/ What they teach in college today

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Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019

People may be aware of the relatively recent introduction, especially in American liberal-arts colleges, of subjects including "gender studies", "critical race studies" and "whiteness studies"  that have been criticised for not being real academic disciplines, but being more ideological fads. 

If you want to get a flavour of these new subjects, and what is being taught in such classes, a student called Michael Moreno has recorded some interactions relevant to the topic of "whiteness" in his classes at Weber State University.  

The audio is eye-opening, gob-smacking and also entertaining.  It's rather long, but the first 6 mins give an adequate flavour of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjvmIFrX1xQ&feature=youtu.be

(Two followup videos are also on Moreno's youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC0BxCzouqmmppUoKB4keiCA )

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cb294 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Weber State University. Great place for skiing and climbing, but why would anyone go there for the science?

CB

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> If you want to get a flavour of these new subjects, and what is being taught in such classes,

Do do you think these clips are typical or representative of what is taught?

Post edited at 16:19
1
cb294 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

Yes, unfotunately they are for subjects like gender studies, grievance studies, and all the other crap pretending to be rigorous academic subjects. 

I despair every time our gender studies department sends around its faculty invitations for their external speaker series.

All these subjects should be kicked out of all universities, preferrably along with theology, and institutions not complying should lose their status as universities  (church history, in contrast, is absolutely fine, after all, the church shaped Europe, for better or for worse).

CB

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MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to cb294:

That seems unlikely to me.  Hearing a few second of Coel's clips is enough to convince me it is  a bat-shit crazy loon who has somehow landed in a university.  There will be one or two in most subject but it is in no way typical.

2
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> Do do you think these clips are typical or representative of what is taught?

Interesting question, and I don't really know.  I suspect they are indeed typical and representative of what is taught in "whiteness studies", and maybe similar is going on in the other "grievance studies" areas. 

But it's definitely not just isolated pockets, it is already going mainstream.  Here, for example, is a columnist in the New York Times, America's leading paper, similar in status to our The Times  (added emphasis):

"Two 17-year-old boys accused of harassing four African-American middle schoolgirls — using racial slurs and urinating on one of the victims — are facing charges [...] Police say the boys are of Indian descent. 

"While it’s tempting to see the reported ethnicity of the boys suspected in the assault as complicating the story and raising questions about whether the assault should be thought of as racist, I look at it through a different lens. Instead of asking what the boys’ reported racial identity tells us about the nature of the attack, we should see the boys as enacting American whiteness through anti-black assault in a very traditional way. In doing so, the assailants are demonstrating how race is a social construct that people make through their actions. They show race in the making, and show how race is something we perform, ..."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/26/opinion/new-jersey-high-school-racism.html

4
Dave Garnett 04 Nov 2019
In reply to cb294:

> grievance studies

You're not serious?  Do they do entitlement studies too?

pasbury 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Would that be for all the elderly white Brexit voters.

5
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> ... but it is in no way typical.

How do you know? 

There is a lot of other evidence (as illustrated by the grievance-studies hoax, and the stuff highlighted by the "Real Peer Review" Twitter account) that whole sections of academia have gone (to use your expression) "bat-shit crazy".

2
MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The quote is certainly highly dubious but I think a lot more credible than the video.  The fact is whites have behaved appallingly to blacks in America, with impunity in many places to within living memory.  Arguing teenagers were copying this violence isn't obviously bonkers like aruging space is a white construct (or whatever the guy was trying to say).

1
MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> How do you know? 

20 years of working in universities and never hearing anything remotely comparable.

1
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> 20 years of working in universities and never hearing anything remotely comparable.

First, this stuff is relatively new, having developed fast over the last 5 or 6 years.  Second, it is (currently) mostly prevalent in US universities, and mainly in the liberal-arts colleges that don't have the solid anchoring of swathes of people doing hard science. 

So, unless you're in a US liberal-arts college, you may well not be aware of it first hand.

4
MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Put it another way.  Why do you think it is anything but a lunatic fringe, since you are not in the US at a liberal-arts college?  Bear in mind there are many institutions in the US called "university" but in reality are nothing of the kind as commonly understood.  

Snobbery around "anchoring" of hard science a pretty childish, really.

Post edited at 16:52
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JLS 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

>"but the first 6 mins give an adequate flavour of it"

That subject sounds so much easier to get on top of than all the shizzle I had to do at college about concrete grades and bending moment and shear force diagrams.

Proves I suppose that it is possible to bastardise a noble issue like civil rights out of all semblance of anything based in reality. Good science I say, to actually run the experiment see the result.

Post edited at 16:54
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> The fact is whites have behaved appallingly to blacks in America, ...

Or, more to the point, world-wide, many racial groups have behaved appallingly to other racial groups.  To identify such behaviour with one racial category in particular is the epitome of being racist.

> Arguing teenagers were copying this violence isn't obviously bonkers ...

That columnist is not merely saying that those teenagers were copying violence by whites.  He is saying that by acting violently they are white!

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MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Looking at Webers website, suggests this is an outlier too.  This all seems pretty sane.

https://www.weber.edu/socanthro/bssociology.html

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> Why do you think it is anything but a lunatic fringe, since you are not in the US at a liberal-arts college?

I think that owing to a large number of bits of evidence that I've been aware of through following this topic over the last 5 or 6 years. 

4
MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> That columnist is not merely saying that those teenagers were copying violence by whites.  He is saying that by acting violently they are white!

No, he's not.  You even highlighted the word "enacting", which is almost the opposite of being.

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I think you need to stop looking for evidence to support your existing worldview.  I suspect its no coincidence the student in your video mention Jordan Peterson, for example.  What your doing is much the same as the academic in that clip - searching for reasons to be outraged about your pet obsession and losing all sense of balance.

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Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> No, he's not.  You even highlighted the word "enacting", which is almost the opposite of being.

Not as they see it, no:

"...  In doing so, the assailants are demonstrating how race is a social construct that people make through their actions. They show race in the making, and show how race is something we perform, ..."

Post edited at 17:06
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Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> ... searching for reasons to be outraged about your pet obsession and losing all sense of balance.

Where, above, can I be fairly said to have "lost all sense of balance"? 

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Ramblin dave 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not as they see it, no:

> "...  In doing so, the assailants are demonstrating how race is a social construct that people make through their actions. They show race in the making, and show how race is something we perform, ..."

This is broadly speaking how racism works, though. People dishing out racial abuse seldom stop to check DNA profiles for themselves and their victims to make sure they both fall into the correct groups on a genetic level - racism is based on identity rather than genetics, and identity is socially constructed.

Post edited at 17:10
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Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> I suspect its no coincidence the student in your video mention Jordan Peterson, for example.

And I note the fashionable mode of arguing: "All I need do is find some link between X and Peterson, and that automatically invalidates anything X says!".

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Yanis Nayu 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Absolutely bat shit crazy. 

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> People dishing out racial abuse seldom stop to check DNA profiles ...

Correct, they use visual indicators of past ancestry. 

> ... racism is based on identity rather than genetics, and identity is socially constructed.

The modern fad for "X is socially constructed" claims is way overdone.  The sensible claim would be "... identity has some elements of social construction" along with plenty of other elements that are not socially constructed. 

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Yanis Nayu 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

Is it ok then that there is even one professor is teaching people that shite?

Pan Ron 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> I suspect its no coincidence the student in your video mention Jordan Peterson, for example.  What your doing is much the same as the academic in that clip - searching for reasons to be outraged about your pet obsession and losing all sense of balance.

Your pet obsession seems to be to stick your fingers in your ears and shut your eyes when presented with evidence and refuse to believe it occurs.  And of course, using the mention of Jordan Peterson to imply anything more than what the reporter said it to mean.

You don't need to search for this stuff.  In the last decade, it has become more and more normal and challenging it seems to make one become alt-right.  Even Barak Obama has now fallen out of favour for speaking up against wokeness.

9
tom_in_edinburgh 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> 20 years of working in universities and never hearing anything remotely comparable.

From the video it looks like a class about debating or coaching for a debate team.  Still batshit but maybe a bit less batshit than if it was a 'proper' subject.

Pan Ron 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Is it ok then that there is even one professor is teaching people that shite?

As long as they aim their shite at "whiteness", then the answer is an emphatic yes apparently.  Injecting counter-factuals, nuance, or revisionist history when discussing other ethnicities is a no-no however.

This is the world of social sciences, which is what half of students attend for these days.  

4
Webster 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

wtf? how is that guy even aloud to teach?! "i'v never been to paris therefore it doesnt exist"... thats not philosophy thats just lunacy! 

wintertree 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

He’s channeling the “black rage” monologue from Chasing Amy.  Nice work if you can get it...

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Is it ok then that there is even one professor is teaching people that shite?

Certainly wouldn't be if I was paying. But one loon is rather different to Coels doomongering. 

Post edited at 18:22
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MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

>You don't need to search for this stuff.  

You do actually. As above in decades I've never once come across it. You and Coel clearly do search for it. 

1
FactorXXX 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Webster:

> wtf? how is that guy even aloud to teach?! "i'v never been to paris therefore it doesnt exist"... thats not philosophy thats just lunacy! 

I've been to Swindon and wish it didn't...

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And I note the fashionable mode of arguing: "All I need do is find some link between X and Peterson, and that automatically invalidates anything X says!".

Well it's a good rule of thumb. 

More relevant however is the way his name seems attached like a bad smell to all examples given by those of certain views. Almost like they are a self-referencing echo chamber... 

3
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> More relevant however is the way his name seems attached like a bad smell to all examples given by those of certain views.

Ok, so the student who made the video seems to be a Jordan Peterson fan.  But he's not the bat-shit crazy one in the video.  Everything I've heard him say (so far, which admittedly isn't all that far) seems spot-on. 

And it's not just the instructor who is crazy, the other students in the video (with their plan to expel all whites from Earth) seem as bad. 

It seems strange to me that anyone would watch the video, and the thing they choose to complain about is the fact that the student who made it is a Peterson fan. 

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I'm not complaining about anything.

We've agreed the academic here (if is indeed one) is bat shit crazy. Repeating that isn't very interesting.

What we are trying to establish is how widespread this bat-shit craziness is.  On the one side we have evidence from a group who all seem Peterson fan-boys who reference each others examples of it and make out it is commonplace.  On the other we have the everyday experience of practically everyone, and indeed the website of the university in the clip suggesting such nonsense is very rare.  I know what I think.

1
profitofdoom 04 Nov 2019
In reply to cb294:

> ....All these subjects should be kicked out of all universities, preferrably along with theology....

Can I please ask you, why should theology be "be kicked out of all universities"? Thank you

Timmd 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I think that owing to a large number of bits of evidence that I've been aware of through following this topic over the last 5 or 6 years. 

Have you done a study of all American universities?

1
Stichtplate 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The bit in the video where the black professor explained to the white student that perhaps he needed to do a little reading about what 'whiteness' meant. I like to do a little internal race reversal smell test with stuff like this. 

Can you imagine!

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> On the one side we have evidence from a group who all seem Peterson fan-boys who reference each others examples of it and make out it is commonplace. 

You seem determined to discount this student's position just because he likes Peterson!

> On the other we have the everyday experience of practically everyone, ...

Do we?  Out of interest, what is your experience of US liberal-arts colleges?    (As explicitly stated up-thread, the claim that such stuff is common is, at the moment, only about US liberal-arts colleges; though one issue is whether it will then spread out from there.)

> ... and indeed the website of the university in the clip suggesting such nonsense is very rare. 

How does the website demonstrate that?  It doesn't go into details of the curriculum or teaching materials.

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Can I please ask you, why should theology be "be kicked out of all universities"? Thank you

Because it is all just made up, rather than being grounded in evidence?

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wintertree 04 Nov 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Can I please ask you, why should theology be "be kicked out of all universities"? Thank you

Quite, it’s not like your average theology department goes around making egregious claims such as having detected dark matter.

MarkJH 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Because it is all just made up, rather than being grounded in evidence?

Are you not thinking of divinity?  Theology is just the study of religion.  You are, to a degree, a theologian yourself are you not?

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> You seem determined to discount this student's position just because he likes Peterson!

I've explicitly did not do that.  I even wrote it very clearly so you might register.  In vain, I see.

> Do we?  Out of interest, what is your experience of US liberal-arts colleges?   

Almost certainly more than yours.

> How does the website demonstrate that?  It doesn't go into details of the curriculum or teaching materials.

It does. 

Here's the outline of  "Sociology of Gender".   Not quite what you are implying...

"This course is an examination as to how and why communities create gender categories as well how gender influences individuals’ identities, behaviors, and life experiences. Students will study gender within a variety of contexts, such as the workplace, family, politics, athletics, education, health, media, and religion. Attention will also be given to sociological theories of gender, gender socialization, and the intersection of gender, race, class, and sexuality. Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or SOC 1020 or WGS 1500 or permission of instructor."

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Because it is all just made up, rather than being grounded in evidence?

So there goes all art, most literature, languages, music, etc etc.  What a dull world you must inhabit!

r0x0r.wolfo 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

I don't think you and Coel are disagreeing all that much. You think it's niche and so does Coel, I think you both think it's confined a small number of US higher education institutions and to subjects around gender studies and the like. 

I do think it is an extreme example of a real broader movement. This absurdity is naturally being used to characterise and criticise some of the more moderate views held by the 'same' social / political left spectrum. 

Pan Ron 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> You do actually. As above in decades I've never once come across it. You and Coel clearly do search for it. 

Perhaps you need to think why it is that your media sources never report this to you?  You take that as evidence it isn't happening.  Perhaps instead what you read is more partisan, or more comfortable with this stuff, than you realise.

3
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MarkJH:

> Are you not thinking of divinity?  Theology is just the study of religion. 

"Theos" (Greek for "God") "-ology" (study of).  There's a big difference between theology (not a valid subject) and the study of religion or of human culture and history (which obviously is a valid subject for academia).

In reply to MG:

> So there goes all art, most literature, languages, music, etc etc.  What a dull world you must inhabit!

Wrong again; see just above.

1
MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

If you object to things not founded in evidence, my list all goes.  Theology is the study of religious belief (whatever your ludicrously literally translation might say) and part of human existence.  It is entirely worthy of study.

Post edited at 20:08
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Pan Ron 04 Nov 2019
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

Yes, this example is at the more extreme end.  But it represents a shift in the Overton Window where anything not quite as extreme as this becomes considered as measured and mainstream.  

Turning this one on its head, the kind of statements being made, if not aimed at "whiteness", would likely result in protests as soon as they find their way into the media.  Instead the reaction is barely a shrug of the shoulders, a lack of surprise that anything like this is taught at university, against a predominant narrative that the bigger crisis on campuses is right-wing thought.

2
TobyA 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

I think Coel is angling for the first chair in a new department called "grievance grievance studies" where they deconstruct their new construct of grievance studies. It's all very meta. Or not, of course.

1
brunoschull 04 Nov 2019

That teacher does seem crazy.  As somebody with a degree from a US university, I would say that he probably represents the rare extreme of a common set of more general ideas...if that makes sense. 

However, the students clearly has a political agenda of his own, as well as a history of controversy.  There are some great examples of people calling out some of the ridiculous rhetoric that passes for education, but I would say this is more a concerted attempt draw attention to himself, and promulgate his view of the world.  It annoys me that he presents himself as a kind of rational, level-headed, "innocent," when clearly his work to discredit this class and teacher took great planning, intent, and effort.  It's a bit rich.

Furthermore, whatever you think of the teacher's statements, or the students political/personal views, I would say that the greater--ot at least equal--offense here is that the students recorded his teacher and other students without their consent, and then publicized the whole affair, including naming the teacher.  That definitely crosses all kinds of moral/ethical boundaries, probably conflicts with the academic policies and regulations of the college, and may be illegal. 

As a high school teacher, I'm well aware of these privacy issues.  Recently, some of my students used their phones to secretly film another teacher having an embarassing/stressful argument with his class.  The other teacher is almost universally disliked, a sentiment I share.  However, I counseled the students to take the video down from the public class server, delete it, stop talking about it, and let it fade away....it could have turned into a big, big issue, and the student would have gotten into a great deal of trouble, as much as I, and others, would have sympathized with his feelings. 

Anyway, again, that teacher seems crazy, but the students appears to be an obnoxious racist ass. 

Post edited at 20:16
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cb294 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

Then enjoy this lecture:

 "Ambivalentes regiert werden?! – /Race/, Geschlecht und Sexualität in Integrationskursen"

Translates roughly as:

Ambivalent being governed?! * /Race/ **, Gender and Sexuality in Integration Courses.

Note that sexual discrimination is a problem, and worthy of study using bog standard sociology approaches. Packaging it all in ideology is akin to discussing materials science from a socialist POV as was typical for the USSR and its satellites.

CB

* Shit grammar also in the German original

** no idea what the slashes are supposed to indicate

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

It's nuts.  Find a dubious recording of a claimed academic in an obscure US university saying stupid things.  Magnify this to a global intellectual threat.  Then write off any subject not founded in "evidence".  Then start using literal translation of ancient Greek to expand this list.

cb294 04 Nov 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

> Anyway, again, that teacher seems crazy, but the students appears to be an obnoxious racist ass. 

I agree. Also, I would kick out anyone recording my lectures. In fact, students have to sign a declaration that they refrain from recording or distributing the pdfs of our lecture slides.

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cb294 04 Nov 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

Because it purports to study something (god) in a scientific manner for which there is no evidence that it exists at all. Giving it the seal of an academic subject gives it a degree of seriousness the subject does not remotely deserve.

In contrast , studying both organized religion and faith from a historic perspective, how religion influenced political thought and philosophy, the history of religious music, or even the psychology of religion, etc. are all valid subjects of academic study and should be addressed by the relevant disciplines.

CB

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Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> If you object to things not founded in evidence, my list all goes.

Not at all, there's evidence for all of things you list (art, most literature, languages, music, etc). 

> Theology is the study of religious belief (whatever your ludicrously literally translation might say) ...

No, it is more than that.   The Wikipedia entry gives a good intro:

"Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries.[1] It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supernatural, but also deals with religious epistemology, asks and seeks to answer the question of revelation. Revelation pertains to the acceptance of God, gods, or deities, as not only transcendent or above the natural world, but also willing and able to interact with the natural world and, in particular, to reveal themselves to humankind."

Then:

"Theology begins with the assumption that the divine exists in some form, such as in physical, supernatural, mental, or social realities, and that evidence for and about it may be found via personal spiritual experiences or historical records of such experiences as documented by others."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theology

1
Eric9Points 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I'm baffled as to how anyone can get away with "teaching" that sort of nonsense. Surely the lecturer has got mental health problems and needs psychiatric help rather than a class to teach?

I was going to post it on Facebook for a laugh but then I realised my psychotic friend who does too many drugs and believes in the illuminati would probably take it seriously.

Post edited at 20:39
1
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> Theology is the study of religious belief (whatever your ludicrously literally translation might say) and part of human existence.

PS I've just googled "department theology"  The top hits are:

"Department of Theology and Religion - Durham University"

"Department of Theology and Religion - University of Birmingham"

"Faculty of Theology and Religion: Home" (Oxford)

"Theology and Religious Studies - Chester - University of Chester"

"Department of Theology and Religious Studies ... - Nottingham"

"Department of Religion and Theology | Department of ... - Bristol"

"Theology and Religion - Exeter - University of Exeter"

"Faculty of Divinity - Cambridge" (Cambridge are of course a tad old-fashioned)

"Religions and Theology - The University of Manchester"

Now, why all these "... and religion" if that's no different from theology?    The answer is that "theology" has always been taken to be primarily the "study of the divine" (even if it then spreads into the study of religion more broadly, from that starting point).

And anyhow, it is in that sense that the up-thread comment was made that "theology" is not a proper subject that universities should be doing ("study of religion", of course, is).

1
Bob Kemp 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

I don't believe he is teaching. This seems to have been in the context of a debate. He's using a debating technique, probably a 'kritic' - a kind of argumentation approach. He doesn't have to believe a word of what he's saying. But it's hard to tell as the video doesn't give the full context. 

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

FFS.  Here is the syllabus at Cambridge. It's an entirely reasonable area of study.

Group A

BTh01 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew

BTh02 Elementary Hebrew

BTh03 Introduction to New Testament Greek

BTh04 New Testament Greek

Group B

BTh11 Reading the Christian Bible

BTh12 Christian Doctrine: The Question of God

BTh13 Belief and Practice in the Early Church

BTh14 Reform and Renewal in Christian History

BTh15 Themes in World Christianities

BTh16 Social Sciences and Religion

Group C

BTh21 Intermediate Hebrew

BTh22 Intermediate New Testament Greek

BTh23 Old Testament Studies

BTh24 New Testament Studies

BTh25 Old Testament Exegesis

BTh26 New Testament Exegesis

BTh27 Biblical Themes in Christian Doctrine

BTh28 The Study of Christian Mission

BTh29 The Gospel and Western Culture

BTh30 Philosophy of Religion

BTh31 Church and Sacraments

BTh32 Patterns of Christian Worship

BTh33 Subjects Specified by the Faculty Board

BTh34 Special Study in Theology for Ministry

Group D

BTh41 Further Studies in Christian Doctrine

BTh42 Christianity and Society in Africa and its Diaspora 1800-2000

BTh43 Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Encounter

BTh44 Christian Ethics

BTh45 Advanced Subjects specified by the Faculty Board: Political Theology

BTh46 Further Advanced Subjects: Advanced Ethics

BTh47 Special Study for Ministry

Wicamoi 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Perhaps you need to think why it is that your media sources never report this to you?  You take that as evidence it isn't happening.  Perhaps instead what you read is more partisan, or more comfortable with this stuff, than you realise.

Is this how debates will be from now on? No longer any effort at evidence or reason, just an appeal to superior "feed"?

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Turning this one on its head, the kind of statements being made, if not aimed at "whiteness", would likely result in protests as soon as they find their way into the media.  Instead the reaction is barely a shrug of the shoulders, ...

Compare the lack of reaction to this (e.g. the notion that all whites should be expelled from Earth) to the outrage if  someone -- with no bad intent whatsoever -- says "coloured person" instead of the preferred "person of colour". 

The only difference there being the two letters "of" vs "-ed" which have a close-to-identical grammatical function in those phrases. 

2
TobyA 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

In my old job when I was watching the Islamophobic blogosphere form and start to integrate into preexisting political structures (anyone know that the first "International Counter-Jihad Conference" -some of which would later morph into the transatlantic alt-right- was held in conference rooms in the European Parliament in Brussels booked for them by a Vlaams Belang MEP), it was so obvious how it worked. Blogs found any news story internationally or in their country that reported a crime or an act of violence committed by a Muslim (or at least someone with a suspicious might-be-Muslim name or skin colour) and said this was clearly evidence of Islam being a violent ideology. Other blogs reported the stories on the first blog. Other blogs reported the second blogs and so it went on. Twitter and Facebook weren't much of a thing at that time, but it worked in the same way, with everyone getting a panic about the violent Muslims because all they read were blogs telling them Muslims are violent.

Of course some Muslims commit violence, like some professors or lecturers in unis might talk a load of bollocks, but if you spend all your spare time reading blogs (or now following Twitter accounts and being in Facebook groups) that say professors-talk-bollocks/Muslims-commit-violence unsurprisingly you see a world where all Muslims are violent and all professors talk bollocks.

I am interested in what Coel thinks is going to be the result of some professors talking bollocks? Is not talking bollocks going to be outlawed. Are the woke police going to imprison anyone not sufficiently woke? It doesn't seem like the global capitalist system is under much threat. It doesn't seem like in the US racial justice and equality is about break out. The Tories are still ahead in the polls here FFS! I don't think Coel's social status is at any great risk.

MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Perhaps you need to think why it is that your media sources never report this to you?  You take that as evidence it isn't happening. 

Do your "media sources" report about the moon being made of green cheese? No?  And you take that as evidence it isn't!?  You fool!

1
Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> ... it worked in the same way, with everyone getting a panic about the violent Muslims because all they read were blogs telling them Muslims are violent.

And this was nothing at all to do with various terrorist acts motivated (at least in part) by that religion?

> I am interested in what Coel thinks is going to be the result of some professors talking bollocks? [...] Are the woke police going to imprison anyone not sufficiently woke?

OK, some consequences, from one particular part of woke ideology only:

Male-bodied sex-offending prisoners get housed in female prisons (because they "self-identify" as women) and  thence sexually assault women.  If feminists complain about this they get insulted and derided.    Then organisations such as Twitter ban feminists for complaining about such things.

Ditto women's sport.  Male-bodied athletes are allowed to compete against women purely on the basis of self-identification.  If women complain about this they get insulted and derided and banned.

Children get prescribed puberty-blocking drugs (which consequences we don't really know) at early-teen ages or even earlier, based purely on "self-identification" as a different sex.  Anyone who questions this gets insulted and derided. 

The mainstream media promote and laud such gender transitions.  But, rumours of substantial numbers later choosing to de-transition get hushed up.  The media doesn't want to know.  Academics are refused permission to study it.   Anyone suggesting that de-transitioning is a significant issue gets insulted and derided.    Suggestions that substantial numbers of children may be being harmed by transitioning and de-transitioning are hushed up.  The woke ideology is that transitioning is always good and that de-transitioning does not happen, so this doesn't get properly discussed.  As a consequence we simply don't know the facts. 

