Quantcast

«

»

Aug 19 2013

@charlescwcooke, Conservative Intellectual

It’s like he’s trying to think Deep Thoughts, but all he can do is belch stupid.

Why is "gay conversion therapy" so terrible that it must be banned but physical sex-change operations not? Seems a bizarre double-standard.

Maybe it’s that conservatives simply cannot comprehend the concept of consent?

119 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    chigau (違う)

    Is charlescwcooke some one I should have heard of?

  2. 2
    melaniemallon

    Maybe it’s that conservatives simply cannot comprehend the concept of consent?

    Or the difference between sex and gender?

  3. 3
    Pteryxx

    “it’s not torture, it’s surprise surgery!!

    …excuse me while I go throw up.

  4. 4
    adobo

    I really feel sorry for people like Charles. If he thinks that his opinion is a legitimate equivalence rather than a false one shows how out of touch with reality he is.

  5. 5
    Ace of Sevens

    I don’t think consent is the issue. Plenty of people have consented to conversion “therapy.” The issue is efficacy.

  6. 6
    stuartsmith

    I’m not really sure it’s about consent. People could consent to gay conversion therapy, and it would still be wrong, because it inflicts suffering without being effective. If someone was gay but wanted to be straight (or vice versa, I suppose,) a procedure that allowed them to make that switch would be a-okay with me. Anything that allows us to rise above the accidents of biology and be who we want to be is great, as far as I’m concerned. Inflicting suffering on someone until they fake being changed just to get away from you just makes things worse.

  7. 7
    R Johnston

    @5:

    The issue most definitely is consent. The issue is laws banning conversion therapy for minors who are legally incapable of granting consent and how such laws hurt conservative fee-fees.

  8. 8
    Scr... Archivist

    It seems to me that two central issues that Cooke doesn’t understand are self-definition and self-determination. Although he would probably respect this selectively, depending on such things as the social status and power of the person in question, and whether they are making, say, economic decisions. That’s a mundane and rarely-questioned double-standard.

  9. 9
    Charles Cooke

    Was discussing minors, guys. Minors. Certain states allow minors to have irreversible sex-change operations. I was asking why we aren’t banning this, too, given that we’re banning “gay converse therapy.”. I don’t care what adults do, but the age of majority matters. You might have actually read what I was discussing before banging on about it so ignorantly. Have a good evening.

  10. 10
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Certain states allow minors to have irreversible sex-change operations.

    Name one, asshole. Now. With citations. If you cannot do this, shut the fuck up on the topic, because you’re an ignorant shithead.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Charles Cooke

    Just out of interest, is Dr. Margaret Moon, bioethics committee member at the American Academy of Pediatrics and teacher at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, a bigot? Or is this a legitimate difference of opinion as to what should be done to minors? Judging by your insecure language, I’m presuming you will say the former. But hope springs eternal.

  13. 13
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    BZZZZT!!!!!!! Wrong, shit for brains. You pulled exactly the bullshit that I expected, and were wrong in an entirely predictable fashion. The puberty-blocking chemicals are not ‘irreversible.’ That’s the whole point of them. Incidentally, linking to your own opinion piece is a pretty shitty excuse for a citation, trollboy.

  14. 14
    Charles Cooke

    I think we’re done here.

  15. 15
    OptimalCynic

    Kim Petras had her surgery at 16, and that was considered very unusual. She had to get special permission as the normal minimum age for surgery in Germany is 18. I seriously doubt that there’s many, if any, jurisdictions that don’t have similar rules.

    The exception of course is for botched circumcisions or intersex babies, in which case the age of consent is whatever the surgeon wants it to be! Hooray for physical gender norms!

  16. 16
    anteprepro

    Charles, you are a dishonest shitweasel.

    Behold the tweets:

    - Why is “gay conversion therapy” so terrible that it must be banned but physical sex-change operations not? Seems a bizarre double-standard.

    -Shouldn’t free people be free to do both—or neither?

    -And in what universe is going for psychiatrical “therapy” worse than having your hormones altered and surgically changing your genitals?

    -Transgender surgery is a right but gay conversion therapy is barbarism. Have I got it?

    -Just to be clear: My issue’s with the double-standard. If “gay conversion therapy” should be illegal, so should this: http://ccwc.me/Ag558Y

    If “I was just talkin’ about minors!” was such a salient point, you sure as fuck did a bang up job of mentioning that crucial detail in your actual tweets! Great work!

  17. 17
    Charles Cooke

    Then we agree. Regardless of whether you or I think they are silly or not, both treatments should require the patient to be 18, at which point adults may do what they want.

  18. 18
    Charles Cooke

    If “I was just talkin’ about minors!” was such a salient point, you sure as fuck did a bang up job of mentioning that crucial detail in your actual tweets! Great work!

    You just quoted a tweet as part of your case (the last one) that totally undermines it! It actually contains a link to a piece discussing minors. Oh dear.

  19. 19
    Ingdigo Jump

    Except one is a quack remedy that’s not endorsed by experts.

    Herp a derp

  20. 20
    Charles Cooke

    Whether it is “endorsed by experts” or not, adults should still be free to do it. I don’t think that heroin is a great thing, but I still think adults should be able to inject it into themselves if they want. The question here is, “should minors be subjected to ‘gay conversion therapy’?” My answer is no. And it’s also no for hormone and sex-change procedures. Adults? Absolutely. This isn’t complicated.

  21. 21
    anteprepro

    Bonus points time everybody!

    Charlie is referring to an article he himself wrote in his whine about minors getting transgender surgery. His article was written three or four years after the fact about this Boston Globe article. Guess what convenient facts the shitweasel conveniently missed when whining about how children just don’t know enough to consent?

    By the time a kid comes in to see me, both parents have agreed that the child is in danger and needs some form of intervention. And that has led to heavy-duty counseling for the child and parents. Therefore I see young people and families who have been evaluated by skilled professionals…..

    Transgendered kids have a high level of suicide attempts. Of the patients who have fled England to see me, three out of the four have made very serious suicide attempts. And I’ve never seen any patient make [an attempt] after they’ve started hormonal treatment.

    Those two paragraphs? There’s a paragraph in between that Charlie actually deemed fit to sneer about his article.

  22. 22
    anteprepro

    You just quoted a tweet as part of your case (the last one) that totally undermines it! It actually contains a link to a piece discussing minors.

    And yet you don’t actually mention the relevance of minors in your tweets. In your actual arguments on Twitter. Over the course of five fucking tweets. But I’m sure it is such an important that we all just ignorant of your sophisticated reasoning on the subject! Please.

  23. 23
    Charles Cooke

    Yes, this is all a conspiracy! Damnit, I’ve been rumbled. Have a good evening.

  24. 24
    Ingdigo Jump

    Whether it is “endorsed by experts” or not, adults should still be free to do it.

    Really? you think unliscenced surgeons should be allowed to sell ineffective treatments?

    Or to rephrase how much of a fuckwit are you?

