Who Can Get Pregnant?
This exchange between Senator Josh Hawley (R, Mo.) and Berkley Law professor Khiara Bridges from earlier in the week has sparked interesting but predictable responses:
Those who are staunch supporters of trans rights think Bridges put Hawley in his place. Most, however, thought the whole thing bizarre and yet another example of wokeness run amok in academia.
For those who can’t or would prefer not to watch the video, here’s a quick summary from CNN (“Josh Hawley accused of transphobic line of questioning during sharp exchange with law professor“):
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri was accused by a law professor of engaging in a line of transphobic questioning during a hearing Tuesday on the legal consequences of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling last month, some progressives have increasingly used the term “pregnant people” — as opposed to “women” — to refer to those whose right to abortion they seek to protect, in an effort to recognize that transgender men and non-binary people are also affected by the court’s decision, which overturned the 1973 landmark ruling that had made access to abortion a federal constitutional right.
“You refer to ‘people with a capacity for pregnancy.’ Would that be women?” Hawley asked Khiara Bridges, a law professor at UC Berkeley School of Law, during the sharp exchange at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy, many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges replied. “There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”
Pressed by Hawley about what Bridges’ view of “the core of this right, then, is about,” the professor asserted that Hawley’s questioning was transphobic because he was effectively denying the existence of trans men and non-binary people.
“I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them,” Bridges said, to which the senator responded incredulously.
Hawley’s focus on the inclusive language comes as both abortion rights and trans rights have become political flashpoints around the country, with Republican state lawmakers passing a slew of restrictive measures on both fronts in recent months and years.
Bridges went on to note that trans people suffer from high rates of attempted suicide, adding: “Denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist is dangerous.”
She asked the senator directly if he believes that men can get pregnant.
“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley said, to which the professor replied: “So you’re denying that trans people exist.”
“Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you or are they also treated like this?” Hawley asked.
“We have a good time in my class,” Bridges shot back. “You should join. You might learn a lot.”
The exchange, naturally, went viral on social media and both sides are taking victory laps. There’s essentially zero actual conversation happening as a result.
As loathe as I am to defend Hawley, who’s a genuine villain in American politics, he got the better of this exchange. While Bridges is of course correct that transmen and those who identify as nonbinary can get pregnant—and, whatever his personal beliefs on the matter, a man with Hawley’s education and experience goddamn well knows that—her approach here will not win over a single person not already in her camp and will strike most Americans as insulting and alien.
Five years ago, 99 percent of us would have found the notion that anyone other than a woman could get pregnant absurd. Thirty years ago, the idea was, quite literally, the stuff of comedy.
There’s growing acceptance that sex is more complicated than biology. That, just because a person has male parts doesn’t mean that they view themselves as men and just because they have female parts doesn’t mean they view themselves as women. And, indeed, there are people who don’t identify as a man or a woman.
That’s a lot for most people to wrap their heads around. It doesn’t help that people who should know better and are in positions of leadership, like Hawley, are exploiting that for political gain. But, given how alien the who concept is to most folks, calling the idea that pregnancy is the sole province of women “phobic” and accusing those who question the assertion that transwomen and nonbinary people can get pregnant of fomenting violence is decidedly unhelpful helping to get people to understand.
WaPo’s Monica Hesse (“What Josh Hawley doesn’t get in the discussion about ‘pregnant people’“) at least acknowledges that it’s not just the lunatic fringe on Hawley’s side.
Reproductive rights and transgender rights are currently two of the country’s most hot-button issues, and the intersection of these topics has grown flammable. “Women didn’t fight this long and this hard only to be told we couldn’t call ourselves women anymore,” New York Times columnist Pamela Paul wrote last week. “This isn’t just a semantic issue; it’s also a question of moral harm, an affront to our very sense of ourselves.”
The same day, Bette Midler tweeted, “WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name! They don’t call us ‘women’ anymore; they call us ‘birthing people.’ “
Their arguments, in a nutshell: Women have been assaulted, dismissed and otherwise victimized by gender-based discrimination for millennia. Women’s identities have been shaped and strengthened by these experiences. At the very least, they should get to claim the word that has been the source of their pride and pain.
We could pick at these arguments, of course, as some of them are hollow. Nobody is saying that women can’t call themselves women anymore. The examples Paul cited (wording from the websites of Planned Parenthood or NARAL) are organizations choosing to use more-inclusive language for their own work or their own branding. These organizations are not dictating what women personally are allowed to do. As for Midler: She did not clarify who “they” was, but truly there is no quicker way to look unhinged in a public forum than to rant in all-caps about an unspecified “they.”
But I have a measure of sympathy for people like Midler because the debate over the terminology of pregnancy is, frankly, a mess. It’s marred by scaremongering and subtraction, focusing on what the transgender community is allegedly taking away from women.
Middler, who is pretty far left for a 76-year-old, is playing the role of an everywoman here. I can’t imagine she doesn’t know some trans and nonbinary folks after half a century in show business.
Paul, who I would characterize is center-right, isn’t a very good columnist. And the headline of the piece in question, “The Far Right and Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don’t Count,” is enough to induce eye rolls. But the crux of her argument, while alarmist, isn’t absurd:
The noble intent behind omitting the word “women” is to make room for the relatively tiny number of transgender men and people identifying as nonbinary who retain aspects of female biological function and can conceive, give birth or breastfeed. But despite a spirit of inclusion, the result has been to shove women to the side.
As with the gay marriage debate, the notion that recognizing that people different than you nonetheless have a lot of the same needs doesn’t really cost you anything. The notion that we needed to “defend” marriage by reserving it for “one man and one woman” is absurd in hindsight but seemed unassailable to a lot of people for a long time.
And I think Hesse gets it right here:
In many ways it is impossible to separate the experience of being pregnant with the experience of being a woman. Historically when the medical community has treated women, it has treated them as hysterics and hypochondriacs. It has underestimated their pain and underfunded the research that could address it. None of this history changes when a woman walks into a clinic pregnant.
And yet, people who aren’t women walk into clinics pregnant, too. They walk in with their own histories of medical discrimination and dismissal, with their own bodies in need of care and tending. That’s not an affront to womanhood, or a subtraction. It’s just a fact.
Legislation impacting pregnancies might have been written intending to regulate women. But these laws end up regulating anyone who has a uterus, whether that person is a woman or not. After all, a state that has prohibited abortions doesn’t care what kind of pronouns are employed by the person who wants to end a pregnancy.
Our language when discussing reproduction needs to be precise in describing what is happening and who it’s happening to. It also needs to be factual, and it ought to be caring.
And one more thing: It should be a language of addition, not subtraction. It should acknowledge the fundamental experiences that have shaped women and pregnancy since the beginning of time, and it should acknowledge the universal experiences of pregnancy that transcend beyond gender.
Or, as Khiara Bridges phrased it in her response to Sen. Hawley on Tuesday: “We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it also impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive.”
If you know you’re talking about a pregnant woman, by all means, call her that. If you know you’re talking about someone who is pregnant and not a woman, then address them how they want to be addressed.
Realistically, that’s going to take a while. It took decades to get people to become comfortable with the idea of same-sex marriage. The trans rights agenda has only very recently come front and center. It will be resolved much faster, precisely because the gay rights (and women’s rights and civil rights) fights have already been fought.
I recognize that, as a cis white guy, it’s easy to call for patience. But it seems clear to me that name-calling is hurting, not helping the cause. And likely to alienate a lot of people who are better fits under Joe Biden’s tent than Josh Hawley’s.
I don’t know. You call it “woke” academic language. I call it people I know. I know a trans man or two. They could get pregnant. They don’t want to be called women. What’s the answer?
No, I don’t have one. “Pregnant people” is the best I can do. Now, in a discussion with Senator Hawley, I would probably say exactly the above.
Well, she was right. He was being transphobic. If you think that trans people don’t exist, then you are being transphobic. And as I pointed out in the other post it doesn’t seem like most Americans who are of the age to have children or are beginning to raise them care about these things then what is the point of any of this crap? I mean, if you really believe that women are being erased in 2022 because of the trans ideology you are so out of the loop with real children and families and parents.
I don’t know. You call it “woke” academic language. I call it people I know.
Children seem to understand this academic language at a fundamental level. Bigotry brings about fake confusion in people, and that’s the case here.
How should Prof Bridges and others in her situation should handle a manifestly bad faith actor like Hawley? His goal in the exchange is get a clip on Fox News while doing some quiet trans bashing. Should she take the opportunity for patient explanation or to exchange in some sort of Socratic dialog? Or should she call him out, as she did? I don’t see an obvious “win” in either approach, but at least calling him out makes it clear that she’s onto his game. She’s not there to educate him since he has no interest in being educated. And, frankly, if she did try to educate him, the clip would have gone nowhere.
@Jay L Gischer:
Jay, you’re a better person than me. Any conversation I had with Sent. Hawley would likely start with.
Or I’d smack him with an ugly stick. But all y’all here are better people than I am.
Dr.J, yes it’s uncomfortable and awkward. But why can’t we just let people live their lives in peace? Why is any of this any of Hawley’s biddiness?
And yes, I know he’s an ignorant troll under a bridge, but sheesh, I’d be embarrassed to have him for a relative.
You have a typo, a pretty significant one that makes me sad on a couple of different levels. First, Trans women cannot get pregnant. We don’t have uteruses (even though my body thinks it does). Trans Men have may have uteruses. Second, a LARGE number of Trans women experience significant distress because they know they are unable to birth their own children. For the record, not me. There are women that I know would push people into the street for the chance to give birth.