> It doesn't seem like in the US racial justice and equality is about break out.

The woke ideology is actively harming progress towards that, it is an explicit rejection of MLK's "dream" about judging kids on the content of their character, not the colour of their skin.   This "race studies" stuff is hugely exacerbating racial tensions in the US.   Many think ".. well if that's what we get if the Dems get in then I guess I'll have to vote Trump despite everything".

And another bad consequence: it discredits universities as a whole and gives anyone who wants it an excuse to dismiss all academics. So, anyone who wants to deny climate change can point to "gender studies" ideology and claim that "climate change ideology" is the same, a fad based on ideology and unsupported by evidence. 

There are lots of other harmful consequences of this sort of corruption of academia, but that's some for starters! 

Post edited at 21:19
5
MG 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Which prison has this occurred in? 

3
Bob Kemp 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Your construction of gender studies as gender ideology is of course a straw man beloved by the right. You do realise that don't you? And for a free speech enthusiast that's a funny move. This might interest you: 

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/12/05/gender-studies-scholars-say-field-coming-under-attack-many-countries-around-globe

Pan Ron 04 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Of course some Muslims commit violence, like some professors or lecturers in unis might talk a load of bollocks, but if you spend all your spare time reading blogs (or now following Twitter accounts and being in Facebook groups) that say professors-talk-bollocks/Muslims-commit-violence unsurprisingly you see a world where all Muslims are violent and all professors talk bollocks.

Society takes a very different stance on what is taught in madrassas to what is taught at university.  This stuff has moved beyond fringe education.  I linked before to a reputable company I very nearly became closely associated with that included in its "dignity at work" policy a passage that pretty much said the policy didn't apply if racism was aimed at whites.  While that's not as OTT as the OP, just bing a little less so allows it to become mainstream.

The bottom line here is the statements that would be considered beyond-the-pale, sackable offences, if aimed at one race are acceptable if aimed at another.  That is the modern face of "progressive" ideology.

This is dangerous stuff that seems to elicit little more than amusement, because its apparently a niche problem.  But not only is it being championed by the side of the political-spectrum that used to stand up for equality, roving bands of Nazis with tiki-torches are niche problem too.  Are they likely to be ignored too? 

> I am interested in what Coel thinks is going to be the result of some professors talking bollocks? Is not talking bollocks going to be outlawed.

I don't think its a problem if we're all allowed to talk bollocks.  But saying the wrong bollocks, and bollocks a hell of a lot less racist than that, gets you hounded out of a job these days.

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> Which prison has this occurred in? 

New Hall prison in Wakefield, West Yorkshire

52-yr-old male-bodied prisoner.  Previous convictions for "indecent assault, indecent exposure and gross indecency involving children".  Self-identified as female.  Transferred to women's prison: "jailed for life after she attacked vulnerable women in female prisons"

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/11/transgender-prisoner-who-sexually-assaulted-inmates-jailed-for-life

A pertinent article about policy on this in Canadian prisons is this one. Read it if you think woke ideology is harmless. 

https://quillette.com/2019/10/12/male-bodied-rapists-are-being-imprisoned-with-women-why-do-so-few-people-care/

1
Pan Ron 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

You should read the mentions of auto-ethnography in the comments section of that article.  These subject areas can hardly complain when they are delegitimised (by prank journal articles of by their own, equally dire, productions).

TobyA 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And this was nothing at all to do with various terrorist acts motivated (at least in part) by that religion?

I didn't say that it didn't.

> OK, some consequences, from one particular part of woke ideology only:

> Male-bodied sex-offending prisoners get housed in female prisons (because they "self-identify" as women) and  thence sexually assault women. 

They don't now, because it was considered a bad policy after Karen White attacks.

> Ditto women's sport.  Male-bodied athletes are allowed to compete against women purely on the basis of self-identification.  If women complain about this they get insulted and derided and banned.

It's funny I've heard women athletes, Martina Navratilova IIRC in particular, talking about exactly this issue on Radio 4 on a number of occasions. They were not insulted, derided or banned from being on the national broadcaster, rather the opposite.

> Children get prescribed puberty-blocking drugs (which consequences we don't really know) at early-teen ages or even earlier, based purely on "self-identification" as a different sex.  Anyone who questions this gets insulted and derided. 

Again, I've heard some very sensible debates about exactly this issue on the radio. Quite clearly people do question this - doctors, academic researchers and so on, and if people are insulting them it clearly isn't stopping them carrying on their work. Do you think those drugs are being forced on kids? I've seen just how much anguish families and kids go through when they question their gender.

> The mainstream media promote and laud such gender transitions.  But, rumours of substantial numbers later choosing to de-transition get hushed up.  The media doesn't want to know. 

How do you know about it then? I've heard discussion - again on Radio 4 I expect - of exactly what you are saying is being hushed up.

> The woke ideology is actively harming progress towards that, it is an explicit rejection of MLK's "dream" about judging kids on the content of their character, not the colour of their skin.   This "race studies" stuff is hugely exacerbating racial tensions in the US.   Many think ".. well if that's what we get if the Dems get in then I guess I'll have to vote Trump despite everything".

You seem to be missing King's point somewhat, that black people are still  judged by the colour of their skin, but anyway do you think that "race studies" are "hugely exacerbating racial tensions in the US" more than an openly bigoted president who brought fringe characters from the racist right into government and has legitimised some of the worst instincts arising the legacy of American racism?

1
Timmd 04 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> I think Coel is angling for the first chair in a new department called "grievance grievance studies" where they deconstruct their new construct of grievance studies. It's all very meta. Or not, of course.

Given Coel's (apparent) liking of being intellectually rigorous, I'm surprised he's not acknowledged that until one 'has' looked into every university in the US, and what is taught, there's an undefined degree of supposition happening behind the narrative he's painting. Humans do generalise, it's in our nature towards looking for patterns to make sense of the world, but when the facts are out there to be found it's logical to look for them to build up a detailed picture, otherwise it's only a perception of what is happening which one has, the weight of detail (or lack of) needs to be acknowledged*.

Edit: * It could be regional within the US, with regional variations in what students are taught based on particular demographics...

Post edited at 22:08
Bob Kemp 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I did read them. What's the problem? Don't you like it? Have you got any reason for that? 

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Given Coel's (apparent) liking of being intellectually rigorous, I'm surprised he's not acknowledged that until one 'has' looked into every university in the US, and what is taught, there's an undefined degree of supposition happening behind the narrative he's painting.

Oh look, a smart-arse, trying-to-be clever comment!

Read the thread:

MG> Do do you think these clips are typical or representative of what is taught?

Me> Interesting question, and I don't really know. 

And no, one doesn't have to look at *every* university in the US. One can consider samples.  Just as, in seeing how the next election is shaping up, one needn't ask every single voter, one can take a sample of a thousand or so.  This stuff is not rocket science.

4
Bob Kemp 04 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> but anyway do you think that "race studies" are "hugely exacerbating racial tensions in the US" more than an openly bigoted president who brought fringe characters from the racist right into government and has legitimised some of the worst instincts arising the legacy of American racism?

Yeah, it might just be that it's the racism that's hugely exacerbating the racial tensions in the US, not the race studies.

Coel Hellier 04 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> They don't now, because it was considered a bad policy after Karen White attacks.

Maybe not in the UK, but according to the article just linked to it is still happening in Canada.  But it's hard to tell, the authorities are remarkably coy about discussing it or giving out proper information (again, this is discussed in the article).

> It's funny I've heard women athletes, Martina Navratilova IIRC in particular, talking about exactly this issue on Radio 4 on a number of occasions. They were not insulted, derided or banned from being on the national broadcaster, rather the opposite.

It's very easy to find insults and derision aimed at Navratilova over this ("transphobe", "TERF" etc), including LGBT groups disassociating from her (she, of course, being a long-term L campaigner and advocate).

> Do you think those drugs are being forced on kids?

No, but I also don't think the kids are in a position to make a proper decision about it (I'm talking about 12 to 14-yr-olds here).

> Quite clearly people do question this - doctors, academic researchers and so on, and if people are insulting them it clearly isn't stopping them carrying on their work.

As one example:

"James Caspian says Bath Spa University approved but then rejected his proposed research into gender reassignment reversal

"James Caspian, a psychotherapist who specialises in working with transgender people, proposed the research about “detransitioning” to the university in south-west England, which, he said, initially approved the application.

"When he went back with his preliminary findings that suggested growing numbers of young people, particularly women, were regretting gender reassignment, Bath Spa said his proposal would have to be resubmitted to the ethics committee, which rejected it.

"“The fundamental reason given was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media, and criticism of the research would be criticism of the university. They also added it’s better not to offend people,”

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/25/bath-spa-university-transgender-gender-reassignment-reversal-research

> but anyway do you think that "race studies" are "hugely exacerbating racial tensions in the US" more than an openly bigoted president who brought fringe characters from the racist right into government and has legitimised some of the worst instincts arising the legacy of American racism?

Maybe I'd put them about equal on that? 

Bob Kemp 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

"This stuff is not rocket science." 

No, social science is much harder! Rocket science was hard seventy years ago; now it's pretty much tried and tested. Social science covers a huge range of 'wicked problems' and the methodological issues are complex and ongoing.

1
Timmd 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Oh look, a smart-arse, trying-to-be clever comment!

> Read the thread:

> MG> Do do you think these clips are typical or representative of what is taught?

> Me> Interesting question, and I don't really know. 

> And no, one doesn't have to look at *every* university in the US. One can consider samples.  Just as, in seeing how the next election is shaping up, one needn't ask every single voter, one can take a sample of a thousand or so.  This stuff is not rocket science.

Pardon my not reading the thread thoroughly enough, but I wasn't trying to be clever, I can have a somewhat obsessive side when it comes to research, which can be a boon or a drawback, depending on the time constraints. In practice I probably wouldn't give myself the headache of looking into every university, but looking for any regional variations might be interesting, or differences between universities with different demographics, there could be a lot of 'layers' involved. 

The election of Trump was so out of the blue that Time Magazine sold issues celebrating the election of Clinton for what it's worth, I bought one of the recalled ones on ebay before they sold out*.

Edit: It might have been Newsweek*. 

Post edited at 22:49
1
pasbury 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Another Coel shitstorm trollfest, why the hell do you all bother?

7
Timmd 04 Nov 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Another Coel shitstorm trollfest, why the hell do you all bother?

I think it can be easy to be triggered into responding before one has pondered if it's going to lead anywhere, you could have a point though. 

pasbury 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

That's what he wants.

2
TobyA 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> It's very easy to find insults and derision aimed at Navratilova over this ("transphobe", "TERF" etc),

Yes, of course. If you go looking for it on Twitter. But hearing her talk on the Today Programme is hardly the same as your claim of people being "banned" for making the points that she was making.

I just googled "detransitioning" and it appears that Sky News has escaped the evil woke hegemonic control: https://news.sky.com/story/hundreds-of-young-trans-people-seeking-help-to-return-to-original-sex-11827740 As has Vice, Vox, the Atlantic, the Daily Mail and others. I would suggest some stiff letters to the editors to remind them that as part of the mainstream media they are meant to be "hushing this up".

Your man, the psychotherapist Mr Caspian, and his proposed MA thesis, challenged the university's decision in court and lost. The university seems to have argued that it was it methodology that was the problem, in that he couldn't ensure the anonymity of subjects with his proposed method. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education then supported the University's position, and the High Court ruled against him too. https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/bath-spa-university-james-caspian-2557060 Oddly, I remember when I suggested my possible MA thesis ideas to my tutor (at Leeds, in 1999) I was warned off one idea - to look at how the media portrayed Islam in relation to reporting on security issues - he told me "you might upset some people with that". It being an MA thesis which would be read by virtually no one, and not taken particularly seriously by the few who do, I never really could work out who he meant. Pre-9/11 Islam wasn't particularly politicised at the time anyway. Perhaps now I would have appealed to the high court like Mr Caspian!

Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to pasbury:

It's because US politics is so uneventful that 'wokeness' has become the biggest threat to their way of life, and if Coel hadn't stayed awake we might all have missed it: it's a celebration of his stoicism.

Timmd 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth: I've always thought personal digs don't help so much towards constructive discussions, that they can 'filter into the forum vibe' so that thing become heated sooner. I reckon ideas, facts and concepts are more interesting.

Post edited at 01:47
cb294 05 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

Two loons, actually, including the lecturer. The uni cannot do much about the student (at least over here in Germany, and I assume also not in a US state undergrad college),  but the lecturer is their responsibility.

CB

Pan Ron 05 Nov 2019
In reply to pasbury:

The reaction here, to having absurdities eminating from universities highlighted, speaks volumes.

2
cb294 05 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

More importantly, it is a MA thesis, where the student, simply by still being a student, is not yet formally qualified to take personal responsibility for the proposed "research".

A MA thesis is NOT independent research anyway, but instead part training, part section of the final examinations (at least in my field).

Even for a PhD thesis, applying for ethics committee permission, animal care, GMO and biosafety permissions, and ensuring compliance with both general regulations as well restrictions for a specific research project is definitely job of the supervisor, not the student. It is also the supervisor who is responsible before the law if anything goes wrong.

Anything to do with human patients, and especially potentially vulnerable cohorts such a people unhappy with their sex reassignment procedures is simply not even worth considering as a MA project (unless as part of a larger, already established project). It would be looked over with a beady eye by the relevant committees if proposed by an experienced lab head with a track record of complying with ethics guidelines!

The equivalent would be some MA candidate proposing a thesis project into military explosives or large scale drug synthesis in a regular chemistry lab, not one that does that kind of research anyway.

CB

wbo2 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You are Rod Liddell and I claim my £5

MG 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

The reaction is uniformly that its undesirable. What volumes are are you hearing? 

MG 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

Of course but Coel and Pan are so boringly predictable and unimaginative on these topics, sport at their expense is more fun. 

Wingeing Old Git 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

This thread has prompted me to find out the meaning of the word "woke". This is the last time I will ever use the word.

Tom V 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

Me too.

Post edited at 07:37
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

>  But hearing her talk on the Today Programme is hardly the same as your claim of people being "banned" for making the points that she was making.

In saying that people have been "banned" I'm not claiming they're banned from everywhere, just that they have been banned from some places that they should reasonably have access to.

The palava over Megan Murphy speaking at a public library in Toronto is the latest example:  https://quillette.com/2019/10/31/torontos-meghan-murphy-meltdown-a-case-study-in-media-driven-social-panic/

Nowadays, "gender critical feminists" routinely organise back-up venues for their meetings.  They know that the publicised venue will be targetted by activists who want to get the meeting cancelled, and they know that the venue will likely capitulate, often at the last minute, so they have a backup-venue already organised. 

Other groups who routinely adopt that tactic are ex-Muslim groups, though there they are doing it primarily for safety reasons.

1
wercat 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

Russia doesn't just threaten our elections.  They are subverting our language too, so in the end no one will know what the hell anyone else is saying.  That won't matter of course because so many abstractions now "speak to" or "inform" other abstractions according to the chattering classes, so there will be a lot of chattering still going on.

1
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Another recent "ban" was the justgiving website suspending the fundraising of the newly formed LGB Alliance.

For anyone puzzled as to what's wrong with gay people organising into a campaign group, see the below link.   The problem is that these people regard themselves as attracted to other people of the same sex.   Outrage!   That's no longer acceptable in woke ideology.   Nowadays your sexual attractions need to aligned with gender, not with sex, otherwise the woke will ostracise you as a "transphobe".   

https://quillette.com/2019/11/04/meet-the-gay-activists-whove-had-enough-of-britains-ultra-woke-homophobes/

So nowadays we have new forms of "hate speech", that include:   "Homosexuality is same-sex attraction".

6
neilh 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You can imagine 600 years ago the same title- what they teach in college- "that the earth goes round the sun"- heretic outcry.

You just never know where these things might lead in future generations.

LOL.

MG 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So nowadays we have new forms of "hate speech", that include:   "Homosexuality is same-sex attraction".

Only in the sense that a few oddballs say so and that is reported in a right-wing fanzine in breathless end of-the-world-is -nigh terms as a widespread view.

3
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> Only in the sense that a few oddballs say so ...

No, mainstream organisations say so (e.g. Stonewall), mainstream journalists say so (e.g. Owen Jones), the mainstream fundraising site JustGiving suspended the account of "LGB Alliance" because it had said "Homosexuality is same-sex attraction", the employer of Allison Bailey starting an "investigation" because she had agreed that "Homosexuality is same-sex attraction", Toronto city councillors voting to "review policies" so that people saying that sort of thing cannot hold events at a public library, universities refusing to host events in which such things are said. 

And while I'm on:

"A female prisoner who was allegedly sexually assaulted in jail by a male-bodied transgender inmate has launched a High Court action for a judicial review of government policy.  She says the transgender woman, who is serving a sentence for rape of a female, groped her breasts in the prison toilets."

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/female-prisoner-takes-government-to-court-after-alleged-assault-by-transgender-inmate-n5wtg2nf7

1
Eric9Points 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, mainstream organisations say so (e.g. Stonewall), mainstream jou

> And while I'm on:

> "A female prisoner who was allegedly sexually assaulted in jail by a male-bodied transgender inmate has launched a High Court action for a judicial review of government policy.  She says the transgender woman, who is serving a sentence for rape of a female, groped her breasts in the prison toilets."

Well I suppose "she" could be a lesbian with the misfortune of being trapped in a man's body. Or maybe a bisexual transsexual....oh phuq, I give up.

stevevans5 05 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

I think in this day and age it is easy to see why these things can seem mainstream. I think a great example is Tim Hunt, who despite anyone who knew him describing him as a supporter of women in science was forced out of all his roles based on one joke. One tweet started a twitter outrage despite another tweet from the event suggesting the complete opposite, and no transcript so no one was actually able to base their outrage on actual evidence:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/13/tim-hunt-forced-to-resign

https://louisemensch.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/the-myth-of-the-tim-hunt-transcript/

Ramblin dave 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, mainstream organisations say so (e.g. Stonewall), mainstream journalists say so (e.g. Owen Jones), the mainstream fundraising site JustGiving suspended the account of "LGB Alliance" because it had said "Homosexuality is same-sex attraction", the employer of Allison Bailey starting an "investigation" because she had agreed that "Homosexuality is same-sex attraction", Toronto city councillors voting to "review policies" so that people saying that sort of thing cannot hold events at a public library, universities refusing to host events in which such things are said. 

I haven't got time to get into a long argument here, but it's worth pointing out that as usual there's a lot of context here that Coel's not mentioning. The "LGB Alliance", for instance, were specifically formed as an LGB campaign that excluded trans people, so it might not be a stretch to interpret their heavy emphasis on "same sex" rather than "same gender" as being a transphobic dog-whistle.

1
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to stevevans5:

> and no transcript so no one was actually able to base their outrage on actual evidence:

In the end a video of the speech surfaced, which showed that the accusers had misrepresented what had happened.   (Indeed, those at a particular table had connived together to misrepresent the situation, and then to falsely corroborate each other's reports.) 

Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to stevevans5:

What happened to Tim (after making a self admittedly incredibly stupid joke) was shameful. I'm still unhappy about the concept of being forced to resign though: although highly stressful, to defend academic freedom he maybe could have hung on a bit longer and forced UCL to remove him from his honorary post. In the end it was as much due to cowardly management action as the leftist 'witch hunt'.

The main academic freedom problem in UK Universities remains a 'managerialism' problem, rather than a left wing one, a huge number of academics leave with a gagging clause, and the cost in the last two years is well in excesss of £100 million given the BBC article was based on only about 2/3rds of the Universities who replied.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47936662

Post edited at 11:22
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> The "LGB Alliance", for instance, were specifically formed as an LGB campaign that excluded trans people, ...

They no more "excluded" trans people than they "excluded" straight people. 

> ...  so it might not be a stretch to interpret their heavy emphasis on "same sex" rather than "same gender" as being a transphobic dog-whistle.

There you go, trying to interpret anything that doesn't buy into activist ideology as "transphobic", when actually all they're trying to do is have a sensible discussion of the issues. 

2
Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

As I understood it they formed partly due to their political differences around transphobia. The T was deliberately removed, knowing the offence that would cause some, but based on their particular political and ideological concerns. Some people I know people in the wider LGBT community are pretty saddened by both ends of this particular political and ideological argument  

As for activist ideology thats anyone actively pushing their strong beliefs, and that includes you. By stating the arguments here, on one side, are sensible and on the other are based on ideology you are just using rhetoric to show your clear bias and converting a very complicated debate into a black and white argument

Post edited at 11:58
1
Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Another recent "ban" was the justgiving website suspending the fundraising of the newly formed LGB Alliance.

> So nowadays we have new forms of "hate speech", that include:   "Homosexuality is same-sex attraction".

The point is technically correct, that to be homosexual means you're attracted to someone's gender presentation rather than their sex. But the idea that this is a problem or somehow motivated by transphobia is absurd.

What baffles me is why anyone cares what this tiny minority of people who are obsessed with extreme views on gender identity say and do. There are loads of people out there with bonkers beliefs - loads of right-wingers who believe in white genocide theories for example - and we're basically happy to shrug our shoulders and ignore them. 

Some people are nutters - get over it.

1
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> As I understood it they formed partly due to their political differences around transphobia.

No, it was political differences about policy related to trans issues.  They are not "phobic", they don't "irrationally fear or hate" trans people, they merely disagree with some policies being promoted by some trans activists. 

Can we please move away from labeling any disagreement as a "-phobia" in an attempt to disallow it?

> The T was deliberately removed, knowing the offence that would cause some,

Or rather, the T was not included because they wanted to advocate for LGB issues as they see it.  

> ...  you are just using rhetoric to show your clear bias and converting a very complicated debate into a black and white argument

It is not me who wants to shut down and prevent argument and discussion.  That's the difference. 

1
Pan Ron 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What baffles me is why anyone cares what this tiny minority of people who are obsessed with extreme views on gender identity say and do. There are loads of people out there with bonkers beliefs - loads of right-wingers who believe in white genocide theories for example - and we're basically happy to shrug our shoulders and ignore them. 

You say that as if both groups are treated equally.

But one set are viewed as pariahs with no say over political or social policy and deeply unfashionable in polite circles.  The other has increasing sway and putting forward their views is unlikely to get you sacked...in fact reacting negatively to their views can put you on the firing line. 

2
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The point is technically correct, that to be homosexual means you're attracted to someone's gender presentation rather than their sex.

Interesting.  Do you genuinely think that?   That sexual orientation is about gender presentation, and not about people's naked bodies? 

> What baffles me is why anyone cares what this tiny minority of people who are obsessed with extreme views on gender identity say and do

I can see that female prisoners, not wanting to be housed with male-bodied prisoners with a record of sexual assault, do indeed care.

I can see that female sportswomen, who put their life and soul into being the best they can, and who don't want to be out-competed by male-bodied people with a clear advantage, do indeed care. 

4
Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Interesting.  Do you genuinely think that?   That sexual orientation is about gender presentation, and not about people's naked bodies? 

I think you need to think a bit more about that. When you meet someone, are they generally naked? Obviously I could meet a trans man who I thought was really hot, and I would have to deal with the naked body issue at a later date. I don't know if that would alter the attraction or not, I suspect it would depend on how emotionally involved I'd become with that person.

> I can see that female prisoners, not wanting to be housed with male-bodied prisoners with a record of sexual assault, do indeed care.

> I can see that female sportswomen, who put their life and soul into being the best they can, and who don't want to be out-competed by male-bodied people with a clear advantage, do indeed care. 

Oh, you're up to your usual slippery, frustrating, dishonest ways. You just moved the goalposts about a thousand miles.

I was responding to a point about "same sex" being transphobic; and your response relates to the idea that trans people must always be treated as the gender they identify with. It's a waste of time talking to you because you're incapable of engaging straightforwardly. Do you think I'm not going to notice when you use that type of nakedly dishonest move? 

Post edited at 12:17
2
Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> You say that as if both groups are treated equally.

> But one set are viewed as pariahs with no say over political or social policy and deeply unfashionable in polite circles.  The other has increasing sway and putting forward their views is unlikely to get you sacked...in fact reacting negatively to their views can put you on the firing line. 

The only place I hear the views I'm referring to as "nutters" - e.g. the lecturer in the OP, the "same sex is transphobic" is on the internet when someone'e expressing outrage about them. I have no contact at all in my real life at work and socially.

You can be scared that these people are taking over society if you like. But don't ask me to join in with your conspiracy theory when I can see for myself that it's bollocks.

2
Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Well from my point of view you often seem to be employing the same emotive tactics as the far left minority, who also always claim they are not trying to shut down debate (they see no platforming as removing particular venues from those they view as extreme, not the right to say what is legal... and denying venues has a history in many political and religious arenas, and of course those most politically opposed are most sensitive about removing easy propaganda routes. What is acceptable is defined in law, and changes over time).

I don't see the LGB group as extreme but I can see why some politically moderate people are sad they felt they needed to form.

Sexual orientation can be very complicated, and gender presentation clearly drives desire for some. On trans prisoners I really wonder how much is down to lack of suitable facilities rather than any political drive. In sport, intersex and trans issues are also very complicated and the authorities too often just play ostrich. However, I do agree with Jon.. these look like dishonest tactics to avoid fair debate.

