FYI, Jaclyn Glenn Still Sucks

So it’s been a year since the Jaclyn Glenn Plagiarism Scandal where we found out everyone’s favorite YouTube Atheist literally doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been said before by millions of other atheists. She, of course, apologized, and promised she was no longer “out for blood.”  So that means if you go to Jaclyn’s YouTube page, you’ll see better videos, right?

To quote Donald Trump, “Wrong!”

A few days ago Jaclyn made a video with Arielle Scarcella basically saying that there are only two genders, and that all non-binary identified people are just making up new words. Needless to say, people hated it, including Onision, who called out Jaclyn and Arielle for being two cis women talking over trans people’s experiences. Even though Onision is an asshole himself, he made some great points. While Arielle later apologized for her ignorance, Jaclyn got defensive and did the whole “You can’t call me transphobic because I have trans friends” bullshit.

That’s not how this works, Jaclyn. That’s now how any of this works!

I already wrote a blog post criticizing Shoe0nHead’s shitty “There are only two genders” video, so I don’t want to rehash everything I said. However, I will point out that most gender therapists recognize non-binary gender identities. Nicholas M. Teich does in his 2012 book Transgender 101. So do The Transgender Institute (through which I am currently seeing a gender therapist) and British gender therapist Christina Richards. In fact, earlier this year the International Review of Psychiatry published a peer-reviewed articles co-written by Richards that gives mental health professionals a quick rundown on what it means to be genderqueer. Here’s the money quote:

The DSM-5 … includes the diagnosis of gender dysphoria which explicitly recognizes that having a different gender is not a disorder (APA, 2013b) and crucially includes the criteria:

4. A strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender from one’s assigned gender)

5. A strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some alternative gender from one’s assigned gender)

6. A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some alternative gender from one’s assigned gender). (APA, 2013 p. 452.)

Thus non-binary genders are recognized with the APA’s diagnostic taxonomy also.

You hear that, Jaclyn? The fucking APA!

It’s been said that every skeptic has they’re own blind spot, and I guess Jaclyn’s is her insistence that if you say any social justice buzzword, you’re automatically a stupid Tumblr Feminazi SJW. The sad part is I’ve met a lot of people like that. All’s not lost, though. I have a trans friend who is highly critical of the whole non-binary thing, but I sent her the link to the International Review of Psychiatry article, and she promised to read it, so if there’s a chance she can change her mind, maybe Jaclyn can as well.

Of course she is a YouTube Atheist, so who knows?

Is Genderqueer Made Up?: A Response to Shoe0nHead

CN: Transphobia, Dysphoria

To be a good skeptic, you have to listen to what the other side has to say just in case they know something you don’t. So I decided to put on my big kid britches and watch Shoe0nHead‘s “How Many Genders??” video.

While she brought up some good points, overall the video was your typical “Goddamn SJWs” crap.

Most of the video cuts back and forth between a video of three nonbinary people talking about their experiences and Shoe basically saying, “You’re stupid! You’re all just trans-trenders! You think being trans is a fad!” Half-way through the video, anti-feminist anti-Black Lives Matter libertarian Blaire White shows up to explain that trans women’s brain patterns are different than cis men’s, and that nonbinary gender identities were “made up” by academics. The video ends with Shoe creating a false future scenario where kids who come out as straight and cis will go to electroshock therapy like gay kids did in the ’40s. Yes, you read that right!

So now that I’ve summarized the video so you don’t have to watch it, here the points I want to make:

It’s true that, according to various studies, there is a link between different brain patterns and gender identity. It’s true that gender dysphoria is a medical condition recognized by the DSM. It’s true that there are no scientific studies about the origins of nonbinary gender identities. (Believe me, I looked.) However, that’s because there haven’t been any studies on nonbinary people. The subjects of the previously mentioned studies have been binary trans people and cis people. So what we have so far isn’t proof that nonbinary genders don’t exist; scientists just haven’t studied them yet.

Now I know some of you may say, “How is that any different from people who say you can’t disprove God?” Well, unlike God, I can prove I exist, first of all. On a serious note, though, there’s enough scientific data that, if one uses deductive reasoning, can lead one to conclude that there are no gods. We don’t have enough scientific data yet to deduct that nonbinary genders don’t exist.

