Signal boosting: You were a misogynist before testosterone

Rae Rosenberg wrote some commentary on the This American Life episode featuring a trans man who used testosterone as an excuse for his misogyny:

Ira Glass introduces an interview of a trans man named Griffin Hansbury with producer Alex Blumberg halfway through Act I of the episode. Ira tells us, “A warning to listeners that they talk about looking at women and wanting sex during this interview”. Provided with this statement, I brace myself for an onslaught of misogyny, but still find myself appalled at how bad it becomes.

Griffin explains how he used to identify as a butch lesbian and came out as trans during his sophomore year of college. Kind of like me, minus the butch, so I relate to that. Alex asks Griffin to explain some of the changes he experienced after taking testosterone, to which Griffin answers an increased libido. Sure, this is a thing that many folks who take testosterone experience, of course to varying degrees. But Griffin elaborates that taking testosterone made him understand adolescent boys and men much more than he had previously. How, you might ask? Well, testosterone seems to have made Griffin empathize with why boys and men objectify and sexually harass women.

Griffin explains that due to his increased libido from testosterone, even the sight of an “unattractive woman’s ankles” would “flood [his] mind with aggressive, pornographic images”.

Even the sight of an unattractive woman’s ankles would lead him to aggressively sexualize a woman. Oh, God.

Griffin then tells a story of walking behind a woman wearing a “tiny” skirt and shirt, and how he kept on staring at her ass. He continues, “And I, I walked past her and this voice in my head kept saying ‘Turn around to look at her breasts, turn around, turn around, turn around.’ And my, my, you know my feminist female background said, you know, ‘Don’t you dare, you pig, don’t turn around.’ And you know, I fought myself for a whole block and then I, I turned around and checked her out.”

A whole block! Imagine the strength it took to walk a whole block without sexualizing a woman. Talk about self-control, because testosterone sure makes it hard to be a respectful and decent human being. You sure this is all because of testosterone, Griffin?

But y’all, it gets so much worse.

Read more about it here. I’ve also previously written about how estrogen is turned into a fable for the perceived increase in emotions for transfem folks when traumatic incidences are the likelier culprit. Causation is such a tricky thing to tease out in this scenario, because taking hormones is something that concurs with a larger psychological event–transitioning. So I am immediately suspicious of the claims that hormones can be safely linked as the cause of these massive attitude shifts when they happen at the same time as an upheaval as meaningful as a transition. In the case of misogyny, everyone learns it to some degree, so it makes sense that trans masculine individuals will know the misogynistic attitudes before they can express them as men.

-Shiv

Silver-lining-in-genocide Senator doesn’t know the first rule of holes

“When you find yourself in one, stop digging.”

Early last month, in a speech focused on highlighting the need to track federal spending on indigenous issues, Beyak said “good deeds” came out of Canada’s residential schools.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission spent six years examining the legacy of the government-funded, church-operated schools, infamous hotbeds of abuse and mistreatment that operated from the 1870s to 1996.

The senator’s comments touched off a firestorm inside and outside the upper chamber that divided her own caucus, which ultimately decided to remove her from the Senate committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

READ MORE: Senator who defended residential schools urged to leave committee

Beyak said in her statement that she believes this experience has revealed to her how difficult it is to have a “balanced, truthful discussion about all issues affecting Canadians.”

Here’s your balance, Lynn Beyak: European colonials committed genocide against the First Nations. Canada, the institution that arose from that atrocity, continued that genocide through the residential school system.

We’re the bad guys. You don’t get to claim credit for the good shit Canada did while eschewing credit for our bad shit. We own that history, you hare-brained narcissistic twit.

-Shiv

Glenn T. Stanton didn’t read That Fucking Swedish Study either

It’s back! I said I was serious when I said I could predict which doctors transantagonists would quote (or in the case of Cecilia Dhejne, misquote).

Me on November 14th, 2016: Five years later and they still haven’t read That Fucking Swedish Study.

Error #1: The study found that gender affirmation increased/didn’t reduce rates of suicide, therefore gender affirmation is ineffective/harmful.

The overall mortality for sex-reassigned persons was higher during follow-up (aHR 2.8; 95% CI 1.8–4.3) than for controls of the same birth sex, particularly death from suicide (aHR 19.1; 95% CI 5.8–62.9). Sex-reassigned persons also had an increased risk for suicide attempts (aHR 4.9; 95% CI 2.9–8.5) and psychiatric inpatient care (aHR 2.8; 95% CI 2.0–3.9).