Post edited at 12:48
Pan Ron 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The only place I hear the views I'm referring to as "nutters" - e.g. the lecturer in the OP, the "same sex is transphobic" is on the internet when someone'e expressing outrage about them. I have no contact at all in my real life at work and socially.

That's fine.  I guess the claimed rise of the far-right, racism, or corporate excess is something I have no contact with, so I'm justified in having no concerns there as well.

At what point would these nutters ever become a problem for you?  If it turned out your kids were being taught by them?  If they called for your job, because you said something wrong, rather than just someone else's?  Or is it more because they're only a smidgen too far to the nutter-side of things, but basically have their hearts in the right place as far as you are concerned? 

Would you be saying "oh well, just some nutters" if they were talking about blacks or gays in such a manner?

Ramblin dave 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> As I understood it they formed partly due to their political differences around transphobia. The T was deliberately removed, knowing the offence that would cause some, but based on their particular political and ideological concerns.

It's also worth pointing out that the "political and ideological concerns" might not always be what they're claimed to be:

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/10/23/christian-right-tips-fight-transgender-rights-separate-t-lgb

And lo, one of the founder members of the "LGB Alliance" appears to have links to right-wing US organisations like The Heritage Foundation and the Witherspoon Institute:

http://www.bigmouthstrikesagain.com/2019/10/these-people-think-youre-stupid/

Post edited at 12:52
1
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>> Interesting.  Do you genuinely think that?   That sexual orientation is about gender presentation, and not about people's naked bodies? 

> I think you need to think a bit more about that. When you meet someone, are they generally naked? Obviously I could meet a trans man who I thought was really hot, and I would have to deal with the naked body issue at a later date. I don't know if that would alter the attraction or not, I suspect it would depend on how emotionally involved I'd become with that person.

Well I notice that you didn't quite answer the question.  Yes, when we meet someone they are generally not naked, but we can in general also -- from their appearance -- have some notion about their naked form.  It seems to me the naked body is indeed pertinent to sexual attraction (though there is also more to it than that).

> Oh, you're up to your usual slippery, frustrating, dishonest ways. You just moved the goalposts about a thousand miles.

Sorry Jon, I was not trying to.  I was trying to give a straight answer to your question about who would care about "why anyone cares what this tiny minority of people who are obsessed with extreme views on gender identity say and do".

It seems to me that the "extreme views on gender identity" are driving public policy in some areas. 

2
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> far left minority, who also always claim they are not trying to shut down debate (they see no platforming as removing particular venues from those they view as extreme, not the right to say what is legal...

By "removing particular venues" they try to prevent views they dislike being discussed in public.  Any they would not stop at just some venues if they could.  Why would they?   

And yes, they do try to make saying these things illegal! They do report people to police for "hate speech" and the police have visited people and threatened them for doing no more than taking part in this sort of discussion. 

1
Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> That's fine.  I guess the claimed rise of the far-right, racism, or corporate excess is something I have no contact with, so I'm justified in having no concerns there as well.

The far right play a notable role in British politics - the Brexit campaign mobilised white nationalism (e.g. 'Breaking Point' poster, and god only knows what was circulated on facebook - and this was also evident at the 'Brexit Betrayal' march). You can ignore the far right if you like, but I see their influence on the news quite often, in the form of organised protests and politicians courting their support. 

> At what point would these nutters ever become a problem for you?  If it turned out your kids were being taught by them?  If they called for your job, because you said something wrong, rather than just someone else's?  Or is it more because they're only a smidgen too far to the nutter-side of things, but basically have their hearts in the right place as far as you are concerned? 

I think if they did cause a problem for me I would, well, have a problem. I just can't see how this is going to happen. There are absolutely no schools I have ever heard of that teach extreme nutter views on gender identity. In my profession, we have a requirement not to discriminate, and that's it. When I look at the rules I have to abide by in society, I don't see any influence of the extreme attitudes that are popular outrage-fodder online, as in this thread.

> Would you be saying "oh well, just some nutters" if they were talking about blacks or gays in such a manner?

If I want to go onto the internet and find clips of racists and homophobes, I can easily do so. I'm not going to seek them out and post them on here so that I can be outraged and demand you're just as outraged as me.

Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Well I notice that you didn't quite answer the question.  Yes, when we meet someone they are generally not naked, but we can in general also -- from their appearance -- have some notion about their naked form.  It seems to me the naked body is indeed pertinent to sexual attraction (though there is also more to it than that).

If a trans man does not "pass" I am very unlikely to be attracted to them. I was talking about someone who passes - who's been on hormones for long enough to look physically like a bloke. Our clothes tend to be such that the genitals are concealed, right?

> It seems to me that the "extreme views on gender identity" are driving public policy in some areas. 

I think that the views that influence complex issues like trans womens access to certain services or sports are not the same as the nutters discussed here. I don't understand those issues well enough form a definitive view because they come down to one person's rights competing with another's. I don't have an instinct that says "well obviously the trans person is more important" nor "obviously the risk to women is more important" - I don't have a dog in the fight. There is a balance of rights and risks on each side of those issues, and neither "trans women are women" nor "trans women are a threat to women" are sufficiently nuanced positions to incorporate that balance.

On this issue, there is a loud voice that says "trans women are women", but there is an equally vapid and thoughtless voice from the right that simply dismisses the needs of trans people (e.g. obviously trans women should be incarcerated with men where they'll obviously be raped every day, but who cares, they're trans). I don't want to associate with either side.

Post edited at 13:13
DubyaJamesDubya 05 Nov 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

> That teacher does seem crazy.  As somebody with a degree from a US university, I would say that he probably represents the rare extreme of a common set of more general ideas...if that makes sense. 

> However, the students clearly has a political agenda of his own, as well as a history of controversy.  There are some great examples of people calling out some of the ridiculous rhetoric that passes for education, but I would say this is more a concerted attempt draw attention to himself, and promulgate his view of the world.  It annoys me that he presents himself as a kind of rational, level-headed, "innocent," when clearly his work to discredit this class and teacher took great planning, intent, and effort.  It's a bit rich.

> Furthermore, whatever you think of the teacher's statements, or the students political/personal views, I would say that the greater--ot at least equal--offense here is that the students recorded his teacher and other students without their consent, and then publicized the whole affair, including naming the teacher.  That definitely crosses all kinds of moral/ethical boundaries, probably conflicts with the academic policies and regulations of the college, and may be illegal. 

> As a high school teacher, I'm well aware of these privacy issues.  Recently, some of my students used their phones to secretly film another teacher having an embarassing/stressful argument with his class.  The other teacher is almost universally disliked, a sentiment I share.  However, I counseled the students to take the video down from the public class server, delete it, stop talking about it, and let it fade away....it could have turned into a big, big issue, and the student would have gotten into a great deal of trouble, as much as I, and others, would have sympathized with his feelings. 

> Anyway, again, that teacher seems crazy, but the students appears to be an obnoxious racist ass. 

Good comment. I expect Coel wiil ignore it though. Far too measured and reasonable.

3
Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

What does it take to care on your terms? On your old UK University concerns, I was so worried about the influence of the far left in a place where they do matter that I stood for union election many times against them and yet I still feel you massively exaggerate their overall influence in UK academia. You rarely seem to be as interested here about extremists on the right, or on the subject of Unis the much bigger issues in UK academic freedom like the really unusual (in the 'west') lack of tenure in the UK University sector and terrible governance in England in some institutions (for example the very common post '92 situation of not having a single academic rep from open elections on their governing body is now illegal in Scotland), that links to some horrible management abuses that some call 'managerialism'.

Roadrunner6 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

It's just money isn't it?

Capitalism and the free market. I thought you were all for the free market? Thousands of colleges competing for X number of students and wanting their $$.

I teach at a progressive high school now, it's very much based on the liberal arts college model, in some ways I love it. My kid will probably go here. In some ways I don't.

We do try to get a balance. In my old state school 'Walking class' was a science credit. We were losing 5% of our science students a year in the upper electives and were cutting science staff. We were so desperate to give out science credits. We teach 'sexuality' and various very progressive classes at the new independent school but we have left the sciences untouched.

I really don't think you should constrain thinking but a good solid base of the education should be the core subjects, that material can vary but it is the competencies which really matter. But education is also about challenging peoples conceptions so having some classes work at the boundaries is good. By the sounds of it this lecturer gave material which was very thought provoking. Students were questioning what he said, isn't that a win?

Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

There are laws on hate speech so there is no need for the quotes. Reporting is not the same as the police acting after investigation, and prosecutions are rare and are usually on pretty nasty evidence. The analysis of reporting doesn't show anything majorly unexpected.   So its another exaggeration to imply this is a major problem.  Law is formed by democratic political consensus, so if you believe in freedom of speech why would you complain so much about views that differ from yours.

No platforming isn't common in the UK and the banned groups are banned from most media as well. In the majority of the rarer cases with big publicity, cited as a sign of a major threat to UK academic freedom in the right-wing press, the independent evidence indicates press misinformation or Uni management cowardice (llike some bogus H&S excuses)  or both. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-45447938

Post edited at 13:44
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Reporting is not the same as the police acting after investigation, and prosecutions are rare and are usually on pretty nasty evidence.

The reporting is itself a means of harassment, if it means that someone is investigated by the police.  That has a chilling effect on freedom of expression, even if the police do not prosecute.

But more to the point, the activists who report such things *do* want the police to prosecute, they do want the speech to be illegal.  To claim that they are not trying to shut down dissenting voices is not true. 

2
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If a trans man does not "pass" I am very unlikely to be attracted to them. I was talking about someone who passes - who's been on hormones for long enough to look physically like a bloke.

You're not keeping up with trans ideology!

These days you don't have to transition or take hormones, you can retain your body as is.  If a trans person self-identifies as a man then they are a man.  And that means that their (biologically female) body is that of a man, and thus *is* a male body.  And so, if you do not find yourself sexually attracted to that body then that must be because you are a transphobe. 

Similarly, if a trans person self-identifies as a women then they are a woman!   And that then means that their (biologically male) body is that of a woman, and thus *is* a female body!  And if someone who is sexually attracted to females does find themselves sexually attracted to that body (complete with male genitals) then that must be because they are a transphobe. 

Seriously, I am not making this up.  That is where trans ideology has got to nowadays.   That is why the LGB Alliance have split with Stonewall, since they disagree -- they consider it entirely reasonable for their sexual attraction to be about how naked bodies look. 

4
Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The legal changes the activists you disagree with might want are based on their ideology in the same sort of way your's are as an activist. Activists can campaign but in our representative democracy law is formed by our elected government or our elected MPs after civil service advice and debate and a democratic vote, all under the scrutiny of a free press. I think thats a good process and in terms of UK freedom of speech outcomes things are broadly OK. There is only a major problem when things that get shut-down don't meet normal legal or democratic measures and in academic terms that is rare and more about managerial choice than anything... the political left or right might try and influence but they don't make choices.

Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> The legal changes the activists you disagree with might want are based on their ideology in the same sort of way your's are as an activist.

What a convoluted sentence.   Here is a simpler one:

They want to make speech they disagree with illegal; I don't. 

There's a big difference.  I'm prepared to discuss the issues, they want to prevail by preventing contrary views being expressed. 

1
TobyA 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> But one set are viewed as pariahs with no say over political or social policy and deeply unfashionable in polite circles. 

Well, except in America where they get jobs in or working for Trump's cabinet. And Russia, and Hungary, and Poland, and Italy, and Norway, and Denmark and so on where populist right parties have been government partners.

Bob Kemp 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> They want to make speech they disagree with illegal; I don't. 

Who exactly do you think the 'they' are? Who are you disagreeing with?

Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> You're not keeping up with trans ideology!

Wrong. You're taking what some trans people say and generalising that as an ideology that represents trans people. If you took a genuine interest in the subject, rather than a politically motivated preconceived interest, you would know that.

Offwidth 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Its not a big difference it just looks that way because of your ideology.  They want to get their way and you want yours.  Most people regard the limits of freedom of speech as debatable. Fortunately for most of us the direction of such political decision making is based on a democratic process.

Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Who exactly do you think the 'they' are? Who are you disagreeing with?

A widespread faction that can be labelled "SJW" that adopts ideas from "grievance-studies" academia ("gender studies", "critical race theory" and similar) and that try to prevail, not by good arguments, but by no-platforming opponents and trying to shut them up, by adopting the victim posture, crying "hate speech", trying to get people sacked, and banned from Twitter, preventing people speaking by disrupting events, and similar tactics. 

4
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You're taking what some trans people say and generalising that as an ideology that represents trans people.

I agree that it is only some trans people, and that other trans people disagree, but it is what the vocal trans activists say, and they seem to have captured organisations such as Stonewall. 

2
Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I agree that it is only some trans people, and that other trans people disagree, but it is what the vocal trans activists say, and they seem to have captured organisations such as Stonewall. 

Yes, I think that's right. I just don't really see what the terrible problem is that I'm supposed to be worrying about.

Ramblin dave 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I agree that it is only some trans people, and that other trans people disagree, but it is what the vocal trans activists say, and they seem to have captured organisations such as Stonewall. 

What is your evidence that Stonewall believe that a lesbian who isn't attracted to a trans female, whatever her genitalia look like, must be transphobic? I've never seen this opinion even from friends who are fairly militant trans activists, let alone from a major organisation like Stonewall.

1
Ramblin dave 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> A widespread faction that can be labelled "SJW"

A term, lest we forget, that was popularised as a term of abuse by a mob of online trolls using harassment and threats of violence to silence women whose opinions about video games they didn't like. Good to know where you look for intellectual leadership.

4
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Yes, I think that's right. I just don't really see what the terrible problem is that I'm supposed to be worrying about.

Well, compared to climate change and Trump it may not be that terrible a problem.  But such ideologies do have real-world consequences if not opposed. 

As just one example, perhaps we should be worried about doctors handing out powerful, puberty-blocking drugs more or less on-demand to early-teen kids.   The effects of such drugs can be lifelong and can include impotence. And at that age kids are simply not mature enough to make such decisions on this topic.  There are indications that young teenagers who are somewhat confused about their sexuality, and who may end up gay, are instead being led to consider themselves to be trans (and then put on the pathway to serious medical interventions starting with the puberty-blocking drugs).

Referral rates for such interventions have gone from -- numbers for one London clinic -- about 30 a year (15 years ago) to about 2000 a year now; and interventions are being offered to increasingly younger kids.  Is society having a proper discussion about this? Is the medical profession?  Do we actually know the long-term consequences of these drugs? Do we know what the rates of "de-transitioning" are when the kids hit age 20 or so?  Are we going to see an avalanche of law-suits from de-transitioned kids arguing that the adults around them failed them by going along with such medical interventions at an age when the kids were not considered mature enough to decide to drink alcohol or get a credit card?

And again, my central underlying point about all such things is the attitude from one side of the debate of continually wanting to shut down debate rather than to open it up and discuss the issues freely in order to properly think through what is best.

1
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> A term, lest we forget, that was popularised as a term of abuse by a mob of online trolls using harassment and threats of violence to silence women whose opinions about video games they didn't like. Good to know where you look for intellectual leadership.

And isn't that last line an obnoxious-little-shit remark?  Why the need for snide personal attacks like that?  And yes, I do realise that I'm doing the same by retaliating, but then you are an obnoxious little shit aren't you?

You're also wrong. SJW was originally promoted by the SJWs themselves, as a positive term for themselves.     Yes, people opposed to them then starting using the term, and in their mouths it had derogatory intent, but then in their mouths any term for the SJW would have had derogatory intent. 

And yes, the term was used in "Gamergate", but it was also in a lot of other contexts, and it does not, in particular, owe its origin to "Gamergate".  So your insinuation that by using the term I am looking to one side of Gamergate for "intellectual leadership" is just wrong.  So how about apologising for your snide cluelessness?

Do you actually want to discuss the issues, or do you just want to make snide insults at anyone who thinks there are serious issues to be discussed here?  

9
Ramblin dave 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And isn't that last line an obnoxious-little-shit remark?  Why the need for snide personal attacks like that?  And yes, I do realise that I'm doing the same by retaliating, but then you are an obnoxious little shit aren't you?

No, I'm just someone who's concerned for the safety of my trans and nonbinary friends, which is being put at risk by the sort of misinformation and slander that you and the people who you've been championing in this thread have been spreading under the pretence of "just wanting to discuss the issues". I'm sorry if this makes me uncivil, but it also seems quite uncivil that trans and nonbinary people (and cis people who don't look sufficiently cis, come to that) are facing violence, abuse and restriction of their human rights from people inspired by the folks whose "freedom to debate" you're so keen to defend.

I'm sorry about the snideyness, that was unnecessary. I'm going to step away from this thread now because to be honest I'm not sure that there's much more that I can helpfully add.

Post edited at 22:45
4
Coel Hellier 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> ... which is being put at risk by the sort of misinformation and slander that you and the people who you've been championing in this thread have been spreading under the pretence of "just wanting to discuss the issues".

What have I said that is misinformation or slander?

>  I'm sorry if this makes me uncivil, but it also seems quite uncivil that trans and nonbinary people (and cis people who don't look sufficiently cis, come to that) are facing violence, abuse and restriction of their human rights from people inspired by the folks whose "freedom to debate" you're so keen to defend.

None of the people I am defending have ever wanted or called for violence against trans people, nor abuse of trans people, nor restriction of their human rights.

3
pasbury 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And isn't that last line an obnoxious-little-shit remark?  Why the need for snide personal attacks like that?  And yes, I do realise that I'm doing the same by retaliating, but then you are an obnoxious little shit aren't you?

> You're also wrong. SJW was originally promoted by the SJWs themselves, as a positive term for themselves.     Yes, people opposed to them then starting using the term, and in their mouths it had derogatory intent, but then in their mouths any term for the SJW would have had derogatory intent. 

> And yes, the term was used in "Gamergate", but it was also in a lot of other contexts, and it does not, in particular, owe its origin to "Gamergate".  So your insinuation that by using the term I am looking to one side of Gamergate for "intellectual leadership" is just wrong.  So how about apologising for your snide cluelessness?

> Do you actually want to discuss the issues, or do you just want to make snide insults at anyone who thinks there are serious issues to be discussed here?  

Take a few deep breaths, go outside for a walk, chill.

And stop polluting this forum with your toxic hatred.

11
Tom V 05 Nov 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> And stop polluting this forum with your toxic hatred.

Out of order, I'd say

3
r0x0r.wolfo 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> No, I'm just someone who's concerned for the safety of my trans and nonbinary friends, which is being put at risk by the sort of misinformation and slander that you and the people who you've been championing in this thread have been spreading under the pretence of "just wanting to discuss the issues". I'm sorry if this makes me uncivil, but it also seems quite uncivil that trans and nonbinary people (and cis people who don't look sufficiently cis, come to that) are facing violence, abuse and restriction of their human rights from people inspired by the folks whose "freedom to debate" you're so keen to defend.

> I'm sorry about the snideyness, that was unnecessary. I'm going to step away from this thread now because to be honest I'm not sure that there's much more that I can helpfully add.

Ah, the throw in the grenade and leave approach.

I haven't read the entire thread but if you feel that there are posts in this thread that are inspiring hatred and violence against trans people then you should make use of the forum's report function and contact the police if necessary. That being said, I think removing the words 'woke', 'sjw', 'alt-right' from this conversation would help immensely.

I want to defend Coel's right to talk bollocks about other people talking bollocks within reason. At the same time you can say what you have and call it a day too. I think others are right about the dangers of putting a magnifying glass on extremely rare events such as transgender people gaming the system and committing rape. I think incidents such as these should be looked at dispassionately and the course of action taken which causes the least harm, whatever that happens to be.

The problem is that some of the concerns are valid but are seemingly discussed by the wrong people. You will have those who are very intent on discussing anti-semitism in the Labour Party, and those with a fascination with Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. The correlation between the political allegiances and the interests people have in the one subject or the other is highly suspicious and the same is true here. It can be tempting to gloss over one issue or the other out if complete tribalism and contrarianism. Minimum age for tranformative medical procedures? Probably a good idea, but it is strange where the concern for what is a very small minority of people comes from. 

Timmd 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> Out of order, I'd say

Potentially, but I can't remember many people being quite so personal as calling others 'an obnoxious little shit', it's the kind of thing the mods might have a word about.

Post edited at 00:57
3
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Potentially, but I can't remember many people being quite so personal as calling others 'an obnoxious little shit', ...

In direct response to a snide assertion that I look for "intellectual leadership" from "trolls using harassment and threats of violence to silence women ...".     

There's been far more personal attacks on me on the thread than I have directed at others. 

I would regard the retort as fair comment (though admittedly it amounts to descending to his level). 

5
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> And stop polluting this forum with your toxic hatred.

Ah yes, "disagreement" = "hatred".  So we can win the argument simply by labeling anyone who disagrees as "haters" and then legitimately shut them down because they are promoting "hate speech". 

3
Pan Ron 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Sadly, Pasbury's response seems pretty mainstream and acceptable to a lot of people.  Says a lot that when trying to make a point about the stifling of dissent and discussion, you can be accused of "hate", which itself is a criminal form of speech.

But apparently there's no problem to be addressed.

4
syv_k 06 Nov 2019
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> I haven't read the entire thread but if you feel that there are posts in this thread that are inspiring hatred and violence against trans people then you should make use of the forum's report function and contact the police if necessary

unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. My trans friends find that whenever there is an upswing of poorly informed and sensationalist “discussion” from newspapers, radio phone ins, social media etc, for a few days afterwards there are more incidents of being yelled at in the street, assaulted in the loos etc. Obviously one must assign  blame to the perpetrators, but also I think we should all be a little mindful of the consequences of what we say, what band wagon we jump on, etc. What is an academic or point scoring discussion to some folk does affect others lives quite dramatically.

2
r0x0r.wolfo 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Potentially, but I can't remember many people being quite so personal as calling others 'an obnoxious little shit', it's the kind of thing the mods might have a word about.

An unfortunate misquote. It was 'an obnoxious-little-shit remark' so he's attacking the remark and not the person. 

3
Bob Kemp 06 Nov 2019
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> An unfortunate misquote. It was 'an obnoxious-little-shit remark' so he's attacking the remark and not the person. 

Not true. He did both:

"And isn't that last line an obnoxious-little-shit remark?  Why the need for snide personal attacks like that?  And yes, I do realise that I'm doing the same by retaliating, but then you are an obnoxious little shit aren't you?"

My italics.

Timmd 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> In direct response to a snide assertion that I look for "intellectual leadership" from "trolls using harassment and threats of violence to silence women ...".     

> There's been far more personal attacks on me on the thread than I have directed at others. 

> I would regard the retort as fair comment (though admittedly it amounts to descending to his level).

It's an interesting one, I think it was your directness which made it stand out, while people being snide can slip below the radar a little bit - unless it's aimed at oneself of course*. Other people have been pulled up for calling people shits and similar, which is why I mentioned it rather than from taking sides. If I mentioned your comment and not others it was down to it's directness bringing it to notice.

*Which is presumably why some can be a little bit passive aggressive on here.

Post edited at 13:45
r0x0r.wolfo 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Not true. He did both:

> "And isn't that last line an obnoxious-little-shit remark?  Why the need for snide personal attacks like that?  And yes, I do realise that I'm doing the same by retaliating, but then you are an obnoxious little shit aren't you?"

> My italics.

Fair play! I should have re-read a little further! I wish I could dislike my own comments at times...

Post edited at 13:54
1
Offwidth 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The numbers for one clinic are irrelevant. Numbers are indeed going up (referrals ~3 times in the last five years) but I do wonder about how much of the big earlier increase was down to lack of support for genuine need and thence some serious suffering in ignorance.

Your faux naivety is embarrassing about if the profession is talking about it, as you must know the answer to that question as an academic (unless you never talk to peer clinician academics or read their output,  and just rely on the likes of the Telegraph for info), just do a search on your University library system. The subject has been extensively discussed in the press for a long time, and with particular urgency recently (often in unbalanced ways, with poor clinincal input) and in Parliament.

Your statements on the drugs used seem to me to exhibit paranoia close to the antivaxer movement (yet another dangerously ignorant right wing movement). Those wanting NHS advice on the process can obtain it here (with clinical information on the risks):

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/treatment/

Post edited at 14:02
1
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Your faux naivety is embarrassing about if the profession is talking about it, as you must know the answer to that question ...

Yep, and the answer is that some doctors who have been involved with such clinics are raising concerns about the lack of discussion of such treatments.   

E.g.: "The Times has spoken to five clinicians who resigned from the service because of concerns over the treatment of vulnerable children who come to the clinic presenting as transgender."    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/calls-to-end-transgender-experiment-on-children-k792rfj7d

> Your statements on the drugs used seem to me to exhibit paranoia close to the antivaxer movement (yet another dangerously ignorant right wing movement). 

Amazing; you just respond with sneers and smears. How pathetic.  Is that the best you can do?  As for the drugs:

"In an open letter last week, former Gids clinician Dr Kirsty Entwistle raised concerns over the way puberty blockers were being presented to children as "fully reversible", when their long-term impact was unknown.  She also said staff were unable to raise concerns without risking being branded transphobic."