  25. 25
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Things that are not the same

    con·spir·a·cy
    Noun

    A secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
    The action of plotting or conspiring.

    Inability to communicate

    Guess which one you’re being accused of, Charles?

  26. 26
    anteprepro

    Also conveniently left out of Charlie’s Wingnutovision, from the AP article that the Daily Kos links to:

    The Republican governor also said the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation, as identified by the American Psychological Association, outweigh concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice….

    However, I also believe that on the issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards,” Christie said, citing a litany of potential ill effects of trying to change sexual orientation, including depression and suicide. “I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.”…

    The idea of conversion therapy is an old one that has increasingly drawn criticism for its methods. Last year, four gay men sued a Jersey City group for fraud, saying its program included making them strip naked and attack effigies of their mothers with baseball bats.
    Lawmakers heard horror stories from some during hearings on the ban, including Brielle Goldani of Toms River, who testified she underwent electric shocks and was given drugs to induce vomiting after being sent to an Ohio camp at age 14 to become straight….

    Honestly, comparing rotten worm-infested apples to doctor-approved oranges.

  27. 27
    ChristineRose

    Gay conversion therapy has not been shown to convert gay people, nor has it been shown to have any desirable effects other than teaching girls how to apply makeup and boys how to fix cars.

    Gender reassignment surgery does help people feel better and function better. It’s obviously a mixed bag because it’s a series of major surgeries and the results are not magical. I don’t see the double standard–a therapy that causes harm and doesn’t help with the condition–a condition that is not in itself harmful beyond subjecting someone to social discrimination vs. a therapy with severe side effects that does help some people a lot and some people less so.

    How about comparing cutting off healthy ugly noses because the neighbors don’t like them to improving the appearance of a malformed but partially functional nose?

  28. 28
    anteprepro

    Yes, this is all a conspiracy!

    lolwut?

  29. 29
    Ingdigo Jump

    I think by what he meant to say with his tweets wasn’t that conversion therapy and anything else was ethically the same, what he meant was “I am shocked no one has punched me yet today!”

  30. 30
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Charles Cooke
    Fuck off, you disingenuous scumbag. You have the utter fucking nerve to compare a potentially life-saving medical procedure to religiously sponsored torture in the guise of pseudo-medicine, and then come in here and complain about how you’ve been represented? You are unspeakable filth.

  31. 31
    Charles Cooke

    Who cares? Free adults may do as they wish. As an atheist who has no interest in whether people are gay or not, I’d never dream of it. But that’s not my call. In a free country, adults may subject themselves to whatever they want.

  32. 32
    Al Dente

    So counselors say the minor should have hormone treatments to prevent hir from suicide. Charles sounds like the anti-abortionists who let Savita Halappanavar die because the fetus was not going to survive but hadn’t actually died. Apparently Charles wants children to kill themselves because he thinks trans*sexuals are icky.

  33. 33
    anteprepro

    Who cares? Free adults may do as they wish. As an atheist who has no interest in whether people are gay or not, I’d never dream of it. But that’s not my call. In a free country, adults may subject themselves to whatever they want.

    Ah, he’s a glibertarian.

    “Hey, I don’t care if he’s abusive and a fraud. It’s a fucking free country, and you should be free to pay him money to paddle your ass in exchange for hearing him say that he cured you of cancer! LET FREEEEEDOM RING!!!”

  34. 34
    Charles Cooke

    Wow, this board is a slice. I haven’t heard so many unlovely and overconfident people throw so many unlovely and overconfident words around since the last time I visited a prison.

  35. 35
    Charles Cooke

    “Hey, I don’t care if he’s abusive and a fraud. It’s a fucking free country, and you should be free to pay him money to paddle your ass in exchange for hearing him say that he cured you of cancer! LET FREEEEEDOM RING!!!”

    Actually, yes, that’s pretty much it. I do think that. Same as I think you should be able to join the Westboro Baptist Church if you wish, repugnant as it is.

  36. 36
    anteprepro

    Apparently Charles wants children to kill themselves because he thinks trans*sexuals are icky.

    No, no, no. His argument is far more Sophisticated than that. He thinks that if we are allowing transgendered children to undergo surgery in order to prevent them from feeling suicidally depressed due to not feeling like they are in the right body, that we should be allowing fundies to ship their kids off to camps where they can be made suicidally depressed in the name of turning them straight. Fairness, ya see. FREEEEEDOM, ya see.

  37. 37
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Wow, this board is a slice. I haven’t heard so many unlovely and overconfident people throw so many unlovely and overconfident words around since the last time I visited a prison.

    juxta

    Mary Landrieu says she’s “embarrassed” about America because in Spain, everyone has health insurance. Yes, Mary, but nobody has a job.

    As a general rule, my experience is that the bigger the gun nut, the more insistent they are on basic safety.

    “It became clear to me that, you know as a woman, you can’t just vote your vagina.” It “became” clear? http://ccwc.me/16Zy2s1

    So often the most self-assured and self-consciously “reasonable ” conservative “reformers” are closet authoritarians.

    All from Mr. 200 Million Neurons Short Of a Conspiracy.

  38. 38
    anteprepro

    Charles Cooke, may you forever dine only on foods that have grown, distributed, stored, packaged, advertised, and sold in the myriad of ways that unfettered, unregulated capitalism would compel businesses to grow, distribute, store, package, advertise, and sell items. I look forward to hearing about the unique flavors of food poisoning you can discover while living the libertarian dream. Godspeed, you clueless fucking asshole.

  39. 39
    Charles Cooke

    Well chaps, I’m off to have a whiskey. Fascinating as it is to watch the terminally average replace thought with profanity, I don’t think we’re getting anywhere. Enjoy this dark, dull little corner of the Internet. One day I’m sure you’ll break through to the masses. In the meantime, cheers!

  40. 40
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    So… your basic “screw you, I’ve got mine” libertarian nonsense then.

    Because everyone is totally able to recognise falsity and exploitation and if you can’t then fuck you. Right?

    How about I establish a conversion camp for libertarians that uses psychological torture to force a sense of empathy, a la A Clockwork Orange? Consent isn’t apparently an issue, and it’d rid us of the libertarian menace. It’s a free country!

  41. 41
    Nepenthe

    Well, given how common this surgery is for minors and the strong pressure from transcentric culture for parents to have irreversible surgery performed on their unwilling children who have no indication of being transsexual, I support a ban.

    Oh, wait, absolutely none of that shit is true? Strike that. Reverse it.

    Speaking of unlovely words Charlie, here’s some from the beloved of a trans lesbian who has found it nearly impossible to get medical transition services: Go hug a cactus.

  42. 42
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    antepepro

    He thinks that if we are allowing transgendered children to undergo surgery in order to prevent them from feeling suicidally depressed due to not feeling like they are in the right body,

    Except for the fact that we’re
    not allowing trans* children to undergo surgery (other than for intersex infants, as noted above, when the doctors often decide to anyway, a practice that needs to stop immedately. We’re allowing trans* children to take chemicals that block the irreversible changes brought on by puberty, so that later on, when they’re adults, they can make the decision on their own.

