Worker Hammering Square Peg into Round Hole — Image by ©Images.com/Corbis

So this is how the gender-critical fascists are going to handle trans men and women: by simply denying that they exist, insisting that their identity and perspectives and history must be consumed by the ravenous Gender Binary.

I know how this will go. Humans are binary. If you don’t fit our definition of the gender binary, you must not be human. Therefore, we can do with you what we will. It’s eliminationist logic through and through.

And seriously, Ms Dansky, if you’re asked to appear on Tucker Carlson’s show, and are getting the approval of Carlson, Fox News, and his audience, you ought to be questioning your life choices.

This is too true.


  1. Susan Montgomery says

    So, what is the point of “Non-Binary” if the binary doesn’t exist to begin with?

    Seriously, our inability or unwillingness to clearly and consistently define what trans is leaves the door open for people like Dansky to say we don’t exist at all.

  2. raven says

    Trans people have been disappeared.

    They are also being…cancelled!!!

    Hmmm, I thought right wingnuts were against cancel culture.
    Even though they invented it.

  3. Aoife_b says

    @1 Bigots like Dansky will torture logic and facts regardless of our definitions, this isn’t because we don’t have a clear and consistent definition

  4. Ada Christine says

    @1 the most basic definition of what trans is-from my perspective-is not being the gender you were assigned at birth. this encompasses binary as well as non-binary genders.

    @3 exactly right. they’re not interested in intellectual rigor of any kind, they’re interested in keeping us marginal and at their mercy

  5. Hex says

    The point of “non-binary” is an umbrella term to encompass gender identities that aren’t “male” or “female”. Enough people use those two labels for it to be useful to have a term that basically means “a gender identity that is not either of those”. One’s personal gender identity is a feeling, and given how nebulous and wide-ranging those are, we can only do so much with words to describe them. Unless you could accurately map someone’s internal mental state, there’s not really any physical aspects you can put under a microscope and say “oh, that person is trans/has this gender identity”. I feel a lot of this is conservatives completely missing the point on gender identity and labels, insisting on there having to be a verifiable signifier outside of “these are words the person uses to describe their qualia of gender”, so they make strawman arguments claiming that nonbinary or trans people “deny science” even though no one is making serious arguments that like, our chromosomes change after undergoing HRT or surgery or whatever. What we’re actually saying is that placing people into two boxes that prescribe their social roles for the rest of their lives based on a few physical sex characteristics at birth is pretty crappy.

  6. KG says

    In related news, the UK’s “Equalities and Human Rights Commission” has called on the Scottish government to “pause” gender recognition reforms (which would do away with the need for a medical diagnosis and a 2-year wait), thus pandering to the transphobe lobby. This confirms (after its complete failure to investigate Islamophobia within the Conservative Party, in contrast to its condemnation of Labour over much less blatant antisemitism) that the EHRC should not be regarded as an impartial or good-faith body.

    The planned Scottish reforms are among the most consulted-on measures in UK legislative history, with the great majority of responses being in favour of them. Pushing ahead with the new Gender Recognition Act embodying them was one of the points agreed between the SNP government and my own party the Scottish Greens. If the SNP government caves in (there is a significant transphobic faction within the SNP and the government’s initial response was not reassuring), I’ll be among those pressing for the Scottish Greens to wirhdraw from the cooperation agreement.

  7. says

    My current response is “Why are you lying about trans people? Denying the existence of people I know is insulting.”
    An environment where people can decide what they are is one of my goals. I currently avoid discussing what people are (with the exception of myself) with such people after dismissing their dismissal. From there I haven’t had the opportunity to do much because LGBT+ issues haven’t come up in the nextdoor political boards.

    Relatedly I have mentioned that non-binary fits me best there. This is another place where I have some useful privilige because I don’t feel these word the same. I can’t be simply harassed away by others, and someone trying to use those words to make an appeal have to have more than the words and speaking with authority with me.

  8. Susan Montgomery says

    @5 and do you really think the average American is going to do all that homework – or understand it even if they did?

  9. Aoife_b says

    @8 I don’t concern myself greatly with “what will the people who don’t like me think of this”. They’re going to hate what I do regardless of me trying to make nice with hem

  10. says

    What “hipster aloofness”? Where’s the claim Aoife_g is going to practice unclear communication?

    I think telling a hater to fuck off is an example of clear, direct engagement.

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    @1: For many, the default system of gender classification is binary. A realistic system is nonbinary. Is that clear enough for you?

  12. raven says

    They’re going to hate what I do regardless of me trying to make nice with hem


    These are bigots.
    They hate what you are and they hate you for existing. It doesn’t matter one bit what you say or do.

    Chances are good they also hate uppity women, nonwhites, nonxians, atheists, scientists, vaccines, climatologists, Democrats, the educated, and all the LGBTQ+ groups. The right wingnuts are all poly-haters.

  13. Rich Woods says

    @raven #13:

    The right wingnuts are all poly-haters.