That comes from the rabid, alt-right source known as the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49036145 )

The open letter from from Dr Entwistle is https://medium.com/@kirstyentwistle/an-open-letter-to-dr-polly-carmichael-from-a-former-gids-clinician-53c541276b8d

r0x0r.wolfo 06 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

> unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. My trans friends find that whenever there is an upswing of poorly informed and sensationalist “discussion” from newspapers, radio phone ins, social media etc, for a few days afterwards there are more incidents of being yelled at in the street, assaulted in the loos etc. Obviously one must assign  blame to the perpetrators, but also I think we should all be a little mindful of the consequences of what we say, what band wagon we jump on, etc. What is an academic or point scoring discussion to some folk does affect others lives quite dramatically.

I'm certainly not a fan of sensationalist media but surely you can't blame otherwise reasonable, if "academic", discussions for the violent or thuggish actions of others. 

People are not abusing at trans people because they are turning over Coel's opinions e.g. on the age of consent for gender reassignment, in their minds but because they are complete tw*ts.

Some of the discussions are not academic. I don't have a dog in the fight in what toliets trans people use, I couldn't care less, but it makes a lot of women uncomfortable. Some dispassionate academic discussion of what the actual risks are to the respective groups is probably better than simply imposing things on a whim. 

I'd rather people be first exposed to these issues through intellectual point scoring as opposed to a sensationalist article that has the word 'rape' in the headline.

1
Pan Ron 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Potentially, but I can't remember many people being quite so personal as calling others 'an obnoxious little shit', it's the kind of thing the mods might have a word about.

I think Mr Pasbuy has directly called me a racist on a number of occaisions.  I don't see why that should be treated any different on here than if it occurred on the street.  "Obnoxious little shit" seems pretty accurate.

3
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Your statements on the drugs used seem to me to exhibit paranoia close to the antivaxer movement (yet another dangerously ignorant right wing movement).

In addition to my previous comment:

"When it comes to children, teens and young adults aged under 25, we simply do not yet know much about the psychosocial effects of pubertal suppressors (including gonadotropin-releasing analogs which suppress the development of secondary sexual characteristics) and further hormonal treatments (both gender-affirming hormones and cross-hormonal treatments, such as anti-androgens, which counter the effects of testosterone, and progestins, which suppress the menses).

"Denise Chew at the University of Melbourne and her colleagues identified only thirteen relevant studies, and – by necessity in many cases given the context – most of these involved small samples, only two featured a control group, and none involved blinding or randomisation (the gold standard approach for medical trials).

"The limited evidence available suggests that these interventions are “relatively safe” in terms of their physical side-effects, although there is no long-term data (including potential adverse effects on fertility)."

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2018/07/23/systematic-review-puberty-suppressing-drugs-do-not-alleviate-gender-dysphoria/

Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Your statements on the drugs used seem to me to exhibit paranoia close to the antivaxer movement (yet another dangerously ignorant right wing movement).

And another source:

"Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) acts on GnRH receptors to suppress gonadotropin release. In females GnRHa reduces the secretion of LH and FSH; in males, it shuts down gonadal testosterone production. For this reason, they are often referred to as puberty blockers.  Little is known about the safety profile in the context of gender dysphoria, particularly the long-term effects, ..."

"Problems within these studies, however, make it difficult to assess whether early pubertal changes regress under GnRHa treatment and whether prolonged puberty suppression is safe."

"An Archive of Diseases in Childhood letter referred to GnRHa treatment as a  momentous step in the dark. It set out three main concerns: 1) young people are left in a state of ‘developmental limbo’ without secondary sexual characteristics that might consolidate gender identity; 2) use is likely to threaten the maturation of the adolescent mind, and 3) puberty blockers are being used in the context of profound scientific ignorance."

"The development of these interventions should, therefore, occur in the context of research, and treatments for under 18 gender dysphoric children and adolescents remain largely experimental. There are a large number of unanswered questions that include the age at start, reversibility; adverse events, long term effects on mental health, quality of life, bone mineral density, osteoporosis in later life and cognition. We wonder whether off label use is appropriate and justified for drugs such as spironolactone which can cause substantial harms and even death. We are also ignorant of the long-term safety profiles of the different GAH regimens. The current evidence base does not support informed decision making and safe practice in children."

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmjebmspotlight/2019/02/25/gender-affirming-hormone-in-children-and-adolescents-evidence-review/

Offwidth 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I'm fully aware of the clinical concerns Coel; there were even some valid concerns on the antivax side as well (small risks compared to the huge benefits).... however if the type of paper you have linked was all that there was, the treatment would have been stopped or changed now, now wouldnt it? What about the meta data reviews and the papers supporting the process and all that suffering before medical help became available. If all you can come up with is one-sided evidence maybe some will think you're transphobic. 

2
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to the thread:

And having quoted from authoritative sources on the lack of knowledge of the safety of puberty-blocking drugs, let's remind ourselves that the kids are not considered mature enough to decide to purchase and consume an alcoholic drink, and yet are being allowed to opt for puberty-blocking drugs more or less on their say so. 

And if you try raising concerns about this, people like Mr Offwidth -- who thinks of himself as a scientist -- just sneers at you with suggestions that it is "paranoia close to the antivaxer movement" and then adds the sneer about a "dangerously ignorant right wing movement".

But of course, no way are they trying to shut down debate by such tactics, so sir! 

3
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> however if the type of paper you have linked was all that there was, the treatment would have been stopped or changed now, now wouldnt it?

Nope.  Not if the prescribing were driven by ideology. That's the entire point!   Duh!

> What about the meta data reviews ..

The pieces I quoted *were* reviews of the field! 

> ... and the papers supporting the process ...

Read the links I gave for why the evidence is woefully insufficient. 

>  If all you can come up with is one-sided evidence maybe some will think you're transphobic. 

Oh look, I post several authoritative links, and all you can respond with is a feeble attempt at a smear!   You really are pathetic, aren't you?

1
Offwidth 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

And breathe...

So lets get this right as its important...are you accusing the NHS dysphoria services as being ideologically driven? Those I know seem like normal evidenced based practitioners to me and I have a 'nose' for far leftist ideologues given I've spent so much of my life opposing them.

As I know you struggle with words at times, maybe I should be clearer what I meant...'the meta data reviews that support the services and the papers that support the services and all the suffering that has been removed by the services'.

Everything you highlighted in bold is one sided, the meta data papers you linked that I've read so far raise possible genuine concerns (mainly as unknowns requiring research) but there is nothing like your bizzare extrapolation to ideological drive. Medicine is fundamentally about ethical evidenced based risk-benefit analysis; pretty much everything has risks: if you just looked at those, no benefit could accrue.

Post edited at 15:38
2
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> So lets get this right as its important...are you accusing the NHS dysphoria services as being ideologically driven?

Yes.  And that's also what some former clinicians of those clinics say.  See the Dr Entwistle open letter linked to above.  See the report in The Times talking to 5 former clinicians. 

> Everything you highlighted in bold is one sided, ...

People are welcome to read the whole of those pieces for themselves.  (I gave the links for that purpose.)  Yes, I quoted the bits raising concerns, and highlighted them to make it easy for skim readers, but in no way am I misrepresenting the tenor of those pieces. 

1
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to the thread:

Another point about the safety and reversibility of these puberty-blocking drugs. 

The drugs were first used as puberty blockers to treat "precocious puberty", meaning kids (usually girls) developing into puberty too early at age around 8.   The drugs would then be given to slow down puberty, and then stopped at age 12 or so, so that the girls would then go through puberty at that age.

And the evidence is that, yes, for that purpose, the drugs are safe, effective, and "reversible" in the sense that the girls do then develop normally. 

But that is very different from starting giving the blockers at age 12 or 13 or so, and then expecting the effects to be reversible if they then stop at, say, age 17 or 18.    The evidence of *that* is just not there.    Now, if they go on, at age 18 or so, to make a full surgical transition, then this is no problem.  But if they decide to de-transition and stop taking the drugs at age 18, will they then go through development and end up normal for their sex (including being fertile etc)?  Well, again, the evidence on that topic is not there, the studies have not been done.**  Young people are being put on the drugs with the expectation they will go on down the surgical transition route, and being told rather glibly that the effects are "reversible", if they ever choose to stop taking them, but that's based more on hope than evidence. 

Well, maybe I'm wrong (let's hope that I am!), but can anyone point me to an actual study that says, yes, if a child takes puberty blockers from ages 12 to 18, and then desists, then, after a bit, the body will indeed have developed into the normal adult form for their sex? Is there any study showing that? (Or are their genitals then forever stunted?)  (Genuine questions, honestly!)  Because, if we cannot assure kids of that, then it is not honest to assert that the effects are "reversible".  

**Edit to add: The prescribing to trans teens is generally "off label", which means that studies and trials have been done to assure safety and effectiveness for the above "precocious puberty" use, but have *not* been done for the prescribing to trans teens. 

Post edited at 16:09
1
Offwidth 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Yes you are grossly misrepresenting, as the meta data reviews don't claim ideological drive (or if you read them, they dont say anything like what you do) and your selection of sources ignores all the positive supprting research and the positive patient outcomes.

Glad you admit you think the UK NHS gender dysphoria services, with all its highly qualified staff, are ideologically driven... good luck with getting many proper scientists to sign up to that.

On the drugs point, when a child facing medically defined severe trauma has followed a long medically defined process with a likely outcome that they will be facing surgical processes when they become adults, the risks have been factored in agaisnt the benefits. Medical processes get changed all the time based on the latest best evidence but you claim a non medical drive behind the services, an ideology.

Post edited at 16:12
2
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Yes you are grossly misrepresenting, as the meta data reviews don't claim ideological drive

FFS, pot, kettle, black.   I said that the **former clinicians** were claiming ideological drive.  The reviews of the safety and effectiveness of the drugs, quite properly, addressed the safety and effectiveness of the drugs!

> Glad you admit you think the UK NHS gender dysphoria services, with all its highly qualified staff, are ideologically driven...

Amazing.   I link to an open letter signed by a former clinician in those clinics, asserting exactly that, and that sort of retort is the best you can do?   You really are cluelessly out of your depth in any sort of intellectual discussion!

2
Offwidth 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I've read the letter now (missed the link), and it says no such thing. It raises a variety of concerns, about Leeds management, about Mermaids,  about some responses of some clinicians to raised concerns, about the complexity of the services and about various general risks and influences (potentially leading to some misdiagnosis) that need reviewing in the services (some of which are clearly affected by underfunding in related areas of child mental health support). It does not say the NHS gender dysphoria services are ideologically driven.

Her concluding remarks:

"My main hopes for writing this letter is that you will at least:

· finally truly listen to the concerns of current GIDS clinicians and give former GIDS clinicians a formal opportunity to express their concerns;

· that you will protect and support GIDS staff when they are falsely accused of transphobia and take formal action against people who make false accusations of transphobia;

· that you will better protect children and young people by ensuring that every child at least has a comprehensive psychosocial assessment before the medical pathway is considered;

· and that GIDS clinicians will stop giving the message that hormone blockers/puberty blockers are “fully reversible” when there is currently no way of knowing what is the long term impact on the brain"

syv_k 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You are balancing a rather unlikely risk of hormone blockers having nasty effects in teens given we know they aren’t nasty in younger children, and aren’t nasty in older people (my grandfather was one of many many older users - took blockers for many years for his prostate cancer, and ended up dying of something else instead at a ripe old age). Yes, there is a small possible risk to fertility perhaps, as the studies haven’t been done yet.

however please balance that against the risk of no treatment of a trans teen. Years of utter misery caused by their body being hideous to them. The effects of natural testosterone and oestrogen are not reversible. No longer being able to ‘pass’ as the sex they have been living for potentially for years and years - being found out, bullied, experiencing the feeling of being a monster as unwanted breasts are growing or voice is deepening. Missing out on normal life as a teen. Proven risk of suicide and PTSD.

Now, if only 50% of those prescribed blockers ended up surgically/medically transitioning, as you say it might be worth raising fertility concerns for the 50% that aren’t. However... transition rates were 100% for the first batch of British kids using the blockers. So by putting more obstacles in the way to blockers you would be disadvantaging every single kid who used them, for the possible advantage of the hypothetical patient who hasn’t turned up yet. That to me seems like treating trans people as less important than non trans people - and if applied to any other area of medicine would mean that the hospitals would be empty.

2
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

> Now, if only 50% of those prescribed blockers ended up surgically/medically transitioning, as you say it might be worth raising fertility concerns for the 50% that aren’t. However... transition rates were 100% for the first batch of British kids using the blockers.

Yes, agreed, which is why we need open discussion of the benefits and drawbacks, and proper information on the outcomes and detransition rates, and why it is concerning if former clinicans at GIDS clinics go public with concerns about the ethos of those clinics. 

By the way, can you give a cite for the "transition rates were 100% for the first batch"?

> Proven risk of suicide and PTSD.

Yes, the suicide rate for trans-gender kids is way above normal.  But I've also seen in claimed that the suicide rate is not reduced by transitioning.   I'd be interested if anyone can point to authoritative studies on that. 

Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> [the letter] does not say the NHS gender dysphoria services are ideologically driven.

You're now trying to claim that it doesn't just because it doesn't use the word "ideological"?     Some quotes include:

"GIDS clinicians are afraid of raising their concerns for fear of being labelled transphobic by colleagues."

"This attempt to try to explore the context resulted in my questions being described as “transphobic” by one of my colleagues"

"I am also concerned that the attempts of Tavistock & Portman professionals, including former GIDS clinicians, to voice concerns about GIDS practice do not appear to have sunk in. Polly, as I’m sure you know very well, Clinical Psychologists are not known for going to the press but several former GIDS clinicians have done so anonymously. I cannot think of another time when Clinical Psychologists have gone to the press about concerns for the welfare of the children in their service, you have to take them seriously."

"At GIDS no one directly tells you that you’re not allowed to suggest that perhaps these early experiences might be connected to a child’s wish to transition but if you make the mistake of suggesting this in a team meeting you run the risk of being called transphobic."

"One of my biggest ethical dilemmas whilst working at GIDS was that there were parents who brought their child to GIDS anticipating that we would confirm that the child was not transgender but we are not able to tell parents that actually there is some unspoken rule that means GIDS clinicians do not tell families, “your child is not transgender”."

"Since leaving GIDS I have, over time, been learning about organisations and academics who present a more critical approach to gender identity and the medical pathway for children. I have also seen accounts of young people who no longer identify as transgender, even after medical interventions and are now distressed about having been put on the medical pathway. It is by seeing their courage that gives me the courage and the ethical duty to speak up."

Et cetera, but people can read more for themselves (link up-thread).

syv_k 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, agreed, which is why we need open discussion of the benefits and drawbacks, and proper information on the outcomes and detransition rates, and why it is concerning if former clinicans at GIDS clinics go public with concerns about the ethos of those clinics. 

Former clinicians go public with all kinds of concerns, major and minor, some of whom have grudges against folks or ulterior, religious or ideological motivations. If this was about hip replacements rather than “sex changes” it wouldn’t be deemed in the public interest enough to make a national newspaper.

The last paper I saw about outcomes of transition, surgery etc and survey - patients were very happy (more so than hip replacement and almost any other non emergency surgery) a few unhappy with quality of surgical outcome.

detransition rates - well under 1%, vague memory it was about 3 in a thousand, of which about half subsequently retransitioned. De transitioning was usually lack of social support in new gender and or religious reasons, rather than the patient no longer believing they were trans.

> By the way, can you give a cite for the "transition rates were 100% for the first batch"?

https://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l5647/rapid-responses

That isn’t the paper itself but if you search down the rapid responses looking for ‘100’ you will get the figure.

Offwidth 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I read all that. Such comments might be based on all sorts of things other than institutional ideological bias. I could accuse all sorts of organisations of all sorts of ideological bias based on such logic. In this case it shows way too many individual behaviour problems (if true) indicating poor governance, probably resulting from an organisation under terrible financial pressures, given some of the highest growth in demand for services anywhere in the NHS, at a time of austerity.

Post edited at 17:32
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

> That isn’t the paper itself but if you search down the rapid responses looking for ‘100’ you will get the figure.

OK, thanks.  After the search the relevant sentences seem to be the comment:

"However, it is surprising that they do not see at least the significant risk of over use of treatments with unknown long term outcomes. 100% of puberty blocked children going onto cross sex hormones is remarkable in that it suggests that either clinicians are able to predict outcomes with 100% accuracy (unheard of in any other area of psychiatry ) or that starting puberty blockers, in of itself, leads to cross sex hormones at the age of 16."

It's then unclear what data this is actually referring to. 

Anyhow, that Cohen and Barnes piece is interesting.  E.g.:

"The researchers released some preliminary data for 30 of the 44 young people in the study, presented to the Tavistock’s board by Carmichael in 2015 and documented in meeting minutes.11 The researchers flagged up their finding of a “significant increase” in the number of children agreeing to the statement “I deliberately try to hurt or kill myself” after taking puberty blockers for one year."

I have added the emphasis; it continues:

"Because of the uncontrolled study design, interpretation of these data is difficult. It’s not clear whether this apparent increase in self harm and suicidality was caused by the drug or something else.

"Regardless, Susan Bewley, emeritus professor (honorary) of obstetrics and women’s health at King’s College London, said that these findings should have warranted further investigation. “Good medical practice would normally be very reflective about an increase in harms,” she said.

"“Seeing a change in suicidality is very worrying . . . We’ve got form in medicine of having bad science, where we’ve given treatments that have increased suicidality in teenagers before.”

"GIDS said that the data were from a “small sample” and therefore no “meaningful conclusion” could be drawn. It added, “All patients were seen regularly by mental health professionals. They concluded that there was no evidence of harms that could be directly attributed to the treatment and that continuation of the study was appropriate.”"

Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

Also from the Cohen and Barnes piece:

"Marcus Evans was a psychoanalyst and adult psychotherapist
at the Tavistock and Portman trust for two decades. He resigned from its board in February this year because he didn’t think concerns among staff about GIDS were being taken seriously enough.

"He said that he didn’t think GIDS had taken enough interest in negative results.

"“We’re doing the whole area a disservice by this besieged mentality in which you feel that questioning things and having curiosity about what’s going on is the enemy of good treatment and care—rather than it’s [being] an absolute central tenet of good treatment and care,” he told us.

"Evans says he was amazed when the Tavistock’s medical director told him that GIDS failed to collect information about what happened to young people after they left the service. “In this controversial area, to hear that we don’t actually know whether the young people who’ve been through the service are going on to have hormone blockers or positive sex hormones or going on to have sexual reassignment surgery is very strange.” "

Jon Stewart 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As just one example, perhaps we should be worried about doctors handing out powerful, puberty-blocking drugs more or less on-demand to early-teen kids...Are we going to see an avalanche of law-suits from de-transitioned kids arguing that the adults around them failed them by going along with such medical interventions at an age when the kids were not considered mature enough to decide to drink alcohol or get a credit card?

There's a perfectly legitimate debate the diagnosis and treatment of trans kids. However, while you present yourself as helpfully encouraging open debate, you're actually doing the opposite.

Here, you've started with some extreme-nutter viewpoint ("same sex" is transphobic) and then confused a number of completely different issues (trans people in the justice system, sport and now the age at which gender reassignment treatment should be started) under the banner "trans nutter viewpoints". That's not good, open debate. That's parroting right-wing media talking points about trans people without any genuine regard to the issues themselves. 

You're not engaging in any worthwhile debate, you're just spewing a confused, meaningless, melange of familiar right-wing talking points onto the internet, all with the same undercurrent of undermining the legitimacy of trans people's viewpoints by painting them as uniformly unreasonable.

> And again, my central underlying point about all such things is the attitude from one side of the debate of continually wanting to shut down debate rather than to open it up and discuss the issues freely in order to properly think through what is best.

On these issues, very few people are remotely qualified to form a robust view that's worth listening to. When it comes to the age of starting gender reassignment treatment, this is an unbelievably difficult medical issue that you, nor I, or hardly anyone reading this can contribute anything of value. I'm not going to opine on the diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer any sooner than I will on gender dysphoria, because it's simply not my area of expertise. I might comment on how depression or glaucoma are dealt with in the NHS because I have personal experience to bring to bear. And such technical health issues are not decided by public debate - they're decided by working groups of technical policy makers.

You're stirring up bad feeling will towards a minority who have a very difficult life as it is. It isn't helpful, you're not opening up debate, you're just making life worse for people about whom you clearly don't have any real interest or compassion.

5
syv_k 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I gave you that link to corroborate the 100% go on to transition figure, which nobody disagrees with. Have you read the paper itself? If not then selectively quoting all the critical responses to the paper and missing out the rest of the interesting stats may be a bit misleading.

It is a while since I read it, but if I remember correctly, in relationship to suicidality, that was the one indicator that got slightly worse after treatment over time whereas in other ways they did very well, but teens do tend unfortunately to be more suicidal in late teens than early, so expected! They didn’t have a control group of untreated patients, which makes the data less easy to interpret, but I wouldn’t have liked to be the clinician to say no to a desperate family. And they are happy with their policy and believe it is working. I know of one family who had to fly overseas to get treatment for their kid before the NHS changed its policy - due to its funding method and centralisation it tends to be much more conservative, slower moving and old fashioned than other countries.

Due to the influence of mostly right wing bigots, tabloid journalists, religious types and a few second wave feminists/Freudian types, trans healthcare gets way less funding than comparable services, way more scrutiny and criticism. There are far more worthwhile debates on NHS care, funding and governance that don’t involve kicking a vulnerable minority who are already down.

2
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Here, you've started with some extreme-nutter viewpoint ("same sex" is transphobic) and then confused a number of completely different issues (trans people in the justice system, sport and now the age at which gender reassignment treatment should be started) under the banner "trans nutter viewpoints".

No, I've not used that banner, but there is indeed an element of ideology in all of those topics, and that ideology largely came out of "gender studies" after having been developed by Judith Butler et al about women versus "the patriarchy".  That's the tread that ties together my comments on them. 

> That's not good, open debate. That's parroting right-wing media talking points about trans people ...

First, you (and several others here) seem to think that associating something with the right automatically discredits it (it doesn't, any more than being "left" amounts to be automatically wrong).

Sensible people (once beyond teenage idealism) realise that there is good and bad about the views of both the left and the right, and that we need some sensible balance of the two. 

But, if you're suggesting that only right-wing people ponder the ethics of housing male-bodied sexual offenders with women in prison, and of allowing male-bodied athletes to compete in women's sport, and who wonder about the sense of current medical treatment of trans teenagers, then:

1) It isn't true, I can point to many left-wing people with similar concerns, and

2) if it were true, then it would indicate something very wrong with "the left", and

3) if anyone does get the impression that only "the right" ponder these things, then that means that the left and centrist media is not doing it's proper job of being a forum for current concerns.

> all with the same undercurrent of undermining the legitimacy of trans people's viewpoints by painting them as uniformly unreasonable.

No, it is not all trans people who are unreasonable. It is the "trans ideology" promoted by activists that I critique.  Many trans people have the same concerns and don't agree with the activist ideology. 

1
Pan Ron 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You're stirring up bad feeling will towards a minority who have a very difficult life as it is. It isn't helpful, you're not opening up debate, you're just making life worse for people about whom you clearly don't have any real interest or compassion.

That sounds a lot like the old "trouble-maker" claim, particularly popular at the moment amongst Mandarin-speaking Chinese referring the protestors in Hong Kong.

Perhaps its not "making life worse" and is just discussion, protest, thrashing out issues, and actually encouraging thought?  If certain groups feelings mean that's not possible then that is a pretty depressing state of affairs. 

Someone above referenced increases in attacks on trans people when these issues came up for discussion.  Might that be a result of lots of people getting heartily fvcked off with being told they cannot voice their side of the argument, that their views are by default illegitimate, and that this response then gives a small number of toe-rags even more reason to go bash-a-tranny?

2
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

> I gave you that link to corroborate the 100% go on to transition figure, which nobody disagrees with.

Again, it's unclear from the link you gave what study that 100% relates to (if it relates to the study in the Cohen and Barnes paper then it relates to between 10 and 15 people, so not that many).  And while it may have been true of one study, there have been significant numbers of detransitioners.  How many I don't know (I really would like proper stats on it).

>  Have you read the paper itself? If not then selectively quoting all the critical responses to the paper and missing out the rest of the interesting stats may be a bit misleading.

Yes, I have read the Cohen and Barnes paper itself, and the quotes I gave were from the paper itself, not from the responses. 

r0x0r.wolfo 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Got to admit that I did go seek how this thread got to being mostly about trans people. 

I was genuinely surprised that it was Coel himself who provided a broadside of about 5 or 6 issues (mainly related to trans people) which are deemed consequences of 'wokeness'. 

You do have to question the sincerity of someone's interest in various topics which are fairly unrelated save by the fact that they're seen as overly progressive by those who would prefer things to be more conservative.

Plenty on the left who couldn't give a toss about the plight of trans people but are willing to get stuck into a debate about it too, mind. Both are arguing that the other side is causing harm to these individuals and wider society. 

It's really unfortunate when what should be a medical / social issue becomes politicised into a left and right thing. 

Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>  When it comes to the age of starting gender reassignment treatment, this is an unbelievably difficult medical issue that you, nor I, or hardly anyone reading this can contribute anything of value.

