• Omzig Online

    Very refreshing to hear someone from academia discuss the incoherence of transgender ideology, while most professors seem to be swallowed up by jargon and Orwellian Newspeak.

    Here’s another article written in a similar vein: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/from-identity-politics-to-academic-masturbation/

    • Maeve

      Great piece! Thanks for the share

  • Maeve

    Yes, great article. I’ve always suspected that the trans project was a perpetuation of the post modernest denial of our deep ecology and dependance on the material world. From my perspective, our dependance on all life is what makes the human experience interesting because it requires a response to the world that results in truly seeing beyond surface. Trans ideology is antithesis of the shamanic journey, thereby flattening and mechanizing everything that makes the living experience a magestic wonder. I’m concerned about the uncritical acceptance so many people give to the trans agenda. The patriarchal legacy has always reinforced such things, especially in its dominant religions, ironically. The moment you play god by controlling and constructing material in order to fit it tightly within a human ideology is the moment you’ve lost not only important first principles but the sanity of togetherness. And no, we are not phobic of humans as they are, only critical of the theories we are spoon fed. We are actually quite sensitive and compassionate towards the diversity of humans which led us to critique patriarchy in the first place. If trans people want to adopt their ideologies to justify their experiences, that is fine with me, just don’t expect me to chuck out my reality and experience in order to flatter another’s.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Can you explain gender identity in a coherent way?

  • susannunes

    Question and a bit off-topic: Is “Jack” related in any way to the late journalist David Halberstam?

  • M. Zoidberg

    What’s a woman, Ivy? Try not using any stereotypes now…

  • fragglerock

    I find it disturbing that the definition of “progress” seems to mean becoming increasingly narcissistic–putting ourselves at the center of the universe and denying any impact we have on the world around us or the people in it. Everyone just lives in their own individual reality that needs to be validated and accepted by everybody else. Questioning or criticizing anything is “literal violence” and blind acceptance is a requirement. I guess I’m glad there are others out there as confused and frustrated as I am.

  • Christine

    Where does Robert Jensen say the trans movement is “wrong”? He observes “the principle of charity”: you don’t seem to extend the same courtesy.

    If a person wanted to learn or brush up on her calculus, she could find any number of people who would be happy to walk her through it, or she could pick up a textbook that would explain it. There is no such manual on the subject of what it means to identify as a member of the opposite sex. No-one gets angry when people ask questions about calculus, either.

    I never studied calculus myself, but I’ll tell you something I do know: it is actually a human invention. Newton and Leibniz did not “co-discover” it, they co-invented it.

    Gender is an invention, too. And one that does not work nearly as well as the calculus.

  • Christine

    Where did Robert Jensen say that anything trans* is “wrong”? He has observed “the principle of charity”, but you are not extending the same courtesy.

    If a person wants to learn calculus, she can find someone to walk her through it, or she can read a textbook. I still haven’t found a book that clearly (or scientifically) explains how a person identifies as a member of the opposite sex — or, if you prefer not to recognize biological sex as a reality, a book that describes the signs that indicate to a person that “they” is a “them”, or literally whatever. In other words, how would I know if I were trans*? Is it really unfair to ask that question?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Way to not respond to literally anything the author says, thereby proving (once again) that this ideology is indefensible.

  • woodrose

    There are books that coherently explain calculus, step by step. It’s possible, it’s been done.

    Jensen is a professor himself. If transgender ideology and this book were comprehensible, he’d be able to figure it out. And explain it to the rest of us.

  • Jen Miller

    Strong review. I’ve not made a close study of Halbertsam’s work, but a huge problem with contemporary “progressive” academia seems to lie with incredibly convoluted language, refusal to take a clear stand on anything, picking things apart without offering any tangible alternative and, what feels like an attempt to make people feel stupid for saying “I don’t get it” or “this doesn’t make sense”. This is not conducive to respectful, productive debate, and when these ideas go through the lens of social media they seem to turn completely unintelligible sometimes.

