Not the humanists, too!


Even the Canadian humanists! Here’s a conversation between two old cis guys about what to do about the trans folk, featuring Carey Linde, a divorce lawyer and activist for men’s rights (I say it that way to avoid implying that he is an outright MRA freak) and Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, a psychologist and member of Humanist Canada. I don’t know why they’re even talking about trans rights, but they had to stake out their claim. I’ll just post a few excerpts to let you get the flavor.

First, Linde explains the source of the problem. It’s those darned trans people becoming conspicuous!

If you mean for the trans community, it was the developing collectivity of community. This increasing conspicuous collectivity in the public eye caused the very phobia from which the community wished to escape. As with acceptance of blacks and gays over time, gender identity issues and people are ubiquitous in the media. It is all less sensitive to a growing progressive set of the population. At the same time, the faith based right is rallying and dangerous. Gender radical feminists are under literal attack by the trans warriors.

There’s the usual bafflement about allowing trans women to compete in athletics, and the usual expectation that this is all a ploy to allow rapists with penises into women’s locker rooms, from Robertson.

Relying on recent federal legislation, the Ontario courts have forced the Ontario Minor Hockey Association to allow adolescents with female bodies to change in male change rooms. This is the kind of social experiment no university ethics committee would ever approve. One of two outcomes is possible. Either a number of people with girl’s bodies will be sexually assaulted by adolescent boys, or they will not. If we don’t see sexual assaults flowing from this experiment then we may reasonably decide that we do not need separate facilities for males and females at least for safety reasons. We are beginning to see this change with respect to the washroom issue. If, on the other hand, we see a number of sexual assaults, the logical conclusion would be to end the experiment; however, I don’t think that will happen. I think politically, the politicians behind the experiment will refuse to accept its failure. They will double down with increasing expensive measures to protect the genetically female while engaging in male-blaming, perhaps with references to “toxic masculinity.” But we as a society do not need to follow them down this hole.

He has another rationale for why the trans folk are getting more riled up.

One of the new phenomena fueling the panic is the increasing number of young girls and women deciding that being a boy in this world is a safer bet than being a girl. And the medical profession and big pharma is right their to enable this delusion.

Uh, what? Is there a single trans man on the planet who made their decision because being trans was safer than being a woman?

Then we get some ad hoc evidence-free evolutionary psychology and cultural anthropology.

We have the situation of men being more accepting of transmen than women are of transwomen. The hypothesis that men are more accepting of diversity would require more study across different groups; however such an explanation would be more acceptable to feminists than the obvious alternative, that biological women are protecting their privileges from competition while men have no such privileges to protect.

If men are more accepting of diversity, it would have to be a function of socialization. The testosterone that gives men their sexuality also translates into stronger bones, more muscle mass, and increased aggression and competitiveness. These latter two traits were necessary in traditional hunter gathering societies to fearlessly challenge competitors, both predatory and human, to protect bands that were essentially extended families. But aggression and competitiveness needs to be controlled or channelled if civilization is to work. Religion played a pivotal role in controlling and channelling male aggressive instincts in the formative years of our human civilizations. We have largely transcended religion by secularizing our ethics and expanding their application to all humanity, as for example, with the establishment of universal human rights. And we have been incredibly successful. Steven Pinker has meticulously documented how we now have fewer homicides, fewer deaths due to war, more gender equality and lower poverty than ever before in human history.

The argument would be then that the history of civilization is, at least in part, a history of controlling and channelling male testosterone. That aggression has been channelled into business, sports, politics and protection of the nation-state. Men have been conditioned to increasingly ignore minor or insubstantive difference, but of course there are numerous variables that also influence behaviour in particular contexts. Of concern to me is that tribalism has been increasing with a recent focus on ideological, cultural and racial identities and that this will result in breaking down the more universal humanist ethic. To take the argument full circle then, if the process of civilization included the aspect of controlling and channelling male testosterone-linked behaviours, then we would expect that women would have been less affected by this aspect of socialization. This would have left women more susceptible to ancient xenophobic fears including fear of “the other.”