The other level that makes me sad is the impression that I get from your post is that you don’t believe I’m a woman.
I can tell you as a person who is directly impacted by this fight that I highly doubt you are correct. My self and my friends are hoarding meds because we are pretty sure our medication is going to become illegal. I’ve made plans to flee the country in the event my existence becomes illegal. FL is attempting to make all transition related care illegal based on lies and bad science.
I know I harp on this issue like a broken record here. Dr. Joyner, if you’ve never met a Trans person, you have my email address. Drop me a line, let’s have a chat. I’d be happy to give you a perspective on this.
Thank you for the compliment, but how I talk about this doesn’t come from being a “better person”. And I tend to agree with your assessment of Sen. Hawley. I’ve spent my entire life training myself not to say that kind of thing out loud, but for my own benefit, not for the sake of “being a good person”. Most of my impulses in this direction, if I followed them, would destroy relationships I value. Josh Hawley is just the beneficiary of long-developed habits.
In any case, that kind of rhetoric has a strategic quality to it. It brings thing down to a personal level. If he wants to push more, he will have to insult me personally, to my face, on camera. Or my daughter. His aggression would have to become overt. He is trolling, trying to get me angry. If I get angry, he wins. If I smile and say, “I love my daughter”, he’s the one with the problem.
This isn’t theoretical, it’s somebody who’s someone friend, child, parent, lover, and so on. I think this is why this seems “academic”.
@Jay L Gischer:
The absurdity of the “erasing women” claim is beyond insane. Trans Men don’t want to be referred to as women. They aren’t.
I am a woman. I have never been so happy in all my life when people started seeing me and treating me like a woman. I can do without the mansplaining and terrible flirting though. How do straight men ever get laid? I digress.
I don’t understand the non-binary experience at all. I am a very binary person. I don’t understand their experience except for the understanding that they are who they say they are.
The vast majority of my friends are Trans Women. The vast majority of them want to be treated and seen as women: because they are. We don’t want to “erase” Cis Women, we want desperately to be included.
After a bit of reflection, I realize I want to give some credit where it is due. Much of how I talk/write about trans people is inspired by how Ta-Nehisi Coats writes and talks about racial issues in the US. It’s not some hypothetical with him, it’s him personally and his wife, his son, his father, his mother and his brother. And so on. I spent a long time in his comment section learning – not just about black people, but about what sort of rhetorical strategies were effective.
This has aligned with a long-time habit of not speaking from anger.
@Jay L Gischer:
I appreciate you.
Reference your post on party realignment.
Would it be reasonable to talk about “pregnant women” as the default? The number of people who don’t identify as female who are pregnant is pretty small at any given time, so when we talk about a pregnant person we are almost certainly talking about a woman. Trans men and non-binary people can get pregnant, but perhaps we need another term for that?
I don’t think women are being erased by trans women. I think that’s ridiculous. But I do find it odd that we can’t talk about pregnant women.
@Jay L Gischer:
Which is what makes you a better person. A lot of us won’t go to the effort until forced by circumstance.
Which does not detract from being recognizable as a better person. What one does is what one becomes. In the best circumstances, motives fade into the background, especially when what one does has the result of being a better person.
You absolutely can talk about pregnant women. All we are asking is that other people who can get pregnant get included too.
The problem is not with your line of thought per se, the problem is with bad faith actors like Hawley and Matt Walsh using that framing to push attacks on Trans people.
Speaking of bad faith people, did anyone see how Joanne Rowling cozied up to Matt Walsh and was all lovey happy with him? That is until people pointed out that he happily refers to himself as a fascist. She tried to get away, but the internet remembers.
To me we are adding boxes to the form, not deleting or redefining existing ones. Add them so people can identify as who they are.
Spoiler Alert; Hawley represents everything wrong with Republican politics today.
@Beth: Typo fixed. I’m still getting used to the vocabulary.
@Kari Q: That’s pretty much where I am: it’s a little odd to expect people to adjust the ordinary language to account for the extraordinary. But it’s bizarre to get upset when groups like NARAL adopt more inclusive language.
@Jay L Gischer:
Well, Jay, as someone who refuses violence because I understand the price I ultimately pay for opening the lid, I still applaud you.
l personally love the look the Hawley’s of the world give me when I smile sweetly and refuse to rise to their bait.
Although I also enjoy the look when they catch the meaning of my response, “why no, you’re right, I can’t make you do that. Ultimately, there’s only one thing I can make you do.”. Especially when they realize I don’t care either way.
But I’m off topic. Beth, Jay, and Cracker, I hope you all have a better day, everyone.
In 1973, Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve starred in the movie ‘L’Événement le plus important depuis que l’homme a marché sur la Lune’
I viewed the film once a long time ago. My opinion- For Mastroianni and Deneuve fans only
What percentage of “people who can get pregnant” identify as female/women? 99%? 99.9%?
Let’s go with the majority, particularly because if we continue making a fuss about “people who can get pregnant who don’t identify as female” I suspect the other side is going to ride the brouhaha all the way into the White House, the Senate, and the House.
I’m not saying that “people who can get pregnant” who aren’t female don’t exist–what I’m saying is that priorities, people.
Thank you for fixing that. I understand that it gets a little topsy-turvy with the vocab.
One other thing to point out:
My depression has come roaring back for some reason. I don’t know why and I’m mostly frustrated by it. For the last couple of days it’s been whispering to me, “nobody likes you”, “your friends all hate you”, “you’re ugly and repulsive”, “your a burden to everyone around you”. The icing on that crap cake was last night when I tried to go to bed all I could think about was the “Finkel is Einhorn barfing” scene from Ace Ventura.
These things you read as jokes are very much trauma to me. When I think I’m repulsive, it’s because Ace Ventura (and other such jokes) made it very clear to young me that I was very much repulsive and a disgusting joke.
I’m not trying to say that you (or anyone who finds that funny) are trying put me or any other trans person down, but it’s there. However, on the off chance I ever meet Jim Carey, I would tell him that he in particular has made me hate myself for years.
While I get where you are coming from, choosing those “priorities” over actual people creates a situation where Trans Men and Enbys can’t get proper medical care, Trans Men and Enbys get pushed to the side and ignored, there are very real consequences for choosing “priorities” over people. We need to have this fight or the priority will be to deny care to all Trans people, to erase our existence, to torture Trans kids and adults until they harm themselves or worse. The Right doesn’t want to elevate women, the right wants to kill LGBT people and subjugate women.
We need to have the fight, even if it means that I get to be the broken record. I’m not trying to win over the Rowlings or Walshes, they’d happily pull the trigger on me. I’m trying to win You, and Dr. Joyner so that You don’t stand by and watch as the Rowling/Walshes execute me and my friends.
P.S. Just wait until we get technology advanced enough for uterine replicators or the ability to fit a womb into an XY individual, at which point “mother” becomes a VERY interesting concept. “The person who provides the large gametes” vs. “the person who provides the small gametes”, which doesn’t really trip off the tongue easily…but we’ve already been having our viewpoints nudged towards this direction, with “surrogate mother” being the individual-carrying-the-fetus-to-term but somehow….not being considered the “real mother”.
The further the technology gets and the higher the percentage of people who consider themselves “not in the traditional pigeonhole” the quicker we’ll come to some form of linguistic equilibrium, I suspect.
However, just realise that right now insisting people follow a particular mode of speech to refer to particular individuals will have repercussions….namely providing an issue that the other political side can use in fund-raising and gathering support.
Heck, a sizeable percentage of the other side doesn’t even admit that trans-men and trans-women exist. Getting into a tizzy about “pregnant women” rather than “pregnant people” seems to me a bloody waste of effort and time.
I confess I’m a bit confused here.
@Beth said: “Trans Men don’t want to be referred to as women. They aren’t.
The vast majority of my friends are Trans Women. The vast majority of them want to be treated and seen as women: because they are. ”
(Sorry, I can’t use the blockquote function without the post getting eaten)
I don’t understand why trans women are women but trans men aren’t men. In my mind, the very word “trans” is short for transitioning-moving from one state to another. A woman who transitions to a man, when the process is done, is a man. A man who transitions to a woman, when the process is done, is a woman. Being “trans”, by definition, is temporary. What am I missing?
As for the language involved, I confess I’m closer to James than others I guess. Not to defend JK Rowling in entirety, but when her transphobia first came out (to my knowledge) it was when she mocked a piece of writing talking about “people who menstruate” and wondering why we don’t just call them women. The context was around medical care for problems with menstruation. And yes, “people who menstruate” is more precise. But it’s not like anyone was confused by the shorthand of saying “women” in that conversation before because we all understood it required context. After all, post-menopausal women don’t have the health care issues under discussion but it was understood. And referring to my above position-someone who has completed transitioning from a man to a woman IS a woman…why clutter the language up with “people who menstruate” instead of “women”?
As far as I can tell there are 4 physical genders. Male, female, both, neither. The latter two being extremely rare. Trans people are going from one of those to another. I might be using the word “gender” incorrectly in this case-as I started this post with, I’m confused. Sexual identity and preference I see as something totally different-a man who prefers to sleep with men is gay, whereas a man who transitioned to a woman and wants to sleep with men would simply be straight at that point. A man who transitioned to a woman and wants to have sex with woman is a lesbian. Someone who wants to have sex with both genders is bi, regardless of their own gender (current or original).