  • Omzig Online

    Here’s a challenge:

    Describe transgender ideology in a way that is a) coherent b) does not employ circular logic, and c) does not perpetuate stereotypes about women and femininity.

    Extra points if you can actually do this by using the Scientific Method!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I mean, we’re talking about ideas… “Gender identity” is just ideology. So yes, of course a journalist should be able to comprehend ideas and ideology. Clearly he is an intelligent man. If you can’t explain your ideology to intelligent people and journalists, perhaps you should work on that.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I mean, it’s not coherent, and I’ve explained why in my work numerous times. But no, that’s not how this works. If you would like to convince people of an argument, you need to make that argument.

    • Poison Ivy

      I don’t feel the need to convince people that my gender identity is real. Only to fight for equal rights and recognition. If you never personally accept me as the person I know I am, that’s not my problem. You can lead a horse to water, and all that.

      I have bigger fish to fry. Like achieving basic human rights, eliminating “trans panic” as a valid legal defense, fighting systemic legal discrimination against us, honouring those of us lost to the hands of cis people, trying to keep myself and my friends alive, and so forth. Your personal opinions are not on my radar. Only real, life-saving change for trans people.

      • Meghan Murphy

        If you are going to create public policy and legislation around an idea, then you do indeed need to convince people it is a real and valid thing. And if the concept of ‘gender identity,’ and creating public policy and legislation around gender identity isn’t important to you, what are you even arguing with us about?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Jensen quoted the author at length, and it is not coherent… You have already shown you are incapable of explaining it coherently either… I mean, you’re kinda just proving Jensen’s point.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh this is a cool trick! You don’t have to explain your ideology in a coherent way, despite the fact you believe everyone should adopt and support said ideology, despite the impact on women’s rights and broader society, because SOMEHOW explaining what you mean in a way that makes sense will kill you!?!? Good lord, the reach.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Again proving Jensen’s point… You aren’t repping your movement very well, dude…

  • Meghan Murphy

    I mean, it wouldn’t matter, except that we’re talking about public policy and legislation that affects everyone, especially women. If trans-identified people really did just want to wear what they want and identify how they wise, without forcing it onto others, it wouldn’t be an issue, but that’s not the case.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Love that essay.

  • Meghan Murphy

    lol

  • FierceMild

    So you’re saying that the word trans can be read as “someone who doesn’t want to be murdered?” Well, at least that’s coherent. And every single person in the world is trans.

  • Cassandra

    “…we can realize “the body is always under construction…””

    What does this even mean? Seriously, does anybody have any idea? How is the human body always under construction? If anything the human body is always under destruction, as we are organic and our bodies are aging every moment we’re alive. Is that what she (Halberstam) means? Is it as simple as that?

  • Christine

    So you simply don’t believe Jensen’s statement that he “came to the book hoping to gain greater understanding of the claims of the transgender movement, which [he has] not found elsewhere”. Do you care to explain why?

    Jensen has read the book and you have not, but you think you know more about the book than he does. That is hubris.

  • Alienigena

    I think that it is just snobbish to claim that if people can’t understand your writing there is something wrong with them. First and foremost academics are educators and if they are writing in a manner that is completely incomprehensible to lay people imagine what they put their students through.

    Yeah, the whole ‘no one understands our pain’ is just incredibly offensive to any woman anywhere given the amount of hate directed at women for having a female body and as you indicated to disabled people. Even those whose disability is invisible to the general public can feel at odds with their body. I have asthma and when I get a cold (not the flu) I undergo a horrible transformation. I literally have been unable to walk short distances (even getting up off the couch was exhausting) due to mucus clogging my lungs. Your body feels like the enemy and its failures like a betrayal. So, yeah, not impressed with trans PR that claims only they suffer from alienation from their physical bodies.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Indeed it is. We should all strive to be as clear and plain as we can in our arguments/writing. If people can’t understand your arguments/writing, then it means you need to work on your arguments/writing. Pretentiousness of this nature drives me nuts.