Men more accepting of diversity. Yeah, right; men’s locker rooms and clubs are such hotbeds of sensitivity. Men, conditioned to ignore minor differences…I guess it’s true that there are no Republicans in Canada. It’s a bizarre set of evidence-free rationalizations to simultaneously suggest that men are roiling cauldrons of fierce hormones (to protect us from bears, don’t you know) and that men are therefore better socialized to be accepting and less xenophobic. That’s all nonsense, including their belief that humans needed big muscley aggressive warriors in their evolution — if that were really the case, how ever did gracile Homo sapiens ever succeed where Neanderthals died off? It’s almost as if there were more complex factors beyond the usual cartoon caveman trope.

Atheists have been embarrassing me for years. Don’t you humanists start!

Comments

  1. says

    Is there just one cheat sheet that all transphobes share? How many times do we have to assure these people (with the substantial evidence we have at hand) that transwomen aren’t an Illuminati-sponsored rape gang and that no one transitions on a whim because of a system set up precisely to prevent that?

    They don’t even recognize the inconsistency of at once saying that trans people are vanishingly small and also saying that we control politics and the media. I wonder who else that’s been said about…

  2. says

    This increasing conspicuous collectivity in the public eye caused the very phobia from which the community wished to escape.

    Of course! There was no oppression of trans people until trans folks started asking others not to oppress them at which point cis people who had nothing against trans folks were stricken with atavistic fears and could not help but begin to oppress trans people.

    It makes so much sense! Thank you, cisguy who ‘splains!

    They will double down with increasing expensive measures to protect the genetically female while engaging in male-blaming, perhaps with references to “toxic masculinity.”

    Even if I thought your prediction had merit, that’s not “male” blaming. That’s “masculinity” blaming. If you don’t understand the difference between maleness and masculinity, you might not want to trot yourself out as an expert on issues related to gender? Like at all. Because you’re really making yourselves look like idiots.

    One of the new phenomena fueling the panic is the increasing number of young girls and women deciding that being a boy in this world is a safer bet than being a girl.

    And how is that relevant? Shall we assume that not only are people observing that masculine gender is protective in certain contexts, but also that people don’t actually subjectively experience themselves as trans? That they merely see belonging to a gender as a voluntary, conscious process of selection? And that people make this selection via tallying up risks and rewards?

    Because
    1. I’d like to see your data that this is actually happening in a substantial number of cases.
    and,
    2. Shouldn’t you be FREAKING THE FUCK OUT if your honest belief is that women find being perceived as women so fraught with threat and danger that they’re willing to go through social hell to escape those threats and dangers? Don’t you want women to feel safe as women?

    But you’re not freaking the fuck out, so either,
    1. This is not actually your belief. You’re lying about what you think is occurring,
    or,
    2. You don’t fucking give a crap about women. You have no empathy for them whatsoever.

    Thanks cisguy who falseplains and/or doesn’t give a fuck if women are living in terror! We appreciate your advocacy for a world in which women have NO escape, rather than just a really, really bad escape plan that forces us to run away from our own feelings and sense of belonging and family and community in order to be a little bit safer, maybe, kinda, so long as no one notices we’re trans men, which definitely should be easy to keep secret for 70 years?

    men being more accepting of transmen than women are of transwomen

    Do we have an operational definition here? Like, are you asserting that (cis) men murder trans men less often than (cis) women murder trans women?

    Do you have data to show that under your operational definition of “more accepting” this is actually true?

    And, finally, why should this even matter? I mean, what if cis women are more accepting of trans men than cis men are accepting of trans men, BUT ALSO your original assertion is still true.