It all seems so straightforward in my head, so what am I missing? Why, as Beth put it, do trans men not want to be referred to as men, but trans women want to be thought of as women?
My apologies if I’ve offended. I’m trying to understand.
PS: Hawley is an ass and a traitor.
Just to beat the dead horse a bit more, my habit of holding my tongue – “holding my protest” – came more from an impulse to survive than it came from an impulse to “be a good person”. It is quite useful in conveying and expressing compassion, to be sure, but that’s not how or why I learned it.
I have been on a quest to find good ways to write and talk about trans people – to find beautiful language to convey how beautiful I feel my child is. I have experienced pushback – sometimes – from trans people or more likely trans allies. Usually it take the form of “X is the correct word to use!” I know that, but I want to find other words. Do folks police Shakespeare? (Probably there are some who do, I must admit). This very prescriptive, black-and-white, “you must use exactly these words” sort of discourse really puts people off.
And yet the place it comes from is the world of threat a trans persons experiences. Some one may freak out at any moment, so they are always looking for signs of it. That’s very real.
I am a strong supporter of trans rights, and have a trans kid myself. (Kid, she’s 25.) But pushing this issue for the sake of inclusion is dumb and self-harming. 99.9% of people who get pregnant are women. Everyone knows it and insisting on confusing the matter is counterproductive. It makes us look ridiculous and self-trivialization is not the road to political power or broader acceptance.
@Just Another Ex-Republican: There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding here:
They are men. Trans women are women. I feel quite confident that Beth didn’t say or even intend to imply that trans men aren’t men. The passage you quote says “Trans men don’t want to be referred to as women“. I see no conflict there.
I will use “trans” to describe a person who has transitioned from one gender to another. When it is relevant.. Often, it isn’t. In this discussion, it’s highly relevant, of course.
I think you must have misread something.
A small part of this kerfluffle is the Republican use of experts as foils. An academic expert on elections would carefully try to say accurately that there was no significant fraud in our last election. Hawley, or someone like him, will then ask what he means by significant. The expert will try to explain that there’s always a low level of fraud, And the Hawley type will say the expert admits there was fraud, and there’s always been fraud. Academics and experts try to use precise language, and the Hawley’s of the world know how to exploit that.
I think most of us agree Hawley is the villain in this piece. Hawley has a background similar to so many of these “populists”. He’s a Yale Law grad who clerked for John Roberts. Yale Law may not do a good job of teaching ethics, but they’re real good at teaching how to abuse language.
When you’re getting your ass kicked – and the trans rights movement is clearly getting its ass kicked – it is time to re-evaluate tactics. It was a mistake not to make a carve-out for athletics. It is a mistake to insist on changing everyone’s language overnight. It was a mistake when some trans activists adopted a belligerent ‘I don’t need to justify. . .’ stance. Insisting on these points makes it very difficult for allies to stay on-board.
And more generally across the Left it is a mistake to draw lines so narrowly that you push out potential allies.
@Michael Reynolds: I kind of agree, and at the same time, I would probably use, in similar circumstances, a phrase such as “people who are pregnant”, or “pregnant individuals”.
Hawley trolls to get the angry, righteous response, which is, I must say, pretty normal. I wouldn’t respond that way, though. At least I hope not. I would be quick to express myself when challenged with a smile and a song in my heart. I might say something like, “Well, I know some trans men, and they could get pregnant, though none of those I know have. So I use that language out of my friendship for them, and concern for their well-being”. And then I’d smile at him.
You can’t touch this, Josh. And I will demonstrate that to the viewers.
I appreciate that not everyone can do that, and so they would need to adopt a different communication strategy.
@Beth: Meanwhile, I’m moving toward the idea that calling them “transphobic” is too generous. Looks like plain ol’ animus to this little cracker.
Hawley is obviously a terrible person in every way, and his line of questioning here was transparently bad faith culture war fodder. That bit of throat-clearing preface aside, though, Bridges’ ridiculous response – and indeed the whole “birthing persons” and “pregnant people” schtick – is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the woke left in general and the trans movement in particular, as well as why they’re so damaging to efforts at genuine social progress. A major pillar of women’s right to bodily autonomy has just been lost, and the woke left / trans activists are more interested in virtue-signaling and language policing than in fighting effectively to regain that right. And what’s more, that approach is even more damaging to their own supposed goal of increased acceptance and inclusion of trans people. It would be laughable if it weren’t all so tragic and infuriating.
@Just Another Ex-Republican:
No. Her first foray into the topic came when she defended Maya Forstater, a woman fired for what amounted to cyberbullying and harassment of trans women. Rowling’s presentation of the controversy was wildly dishonest, and made it very hard to view anything else she said on the topic with charitability.
A crucial and overlooked point is this: trans folk have zero political power on their own. A recent poll had IIRC 1.6% of Americans identifying as trans or non-binary. 1.6% is not a voting bloc. All the political power of the trans movement – all of it – comes from allies. Those allies have a larger agenda, other places to expend their political energies, especially now on the abortion issue. Making it harder on allies is never a good idea but for trans folk it could be disastrous.
We won the bathroom war. That was nothing short of miraculous. But it was always going to be the limit of progress in the near term. Trying to push further is the classic error of overreach.
I’ll give you an analogy. I am opposed to all private ownership of guns. But I understand that if I insist on my maximalist agenda I will be knee-capping my allies.
I use inclusive pregnancy terms, because of my trans and nbi friends and because I personally prefer non-gendered language. I’m happy to be the birth parent. That doesn’t harm me in any way, regardless of what my kiddo calls me. We change language on a dime all the time. But somehow when it has to do with including trans/nbi people its too much too soon. My capacity to be pregnant doesn’t define me as a woman anyway. To a large extent, the conservative elements elevate pregnancy as a tactic to maintain sexist and patriarchal control.
@Just Another Ex-Republican:
I think you did a very elegant explain action of a very complex topic and I think you are spot on. There was a little bit of hedge in my language only because I know a lot of Trans femmes that identity as non-binary and that’s when things get really complicated.
You also hit on a philosophic argument within the Trans community. I’m going to specifically exclude Enbys for a bit here. Broadly speaking there are there are three camps of trans people, let’s use trans women for ease and what’s who I know: there are those of us who refer to ourselves Trans and the Trans part is important, we are women, but we’re just a different flavor of woman, we started out somewhere else and carried our womanhood with us until it could come out (full disclosure, I’m in this group). There are others that believe that they were and are always women full stop. Trans is either transitory or something accomplished some other time. Then there is the tiny third group that says they are basically just men. Think Caitlyn Jenner (she sucks).
This is a very intra-group argument and the only agreement between the first two groups is that the third sucks. The reason we generally don’t air this argument publicly is it’s super complex and if people are already arguing we’re just men it’s too tough to explain the other stuff too. But you’re on to it and I applaud you.
Please let us all know which rights you would feel ok about having it carved out of you? As a Jewish man would you feel it was ok to be excluded from say the library solely on the basis that you’re Jewish? Please explain your work to the class.
@Dutchgirl: If it helps you to understand any, back in the day, it was “too much, too soon” for blacks, too. Still is for a lot of people, in fact.
@Just Another Ex-Republican:
Good point. If you actually read what Rowling wrote she was resentful that after enduring misogyny her whole life replete with endless bro-holes dismissing her concerns or anger as just “her being on the rag”, she was being “educated” by people that she must now refer to herself as a “person who menstruates”. Rowling,being Rowling, made it clear that no one tells her what to do, and that’s the start of the whole thing.
I’ve heard this line of reasoning before, and I really don’t understand it. It sounds like it’s rooted in a caricature of feminism, where the reason to support women’s rights is because they are women and not, say, because they are people. Everyone deserves a right to bodily autonomy. Our focus should be on those who are being denied that right, which explains why the focus has been on women. But the case for a right of a person to terminate a pregnancy doesn’t change one iota depending on what label you attach to the person in question.
I don’t think it’s really all that complex, to be honest, and I think the position of the first group you describe – those who want to use the word “trans-women” because it’s easier and a more fulsome description of the situation – is what will win out in society at large. There is quite obviously a distinction between people whose self-identity and sexual form align from birth and people for whom that isn’t the case and some kind of physical or at least social transition is required. Calling the first group “women” (or “men”) and the second group “trans-women” (or “trans-men”) is both clearer and more accurate. Conflating the two groups under a single term “women” (or “men”), as both the second and third groups seem to want, though in opposite directions and for opposite reasons, is simply a category error.
I hate to break it to you Hoss, but we very much did not win that war. You don’t get the exquisite pants-shitting terror I get to have EVERY SINGLE TIME I use a public bathroom. I get to wonder if that’s the time I get beaten up, arrested or murdered.
I mean, look how much we won:
And lose me with all this we have to beg our Allies for permission to maybe get our rights. Just say we should shut up and take it if we don’t beg the right way. To be clear, I have boundless patience to sit here and explain and debate as much of the Trans experience as I can in the hopes I can win the Dr. Joyners and Grumpys. I have zero patience for you and your beg for rights bs.
Waste his time with a slow, boring repetition of “person who can get pregnant” in response to his idiot questions. Ask whether a ten year old girl is a woman, but slowly. Don’t give him the sound bite he’s looking for.
A quick survey of friends, family, and co-workers suggests that Senator Hawley represents, almost unanimously, the prevailing thoughts on pregnant people. Is this really the hill to die on?
Just to be clear. I am a woman. In my example above, both groups are women, it’s just how you deal with the trans-ness. We both agree we are women.