      • -Jane Don’t-

        I agree. I think the people that do this are trying to present themselves as high-brow, educated elite types and they just come off as pompous assholes. I can’t stand it. If anything, it takes more intelligence to break down a complex topic, clearly present it to a wide audience, and make it enjoyable for people to read.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I am opposed to the gender binary. I am opposed to gender. If you knew how to read, you would understand this and why, but no problem, I can explain:

    Gender = masculinity and femininity. These concepts are imposed on males and females from birth, under patriarchy, in order to reinforce male supremacy and female subordination. Gender is not something one is born with, but rather something we are socialized into.

    Male and female, on the other hand, are biological realities describing the roles of human beings in reproduction (i.e. females produce eggs/ova, males produce sperm that fertilizes the eggs).

    Does that help?

    Now do go ahead with your explanation of ‘gender identity.’

  • Meghan Murphy

    To be fair, I say ‘dude’, to men and women. But yes, I assumed you were male. Am I wrong? Apologies, if so.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Great. Once you do read it, perhaps you’ll be able to clearly explain the arguments made in the book?

  • Meghan Murphy

    If it isn’t an ideology, what is it?

  • Meghan Murphy

    The ideology in reference is the notion that there is such a thing as ‘gender identity.’ The ‘movement’ in question refers to trans activists, who advocate for said ideology to be incorporated into policy and legislation, and work to force others around them to adopt trans ideology (or gender identity ideology, if you prefer).

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you mean men?

  • Meghan Murphy

    No one understands it. Not even you. If you did understand it, you could explain these ideas/arguments clearly, but you can’t.

  • Meghan Murphy

    How so? How does a male become ‘a woman’?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Nah.

  • Meghan Murphy

    lol men murder women all the time. Including men who don’t ‘identify’ with masculinity. You’re either a liar or you’re delusional.

  • woodrose

    Hating your own healthy body is so bizarre to me. I am grateful every day that I can hike 5 miles up a hill anytime I please. Many years ago, I decided that I have a MAGNIFICENT body (thick ankles and all) simply because it is a healthy body that allows me to do anything I want. Feminism helped me to learn that simple joy. It’s one of the reasons I’m so opposed to transgender ideology — it is teaching kids body negativity instead of body positivity.

    Sorry to read of your pain. I’m not trying to gloat with this reply, hope it doesn’t come across that way. All the best to you.

    • -Jane Don’t-

      “I decided that I have a MAGNIFICENT body.”

      Good for you, seriously! I read that and was slightly jealous…I WISH I had that mind set. Someday, hopefully I will get there! <3

      • woodrose

        Hillary Clinton feels she has a great body. I once read a comment from a stylist who had dressed her that she had never heard Hillary make any kind of deprecating comment about her body, never a joke about needing to cover her big butt or anything like that, not at all. She and I are of the same generation of feminism.

        I really admire that Hillary kept her own confident body-image while being in the public spotlight. She did hire the makeup artist and hair stylist, but it was always strictly because she had to in order to be in TVLand. The moment she was no longer a candidate and she could live as she pleased, they were gone.

    • Tobysgirl

      I love this. I get really angry at able people who fuss and whine about their bodies. I want them to spend a few weeks in a wheelchair or not be able to sleep in a bed or not be able to climb stairs or not be able. And the idea that we support people who want to mutilate healthy tissue because they think they’re a different sex is absurd. If you hate your body there’s only one person who can do the work to turn that around, and that’s YOU.

  • Omzig Online

    Here are some more examples of transgender-identified males committing violence against women and children. Many of these crimes occurred in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms:

    http://nounequalrights.com/information/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/The-Threat-to-Women-and-Girls-Illustrated-1.pdf

    http://k2radio.com/breaking-casper-defendant-gets-30-45-years-for-rape-of-10-year-old/

    https://theysaythisneverhappens.wordpress.com/

    • Wren

      Kudos to the Casper paper for calling him a him.

      • Omzig Online

        I honestly don’t see why more media outlets aren’t reporting these rapists and murderers as male. Why do they feel like they owe a rapist the courtesy of a “preferred gender pronoun?”