    I mean, what if, on a scale where a higher number indicates greater acceptance, you have something like this:

    Cis women acceptance of trans men = 19
    Cis men acceptance of trans men = 13

    Cis women acceptance of trans women = 8
    Cis men acceptance of trans men = 2

    In this case, cis men are clearly less accepting of diversity than cis women, and yet your original assertion, that cis men’s acceptance of trans men is higher than cis women’s acceptance of trans women is still true!

    Which means that even if we completely accepted your original assertion with no data or evidentiary support whatsoever, your conclusion does not follow from your premise.

    I’m sorry, cisguy who ‘splains, but this is a terrible failure of logic. Perhaps your emotions are getting in the way of your ability to think rationally? Maybe come back and try again at a different time of the month? Or maybe, I don’t know, actually do research and only make assertions you can support with evidence?

    Either one might be good.

    To take the argument full circle then, if the process of civilization included the aspect of controlling and channelling male testosterone-linked behaviours, then we would expect that women would have been less affected by this aspect of socialization. This would have left women more susceptible to ancient xenophobic fears including fear of “the other.”

    To take the argument full circle, you appear to not know the difference between a behavior and an emotion. This would have left you vulnerable to mistake a change in the behaviors of persons who want to oppress trans folks for a change in their level of the subjective fear we have named transphobia.

    None of this makes your maundering non-bullshit, of course, but at least it allows us to learn something about you.

  3. unclefrogy says

    just so stories made up of unconscious and conscious beliefs masquerading as truth by pompous know it all’s
    that being a know it all might be the characteristic that all of these kind of people have in common regardless of political, social, persuasion
    uncle frogy

  4. says

    Crip Dyke @ #2:

    Shall we assume that not only are people observing that masculine gender is protective in certain contexts, but also that people don’t actually subjectively experience themselves as trans? That they merely see belonging to a gender as a voluntary, conscious process of selection? And that people make this selection via tallying up risks and rewards?

    I always want to ask people who make such strange claims if this reflects their own experience. Like, at some random age, did they sit down, weigh the pros and cons, and say, “Yeah, I think I’ll go ahead and be a dude”?

  5. says

    From the little I paid attention to it when it was called Humanist in Canada the Canadian publication Humanist Perspectives seemed to present what I think of as bad secularism. They seemed to push the same kind of pseudo-religious version of secularism that the French and Quebecois like, which interferes with people’s freedom of religion.

  6. anchor says

    Neanderthals (and Denisovans) WERE ‘gracile’ – as much as one can be and survive Ice Age conditions over northern latitudes. They had stocky physiques but they or their ancestors were also accustomed to fitting themselves with animal hides to help regulate their body temperatures earlier than any other human lines on the planet, and they were no doubt good at it. They could handle the challenging and changeable climate for well over a hundred thousand years because they were smart and could pass knowledge onto succeeding generations, not because they were stupid and brawny hairy bigfoot-like critters, following the idiotic popular misconception of them (flavored with our chronic knack for racism or racial superiority, however separated we may be in time). They were among the most technologically advanced of their time.

  7. garnetstar says

    “Either a number of people with girl’s bodies will be sexually assaulted by adolescent boys, or they will not.”

    How about if we teach adolescent boys not to sexually assault “people with girl’s bodies?” Or anyone at all? How about all men learning not to rape people, while we’re at it? Instead of blaming “people with girl’s bodies” for existing?

    Wouldn’t that help? After all “Don’t rape people” isn’t that difficult to remember.

    As for TERFs being “literally” under attack by trans people, no, they’re not, you are of course wrongly using “literally” to inflate fear and bigotry. It’s quite the opposite, in fact: it is trans people who are literally under attack.

  8. says

    The testosterone that gives men their sexuality also translates into stronger bones, more muscle mass, and increased aggression and competitiveness. These latter two traits were necessary in traditional hunter gathering societies to fearlessly challenge competitors

    They hunted the mammoth, eh?

    We have the situation of men being more accepting of transmen than women are of transwomen.

