measureable, that I have seen. Self loathing, depression, panic, anxiety, alienation and dissociation - all these I have seen play out in my daughter's life, her spirit and across her body. What I do not and cannot believe is that this is caused by her being born in the wrong body, or that pretending this is so will ever be in her best interest.

To believe in the trans child I would have to believe in all of the following:
  • That there is such a thing as a male and a female brain.
  • There is some developmental mechanism that could result in a male brain in a female body.
  • That there are people with male brains in a female body.
  • There is a way to determine someone's gender independent of sex or cultural stereotypes. .
  • There is a sensing mechanism that makes the gender of our brains apparent to ourselves.
I'll look at each of these.

Male and Female Brains.

Our bodies have lots of attributes that vary between people and those variation sometimes have some correlation to sex.  Foot size, height or a tendency to like action films come to mind and I'm sure that you are already thinking of many more. 

But this doesn't make tall women, or women with big feet, or strong athletic women,  in some way less womanly. A lot of people have trouble with this concept and use it in a very sexist and racist way: Serena Williams Slams Olympic Committee Member Who Referred to Her as a Man.

Our brains are probably the most highly evolved and complex organs in our bodies. Their working is incompletely understood. We don't really understand how the bowls full of porridge in ours skulls have thoughts and self awareness and memories and opinions. 

Our brains vary in the same way as our foot size, some women have bigger feet than some men, some men are empathetic and warm and all those thing that women are supposed to be.

There have been studies that link the results of neuroimaging with sex What the studies show is that there is some correlation between the size of some brains structures and sex. Not a dimorphic brain, but a tendency for some features to be different in men than in women. Like there is a tendency for men to be able to hit a ball harder than women, but Ms Williams can hit a ball so much harder than me and she is still a woman.

This sentence is important so I will repeat and underline it:

"Not a dimorphic brain, but a tendency for some features to be different in men than in women

A Developmental Mechanism That Can Result in a Male Brain in a Female Body.

There's some evidence that exposure to hormones in the womb at critical stages of development is correlated with homosexuality in later life and with people growing up less in line with gendered stereotypes. 

To stretch this to being a male brain in a female body, implies acceptance of the idea that the stereotypes dictate the proper way to be a boy or girl and that being homosexual is a really some sort of inversion, not being a proper man or woman. 

Hello, the 50's would like the prejudices back. Bollocks to that. 

A Male Brain in a Female Body.

There's plenty of people declaring that they are trans, and neuroimaging that shows there is some correlation between brain features of trans people and the people of the opposite sex. Unfortunately the studies did not differentiate between trans people who has been treated with cross sex hormones and those who had not, or those who presented to the world as the opposite sex or those who just knew they were trans.

Our brains are like our muscles, they respond to the loads put on them. You can see the physical effects of learning to do the London Taxi drivers "The Knowleadge" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16086233

So there is no way to separate cause and effect

The brain features that correlate between trans and the opposite sex  also correlate between homeosexual people and the opposite sex. Not so much, Out and Proud, Glad to be Gay, but more like, apologetic to be a broken straight.

Both sex and neuroimaging are hot numbers in the research world. Combine the two and you're on a winner. XKCD  has a great explanation of the dangers in this sort of thing.

Activists have taken these as proof that trans is real. But they are, at best, only correlations not a dimorphic match. It is no more to do with a lack of womanhood than Ms Williams ferocious serve.

A Way to Determine Someone's Gender Independent of Sex or Cultural Stereotypes.

We are told that gender is more innate than sex, that being straight, gay or lesbian should be about the gender identity of the people you are attracted to, not their sex. We are told that homosexual people especially lesbians should define their sexuality bu the gender of those they are attracted. That to be attracted people of the same sex that is just genital fetishism.

From: https://transgenderreality.com/2016/07/31/people-arent-thinking-deeply-enough-about-their-sexuality-more-cotton-ceiling-from-transactivists/

-A person should never experience a total loss of attraction to another person after learning their genital status. That’s a clear, and inarguable sign of transphobia at play. Simply knowing a person’s genital status is no excuse for such a monumental loss of attraction to a person.
-Being solely attracted to genitals is transphobic. Requiring engagement with specific kinds of genitals is fetishistic
We are also told that gender identity is different from gender presentation. That a man with a beard, wearing a man's suit is still very much a women.


This is not a nutter from the outer fringes, he was Public Relations Director for American Atheists, Have a look at his Linked In profile, https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniellemuscato

Are we supposed to ask someone's gender before we decide we fancy them? It all sound ridiculous, but it very much reality for a growing group of women. The wives of middle aged men who transition in mid life to become trans lesbians, who are expected to support the person who was their husband and who they now have to affirm as their lesbian lover.
https://transwidow.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/my-responsibility-to-the-one-i-love/

A Sensing Mechanism That Makes the Sex of Our Brains Apparent to Us.