        With so many excellent female journalists out there (looking at you, Meghan Murphy!) why aren’t more of them repulsed by the thought of reporting these thugs as ‘female’?

        • Meghan Murphy

          I think they must not know that it matters… Or tell themselves it doesn’t? idk…

  • Omzig Online

    Nice circular argument, sir!

    Saying “Trans women are women” is like saying fool’s gold is gold. It’s like saying seahorses are horses.

    Nobody’s denying anyone of equal rights by identifying a male as a male.

    You’ve got no argument, just circular logic and cheap appeals to emotion.

    • Wren

      “It’s like saying seahorses are horses.”
      LOVE THIS.

  • Alienigena

    Saying ‘gotcha’ several times in succession isn’t a coherent argument it is just juvenile.

  • pyrite00

    Dana Rivers murdered two lesbians and their son in late 2016. He is one of you.
    Shiloh Quinne is another trans murderer.

  • pyrite00

    You willingly came into this conversation. You are free to leave any time…….or is sucking up time and attention from real women part of your fetish?

  • LordofLight

    Same old same old with the comments on this article. A rational argument (namely the article) is presented with the author bending over backwards to accommodate transactivist gibberish, which is what those cited passages are. Transactivists respond with more gibberish loaded with wild, unsubstantiated allegations of assault, homicide and inciting violence directed at feminists. Feminists somehow manage to keep their composure and ask for clarification, or at least a discussion. Transactivists refuse to answer questions and reiterate their firmly held belief that feminists are the most violent people since the Manson Cult, yet provide no examples — other than alleged thought crimes. Rinse and repeat.

    If feminists are really wrong in their assumptions that transgender ideology jeopardizes women’s rights, then all it should take is a rational, thoughtful argument to debunk them. If you’re hurling insults and demanding that someone shut up, then you may want to consider that your position might not be as strong as you think. Personally, I think they have legitimate concerns, and I don’t understand the vitriol and especially the refusal to engage.

  • Omzig Online
  • anne cameron

    I’m sorry. I have no frikken idea what is meant by this word salad. The trans-wotsit is just the most recent fad and many flakey people are rushing to jump up on the bandwagon. Me too me too me too… they are the infiltrators of the patriarchy, they want to be allowed into women-only spaces, they want they want they want because they are spoiled little Tinkerbelles who need to hear the word NO.
    They are not working for “social justice”. They just want us all to look at them, notice them, and give them whatever in hell it is they think they want at this exact moment. Me too me too me too.
    Oh well, fuck right off!

  • Wren

    “fleshy insistence” sounds like something from a terrible erotic novel.

  • FierceMild

    She’s a woman because “woman” means adult human female and Ms. Murphy is adult, human, and female.

  • Wren

    Whatever you think of Nietzsche, this is a damn fine quote on the topic:

    “Obscurity is the refuge of those wishing to appear profound. The herd thinks all water is deep where it cannot see the bottom. Whoever knows he is deep, strives for clarity; whoever would like to appear deep to the crowd, strives for obscurity. For the crowd considers anything deep if only it cannot see to the bottom: the crowd is so timid and afraid of going into the water.”~ Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Can’tUnseeIt

    “The asterisk holds off the certainty of diagnosis; it keeps at bay any sense of knowing…the meaning of this or that…”
    So, no danger of the reader “collapsing into concise definitions” because post-modern babble has already signaled “the end of the coherent individual.”
    I suppose if you have already left the land of “carbon-based life forms”, AKA EARTH, you no longer need to make sense at all. Coherence, like consistency, must now be the hobgoblin of small minds. phht.

  • Omzig Online

    According to research done by the Williams Institute at the UCLA, there are approximately 1,400,000 transgender-identified people in the USA. The HRC reports 24 trans people murdered in 2017 by so-called “cis” people in the US.

    This means transgender people have a 0.00001714% chance of being murdered. This is hardly a genocide. Not by a long shot.