  43. 43
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Oh dear FSM.
    Just one week without whining tone trolls who are devastated that someone called them some taboo word.
    Focus on the content (though when you willingly add such dreck to the marketplace of ideas, you may as well roll out the welcome mat for invectives).

  44. 44
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Also, in re: my #42, we, as a culture/nation, mostly aren’t allowing even that much.
    Also, Fuck You once more to Charles Cook. I swear, the only people I’ve ever met who are consistently worse human beings than Republicans are liberturds.

  45. 45
    Anathema

    So, according to Charles Cooke, we have two choices. Either we allow children to have access to valid medical treatments and we make it legal for quacks to subject them to dangerous quack treatments or we make it illegal for children to get medical treatment of any sort.

    If a parent thinks that illness is caused by demons and that they can beat the demons out of their kid, then we have to make sure that it’s legal for them to beat their child in an attempt to treat whatever illness their kid might have. Because if we made that illegal, then we’d also have to make it illegal for parents to get their kids vaccinated.

    Makes perfect sense.

  46. 46
    anteprepro

    Fascinating as it is to watch the terminally average replace thought with profanity, I don’t think we’re getting anywhere. Enjoy this dark, dull little corner of the Internet. One day I’m sure you’ll break through to the masses.

    Love the projection. We’re not getting anywhere because you aren’t actually willing to debate anything. Sorry, in our corner of the internet, smugness is not a substitute for facts, and profanity is an acceptable topping or condiment and not generally confused with the main course. At least for people with a bit of sense. But you are a righty, so I expect too much of you. Have fun jacking off with simultaneous glee and rage now that your inane arguments got undue attention. Congratulations for the unwarranted press, condolences for your “ideas”.

  47. 47
    anteprepro

    Except for the fact that we’re
    not allowing trans* children to undergo surgery (other than for intersex infants, as noted above, when the doctors often decide to anyway, a practice that needs to stop immedately. We’re allowing trans* children to take chemicals that block the irreversible changes brought on by puberty, so that later on, when they’re adults, they can make the decision on their own.

    Also that.

  48. 48
    chigau (違う)

    So do 4 or 5 micro-flounces = a flounce?
    “insecure language” huh?
    “unlovely and overconfident” very twee
    “terminally average replace thought with profanity” wheres mah pearls?
    “a whiskey” teehee

  49. 49
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Charles, what do you mean “subjected”? People who are gay, people who are transgender, they generally know these things about themselves before the age of majority, and sometimes from a very early age – around the time where people are trying to gender-type a child, and the child damn well knows differently.

    Never mind that the treatments discussed are not irreversible. Adults who want to go to a “gay conversion therapist” are welcome to all the ineffectual barbarism that affords them (and it is too bad that they are made to feel so ashamed or wrong that they do), though you will never convince a transgender child that they are not the gender they perceive, and no parents are wandering around looking for elective medicine to change the gender of their child at their whim, against the child’s will (unless they are trying to thwart them, which would be like sending a gay child to “gay conversion therapy).

    You are exactly ass-backwards with your false equivalences and concerns.

  50. 50
    Azuma Hazuki

    Charlie, out of curiosity, can you please explain your morals? You admitted upthread that you’re for complete freedom for freedom’s sake on these matters, when you said

    “Hey, I don’t care if he’s abusive and a fraud. It’s a fucking free country, and you should be free to pay him money to paddle your ass in exchange for hearing him say that he cured you of cancer! LET FREEEEEDOM RING!!!”

    Actually, yes, that’s pretty much it. I do think that. Same as I think you should be able to join the Westboro Baptist Church if you wish, repugnant as it is.

    So from this, how do your morals work and what are they based on? It sounds like freedom uber alles, with a side of the proverbial consistency that is the hobgoblin of small minds, as if you wish to say “Restrictions? ALL ACROSS THE BOARD OR NOTHING! DROWN IN YOUR OWN BLOOD, NANNYSTATISTS!”

    So it doesn’t even seem to be about reducing current and future suffering for both the individual and the collective (which is roughly my moral basis, consequentialist as it is). It seems to be about ideology over people.

    Why doesn’t the suffering of others enter into this and override your ideas of dogmatic adherence to human rules, which after all are arbitrary? Why can you not judge on a case by case basis?

  51. 51
    aluchko

    Charles Cooke,

    I agree that consent is problematic for both though not as much as you claim. I suspect the demand for the majority of conversion therapy for minors is driven by the parents, either directly on indirectly via expectation.

    Sex change therapy on the other hand would be driven almost exclusively by the kids themselves. 18 isn’t a magic number, someone younger does have some moral ability to control their own fate and they’re more active with gender reassignment than gay conversion.

    But I think the bigger issue is effectiveness. Conversion therapy is just as effective for minors as adults (ie not effective), there’s nothing to be lost by having them wait a few years until the age of consent.

    But the earlier you start gender reassignment therapy the more effective it becomes. Since the best treatment isn’t available for an adult one may decide it’s acceptable to treat a child in appropriate circumstances .

  52. 52
    sprocket

    He bravely ran away.

  53. 53
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Azuma Hazuki

    Why doesn’t the suffering of others enter into this and override your ideas of dogmatic adherence to human rules, which after all are arbitrary? Why can you not judge on a case by case basis?

    Because, like most liberturds, he has basically no empathy for his fellow humans.

  54. 54
    Azuma Hazuki

    @53/Dalillama

    Does empathy even need to enter into it? If this is some kind of bizarre virtue ethicism based on complete freedom of will, shouldn’t it follow that the antipodally-separate constellation of events around a kid being forced into Exodus vs a kid begging to be sex-reassigned reduce down to “One of these limits freedom and the other does not?”

    For a supposed libertarian he’s oddly rulebound and anti-freedom in select cases…

  55. 55
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Does empathy even need to enter into it? If this is some kind of bizarre virtue ethicism

    As far as I can tell, virtue ethics don’t don’t really allow for any functional empathic capacity; certainly all the people I’ve encountered who actively subscribe to them are that way.

    For a supposed libertarian he’s oddly rulebound and anti-freedom in select cases…

    No, libertarians are pretty much all like that.

  56. 56
    Azuma Hazuki

    @55/Dalillama

    Suppose someone’s virtue ethics were grounded in “reducing the absolute and relative suffering for individuals and the group in the present and future is the ultimate virtue?” =P

    All joking aside, is there even any real difference between deontology and consequentialism, deep down? How do the deontologists KNOW they have the absolute correct moral basis, WHY is it correct to follow it, and why couldn’t consequentialists be said to be a type of deontologist whose moral basis is “reduce suffering?”

    Silly me for expecting a libertarian for being what he says on the tin I suppose; given they want to remove the Pure Food and Drug Act I would be a fool to trust the label anyway…

  57. 57
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    All joking aside, is there even any real difference between deontology and consequentialism, deep down?

