What does it cost to use trans pronouns?

“What will it cost you to use the preferred pronouns of trans people?” she asked. This is a very good question, and not just for me, but for all of society. Even as a child with a few cents, we had to choose between one expensive chocolate and a handful of cheap toffees – how much more do we need to do cost-benefit comparisons of large proposed societal changes?

1) It costs mental energy

To explain, I will use a little exercise. Say the colours in which each of these words are written:

Thank you! Now say the colours of the font – not the spelled words – for each of these: (Purple, grey…)

The second exercise went more slowly and took a lot more mental energy, because you had to deny what you see, and say something else.

Similarly, to remember to talk of someone like Danielle Muscato, transwoman, as “she” takes some mental energy, which could have been used on something else:

Danielle Muscato

2) It costs some youths their sexual bodies

Many young adults deeply regret losing their penises, breasts or uteri to the trans craze. They wish their looks were never masculinized or feminized. They wish they could have children. They wish the body parts that could have sexual pleasure was not mutilated. One of the reasons they are mutilated, is because people kept calling them “he” or “she”, affirming to them that the feeling in their mind is the truth, and their bodies has to be adjusted to fit that truth.

3) It costs some of us our identities

When a trans ally first told me: “Your vagina does not make you a woman“, I was baffled. If being a vagina-having adult does not make me fit into the group called “women”, and people without them could identify into womanhood while people with them could identify out, then what is my group called? What should I say when I have to fill in one of the many forms that bureaucracy demands from me? Fill in what I feel? I can only feel I am a woman if womanhood have some definition in my head.

Even more important, I speak up for women’s rights in church – but the penis owners who think of themselves as women already have those rights! If we change the meaning of “women”, I need to change my writing on women in church to talk about those who are disadvantaged – but trans people tell me I do not have a word for my group, in order to discuss our issues!

4) It costs the loss of terms to discuss large and important demographic groups.

Have anyone ever done a study on how common violence by Coca Cola drinkers are, versus violence by Pepsi drinkers?

It is ridiculous, right? We do not measure violence by personal preference. Except, nowadays we do.

We used to be able to say that the class of people who have penises, called men, are statistically more violent than those who have vaginas, called women. But where police use preferred genders to report crime, we say those who, for whatever reason, prefer the name “man” are statistically more violent.

But making policy to keep people with the word preference “women” safe from people with another word preference is silly. Why have, for example, a “women’s shelter”, if “woman” is just a word people may or may not like to use? It is as silly as a Pepsi drinkers’ shelter where Coke drinkers are not allowed.

If “women”, on the other hand, is a recognizable word with meaning, and part of that meaning is that it is the class recognized to be statistically more likely to suffer from physical violence from the other sex class, who is stronger on average, then a women’s shelter makes sense.

In that case, it also makes sense to study why one sex class is a lot more violent.

Does it make sense to study heart attack symptoms in women? Only if women are a biological class. If women are simply a group of people who like a certain word, it makes as much sense as comparing the heart attack symptoms of to-mah-to pronouncers versus to-may-to pronouncers. Suppose you want to study heart attacks in a particular sex class, but doctors report gender identity instead of sex, whose medical records do you look at to study these heart attacks? And when the doctor hear a woman is coming in with symptoms which are common heart attack symptoms in penis people but not vagina people, how quickly can the doctors help if they do not know whether this “woman” is from the penis group or not?

5) It cost us our ability to reject sexist stereotypes

If we have to call a guy with false eyelashes, high heels and a dress “she”, are we promoting sexist stereotypes? Are we saying that these things are womanly? Caitlyn Jenner, for example, said: “The hardest think about being a woman is deciding what to wear.” If I call Caitlyn “she”, I seem to be agreeing with Caitlyn that what you wear is a component of what makes you a woman. And I seem to be throwing women under the bus who dress in a masculine way, as well as those who do not think about clothes.

6) It costs us our integrity

We are asked to say things which, at best, we have no evidence for the truth of it. We all know a word needs a definition before it could be used meaningfully. Not one trans person wants to tell me how they define “man” or “woman”. To repeat words despite knowing that (by the definition we know) they are not true is to become dishonest.

7) It costs some people years before they could accept themselves for who they are

If we keep on calling a boy a girl, we encourage him to not accept himself for what he truly is. In fact, we help him to believe the opposite. If we continually call a woman “he”, we also work for her not to accept herself. Yet, they can never fully become the other sex, but only bear a superficial resemblance by working hard on it.

For the same reason that I won’t call an anorexic “fat”, I would not knowingly accept the pronouns of a trans person.


This may or may not be an itemized bill – there may be other costs I did not think of. If you say this price is worth it, in order to affirm the identity of a minority group – did you read the list? Point 3) shows that large groups of people have their identity stolen to pay for this. If identity is so important, why do you think we should lose ours? As for me, I am not willing to pay this price.

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I am on the autism spectrum. Here is why I hate “Rain Man”

Rain man, by Leonore Fleischer, is in some ways a really good book. If it was not, nobody would have made a major movie from it. Methinks, she puts excellent character development into Charlie, the allistic (non-autistic) brother.
The way the people in the book respond to Raymond (“Rain Man”) is often an accurate portrayal of how society looks at autistic people and others who are different. The book also shows an institutionalized autistic man connecting to someone, and having some moments of success outside his institution. What is not to love, if you are autistic?

