52.5 Years Late

Apparently athletes who believe in justice will be no more or less welcome on this year’s US Olympic team than racist athletes. From the Fort Worth Star Telegram:

Athletes at the United States Olympic trials will be allowed to take part in racial and social justice demonstrations, including taking a knee during the national anthem.

Athletes can kneel during the anthem or hold up their fist on the podium. The latter was famously done as a Black Power salute by track-and-field athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the 1968 Olympics at Mexico City.

Wearing a hat with phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” or “Trans Lives Matter,” or words such as “equality” or “respect” will also be allowed. Furthermore, the committee is letting athletes speak about equity and equal rights for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color individuals, or other historically underrepresented, marginalized or minoritized populations.”

They’re letting athletes have opinions, and even to say them out loud. Isn’t that sweet? I wonder what Tommie Smith & John Carlos would say?

Tommie Smith & John Carlos just medaled in the 200 meter sprint and yet they wanted more.

Yeah, probably that. Always wanting more, always wanting better. When will they learn that the US has already fulfilled its promise and its time to shut it down lest including too many people spoil our hallowed equality? Next thing you know, athletes at the winter Olympics in 2022 will be wearing hats saying, “Feed the hungry,” or “Health care for all”.

In which I am a sportsball fanatic

I am not a big time sportsball fan. But also, I am not a sportsball boycotter. My oldest friend grew up in northern Connecticut and was a diehard Patriots fan. The Patriots, if you are  not aware, play the NFL handegg game which results in so many concussions and other injuries to its players. They also sucked rocks for the entire time my friend was growing up. Their one shining moment from my friend’s earlier years was getting to the Superb Owl only to be destroyed in one of the most lopsided NFL championship games ever, or so I’m told. So of course he reveled in the last 2 decades when Tom Brady played for the Patriots & won them several Owls.

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llyris, daulnay, & Iran give us a lesson in correlation and causation: Part 2

And here we are, part 2 of our extravaganza. We’ll focus on daulnay’s comments for a bit. First I think it important to acknowledge that this is daulnay’s first comment in that thread:

This is an anecdote, and also data; an outlier data point that needs to be accounted for.
A member of my family, who I’ve known well their entire (20ish years) life, is transitioning (M->F). At age 6, they were drawn to female characters. Throughout childhood (and beyond) when they played computer games, they would make a female character. They strongly resisted coaching to conform to male stereotypes, like stiff-upper-lipping pain or putting up with discomfort. A few years after puberty, they became more and more depressed, then suicidal. They described feeling that the body they were in was wrong, and felt life was unbearable. After starting transition, the suicidal urges disappeared. They’re much happier, and planning to live a long life.
For her relatives, this lifts an immense dread. The family she sees day-to-day is very accepting, and she’s found a larger trans community online. Where there was despair, now there’s bright hope for the future.
This is what transition is about, not a ‘social contagion’ but fixing something fundamentally askew.

This comment is clearly a statement of support for PZ’s OP, and for trans* liberation in general. When daulnay later asserts being an ally to trans* people, there’s a reason for that. They do seem to be speaking up in favor of gender liberation and against ATR (Anti-Trans Reactionary) philosophies at least some of the time. But I’m not here to praise good daulnay comments, but to criticize the bad ones. Trans, genderqueer, non-binary: lend me your ears.

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Embarrassing admissions that don’t really embarrass me anymore: part the first

Before we go any further, I don’t actually know that there will ever be a part 2, but who knows, I’ve had lots of embarrassing moments in my life so maybe someday we’ll have a part 3,246. Might as well start out the naming convention with room for growth, then, eh?

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llyris, daulnay, & Iran give us a lesson in correlation and causation: Part 1

So by placing this here, I’m guaranteeing that it will be missed by many, but again I have to say some things that feel inappropriate as a comment (lest they take up too much space) and also might risk being lost on the internet if I ever wanted to track them down again at a later date. So here we are, making an OP out of molehill, again.

The need to say these things arises out of a thread over on Pharyngula. It’s this one, if you couldn’t guess. While PZ’s OP is fine and most of the discussion is as well, a few things crashed together destructively. I think this is important to tackle because it is an example of how people who think of themselves as allies can get called out for good reasons, but the imprecision of everyday language makes it hard for anyone to get past the fact of calling out to actually learn any lessons from it. Trans folk may think that people aren’t honestly trying to be on their side (because, frankly, we’ve seen a lot of bad faith arguments and it can be hard to tell the difference between “bad faith deployment of misinformation” and “good faith repetition of misinformation”) when, yes, they are trying. People working to be allies may simply not understand the lessons on offer and conclude that some is – wait for it – being hysterical. They may even quit listening. And this too is not entirely outrageous since merely being trans doesn’t guarantee that one is a good or even reasonable source of information. Being trans doesn’t prevent someone from saying stupid shit about being trans or about cissexism.

But in this case there is a problem (or two), and a huge one (or two), with things embedded in the comments of Ilyris & daulnay, and I think this needs discussion.

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On Hasbro’s Potato Head Be It

Conservatives: Gender is all about the penis. If you were born with a penis, you’re a man. If not, you’re a woman. These are the inevitable facts about gender encoded in the laws of biology. You can’t change that by just calling yourself by a different name or using a different pronoun, and I won’t submit to your linguistic fascism, not even if you attempt to enforce it through cancel-culture economic terrorism!

Also Conservatives: This no-dick, extruded-plastic root vegetable is a man: how dare you disrespect him by removing his proper title? Next you’ll be calling this nutritious, starchy gentleman “it”! FOR SHAME. Call him “Mister” or I shall boycott your company forever!