Saturday, August 27, 2016

Federal Judge Says UNC Can't Enforce NC Transgender Restroom Restrictions

   I can't really evaluate this decision on its technical legal merits, but just from a layperson's perspective, I'd say that this may be the right decision. Everybody calm down, and let's return to the status quo ante until we can figure this out. I'm currently under the impression that sex-segregation of public facilities like restrooms and locker rooms have traditionally been an informal, non-legal matter. If that's true, then let's return to that while we consider the matter.
   Of course the arguments for the left's new theory of transgenederism are, logically/philosophically speaking, a complete disaster. The Department of Justice has adopted them and made them even worse, arguing, in part, that sex--in fact a purely biological property--is (in humans) partly constituted by "gender identity," a concept that is either incoherent or nearly so. The special pleading with respect to this topic is enough to give a rational person an aneurysm. We're told that we must adopt a nonsensical conception of sex, completely at odds with the actual concept, according to which sex is determined in the ordinary ways in all (sexual) living creatures...except for humans...in which it's determined by "gender identity." They actually seem to be arguing that it's determined by some function of sex and "gender identity"...but really it's the latter that's running the show. That makes not the least bit of sense. You can, if you want, argue that there's sex and there's "gender identity," but you can't argue that "gender identity" (partially?) determines sex. For one thing, ad hominem, the people pushing this theory are deeply committed to a sex/ gender distinction--sex and gender are supposed to be very different things. But advocates simply employ and reject the distinction ad libitum. More substantively, this is like arguing that, because some overweight people identify as healthy, weight in humans is determined (or determined in part) by "health identity." (Note: yes, overweight and non-healthy aren't the same thing; that's part of the point.) You can try to push the point that "health identity" is a thing if you want...but you cannot argue that it determines weight, and you especially can't pretend that the simple, physical property of weight magically changes into something else for humans.
   And the whole thing is complicated again by the fact that we're being told that the special magical property that determines sex in humans is "gender identity," where that means whatever the PC left wants it to mean at the moment...but basically means: what you think you are. There are no properties that you have because you think you have them (with the possible trick Cartesian exception of thinking thing.) That's not the way real properties work. You're not tall just because you think you're tall, you're not weak just because you think you're weak, you don't have malaria just because you think you have malaria, you're not the seventh son of a seventh son just because you think you're the seventh son of a seventh son. Someone might object that beliefs can influence certain kinds of properties. Someone might become a failure because they antecedently think they're a failure. But self-fulfilling prophecy cases are completely different. That's not being a failure just because you think you are; its becoming a failure through a fairly ordinary chain of actual events initiated by your belief that you're a failure. Nobody thinks that a male can become female just by believing it--or they shouldn't. A male might believe he's a female, and this belief might set in motion a chain of events that leads to surgery or whatever--but that's a very different thing.
   The whole thing is a huge goddamned mess. It's just appalling to see so many liberals--and the U.S. government--fall for such an obvious tangle of utter bullshit.
   There are much more reasonable arguments one might make, too. Here's one: part of the progress of the West has been based on progressively eliminating segregation based on biology. See: the elimination of Jim Crow in the U.S. Furthermore, part of the progress of the West has been constituted by elimination of enforced legal segregation of the sexes: at one time, men and women could swim together, or, if unmarried, even be alone together. Surely when those cultural restrictions were eliminated, discomfort ensued. But ultimately it was all part of the liberal project. Integrated restrooms is the next step in that.
   I tend to be on the other side of that disagreement--but, then, this is the kind of thing that's difficult to be objective about when you've lived your life the other way. At any rate: I'm on the other side, but I feel the force of this argument. If this were the argument being made, I'd take it very seriously.
   But the magical argument about men becoming women by wishing it were so...that's honestly just nonsense on nonsense on nonsense. It's really not even a close call. It's just a terrible tangle of confusions.

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