“For controls of the same birth sex” ought to be printed on a giant neon billboard, as that unfathomably important comparison is lost in this error.

In other words, this only supports that trans people, even if they access gender affirmative care, are a higher risk of suicide than cisgender controls. Indeed, the study itself points out that it is not a comparison between trans folk who have and haven’t received affirmation care:

It is therefore important to note that the current study is only informative with respect to transsexual persons health after sex reassignment; no inferences can be drawn as to the effectiveness of sex reassignment as a treatment for transsexualism. In other words, the results should not be interpreted such as sex reassignment per se increases morbidity and mortality. Things might have been even worse without sex reassignment. As an analogy, similar studies have found increased somatic morbidity, suicide rate, and overall mortality for patients treated for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This is important information, but it does not follow that mood stabilizing treatment or antipsychotic treatment is the culprit.

IT’S RIGHT THERE IN THE STUDY. AND PEOPLE STILL THINK THIS STUDY SUPPORTS THEIR CONCLUSION THAT GENDER AFFIRMATION IS HARMFUL OR INEFFECTIVE. A;RKEHAEKTH;ALJET;LJ

That’s it. There isn’t some elaborate maze to guide you through, a slog of logical fallacies to hack apart as if their argument were the untamed wilds of an inner Brazilian jungle. They. Literally. Didn’t. Finish. Reading. The. Paper.

Glenn T. Stanton on April 4th, 2017:

A 2011 Swedish study, a long-term follow-up of men and women who underwent gender reassignment surgery, indicates that cutting bodies and administering hormonal treatments are not as ameliorative as many think.

Me on March 11th, 2017:

[Read more…]

Signal boosting: Inside Immigration Court

Thanks in part to Marcus, I’ve begun a process that questions many of the functions of the State that I take for granted, even if I am unlikely (or at least less likely) to be affected by most of them. Around the same time that I began this questioning, there was a particular term used by xenophobes on the topic of immigration–“illegal”–that began to strike a particularly unpleasant chord in me. Though written, it struck me as a venomous slur, something you spit at someone. Immigration, sovereignty, even the idea of the State–all these lofty ideals seemed to clash with the gritty details once you stop seeing people as immigrants first and human second.

It’s hard to stomach complicity in these ideas, because once you actually take the time to look, you notice the blood tribute they require. (Content Notice: Violence)

[Read more…]

Poor Persecuted Peterson

Quick! The conservative persecution media circuit has gone like, an entire month without mentioning Jordan Peterson! WE NEED TO FIX THIS!

Jordan Peterson–who, by the way, is making close to $250,000 per year on his Patreon–immediately went to the news to whinge about his latest grant funding application, which was recently denied.

TORONTO — University of Toronto psychology professor Dr. Jordan Peterson has had a federal research grant application denied for the first time in his long and distinguished academic career.

And he’s certain that the rejection from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the government agency that supports post-secondary research, is linked to the controversy surrounding his stand on gender-neutral pronouns such as “zie” and “zher,” and the modern notion of gender as being fluid.

That his application was also rated so poorly is telling, he said, meaning that if the proposal had just missed the mark, it might have been a credible critique, but the proposal failed abysmally.

Julia Gualtieri, spokeswoman for the council, said in an email Monday that grants are awarded through a merit review process, and that “past funding is not a guarantee of further funding.” Names of the peer review committee members will be publicly posted once all applicants have been fully notified, she said.

Were this any other academic, they would likely be disappointed, take a few moments to rant to their peers before rallying, and move the fuck on.

But Poor Persecuted Peterson isn’t just any academic.

“I think that it’s (the controversy) provided someone with a convenient opportunity to make their displeasure with what I’m doing known,” he told Postmedia in a recent phone interview. “I can’t shake the suspicion.”

Just to remind you–this man is a personality psychologist, not exactly a field renown for its watertight methodology. I mean, a reasonable person might just assume that they’ve swung and missed–it’s fine, we’re all human, it happens to all of us. But NO! It’s all part of the ebul freeze peach hatin librultard conspiracy!!! because the only reason anyone could object to his argument is that they’re ess jay double yoo beta cucks and not because he’s literally pulling it from his nether quarters.

Maybe I should consider a career in nailing myself to the cross for profit.