I fully agree. But we can have an opinion on the wider issue of whether the topic is being properly and openly discussed and decided on the evidence.

> You're stirring up bad feeling will towards a minority who have a very difficult life as it is.

In what way am I stirring up bad feeling towards them?   Yes, they have a difficult life, but I don't think that means that all claims by trans activists should be accepted uncritically. 

All ideologies should be questioned, and we shouldn't accept the notion that ideologies promoted by "marginalised people" are automatically exempt.

Further, if a male-bodied sex offender such as Karen White is housed in a women's prison and then assaults other inmates, then yes, that could stir up ill feeling towards trans people.  (And innocent trans people who have done nothing wrong might suffer thereby.)

But who is to blame?  I submit that the blame is on the activist ideologues who argue: "Of course she should be housed in a women's prison, she's a woman! --  trans women are women!" and shout "transphobe" or "TERF" at anyone who disagrees, such that the politicians consent in order to gain votes and the authorities then go along with it.

I don't think the blame attaches to those who have a more realistic appraisal of the situation and a better awareness of biology and who dissent from some of the activist ideology. 

1
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> I was genuinely surprised that it was Coel himself who provided a broadside of about 5 or 6 issues (mainly related to trans people) which are deemed consequences of 'wokeness'. 

Yeah, maybe it wasn't a good idea to divert into trans issues.  But Jon asked for examples of how "woke ideology" can translate into real-world consequences, so I gave some. 

I guess I could have picked a different theme than trans issues. 

1
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to the thread:

By the way, here's a link to a podcast with trans-woman Rose of Dawn that I listened to when it came out a couple of weeks back.  It's interesting as a trans person who is fairly critical of much trans ideology:

https://www.gspellchecker.com/2019/10/ep146-rose-trans-activism/

Jon Stewart 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, I've not used that banner, but there is indeed an element of ideology in all of those topics, and that ideology largely came out of "gender studies" after having been developed by Judith Butler et al about women versus "the patriarchy".  That's the tread that ties together my comments on them. 

> First, you (and several others here) seem to think that associating something with the right automatically discredits it (it doesn't, any more than being "left" amounts to be automatically wrong).

> Sensible people (once beyond teenage idealism) realise that there is good and bad about the views of both the left and the right, and that we need some sensible balance of the two. 

I agree that policies in general should be judged on their merit, rather than whether they fall under a label of left or right, particularly in economics. However, sensible people will also see that when it comes to the policies of how we treat minorities, the right has a shameful record, and that if you're taking your lead from the right wing media on these issues, you can bet your bottom dollar you're signing up to an agenda of oppression and abuse. The right (that is, Tory governments and right-wing journalists) never got the hang of treating people with equal respect regardless of inherent characteristics, and on each minority, they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into being reasonable. You can ignore that pattern, or you can take note of it. Up to you.

> But, if you're suggesting that only right-wing people ponder the ethics of housing male-bodied sexual offenders with women in prison, and of allowing male-bodied athletes to compete in women's sport, and who wonder about the sense of current medical treatment of trans teenagers, then:

That isn't my claim. My claim is the right-wing viewpoints on these topics are one-sided and that the rights of the minority haven't been given a fair hearing, because on the right, there is a natural tendency to want to preserve social order. This is what it means to be socially conservative.

> No, it is not all trans people who are unreasonable. It is the "trans ideology" promoted by activists that I critique.  Many trans people have the same concerns and don't agree with the activist ideology. 

But you don't critique it in a meaningful way. You lump together different issues to justify a vague and meaningless attack on "gender studies ideology" and have to be prompted to differentiate between differing views between trans people. You don't put forward a compelling case for any given policy by demonstrating an understanding and balancing of the issues from both sides. You just put forward piss-poor repetitions of crap that appears in the right-wing media, and it's monumentally unconvincing and boring.

Post edited at 20:22
1
Jon Stewart 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> That sounds a lot like the old "trouble-maker" claim, particularly popular at the moment amongst Mandarin-speaking Chinese referring the protestors in Hong Kong.

> Perhaps its not "making life worse" and is just discussion, protest, thrashing out issues, and actually encouraging thought?  If certain groups feelings mean that's not possible then that is a pretty depressing state of affairs. 

Who needs my thoughts, or yours, or Coel's, on how trans prisoners should be treated in the justice system? Do any of us really know enough detail on this issue to make a helpful contribution to forming policy?

> Someone above referenced increases in attacks on trans people when these issues came up for discussion.  Might that be a result of lots of people getting heartily fvcked off with being told they cannot voice their side of the argument, that their views are by default illegitimate, and that this response then gives a small number of toe-rags even more reason to go bash-a-tranny?

If I opine on the way the building regulations should deal with radon levels in restoration work on Edwardian era terraced properties in the Morcambe area, I should be told not to bother voicing my side of the debate because I have absolutely nothing of value to add. My views are by default illegitimate, because I haven't got any idea what I'm talking about. The value of someone's opinion should be judged by how much knowledge and experience they bring to bear. If you bring none, then shut the f*ck up, and don't get pissy when you're told that.

Post edited at 20:16
2
Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> if you're taking your lead from the right wing media on these issues, you can bet your bottom dollar you're signing up to an agenda of oppression and abuse.

But then I don't.  At least, things like The Times may be "center right" but not really "right".

> You lump together different issues to justify a vague and meaningless attack on "gender studies ideology" and have to be prompted to differentiate between differing views between trans people.

But then I've never suggested that all trans people think alike, nor have I criticised trans people in general.  I have quite explicitly attacked "woke ideology" and "SJW ideology", but have never suggested that all trans people subscribe to those ideologies.  

Jon Stewart 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But then I don't.  At least, things like The Times may be "center right" but not really "right".

> But then I've never suggested that all trans people think alike, nor have I criticised trans people in general.  I have quite explicitly attacked "woke ideology" and "SJW ideology", but have never suggested that all trans people subscribe to those ideologies.  

"You're not keeping up with trans ideology!

These days you don't have to transition or take hormones, you can retain your body as is.  If a trans person self-identifies as a man then they are a man."

If you don't want your comments quoted straight back at you as evidence of dishonesty, you need to start being an awful lot more clear and precise in how you express yourself.

1
Pan Ron 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> However, sensible people will also see that when it comes to the policies of how we treat minorities, the right has a shameful record, and that

How far back does your history go?  And when do you start talking about today's world?  My grandparents thought the Japanese had a shameful record, based on the 30s and 40s.  I don't think my parents should have judged them by those same criteria from 1950s onwards.

I also get the impression minorities are only ever a friend of any political persuasion when they happen to support that party.  Conservative blacks and Asians are, unsurprisingly, quite welcome in conservative circles. 

> if you're taking your lead from the right wing media on these issues, you can bet your bottom dollar you're signing up to an agenda of oppression and abuse.

I used to think the way you did on this one but the closer I looked it became impossible to ignore the levels of hatred that seem justified on the left.

There is nothing but a maelstrom of "look there!  The enemy!".  They're every bit as divisive as anything the right produces, seeing oppression and ulterior motives in any suffering and sneering at the views and identity of a hell of a lot of people at the rump end of British society.  The working classes didn't play the game and are now not at home on the left.

That's certainly where I fell away from much of the left, with the realisation that it was constantly telling me that perfectly decent and reasonable people were my enemy.

Besides, the right wing media seems to have moderated.  It certainly isn't what it once was.

> The right (that is, Tory governments and right-wing journalists) never got the hang of treating people with equal respect regardless of inherent characteristics, and on each minority, they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into being reasonable. You can ignore that pattern, or you can take note of it. Up to you.

This is the nub of it.  You may have been right.  But what if you kept going and became the thing you campaigned against?

The left has abandoned the "treating people with equal respect regardless of inherent characteristics".  Not to mention treating with respect anyone whose views you simply disagree with. 

That's absolutely not where much of the left is these days and unashamedly so.  

> That isn't my claim. My claim is the right-wing viewpoints on these topics are one-sided and that the rights of the minority haven't been given a fair hearing, because on the right, there is a natural tendency to want to preserve social order. This is what it means to be socially conservative.

That is a reasonably accurate description of what it means to be socially conservative.

But "one-sided" is just as valid a criticism of the left, who appear to be pushing for continual change, in one direction, with no apparent end-point.  

The right meanwhile seems reasonably comfortable, though late to the game (but not that late considering where the Left was 20 years ago), with mainstreaming of sexual or ethnic minorities.  And I suspect the right have been comfortable with all this for longer than we think.  Today, what appears to be opposition may simply be a) frustration with extreme positions and b) opposition to the predominant political alignment of the trans-community - an alignment which is showing some signs of fracturing. 

This may be one of the reasons why the left is doomed to over-reach.  When the right doesn't oppose legal and social equality of minorities, the left can only claim an activist high-ground by pushing further still.  What appeal does it have to people who may actually be deeply religiously or socially conservative, or entrepreneurial, if it can't portray an image of itself as fighting for them, and the right by default being against them. 

> You don't put forward a compelling case for any given policy by demonstrating a understanding and balancing of the issues from bother sides. You just put forward piss-poor repetitions of crap that appears in the right-wing media, and it's monumentally unconvincing and boring.

That just reads a little petulant.  You do yourself no services with it.

3
Pan Ron 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> My views are by default illegitimate, because I haven't got any idea what I'm talking about. The value of someone's opinion should be judged by how much knowledge and experience they bring to bear. If you bring none, then shut the f*ck up, and don't get pissy when you're told that.

You are making big judgements about who may or may not have legitimate viewpoints. 

Coel Hellier 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> "You're not keeping up with trans ideology!

And a lot of trans people don't necessarily agree with "trans ideology".  Again, the emphasis in all I've said is on the ideology.

And by the way, on this:

> This is what it means to be socially conservative.

I'd probably regard myself as center-right on economic policy, but center-liberal or center-left on social policy.

Post edited at 21:00
Jon Stewart 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> How far back does your history go?  And when do you start talking about today's world? 

I'm referring to my lifetime, in which the Tories enshrined explicitly homophobic legislation which was the policy environment I grew up in a teenager, followed by the Labour government who gave gays equal rights. Thatcher was a racist, as demonstrated by her attitude towards the ANC and her strategies in policing here.

> Conservative blacks and Asians are, unsurprisingly, quite welcome in conservative circles. 

Of course they are - they've got a racist image to shake off!

> I used to think the way you did on this one but the closer I looked it became impossible to ignore the levels of hatred that seem justified on the left.

> The working classes didn't play the game and are now not at home on the left.

> The left has abandoned the "treating people with equal respect regardless of inherent characteristics"...

> That's absolutely not where much of the left is these days and unashamedly so.  

> But "one-sided" is just as valid a criticism of the left

I haven't been putting forward any arguments for "the left". Your idea of what the "the left" is is completely different to mine, so we'll only talk at cross purposes.

> The right meanwhile seems reasonably comfortable, though late to the game (but not that late considering where the Left was 20 years ago), with mainstreaming of sexual or ethnic minorities.  And I suspect the right have been comfortable with all this for longer than we think.  Today, what appears to be opposition may simply be a) frustration with extreme positions and b) opposition to the predominant political alignment of the trans-community - an alignment which is showing some signs of fracturing. 

Or it might be social conservatives who are't allowed by social convention to hate blacks and gays, so they're finding the next minority down the list to shit on, because accepting minorities as equal is a affront to social conservatism. It disrupts social order, and social conservatives don't like it.

> This may be one of the reasons why the left is doomed to over-reach. 

As you can see, I haven't put forward any case for "the left" or any "pro-trans rights" policies. All I've said is that Coe's boring talking points show a total lack of engagement with anything other than the continually-aired viewpoint: "look at the stupid and dangerous ideas of these trans ideologues - won't somebody think of the children!".

1
Pan Ron 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I haven't been putting forward any arguments for "the left". Your idea of what the "the left" is is completely different to mine, so we'll only talk at cross purposes.

You're right on that.  Your image of the right is, appears to be completely different from what mine is too.

syv_k 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I have just checked with a trans woman who is a member of Stonewall Trans Advisory Group at the more radical end.

She confirms that, contrary to your spiel of what trans ideology is,  it is not transphobic in the slightest for someone who is only attracted to women to be unattracted to someone with a masculine appearing body. She has never met any trans person who claims it is, although she has had plenty of opponents telling her that must be what she thinks. In fact, as a lesbian herself she would be unlikely to be attracted to such a hypothetical person. Everyone is entitled to be attracted to different physical features. Also, the “pushy/dangerous/big hairy man making no effort to present female but claiming to be a woman when convenient” is a trope that doesn’t exist because a trans person will want to be recognised in their acquired gender to reduce their gender dysphoria. And trans people don’t want to force transphobes to date them. Who wants to date someone who hates them? 

2
Timmd 06 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k: Some much needed common sense and reality.

Pefa 06 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But who is to blame?  I submit that the blame is on the activist ideologues who argue: "Of course she should be housed in a women's prison, she's a woman! --  trans women are women!" and shout "transphobe" or "TERF" at anyone who disagrees, such that the politicians consent in order to gain votes and the authorities then go along with it.

From personal experience people are happy for trans folk to be what they say they are and don't care and the only ones who do bother tend to be right wing racists, from personal experience that is. Hence why people are more than happy to say trans women are women. Also statistically we are not troublemakers or criminals and certainly not violent. 

Within the last few years it appears that some sexual predators have taken advantage of this to commit crimes and now this is being corrected, I and everyone else hopes but I don't think any SJWs would have been shouting to get these known men (with previous for attacking women) imprisoned with women knowing what they would do, or would they still be. 

As for "TERF", I have seen the articles by terfs and debated them (prior to getting blocked by them) and I can tell you they spread absolute poison about trans folks as well as outrageous conspiracy theories that we are trying to wipe out women, it really is ridiculous. They are also totally one sided in that m2f are the evil ones whereas f2m are victims and it is in fact they, the terfs who are more "SJW" than ordinary trans people and their followers as these terfs justify all this as a war on patriarchy, so in a way you are siding with SJWs. And they glory in attacking gender dysporic people as not being the sex they know they are in their heads because, well look at your body. This is extremely and I mean deeply damaging to gender dysporic people. To deny them what they are. 

> I don't think the blame attaches to those who have a more realistic appraisal of the situation and a better awareness of biology and who dissent from some of the activist ideology.

And you have now done exactly what I stated just there by writing - "those who have a more realistic appraisal of the situation and a better awareness of biology".

You are not impartial on this matter in any way and nor are you genuinely interested in proper debate about it. You shout people down and want to score points in a childish trolly way and you know it. Now there is nothing wrong with that as we all like fun but don't lie about it please. When I first came back to this forum and engaged in a debate with you it didn't take long for you to shout me down as a "snowflake". An impartial helpful genuine person wouldn't do that. 

I have a problem with this term of yours "trans - ideology". It is used by terfs, the far right and Christian fundamentalists to attack people like me as if we are spreading some evil cult that wants to take over the world and wipe everyone else out. We don't, we just want to quietly live our lives the same as everyone else does, with the same rights and freedoms and make the lives of future sufferers of gender dysphoria easier as we know first hand how terrible it is, in fact I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. So if you want to be genuine then be it but don't say you are when you are obviously not. 

Post edited at 23:23
3
Pefa 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Someone above referenced increases in attacks on trans people when these issues came up for discussion.  Might that be a result of lots of people getting heartily fvcked off with being told they cannot voice their side of the argument, that their views are by default illegitimate, and that this response then gives a small number of toe-rags even more reason to go bash-a-tranny?

No its because certain people see an easy target (vulnerable people) and take advantage of them by attacking them violently or with threats of violence, constant intimidation, alienation, bullying, discrimination, verbal abuse you name it we get it all constantly. Fortunately for me I live in stealth and no one can tell even when they know me for a long while so I don't get the worst of it and everyone I know is a decent normal person about it so no problems whatsoever. But that is not the case for the vast majority.

People do indeed " voice their side of the argument", even when they know zero about it in fact the levels of ignorance about this issue are amazing especially amongst those who like to voice their - usually reactionary - opinions on it but this isn't confined to just the reactionaries although they tend shout the loudest and spend more time spreading their intolerance.

Ps. Tranny is not a helpful term just like the n word for black people or the s word for disabled people are terms of abuse,so it would be kinder if you dropped it. 

Post edited at 00:21
2
EddieA 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Professor in a leading US public university here, making a brief visit to these fractured Isles. From having taught in the US for the last six years  I can say that there is nothing typical about the clip originally posted.  Who knows what context has been stripped from the video: perhaps it was a role-play lesson in  reducto ad absurdum? And who knows if it is real?  Even if it is, I can assure you it isn't common.  Standards of teaching in US universities are generally very good - I've taught in UK and Australian higher education too and I would say the expectations in the US are higher.  I teach mainly postgrads and my experience is that liberal arts -trained students are better prepared than the ones who come from places like Stanford and Yale. 

So I don't think we need a moral panic about 'wokeness gone mad', 'greviance studies' or the decline of liberal arts education.  Young people want a fairer society and in some cases that means taking on those in power, who in our societies are often white and male. 

Here a summary of some research based on labour statistics to back that statement up:

http://theconversation.com/why-trumps-stoking-of-white-racial-resentment-is-effective-but-makes-all-working-class-americans-worse-off-120068

I grew up in the Britain of Toxteth race riots, Jimmy Saville and Gary Glitter, and in the southern Africa of Apartheid.  I have no nostalgic wish to go back to those days. It wasn't 'better before all this political correctness' (better for who?).  The work of feminists, civil rights and queer activists hasn't 'made things worse' for race/gender etc relations; it's simply trying to undo some pretty disgraceful history and give those who have been on the recieving end of prejudice and discrimination a voice.  All power to 'greviance studies'.

2
Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

>   it is not transphobic in the slightest for someone who is only attracted to women to be unattracted to someone with a masculine appearing body. She has never met any trans person who claims it is, ...

I've never in-person "met" someone claiming that, but it's easy to find examples of people claiming that and pushing that ideology.   It is one of the reasons that the "LGB Alliance" has split from Stonewall.

> Also, the “pushy/dangerous/big hairy man making no effort to present female but claiming to be a woman when convenient” is a trope that doesn’t exist ...

Stated slightly differently: "male-looking man who has chosen not to transition (no drugs, no surgery) but who self-identifies as a woman" it most certainly does exist, there are lots of examples.

2
Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

Hi Pefa,

> From personal experience people are happy for trans folk to be what they say they are and don't care ...

OK ...

> Within the last few years it appears that some sexual predators have taken advantage of this to commit crimes and now this is being corrected, I and everyone else hopes but I don't think any SJWs would have been shouting to get these known men (with previous for attacking women) imprisoned with women knowing what they would do, or would they still be. 

But here you say they are "known men" even though they say that are women.  So do we go on self-identification or is there some other test that we apply to decide whether someone is a woman?    The trans activists have very much been pushing "self-identification" with no other test, and indeed regard any other test as "transphobic" (literally so, in the Stonewall definition of "transphobia" as including any refusal to accept a self-declared gender identity).

So yes, trans activists have very much been pushing the line that any prisoner who self-IDs as woman (even if a natal male with an intact male body and a record of sexual assault) actually is quite literally a woman and so should be housed with other women.

How do you deny that to such a prisoner without being "transphobic" in the Stonewall sense?

> They are also totally one sided in that m2f are the evil ones whereas f2m are victims

Well there are real asymmetries: natal males are much more likely to be sexual predators than natal females; natal males will out-compete natal females in most sports, etc.

> And they glory in attacking gender dysporic people as not being the sex they know they are in their heads because, well look at your body. This is extremely and I mean deeply damaging to gender dysporic people. To deny them what they are. 

Here you are back to self-ID.   Which conflicts with your above suggestion that self-identified women are actually "known men" if they have male bodies and a history of sexual assault. 

> I have a problem with this term of yours "trans - ideology". It is used by terfs, the far right and Christian fundamentalists to attack people like me ...

Hmmm, as derogatory terms go, a reference to "ideology" has to be regarded as pretty mild and acceptable, surely?     Or are you suggesting that any dissent from the "package of ideas" promoted by some trans activists is unacceptable?

Above you suggest that: "attacking gender dysporic people as not being the sex they know they are in their heads because, well look at your body." 

I'm sorry, but I don't think that sex is something dependent purely on what they "no in their heads" and totally independent of the rest of the body.    (Possibly you intended to write "gender" there, I'm not sure, I have seen assertions that sex itself, not just gender, really is an "in the head" construction.)

Anyhow, I think we need to be free to discuss and dispute such ideas even if doing so is "extremely and I mean deeply damaging to gender dysporic people".  We cannot allow "you may not even discuss this, because doing so is too damaging to me". 

> And you have now done exactly what I stated just there by writing - "those who have a more realistic appraisal of the situation and a better awareness of biology".

That sentence was explicitly about the wisdom of allowing male-bodied prisoners with a history of sexual assault to be housed with women, purely on the basis of self-ID. 

And you yourself said much the same, calling them "known men" and saying they should not be housed with women.  I don't think you're being consistent here.

4
syv_k 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You are confusing referring to someone as their acquired gender with changing their legal rights that existed before they transitioned.

Currently, to change legal rights such as retirement age you wait until you have been living fully in your new gender for two years, give proof of this, sign something in front of a solicitor to say you intend to live in your new gender until death, and (currently but there are plans to change this with Self ID) give vast amounts of medical evidence potentially dating back decades that you have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and a list of all the surgeries you have had done (not having had all the surgeries does not exclude you but you need to explain why not). 

You don’t get your new birth certificate, marriage and retirement age rights until the process is concluded, but insisting on using the wrong pronouns because their old doctor has died or is in another country so they haven’t got the certificate or they haven’t lived in their new gender long enough (and how can they be truly living in their new gender if folk keep treating them as their birth  gender) yes that is transphobic.

So this has an immediate parallel with the prison system. If someone  declares themselves to be a different gender, and they are not in the grip of a psychotic episode believing they are Napoleon or obviously doing it dishonestly (and the prison service does have a lot of experience with dishonest folk, it is what it does) then refer to them as their target gender, but to change their existing legal rights - when you are born you have the right to be housed in a prison of the sex you were born with - will take time, ideally, evidence of their intent and honesty and paperwork. Sometimes the prison will get it wrong and, usually, put someone in general population who should have been segregated or in a medical wing. This happens all the time with sex offenders, because of prisons being horrendously underfunded. Including female offenders. It doesn’t usually make the news.

1
syv_k 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I've never in-person "met" someone claiming that, but it's easy to find examples of people claiming that and pushing that ideology.   It is one of the reasons that the "LGB Alliance" has Split from Stonewall.

She has never met in person or online someone claiming that, despite discussions with 100+ trans people and activists in the course of her work. Of course if you search for it on the internet, you will find straw men and members of the Flat Earth Society. So no, that is absolutely not the trans ideology.

Not a split from stonewall- they have had nothing to do with them, apart from one guy in the periphery who was around stonewall when it was founded thirty plus years ago or whenever and not since. They are saying that to make themselves look more important, but that is misrepresentation.

2
Thrudge 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> How far back does your history go? ....

> That just reads a little petulant.  You do yourself no services with it.

Agreed on your entire post, with one exception, if I may: "trans community".  I respectfully reject the notion that there is any such thing.  The 'community' concept has been inserted so carefully and repeatedly into our culture that it's now routinely used by all and sundry without conscious thought.

What trans people (or gay people, or disabled people, or whatever group you care to mention) have in common is this: they are people, and they are trans.  In every other respect they are diverse - in their political opinions, in their social attitudes, in their religious beliefs, in their temperaments, and in their conduct.

The 'community' idea make me very uncomfortable indeed, because it puts people into a box which may fit them fully, partially, or not at all.  It presents them as a monolithic group, all thinking and believing pretty much the same things, and this obscures the diversity of their thought.

And now a side note: whilst not wishing to detract one whit from the abuses received by trans people, I believe the situation generally is not as bad as it might sometimes seem.  Two examples from personal experience:

1) I encountered a male-to-female trans woman selling records on a stall at a church fair (religious bigots were notable by their absence...) and chatted with her while I bought a few LPs.  This was 15 years ago, when the 'trans issue' was barely a thing.  I was considerably surprised to see her in that context - church and trans don't exactly go hand in hand - but no one else, shoppers or stallholders - batted an eyelid.  She was neither shunned nor courted, it was just another bod selling stuff.

2) One of my long term colleagues transitioned (M to F) a few years ago.  This was announced by HR to the rest of the team, which consisted of 5 of those most bigoted and ignorant of all types - four white working class males over the age of 50, and one in his 30s.  HR did a very sensitive and creditable job - no one was pressured into 'acceptance', bullying policies were neither mentioned nor hinted at, and due consideration was given to our astonishment (no one saw it coming).  To my considerable surprise, after the meeting every one of the team, independently and without discussion of any kind, went to the office of our 'new' colleague to shake hands and offer their sympathy and support.  She later told me that she was incredibly surprised and gratified by the rock solid support she received.

It's not universally grim, folks.

Post edited at 12:56
Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

> She has never met in person or online someone claiming that, despite discussions with 100+ trans people and activists in the course of her work.