    Yes. Also, virtue ethics isn’t the same as deontology. Virtue ethics holds that one should act to support a set of virtues, whatever that may entail, while deontology sets forth a set of rules which must be followed. I have little patience for either.

    How do the deontologists KNOW they have the absolute correct moral basis, WHY is it correct to follow it,

    Faith, of course.

    and why couldn’t consequentialists be said to be a type of deontologist whose moral basis is “reduce suffering?”

    Because that’s not deontology. Consequentialism could theoretically be defined as a form of virtue ethics with the sole virtue being the reduction of suffering, but a)most virtue ethicists would argue bitterly with that, and b) consequentialism doesn’t really deal with internal motivations; you may do a good (i.e. suffering reducing) thing out of empathy, which could be considered a virtue, or out of self interest, or on a whim; consequentialism doesn’t care which it is, only what the effect was.

  58. 58
    Ingdigo Jump

    As far as I can tell, virtue ethics don’t don’t really allow for any functional empathic capacity; certainly all the people I’ve encountered who actively subscribe to them are that way.

    Unless of course you counted empathy as a virtue

  59. 59
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Unless of course you counted empathy as a virtue

    As I noted earlier, I’ve never encountered anyone who self-identified as a virtue ethicist who did so. I’m not saying they don’t exist, merely that I’ve not encountered them.

  60. 60
    Azuma Hazuki

    This is messy, isn’t it? :( And the ones who offer a way out, so seductive to someone so hurt and shattered, are the ones who cause the most harm in the long run. They stop thinking. They give up. There is a thick darkness which we call cognitive surrender around them.

  61. 61
    Ingdigo Jump

    As I noted earlier, I’ve never encountered anyone who self-identified as a virtue ethicist who did so. I’m not saying they don’t exist, merely that I’ve not encountered them.

    Odd as Compassion/empathy is one of the seven virtues iirc my Catholicism papist ethics correctly.

  62. 62
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Odd as Compassion/empathy is one of the seven virtues iirc my Catholicism papist ethics correctly.

    Catholicim subscribes to deontology, not virtue ethics. Regardless of the virtues, there’s a rigid set of rules than must be obeyed regardless of circumstance; that’s deontology right there.

  63. 63
    Jadehawk

    gay conversion therapy:
    a piece of quackery that parents send their kids to when they freak the fuck out because their kid turns out to be gay, has on entirely too many occasions turned out to be a haven for sexual abuse of gay folks, which seeks to conform people to an arbitrarily defined “norm” against their nature, and erase their human variance; a “therapy” that reinforces the matrix of oppression and causes severe mental health issues in many who go through it even when ho sexual abuse occurred.

    hormone blockers:
    an effective therapy usually initiated by a teen who is experiencing themselves as trans used to postpone the physical changes of puberty to after the age of consent, which has alleviated the suffering f many *trans kids, is reversible, does no psychological damage and actually helps mental health as it can reduce panic and disphoria and give the kids a sense of control over themselves, has not been embroiled in any culty scandals, and is a treatment to support people in all their human variance and that is in direct opposition to the oppression of trans people.

    yeah, totally hypocritical to only allow the one that isn’t bullshit designed to harm people. [/sarc]

  64. 64
    karpad

    Dalillama:
    I’m pleased as punch to be your unicorn: I am in fact a self identified Virtue Ethicist, but hold that, in fact, empathy is the highest virtue and the root of moral action. It’s both very late for me, and I have work in the morning and should go to bed, but after prolonged debates and arguing on the subject, I felt that this particular formulation does a good job of removing the most odious complications from consequentialist programs while still promoting utility.

    A deciding element of this was ultimately a dismissal of rationality in ethics. Essentially that humans are not rational actors (demonstrated by observation of human behavior) so attempts to structure rational rules of any kind will ultimately fail, and that in most situations, there are multiple “correct” courses of action in conflict that morality of an act can only come about by asserting which normative virtue is to be upheld. As a result, the most important factor in ethical reasoning is exercising the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of others, and empathy is the tool with which we can understand the thoughts and actions of others, to understand that others might well be acting in good faith, even if they reach opposite conclusions of the course of action to take.

    As a result, generally I ascribe immorality to acts which ignore the thoughts and feelings of others, either through negligence or willful blindness. Because without this basic empathy, no discussion can be engaged in to pursue an agreed course of action.

    But it is late, and I am tired and probably not describing this well.

  65. 65
    Robert B.

    Consequentialist programs? If a consequentialist has a program, let alone one with odious complications, they are doing it wrong. Good things should happen, bad things should not. The rest is secondary at best, a distraction at worst.

  66. 66
    changerofbits

    How about we look at it abstractly:

    Why is “trying to change thing A that isn’t a choice” so terrible that it must be banned but “changing something physical to match thing B that also isn’t a choice” not?

    Point 1: Thing A and thing B are not the same things.

    So, you’re comparing two things, which are about as closely related to eachother as the literal letters A and B are in the alphabet. Sexual attraction and gender identity are just different things.

    Point 2: Thing A or thing B are things we don’t necessarily have the free will to consciously choose.

    Even those who believe in libertarian free will largely think sexual attraction and gender identity are not something you have control over. Also, neither are binary, but a complex spectrum. Even granting that its a conscious choice, its not up to the government to decide for us.

  67. 67
    consciousness razor

    As a result, generally I ascribe immorality to acts which ignore the thoughts and feelings of others, either through negligence or willful blindness. Because without this basic empathy, no discussion can be engaged in to pursue an agreed course of action.

    But it is late, and I am tired and probably not describing this well.

    With anything like “acts which [have the effect of blah blah blah]” you’re describing at least a consequentialist component of your ethics. It identifies a consequence of an action and its reasoning is based on that, not on some characteristic of a person or a society which is valuable. It’s not so much being able to empathize with others’ thoughts and feelings which is good, but acting upon that capacity the right way and avoiding acts which “ignore” them (or something like that), which you’re saying is good because of the effects you’re trying to take into consideration.

    Presumably being unable to have empathy, if you have a mental illness of some kind or if you’re ignorant of their situation for example, isn’t itself immoral, unless you’re a virtue ethicist who (1) thinks empathy’s a virtue and (2) thinks should doesn’t imply can. But I really don’t see how any virtue ethicist can address the point that they seem to be claiming in some cases we ought to do things we’re incapable of doing. If it comes down to the fact that some people are constitutionally incapable of being good simply because you say so, not because of anything they’ve done or because “they” could’ve existed as essentially a different person who turned out to be “virtuous,” I really can’t make sense of that claim.

    Anyway, maybe it’s some weird hybrid, maybe it’s full-on consequentialism that is just more reasonable about the kinds of consequences you think “standard” consequentialism must imply, or maybe you really haven’t described what you actually think. I’d bet on the second one, but I’m a little biased.

  68. 68
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @melaniemallon

    Or the difference between sex and gender?

    Throw sexuality in the mix too, and you end up with such sagacious thoughts as those of charlescwcooke. Social Conservatives = bleugh.

