Gia Milinovich is still ignoring her transphobia’s critics


In February I wrote a lengthy post on why Gia Milinovich – of Soho Skeptics fame, and who admires Julie Bindel – was wrong to veil her view trans women are ‘male’ as scientific. (Everyone knows biological sex is a straightforward fact – except, as it turns out, scientists.)

That post, which has been tweeted over a hundred times including at Milinovich, refers explicitly to a long list of similar discussions it seems likely were also sent to her.

Thoughts herein were influenced by other writing – Anne Fausto-Sterling’s, Judith Butler’s and others’ at the best-known end, but more importantly by other blogs. Particularly since I’m cis(h), it seemed important to give credit:

Thanks, too, to Zinnia Jones for feedback and suggestions.

Amid heightened attention to trans issues, more articles like this have followed since, most prominently Mey Valdivia Rude’s at Autostraddle, ‘It’s Time For People to Stop Using the Social Construct of “Biological Sex” to Defend Their Transmisogyny’. (Less closely related but still relevant, Zinnia has also pulled apart transphobic atheist pseudoscience about biological sex.) Edit: Roz Kaveney tells me additionally that she sent this piece to Milinovich.

I can’t accept all this has simply passed Milinovich by: she must at this point have read or at least been pointed to critique of what she says, but nothing she’s said suggests this. A week ago on her secondary blog, she posted this, reigniting arguments:

Because over the past several months I have talked about gender and biological sex, I have got all kinds of crap from trans activists and their allies. Because I have publicly talked about getting abuse from trans activists and their allies, I have got abuse from trans activists and their allies. And because I dare to publicly state that there is an actual definition of ‘male’ and ‘female’ in biology which pertains to all mammals, I am now one of the many women who gets called ‘bigot’, ‘racist’, ‘cunt’ and told to ‘die in a fire’ . . . one can be called a TERF simply for stating ‘a penis is a male body part’ or saying that the patriarchy is sex-based oppression. I know. Shocking stuff.

Deliberately ignoring all criticism (except the rage provoked by her comments) and continuing to trot out tired, long-debunked fallacies is a tactic Bindel has employed for years. Milinovich appears to’ve learnt from her. It’s one thing rejecting a critique; pretending you haven’t heard any when rebuttals have been everywhere is arguing in bad faith.

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Comments

  1. =8)-DX says

    Um, if that person received the reactions they say they did… surely some understanding for the dismissal of one and any angry response is at hand? I know it’s no excuse to ignore legitimate criticism, just because of the tone of language used by many, but similar situations arise when MRAs or “concerned men” criticise feminists. In all this mess each person feels they are on the right side of the issue, but confirmation bias seems much more of a motive than bad faith per se.

    I’ve done this many times myself, and can say that privilege blindness and confirmation bias were my actual motivations, rather than bad faith (when I think I’m right it hurts to read the links, do the extra research, but when I do I often find I have to change my position. That I occasionally do this is not to my credit, it’s a habit learned from being wrong on so many issues so many times).

  2. =8)-DX says

    Reading up some of the links posted, it seems her problem is that she wants to hold to sexual dimorphism, while rejecting the gender binary.

    Ooops… some people don’t fit in the “biological sex” binary. And some people’s gender only partially conforms to their particular biological sex markers (even beards grow on a continuum).

    Using gender and sex-neutral language is difficult, but it opens up a lot of doors for people who just don’t fall into the two boxes. Penises are in most cases male, vaginas are in most cases female. But don’t pretend you’re being scientific if you ignore the cases where that just isn’t the case.
    (Also I seem to remember this debate happening a few years back surrounding the blog of another woman scientist.. )
    Thanks for the post, hope I’m not just blathering here.
    =8)-DX

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