-Shiv

 

Community growing pains

A lot of my long-form work is sitting incomplete since I’ve been spending the past couple weeks with my boots on the ground. March on! Edmonton, the successor to the Women’s March (an American incorporated “Women’s March Canada,” because nothing says “intersectionality” like embracing your inner capitalist scum), had a town hall and I’ve been networking with various community organizers in a bid to coalition-form for the 2019 provincial election and 2020 federal election. It’s a ragtag bunch of misfits, and we’ll see how it goes.

In the mean time, my palm has been glued to my forehead in some of the most migraine-inducing nonsense I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. Edmonton’s BDSM scene is going through some growing pains and it is neatly cleft in twain along an aggravating but not surprising fault line: Consent. There’s my peeps, who are principally concerned with organizing around sexual ethics, and the other peeps, who are literally complaining that our spaces have rules and standards.

Maddening. Utterly maddening that it’s 2017 and people are still trying to pretend that sexual ethics is difficult. I seriously do not have any respect for this debate anymore. We live in a culture that provides a fertile ground for honing sexual predation as a technique, why in the everloving fuck of Dog would you create a space that is especially vulnerable (lots of naked people high on adrenaline) and not police the shit out of it?

Answer? Some of them are the fucking predators. Others are just clueless. I don’t think the distinction matters to me. I’m trying to fight for an ethical BDSM space and that includes telling rape apologists they are unwelcome. But the sheer amount of resistance to a space that affirms bodily autonomy is not encouraging in a broader political landscape that increasingly targets minorities as disposable.

-Shiv

Why we’re so damn prickly

Katelyn Burns penned a piece last year reviewing why the trans community tends to be prickly and persnickety. It’s not exactly rocket science–being anti-trans is a prolific industry, filling the airwaves and distorting people’s perception of you. Asshats spreading misinformation are paid ludicrous sums of money, even as the trans community struggles to scrape enough money together to fund a queer youth crisis shelter. Of course we’re mad. Cis people can’t stop showering asshats with accolades and hundred-dollar bills, meanwhile we’re lucky if we can keep our dead end job.

Content Notice for transphobic slurs.

Now take a step back for a second and imagine the majority of people you run into every day denying you this basic descriptor of yourself. Every day the media runs a fresh story that denies your existence down to your most basic level of being. Every day some white knight actor is claiming credit for all the hard work and advocacy that you and your peers are doing. Imagine that any time someone tries to go on television to defend your most basic self definition, the producers grab the most hateful person available to sit opposite and argue against your existence “to be fair and balanced.” Think of this happening every day. Imagine you had to defend yourself from Twitter trolls every day who seek to deny you the right to describe yourself in your most basic terms. Pretend for a second that every online newspaper article has a comment section filled with the most hateful words thrown at you that you could ever imagine.

I wrote a piece on my experience as a closeted trans woman who grew up playing sports that ran recently on The Cauldron by Sports Illustrated, a site with thousands of regular readers. The next day, someone wrote a fifteen hundred word WordPress blog post calling me a “tranny” (it was in the headline), repeatedly called me a man and suggested that I’m mentally ill and should be locked away. One of the author’s followers suggested he deserves a Pulitzer for it. I felt sick. Here was maybe my proudest professional achievement of my life, and trolls decided that I deserved to be erased from society. I was upset, you would be too. How would you feel running into that every day of your life?

And, of course, if I were to express any frustration or upset at this state of affairs, it would be screencapped by TERFs and hailed as evidence that trans women are inherently violent creatures.

-Shiv

Silver-lining-in-genocide Senator: “binders of letters”

Lynn Beyak, in continuance with her proceedings to divorce from reality, has defended her statements by saying she could make a binder full of women letters in support of the genocidal residential schools Canada ran until 1996.

“I’ve suffered with them up there. I appreciate their suffering more than they’ll ever know,” she said. “The best way to heal is to move forward together. Not to blame, not to point fingers, not to live in the past.”

Beyak, who sits as a member of the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples committee, said she has received hundreds of positive remarks after she delivered a speech in which she chastised the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for not “focusing on the good” of the “well-intentioned” institutions.

“There were two sides to every story. We have 700 letters, we’ll make it a binder, we’ll make it all available,” she said Monday. “Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of letters.”

Somebody get this leaky bagpipe all the god damn seats.

-Shiv