What rights do you think I’m ‘carving out of you?’ We are discussing whether women are the people who get pregnant. That does not alter your rights at all. But insisting on fighting these irrelevant battles is unhelpful, and taking an aggressive tone is counter-productive.
But since you mention Jews, here’s one: the vast majority of us DGAF if there are Christmas trees on public property. A small vocal minority likes to have this stupid fight every year and what is accomplished other than irritating people for no advantage?
It is ridiculous when you are losing to insist that all your strategy and tactics are just fine and any criticism is ‘carving you up.’ The game is power, and right now trans folks are losing it. In any war retreat and retrenchment are part of the game. No army in history has managed to advance without setbacks. When you have a setback you look at your strategy and your tactics and adjust accordingly in order to achieve victory.
The fact that you’d address me this way is a perfect example of the problem. If I’m not 100% in-line, I’m an enemy. You have real enemies, real threats, and no native power. Your votes are insignificant. Anything you hope to accomplish will be accomplished by your allies. And Beth, if someone like me is not an ally, then you’re screwed.
Very well, Orange Cretin & Co up in the punters markets, narrow activist charge of light brigade maximalism is the route over not getting as Mr Reynolds puts it knee capped.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
This has been a pet peeve of mine for ages — we have a perfectly good word, “bigot.”
Trans folks, particularly mid transition, make me a little skittish. Less and less, but it’s there, something about too many gender markers confusing my stupid little brain. I’m clearly (a little) transphobic.
But I’m not a bigot — I support their rights, I want to include them in society, I want them to be able to transition (even as kids, or at least have access to puberty blockers to give them time to to figure out what works for them without having their body change in ways that doesn’t), I want that transition covered by health insurance, use whatever bathroom, not be assaulted or harassed, be treated with the respect you give any other human being trying to live their life, etc. My skittishness should be a me problem, not their problem.
And when someone like Hawley tries to use my skittishness and turn it into hate, well, I just hate the esteemed Senator from Bigotland. Partly because I don’t like being manipulated, partly because it’s wrong, and partly because I know that I am next on his list.
Transphobic is the wrong word for someone like him. He’s a bigot*.
Applying the word transphobe to people like him is erasing my experience… and pushing people who are a little transphobic but mostly don’t really care towards him.
*: Hate monger might be a better term for Hawley, as he is attempting to profit off creating hatred.
Bridges didn’t say conflating pregnancy with womanhood is transphobic. She said Hawley’s line of questioning is transphobic.
By your own admission Hawley knew the answers to his question, knew they weren’t relevant to the actual point of the hearing, and was deliberately using them to inflame ill will toward trans people.
If that can’t be described as transphobic, what can be?
My point is that a person born with a male body who later alters that body to appear and/or function (to some degree) more like a female body, or who at least changes their social signaling to “present” themselves as female according to their culture’s relevant practices is not physically or experientially equivalent to a person born with and retaining a female body and presentation throughout their life. They are distinct forms/experiences, and therefore we should, and almost certainly will, retain distinct words to describe them.
Did you SERIOUSLY just reduce anti-trans violence to the old “he wouldn’t hit you if you stopped provoking him” trope?
OMG, would you LISTEN to yourself for once?
Trans Man Noah Ruiz Was Just Trying to Pee. He Was Assaulted and Arrested.
The first duty of an ally is to listen to the people you’re an ally to and then do what they said they need you to do to help.
You’re may think you’re an ally to trans people, but you’re not. You’re the typical liberal pseudo-ally who thinks declaring ally-ship makes you the manager of trans people, forever stalking around berating them for their imagined insubordination and refusal to sacrifice their lives to your precious “larger agenda”.
Growing up as a cis female in rural Alabama is neither physically or experientially equivalent to growing up as a cis female in Brooklyn, New York. If you told a woman who moved from Alabama to New York that she is not really a woman because she could never really understand the experience of growing up a girl in Brooklyn and thus needs to be called something else, you’d sound like a loony.
— Some guy who I shouldn’t have to be quoting (again) because seriously, come the fuck on and get the fuck over yourselves.
You may be confusing “ally” with “servant”.
@Stormy Dragon: You have a rather weak grasp of the meaning of the word ally or how in the real world such things work. An ally has no such ‘duty’ although one may have an interest to do so. Or not.
@Stormy Dragon: You’re too smart to think that’s a good analogy.
There’s a difference between being “politically allied with” and being “an ally to” a minority community. If it’s just a tactical relationship driven by some common goal, to be dissolved as soon as it’s no longer beneficial to yourself, then you’re not an ally.
Being an ally to a minority community IS volunteering to be a servant. It’s recognizing their lack of power and privilege and putting yours at their disposal.
Most people who claim to be allies are not.
I am not. Indeed, I’m widely known to be a moron not worth the time of serious people.
No, he did not. No one thinks the bigots will stop hitting. He suggested offering a smaller, less punchable profile, and changing tactics.
You can think that’s a terrible idea — particularly the first part — as it is ceding ground to the bigots, but it’s really clear that he means those two parts as an inseparable unit.
He basically proposes not continuing to do the same things over and over once the Republican hate mongers have found a way to weaponized it against trans folks. I’m not sure if he has a more positive recommendation beyond “do something else”.
@Stormy Dragon: Well, “knowing oneself is the beginning of wisdom” and all that, so your self-awareness is at least promising.
Speaking as a fellow Miserian, I have found there is no one anywhere near as insulting and alien as Hawley is.
@Stormy Dragon: Well, given your definition (“listen respectfully and then do what I tell you) I can’t see any functional difference bit servant. So yes, by your definition, I am not an ally. To anyone, really.
In this case, it’s more “listen respectfully to what Beth says she needs and then try to get it for her”. And if you’re not up to that, fine, just don’t go around claiming to be Beth’s ally, particularly not as a base for lecturing Beth, “You’re wrong, what you actually need is…, because I far better understand what the trans community needs than the trans community itself”.
What annoys me about this exchange is that it is not spontaneous — the witness prepared, and was almost certainly coached, and everyone knows that this line of questioning would be there, and this was the best they came up with.
It distracts from the hearing’s focus — abortion rights and bodily autonomy — and provides the sound bites needed for Fox News’s 24 hours of hate, and Hawley’s attempts to appeal to the crazies.
The witness and the team supporting her should have had every advantage and opportunity to not just appeal to the converted, and they didn’t take it.
I don’t know what they right response is, but this wasn’t it and they should have known it.
How would you like to be addressed, O Great People Understander? Should we genuflect? Grovel? Shield our eyes so as not to be overwhelmed by the divine light of our savior?
Where’s Smooth Jazz to tell us how we’re an echo chamber that permits no disagreement?
@Jay L Gischer: Doh! You’re right I did misread that. Multiple times even. The human brain is weirdly stupid sometimes. Thanks.
@Kylopod: Thank you for the clarification on Rowling. I was not aware of that earlier incident and haven’t read up on it. I certainly don’t deny that her actions since have been outrageous. I confess when I *first* saw her complaining about “people who menstruate” I saw a professional writer getting irritated at lousy communication more than anything else, but its clearly deeper than that.
@MarkedMan: Well, apparently I was wrong about it being the first incident 🙂 That said, I do wonder how much of Rowling’s issue is bigotry vs how much was a writer and a multi-billionaire with a much poorer history saying “F-you, no one is telling me what to say EVER again.” But once you choose a side as she did, you start defending it more and more strongly (stupid human brains, again) until, for whatever reason, she has clearly gotten into bigoted territory now.
@Beth and @R.Dave: I had to look up “enby” as a written term. Obvious when said out loud what it means, but my spell checker sure hates it. It seems, if I understand correctly, that the piece I’m missing is the idea that “trans” can be a permanent rather than a transitional state. It also includes multiple subsets of other gender identities. Does that sound correct?
My initial reaction to that is…uncertain. I really don’t care how people self-identify, from any version of non-binary to xenogender(?, really?). But…we are talking about laws here. Where clarity is important. I have no doubt that people can be truly genderfluid, but if we’re talking about which bathroom they use or which sports they can compete in is that a useful distinction? The “problem” (I see) is that we can’t measure actual thoughts and feelings-whereas we can tell what sexual organs someone has. How do you create legislation around issues if you implicitly reject the idea of physical gender (I’ve been very hesitant about talking about this since Chapelle and Team Terf and all that) when talking about what people are legally allowed to do?
I’m also not sure (after a VERY brief exposure to the non-binary variations according to Wikipedia) how relevant many of those distinctions actually are to a discussion around legal issues. Many of them, TO ME, seem to be confusing physical attributes with personality traits. A boy whose personality is primarily feminine is still a boy, unless and until he transitions and becomes female. Sure their life experience is very different from other boys, but I’m really struck by Stormy Dragon’s point that a female growing up in rural Alabama vs New York is going to have a very different experience as well. We don’t need new terms for everyone’s individual life experience, and how do you handle things like Title 9 if someone says they are “agender”? That’s why I’m not sure I can agree with R.Dave’s claim that they should retain unique terms, at least when it comes to laws.
