Monday, June 06, 2016

"Transgender" Theory Confusions And Consequences That Matter: Women's Track Edition

   So the left's incoherent theory of transgenderism is, obviously, being pushed hard. Not just by activists, slacktivists, and scholar-activists (e.g. in women's and gender studies departments), but now by university administrators, much of the major mass media, and, sadly, powerful bureaucrats (e.g. in the DoE's OCR, and even in the DoJ). I'd be happy for us to have a public discussion of all this, even though I don't have much hope that it'd be very rational... But instead, of course, we're basically just getting an outlandish and obviously false theory shoved down our throats. And since, currently, every theory and policy emanating from the left comes wrapped in the "you're a bigot if you disagree" defense, few people have the temerity to point out that the emperor has no clothes.
   As I noted long ago, this theory, if actually applied in public policy, has all sorts of crazy consequences. Here's one. Look, "Ice" (a cool-ass nickname, as I don't have to point out) has a right to look and dress however he wants, and good on him for bucking conventions I say. But he's not female. Period. That's it. End of story. Sports, like restrooms and locker rooms, are segregated by sex, not by "gender" nor any gerrymandered distant cousin of gender, and certainly not by imaginary properties like "gender identity."
   Crazy theories often have crazy consequences. The consequences of this crazy theory include: males can compete in women-only sports events, apply for and receive e.g. scholarships exclusively for women, and use women's restrooms and locker rooms. Note that in each case, one might question the legitimacy of the policy of segregating by sex--perhaps it isn't fair to even have scholarships exclusively for women. I'm happy to think about such arguments. But that's not what's currently being done. What's currently being done is: the policies are accepted as is, and then violated ad hoc on the basis of an indefensible theory to the effect that males can become females by regarding themselves as such. (Also vice-versa.)
   The very fact that the article uses phrases like "biological male" and "biological sex" demonstrates how the PC left (and this includes feminism) has muddied the terminological waters and clouded the debate. Sex is a biological property. "Biological sex" is redundant, and using the phrase suggests that there is some kind of non-biological sex. Maleness and femaleness are biological properties. Writing "biological male" suggests that there are non-biological males. 
   Finally, note that even Reason has been bullied into using the female pronoun to refer to males who regard themselves as female. The left loves controlling how people speak (partially because they've never accepted the falsehood of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis) and they've invested a lot in this battle over pronouns. Though language does not determine thought, it's tied up tightly with it, and can affect it. To refer to someone as 'he' is to presuppose or express that the person is male, because that's how the language works. By insisting that e.g. Wangyot be referred to with feminine pronouns, the left is, in effect, insisting that we presuppose the truth of their theory--that Wangyot is a woman, i.e. female--if we are to speak of him at all. It's come to seem retrograde speak accurately. And that's good for the side that wants to cloud the issue.
   Anyway. Probably no reason to get all worked up about this. The majority that tends to determine the cultural trajectory, i.e. liberals, has made it clear which way they're going on all this. They don't have the moral and intellectual wherewithal to think for themselves, nor to stand up to the hectoring of feminists and the PC / "social justice" left... So I suppose we'll eventually all knuckle under and routinely say things we know to be false about people like Wangyot. Eventually if things get bad enough for the female scions of the upper-middle class, there might be some push-back... Thing is, nobody cares about this stuff when it seems like mere words to them. They go along with saying all sorts of crazy things because they think it doesn't matter...and then when it starts mattering, the inaccurate ways of speaking have already gained currency. 
   Oh well.

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