A misogynist by any other name would smell just as putrid

On August 10 earlier this year, I concluded that the weakly supported theory of autogynephilia (AGP) remains popular among a certain subset of sexologists because of its utility for dismissing trans women. A careful look at the methodology that produced the theory quickly demonstrates its fatal flaws, and yet the theory is, to this day, occasionally cited as a reason to dismiss a trans woman’s opinion as unreliable. In brief review, the theory posits that there are two (and only two) etiologies by which gender dysphoria is produced in trans women: The first, the bizarre and easily falsified notion that it is easier to be a trans woman than an effeminate gay man; the second, sexual arousal at the thought of oneself as possessing culturally female attributes. The former are confusingly named “homosexual,” (as in women attracted to men), the latter “heterosexual” (as in women attracted to women). Science!

Ray Blanchard was only able to propose this conclusion by ignoring vast portions of his data and framing his subjects as liars, thus rendering his theory unfalsifiable when tested with his own methodology. The theory, naturally, doesn’t pan out when investigated by Blanchard’s peers.

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They’re on to me!!!

Joe Miller and William Briggs apparently spoke on a Conservative radio show about a new brain study that has them in a tizzle. Now, brain studies which attempt to draw conclusions from “activity”–images where the exchange of oxygen are highlighted by pretty neon colours in the brain–are notoriously fickle. To me there have always been an indeterminate amount of dots to connect between x behaviour and y region of the brain being active during that behaviour. So this is less about the study, to which I am largely skeptical, and more about the hilarious and improbable panic displayed by Miller and Briggs:

Joe Miller and his guest William Briggs, a statistician and adjunct professor at Cornell University, had a long discussion about the recent UCLA study. According to a release by the University of York, the study sought to understand how the posterior medial frontal cortex influences ideology, specifically religion and nationalism.

Using transcranial magnets, the researchers were able target and temporarily shut down the region. Subjects were asked questions about death and to rate a negative essay about the United States they were told was written by an immigrant. The result of the magnetic destimulation of the area of the brain in question resulted in less belief in religion and greater acceptance of immigrants.

This prompted Briggs to fear that the study would lead to “eugenics” targeting conservatives.

Considering “religion” and “nationalism” are absolutely taught behaviours, there is no way to detect their presence in a newly fertilized zygote, and thus no way to terminate a zygote with these qualities (deemed, perhaps not unfairly, undesirable to progressives). So right away we’re off to a bad start.

“Basically what they’re doing is they’re trying to bring back eugenics even, in a way,” Briggs said, his voice wavering. “Because they’re identifying what they say are biological constituents for belief. Therefore they’re able to test for these biological constituents.”

This is a pretty stunning error. There is a much needed moment to slow down and define precisely what we mean by “biological.” Neurology forms because of biological constituents, yes, but it is influenced by its input from environment. It sounds like we’re stumbling down the nature/nurture distinction which desperately needs to be retired. It doesn’t really exist, because our nurture affects our nature (and frequently vice versa).

He worried that people might think he was joking or being paranoid.

“But no, this is exactly it,” he continued. “There was a story this week too.. that some employers are now asking for DNA samples, not just to detect potential medical maladies, but to look for these kind of character traits they think they have identified that make one a lesser person.”

I mean, as I said, causative mechanisms from “having a trait in DNA” to “having that trait’s phenotype” are far from a straight line. There is no way anyone with even basic genetics literacy would actually support this. While I imagine employers are trying to do this, it’s not immediately apparent why so-called liberals would favour it.

Then, here’s the bombshell:

Miller then hinted that the magnets may be used by transgender people against people of faith.

I don’t know if paranoid is my word of choice. “Improbable,” perhaps.

“The whole transgender crowd, they see their main opponent as being those of faith and so obviously they’re going to use any aggressive tactics they can to move forward that agenda,” Miller said. “This is still minority opinion though, right? In psychology and elsewhere?”

There it is folks. I’ve been doing it wrong the whole time. Screw fact-checking, consciousness raising, building community resilience, leafleting, campaigning, and education.

I’m using MAGNETS.

-Shiv

I henceforth declare Jordan Peterson beyond parody

Bill C-16 came and passed, and now that Jordan Peterson has no steam for his conspiratorial ramblings about trans people, he’s taken a totally and completely unexpected turn to advocating for domestic violence.

University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson went on a “little tirade” about “female insanity” and what he thinks is “undermining the masculine power of the culture” in a “fatal” way.

Peterson is a controversial U of T psychologist who has been making headlines for the last year over his refusal to recognize students’ use of gender-neutral pronouns.