It seems to me that the better political ground to fight on might be less on gender identities, and more on physical gender traits. But of COURSE I think that. It’s right in my original post 🙂 There are 4 physical genders: male, female, both, neither. A 5th state, trans, is temporary and indicates someone changing between two of the four. I hope thinking that doesn’t make me a bad person, I see it simply as the limit of what we can accurately measure today. It’s not about someone’s experience either. Government has no role in terms of someone’s gender *identity* or experience which I believe is far more complex and absolutely real. But for purposes of bathrooms and sports and discrimination and everything else, we need a baseline that can be measured independent of the person involved. Which is where I’m struggling with a lot of the verbiage here. I think @Michael Reynolds (I’ll name drop everyone, just watch!), as usual, is being unnecessarily antagonistic, but I can’t say he’s *wrong* that the battle is political, and being lost as an ever-expanding set of gender identities is prone to causing public confusion and vulnerable to asshats like Hawley propagandizing it (yes, they will anyway, but we shouldn’t make it easy on them).
Phew. I wish I had the gift of conciseness. Thanks for reading.
@Mikey: Hahaha, great minds think alike or something, I had just finished reviewing all of the comments and was just about to post something similar! 😀
That is a briliant example of political activist ideology trumping any kind of common sense or reason. Astounding really as an assertion.
It’s an alliance, it is some kind of ostentatious hair-shirt self-flagellation about serving an own desire, rather like the ostentatious public self-flagellation of a mediaeval monk. It is virtually the caricature of painted by many on the Right of the Left…
Well if one wishes to ensure complete political destruction, but show-off one’s briliant Moral Elan and Great Superiority, that position is a wonderful bit of Charge of the Light Brigade right into the MAGA guns all readied up with Foxy grapeshot.
Well performantive moral posturing, so much better than the dirty grind of compromise of actually holding and defending ground, so much more pleasing to sense of moral betterness to have the elan of glory.
He basically proposes not continuing to do the same things over and over once the Republican hate mongers have found a way to weaponized it against trans folks. I’m not sure if he has a more positive recommendation beyond “do something else”.
They should do something other than be inclusive towards trans people is not a great argument or even a practical one. You can’t be half-inclusive. Latinx is dumb because the target audience doesn’t seem to want it. But the principles behind it aren’t dumb. It’s just a heavy-handed way to be inclusive. In the case of trans people, the Democrats are bringing lukewarm moderates who have enough common-sense and empathy to know how to be inclusive and they are standing up to obvious authoritarians like Hawley. If trans rights is losing (and I’m not sure if it really is) it’s losing because its opponents have given up on even trying to include others in their lives.
Again, it’s up to you whether or not you think it’s a good idea, but it’s what the term “ally” means. When a group holds a rally for LGBT+ and allies, we’re not asking for the people who share our views on zoning commission reform to please also show up as well.
That’s why I’m not sure I can agree with R.Dave’s claim that they should retain unique terms, at least when it comes to laws.
I know this guy–a short, funny balding Jewish man who reminded me of a bunch of other short, funny balding Jewish men. Turns out that he had transitioned in his early 20s. He’s married now to a cis woman. What unique terms should I use to describe him?
@Lounsbury: I think sometimes your need to be ostentatiously condescending causes you to lose the thread a bit. Saying that being an ally entails providing the support that people ask for is not a rejection of the reality of political compromise.
What’s hilarious is that these people are such allies with bigotry that get angsty about calling a bigot transphobic, and yet they claim they don’t understand being an ally.
@Just Another Ex-Republican:
Except there can be a boy who transitions into a very masculine “butch” girl, and a girl who transition to become a boy who then dresses in women’s clothing to become a femboy. I do not understand*, and more importantly I don’t need to understand.
The number of cases where it becomes relevant under the law is miniscule. They have a gender, let’s just call it G. Are they being discriminated against because of G (or because G does not match expectations)? Don’t even need to define the value of G. Title 9 uses “sex” instead of gender, but is generally interpreted broadly.
(And most laws that specify “man” are interpreted as “person”, with most laws separating out women being unconstitutional)
That leaves high level competitive sports, and we can worry about that when it becomes an issue, but let’s strip Kaitlyn Jenner’s medals just because she is awful.
*: Seems like an awful lot of work to end up pretty much where you started. If nothing else though, it shows that gender is something separate from gender roles.
Let’s be painstakingly clear on this issue, because I think it is fundamentally important. You’re exact words were:
What this means is that Trans women have no right to compete against other women, because they are the wrong kind of woman. To accept this argument is to ignore the science that says it’s way more complicated than just that and it accepts the argument that Trans women are men. Further, not only are they men, they contain some sort of super human power that will always in every instance beat Cis women. Further all Cis women are inherently weak and fragile. The data doesn’t back up these claims either.
This line of argument says you can have some rights as a woman, but not all of them. At which point do the carve outs (again, your word) stop. Trans people can get meds, but not use the bathroom. Trans people can get medical care, but only if the doctors think that its ok under their religion to treat a Trans person with a broken arm.
Don’t you see that allowing these “carve-outs” harm us? Do you want your daughter to not be able to use the bathroom? Be forced to sit at the back of the bus? Not get proper medical care? Maybe there are better tactics and methods that Trans people can use to fight, but we have a long history of getting screwed by our ostensible allies.
The history of the Gay civil rights movement is “respectable” Gay Men pointing at Trans women and saying “see, we’re not like those freaks.” Our heroes are not comfortable respectable people like me. Our heroes are like Mother Sylvia, who wouldn’t take anyone’s shit.
I know, that I have no protection. My Whiteness will not save me. My wealth will not save me. The only thing that is going to save me is to stand up and fight. If that means ever freaking battle, so be it.
So I ask you again, which of your rights are you willing to give up. You’ve very willing to give up mine and your daughters, but what of yours. And forget about this Christmas tree bs. Neither you nor I are Christians, we both suffer through that together.
Your observation is why I keep coming back to this not being about phobia. It may be intended to create phobia in others, but in and of itself, his act is about hostility and animus. He’s not transphobic in any meaningful sense of the idea of phobia for my reading of the putz.
I’m going to assume that you’re not Trans, maybe even don’t know any Trans people personally. Under what set of understanding, or tact or knowledge are you supposed to understand Trans people. Or does that not matter to you? Do you, simply by your existence get to tell us how our lives our and how we should structure ourselves to be palatable to people. Or is my saying, “hey, maybe you don’t understand shit” too performative? Maybe enough to have you vote for a Conservative that would make my life awful just so you can put me in my place?
I can tell you, and Mr. Reynolds who is obsessed with it, there is no model minority. There are no circumstances under which I could behave and look and exist which would be acceptable. I know this because I check as many boxes as I physically can. I am a plain old white lady that, because I enjoy them, throw off a lot of stereotypical femme markers. I almost exclusively wear skirts and dress (pants are the devil), I have long hair, I wear lots of make up. But I am tall, and loud and brash and have a deep voice. That’s it. Those last 4 qualities are all it takes for me to be marked out as unacceptable.
As @Jon: points out, lukewarm acceptance simply leads to people, who should know better, that well, maybe we’ll take a couple of rights away from you, in exchange we won’t kill you. How do you not see that is unacceptable? What rights of yours are you willing to give up under any circumstances? The only thing that gives me hope is seeing people like @Just Another Ex-Republican:doing the hard work to try and understand a very complex issue and most importantly, he’s (I’m assuming he? correct me if I’m wrong please) he’s listening and trying. Hell, I think even Dr. Joyner is listening in his own way, why else would this topic keep coming up. It’s not so I have a place to be annoying. Unless, he’s trying to screw with Reynolds, and then Bravo.
Can Auntie Caitlyn just please go away. I want her to shut up so bad. Soooo, sooo bad.
@Stormy Dragon: On many issues, MR seems to me to be driven by some sense of realpolitik in that he focuses on which various groups have how much political power to accomplish X, Y, or Z. From that standpoint, he is an ally in much the same sense as Willi Brandt was as German Chancellor. IOW, only to the extent that the goals of his “allies” coordinate to his own.
Sorry, I need some humor.
a person who associates or cooperates with another
Stormy’s (or Beth’s) servant
@MarkedMan: Dude, you’re better than that.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
I think it came about because it got tough in polite, Reynolds-ian society to outright call people bigots. They had to be called something else, like homophobes so that the Reynolds’ wouldn’t get offended by the coarse language. Then it just kinda drifts for a bit in euphemism land until its weaponized again by bad faith buttholes. “I’m not a bigot! I know black people! I’m not a homophobe! I have a gay friend! I mean, I don’t think he should get married to his long term partner, but I don’t want to see him dead!” By then, we’re kinda stuck.
I’m actually looking for a Top. Two Bottoms don’t really work, but I mean…
Also, come on. This is lame, 8th grade level, nonsense.
I don’t think this joke lands. It sounded funny in my head. Oh well.
I enjoyed it =)
@Just Another Ex-Republican: I know Rowling has been declared an abomination and, to some people, doing anything other than heaping more abuse on her makes one an abomination in kind. But she actually wrote a lengthy explanation of her position early on in the whole kerfluffle. I wonder if anyone here has actually read it? Of course, giving an audience to an abomination is, well an abomination in and of itself.
For anyone who cares, here’s how it starts:
When I read what she wrote, I see a passionate, deep thinking woman who is trying to understand what all this means and how it fits into the causes (women’s and children’s issues) she has championed her whole life. I don’t share her point of view on everything but to dismiss her points and concerns as unworthy to be considered is, frankly, BS, especially when done so by people that have made no attempt to understand her point of view.
@Just Another Ex-Republican:
It’s the second time I’ve corrected someone here on this point. It seems a lot of people weren’t following that initial controversy when it happened, maybe in part because the Maya Forstater incident was specifically British and didn’t carry much meaning to Americans, and may have gotten less press in the states as well.