  69. 69
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Having read Charles Cooke’s citation own op-ed, I have to admit he has a point.

    To be clear, I dislike the piece. The sneering tone, clear use of the “Shock and Horror!” brand of emotional argument, descriptions of the procedure as “sickening” and comparisons of it to “changing one’s skin colour” (What? How is that relevant?), and the many thinly veiled homophobic and transphobic comments would make me question the motives of the author quite seriously without ever having read PZ’s OP above.

    However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be concerned about allowing minors to make a decision about hormone treatments which could make them infertile (and it’s sure as hell not a decision their parent’s should be making for them), providing that your concern is motivated by the issue of consent and not by bigotry, as I suspect Cooke’s is.

  70. 70
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Fucking fuckedy fuck fuck. HTML fail! Repost:

    Having read Charles Cooke’s citation own op-ed, I have to admit he has a point.

    To be clear, I dislike the piece. The sneering tone, clear use of the “Shock and Horror!” brand of emotional argument, descriptions of the procedure as “sickening” and comparisons of it to “changing one’s skin colour” (What? How is that relevant?), and the many thinly veiled homophobic and transphobic comments would make me question the motives of the author quite seriously without ever having read PZ’s OP above.

    However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be concerned about allowing minors to make a decision about hormone treatments which could make them infertile (and it’s sure as hell not a decision their parent’s should be making for them), providing that your concern is motivated by the issue of consent and not by bigotry, as I suspect Cooke’s is.

  71. 71
    Jadehawk

    Consequentialist programs? If a consequentialist has a program, let alone one with odious complications, they are doing it wrong. Good things should happen, bad things should not. The rest is secondary at best, a distraction at worst.

    this.

    A deciding element of this was ultimately a dismissal of rationality in ethics. Essentially that humans are not rational actors (demonstrated by observation of human behavior) so attempts to structure rational rules of any kind will ultimately fail

    that doesn’t really have anything to do with consequentialism though, since the only rule is “maximize positive outcomes, minimize negative outcomes”; the whole point is that rules or principles are worthless because in different circumstances the same rule-following behavior will produce different consequences.

    and that in most situations, there are multiple “correct” courses of action in conflict that morality of an act can only come about by asserting which normative virtue is to be upheld.

    I can’t see that going pearshaped at all. No way is just asserting which principle is the most important one in a conflict going to result in horrible things.
    Oh but there I go, focusing on consequences again :-p

    the most important factor in ethical reasoning is exercising the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of others,

    ethics based on the necessity of mind-reading strike me as a really bad idea, since then actually we end up with an ethics based on guesses and wild assumptions and on who is or isn’t considered trustworthy on the topic of people’s motivations.

    Because without this basic empathy, no discussion can be engaged in to pursue an agreed course of action.

    so empathy is important because of its consequences? iiiiinteresting. :-p

  72. 72
    Jadehawk

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be concerned about allowing minors to make a decision about hormone treatments which could make them infertile

    do we even know this is a thing to be concerned about? again, we’re talking about hormone blockers, not sex hormones. From here:

    With regard to hormone blockers, should an individual come off blockers and proceed with biologic puberty, they would still be as fertile as they would have been without blockers. There are no studies that show infertility as a side effect to GnRH analogues when used in children with central precocious puberty, which is the population most similar to our trans kids on blockers.

  73. 73
    Forelle

    Azuma Hazuki, #50:

    Charlie, out of curiosity, can you please explain your morals?

    [shudder] From what we’ve seen, I’d rather he didn’t. Anyway, I haven’t read that much from libertarians, but I’ve observed that their discourse, such as it its, degenerates into gibberish when it comes to children (veering between “parents’ absolute property to mistreat as they see fit” or “citizens who have the same choice as to schooling as the rest of us”). About other vulnerable members of society, I haven’t read anything yet. And, well, sex, in any broad sense, I’ve seen that they don’t deal well with that either, at all. This matter unfortunately mixes both.

    I can’t understand how anybody from the cis world can see puberty-blocking hormones as anything other than wonderful. I remember the first case I read about in Spain (we still have excellent medicine) — I almost cried with joy. It seemed such a straightforward way of dealing with a number of ethical doubts, however reasonable. (I haven’t read much about this, though, from trans people — I’ll have to do some searching.)

  74. 74
    Forelle

    (I messed up somehow with the refreshing and answered without having read the whole thread. What Jadehawk said in 63, much better, more briefly, and with more detail than me. Oh, and I’ve enjoyed the conversation about ethics too.)

  75. 75
    Jadehawk

    I can’t understand how anybody from the cis world can see puberty-blocking hormones as anything other than wonderful.

    ditto. like I said: it’s entirely reversible, and social push to conform actually moves against it, so it’s unlikely to be abused in a systematic fashion.

  76. 76
    Forelle

    Such medical or social advancements highlight certain unexpected aspects to unimaginative people like me (unimaginative because I’m comfortable in my cis-ness or because of laziness, fear or whatever). The possibility of delaying puberty brought home, as no description before could have, the dread with which many trans children must have waited for changes to kick in. It was unexpectedly, terribly, moving.

    (In a similar way, when the same-sex marriage law was passed in Spain (2005), what struck me very forcefully and unexpectedly was the chance that lesbians and gays had to say no to marriage. To me, and surely to many like me, that no expressed the just-achieved equality in a more graphical way than the yes.)

    What a joy that in certain privileged parts of the world some teenagers (and their parents, too) can put off irreversible events and take that sort of control. How is this not obvious? I haven’t said anything on “gay therapies” because I don’t know enough about them, and it has been commented here, but how can both things be compared except in this most crude, simplistic of ways… physical age?

  77. 77
    Forelle

    I’ve just written “irreversible.” Well, maybe this is false or exaggerated (though probably not to the mind of a teenager), but the difficulty of the reversion should be much greater later on. Sorry if I’ve put my foot in it.

  78. 78
    believerskeptic

    Just out of interest, is Dr. Margaret Moon, bioethics committee member at the American Academy of Pediatrics and teacher at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, a bigot?

    What on earth makes you think those impressive titles would preclude one from being a bigot? That’s some pretty fallacious thinking there.

  79. 79
    believerskeptic

    Then we agree. Regardless of whether you or I think they are silly or not, both treatments should require the patient to be 18, at which point adults may do what they want.

    What happened to “I think we’re done here?” You’re sure not one for living up to your word.

  80. 80
    DLC

    I could not disagree more. First off, Cooke, whom I shall henceforth refer to as Cookie, is completely absolutely wrong. “Gay Conversion Therapy” doesn’t bloody work ! GCT is not even based on sound psychological practice, and has been discredited in all quarters. Yes, there are still a few quacks who practice it. There are also people who practice Phrenology, New German Medicine, Gersen Therapy and Cupping. So ? Should I open up a shop offering De-Posession-izing of computers infected by Demonic Possession, just because I could rook a few people a week ?

  81. 81
    believerskeptic

    Who cares? Free adults may do as they wish. As an atheist who has no interest in whether people are gay or not, I’d never dream of it. But that’s not my call. In a free country, adults may subject themselves to whatever they want.