For a gender identity to exist we have to have some way of sensing the gender of our brains. It seems to me that no one has even realised that this is a question. 

If we have an opinion of someone else's gender, that is seperate from their sex, we either ask them or use our perception, interpretation, mapping and judgement of the attributes we associate with gender
http://gendercriticaldad.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/gender-is-in-mind-of-beholder.html . In short we judge them against our stereotypes of what a man or woman should be.

But somehow, after around 4000 years of human writing, where there is no one describing a sense of gender, suddenly in the last 30 years or so we have thousands of kids knowing, sensing somehow the sex of their brains. 

No one has suggested how this works, how we are supposed to sense our gendered brains.

Gender Identity Is a Faith

If any of the above steps fail, if one believes:
  • That to talk of male and female brains is simplistic, sexist, misleading and that our personalities cannot be reduced to sex.
  • That we should treat the scant, inconclusive, politically motivated research that tries to show that 'men are from mars.." with the derision it deserves.
  • We should not take untestable declarations of a poorly defined internal state as gospel truth. Invisible gender wings are no more real than possession by malevolent spirits,
  • That when gender cannot be defined except in terms of sex or sexist stereotypes, there can be no way to determine someone's gender identity independent of their sex or the the cultural stereotypes they are subjected to. 
  • That making up a new bodily sense, our sense of gender, makes no more sense than to suppose we have an ability to see fairies when we are children. 
Then gender identity is not a fact, it is a faith. 

Is that a problem?

The press and telly are full of people who have found trans, found a new meaning to their lives, become celebrities. Kids find faith, many find it helps them lead meaningful lives. If a kids is happy being trans why is some grumpy old git kicking up a fuss and refusing to support his kid to become his son.

And yes faith can be a good thing in peoples lives.

My Faithful Friend

I have a very good friend, a work colleague, lets call her Sue.

Sue is a full on born again evangelical Christian. She goes to a church that does the full works: speaking in tongues, being struck down by the Holy Spirit, all that stuff. She believes that she has a personal relationship with an all knowing, all powerful, infinitely loving creator. She believes that because she accepts him, she will, when she dies go to an eternity of joy and I will not. She believes the Bible is literal truth, the the world of around 6000 years old, that Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Ark, Lot and his unfortunate wife are all historical facts.

Sue is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She is warm, understanding, generous. She will listen to a range of opinions and make her mind up. She works like a trojan. You'd love her

She knows I think its a load of bollocks, and it does not trouble her. Of course she'd love so save my immortal soul, but is realistic enough to know its not going to happen.

She believes that homosexuality, masturbation, sex outside marriage, abortion, contraception are sins against her creator god.

But she does not use or threaten to use violence to change other people's behaviour. She is not threatened by my stubborn disbelief. She does not tell me that thousands will die if I tell her god does not exist, or that if he does he is a bit of a git. She does not stalk the internet doxing people, she does not get people thrown out of political parties or try to get them sacked because they do not share her beliefs or pretend to share them.

She gains a lot of strength from her faith. I've been to one of their services and they seem a lovely bunch of people and far more diverse in race and class than any political meeting I have been to.

Her congregation supports a large and well equipped church and social center, a reasonably well off pastor and a bit of missionary work that probably spends less money with the local pimps and dealers than a lot of charities and journalists.

They spend Sunday mornings singing along to some actually quite good music. They are a strong, supportive community and look after each other in hard times. I can see how that is really attractive for people looking for a sense of belonging, feeling battered by the world or going thru trauma or crisis.

I still think their attitude to sex and sexuality is way off, but hey, its their life.

Genderism Is a Successful and Growing Faith. 

Genderism has recruited millions, Not just people, adults and kids who identify as trans. But everyone who tells the world that we should affirm our kids beliefs. Everyone who thinks we should be nice and use the correct pronouns. Everyone who mindlessly repeats "trans women are women" Everyone who parrots out "oh I'm a bit non-binary" as an way of explaining that they don't fit in with sexist stereotypes, but can't find the support to, or even imagine that it is possible to, challenge those stereotypes. .

It appeals to our sympathy, our sense of fairness, We see sweet children pleading to be allowed to just be themselves. We are implored to accept trans women as real women just like we do women of color or disabled women. We are told by left wing parties, by the media, by Lesbian Gay and Bisexual organisations that being trans is real, innate and just the way people are born.

It offers us an illusion of freedom from the boxes that sexism build round us.

Genderism Is a Faith and It Has a Vicious God. 

Behind the glitter, rainbow, unicorns, pictures of sad eyed children and slick PR, the god of gender ID is far from benevolent.

The Effect on Women's Rights and Reframing of  Sexism as a Reflection of an Innate Masculinity or Femininity.