Plenty. Continue reading

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Women cannot help transwomen with safe spaces

Women, as a group, cannot help transwomen, as a group, with safe spaces. I don’t say we should not – I say we could not. We are unable to do it. It is an impossible pursuit. It is an oxymoron, like a square circle.

Safe spaces for women

Sure, some individual woman somewhere can provide some individual trans-identified male with a safe space in her home. The world won’t fall apart, and it may often be the right thing to do. But letting trans women into female prisons, shelters, and locker rooms, “for their safety” would not work, long-term. Here is why not. Continue reading

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Why most women are not “cisgender”- and why it matters

I am an administrator of a Facebook group that discuss how women are treated in the church, and how to understand the Bible on the topic. Our main issues in the group are misusing the Bible to say women should one-sidedly submit to men, messages that women should not preach or men should not learn from them, and limiting both sexes to gender roles.

In short, since gender means the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles, and relationships of and between groups of women and men” (defined by the World Health Organisation), the group is all about discussing gender. And since gender is usually a hierarchy, with men on top and women below, our main readership is church women who need to know they can respect the Bible without yielding to male oppression.
A new member recently told us that “cisgender” people did not have the right to discuss gender, it is firstly a transgender issue. I told her that gender is everyone’s issue since everyone has gendered expectations on them. I could also have said that I am not cisgender, and by her own standards, this means that my opinion should matter.

(Since then, this woman chose to remove herself from the group. Which is fine – if she wants to hear mainly trans individuals discuss gender, and our group discusses gender in another way, she would fit in better somewhere else.)

Why, then, do I believe most women are not “cisgender”? Simple.

Cis means “this side of”. Trans means “on the other side of”. To be cis, you need two things on the same side. For example, there used to be two Southern African nominally independent states called “Ciskei” and “Transkei”. These states were on either side of the Kei River. When naming Ciskei, the 1) name-giver and 2) the country of Ciskei was on one side of the Kei River. When naming Transkei, the 1) name-giver and 2) the country of Transkei was on different sides of the Kei River.

Transgender people say their biological sex and their gender are on different sides. The transgender person may be, for example, biologically male and have a female gender identity. Measuring by the things, besides their body, which they see as male or female, they are (or regard themselves as) female.
1Trans

Cisgender people have Continue reading

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Does BDSM give society wise messages about consent?

There is more than one way to diminish the importance of something. Compare:

a) “Money is unimportant, don’t complain about your poverty.”

b) “Money is very important. I will give you 5 cents – then stop complaining about your poverty.” Continue reading

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How to support truth and justice in a he said/ she said rape accusation

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Question:

“I hear stories of high-profile rape accusations, or of men around me accused of rape. How do I respect the facts in a he said/ she said story?”

Answer:

Start by asking who you are, and what your responsibility towards the world is. If you are a judge in criminal court by law, it is your responsibility to go by “innocent until proven guilty”. In that case, you would not be asking me this and could skip this article.

You are not a criminal court judge, but ask this question? Good. You are at least concerned about justice and truth, and I am glad. I am, too. If so, “innocent until proven guilty” is not your job – this is a criminal court maxim that does not even count for civil court. Which is good news – if, for example, someone owes you money, you do not have to absolutely prove that he never paid it back. If it is more than 50% likely that your case is true, you are likely to win the case.

Going by what is most likely counts outside the courts too: In a case of a suspected criminal asking you as employer a job, or trusting someone with your daughter, or being friends with the accuser, you do not owe anyone anything. (Except for the human rights which you owe everyone not to violate – that you owe to both the accused and accuser.)

If you want to believe the truth and only the truth, first, ask yourself which statement is more likely:

Claim: “She say he did it. He say he did not. I have no way to see which is more likely.” Continue reading

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Why no decent person should call any other human being a “TERF’

I don’t know you, but I can guess a few things about you. The first is that you see yourself as a good person. Or perhaps a reasonably decent person, or a wonderful person. Whatever. The point is, on a scale of minus 5 for a really bad person, and plus 5 for a really good one, you would give yourself positive marks. Right-o.

Now, could I please give a few tips on how to be a decent person – upholding all that is kind and true and non-prejudiced, as I am sure that at least the better part of you want to be? Each point will be a reason to not call people TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists), and each point will end with a tip on how to act like the decent person you probably want to be.

Continue reading

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Figure-ate-ively!

Doing all this electronic work makes me hungry, so I eat a lot’, he said elaborately. (e-labor-ate)

Is it morally right to take this road? Will I do good or harm to others by taking it’, she asked pathetically. (path-ethically)

One litre is just the right size for a bottle. I love liter bottles’, he said literally.

Did you know insects take acting lessons nowadays?’ she asked dramatically. Continue reading

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I was born to be a radical feminist – and it is nothing radical

I When I was in school and a boy teased me, the other girls said: “It is because he likes you!” I told them that if he likes me, he is supposed to treat me well. It seemed elementary to me. I did not know it yet, but there was a group of women out there who understands why men and boys treat even women badly when they supposedly like them – and why it matters.
When I could not see the use of wearing make-up, and my mother begged me to please, at least, put on a little lipstick, these women already understood why society expects this of me – and how their expectation is a problem: Continue reading

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Gender discussion: Could we please include all the stakeholders?

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I have been discussing gender roles for years. Nowadays, when I do that, transgender activists also enter the discussion. From them, I learned that some people in this discussion exclude others and are filled with fear. Continue reading

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