    Yeah, littleboytarianism as your excuse is going to get you so far here.

  82. 82
    believerskeptic

    Wow, this board is a slice. I haven’t heard so many unlovely and overconfident people throw so many unlovely and overconfident words around since the last time I visited a prison.

    Tone-trolling gets you nowhere here either.

  83. 83
    believerskeptic

    Actually, yes, that’s pretty much it. I do think that. Same as I think you should be able to join the Westboro Baptist Church if you wish, repugnant as it is.

    Ohhh, so you thing WBC is repugnant? I suppose we’re supposed to be impressed with how progressive you are.

    That’s some pretty low hanging fruit, there, Charles Emerson Cookechester the Turd.

  84. 84
    believerskeptic

    Whether it is “endorsed by experts” or not, adults should still be free to do it. I don’t think that heroin is a great thing, but I still think adults should be able to inject it into themselves if they want. The question here is, “should minors be subjected to ‘gay conversion therapy’?” My answer is no. And it’s also no for hormone and sex-change procedures. Adults? Absolutely. This isn’t complicated.

    See, that’s the problem. Littleboytarianism isn’t complicated. And that’s exactly what makes its bromides a profoundly imperfect match for a complicated world.

  85. 85
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Jadehawk #72

    Dr. Norman Spack, the proponent of the procedure mentioned in Charles C W Bigot’s Op Ed, said himself, to the Boston globe, that “When young people halt their puberty before their bodies have developed, and then take cross-hormones for a few years, they’ll probably be infertile. You have to explain to the patients that if they go ahead, they may not be able to have children. When you’re talking to a 12-year-old, that’s a heavy-duty conversation. Does a kid that age really think about fertility?”

    That’s coming from the guy pushing these meds. Maybe it’s a problem associated only with his particular hormone blockers? Or maybe the subject is still an area of contention. But either way, if that is the case, I think it raises concerns.

    This whole subject has me rather torn. The procedure appears, on the face of it, to be a Good Thing™, but as I said I have some issues with the idea of allowing children to make the decision to take these drugs. It should obviously be the decision of the trans person, not their parents, but if the drugs can potentially have these effects then is a minor mature and responsible enough to make that decision about themselvses?

    I dunno. I’m struggling here.

  86. 86
    believerskeptic

    Actually, yes, that’s pretty much it. I do think that. Same as I think you should be able to join the Westboro Baptist Church if you wish, repugnant as it is.

    Now that I think about it, exactly what distinguishes you from WBC anyway? They want to see a world without gays, and, apparently, with your advocacy of “gay conversion therapy,” so do you.

    None of this “Oh, but I’m just making it available to people who want it” crap. People only think “gay conversion therapy” is legitimate if they think there’s something wrong with gayness in the first place.

  87. 87
    believerskeptic

    Well chaps,

    We’re not all chaps here. Hadn’t you noticed?

    I’m off to have a whiskey.

    Well, I for one am a teetotaler. I don’t need to rely on alcohol to get me through my day. Maybe I’m made of sterner stuff than you?

    Fascinating as it is to watch the terminally average

    *I* have a doctorate. Where’s yours, Mr. Charles C. W. Cooke, BA, MA?

    Everyone *has* to read this. It’s a hoot:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346689/diagnosing-dr-biden

    Best,
    Dr. Robert Gross

  88. 88
    redmcwilliams

    I’m curious as to Charles’ thoughts on rape culture. I’m sure they’re fascinating.

  89. 89
    Robert B.

    and then take cross-hormones for a few years

    This is the part that I haven’t seen anyone here actually advocate. The only thing “cross-hormones” could mean, as far as I can see, is sex hormones for the sex that the child was not assigned at birth, which can indeed make one infertile. Hormone blockers are a very different thing from sex hormones, though, and one of the main virtues of the former is that it postpones the need to make a decision about the latter.

    And frankly the medical community doesn’t get to talk about what the age of consent for sex hormones should be until they stop performing SRS on intersex infants.

  90. 90
    believerskeptic

    I’m curious as to Charles’ thoughts on rape culture. I’m sure they’re fascinating.

    I imagine he’s never heard the term.

  91. 91
    freemage

    Thumper@70:

    However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be concerned about allowing minors to make a decision about hormone treatments which could make them infertile (and it’s sure as hell not a decision their parent’s should be making for them), providing that your concern is motivated by the issue of consent and not by bigotry, as I suspect Cooke’s is.

    Letting minors make a decision in a vacuum, where they just casually get up one morning and say, “Hey, I’d like to hold off on puberty for a few years,” would, indeed, be wrong. So, too, would it be wrong for Bob and Mary Smith, who always wanted a daughter, to take little 8-year-old Thomas into the clinic and say, “Make him a girl.”

    But that’s not what’s happening, and that’s why Chuckles is so full of fail.

    1: The initial decision has to clearly come from the kid (so no parent-driven cases).
    2: The case has to be strong enough that there’s serious threat to the kid’s well-being.
    3: The whole thing occurs under extensive therapeutic conditions–counseling, monitoring, etc–geared directly towards ensuring the child’s well-being.
    4: The procedure is reversible. This is pretty damned key. This is less permanent than a tattoo. Hell, it’s less permanent than male infant circumcision.

    The entire procedure is about letting the kid hold off on making a decision, without penalizing them for doing so.

  92. 92
    believerskeptic

    Just out of interest, is Dr. Margaret Moon, bioethics committee member at the American Academy of Pediatrics and teacher at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, a bigot?

    Here, you seem to be relying on the multiple honorifics of Dr. Moon to make an argument-by-authority. We should be persuaded by Dr. Moon because she has a doctorate, and has all these other impressive titles.

    Yet, in the article I linked to, you complain about the existence of so many superfluous honorifics, and that we should not be swayed into giving them too much undue admiration.

    It seems like you’re sort of contradicting yourself a little.

    Huh.

  93. 93
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Believerskeptic @87:
    I agree with much of your comment except the drinking part. It is likely you did not mean it, but there is a smugness to your comment about being a nondrinker. Your choice not to drink does not make you morally superior to people who do. Charles never indicated he needed a drink either. Your wording implies issues with over consumption of alcohol on his part, something which you are not privy to. The brush you are painting with is far too broad. Please be more careful in the future.

  94. 94
    timgueguen

    Nah, Charles isn’t likely to say anything about rape culture the recent batch of nasties haven’t already said.

  95. 95
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @freemage

    Yes, I agree with all of that. Providing it’s entirely reversible and given only after councelling to ensure they’re serious, I have no problem. Why would I?

    My issue lies in the assertion that it can make you infertile. If that’s true, then I’m not sure a minor is old enough to weigh up the pros and cons. We are all fairly behind the idea that minors cannot give meaningful consent to certain things; I’m simply concerned that, if the assertions re. infertility are true, this might be one of them.

  96. 96
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Tony beat me to it at #93, so I’ll just second that. I love me some malt, but I don’t have a drinking problem either.