Since then, Peterson has become a cult figure in corners of Canada’s conservative movement and the online alt-right, making an appearance at last year’s Manning Centre conference in Ottawa where he celebrated disgraced Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulous, as well as crowdsourcing funds with the help of Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant, testifying at a Senate committee on human rights legislation and even inspiring policies adopted by Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

A pedophile apologist, a thrice-libelous leaking ass-pimple, and a reboot of Harper’s software in marginally younger hardware. What unbiased company he keeps.

We’re going to disgest Peterson in brief nuggets here:

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A Jewish guy cut me off in traffic and now I’m a Nazi

GamerGate reached its zenith long before I began writing in earnest. I was fortunate to not be a direct target due to the lack of any public profile. Even so, it was obvious to me that it was not a movement with any clear or coherent claims about “ethics in games journalism” so much as it was directionless rage at the existence of anyone not cis, heterosexual, white, able-bodied, and/or a man, particularly in gaming spaces. Despite this, I was, at the time, surprised to learn that the movement and its posterboys had actual apologists claiming arguments as asinine as “you not being a doormat is why Nazis exist.” The title of this post was supposed to be a parody of centrists… I didn’t expect them to be so disconnected that they’d actually make that argument.

This was before I noticed the utter moral vacuity that is political centrism, and if I’m honest, seeing otherwise respected pundits bat for these sadistic, nihilistic shitheels would be the first of many steps damaging my enthusiasm for representative politics altogether. It would also be the start of my descent into the rabbit hole where I found out that every atrocious crime against humanity in history has its defenders.

Of course, to this day, mentioning GamerGate inevitably results in trolls flooding my Twitter feed and getting caught in my comments filter (I daren’t publish such filth). To this day they are stalking every mention of their movement. I wasn’t even a concerted target of their harassment and I figured out, like three years ago, what was really motivating them. Then “news” of alt-right posterboy Milo Yiannopoulos’ connections with white supremacists broke out and all these centrist pundits have the fucking chutzpah to act surprised.

I guess folks still aren’t listening.

GamerGate wasn’t new, it was an escalation and formal marshaling of longstanding forces (one can’t even say they were dormant, just disorganized). Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon saw the terroristic power of GamerGaters’ rage against something as simple as a gay videogame character, and it’s no wonder they set about trying to harness it for ever more consequential ends. What’s gobsmacking about Bernstein’s report is that it took incontrovertible proof that Yiannopoulos did things like use Nazi-themed passwords for his emails, and literally sent one of his most famous articles to actual neo-Nazis for line edits, for some people to go “oh, maybe we should’ve listened” (never mind that evidence of Yiannopoulos’ history of Nazi sympathy has been out there for a long time).

More grating still are people who actually worked with Yiannopoulos because they saw him as useful to their “anti-PC” crusade, now trying to cover their asses. There was a furious alacrity to Cathy Young publishing an article at Forward that pretends to be a mea culpa, at once saying she “take[s] full responsibility” for “enabling” Yiannopoulos, and then trying to find a way to blame her “PC Police” bugbear for him as well. “If people who gave Yiannopoulos a pass on bad behavior (myself included) were his enablers,” she wrote, “so was the politically correct culture that fueled his ascent.”

If everyone is to blame, then no one is. Which, one suspects, is rather the point of her writing this.

If you think you won’t pull out your hair, watch the shameless attempts at damage control by the pundits who profited off calling GamerGate targets hysterical.

-Shiv

While we’re at it, the Daily Fail can fuck off too

I apparently have to start a series like this.

The Daily Mail, July 30 2017:

Daily Mail seeks out opinion of an artist (?) expressing the opinion that puberty blockers are bad “because sterilisation.”

 

The Daily Mail, October 1 2017:

Preserving fertility of trans teenagers is bad because it’s “too expensive.”

This is why I don’t play optics with avowed trans-antagonists. There is no way for me to please the Daily Fail except to fucking die so they can sell magazines about why I should be locked up with men in prison.

Fuck off you poncy fascist sockpuppets.

-Shiv

 

 

Did you need a “safe file”?

When I’m hosting a seminar on gender questioning, gender variant, and transgender youth, probably the one item met with the greatest degree of shock is the concept of the “safe file.” Parents supporting their children–that is, not subjecting them to discipline or psychological torture–in their gender questioning process are often met with specious accusations of abuse. The “logic” is that gender variance doesn’t exist, so any child exhibiting it (or even thinking about it) must be, by definition, an abused child. The safe file is the parents’ one stop shop for all their documents proving the child’s health and, if relevant, their gender dysphoria diagnosis, and it’s necessary to argue to the State that you are, in fact, doing what the medical consensus says supports your child best. It’s only necessary because the bigots take their “won’t anybody think of the children” shriek to meatspace, and report these families to children’s services.