When it comes to White’s claim that academia “made up” nonbinary genders, that’s not entirely true. Cultural anthropologists have studied various examples of “cogender” in many cultures for years. According to Wikipedia:

In Chile, among the Mapuche in La Araucanía, in addition to heterosexual female “machi” shamanesses, there are homosexual male “machi weye” shamans, who wear female clothing.[2] These machi weye were first described in Spanish in a chronicle of 1673 A.D.[3] Among the Mapuche, “the spirits are interested in machi’s gendered discourses and performances, not in the sex under the machi’s clothes.”[4] In attracting the filew (possessing-spirit), “Both male and female machi become spiritual brides who seduce and call their filew — at once husband and master — to possess their heads … . … The ritual transvestism of male machi … draws attention to the relational gender categories of spirit husband and machi wife as a couple (kurewen).”[5] (In ISKCON—the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness—male premin-devotees are likewise regarded as quasi-female “wives” of the god Kṛṣṇa.) As concerning “co-gendered identities”[6] of “machi as co-gender specialists”,[7] it has been speculated that “female berdaches” may have formerly existed among the Mapuche.[8]

One of the most well-known examples of cogender is the Native American concept of Two-Spirit. Here’s how Sandra Laframboise and Michael Anhorn describe it:

Our Elders tell us of people who were gifted among all beings because they carried two spirits, that of male and female. It is told that women engaged in tribal warfare and married other women, as there were men who married other men. These individuals were looked upon as a third and fourth gender in many cases and in almost all cultures they were honoured and revered. Two-spirit people were often the visionaries, the healers, the medicine people, the nannies of orphans, the care givers (Roscoe 1988). They were respected as fundamental components of our ancient culture and societies. This is our guiding force as well as our source of strength. This is the heart of Two-Spirited People of the 1st Nations (2 Spirit Nation of Ontario) This paper explores what we know of the past of two-spirit people, compares that to the present experience and looks forward to the role that two-spirit people could play in the future of First Nation’s people in Canada and across North America.

 

So contrary to popular belief, Tumblr did not “invent” nonbinary genders.

The third point I want to make is the idea that some nonbinary people do undergo medical transition. According to gender therapist Dara Hoffman-Fox, the 2011 edition of the Standards of Care for the Health of Transexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People states that genderqueer, gender-fluid, and other nonbinary identified people are allowed to medically transition if they need to. Many doctors and surgeons still need a letter from a gender therapist before undergoing medical transition, of course, but medical transition is still an option for nonbinary people.

In fact, if I may get personal for a moment, I’m currently thinking about seeing a gender therapist. I’ve been having a lot of intense emotions lately involving my gender. The other day at work I had this overwhelming feeling that I’m really a girl. It wasn’t the first time I had that feeling, although I don’t feel like that all the time. All I know that the more I express myself femininely, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin. But like I said, this is something I’ll have to discuss with a gender therapist.

As for now, though, let’s use some inductive reasoning to draw some sort of conclusion. First, even though there are no scientific studies on nonbinary gender identities, there are studies that prove there is a neurological basis for gender identity. Second, the concept of gender fluidity has been a part of many cultures throughout history. Third, trans health organizations do say nonbinary people can and should seek medical transitioning if they need it. So my conclusion at this point is that nonbinary gender identity is, in fact, a thing. Of course I could be biased since I’m nonbinary, and there’s always a possibility that I’m wrong. But until new evidence shows up, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

(BTW, if  you’re wondering why I’m not blogging about the Trump tape, that’ll be for this week’s episode of The Biskeptical Podcast. The saltiness shall flow!)

Bi Any Means Podcast #47: Wibby Wobbly Gendery Wendery Stuff with Ari Coleman

My guest today is Ari Coleman, co-host of the Gaytheist Manifesto podcast. Today we’re going to talk about their backstory and a little bit about the science behind gender.

(BTW, sorry I’m posting this a few days late. Been hella busy lately.)

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So Who’s Trav? Listen to my Interview on The Secular Barbershop and Find Out!

So is this Trav person? What’s their backstory? Just take a listen to Uber4ortyse7ven’s interview with me on his podcast The (Secular) Barbershop!

A few things about the interview, first. I talk about suicide, depression, and gender dysphoria, so there’s your CN. Also, I was drinking an IPA during the interview, so hopefully I don’t sound too drunk.