If you remove biological femaleness from the definition of "woman" you're left w/ stereotypes related to femininity. If you then try to remove the stereotypes, you're left w/ a word that defines absolutely nothing, and is useful to no one...
Others have written about this, but I think it pretty obvious that women need women only spaces at times, that if you let men in those, men will take control. Women as a class are oppressed because of their reproductive biology and need to be able to name that and the reasons for it.

The Rush to Untested and Poorly Monitored Treatment.

All the treatments are experimental, all the drugs are used off label.

Proper medical advances are used only after stringent research has been done on their effectiveness. Animal studies are approved and executed. Controlled double blind studies are undertaken, patients are monitored for years and decades after treatment. Doctors don't just go "I think it would be a good idea".

None of this applies to gender based therapy, there are no proper studies, just consumer satisfaction surveys and rockstar activist/practitioners giving speeches to selected audiences.

It Denies the Complexity and Heterogeneity of Gender Dysphoria.

The "trapped in the wrong body" explanation is simple, easy to understand and appeals to our sympathy. But it is total bollocks.

Gender dysphoria is complex, poorly defined and understood. It has become impossible for anyone to study without treading the "trapped in the wrong body" line.

It can be many things to suggest that one thing, and one thing only, explains the experience of gender dysphoria for: young children, adolescents, men, women, straight men, gay men, straight women, lesbian women, young men, middle aged men, people dealing with trauma, highly successful media celebrities young men on the make.

This is taking us back to the clarity and simplicity of the Four Humours of medieval medicine.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism

Genderism is easily understood and capable of supporting a large academic industry pontificating on how it explains every facet of human health, without the awkwardness of referring to real world data.

None of this would be more than a minor annoyance if genderism stayed in the world of philosophy and the academy.

Unfortunately it has become the trendy diagnosis for young people troubled by sex, sexuality and gender. In doing so it has reframed the rational, calm exploration of young people feelings as conversion therapy.

It has elbowed out quiet, patient sharing and discussion of sex and gender, roles and expectations, where they come from and who imposes them. So a child, distressed and confused by the pressures they feel to do their gender the way their peers seem to do, can neither hear, nor tell stories to make sense of their lives except those that repeat the trans narrative.

It has become the quick and easy fix for schools to gain diversity points. No need to tackle bullying, or the effective, self generated apartheid in the playground, just pay Mermaids or Gendered intelligence a  couple of grand, do a workshop, put some rainbows up and sure enough a couple of pet trans kids will give your your diversity quota.

The Unsustainability of Being Trans.

Trans sells young women the vision of an escape from the porn fueled male gaze that restricts their lives, but it has its own demands. Once you're in you have to believe, espouse and proselytise.

It tells them transwomen are women, are just as much women as any other women and their experience of womanhood (however short, however informed by porn) is just as valid and insightful as any other woman. 

It tells them trans woman suffer more under the oppression of transphobia and the constant threat of misgendering than woman has under the threat of rape and sexual assult. 

Combine this with the strangely un-transitioned tendency of men to take over the conversation, to take charge, and trans identified women really don't get a word in. 

If they do speak their words will be policed for TERFyness and they will be jumped on for as much as a missing comma. https://twitter.com/BootstrapCook/status/822994913063276545 

They have to perceive any hint of misgendering, of not accepting their identity as a personal attack and an attack on their community. Its is 'literally murder'. To show any stoicism and humour is betraying the cause. 

Their identity has to be constantly performed, checked up on, examined and re-examined.

What was offered as a relief to dysphoria becomes an obsession on the very thing that triggers dysphoria. In offering an escape from the feeling that their body fails them, that people judge them for that failure, trans ends up centering life around the bodies failure to fit in with the new gender and boils up a pot of anxiety and narcissism around how others see the trans child.

This vid from Riley Zahn ( Queer educator, poet, and more. Trans Identified Motherfucking-woman. https://twitter.com/GallusMage if you're not blocked) ) explains it rather well.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GanQNP_wHps text here https://therisingphoenixreview.com/2017/07/27/the-terf-on-my-shoulder-by-riley-zahn/ 


"You see the TERF on my shoulder is just me, scrubbing desperately at a slate that I just can't seem to get clean".

That line disappeared from the published text, but it just about sums up the whole edifice of projected self delusion that is gender identity.

And I think that, next to the untested, irreversible medical intervention, is at the centre of of what scares the shit out of me. That my daughter will have her life centered around a set of beliefs that demand she denies her biology, sees most of the world as enemies and cuts her off from looking at the rational reasons why so many young women find that being a young woman really sucks.

That is the great God of Gender. 



2 comments:

  1. Kellie Williams.24 May 2018 at 10:19

    I really enjoyed reading this. Interesting, informative and without malice.

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