  97. 97
    Jadehawk

    Maybe it’s a problem associated only with his particular hormone blockers?

    from the part you quoted:

    “When young people halt their puberty before their bodies have developed, and then take cross-hormones for a few years, they’ll probably be infertile.

    yes, because cross-hormones can make you infertile. but postponing puberty per-se is not in itself irreversible, and that’s what happens for YEARS before the next step is taken.

    but as I said I have some issues with the idea of allowing children to make the decision to take these drugs.

    well but that’s the point. kids are not usually put on cross-hormones, just on the blockers; until they are old enough to make the decision. The only time this appears not to be true is in extreme cases of dysphoria in which the teen becomes suicidal.

    - – - – -

    And frankly the medical community doesn’t get to talk about what the age of consent for sex hormones should be until they stop performing SRS on intersex infants.

    QFT

  98. 98
    Jadehawk

    or to make this clearer: hormone blockers are not cross-hormones. hormone-blockers block androgens/oestrogens; cross-hormones are androgens/oestrogens.

  99. 99
    Jadehawk

    here’s the relevant stuff from the Q&A with Spack:

    Working on a model borrowed from Dutch researchers, Spack uses drugs to delay the first stirrings of youngsters’ puberty, granting them a few more years before they develop bodies that are decidedly male or female. The effects of these puberty-blocking drugs are reversible; that is, patients can later change their minds. Unfortunately, this is not the case with hormones. Therefore, Spack prescribes estrogen and testosterone to only a few teenagers

    At what age should children be allowed to take hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, that will forever change the way their bodies develop?

    SPACK: Well, the Dutch would say 16. But I think more flexible guidelines will be coming out. For some kids, 16 might be appropriate. For others {hellip} you lose opportunities if you wait.

    16 seems to me quite old enough. After that, you start getting towards the same territory as all those people who’ve been denied tubal ligations because “you’ll change your mind”

  100. 100
    omnicrom

    Nah, Charles isn’t likely to say anything about rape culture the recent batch of nasties haven’t already said.

    Gotta agree with this. Despite how self-assured Charles is of his own brilliance and Galtian worth I find it thoroughly unlikely that he has anything interesting to say. He certainly hasn’t said anything interesting yet.

  101. 101
    Jadehawk

    oh, and before I forget: one of the reasons for banning gay conversion therapy ws that kids were being pressured into it as dependents with no recourse. That’s not an issue with hormone blockers or even cross-hormones; there aren’t crowds of fucked up parents pressuring kids into transitioning (usually rather the opposite) like there is for de-gaying, so there’s no need to protect minors from being pushed by their legal guardians into it.

  102. 102
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Charles,
    Gay people are real. Transexual people are real.
    Gay conversion therapy is torture that does nothing to change sexual orientation. It is fake. The effect it has on people is horrendous. It is based on the mistaken idea that being gay is wrong and unnatural. That belief is usually based in the same religious fundamentalism that also denies evolution, climate change and anything else that threatens their “Biblical worldview”.

    Some transpeople are aware of their gender prior to their 18th birthday. It is not damaging to them to acknowledge this and support those people and their choices. The medical care a transperson may seek is science based. The family seeking this treatment for their teen is supporting the transperson and seeking safe medical intervention.

    Gay conversion therapy is brainwashing. It is not based in science. It doesn’t work. It isn’t even really therapy. It is often coercive. I’ve known people to be disappeared for an “intervention” by their homophobic family and Exodus Ministries. They are then pressured into never speaking to their supportive friends and are then shamed and threatened with abandonment, misery and finally hell if they do not participate in the “therapy”. We know that many people have turned to suicide because of this “therapy” and the threats and hateful attitudes behind it. It is in no way safe medical intervention.

    I bet you already know this and that you really don’t care. You’re a bigoted asshole.

    Believerskeptic, I second Tony. Don’t do that.

  103. 103
    believerskeptic

    I agree with much of your comment except the drinking part. It is likely you did not mean it, but there is a smugness to your comment about being a nondrinker. Your choice not to drink does not make you morally superior to people who do. Charles never indicated he needed a drink either. Your wording implies issues with over consumption of alcohol on his part, something which you are not privy to. The brush you are painting with is far too broad. Please be more careful in the future.

    The point I was making to Charles is that anybody can scrutinize him with the same smugness as he scrutinizes everyone else.

    I don’t actually agree with your statement “Your choice not to drink does not make you morally superior to people who do.” I think in general not drinking is indeed a morally superior choice to any drinking— a little. But I’m also fat, due to my own bad choices, and I recognize that other people who exercise more than I do are also making a morally superior choice to my regrettable bad habits— a little. I think not swearing is morally superior to swearing— a little (and I swear). I think all people make morally superior and morally inferior choices in a wide spectrum of gradations, and it’s not unusual.

    I was not trying to be smug to everybody, just to Charles. I wanted him to feel the knife of surgical scrutiny. I didn’t intend anyone else to take offense.

    Also, would it be possible not to start a dogpile on this issue just because I defended my statement just a little bit? Can we keep focusing on Charles, his libertarianism, his homophobia, and his inferiority complex?

  104. 104
    Robert B.

    See, this (@ 103) is why I’m a consequentialist. Your rules are not general, your intentions are not magic, and your request for the last word is funny.

    (I don’t drink either, because the expected results would be staggeringly bad – family history of alcoholism, personal history of depression, addictive personality – but it turns out that many human beings are not me and get different results.)

  105. 105
    David Marjanović

    [shudder] From what we’ve seen, I’d rather he didn’t. Anyway, I haven’t read that much from libertarians, but I’ve observed that their discourse, such as it its, degenerates into gibberish when it comes to children (veering between “parents’ absolute property to mistreat as they see fit”

    Looks like this is the one Cooke subscribes to.

  106. 106
    David Marjanović

    The point I was making to Charles is that anybody can scrutinize him with the same smugness as he scrutinizes everyone else.

    Why pay evil unto evil? An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    I think not swearing is morally superior to swearing

    Why?

    I was not trying to be smug to everybody, just to Charles.

    That, unfortunately, never works.

    I didn’t intend anyone else to take offense.

    Intent isn’t magic.

    (That’s a phrase you’ll encounter very often here.)

    Can we keep focusing on

    Most of us have no trouble multitasking.

  107. 107
    Jadehawk

    See, this (@ 103) is why I’m a consequentialist. Your rules are not general, your intentions are not magic, and your request for the last word is funny.

    seconded. plus I see no good reason to consider something with no negative effects (not being a teetotaler) as somehow immoral. not even a little bit.

    Can we keep focusing on Charles, his libertarianism, his homophobia, and his inferiority complex?

    you first.

  108. 108
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Charles has a little problem. To a glibertarian, individual freedom must be absolute. So everyone must be free to do whatever self-destructive thing they want–and the opinions of experts, well that’s just THE MAN keeping you down.
    Glibertarians hate facts. They hate that reality constrains our actions, so they deny it. So, Charley will never admit that Trans folk exist, just as he will never admit that the “pray away the gay” therapies are frauds. What does it say about a philosophy that it requires one to deny reality for it to be valid?