If so, then maybe Stonewall should put out a statement saying that they regard it as entirely normal and reasonable for a lesbian to regard themselves as attracted to the same sex (not the same gender) and to thus declare themselves not sexually attracted to male-bodied people regardless of which gender they identify with.

Afterall, even if the "LGB Alliance" faction are over-promoting themselves, it is not in Stonewall's interest to there to be a perception of such a split, and if the split is actually a simple misunderstanding of what Stonewall are saying, then they could clear it up. 

Similarly, Stonewall could concede that, yes, there is indeed some tension between the rights of those women who want single-sex women-only spaces (e.g. to feel safe in women-only prisons), and the rights of natal males to self-identify as women.   

So far, Stonewall have explicitly refused to concede that there could be any such tension (statement by Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO): "The petition also asks us to acknowledge that there is a conflict between trans rights and ‘sex based women’s rights’. We do not and will not acknowledge this. Doing so would imply that we do not believe that trans people deserve the same rights as others."

Post edited at 13:17
2
Old Skooled 07 Nov 2019
In reply to EddieA:

As another professor who has taught in both the UK and the US I say "Hear, hear" to every single thing you said Eddie, The case featured in the OP is entirely untypical, though I suspect Coel has no real interest in it beyond it's usefulness as a bait to get the conversation he wants going ('m assuming Coel is male, I have no idea. My apologies if I'm wrong).

As you rightly said Eddie:

"The work of feminists, civil rights and queer activists hasn't 'made things worse' for race/gender etc relations; it's simply trying to undo some pretty disgraceful history and give those who have been on the recieving end of prejudice and discrimination a voice."

In this context its worth stressing that the US is currently led by an administration actively striving to strip away many of the protections and rights only recently won by people of colour, women, members of the LGBQT community, and other vulnerable groups. What the US needs in this moment is more, not fewer, critical conversations about race, gender, and sexuality.

Pan Ron 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Old Skooled:

>  What the US needs in this moment is more, not fewer, critical conversations about race, gender, and sexuality.

Isn't that the point?  "Critical", in the context of universities these days, means critical along a very narrow, and highly politically aligned, dimension.

Sorry to say, but the rest of your and EddieA's posts point to you being quite strongly of the acceptable political persuasion anyway.  Might it be that you, like many on the left, are simply blind to the biases present in universities?  I mean, have you ever considered your own "unconscious bias"?  And if we're concerned about diversity, doesn't the lack of intellectual diversity in the social sciences and dearth of serious contrary opinions not ring alarm bells?  I've spent most of the last 20 years working in humanities and social sciences faculties and it really is an echo chamber in here.

The example in the OP is at the extreme end, granted.  But what most people seem to consider "moderate", and doesn't make headlines (or is championed in headlines) is still way out there I'm afraid. 

4
Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Old Skooled:

> The case featured in the OP is entirely untypical, though I suspect Coel has no real interest in it beyond it's usefulness as a bait ...

Why sure, it's not at all typical, it is indeed a rather egregious example, which is why that video went viral.   But less extreme versions of such attitudes are, at the least, becoming widespread. 

> As you rightly said Eddie: "The work of feminists, civil rights and queer activists hasn't 'made things worse' for race/gender etc relations; ..."

Over time, over decades, that is right, it made things a lot better. But it is worth asking whether the recent radical  turn of the activists is now hampering progress. 

An underpinning of most of that civil-rights progress can be summed up in MLK's Dream "that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

Today's Critical Race Theory is *explicitly* rejecting that and explicitly judging people based on their race, and not their individual thoughts, actions and character. 

The video in the OP is a ludicruously extreme and atypical example of that, but the underlying attitudes are spreading out from the "gender studies" and "race studies" departments onto campuses more broadly.  We can rightly question this. 

2
Pan Ron 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Yep, that's been my experience too.  From the military to Tories, I've always been surprised by the levels of acceptance (compared to the hostility I've presumed) of trans, gays and ethnic minorities.  They simply don't care and if anything are sick of being told to care. 

What they do seem to get annoyed with is attention-seeking behaviour of activists and, again, I think its that which rankles.  The classic "having it shoved down my throat".  They're just not interested.

This was the point I was making about the hatred spewed by the likes of the Guardian.  They get up in arms about ascribing false, negative, motivations to immigrants or minorities, but have absolutely no qualms about making such claims about conservatives.

2
syv_k 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier

Indeed, I do not believe there is a conflict between rights of non transgendered women and rights of trans  people to self identify. As I have discussed with prisons, all dangerous prisoners should be have a plan and managed so that they are not a threat to others. If you go around not accepting the rights of trans people you might end up with a testosterone filled trans man in a women’s prison when it is highly inappropriate.

and the whole “attracted to sex rather than gender” is also a poor way of categorising the situation of attraction because a trans person will have some characteristics of their birth sex and and some of their acquired sex, even at the very start of their transition (The bearded masculine presenting female-identifying bogeyman is certainly less likely to get a date amongst lesbians, mostly because they don’t exist, what does exist is trans women and men agonising about whether to disclose up front or during the date if they find someone chatting them up, because they worry that they might get murdered in a version of “gay panic”)  
 

Trans rights organisations are unable to correct “misunderstandings” because transphobic campaigners recently have been acting in bad faith, such as by claiming Self ID Gender Recognition Act is about legal access to toilets, when it is completely unrelated.

1
Pefa 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But here you say they are "known men" even though they say that are women.  So do we go on self-identification or is there some other test that we apply to decide whether someone is a woman?    The trans activists have very much been pushing "self-identification" with no other test, and indeed regard any other test as "transphobic" (literally so, in the Stonewall definition of "transphobia" as including any refusal to accept a self-declared gender identity).

Yes all this has left me way behind I'm afraid as it was straight forward in the past ; I will elaborate further down but at the same time who am I to deny others who identify as non-binary or trans that don't want surgery? Old fashioned people like me call these - usually teenagers - trenders as if it is just a fashion statement that they will grow out of but then again what if you don't want surgery and are as some have pointed out; not gender dysporic but gender euphoric? It seems weird to me but because I have come over all spiritual of late I can see them and think "yes why not and good for you", ancient tribes had this so maybe they are just more accepting of their bodies. Although a part of me doesn't understand it. 

Stonewall have taken this on board and I respect them for that. 

> So yes, trans activists have very much been pushing the line that any prisoner who self-IDs as woman (even if a natal male with an intact male body and a record of sexual assault) actually is quite literally a woman and so should be housed with other women.

Obviously they didn't foresee that this would be exploited by sexual predators. 

> How do you deny that to such a prisoner without being "transphobic" in the Stonewall sense?

For starters you would keep anyone who self-identifies with previous for assaulting women or violence separate, I suppose as it is completely unacceptable to put these sexual predators in with women. 

> Well there are real asymmetries: natal males are much more likely to be sexual predators than natal females; natal males will out-compete natal females in most sports, etc.

True. 

> Here you are back to self-ID.   Which conflicts with your above suggestion that self-identified women are actually "known men" if they have male bodies and a history of sexual assault. 

With regards to self identifying as I pointed out before people have, especially in the last 12 years been happy for people who transitioned fully to be called the sex they identify, live as and have been medically corrected to be. No problem for everyone bar the occasional fkwit like Shapiro.I don't know when this new phenomenon called being non-binary started as I have had nothing to do with all of that and I don't really understand it tbh, because to me if you are gender dysporic then you are desperate and I mean effing desperate to get the full medical treatment ASAP and you are 1,000% certain of what you are since you have fought against it your entire life but nothing cures it other than SRS and the full medical treatments . Anyway in the past few years people have applied the same logic to non-binary or people who say they are GD but don't seek the full medical treatment and are then happy to call them the sex they identify as. 

As you can see in the past it was straight forward; you get all the treatment to alter the body etc and you are now what your brain knows it is. But now for whatever reason (I don't know) some don't want all the help to be the sex they know they are but want to be this 3rd sex of non-binary or trans that are happy not to alter anything. So obviously it becomes a lot more complicated and this is where some sexual predators have seen this as an opportunity to exploit. 

This has happened more than handful of times in fact I seen on a rabid terfs site that this has been exploited over 20 times by sexual predators. Now we are all people and just as you will get violent or abusive women who will sexually or violently assault other women outside and inside prison you will get the odd one who is trans to but in the past-15 to 20 years-trans people were seen as being very non-violent. So with all this in mind it seems rather strange that all of a sudden you get a spike in criminals self identifying and then sexually assaulting women which led me onto presuming they are not genuine hence the "known men" comment. 

> Hmmm, as derogatory terms go, a reference to "ideology" has to be regarded as pretty mild and acceptable, surely?     Or are you suggesting that any dissent from the "package of ideas" promoted by some trans activists is unacceptable?

The term trans-ideology is like calling treatment for people with depression, depression - ideology or any number of other similar "ideologies" for medical conditions. I mean do you get a lesbian-ideology? No, it's just pinned on gender dysporic people. I was trans, I transitioned 15 years ago, got cured but now it seems I have this ideology because I was trans but I don't so it is wrong and is a directed attack on gender dysphoric people as I don't have a trans-ideology. 

> Above you suggest that: "attacking gender dysporic people as not being the sex they know they are in their heads because, well look at your body." 

> I'm sorry, but I don't think that sex is something dependent purely on what they "no in their heads" and totally independent of the rest of the body.    (Possibly you intended to write "gender" there, I'm not sure, I have seen assertions that sex itself, not just gender, really is an "in the head" construction.)

So you deny that a fully transitioned person is the sex they identify as? They are still a man in a frock or a woman with a beard? How do you know what has happened to alter a person's brain that makes them gender dysporic? 

> Anyhow, I think we need to be free to discuss and dispute such ideas even if doing so is "extremely and I mean deeply damaging to gender dysporic people".  We cannot allow "you may not even discuss this, because doing so is too damaging to me". 

Don't you think we can be free to discuss these matters without being damaging to people? 

> That sentence was explicitly about the wisdom of allowing male-bodied prisoners with a history of sexual assault to be housed with women, purely on the basis of self-ID. 

OK I can't be bothered to go and make sure your not lying so I'll take you at your word on that one. 

I think we need minor alterations as trans issues which stayed in the same dark place. for so very very long have been accepted in the past 15 to 20 years and since then the floodgates have opened and things have perhaps moved too quickly without realising the full consequences. I mean it was only 20 years ago that not only right wing gutter newspapers but Mirror ones to had horrific front page photos and headlines as they outed some poor bastard who sufferers GD.Oh look at this pervert going to work with a dress on. 

This applies to these issues of why there are so many teenagers identifying as non-binary or trans these days (it is a fashion statement or is masking other issues) and how the medical profession needs more funding to look at underlying causes. As well as the problems with some predators abusing gains made in prisons and the issue of non-surgically treated trans or non-binary people in sports. These are serious issues that have gone too far too quickly but I think we can with proper funding and care sort them out without taking us back to the dark days and there are a lot of hate filled people out there who want that. 

Post edited at 14:56
Bob Kemp 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Yep, that's been my experience too.  From the military to Tories, I've always been surprised by the levels of acceptance (compared to the hostility I've presumed) of trans, gays and ethnic minorities.  They simply don't care and if anything are sick of being told to care. 

And you can speak for all of these people? 

> What they do seem to get annoyed with is attention-seeking behaviour of activists and, again, I think its that which rankles.  The classic "having it shoved down my throat".  They're just not interested.

Evidence-free. 

> This was the point I was making about the hatred spewed by the likes of the Guardian.  They get up in arms about ascribing false, negative, motivations to immigrants or minorities, but have absolutely no qualms about making such claims about conservatives.

You must be reading the Guardian in some alternative universe. Hatred is not the Guardian's game. A few of the free-lancers they employ might 'spew hatred', although I can't think of any recent examples.   They're more likely to present some extreme take on radical thinking. I suspect 'spewing hatred' is probably 'saying things I disagree with'. 

Pefa 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> An underpinning of most of that civil-rights progress can be summed up in MLK's Dream "that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

> Today's Critical Race Theory is *explicitly* rejecting that and explicitly judging people based on their race, and not their individual thoughts, actions and character.

Do you think MLK would say we have reached the point that all races of people are equal in the USA. I mean come on, the police shoot blacks for fun over there and discrimination is still rife so it is a bit rich to be using the words of a brave black civil rights activist - murdered by the government for his activism- against black civil rights activism.

The extreme anger on show by black students against white people on the video (if genuine) is just a natural reaction o centuries of being treated like animals by white people. Bought and sold,worked to death, lynched, ghettoised, constantly harassed by the police, look at the prison ratio, denied the vote for certain crimes that affect black folk most.

How can a young black male not vent their anger using a poem or fantastical notion of sending whites to space? Are you telling me that white folk would react any differently if the roles were reversed?

Oh and the whites in space has a basis in a GSH song called " whitey on the moon", you should give it a listen.

In fact I'll save you the bother-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goh2x_G0ct4

Post edited at 15:25
TobyA 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> An underpinning of most of that civil-rights progress can be summed up in MLK's Dream "that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

You've quote that twice now in recent posts, but again you seem to be missing the point King was making - that he and his children, as black people, are the subaltern class - who are not seen by the content of their character. If this had changed and all people were judged first by the content of their character maybe you would have a point about about some theorists, some of whom might be associated with Critical Race Theory; but quite obviously in the US (and in many other places where black people are a minority) it isn't true. And asking why racial inequality persists in so many ways in so many arenas seems a valid and important question to ask even if some posited answers (we are all products of an ultimately racist system which some of us gain privilege from) might leave us feeling uncomfortable. 

Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to syv_k:

> Indeed, I do not believe there is a conflict between rights of non transgendered women and rights of trans  people to self identify. As I have discussed with prisons, all dangerous prisoners should be have a plan and managed so that they are not a threat to others

I think you're being over-optimistic about the extent to which the threat can be "managed" unless such prisoners are not housed with women. 

> Trans rights organisations are unable to correct “misunderstandings” because transphobic campaigners recently have been acting in bad faith, such as by claiming Self ID Gender Recognition Act is about legal access to toilets, when it is completely unrelated.

I don't think that the first half of the sentence follows from the second half (even granting that "transphobic campaigners" have been "acting in bad faith" as opposed to women-rights campaigners voicing legitimate concerns).

1
Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> You've quote that twice now in recent posts, but again you seem to be missing the point King was making - that he and his children, as black people, are the subaltern class - who are not seen by the content of their character.

Yes, in the same way that "identity politics" and "critical race theory" judges people primarily by their "identity" and thus race, and not by the content of their character.  So I think I am indeed getting the point that MLK was making. 

> And asking why racial inequality persists in so many ways in so many arenas seems a valid and important question to ask ...

Sure, and no-one is objecting to such questions. 

Pan Ron 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> And you can speak for all of these people? 

I can speak for the people who are accused of being bigots, yes.  

Unfortunately for you perhaps, I'm an objectivist rather than subjectivist in this regard and am of the opinion if a someone (even a rank-and-file conservative) intends no harm and treats person X just as they would treat person Y, then that is enough for me.  Someone on the other side who instead chooses to read malicious intent into their behaviour doesn't wash with me I'm afraid -  though this primacy of subjective experience is exactly the sort of policy that has gained acceptance as a result of woke ideology.

> Evidence-free. 

Quite the opposite.  They say it themselves, to guffaws from the woke who refuse to accept it.

> You must be reading the Guardian in some alternative universe. Hatred is not the Guardian's game. A few of the free-lancers they employ might 'spew hatred', although I can't think of any recent examples.  

So if it appears in "Comment if Free" then its ok?  That seems remarkably at odds with your usual views on free-speech and the right to spew hatred.  As always, the rights to free speech seem less about what is being said and more about who is saying it. 

1
Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Do you think MLK would say we have reached the point that all races of people are equal in the USA.

No, I don't think he would, but I think he'd say they've made a lot of progress and are getting there.

> I mean come on, the police shoot blacks for fun over there ...

But they don't.  OK, first, US police are way too trigger happy and shoot too many people.  But, is there evidence that they are racially biased in that?   No, actually, there isn't.

Blacks are not more likely to be killed by police -- per interaction with police -- than whites are.  (They are more likely to be in interactions with police, because rates of such interactions are higher in higher-crime urban areas where blacks are a larger fraction of the local population.)    And the stats also show that white cops shoot blacks as often as white cops do. 

(It's also worth remarking that black-on-black youth crime kills about 100 times the number of blacks as the cops do, though that doesn't feature much in BLM rhetoric.)

> The extreme anger on show by black students against white people on the video (if genuine) is just a natural reaction o centuries of being treated like animals by white people

One notes that your rhetoric is entirely in terms of race; that's one of the problems. Identity politics stores up grievances over centuries.  It's more sensible to put emphasis on how things are today and how people have been treated in their own lifetimes.  By most standards, young blacks in US liberal-arts colleges are actually pretty privileged.

Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> The term trans-ideology is like calling treatment for people with depression, depression - ideology or any number of other similar "ideologies" for medical conditions. I mean do you get a lesbian-ideology?

That's not what I was meaning by "trans ideology".  I was not referring to people's sense of being trans or of which gender they identify with.    I was referring to some of the claims made by some activists, such as "sex is socially constructed, rather than being biological".

> So you deny that a fully transitioned person is the sex they identify as?

On my current understanding -- which is open to revision -- I would answer:

They are indeed the *gender* they identify with.  Which is fine with me, if someone wants to live as a particular gender then no problem.  But they are still their original sex.  That latter fact may not matter much for nearly all purposes. 

> Don't you think we can be free to discuss these matters without being damaging to people? 

I hope so.  So long as no-one tries to outlaw disagreement by claiming that the mere expression of contrary opinions damages them.

1
L Philb1950 07 Nov 2019
In reply to pasbury:

Perfect example of idiocy

Bob Kemp 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> I can speak for the people who are accused of being bigots, yes.  

How? You have no evidence. And if you did it would be purely anecdotal. 

> Unfortunately for you perhaps, I'm an objectivist rather than subjectivist in this regard and am of the opinion if a someone (even a rank-and-file conservative) intends no harm and treats person X just as they would treat person Y, then that is enough for me. 

>Someone on the other side

The other side? Which other side? 'The left'? 'woke' people? 'SJWs', 'Liberals', or whoever else you are demonising this week?

>who instead chooses to read malicious intent into their behaviour doesn't wash with me I'm afraid -  though this primacy of subjective experience is exactly the sort of policy that has gained acceptance as a result of woke ideology. 

I have no interest in defending the 'woke' concept, which has long outlived its useful origin in black people's articulation of political and social issues. It's becoming a handy insult instead. 

> Quite the opposite. They say it themselves, to guffaws from the woke who refuse to accept it.

> So if it appears in "Comment if Free" then its ok?  That seems remarkably at odds with your usual views on free-speech and the right to spew hatred.  As always, the rights to free speech seem less about what is being said and more about who is saying it. 

This is a straw man. You don't actually know my views on free speech, and I don't believe I have ever pronounced on the 'right to spew hatred. 

Pan Ron 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Don't know why I bother, but...

> How? You have no evidence. And if you did it would be purely anecdotal. 

I said "Yep, that's been my experience too.  From the military to Tories, I've always been surprised by the levels of acceptance (compared to the hostility I've presumed) of trans, gays and ethnic minorities.  They simply don't care and if anything are sick of being told to care. "

What more evidence about my own experience do you want?  And, yes, of course its anecdotal.  That's what our life experiences are.  

> >Someone on the other side

> The other side? Which other side? 'The left'? 'woke' people? 'SJWs', 'Liberals', or whoever else you are demonising this week?

Always intent on reading the worst into something, eh?  Not demonising anyone.  

The sides are:  person A who says something with no malicious intent AND person B who claims that person intended to be malicious.  Those are sides.   

> I have no interest in defending the 'woke' concept, which has long outlived its useful origin in black people's articulation of political and social issues. It's becoming a handy insult instead. 

Again, more goal-post shifting.  You do realise people actually refer to themselves as "woke" or "sjws"?  Why is it when the ridiculousness, or inconsistencies, of their positions get pointed out, they so frequently seem to declare "woke" or "sjw" is an (apparently unfair) insult?  It's Kafkaesque.

As always, up to you if you want to create another name for the mindset that says "words are harmful", or that decides some individuals have more rights than others.  I'll use whatever term you want.  But the incessant "problematising" of terminology is getting silly. 

> This is a straw man. You don't actually know my views on free speech, and I don't believe I have ever pronounced on the 'right to spew hatred. 

I'm not remotely inclined to go trawling back through every message that has been posted here on UKC.  But you repeatedly come out with the same objections to language people use and the harm they therefore inflict.  And usually follow it up with cries of "strawman!".  Your views on freedom of speech are clear as day.

Seriously, these discussions always deteriorate to this and its pretty clear you don't enter them with good faith.

Pefa 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> That's not what I was meaning by "trans ideology".  I was not referring to people's sense of being trans or of which gender they identify with.    I was referring to some of the claims made by some activists, such as "sex is socially constructed, rather than being biological".

I'm not referring to peoples sense of being trans either I'm showing what a ridiculous term this is and that it is used specifically toward one group of people who have a certain medical condition by others who do not want them to have the same rights and freedoms as everyone else. 

> On my current understanding -- which is open to revision -- I would answer:

> They are indeed the *gender* they identify with.  Which is fine with me, if someone wants to live as a particular gender then no problem.  But they are still their original sex.  That latter fact may not matter much for nearly all purposes. 

Yeah man in a dress or woman with a beard. As I suspected so do you know why people are gender dysphoric? How they are absolutely certain they are the sex they say they are and how it never goes away and the only cure for it other than death is to get the medical treatments? There are not that many large studies on the brains of ts folk but some point to parts of the brain or genes? There is the twins study that showed genetically identical twins in 33% of cases will both be ts if one is and the case of David Riemer. There is also the theory that something goes wrong at the 7 week stage in the womb where normally a Y chromosome fetus gets a flood of testosterone to the brain which makes it male. 

But you choose man in a frock even when you don't know if their brains could be more the sex they identify as. 

> I hope so.  So long as no-one tries to outlaw disagreement by claiming that the mere expression of contrary opinions damages them.

Do you mean like calling a gender dysphoric person the sex the know they are not even after all the treatment? 

Post edited at 18:51
Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Seriously, these discussions always deteriorate to this and its pretty clear you don't enter them with good faith.

While I agree with much of your posts, I think we need to be cautious of accusations of bad faith.

In general, people -- and I'm not thinking of anyone in particular here -- can be mistaken, lacking in self-awareness, and inconsistent.  Or they can be bad at explaining themselves, or they can be misunderstood. Or they can simply see things rather differently, such that in their world-view what they say is consistent.

All of these things are likely to be more common than people deliberately arguing in bad faith.  I suspect that rather few people ever do that.  There's little incentive to do so. 

TobyA 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Seriously, these discussions always deteriorate to this and its pretty clear you don't enter them with good faith.

But neither do you! It's very apparent what your opinion is, you are just continually restating it. It's not like you are about to say, "oh that's an interesting point, I need to reconsider my view a bit here... hmmm...." It's just: Guardian readers bad, universities are run by hard-left ideologists, everyone on the left makes all their claims in bad faith, and most claims of racism and sexism are now just attempts to oppress whoever is being called racist or sexist not a reflection of their words or actions being motivated by racism or sexism.

You've hinted at having a shit experiencing where you were treated unfairly which led to you becoming critical of the left, and of your own previous personal beliefs, but after that revelation do you think your opinions are now pretty set?

Pefa 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> One notes that your rhetoric is entirely in terms of race; that's one of the problems. Identity politics stores up grievances over centuries.  It's more sensible to put emphasis on how things are today and how people have been treated in their own lifetimes.  By most standards, young blacks in US liberal-arts colleges are actually pretty privileged.

This is priceless. Black people are treated like animals, like dirt for centuries by white people because they are black, a different race and now some white folk want to call out black folk for showing or expressing themselves about that racism used aagainst them for centuries by whites!! 

Is this the greatest troll ever on black people or what? This is way beyond crazy.Because you can't freely kill a black since 1960s you think everything is OK and there is no racism now in the USA. You think when 40% US prison population is black even when only 12% of the US population is black means what? Blacks are more prone to be criminals? 

> Blacks are not more likely to be killed by police -- per interaction with police -- than whites are.  (They are more likely to be in interactions with police, because rates of such interactions are higher in higher-crime urban areas where blacks are a larger fraction of the local population.)    

And why are blacks in areas with higher crime? 

Post edited at 18:57
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Pan Ron 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The bad-faith aspect for me is where they deteriorate to the inevitable "you're a racist" or sinking into claims about language that can be used.

His comments were I think initially coming from the convictions.  But by the end, I have my doubts.

Pan Ron 07 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

It wasn't actually me being treated like shit that marked a turning point.  It was seeing people being attacked by flag-bearers of the left, who I knew to be nothing like they were being made out to be.  Demonised.

Previously having been pretty on-board with "the struggle", its was quite a dramatic perspective shift.  Going from inside, to outside.  Night and day.  It all looked so obvious and believable when on the inside - we are the good guys and our noble intent was righteous.  Then, seeing it from the outside and noticing it was everything it claimed to fight against.  And how easy it is to be blind to that.

Hence why I mention unconscious bias further up, and criticism of criticism.  The need for critical evaluation of current thought, and not recognising your own biases, are common claims made by the left. 