    Have you stopped to consider that maybe we’re not transphobic at all? Maybe we’re just sick of your lies, frenzied hyperbole, and your general inability to acknowledge facts?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Female = sex, not gender. How many times do we need to explain this to you?

  • Meghan Murphy

    How is a ‘transwoman’ a woman? What makes him a woman?

  • Meghan Murphy

    How is it a privilege to grow up hating your body because you were born female?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Dude. If you continue to conflate sex and gender, this conversation is over. We can’t have a productive conversation if you invent new meanings for words. If you actually read the article above, you would understand this.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t have a ‘female gender identity’. Am I not a woman?

  • Meghan Murphy

    What’s the condition?

  • Meghan Murphy

    No, this is not an established fact. This is a belief.

  • FierceMild

    “You need to find a set of characteristics that only exclude trans women in order for your argument to work.”
    Mammary glands
    Vagina
    Ovaries
    uterus
    There you go, all trans woman excluded.

  • FierceMild

    You should if you like the calculus!

  • FierceMild

    Illness, malformation and disorders of the reproductive system are misfortunes not proof that there is no such thing as a woman. A human born with one leg does not constitute proof that humans aren’t bipedal.

  • There’s no such thing as a “cis” person and therefore there’s no such thing as “cis priviledge”. I would never tell a depressed person to cheer up; I would advise them to find a good therapist to help them locate the roots of their depression in the depths of their psyche. I would advise the same thing for people who hate their bodies.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Here’s the deal: we can agree that “sex” = biological sex, and “gender” = gender roles/stereotypes (i.e. the ideas about people’s personalities and behaviour imposed on them based on their sex), or you can go away. If we can’t agree to use words accurately there’s no point in any of this. You’ve been given many chances here to engage in good faith.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No, females don’t produce sperm…

  • Meghan Murphy

    A male who identifies as a trans woman will never have a ‘normal vagina, womb, and ovaries.’ Vaginas are not just holes that exist for dicks to go in.

  • Tobysgirl

    If I grew a full beard, I could join the circus!

  • Meghan Murphy

    lol ok

  • Meghan Murphy

    Still doesn’t make sense because sex is just a biological fact, it’s not an identity.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “A cis person is simply someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.”

    That applies to NO ONE. “Gender identity” is not a real thing. People just have personalities. Get over it.

  • Melanie

    But according to your previous comments a trans woman has always had a female identity, not a male one?

  • Minerva Conatus

    Faux vaginas are very, very far from being “functional”. They are merely crude approximations of the real thing. They do not have muscle that can contract or widen to accommodate an infant’s head; they cannot produce lubrication. They are just tubes of flayed penile skin or misplaced colon tissue.

    Don’t be dishonest and attempt to lead people to believe that they can get surgery to achieve something that isn’t achievable.

  • Minerva Conatus

    What is a “masculine body”, though, if sex is only determined by one’s inner “gender identity”? If you have a “female gender identity”, then wouldn’t any body you inhabit be a “feminine” body, by definition?

  • Minerva Conatus

    My brain is a part of my body.

  • Minerva Conatus

    I think that you may need a refresher course on anatomy.

    Males make sperm. Not “usually”, but always. In my textbooks, sperm are, in fact, referred to as the “male gametes”.

    Females release eggs. Not “usually”, but always. In my textbooks, ova are, in fact, referred to as the “female gametes”.

    Fetuses do grow in the womb–what category of humans possess a womb? What category of humans do not possess a womb?

    Babies are born via the vagina–what category of humans possess a vagina? What category of humans do not possess a vagina?

  • Minerva Conatus

    So it doesn’t matter what my physical body is like? My inner “gender identity” is all that matters?

  • FierceMild

    Boys might be jumpier than girls (but we don’t know that) so there’s no such thing as gestation or mammalian reproduction?!

  • acommentator

    It may be that there are a lot of different things going on with trans. I thing a simple male/female breakdown is probably over simplifying it too. I am not convinced there is not a genetic or medical thing underlying at least some of it.

    It is probably very complicated.