    Ehm, no.
    While Gendercritters like to proclaim that they are speaking for the majority of cis women, and that the lurkers support them in email, studies show that cis women are overall more accepting of trans people than cis men, as this very recent survey from Terf island shows: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/07/16/where-does-british-public-stand-transgender-rights
    In reality, gendercritters are a small and loud group with tons of open eds who ironically attract a lot of cis men who have finally found an acceptable outlet for their misogyny, not only against trans women, but also against cis women who are trans inclusive (hi friends, I hope you’re doing fine).

    The hypothesis that men are more accepting of diversity would require more study across different groups; however such an explanation would be more acceptable to feminists than the obvious alternative, that biological women are protecting their privileges from competition while men have no such privileges to protect.

    Oh yes, my precious female privileges. I’m really going to be greedy and not share the sexism, the sexual harassment, lower pay and fewer places to pee with trans women.
    Self proclaimed “gender critical feminists” should take a long hard look at who is on their side and maybe come to the obvious conclusion: If those you agree with on 95% of issues are absolutely opposed to your position on trans people, but those you disagree with 95% of the time and who are your fiercest opponents agree with you on trans people, what is the likely conclusion?

  9. says

    Blake Stacey @ #10:

    (I learned the other day that a journal hosted an entire special issue dedicated to railing on Steven Pinker and nobody told me.)

    That looks awesome.

  10. Kagehi says

    @1 Susan Montgomery

    Ah, but you see.. You don’t even need a “vanishingly small number”, just one, as long as you control the teeth. Its all about the teeth! Yeah, this is about their logic, and personality – Teatime, pronounced Te-a-tim-ee, from Hogswatch.

  11. JScarry says

    If you want to see trans people being accepted by the general population then stop referring to women as TERFs and cis. Call out the violence from trans-women and their supporters when gender-critical women try to have meetings to discuss women’s issues. Stop insisting the men are women and belong in women-only spaces like prisons, battered-women’s shelters, and sports. Stop insisting that everyone buy into your fantasy. When you insist that trans right override womens’s rights, we rightly get incensed.

  12. KG says

    Shorter JScarry:
    If you want to see trans people being accepted by TERFs then FUCK RIGHT OFF IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    JScarry @15: You mean people who are trans-exclusionary shouldn’t be called trans-exclusionary? Do you think the violence committed by trans folk outweighs the violence committed against them? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? No, I didn’t think so.

  14. Owlmirror says

    If you want to see trans people being accepted by the general population then stop referring to women as TERFs and cis.

    But “TERF” and “cis” don’t necessarily refer to women. Are you saying that it’s fine to call men “TERF” and “cis”?

    Given that “cis” means no more and no less than “not trans”, would you be happier if the clunkier phrase “not-trans” were to be used instead?

    And TERF, of course, is more specific that “transphobic” alone, because not all transphobes are feminists. Would you be happier if transphobic women were simply called transphobes, without reference to their feminism?

  15. Kade Ferguson says

    “Men are more accepting of trans men than women are of trans women.”
    As gay trans man I can tell you this is BS. (In my personal experience I find cis straight women way more accepting of me than gay and straight. cis men.) If it seems like cis men are not as hostile toward trans men it’s only because we blend into the background and are utterly ignored by cis men. But i assure you that does not make them actually more accepting of us. Additionally, the idea that me transitioning to male to attain male privilege and that it makes me ‘safer’ is insane. When I transitioned not only did I give up my cis privilege by becoming trans, I also gave up my heterosexual privilege too.
    Yes, being trans AND a gay man is so much better and safer than being a cis straight woman. Like, really? See how stupid that sounds?

    OH, and if TERF is a bad thing to call transphobic women then fine I’ll just call them….transphobic women instead. There is that better? And ‘cis’ is just another way of saying ‘not trans’. Like really people who have a problem with cis really need to grow up and get over themselves.

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