Even the Canadian humanists! Here’s a conversation between two old cis guys about what to do about the trans folk, featuring Carey Linde, a divorce lawyer and activist for men’s rights (I say it that way to avoid implying that he is an outright MRA freak) and Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, a psychologist and member of Humanist Canada. I don’t know why they’re even talking about trans rights, but they had to stake out their claim. I’ll just post a few excerpts to let you get the flavor.
First, Linde explains the source of the problem. It’s those darned trans people becoming conspicuous!
If you mean for the trans community, it was the developing collectivity of community. This increasing conspicuous collectivity in the public eye caused the very phobia from which the community wished to escape. As with acceptance of blacks and gays over time, gender identity issues and people are ubiquitous in the media. It is all less sensitive to a growing progressive set of the population. At the same time, the faith based right is rallying and dangerous. Gender radical feminists are under literal attack by the trans warriors.
There’s the usual bafflement about allowing trans women to compete in athletics, and the usual expectation that this is all a ploy to allow rapists with penises into women’s locker rooms, from Robertson.
Relying on recent federal legislation, the Ontario courts have forced the Ontario Minor Hockey Association to allow adolescents with female bodies to change in male change rooms. This is the kind of social experiment no university ethics committee would ever approve. One of two outcomes is possible. Either a number of people with girl’s bodies will be sexually assaulted by adolescent boys, or they will not. If we don’t see sexual assaults flowing from this experiment then we may reasonably decide that we do not need separate facilities for males and females at least for safety reasons. We are beginning to see this change with respect to the washroom issue. If, on the other hand, we see a number of sexual assaults, the logical conclusion would be to end the experiment; however, I don’t think that will happen. I think politically, the politicians behind the experiment will refuse to accept its failure. They will double down with increasing expensive measures to protect the genetically female while engaging in male-blaming, perhaps with references to “toxic masculinity.” But we as a society do not need to follow them down this hole.
He has another rationale for why the trans folk are getting more riled up.
One of the new phenomena fueling the panic is the increasing number of young girls and women deciding that being a boy in this world is a safer bet than being a girl. And the medical profession and big pharma is right their to enable this delusion.
Uh, what? Is there a single trans man on the planet who made their decision because being trans was safer than being a woman?
Then we get some ad hoc evidence-free evolutionary psychology and cultural anthropology.
We have the situation of men being more accepting of transmen than women are of transwomen. The hypothesis that men are more accepting of diversity would require more study across different groups; however such an explanation would be more acceptable to feminists than the obvious alternative, that biological women are protecting their privileges from competition while men have no such privileges to protect.
If men are more accepting of diversity, it would have to be a function of socialization. The testosterone that gives men their sexuality also translates into stronger bones, more muscle mass, and increased aggression and competitiveness. These latter two traits were necessary in traditional hunter gathering societies to fearlessly challenge competitors, both predatory and human, to protect bands that were essentially extended families. But aggression and competitiveness needs to be controlled or channelled if civilization is to work. Religion played a pivotal role in controlling and channelling male aggressive instincts in the formative years of our human civilizations. We have largely transcended religion by secularizing our ethics and expanding their application to all humanity, as for example, with the establishment of universal human rights. And we have been incredibly successful. Steven Pinker has meticulously documented how we now have fewer homicides, fewer deaths due to war, more gender equality and lower poverty than ever before in human history.
The argument would be then that the history of civilization is, at least in part, a history of controlling and channelling male testosterone. That aggression has been channelled into business, sports, politics and protection of the nation-state. Men have been conditioned to increasingly ignore minor or insubstantive difference, but of course there are numerous variables that also influence behaviour in particular contexts. Of concern to me is that tribalism has been increasing with a recent focus on ideological, cultural and racial identities and that this will result in breaking down the more universal humanist ethic. To take the argument full circle then, if the process of civilization included the aspect of controlling and channelling male testosterone-linked behaviours, then we would expect that women would have been less affected by this aspect of socialization. This would have left women more susceptible to ancient xenophobic fears including fear of “the other.”
Men more accepting of diversity. Yeah, right; men’s locker rooms and clubs are such hotbeds of sensitivity. Men, conditioned to ignore minor differences…I guess it’s true that there are no Republicans in Canada. It’s a bizarre set of evidence-free rationalizations to simultaneously suggest that men are roiling cauldrons of fierce hormones (to protect us from bears, don’t you know) and that men are therefore better socialized to be accepting and less xenophobic. That’s all nonsense, including their belief that humans needed big muscley aggressive warriors in their evolution — if that were really the case, how ever did gracile Homo sapiens ever succeed where Neanderthals died off? It’s almost as if there were more complex factors beyond the usual cartoon caveman trope.
Atheists have been embarrassing me for years. Don’t you humanists start!