    They’re equal-opportunity haters, in both senses of the adjective.

  14. vucodlak says

    @ Susan Montgomery, #1,8, and 10
    What solution(s) do you propose? Why is it necessary for “the average American” to have a comprehensive grasp of the realities of existence for a particular minority in order to respect our basic humanity?

  15. says

    I’m with PZ’s #11.

    Aoife_b said pretty clearly that they believe that they have, and they certainly advocate the use of, clear definitions.

    They just also believe that bigots will be willfully obtuse when that serves their bigotry. Whatever reasons we have for the definitions we choose and employ, the answer to the question, “Will bigots think this definition is acceptable?” isn’t in the top 5 million.

    Over a long period of time, Susan, you’ve dropped some useful things here, but in the past year or so I can’t remember being a single time when I thought you were contributing something important that no one else had, and yet I know of several times when I thought your contributions were counterproductive and argumentative.

    No one’s forcing you to be nice or anything, but I notice myself being less and less willing to pay attention to what you’re saying. If you actually have an agenda and actually have points you’d like to communicate, strategies or tactics you’d like to advocate, you might consider that how you’re going about it right now isn’t helping you with your natural allies. If you don’t give a flying fuck about anything, do whatever as long as PZ considers you welcome. But otherwise, you might want to think about what you’re saying to the people around you.

  16. Ada Christine says


    It’s hardly “hipster aloofness” to make peace with the fact that continually engaging in the contortion act that bigots want to make us go through to justify ourselves is a losing game. the goalposts will move again and again ad nauseum. it’s simply not worth it. the “average american” needs to rise up to the level of respecting our personhood before a productive conversation is going to even begin to take place.

  17. says

    Crip Dyke @ #16:

    Over a long period of time, Susan, you’ve dropped some useful things here, but in the past year or so I can’t remember being a single time when I thought you were contributing something important that no one else had, and yet I know of several times when I thought your contributions were counterproductive and argumentative.

    Same. :(

  18. StevoR says

    @10. Susan Montgomery : What’s wrong with people being either hipsters or aloof?

    Or trans.

    If that’s them and what they are or choose to be and they aren’t hurting anyone else then what’s the problem?

    Unclear communication, okay. What part of what #9 Aoife_b said was unclear to you exactly? Seemed pretty straightforward, direct and clear to me – and I agree with what Aoife-B wrote.

    @14. Rich Woods : Hate magnetism going along with crank magnetism.

    @8. Susan Montgomery : What and who is the “average American” and why does it matter? Becuase they vote I guess (although average USA in past has seen extremely low turnout sometimes with catastrophic results.Whole other issue tho’) Maybe your right, maybe the average (or even maybe the median) American citizen won’t do their homework. Maybe they just don’t care and as long as they aren’t hurting or bigoted towards others, so what? Also maybe should we try to improve the understanding of the majority of Americans and enage with them and increase their understanding by say, exposure to trans people, increased visibility of trans and non-binary people, education about trans people and fighting bigotry against trans people.

    Would you really oppose any of those things and, if so, why?

  19. Aoife_b says

    Here, I’ll give you clarity. I’ve been thru enough asinine discourse online to recognise someone asking “what is the point of non-binary?” and implying that bigots would be nicer if we had definitions is likely not asking the first in good faith and is using the second to gatekeep. I’ve talked with enough people in my community to see that any definition I set for myself will likely fail as soon as it’s applied to another human unless it’s as broad as logically possible. Furthermore, I know when to pick a battle that can be won. Arguing definitions with a bigot is rolling in the mud with a pig. There’s better ways to address it, like derad work for bigots or simply talking with clueless cis people

  20. DLC says

    Faux Newt exists to do two things: Piss people off, and scare people. The first goal is directed at it’s target audience but often incidentally causes people like me to get steamed. I don’t watch because my blood pressure is too high as it is. The second thing they do is try to scare people. Scared people are easier to manipulate. Scared people are a step from anger, and angry people can be made to hate. And once they hate, they’re yours. It’s a real life “path to the Darkside.”

  21. Susan Montgomery says

    @19. Its easy for you and PZ to be casual about pointless provocation. As straight white hetero males, ths consequences of those provocations don’t come down on you. However unfair and unjust, they come down on us.

    And I’m entirely in favor of open engagement but we have to keep in mind that most people don’t have the background information that we have. Ask yourself whether you’re actually trying to help or you’re looking to feed your ego by showing how much better you are.

    @20 I support your owning those feelings.

  22. StevoR says

    @ ^ Susan Montgomery : That. Doesn’t actually answer or address any of my questions to you.

    Also “pointless provocation” to put those questions to youand not e thatn trasn peopel are NOT doing you any harm? Really?

    What actual harm do you think you face from trans people exactly?

  23. StevoR says

    Typoes fix :

    Also “pointless provocation” to put those questions to you and note that trans people are NOT doing you any harm?