  • M. Zoidberg

    >>”a trans woman is a woman even before she transitions

    Burden of proof is on you, baby. Now how the fuck are you supposed to prove that? And don’t copy and paste some vague psycho-babble “research” from a vanity press.

  • M. Zoidberg

    >>”scientists don’t question it’s [gender identity’s] existence.

    Who are these scientists? No reputable scientists, that’s who.

  • Virginia Howard

    If you’re an agnostic about souls, then I’m skeptical about the
    brain being equated with the mind. There’s
    been no successful head/brain transplant to date, so there’s no proof that my
    scintillating self would manifest in another body. And a propos of transplants and brains
    muttering in jars, has science really explained everything concerning the plight
    of trans to your satisfaction? What
    about culture, what role does it play in the dysphoria? Feminism has generated
    a potentially revolutionary critique of femininity and our culture’s devaluation
    of women, surely trans people could benefit from this critical stance.

    Unless trans are somehow exempt from culture’s influence.

  • Virginia Howard

    If you’re an agnostic about souls, then I’m skeptical about the brain being equated with the mind. There’s been no successful head/brain transplant to date, so there’s no proof that my scintillating self would manifest in another body.
    And a propos of transplants and brains muttering in jars, has science really explained everything concerning the plight of trans to your satisfaction? What about culture, what role does it play in the dysphoria? Feminism has generated a potentially revolutionary critique of femininity and our culture’s devaluation of women, surely trans people could benefit from this critical stance.

    Unless trans are somehow exempt from culture’s influence.

  • will

    You have had questions politely posed by me and other commenters and you have ignored them.

  • will

    That does not count as a citation.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    Ha! Awesome reply. I only took pre-calc, but I was always more comfortable around my female math teachers.

  • Maria_MacLachlan

    “it’s part of what makes you WHO you are” – as opposed to WHAT you are and what you are not?

  • M. Zoidberg

    >>”Here’s one heart-wrenching story of de-transition, including the loss of the cool trans kids’ support the moment one announces one’s de-transition.

    Wow, if it walks and talks and flocks like a cult…

  • M. Zoidberg

    >>”fully orgasmic and very functional vagina.

    You mean a wound that you have to keep forcing open, because otherwise it would heal up?

  • M. Zoidberg

    You copied and pasted this from…?

  • Christine

    Can you provide a source for the claim that gender is at all biological? The examples you provide fall under the category of sex, as I understand it. I’m no scientist, but do the experts call testosterone a “gender hormone” now? Thanks in advance.

  • Melanie

    You either are a particular sex or you aren’t. What does it mean to have an innate sense of being female when you’re a male?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Body dysphoria.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Scientists indeed have and do question the notion of innate ‘gender’ and ‘pink’ or ‘blue’ brains.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Intersex and trans are not the same thing.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What’s a ‘male identity’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You’re a heterosexual male.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You may well suffer from body dysphoria/dysmorphia, but that doesn’t mean you have innate ‘gender’ or that there is such thing as ‘female identity’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You *just* said you did experience a great deal of distress due to your dysphoria/dysmorphia, so in your case it seems clear you are suffering from a mental disorder.

  • Lin Haskins

    The link is to an article titled ‘Scans prove there’s no such thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain’. The main point of the article being ‘there is no such thing as a female or male brain, according to the first search for sex differences across the entire human brain.’

    This really does not support your point.

    • Melanie

      It also demonstrates that it depends on what the definition of a male and female brain is, not some innate maleness or femaleness within the brain.

  • Melanie

    So if it’s a feeling that you have about what sex you are, regardless of what sex you actually are, what constitutes this feeling? How do you feel male or female when you’re not male or female? What is it that makes your innate sense of your sex match your actual sex, or not?

  • Melanie

    If it doesn’t matter to me does that mean I’m not female? I’ll have to tell my gyno!

  • acommentator

    My thoughts are muddled. But the more I think about it, the more I think there is probably a lot going on with the whole trans thing. I doubt there is any simple, comprehensive explanation for it.