(Just for the record, Rowling expressing support for Forstater happened in late 2019; the “people who menstruate” incident was in 2020. I just checked.)
I’m actually somewhat open to viewing Dave Chappelle in that light. Rowling, not so much. She’s got a real chip on her shoulder about this issue; I don’t think she just stumbled into it and then started doubling down.
@Jon: I’m definitely not.
I guess we are all free to make up our own definitions, but Stormy’s definition of “ally” strikes me as absurd. My attempt to say so by poking gentle fun may have fallen flat, but I stand behind the principle.
@MarkedMan: Yeah, I guess you’re right. And that makes me sad.
Just want to note that this “research” ended up becoming the novel “Troubled Blood”, the story of a man who disguises himself as a woman to get into single-sex spaces and murder cis-women, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, who Rowling expects us to believe was completely unrelated to Robert Galbraith Heath, the Gay Conversion Therapy researcher.
Well you do continue to make the point. Your assumptions do rather speak to your ideologique orientation. On the 2nd it would be wrong, but your mode of thinking rather makes it expected.
Why my own. Just as I would understand Parasees, Shiites, black Americans, Wolof etc.
You are, in short not particularly special to me nor generally do I give any fucks one way or the other.
My understanding or not of your situation personally or the drama llama declarations is quite irrelevant to the political calculus or results. Rather like declaring one must take Berlin so this means charging into the cannons rather than the required cold calculus.
Playing Charge of the Light Brigade on peformative moral posturing and losing makes a broad set of people’s lives materially worse – see Orange Cretin – and I am not impressed by the black-and-white extemism of ideolocal activists.
J.K. Rowling Opposes Gender Recognition Reform in Scotland
SO MUCH SOLIDARITY
I think it was meant to suggest that there was a way past it, and that the homophobe was redeemable. And that’s something that has been lost as it has been used in place of bigot for too long. It just means bigot.
And effectively you say that someone who hasn’t really thought about the details and gets them a little off due to unfamiliarity, or bad learning, or bad breeding (Republicans tend to breed Republicans…) is that they are a bigot. That might not be what is meant, but it is what is heard.
There’s been a push to use action based language — “what you said is transphobic” — in an effort to dull it a bit, but it doesn’t work.
I like to dull it as “a little transphobic/homophobic/whateverphobic,” to try to leave that separation between dumb unthinking foophobic and the bigots. Because we all have our prejudices and that’s … not ok, but not awful either so long as we don’t use them to hurt people.
Also, whatever else you might say about him, I don’t think Reynolds is offended by course language. That fucker isn’t bothered by that particular shit.
@Stormy Dragon: She discusses the Scottish law in the linked piece. Like I said, I don’t share her perspective on this, but I give her the respect of trying to understand hers.
Understanding her perspective doesn’t mean we have to accept her own characterizations of her views when her actions are all deeply opposed to what she claims to believe. Bigots who claim they’re not REALLY bigots, just misunderstood is hardly a novelty.
I think it’s incumbent on us allies to listen to the @Beth’s we encounter describe the ideal situation they require, the challenges they face.
Then we work toward that, letting the people most affected lead the way. Frankly, if we fail – they are the ones hurt. So let them lead and let them decide the strategy. We’ll take orders and help.
If someone tells you, as a hypothetical, that they think that David Duke is an important thinker, that his words should be listened to and given great weight, and that David Duke is oppressed by Black people, what opinion are you going to form of that person?
Carrying on further, what would you think of that someone if they proclaim that a self-avowed fascist is someone important, should be listened to and she believes in their cause, only to walk that back once it’s pointed out to her that the self-avowed facist, is in fact, a self-avowed fascist.
Maybe once is confused, twice is a little much, but on the forth time, maybe that person is just a bigot.
Similarly, while I think Reynolds is a crank and a pain in my ass (love you daddy), I do think he’s an ally. I do honestly believe he wants what best for all of us. His delivery sucks, but he’s in the right-ish spot.
Joanne is a straight up bigot. She wants us dead.
@Jon: With all due respect for some guy — if people aren’t emotionally invested, you can only move them so fast and you have to be careful not to get them emotionally invested against you.
There are allies*, enemies, and a whole lot of people who just don’t care very much. Success requires moving that middle without freakin if them out, while your enemies are trying to radicalize them against you.
I’m positive that what moved the needle in gay rights wasn’t the in-your-face activists, it was when the boring guys in accounting started combining out and being boring. The boring guys needed the activists to spur them, to be fair.
*: not all allies are strong allies, but I wouldn’t police the term so much. If someone wants to call themselves an ally, good — in time that becomes part of their identity and they go from weak to medium.
There’s a difference between a weak ally, and people like MR who think “ally” means they’re in charge.
@Beth: Okay. So you think I’m a bigot. Just say it Beth. I’m not surprised. You’ve made it very clear that if someone disagrees with you or, as in this case, agrees with you in sufficiently or in the wrong way, you feel they are a bigot and unworthy of respect. Given that’s your position, I think it inevitable that eventually you would consider me a bigot.
I understand the stakes are so much higher for you than me, and I’m sympathetic to that. But that doesn’t me that if you yell at me often enough or insult me enough I’ll suddenly start agreeing with all your positions, or stop thinking for myself.
Boy. I read most of this thread (ignoring the more strident holier than thou comments), and to be honest, I don’t get what people are arguing about. I mean I get what Beth is saying. She wants to be treated with the same human dignity as any other person. Why wouldn’t I give her that? It’s what I would expect. She wants to live free of fear. Not tomorrow or the next day, but today.
I don’t know any trans people. Not that I know of anyway. I have had a number of gay friends over the years. I didn’t need to know the particulars of what their lives entailed. I just needed to accept them. And really, that was all they asked. And while they never asked me, I know they hoped I would push back against the homophobic forces they dealt with every day. And I did.
As I said, I don’t personally know any trans people, but let’s be honest, I don’t need to know them to allow them the same basic humanity I give every other person I meet. I also don’t need to know them to argue that they should get the same human dignity as everybody else.
Michael, you sound just like all those white people MLK was referring to in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
I have never understood a person who would argue that another should except less because it’s just too difficult now.
@Gustopher: Success also requires listening, not lecturing, to those whose direct experience is important and central to the project at hand. Overcoming bigotry requires listening to the victims of bigotry.
@grumpy realist: Yet another example of how Democrats mistake academic arguments for political arguments.
Josh Hawley, the vile human that he is..will win the politics here. You simplify can’t build a political narrative thats 100% inclusive of every edge case there could possibly be. Democracy is mostly about appeals to the majority. Occasionally, institutions are out ahead of the majority and can wag the dog. That’s not MOSTLY the case in a Democracy or Representative Republic.
Maybe one day MOST people will understand what transgendered people are trying to tell us. Maybe one day anyone will be able to, in a public/social setting, demand validation of an identity that defies visual presentation. Today, only a small percentage of people understand or frankly want to.
I believed a compromise could of been struck around the nuances of sex and gender—sex being simple biology and DNA (minus the edge cases there)—and gender being whatever the individual wanted it to be. That is clearly unacceptable to the transgendered community so Democrats are left explaining to Plumber John in Kansas that Men (also) can get pregnant and have babies.
Maybe the answer is different words to describe sex and gender instead of male/female for both. Dunno.
@Modulo Myself: “I know this guy–a short, funny balding Jewish man who reminded me of a bunch of other short, funny balding Jewish men. Turns out that he had transitioned in his early 20s. He’s married now to a cis woman. What unique terms should I use to describe him?”
I would say the law should recognize him as a man, full stop. His transition is complete. I don’t see a need for a new word or phrase to describe his physical gender. He’s just…a man (and therefore, according to my wife, wrong 🙂 ).
@Beth: yes, I’m a male, cis in today’s terminology (I think!), happily married to a cis female. I’ve only known 3 trans people (that I know of, I’ve seen enough videos to know it can sometimes be hard to tell) but I have to admit they were all work colleagues, not friends. I didn’t care which bathroom they used and the subject never came up in any conversation I was a part of with them or coworkers (other than, so and so is trans, did you know that? Yes, end of subject). I do know and am friends and family with several gay individuals (no lesbians for whatever reason) and get along with all of them. Gay weddings are the absolute best. Not only do they know how to party, but they are the most joyful weddings I’ve been to (outside of my own, of course 🙂 ). The sheer joy of having their love recognized is one of the most moving and powerful things I’ve ever seen.