  109. 109
    David Marjanović

    Glibertarians hate facts. They hate that reality constrains our actions, so they deny it.

    Bingo.

  110. 110
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    I`m just going to make this one comment, and then I`m going to wander away for a long while, because I find it honestly utterly INFURIATING when cis people sit quietly back and argue that they know more than kids who are EXACTLY LIKE I WAS. Really.

    Why is bodily autonomy only for those past an arbitrary line? One dreamed up by people who`ve NO FUCKING CLUE what it`s like to wake up every fucking morning and hate the carcass you`re hauling around, hate the way it`s changing, knowing those changes are FOREVER, that nothing you`ll ever do will undo them? When we say that trans* kids become suicidal about these things, do you think we’re just exaggerating because we’re all dramatic trannies, or what? TRANS KIDS KILL THEMSELVES ABOUT THESE THINGS. ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

    This is absolutely no different than anti-choice/anti-reproductive freedom people who insist that women have to agree with their personal standards before they’ll grant access to bodily autonomy. Seriously, what does it take to see that trans people deserve this too? What the fuck kind of feminism says it’s alright to tell people what they can and cannot do with their own bodies?

    If you’re not trans*, you really, really need to take a minute or forty and check your privilege, when you’re arguing that human beings don’t get to choose what FUCKING MEDICATIONS they take, or by assuming that a 14-year-old doesn’t know what “irreversible when used with hormones” means.

    Thanks to those allies who are speaking up for trans* kids’ rights to self-determination, and providing links and education to the ignorant. I’m just seriously not able to have this conversation without a much higher FUCK-to-signal ratio than is probably useful. The above is my restrained, carefully-edited version.

  111. 111
    Inaji

    Jadehawk:

    16 seems to me quite old enough. After that, you start getting towards the same territory as all those people who’ve been denied tubal ligations because “you’ll change your mind”

    QFMFT. I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, I loathe people who want to indulge in handwringing over “what about the potential baaaaaaybees?” bullshit. No, not everyone knows when they are young if they will want to breed, however, a whole lot of young people actually have thought about the issue and are capable of being well informed on it and making their own decision. Crispy Christ onna Stick, I hate the notion that anyone under 18 is brainless.

  112. 112
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Jadehawk #97

    Oh! Reading comprehension fail on my part. In that case, all objections withdrawn; this appears to be a great idea. Thanks Jadehawk :) I appreciate your patience.

  113. 113
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @believerskeptic

    I don’t actually agree with your statement “Your choice not to drink does not make you morally superior to people who do.” I think in general not drinking is indeed a morally superior choice to any drinking.

    [emphasis mine]

    Why?

    In an effort to avoid a derail, answer in the Tdome, please.

  114. 114
    jamessweet

    I think consent is the wrong angle to attack this (yes, I understand that a minor cannot offer consent, but do you also feel that gender reassignment surgery should also be banned for minors? — anyway, looks like that has already been tackled in earlier comments)

    The point I want to make is that in the absence of any other data, Cooke would have a point, that it seems like a double-standard. Say a bunch of aliens visit Earth, and before they find out anything about human behavior, they find this out. It might be puzzling to them — especially if, on the planet Geeglax, sexual preference is very fluid and it is a totally ordinary thing for people to take a “Preference Reassignment Course” where they train at being gay/straight for a few weeks. And double especially if, after bitter experimentation, the Geeglaxians had discovered that attempting to modify their genitalia almost inevitably resulted in extreme emotional distress for members of their species.

    But as the Geeglaxians studied humans, they might come to realize that attempting to deliberately modulate sexual preference in humans tends to be highly psychologically damaging. And they might further come to realize that some minority of humans feel more comfortable with different genitalia than the ones they were born with. And at that point, the apparent “double standard” would make perfect sense.

    Which just goes to prove: Social conservatives just stepped off the spaceship from the planet Geeglax. Everything makes so much more sense if you view it in that light…

  115. 115
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Caine

    Crispy Christ onna Stick, I hate the notion that anyone under 18 is brainless.

    Generally speaking, me too, but when talking about kids as young as 10 or 12, as Charle’s Op Ed does, I think it’s a question worth asking.

    Side note:

    Judging from Catie Cat’s comment, I’ve clearly been a bit of a dick. Sorry everyone; I’ll bow out.

  116. 116
    jamessweet

    If you’re not trans*, you really, really need to take a minute or forty and check your privilege

    Yeah, this.

    I generally keep my motherfucking mouth shut in conversations about gender reassignment for minors, because — to be honest — I don’t get it, and I know I don’t get it, and I know that makes me pretty much completely and totally unqualified to talk about it on any level. Or at least, it means that my gut intuitions on this issue are probably going to be pretty unreliable, so if I am going to say anything, I better make sure I’m basing it on facts rather than feelings.

    What I do know is that stories of people who wish they had transitioned earlier, and didn’t, and suffered years of unnecessary emotional distress, are a lot easier to come by than stories of people who transitioned and then later regretted it. The latter exist, but (perhaps unsurprisingly, given the high barriers to transition) they seem to be fairly rare. What I also know is that there seems to be a growing consensus among people who study this sort of thing that transitioning in adolescence makes sense for some trans people.

    If I’m being honest, it still doesn’t feel like a good idea to me. But if there’s anything Pharyngula-grade atheists ought to be well aware of, it’s that our feelings are not always a reliable guide to reality.

  117. 117
    Inaji

    Generally speaking, me too, but when talking about kids as young as 10 or 12, as Charle’s Op Ed does, I think it’s a question worth asking.

    Just so you know, Thumper, I made a statement when I was 6 years old that I never, ever wanted to breed. I am now 55 and never once changed my mind about breeding. I started seeking permanent sterilisation when I was 17 and got the joy of running into one arrogant asshole after another, people who think like you and Chuckie.

    It is beyond galling to make the blanket assumption that a twelve year old is not capable of considering or thinking about long term issues, especially when that 12 year old is already struggling with gender issues, a subject upon which even many adults have a serious time understanding, FFS. If a twelve year old can grasp gender issues and fully think about and understand what it is they need to do in their life to make them happy, it’s not up to you or anyone else to dump them into the “too stupid, young and brainless to consider long term issues” category.

    Given just how long it took you to understand the difference between hormone blockers and cross hormones, you are in no position to talk about whether or not kids can handle such things.

  118. 118
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Believerskeptic:
    I will make this short:
    Take your smug, holier than thou attitude and fuck off. You are not in any way, shape or form superior to people who drink simply bc you do not. I was this >.< close to thinking you might beva goid addition here, but now I have nothing left to say to you.

  119. 119
    feralboy12

    I’m curious as to Charles’ thoughts on rape culture. I’m sure they’re fascinating.

    I want to know his thoughts on the whole “drive on a parkway and park in a driveway” thing.

Comments have been disabled.