Well how often do they check their own?  The ease with which the left, in just a few years, has come to accept and champion things that were previously anathema to their core beliefs is striking and points to "not enough" being the answer. 

We've been here a number of times before in the last 100 years.  Its a trend we should be absolutely fvcking afraid of and on-guard against.  Every bit as much as the rise of the right and fascism and probably much more so than crying about what offensive things Trump, or JRM, have said this week. 

Post edited at 19:25
2
Bob Kemp 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Thanks Coel. Whatever my faults, which are no doubt many, I do attempt to be sincere and to act in good faith. I'd say that what drives many of my posts is a concern that people retain a respect for rational argument, evidence and for precision in language. In that respect I would think I'm actually not that far away from you, and I have a good deal of sympathy for much of what you say around things like the dubious effect of some post-modern thinking. 

Bob Kemp 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I probably have more in common with you than you think. My principal problem is not so much with many of the things you say but the scattergun approach that you employ, and some of the rhetoric that goes with it. It seems to me that your beef is with the 'identity politics' left, which appears to be in the ascendancy in some areas. This left is critiqued well in this review of David Swift's book, A Left for Itself,  by James Bloodworth.

https://unherd.com/2019/10/how-the-left-lost-all-purpose/

I think you'd probably appreciate this, and I certainly substantially agree with it. So you see we actually have quite a bit of common ground; what I don't like is that you seem too ready to tar everyone with the same brush. You can still be left wing without buying into identity politics, and I'd say that if the left wants to have any success in helping the people it purports to support, the poor and the working classes, it needs to find a way of doing so very quickly. Here's another article, in the Guardian you loathe so much, which again has many arguments that I think you could agree with:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/14/identity-politics-right-left-trump-racism

Coel Hellier 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Is this the greatest troll ever on black people or what? This is way beyond crazy.

From the point of view of a 20-yr-old, what matters most is what is happening now and what happened over the last 20 years, not what happened 200 years ago.

>  Because you can't freely kill a black since 1960s you think everything is OK and there is no racism now in the USA.

No-one said that.  What I did say is that we should now concentrate on how things are, not wallow in identity-politics grievances.

> You think when 40% US prison population is black even when only 12% of the US population is black means what? Blacks are more prone to be criminals? 

I think it's down to a whole load of cultural reasons.   I don't think that "because blacks were slaves 200 years ago" has much to do with it these days.   I also don't think that "sit around, wallowing in victim-hood and blaming everything on Whites" is a helpful attitude (even if there is some measure of blame) compared with taking responsibility for the state of ones life today.

Edit to add: As I said, a lot of the black people in US liberal-arts colleges are actually highly privileged in historical and world terms. They usually have middle-class parents on decent salaries who can afford the fees of liberal-arts colleges, and they have good prospects as citizens of one of the world's richest countries, full of opportunities, and their colleges are among the safest, most equal and most supportive communities around -- and yet they're being taught by identity politics to think of themselves as being oppressed and victimised as though they were slaves on plantations.  They are not being oppressed and victimised, not in any objective sense, that's a fiction promoted by the woke.

Please note that the above comment is about "black people in US liberal-arts colleges" (and thus more privileged than average in the population), not about all black people in the US.

Second edit to add further: And yes, I'm aware of who the US elected in the last presidential election, but I'm also aware of who they elected in the two elections before that.

Post edited at 20:31
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Pefa 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> From the point of view of a 20-yr-old, what matters most is what is happening now and what happened over the last 20 years, not what happened 200 years ago.

Or 50 years ago, like their mums and dads? Or right now with blacks criminalised and incarcerated and discriminated against? And where do you get off telling the black diaspora what they should and should not care about? 

What we have here is white people saying to black people "look we don't use you as slaves or lynch you for fun anymore so be good boys and girls and keep quiet about it now ". 

> >  Because you can't freely kill a black since 1960s you think everything is OK and there is no racism now in the USA.

> No-one said that.  What I did say is that we should now concentrate on how things are, not wallow in identity-politics grievances.

Yes another white man telling black people what they should do, perhaps it's not your advice they need perhaps it's less racism they need. 

> I think it's down to a whole load of cultural reasons.   I don't think that "because blacks were slaves 200 years ago" has much to do with it these days.   I also don't think that "sit around, wallowing in victim-hood and blaming everything on Whites" is a helpful attitude (even if there is some measure of blame) compared with taking responsibility for the state of ones life today.

So now blacks don't take any responsibility for their own lives they just wallow around feeling sorry for themselves? 

> Edit to add: As I said, a lot of the black people in US liberal-arts colleges are actually highly privileged in historical and world terms.

Translation: There are a few blacks that are middle class at least they are not slaves or getting lynched anymore or live in a 3rd world shithole (Trump paraphrase) 

> They usually have middle-class parents on decent salaries who can afford the fees of liberal-arts colleges, and they have good prospects as citizens of one of the world's richest countries, full of opportunities, and their colleges are among the safest, most equal and most supportive communities around -- and yet they're being taught by identity politics to think of themselves as being oppressed and victimised as though they were slaves on plantations.  They are not being oppressed and victimised, not in any objective sense, that's a fiction promoted by the woke.

So there is no racism in the USA according to you. Its not up to you to decide that is it? Are they being taught that they are slaves in plantations now as well can you show where? 

So getting back to men in dresses why didn't you answer that post? 

You see we don't know what causes gender dysphoria and until we do we have two choices 1) Presume they are mental, patronise them but know that what they "know", they are is BS. All of which can be devastating to the lives of these very sane people. 

Or acknowledge we don't know the cause and treat with equal respect but until then rationally choose not to hurt people when we don't know if what they say may be correct. Look at Riemer for example. 

3
Old Skooled 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Why sorry to say? I have no problem acknowledging that my politics would be viewed by most as highly progressive or left. But "acceptable political persuasion"? I've never heard of such a thing and am confident I've been appointed on the basis of my politics. In fact, I'm a historian working in business schools (I've worked in history depts too) and I can assure those places are far from being liberal echo chambers. That said I also know plenty of conservatives working in other departments, including history departments and other social sciences. Even if we allow a degree of political leftward alignment in (parts of) academia, then does that equal a lack of intellectual diversity? No, of course not. That is a ludicrous suggestion. 

Biases? Sure, we all have biases and instincts. But as a scholar I'm trained to identify questions, seek out the widest possible range of evidence, collate and analyse it, and come to an informed judgement, all the way reflecting on how I got there, checking for bias and error. So the fact that I hold a progressive political position may not reflect unexamined bias but quite the opposite; perhaps it could be  the outcome of a deliberate, purposeful examination of where I stand on an issue. I have encountered so many "red pilled" types recently who fervently believe they are the only ones to have put the work in and that all the rest of us are just unthinking sheep. Please allow that my positions might be genuine, well-informed and the result of prolonged and real processes of research, reflection, and judgement. 

Old Skooled 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The argument in this post (and other you've made in this thread) boils down to "sit down, be grateful, stop playing the race card" (by the way, the only people playing the race card are white people accusing others of playing the race card). I don't think you have a clue about what is happening in the US. Yes, things have improved since, lets say, 1955, 1921, 1863, or 1619. But the US is far from being the kind of post-racial heaven you seem to imagine. Moreover, as I said before, things are currently going backwards and the current administration is actively seeking to remove recently won protections and rights from black Americans, women, the LGBQT community, and others. The black people I know are rightly pissed and far from ready to sit down and be quiet. America has far from reckoned with its history when it comes to race. No-one is judged or condemned for the simple fact of being white, its what they do with their whiteness that matters,  in other words their individual thoughts, actions and character. 

2
pasbury 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Philb1950:

> Perfect example of idiocy

What is?

Offwidth 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I'd argue the same but when people extrapolate into what I see as dangerous terrain for what ever reasons I find it scary, especially when linked to ideology. It's why I opposed most of the hard left for so long in my union and continue to do so when what what I see as 'bad actors' (eg obvious antisemites like Chris Williamson) gain positions of power in Labour.

On to our two UKC peers... some of the same people who frightened me in my union would have been in the group that so affected pan ron. What he fails to mention is that his new VC at the time riled them then lacked the courage or power to act and was as much to blame for what happened as the hard left (including leaving almost no record of the problems in the reports from the time... I linked the public evidence including the University annual reports before, and in return I was accused of speaking ill of the dead... the VC sadly died soon after). There are still plenty of moderate TU activists and moderate mangers who knew his institution well and they all independently told me what I supected was true... the hard left were a real pain there but far from in control. As a slightly left of centre academic I get labeled as clear left for this.  Likewise Coel starts from shared concerns (eg I find Islamism evil and have been elected to oppose hard left activists in HE) and yet too often he seems to blame whole populations with the sins of the extremists, in similar ways (if more more aggresively) to the likes of Jordan Peterson. I argue passionately for moderate UK muslims and get the 'little shit' label and I'm told I'm beholdant to my Islamist leaders.

I accept that we are nearly all in bubbles in the modern world and often guilty at times of not standing up to 'bad actors' in our communities (for a range of reasons from fear to the mundane of being too busy to deal with the hassle), but whether it be muslims, trans, trade unionists, or SJWs, (or for that matter those on the centre right who are targetted by the hard left) most people I've met who get really nasty labels I've found to be good people mostly trying to do good things.

Sir Chasm 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> I'm not referring to peoples sense of being trans either I'm showing what a ridiculous term this is and that it is used specifically toward one group of people who have a certain medical condition by others who do not want them to have the same rights and freedoms as everyone else. 

> Yeah man in a dress or woman with a beard. As I suspected so do you know why people are gender dysphoric? How they are absolutely certain they are the sex they say they are and how it never goes away and the only cure for it other than death is to get the medical treatments? There are not that many large studies on the brains of ts folk but some point to parts of the brain or genes? There is the twins study that showed genetically identical twins in 33% of cases will both be ts if one is and the case of David Riemer. There is also the theory that something goes wrong at the 7 week stage in the womb where normally a Y chromosome fetus gets a flood of testosterone to the brain which makes it male. 

> But you choose man in a frock even when you don't know if their brains could be more the sex they identify as. 

> Do you mean like calling a gender dysphoric person the sex the know they are not even after all the treatment? 

I'm not really clear what you're saying here. Are you saying you think people can actually change their sex?

1
Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Or right now with blacks criminalised and incarcerated and discriminated against?

There is little hard evidence that blacks are "discriminated against" in the US justice system, by which I mean treated worse given the same behaviour.

> And where do you get off telling the black diaspora what they should and should not care about? 

First, one should not talk about a "black diaspora" as though blacks were a single group, they aren't really.   And second, I reject the notion that the validity of an opinion derives primarily from who holds it.

> What we have here is white people saying to black people "look we don't use you as slaves or lynch you for fun anymore so be good boys and girls and keep quiet about it now ". 

What I'm saying -- to make a comparison -- is that it would be entirely unhelpful if every interaction we had with Germany today was primarily "about" WW2. That doesn't mean it is entirely irrelevant, but we should focus primarily on how things are today.

> So now blacks don't take any responsibility for their own lives they just wallow around feeling sorry for themselves? 

That's what "critical race studies" teaches, it teaches that everything bad is the fault of whites and "white supremacy", and teaches blacks to wallow in that victim-hood.

In order for blacks in the US to be properly equal they need to think of themselves as equal and act equal. If they just did that they would pretty much be equal.  Today's identity politics with its victim-hood hierarchies is holding them back.

8
Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Or acknowledge we don't know the cause and treat with equal respect but until then rationally choose not to hurt people when we don't know if what they say may be correct.

As I've said, I'm entirely fine with people living whatever gender role seems most appropriate to them.  And yes, of course everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.

But, there are some issues where biological sex does matter, and then needs to be taken into account.

Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Old Skooled:

> But the US is far from being the kind of post-racial heaven you seem to imagine.

Why don't you try addressing what I've actually said?

> Moreover, as I said before, things are currently going backwards and the current administration is actively seeking to remove recently won protections and rights from black Americans, women, the LGBQT community, and others.

Which specific policies are you objecting to?   I might agree with you on your objections. 

> No-one is judged or condemned for the simple fact of being white, its what they do with their whiteness that matters,  in other words their individual thoughts, actions and character. 

That's not true, people are judged based on "being white", and your very phrase "its what they do with their whiteness that matters" -- implying that "whiteness" is all important -- gives that away.

5
Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Likewise Coel starts from shared concerns (eg I find Islamism evil and have been elected to oppose hard left activists in HE) and yet too often he seems to blame whole populations with the sins of the extremists ...

Wrong, as always, I don't.  I blame the ideology, the religion, for its extremist versions (since the roots of the extreme versions are there in the mainstream versions), but I don't blame "whole populations", that is, I don't blame people en masse.

1
Offwidth 08 Nov 2019
Offwidth 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You do blame them for what they believe, you have said it makes them complicit to the evils some commit under the name of their religion. In contrast, despite sharing your serious concerns about religious abuses,  I think all legal religious beliefs in the UK are mostly for the good and most UK citizens who believe in these religions are good people.

Post edited at 10:05
2
Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Little hard evidence eh?

Yep, as I said: There is little hard evidence that blacks are "discriminated against" in the US justice system, by which I mean treated worse given the same behaviour.

(If you want to argue that rich people are favoured, since they have ready access to lawyers that poor people don't, and thereby get preferential treatment then sure, but that's another issue; there are poor whites also.)

Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

>  I think all legal religious beliefs in the UK are mostly for the good ...

You are entitled to your opinion; I do not share it. 

toad 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> You are entitled to your opinion; I do not share it. 

Really? You kept that quiet!

Offwidth 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

So which bits of the report I linked on the clear discrimination in the US criminal justice system are wrong, and where is your evidence for them being wrong?

I know full well we disagree on UK muslims but then again I doubt you actually speak, to any of those who do believe, about the things you discuss here on UKC .

1
cb294 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> There is little hard evidence that blacks are "discriminated against" in the US justice system, by which I mean treated worse given the same behaviour.

Do you seriously believe that? The evidence for the opposite is actually overwhelming, from treatment by the police to legal representation, jury composition, conviction rates, and the severity of eventual sentences. Just compare death penalty rates for black on white vs. white on black murders. This is long acknowledged even by US state agencies, e.g.

“In 82% of the stud­ies [reviewed], race of the vic­tim was found to influ­ence the like­li­hood of being charged with cap­i­tal mur­der or receiv­ing the death penal­ty, i.e., those who mur­dered whites were found more like­ly to be sen­tenced to death than those who mur­dered blacks.” – United States General Accounting Office, Death Penalty Sentencing, February 1990This split is by victim (first I found by a quick google), but similar statistics exists for race of defendant.

That said, I agree to an extent with your last paragraph, in that at the very elite level blacks can clearly succeed, even become elected as president, which would have been unthinkable, say, 50 years ago.

However, any race effect is clearly dominated by social stratification, which is, to a large extent, itself a consequence of historic discrimination, especially in the South.

For the majority of black Americans, odds remain stacked against their educational and economic success due to legacy racist structures. This is exacerbated by lots of little issues, all deliberately or inadvertently cementing social stratification, for example that school funding largely depends on revenue raised from local catchment areas, rather than distributing resources equally and according to need across all school districts from tax revenue raised at state or even county level. 

This makes it hard to just start "thinking equal".

That there are also white communities who are similarly marginalized, but for different historic reasons, does not invalidate that point.

CB

Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to cb294:

> However, any race effect is clearly dominated by social stratification, which is, to a large extent, itself a consequence of historic discrimination, especially in the South.

I readily accept that there is disadvantage based on poverty. 

> For the majority of black Americans, odds remain stacked against their educational and economic success due to legacy racist structures.

But are their prospects worse than those of whites of the same educational and economic status?    Being disadvantaged owing to low education and poverty (which, for historical reasons, affects blacks to a greater extent than whites) is not the same as discrimination against blacks because they are blacks.

For example, if you were to try to remedy this in, say, quotas for admission to college, then you would not pick "quotas for blacks" because those places would then be snapped up by the blacks with high educational achievement and rich parents, not the poor blacks with low achievement -- instead you'd try to do something about poverty and low educational achievement (whether among blacks or whites).

Post edited at 10:44
3
Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> So which bits of the report I linked on the clear discrimination in the US criminal justice system are wrong, and where is your evidence for them being wrong?

In short, you'd have to go through the whole thing and the underlying stats carefully in order to sort out whether higher rates of punishment of blacks reflect higher crime rates among blacks rather than a justice system treating people worse because they are black.

For example, to quote from your own report: "What might appear at first to be a linkage between race and crime is in large part a function of concentrated urban poverty, which is far more common for African Americans than for other racial groups. This accounts for a substantial portion of African Americans’ increased likelihood of committing certain violent and property crimes."

1
cb294 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

But do you also accept that for some black communities (as one factor amongst many) this continuing poverty today is a legacy of past racism, and that this is fixed by regulations that either deliberately or inadvertently are structurally racist (e.g. my example on school funding), and that these communities therefore do have a legitimate grievance?

I largely agree about college admission quotas, you would probably not reach the intended target demographic.

CB

Offwidth 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Indeed it does account for a substantial portion, but what about the rest that the report claims is often due ro clear racial discrimination? It seems to me you are just doing your usual trick of exaggerating aspects based on your ideology, and ignoring the facts to the contrary that are sitting there right in front of you. Yes of course poor white people in the US are also discriminated against and also need more help.

Post edited at 11:01
1
Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> but what about the rest that the report claims is often due ro clear racial discrimination?

Well, post some of these claims and the underlying evidence for them and we can discuss them.  When I linked to reports above, I quoted the relevant parts etc.

> It seems to me you are just doing your usual trick of exaggerating aspects based on your ideology, and ignoring the facts to the contrary that are sitting there right in front of you.

Again, try actually making your case.  A tactic of "here's a report, you do all the work of analysing it" is unfair. 

2
cb294 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Just looking at the number of people on death row by race is indeed not very informative, and as you say, confounded e.g. by social stratification.

However, looking at convicted murderers only, and then seeing whether there is a significant difference between races in the rate of death sentences handed out within the same state or court circuit paints a clear picture. Same if you do the the split by race of victim.

It is simply not plausible that the blatant differences in sentencing are exclusively due to mitigating or exacerbating factors that merely correlate with race.

However, murder is not really the issue, even in the US it is not common enough. Differences in sentences for, say, drug possession, are a much bigger problem, as a conviction will affect career prospects, and again average sentencing is harsher for blacks. 

CB

Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to cb294:

> But do you also accept that for some black communities (as one factor amongst many) this continuing poverty today is a legacy of past racism, ...

Yes, past racism is indeed one major factor.   (But it's not the only factor. As a comparison, in the past Chinese and Japanese were among the poorest, brought in to work in navvy gangs for low pay, discriminated against, etc; nowadays the Asian Americans have greater wealth than average, are paid more than whites on average, and have higher educational achievement and college-attendance rates than whites.) 

> ... and that this is fixed by regulations that either deliberately or inadvertently are structurally racist (e.g. my example on school funding),

Yes, in the sense that because of that system, poor districts have worse schools and that perpetuates inequality. 

I don't really agree with labeling such indirect factors "structurally racist".  For example, having long prison sentences for murder means that many more men than women are incarcerated (since men commit 90% of murder) but I would not then regard that as "structurally sexist". 

Let's focus on the actual relevant factors -- poverty and low educational achievement, rather than analysing everything in terms of race and "racism".

> ... and that these communities therefore do have a legitimate grievance?

Yes, they do. Just about everyone does if you go through history.  But it is unhelpful to treat that as primary, rather than focusing on what matters today.  And again, poor whites in poor schools didn't ask to be where they are either.

1
wintertree 08 Nov 2019
In reply to cb294:

> Just looking at the number of people on death row by race is indeed not very informative, and as you say, confounded e.g. by social stratification.

Although there can be feedback loops at play - criminal justice system > poverty > criminal justice system.  Over a sufficiently long time scale, a small racial bias in the justice system can work to drive two populations ever further apart socially to the point the social differences dwarf the differential treatment by the justice system.

Even if the US was coming from a place of racial equality - which it clearly isn’t - the cumulative effect of subtle racism from the state and employers can grow and grow through feedback.

Coel Hellier 08 Nov 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> Over a sufficiently long time scale, a small racial bias in the justice system can work to drive two populations ever further apart socially ...

But only if there are no other factors at play acting to reduce any differences.

3
wintertree 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But only if there are no other factors at play acting to reduce any differences.

No.  It depends on the ratio of those factors and if that ratio is greater or less than 1.0

Post edited at 16:45
Pefa 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> I'm not really clear what you're saying here. Are you saying you think people can actually change their sex?

No its not as straightforward as that you see genuine gender dysphoric people are basically a form of intersex where rather than it being chromosomes or genitalia that are of the opposite sex for GD sufferers it is the brain that is of the opposite sex insomuch as it knows what it is and this cannot be altered. This is what I refer to at the 7 week period in the womb when the brain of a Y chromosome fetus gets flooded with testosterone and made male. If something goes wrong here it won't make that brain male but the rest of the body will be.And you can alter the body to solve or cure this but not the brain. 

The case of David Riemer is a good example of how we know in our brains what sex we are no matter what we are told or see. 

I would just like to add that I certainly don't want to shut down any debate on this matter and I really couldn't care less what people call me as that is their problem to deal with not mine and anger is anyones worst enemy but there was a time that it did deeply affect me and I know it does for others. The fact is we could discover with further research that all these indications are true and yes the brain is not the sex of the body and we are another form of intersex but until then people have a choice ;be hurtful and cruel or be kind and caring. 

Post edited at 17:13
Pefa 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As I've said, I'm entirely fine with people living whatever gender role seems most appropriate to them.  And yes, of course everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.

> But, there are some issues where biological sex does matter, and then needs to be taken into account.

Yes but when we are faced with overwhelming evidence in the numbers of people who historically have stated they know they are the opposite sex from their bodies so much so that they need it altered severely so they can live. Then we get many indicators that show this could be the sex of the brain but we don't yet have the technology to confirm this, would it not be better rather than calling these people the sex they say they are not and denying them what they know to be true to not doing that until we find out what causes this and why after full treatment they live normal lives? 

Oh and that brings up the stats on some suicides even after medical treatments which then leads back to teenagers who are GD getting treatment before puberty to stop the effects of puberty so that you get less suicides as people do not stand out and become a constant target of abuse, ridicule and end up with great negative self esteem and self worth. 

Pefa 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> (eg obvious antisemites like Chris Williamson) gain positions of power in Labour.

How is he an anti-semite? 

RomTheBear 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But only if there are no other factors at play acting to reduce any differences.

Completely wrong.

3
Offwidth 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

Well Labour clearly regard him as too toxic on the subject  to stand as an MP. He says he will stand as an independant against an official candidate, which could well let the tories in given it's a highly marginal seat.. Let's also say he has plenty of form with very strong links with those later suspended for antisemitic statements. In terms of his suspension from Labour we also have the following: "Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum, said at the time that Williamson had not shown “one iota of contrition” after saying the party had been “too apologetic” in the face of criticism of how it dealt with antisemitism within its ranks."

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/10/chris-williamson-loses-legal-bid-over-labour-party-antisemitism-suspension

Pefa 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Hi, I respect your brainyness BTW as most of what you write on here I kind of get but some I really get and some is too boring for my working class mind so  I just sweep over however, if you could instead of pointing me to some link which tells me how Williamson has been anti-semitic but tell me how he is anti-semitic then that would be very helpful. 

Post edited at 03:05
1
Blue Straggler 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

Do you want to start that one afresh Pefa? 

2
Pefa 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Best not reply to my immediate reply as I will be another half hour editing it first  before it is finished 🙂

Post edited at 04:15
Blue Straggler 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

Ah it makes more sense now, thanks (still a bit breathless, some punctuation would be a boon but it’s not “wrong”) 

1
RomTheBear 09 Nov 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> > Just looking at the number of people on death row by race is indeed not very informative, and as you say, confounded e.g. by social stratification.

> Although there can be feedback loops at play - criminal justice system > poverty > criminal justice system.  Over a sufficiently long time scale, a small racial bias in the justice system can work to drive two populations ever further apart socially to the point the social differences dwarf the differential treatment by the justice system.

> Even if the US was coming from a place of racial equality - which it clearly isn’t - the cumulative effect of subtle racism from the state and employers can grow and grow through feedback.

Exactly correct. This a very common phenomenon in complex system. A weak bias at the individual level can create clusters through feedback loops, which are very difficult to correct through “top down” policy.

The difficulty is that it can be very subtle, for example a very weak, even unconscious preference to living near people of the same ethnicity can create over time highly racially segregated neighbourhoods that would look as if they were the product of systematic racism.

Post edited at 11:58
Old Skooled 09 Nov 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Nothing at all to do with redlining then?

Offwidth 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

I'd have thought such faux inverse snobbery was a tactic too low for you. The last thing I am is a working class kid turned into a middle class fool overly proud of my intellect. Things like the idiocy around the defence of JRM about what he said about GrenfelI, appalls me.