Now, it would be bad enough to report someone for not torturing their kid, but the scary part is that family court has occasionally concurred. An Alberta family judge ruled that a parent’s custody was contingent on ruthlessly policing what their child wore, and this ruling was not overturned for half a year, and only came after the mother was unjustly stripped of custody. Mermaids UK has also covered British examples where single-mothers following the medical consensus had their custody stripped under arguments as ridiculous as “your child can’t be a trans girl, he likes Spongebob,” and explicitly mandated conversion therapy should the child ever question their gender again.

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Oh, I have not self-flagellated sufficiently for The Cis, what monster am I

Back in the good old days of 2011 when Nazis were indisputably punchable and the President of the United States did not issue orders via Twitter, a fellow by the name of Paul Elam launched a website called “Register Her.” It was a domain dedicated to publishing the photographs, home addresses, phone numbers, routes to work and/or any other personal information folks could acquire–a practice commonly called “doxxing”–of women who have caused “significant harm to innocent individuals.” Alongside convicted female sex offenders and murderers were… women whose sexual assault allegations were defeated in court. Most feminists would recognize the problems immediately: How there exists a gap between morality and legality; how courts must convict with evidence that proves the defendant performed the deed “beyond all reasonable doubt;” how an acquittal doesn’t necessarily mean the action had not occurred. And that’s without taking into account the evidence that most law systems perform poorly when attempting to prosecute sexualized violence. The final, perhaps most critical detail, is that he wasn’t the sole contributor. His followers can and did propose their own profiles for the women who had, in their view, wronged them, and doxxing soon became a mainstay of online “men’s rights activism.” It became an assumption that if you were being filmed by MRAs, your face could end up on the darknet, and your details shortly thereafter.

Most people would agree, given this context, that if Paul Elam walks up to you with a video camera and you’re a woman, he’s engaging in an act of intimidation, because we know what he does with those images. Now the courts might say “it’s legal to film someone in public,” but, again, recalling our morality/legality gap, courts have also said upskirt photographs are legal too. Again, it’s not a particularly difficult analysis to perform–the law is behind most people’s conceptions for morality, so the argument “it’s legal” should be understood to be irrelevant when the actual discussion is ethics. It is, in essence, surrendering the argument altogether, though to those of an authoritarian bend it is convincing.

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At this point the anti-trans crowd isn’t shy about lying through their fucking teeth

Lydia Bilton (nor her editor, for that matter) couldn’t even make it one article without contradicting herself.

An expert gets it wrong? Do tell.

Journalism pro-tip:

The mom

is not

an expert

And frankly, she’s blaming the doctors because she didn’t follow their orders. That’s bad enough, if she wasn’t trying to “warn” people about the fucking healthcare regime that she deliberately defied.

Fuck off, 9News, and fuck you, Ali.

-Shiv

 

 

Threatening protesters with 75 years is totally reasonable, rules #j20 judge

I find myself gobsmacked in reading these statements. The entire argument by the hundreds of defence lawyers for the J20 defendants mass arrested on Trump’s inauguration is that taking protesters to trial for 55+ years worth of charges is an act of intimidation in and of itself, in violation of the First Amendment. The j20 judge just kind of… completely ignores the implications of Kerkhoff’s [the prosecutor] actions and ploughs straight ahead.

“The government comes in and says my client is liable for a felony—all they’ve established is that he’s arrested, not even what he did during the march,” defense attorney Veronice Holt argued in July. “You can’t just say, ‘As many people as the government can catch need to stand trial.'”

But Judge Lynn Leibovitz writes in her decision that the charging document has all of the necessary specificity to go to trial. The government says that all of the defendants operated as part of the “black bloc,” using those tactics to commit violence and evade identification. Because the government is using aiding and abetting and conspiracy liability, “each defendant charged in the indictment may be liable for the acts of others alleged in the indictment,” writes the judge

Yes, Leibovitz. That’s the fucking problem. If these charges result in conviction, it’s a blank cheque to police to scoop up as many people as they want, as long as some twit breaks a window.

She also rejected the argument that the charges amounted to a First Amendment violation. Defense lawyers said that people might protest less if they feared they would be held legally responsible for the actions of others.

But Leibovitz writes that those arguments are, in essence, also about whether the government has evidence against the individual defendants that would justify their charges, a question she writes is better addressed at trial, the first of which is slated to start in November. She concludes that the indictment’s details survive both First and Fourth Amendment challenges.

In essence? Threatening you with several decades is entirely reasonable and not at all intimidation.

Solidarity is now evidence for conspiracy.

I’m sure the freeze peachers will be here any minute now.

-Shiv