@MarkedMan: On the surface, what Rowling wrote is almost completely reasonable in that post you linked to. I even understand her objection to the Scottish bill, which is that it apparently allowed someone to declare a new gender without going through any sort of medical transition at all. In many ways she seems very similar to me in thinking there is a difference between physical gender (or sex, in her terminology) and gender identity. BUT…a little googling also shows that she mis-represented, at best, the court case around Forstater, and has never backed down even though she got a couple critical facts wrong. In addition, she’s made it very clear that she doesn’t think a trans-woman is a woman, which is where I leave her. Her handling of all this has been very very bad. I will also say the abuse heaped on her by pro-trans activists is also very very bad. Similar to all the crap about Kavanaugh and protests at his home or at a restaurant. The Supreme Court decided anti-abortion protests were legal pretty much everywhere, including clinics and providers homes, so the right wing can spare me the whining about how it’s rude and other nonsense. BUT, I also don’t think such protests are useful. I can’t recall a single time when getting screamed at and having your private life interrupted changed anyone’s minds on anything (and that includes protestors trailing a provider home to scream at them, and protestors screaming at Kavanaugh at his house). I find it’s just ineffective and counterproductive to the actual goal. Back to Rowling though, when she goes through her tweets highlighting the death threats, insults, and other crap, I’m CERTAIN there were also thoughtful responses that pointed out the inaccuracies in what she said. Her inability to acknowledge or deal with those is on her. And the way she doubled down with Troubled Blood was almost unbelievably arrogant at that point. I rather liked the series up to then and I did read that book when it came out. No, it’s not as blatantly transphobic as it’s worst critics claim, and I’m not sure it’s fair to say the pseudonym chosen many years and plots previously must indicate her transphobia because it’s similar to a gay conversion therapist’s name. But it was COMPLETELY her choice, being fully aware of and in the middle of this controversy, to go forward with that story in that way at that time. Either she didn’t see the backlash coming (unbelievably stupid and arrogant, if true) or she welcomed it and wanted a fight with the trans community and their allies. Neither is something I can respect.
@Beth: “Do you, simply by your existence get to tell us how our lives our and how we should structure ourselves to be palatable to people”
Apparently you’ve never actually managed to read one of Lounsbury’s messages on any topic. He always gets to tell everyone how to live their lives because he is the only sane and intelligent human being on the planet, despite his complete inability to compose a sentence in the English language.
I feel like you each have half a point here.
Of course a trans woman is a woman. I would never dispute that and consider it wrong and offensive to imply that she is not a woman.
But it’s also true that there are experiences cis women who growing up female in a female body that are constance whether you grow up in Alabama or New York or California, experiences that trans women do not have. Two women I as examples:
I have a friend who is a trans woman, transitioned in adulthood. She was very good at math as a child, and was told “You are so good at math, you can be a physicist, or an engineer, or a mathematician.” A cis woman I know was always really good at math and was told “You are so good at math. You should be a math teacher.” Both are women, but they had very different directions in their lives, based primarily on the apparent gender (I’ve probably gotten that word wrong, but I hope you know what I mean).
The reverse is also true, of course. I will never know what gender dysphoria is like. I will never experience the challenges that trans women face.
We need a set of words to discuss this, and I don’t know that we have them.
@Jim Brown 32: I can’t upvote that comment enough. God Democrats are bad at POLITICS.
You said: “I believed a compromise could of been struck around the nuances of sex and gender—sex being simple biology and DNA (minus the edge cases there)—and gender being whatever the individual wanted it to be. That is clearly unacceptable to the transgendered community so Democrats are left explaining to Plumber John in Kansas that Men (also) can get pregnant and have babies.”
I’m not sure the phrasing there is completely unacceptable to the transgendered community. From what Beth says there is some inner-community debate on the subject. I do think
(probably wrong, and he can certainly defend himself) that’s where @Michael Reynolds gets so frustrated and has a point.
Phrases like “people who can get pregnant” in the context of abortion (the actual topic of the Senate hearing) play straight into the hands of Hawley and their ilk. The whole conversation was derailed (how many people, be honest! knew the hearing was about abortion?). If she’d simply said “women” either the whole thing wouldn’t have happened, or Hawley would have initiated the context of “men getting abortions” at which point she could respond “Women have babies, and women includes those who started out male, have transitioned, and now have a uterus. They can get pregnant. But the topic today is abortion, and your attempt to distract and derail the harm being done to women-all women-today by the recent Supreme Court decision stripping us of the right to control our own bodies by bringing up trans issues disgusts me.”
Yes, it’s way easier for me to come up with that in hindsight, but it’s political malpractice to not go into charged hearings like that without gaming out the reaction and counterattacks of your opposition and how to derail them. Instead we’re left arguing “men can get pregnant and any statement otherwise is transphobic”, we’ve lost the casual and mostly ignorant voter, and the main point of the hearing-abortion, where Democrats are on much more solid electoral ground-has been shunted away. From Hawley’s point of view, mission accomplished. Which pisses me off, because I don’t want that smug traitor to win anything except a jail term!
This is late, but I hope you see this. Unfortunately, I’ve been reading these threads late at night, so I end up figuring chance of meaningful engagement is low.
In a thread with some excellent comments, this may very well be my favorite.
The last bolded part is the most interesting to me for a lot of reasons. I may end up commenting more fully on it in an open thread soon.
Again, big thumbs up.
Which means that the victims of bigotry, and their allies, need to speak in a language normies can understand.
Professor Bridges chose language that appealed to a narrow segment that was already on her side, but which is off putting to people who haven’t thought about it.
The Republicans didn’t stumble upon “Death Tax” by tripping over the words while descending from the ivory tower of Bob Jones University and Sausage House, the focus grouped the shit out of it, trying to find something that resonates.
We need to do similar, with a lot of terms and ideas.
Maybe it’s as simple as “women and other people who can get pregnant” — probably not, but we know it’s not just “people who can get pregnant”
(We would also likely find that LatinX is only a popular term among young, progressive gender-adventurers of Hispanic descent, and shift back to Latino for most things)
(“Gender adventurer” would also likely not pass muster, but it is meant with love.)
@Beth: I see my problem. I’ve never done well in “polite Reynolds-ian company. 🙁 Always say the wrong thing.
@Kurtz: I did see, and thank you.
@Jim Brown 32:
Transgender community, not transgendered.Not sure I see the distinction, but they do. Some quite testily.
(There’s a linguistic argument that could actually go both ways, and I would point towards “disabled” and “handicapped” as showing the “-ed” structure is fine and normal, but maybe I’m behind on that and just wrong.)
It has definitely become a little cultural marker at times, with certain bigots being sure to use “transgendered” the way they say “Democrat party”. So you might want to keep both terms in your pocket depending on who you’re talking to.
I usually use “trans folks” so I can’t get it wrong, as for the longest time I couldn’t remember which was the right one. And gloss over the question of what gender, as it includes all of your demiboy/non-binary/novelty genders. Plus I’m just naturally flippant.
@Just Another Ex-Republican: same comment to you.
This thread is mostly of of steam, but I just got home from work and was perusing headlines. A strong case can be made that conservatives think a 10 year old child is a woman. A 10 year old.
@Gustopher: The problem with transgendered is that it implies transgender is a verb. Transphobes use this terminology because they refuse to accept being trans is an identity, they claim it’s something done to someone. It’s similar to the belief among homophobes that homosexuality is something you do rather than something you are. In that case, though, they never turned the noun into a verb to express it (the homosexualed, the gayed), probably in part because there isn’t an equivalent to “transitioning” when it comes to being gay. And it stems partly from the old misconception that being trans refers to what a person becomes after transitioning, and not what the person was all along.
@Just Another Ex-Republican:
You mean well, but…
There is no uterus insertion, and often no uterus removal (let’s assume never, for simplicity). So someone born with a uterus who turns out to be* a trans man can get pregnant, and someone born without a uterus who truths out to be a trans woman cannot.
In this simplified scenario, the people who can get pregnant doesn’t change even when various people transition.
So, yes, there are men who can get pregnant.
*: I’m confused about the terminology, as some trans folks insist that they were always a man/woman even before they transitioned. It’s identity and people get feisty when you don’t acknowledge their identity as they see it.
I’m bi/pan/whatever** and in my 50s. When I hear someone under 25 say they are bi/pan/whatever, I’ll nod my head and play along, knowing that there’s a really good chance they’re just trying on a label that will let figure out who they are attracted to and what they like, and then they will slowly migrate into straight or gay, possibly in a kink community. And a few stay bi/pan/whatever.
This tends to mean that I don’t really worry about or believe in the importance of a lot of these labels. Is a trans woman a woman? I don’t know, it’s the simplest identity we have that includes them, and it would be needlessly cruel to try to make a distinction, so sure, they’re a woman. They look like a woman, they act like a woman, they quack like a woman, they’re a woman. There are some medical differences, but unless I have to perform emergency surgery with a text book and a sharpened spoon, I don’t really need to worry about those.
** bi/pan/whatever: bisexual is an umbrella term for an attraction to two or more genders, despite bi clearly meaning two. Pan is an attraction not limited by gender. There’s another for attraction without acknowledging gender, unless that’s pan. There’s probably another for attraction despite a gender, and a few dozen more… it’s exhausting… just leave me alone, stop it with all these micro labels, we’re all going to be sent to the same camp and be wearing pink triangles when the Nazis take over.
@Gustopher:a very good point. A big reason why “pregnant women” and “menstruating women” are incomplete terms isn’t solely because trans men and non-binary people can also get pregnant and menstruaste. Many girls also menstruate and sometimes get pregnant.
@Just Another Ex-Republican:
So far as I know, no such people exist. There are, however, those with female anatomy that identify as men and who haven’t had gender-affirming surgery (the bottom half, anyway) who are/can get pregnant.
@Monala: It’s a fair point, although a relatively recent advent. Most societies have defined the distinction between girls and women based on that biological change. Hell, even Reform Jews still mark adulthood at 13 for boys and girls—even though that seems absurd given our current sensibilities. But we’ve somehow managed to simultaneously push puberty earlier and earlier, especially for girls.
So, to summarize much of the above: an ally is a person who has no mind or opinion of their own but passively regurgitates whatever he’s told to regurgitate. How very MAGA.
What a ludicrously totalitarian view. What an entitled point of view. What a politically idiotic point of view.
I wish I could just stand back and laugh.
What I think this really all comes down to is that (i) medical science cannot yet (if ever) convert a male body to a female body or vice-versa beyond surface-level cosmetic changes and some general hormonal changes, and (ii) even if it could, trans adults would still have spent a large chunk of their lives, including all of their formative childhood years, as the other gender, so their psycho-social experience would never fully align with that of cis-gendered people. Given that unfortunate reality, lefty slogans like “trans women are women” strike most people, myself included, as obviously untrue or at best only partially and contingently true, and no matter how aggressively activists try to police the language around this issue, that language will always and forever conflict with said reality.
I haven’t read every comment here, so apologies if I’m repeating a point here. But I think one stumbling block of “people who can get pregnant” is that it’s unwieldy. If you’re writing an article or something, you could state on the first mention that you will heretofore refer to them as “women” for brevity, or (maybe I’ll be sorry for suggesting) a newly invented word … pregcapables or something.
But my 2nd point is basically what some others have said. Kill them with kindness. Hawley knew what he was doing: drawing an attack for using common, everyday shorthand. Bridges was doing perfectly until she called him transphobic (which I don’t think is even accurate for what he was doing … he’s not “scared”). I’d prefer it if she’d simply suggested he be clear that he acknowledges what she said about trans men, etc. If he denies that, then he makes himself look like the ass to reasonable, thinking people who we need on our side.
@Gustopher, @James Joyner: Thank you for the corrections.
It does make me think even more that getting trapped in subtle language distinctions in a political hearing on abortion is a bad idea though, and reinforces even more that she should have been ready for Hawley’s distraction and had a response to refocus the discussion and shame him for distractions rather than calling him a bigot. He IS one, of course, but her terminology and his tricks derailed the whole thing. Or, as Jim Brown 32 much more eloquently and succinctly put it, “Yet another example of how Democrats mistake academic arguments for political arguments.”
In fact the only people demanding this is people like you. You want a trans community that is silent, to avoid scaring the normies, and obedient, so they’re free to be used as cannon fodder while well off moderates like you negotiate away their rights and bargaining chips for your own benefit, and most of all dependent on you for whatever scraps you decide to shovel off the table at them.
You are a child.
And this is the problem. You see everyone else as beneath you and think you have the right to order them around, and then are shocked all the “children” aren’t obeying you.
Right. So your theory goes like this:
Reynolds wrote a couple of book series that trans kids have found very affirming. Reynolds has a trans daughter who he loves. Reynolds uses his social media relentlessly in support of trans causes. Reynolds donates significant money to trans shelters and psych programs. Reynolds is one of very few YA authors to publicly call JK Rowling out over her anti-trans position. Reynolds has an established pattern of making bulk purchases of banned books by trans authors and making them available in that district.
Conclusion: Reynolds just wants to boss trans people around and use them as cannon fodder. Cannon fodder for. . .?
I don’t think I’m better than you or anyone else. But I’m a hell of a lot smarter about politics.
I started my medical transition roughly age 40. I grew my own breasts. I have my second mammogram on Tuesday partly because I have a family history of breast cancer and partly because the doctors don’t understand why my milk ducts started expelling blood and goo. I also get menstrual cramps. Some times bad. I don’t have a uterus, but my body thinks it does.
Great, we love you. Why haven’t you answered my question about what rights you would personally give up.
Look, I’m sure you mean well, but the fact if you routinely shows up in a blog telling actual trans and lgbt people talking about their actual experiences that they don’t know what they’re talking about and need to shut up and let their rights be traded away and if they don’t like it they’re children.
You seem to think you’re entitled to do this because you think allyship somehow works on a running tab where if you buys enough library books you’ve somehow bought control of trans and lgbt people and no longer need to ask any of them how they need to be helped or even convince them to go along with your plans. You just tell them what they should be doing and they better shut up and do it.
You’re basically YA Elon Musk, ranting about how you deserve adulation because you started an electric car company and if the left won’t recognize how superior your money makes you, then obviously there’s something profoundly wrong the left
Setting aside how self-contradictory this line is, do you seriously expect anyone who is a regular here to believe you sincerely don’t see yourself as better than anyone?
I’m also not sure why you think you’re smarter about politics. There sure isn’t a lot of evidence that you have any talent for convincing people here to agree with you, so I’m not sure why you think your methods would be any more effective on MAGA people than they are on me.
Now I may not be the great people understander, but I do know one person who started out pretty far right and shifted pretty far to the left over the last 15 years, something that supposedly never happens, and I know what it took to get that person to do that. It wasn’t people trying to make me comfortable, it was people you’d probably categorize as “children” constantly rubbing my face in the consequences of my beliefs until I couldn’t bear it anymore.
I did, actually. You posed it as a question about Jews, I said we should give up bitching about irrelevancies like Christmas trees in public spaces even though we’re right.
More broadly what do I give up, personally? For a start I give up roughly half of my income in taxes. In fact I vote to raise my own taxes, and unlike many of my friends on the Left, this means actually sitting down and writing out terrifyingly large checks. For extra fun I give money to politicians who want to raise my taxes. I basically put my own head in the noose and pay for the rope.
Politically I’ve ‘given up’ on banning all private ownership of guns. It’s a losing fight and if I kept hammering on it I’d be undercutting moderate gun control. I’ve ‘given up’ on taxing churches even though, again, I’m right. But to pursue that issue is to harm my own side. I’ve given up my absolutist position on free speech – I still think I’m probably right, but only probably, and my allies have arguable positions counter to mine.
But this discussion is not about rights you have to give up, Beth. It’s about nomenclature. Saying that women get pregnant and women have abortions does not alter your life in any meaningful way. It’s a stupid fight and we are losing it. There are real fights ahead. It’s going to get brutal. Fight the important fights, not every fight. That’s not giving anything up, it’s moving to defensible positions in order to win the war. It’s what professionals do and amateurs don’t, which is why professionals win.
Bullshit. I have never questioned anyone’s experience. I question strategies and tactics which have fuck all to do with personal life stories. I am about winning the war.
Bullshit. In fact I always deflect any praise for any of my positions, or, for that matter, for my work. You can search the internets forever and you will never find a single instance where I un-ironically refer to myself as a positive example or inspiration or whatever. I know who and what I have been, and who and what I am now.
You know anyone else here who has confessed to felonies? Better and smarter are not the same thing. Better, I would take as a reference to morality or class, maybe. I’m quite clear on my moral failings, and no one here is more low class than a high school drop-out who used to clean toilets for a living. Now, smarter on politics? Absolutely.
No one had to drag me Left. From Watergate to the present day I have been a liberal, and within that category have moved left. Look, I DGAF if you like me or respect me, but for whatever reason – DNA, childhood, whatever – I am really good at exactly two things:
1) I can plot a story and put it down on paper faster and with greater frequency than 90% of writers out there. Note that I don’t claim what ain’t mine. For example, I will never claim to be a great prose stylist because I’m at best a B level journeyman.
2) I’m good at understanding people and their motivations. I don’t know why, except that unlike pretty much everyone I have never been on the inside of anything. No group, no community, not even my extended family. People have always been specimens to me, temporary passing objects I observe but to which I have very little attachment. It’s useful in getting past the b.s.
I am confident that there are things you can do that I can’t touch. There are a bunch of people here with skills I can’t touch. But am I politically smart? Yes, I am.
Ironically this “walking uphill both ways to school” shtick is exactly how you express your belief in your superiority. You’re just so much more wordly than us poor sods, you know what’s really going on in ways we never possibly could.
This is basically just the professional author version of the TechBro belief that there’s no societal problem they can’t solve with the right webapp. You sound like Scott Adams talking about how his years doodling comic strips have given him a deep insight into human psychology us poor mortals can never hope to comprehend.
Your ability to write entertaining stories doesn’t grant you any special insight into politics. Real life doesn’t have a narrative structure and real people don’t have consistent thematically integrated motivations.
First of all, I’m sorry to hear you’re in the midst of a cancer scare, and I hope all goes well with your upcoming mammogram. Second, it sounds like you feel your medical transition has been effective, and I’m genuinely happy for you if that’s the case.
Having said all that – and I do mean it – nothing you’ve described about your experience actually contradicts what I said, though I suppose I should have said “hormone-induced changes” rather than “hormonal changes”. The fact remains that medical science is not yet able to give a trans-woman a female reproductive system, change their genetic makeup to be female, undo (or frankly even identity at this point) all the effects of going through puberty and spending decades in a fully male body prior to transitioning, and so on. Those are profound differences that are currently (and for the foreseeable future) unalterable. And all of that is just the physical end of things before we even get into the psycho-social impacts of all that time spent as a male, let alone a male who identifies as a woman. In short, all we can do at this point is roughly approximate the appearance and pharmaceutically induce a few biological functions of the “new” gender/sex.
No. You specifically said that we should allow a “carve out” for women in sports. In other words, Tran Women and Girls would be legally barred from participating in sports. This is apparently the “defensible position”. What a bloodless way of saying legal discrimination. Should Trans women and girls be barred from using locker rooms and bathrooms? Is that a “defensible position”?
My response is to ask you what rights are you willing to give up. You’ve mentioned before that you are Jewish, would you find it acceptable for a government to say that you can’t access something everyone else has a right to access based solely on the fact that your Jewish? Or a public pool? Or a school locker room? What rights are you willing to give up?
Your response was a bunch of nonsense. Would you find it defensible to be forced to celebrate Christmas, Pay additional taxes, or be excluded from public life?
How many rights do we have to give up before you decide the rest are defensible.