I work in the trade union movement and rarely in that is any key activist more than two degrees of seperation from another and he is local and (in)famous. He became guilty off camera of the same things as some of his friends were guilty of with public evidence..  until he was suspended I just thought he was a bit more careful. The Jackie Walker case illustrates the problem... she doesn't seem to get that broad negative labelling of a people is unacceptable and her responses during training after a first investigation were outrageous and after a second investigation she was rightly expelled. She is a distance from the antisemitism of the far right but at what point does being less antisemitic than them ever become OK? Chris defended her and arranged her film to be shown after she was suspended and made unfair claims about the process in Labour. The much darker side of this mess in Labour has been the horrendous vitriol and threats (including death threats) that some made against the MPs fairly raising concerns in the area.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Walker_(activist)

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/01/chris-williamson-labour-mp-antisemitism-row

Post edited at 14:39
1
Offwidth 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

On the other hand.... there is a highly unlikely story today about a Labour MP changing the lyrics of Hey Jude to hate jews on a bus, whilst sitting alongside other MPs and the press!??... shamefully something based on hearsay and so clearly likely to be propagandised nonsense has made it to several national papers.

Post edited at 15:04
2
Pefa 23:08 Sat
In reply to Offwidth:

Thanks for your reply and links which I have read thoroughly but I still do not see any actual acts or statements of anti-semitism by either Walker or Williamson just a bit of insensitivity as Chomsky himself points out.

And yes I'm not saying you are a posh elitist and I'm sorry if I came across that way, I was clumsily trying to show respect in that some of what you write is quite academic(brainy) for me. 

2
RomTheBear 05:08 Sun
In reply to Old Skooled:

> Nothing at all to do with redlining then?

Why would it necessarily have nothing to do with it ?

Offwidth 06:43 Sun
In reply to Pefa:

Fair enough on the personal point.

I guess on the antisemitism point what you argue is what Walker and Williamson argue and I think your are all out of touch about clear Labour party rules on the subject, about how it affected some British jews who were longstanding Labour party members, and are ignoring the horrible backlash for those MPs who complained about it. As you bring up Chomsky, he pointed out that, irrespective of what he sees as a dishonest attack on Corbyn's Labour, some antisemitism might well exist in the party in an implied 'polite, English way', much less than the UK anti muslim sentiments (and lets remember the highly 'impolite' bile and the death threats some complaining Labour MPs recieved). I don't think we should weigh comparative views on racism as he does, every party is responsible to stamp out its own racism, and I will always expect better from progressive parties, than the rabid wing of the tories.

Post edited at 06:54
marsbar 10:55 Sun
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> By the way, here's a link to a podcast with trans-woman Rose of Dawn that I listened to when it came out a couple of weeks back.  It's interesting as a trans person who is fairly critical of much trans ideology:

As was already pointed out to you,  "trans ideology" is merely what a small but loud number of extreme people are saying. 

Unfortunately the ridiculous behaviour and demands of a few are damaging to a lot of people.  

Coel Hellier 11:53 Sun
In reply to marsbar:

> As was already pointed out to you,  "trans ideology" is merely what a small but loud number of extreme people are saying. 

Yes, exactly.  And that ideology, promoted by a small but loud cohort of activists, is what I was criticising.

> Unfortunately the ridiculous behaviour and demands of a few are damaging to a lot of people.  

Yes, agreed. 

marsbar 12:02 Sun
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Perhaps I wasn’t clear.  By calling it “trans ideology” you are adding to the damage by making it seem legitimate, making it appear to be mainstream trans views.  If instead you referred to it as “extreme trans ideology” it would be clear that it isn’t.  

Real people have to deal with the fall out of this nonsense.  For you it’s just an entertaining discussion.  Please be careful with your language.  

Coel Hellier 12:16 Sun
In reply to marsbar:

> By calling it “trans ideology” you are adding to the damage by making it seem legitimate, making it appear to be mainstream trans views.

The word "ideology" was intended to make it about the activist claims, not about the views of all trans people.

2
RomTheBear 18:30 Sun
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The audio is eye-opening, gob-smacking and also entertaining.  It's rather long, but the first 6 mins give an adequate flavour of it.

Fascinating, you finally found a college teacher with a talent for whacky intellectual masturbations and ideological fixations to match yours. I am genuinely impressed.

Post edited at 18:32
Jon Stewart 19:18 Sun
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The word "ideology" was intended to make it about the activist claims, not about the views of all trans people.

But the word "ideology" doesn't serve that function. The term "trans ideology" has the effect of labelling trans people as sharing an ideology based on their characteristic of being trans - which is false.

I don't disagree with your views about the extreme and unreasonable viewpoint that anyone can just say "I am a woman/man" and then have to be treated as such in all situations regardless of impact on others. You're quite right that this is unreasonable. 

Where you're mistaken and being unhelpful is by characterising this as an "orthodoxy" and presenting the viewpoint as a social problem that we as everyday citizens should feel threatened by. This ideology is an extreme political view, just as any group has extreme political elements - we see this in all religions (especially Judaism and Islam), in feminism, in all political groupings, you name it. I guess your worry stems from seeing that this "extreme trans ideology" has some purchase in academia and potentially in policy - but seen through the thick and foul-smelling fog of right-wing media (which makes money from stirring up fear of minorities). There are difficult issues here for sure, but they affect only a tiny handful of people, and they're so complex and personal that the type of agenda-driven armchair politics seen here just doesn't seem at all helpful or appropriate. We're not talking about how the country is run, we're talking about the experiences of a small number of people who don't fit neatly into the categories we use to organise society.

2
marsbar 21:29 Sun
In reply to Coel Hellier:

It reads to me very differently.  Its important to be clear.  

Pefa 00:42 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I can appreciate that in order to build a better more inclusive and equal world it is important we endeavour to put aside the wrongs of past generations and ideally move on and that this is where you are coming from, which is for the greater good of everyone. However I do think there is trauma that gets passed from generation to generation that stems from the old traumas of that time and I don't know but maybe it is harder for black folk in the USA or Jewish descendants from Europe to just say everything is fine now when they have been raised by traumatised parents and grandparents. I agree getting wound up about it and fantasising about getting your own back doesn't bring us all together in harmony but perhaps the situation to many black folks in the USA is not conducive to that yet. 

As for the trans stuff I'm not getting at you even though I was a bit... sorry about that. It's just an extremely touchy subject for people like me and I think that is why some folk do go over the top with it. You can get perfectly sound arguments which I agree with about the dangers of self-identifying from some feminists but then they basically ruin it by stating all trans people are not the sex they say they are. Which is then going to put 99% of us against them.

I mean we don't put ourselves through what would be unnecessary extra physical pain, SRS and years of treatments and all the rest to get where we are, look 100% female, live completely normally as female only to be told nah your a man, even though it is precisely because we know we are not men that we went through all the years of painful transformation and before that all the torment of dysphoria.

Anyway I can see both sides to that specific matter and I'm fine either way but I thought I'd bring a personal perspective to the debate. I do agree about the dangers of some trans activists and policies in certain areas going to far and too quickly and they must be reigned in however I vehemently don't agree with the term "trans ideology", in any way shape or form though as it is as much an ideology as helping depressed or lesbian people is an ideology.

Anyway I don't want to stop or stifle another one of your very interesting debates as this stuff does need debated. 

Post edited at 00:48
Coel Hellier 10:10 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But the word "ideology" doesn't serve that function. The term "trans ideology" has the effect of labelling trans people as sharing an ideology based on their characteristic of being trans - which is false.

I think you're reading too much into one phrase.  If I were to refer to "Labour party ideology these days" or "Tory ideology these days" I don't think anyone would interpret that as implying that all party members agreed with it, since everyone knows that parties have a wide range of views. Instead, people would take it as a reference to where the activists are heading. 

> Where you're mistaken and being unhelpful is by characterising this as an "orthodoxy" and presenting the viewpoint as a social problem that we as everyday citizens should feel threatened by.

The ideology of the trans activists is just one manifestation of wider blank-slate, social-constructivist, post-modernist ideology.    Certainly the trans issue alone is not a "social problem that we as everyday citizens should feel threatened by" -- did anyone ever claim that it was? -- but it is an example of a wider issue that is indeed worth discussing, and that's what these forums are for.

> I guess your worry stems from seeing that this "extreme trans ideology" has some purchase in academia and potentially in policy

Not really, it's the other way round.  The trans stuff is just one manifestation of the wider ideology, which originated in feminist thinking and "gender studies" and then went into "race studies".  The trans-activist ideology is a symptom,, not a cause, and not really a problem in its own right. 

1
Coel Hellier 10:20 Mon
In reply to Pefa:

> However I do think there is trauma that gets passed from generation to generation that stems from the old traumas of that time ...

I don't think that's true, sorry.  Each generation pretty much gets born afresh.  And your sentence is an example of the "concept creep" so prevalent among the SJW-left. 

"Trauma" used to refer to something like being violently raped, or a soldier seeing a comrade being blown to bits.  

Nowadays it's being applied to the "trauma" of being the great-great-great grandchild or a slave or having one's English-literature professor make reference to the n-word while discussing Huckleberry Finn.  (Or even to the "trauma" of having Huck Finn, a book by an old, white, dead, male, on the curriculum, instead of a book by a black African woman.)

> but maybe it is harder for black folk in the USA or Jewish descendants from Europe to just say everything is fine now

Another problem with SWJ-left ideology is that it doesn't recognise anything in between "blacks are still being traumatized by the everyday oppression and victimisation of a racist, white-supremacist patriarchy", and "everything is fine now". 

4
Coel Hellier 11:15 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Where you're mistaken and being unhelpful is by characterising this as an "orthodoxy" and presenting the viewpoint as a social problem that we as everyday citizens should feel threatened by. This ideology is an extreme political view,

Just an addendum, having read The Times this morning:

44% of undergrads say: "Germaine Greer should have been prevented from speaking on Cardiff campus after being accused of "transphobia"." 

Now, Germain Greer was accused of "transphobia" for disagreeing with what you call "an extreme political view". And they (44%) regard her views as unacceptable owing to that.  If they wanted to ban Tommy Robinson then, sure, ok, but Germaine Greer?

That's my underlying point in all these threads: defence of free speech and opposition to the SJW-left tactic: "Even discussing these ideas is so offensive to us that you may not do it; you may not dispute or dissent, you must assent".  And if 44% of today's undergrads take that line then, yes, this is a problem that "everyday citizens" should be aware of. It certainly merits a UKC thread or two.

3
Offwidth 11:41 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

"> However I do think there is trauma that gets passed from generation to generation that stems from the old traumas of that time ...

I don't think that's true, sorry.  Each generation pretty much gets born afresh."

Passing down painful social history, and too often indoctrination as a result, stemming from the trauma of previous generations, usually starts after the kids are born (or were you assuming pefa had been taken in by one of your exaggerated genetic links)

Offwidth 11:58 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Your logic is all over the place.

On Germaine... you claim you want more freedom of speech in the UK then you complain about the uncomfortable view of these students, with no sense of irony. Germaine was not banned from speaking. Most who are banned are proscribed groups (such groups not allowed to speak in the US either) and for the few who were were unfairly 'banned', the decision was almost always made by the authorities, usually on H&S grounds (which also happens in the US on equally rare occasions)

You seem to be defending a US position on freedom of speech (a pretty hypocritical one given their ongoing obsession with communists) and you live in the UK which has tigher limits ... mainly better protections against hate speech.  That to me makes you a potentially dangerous ideologue campaigning for unwanted change, which in practice will just give extremists more of a free pass on their hate speech.

2
Jon Stewart 12:13 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Do you know what germain greer actually said about trans people? (I'm on my phone at work here, you'll have to look it up if you don't know). 

I think germain greer should be able to speak, but she should, and has been, hauled over hot coals for her use of language about trans people. She was horribly abusive.

You don't seem to see any need to express a political view using appropriate language. There's no reason to believe that it was the content of her views that got her in trouble, when the language she used to express it was abusive. The abuse is the problem. 

To make an analogy: one can despise the actions of the Israeli government, and one either express this in antisemitic language, or not. If you express your political views in abusive language, then you lose all defence of those views as legitimate, because you've exposed your motivation as that of hatred. If I used antisemitic language to criticise Israel, then no one should be expected to listen. But if I make my point without such abuse, it deserves a fair hearing. 

And just *being* germain greer isn't a defence of publicly abusing minorities! 

Coel Hellier 12:30 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

> Passing down painful social history, and too often indoctrination as a result, stemming from the trauma of previous generations,

And hearing about the mistreatment of previous generations does not amount to "trauma", sorry. Words have meanings.  I realise that the "can't produce a good argument" brigade need to resort to "so let's mis-use the language instead", but sensible people do not.

> ... usually starts after the kids are born (or were you assuming pefa had been taken in by one of your exaggerated genetic links)

One notes the sneer from the "out of his depth when it comes to science" brigade.

2
Coel Hellier 12:40 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

> Your logic is all over the place.

Oh look, Offwidth thinks that he's the one who does rational argument! 

> On Germaine... you claim you want more freedom of speech in the UK ...

Yep.

> ... then you complain about the uncomfortable view of these students, with no sense of irony. 

I complain about those who want to prevent people with different views from being able to voice those views.

> ... for the few who were were unfairly 'banned', the decision was almost always made by the authorities, usually on H&S grounds

Yep, that's a favourite tactic: a student group threatens that if the event goes ahead and X speaks on campus then they'll respond with violence.  The authorities then pull the event, citing "safety". 

>  You seem to be defending a US position on freedom of speech (a pretty hypocritical one given their ongoing obsession with communists) ...

I won't bother trying to make sense of that sentence.

> and you live in the UK which has tigher limits ... mainly better protections against hate speech.

Ah right, so Germaine Greer speaking on campus is "hate speech" and should not be allowed.

>  That to me makes you a potentially dangerous ideologue  campaigning for unwanted change, ...

... and I'll take pleasure in annoying anti-free-speech loons such as yourself.

2
Coel Hellier 12:48 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Do you know what germain greer actually said about trans people?

Actually, yes, I do.

> You don't seem to see any need to express a political view using appropriate language.

The problem is who gets to determine what is "appropriate" language?  If one side of a debate gets to dictate what language the other side uses, then they'll use that to shut down debate.  (And is the right reciprocal?)

> There's no reason to believe that it was the content of her views that got her in trouble, when the language she used to express it was abusive. The abuse is the problem. 

Yes, there is reason to believe it is the content of her views that are the real issue, since there's plenty of other feminists who have used less "abusive" language and still been de-platformed.  And the activists say quite explicitly that it is the *views* that they do not regard as up for discussion and want to de-platform.

1
Jon Stewart 13:02 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The problem is who gets to determine what is "appropriate" language?  If one side of a debate gets to dictate what language the other side uses, then they'll use that to shut down debate.  (And is the right reciprocal?)

You're arguing for an absurd absolutist position where anyone can give a speech packed full of racist abuse with impunity. A decent society is one in which there are norms of basic decency to abide by. 

> Yes, there is reason to believe it is the content of her views that are the real issue, since there's plenty of other feminists who have used less "abusive" language and still been de-platformed.  And the activists say quite explicitly that it is the *views* that they do not regard as up for discussion and want to de-platform.

There may well be activists who want to label everything and everyone as transphobic. But the reasonable debate you say you want to see is completely undermined by people with any perspective using abusive language. There is a much greater impact of such abusive language when it is aimed at minorities who have suffered a history of abuse. 

Decent, reasonable people are happy to consider not using abusive language about minorities as a minimum standard of basic decency. If you can't meet that extraordinarily low bar, then you lose your status as soneone worth listening to. A lack of a clear definition of abuse isn't a good argument for allowing abuse without sanction. Similarly, there's no clear definition of incitement, but we can agree that there have to be sanctions there. The sanctions for abuse should of course be softer, but your desire to see all abuse of minorities accepted as legitimate political expression is unhealthy and sinister. 

2
Coel Hellier 13:15 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Decent, reasonable people are happy to consider not using abusive language about minorities as a minimum standard of basic decency.

We need to get specific here. Can you give examples of remarks by Germaine Greer that, in your opinion, are so abusive that she should not be regarded as an acceptable speaker?

Jon Stewart 13:21 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

"just because you lop your dick off doesn't make you a f*cking woman" for starters. 

There's oodles of it, denigrating trans people about their bodies. It's foul, and she needed to be told to shut the f*ck up. 

Sir Chasm 13:24 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> "just because you lop your dick off doesn't make you a f*cking woman" for starters. 

> There's oodles of it, denigrating trans people about their bodies. It's foul, and she needed to be told to shut the f*ck up. 

Is it the language or the sentiment you take issue with? Or both?

Jon Stewart 13:31 Mon
In reply to Sir Chasm:

It's the sentiment (although I'm not sure I see the difference) - ridiculing someone's entire experience of gender reassignment as "lopping your dick off" displays total contempt for them on the basis of them being trans.

She could have made some kind of point about the difference in experience between trans and cis women without the abusive language, but chose those words and that sentiment. She totally undermined any legitimate point she may or may not have had. 

Sir Chasm 14:05 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It's the sentiment (although I'm not sure I see the difference) - ridiculing someone's entire experience of gender reassignment as "lopping your dick off" displays total contempt for them on the basis of them being trans.

Well the sentiment appears to be that people can't change sex, you might disagree but it doesn't seem a wholly unreasonable view.

> She could have made some kind of point about the difference in experience between trans and cis women without the abusive language, but chose those words and that sentiment. She totally undermined any legitimate point she may or may not have had. 

She could certainly have put it more delicately.

Coel Hellier 14:12 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It's foul, and she needed to be told to shut the f*ck up. 

It's certainly not tactful (though she would see it as a response to encroachment into women's "space" that counters much that she has worked for).

But I can't see it as disqualifying her from the normal forums of societal debate.  If one did, then it gives way too much power to whoever gets to decide what crosses the line, and they will use that power to shut down dissenting voices.

As a comparison, large swathes of Life of Brian could be regarded as just as disrespectful, indeed that disrespect is much of the point. And yet, as I see it, the legitimacy of being disrespectful like that is a necessary part of a free society. 

Jon Stewart 14:34 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As a comparison, large swathes of Life of Brian could be regarded as just as disrespectful, indeed that disrespect is much of the point. And yet, as I see it, the legitimacy of being disrespectful like that is a necessary part of a free society. 

The difference is that unlike Christians, who've run the whole of western society to serve their own needs for centuries, trans people are a minority who've suffered nothing but abuse for all those centuries. 

Coel Hellier 14:37 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But I can't see it as disqualifying her from the normal forums of societal debate. 

And can we remind ourselves here:

No-one is arguing that Student A must be compelled to sit meekly and silently in an audience while Germaine Greer proclaims for an hour. 

All we're saying is that if Student B does wish to listen to Greer, then Student A should not be enabled to prevent that happening, just because Greer's views are disrespectful as Student A sees it. 

Offwidth 14:37 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Life of Brian is a comedy satire and ironically it was widely banned,  so there is almost no equivalence with Germaine saying what she did (especially in the way she did it) about trans women, as a feminist intellect in interviews.  I certainly don't think she should be banned from saying this in a University as its legal and her ideas are not uncommon in 2nd wave feminism, but she should face robust debate on her opinions in a University setting,  and not be given an exclusive soapbox.

Post edited at 14:38
Offwidth 14:41 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

A ban didn't happen and under freedom of speech the views of Student A must be free to be expressed. Where exactly is the freedom of speech problem?

Coel Hellier 14:42 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The difference is that unlike Christians, who've run the whole of western society to serve their own needs for centuries, trans people are a minority who've suffered nothing but abuse for all those centuries. 

I'm aware of this argument, but I don't agree with basing policy on such a victim-hood hierarchy dictating who may be rude and disrespectful to whom. 

As I said above, if people want to be equal, then part of that is thinking and acting equal, and part of that is adopting and accepting the same standards for everyone. 

We should decide what sort of everyone-equal society that we want, and then head for that by enacting that as much as possible, rather than by trying to propagate and ossify past differences. 

2
Coel Hellier 14:44 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

> Where exactly is the freedom of speech problem?

The freedom-of-speech problem on college campuses is one set of students trying to shut down events and talks wanted by and hosted by other students. 

1
Coel Hellier 14:53 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> ,,, trans people are a minority who've suffered nothing but abuse for all those centuries. 

The other problem with your argument is that it treats the minority as if they were a uniform cohort all having the same views.   (Ironically, you've accused me of doing that, when your policy requires one to view minorities that way.)

What happens if some trans people are entirely ok with Greer's words, and accept discussion with her as part of societal debate? Do those trans people prevail, or the trans activists who want her banned from speaking on campuses?

How about those blacks who are offended by the notion that it is inappropriate for an English-literature professor to refer to the n-word when teaching Huck Finn, because they see that as treating black people as children?  Do those blacks prevail?  Or do we give preference to those blacks (and increasingly whites who get outraged on their behalf) who want any reference to the word banned?

How about the ex-Muslims and reformist-minded Muslims who are happy with critical commentary about Islam, seeing it as a necessary part of reform, and who are happy to, say, re-tweet Jesus and Mo cartoons?   Do they prevail?   Or do the less-moderate Muslims who want to shut down any criticism of Islam prevail, because they are, in the West, a "minority"?   And yet the ex-Muslims are a minority within a minority.

Post edited at 15:08
1
Coel Hellier 15:02 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

> Life of Brian is a comedy satire and ironically it was widely banned,  so there is almost no equivalence with Germaine saying what she did

There's a long tradition of mixing comedic satire with commentary on politics and religion (from Jonathan Swift to Spitting Image to Jesus and Mo today), and, yes,  Life of Brian was widely banned, which shows how precarious free speech can be at times.

> ... but she should face robust debate on her opinions in a University setting, 

Which cannot happen if the SJW-left faction of students declares that her views are so "harmful" that they cannot be voiced on campus, and then tries every tactic to prevent the debate from occurring.

toad 15:19 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

He's not  a brilliant polemicist .......

He's a very naughty boy......

cb294 15:25 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I wish you would stop using that bullshit SJW phrase, it puts you in highly unpleasant company.

The issue really seems to be whether you are prepared to accept any limits to free speech.

To me, coming from an European background, free speech does not cover freedom from the consequences of your words, and also not an automatic right to say what you want where and when you want. These ideals are closer to the US concept of free speech that knows essentially no limits.

Even if some students want to listen to GGs rants, this should not compel the university to give her a platform, and other students should be free to lobby the university to deny her the platform. 

Freedom of speech means to me that she or the students wanting to invite her should be free to hire the pub next door, or to try and convince the decision makers at the uni to let her speak despite or even because of her controversial viewpoints.

As usual, though, if any decision goes against them, the right wingers are world record snow flakes who like to dish it out but cannot take it.

CB

1
Offwidth 15:41 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

"The freedom-of-speech problem on college campuses is one set of students trying to shut down events and talks wanted by and hosted by other students. "  so what pragmatic solution do you propose to resolve this obvious dilemma that logically arises due to the nature of freedom of speech.

You also have answered the point that Germaine wasn't banned.

TobyA 15:45 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As I said above, if people want to be equal, then part of that is thinking and acting equal, and part of that is adopting and accepting the same standards for everyone. 

You should really try applying that philosophy in a boxing match with a professional boxer and see how convinced you are afterwards. 

I don't know if you mean to come over quite as harshly as you are, but basically you're saying everyone who doesn't have the social privileges that you do, should stop whining about it and at least act as if they do.

Coel Hellier 15:57 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

> You also have answered the point that Germaine wasn't banned.

And a poll in The Times today says that 44% of undergraduates think she should be banned from such events.  That's the "free speech" problem on campuses -- coupled with the fact that they're willing to use disruption and threats to get their way, and that university authorities tend to capitulate to them.

2
Coel Hellier 15:59 Mon
In reply to TobyA:

> but basically you're saying everyone who doesn't have the social privileges that you do, should stop whining about it and at least act as if they do.

I'm saying that they should act the status that they want to attain.  That's a big part of it.

5
Coel Hellier 16:11 Mon
In reply to cb294:

> I wish you would stop using that bullshit SJW phrase, it puts you in highly unpleasant company.

What should I use?    (And as for company, many moderates use the term also; what should they use?) 

> Even if some students want to listen to GGs rants, this should not compel the university to give her a platform, and other students should be free to lobby the university to deny her the platform. 

The general ethos is that a student group can invite a speaker, and the university is merely allowing that group to hold an event. The university is not endorsing the speaker, nor agreeing with the views expressed. 

Thus Tory and Labour student groups can host speakers, as can Remain or Leave groups, as can religious groups, as can groups opposed to religion.

> Freedom of speech means to me that she or the students wanting to invite her should be free to hire the pub next door, or to try and convince the decision makers at the uni to let her speak despite or even because of her controversial viewpoints.

But if the university starts getting into endorsing speakers that way, on what grounds would they do so?  Can a Labour/Tory student group dig though the history of any speaker that the other one invites, and say "that was disrespectful" and ask the university to decline to host the event?

> As usual, though, if any decision goes against them, the right wingers are world record snow flakes who like to dish it out but cannot take it.

You may say that, but actually "right wingers" today tend to have a much better record of tolerating debate than many on the left. 

And, since universities are basically funded by taxpayer's money, why should they accept universities being politically biased in which speakers they would and wouldn't approve?

1
Jon Stewart 16:18 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I'm aware of this argument, but I don't agree with basing policy on such a victim-hood hierarchy dictating who may be rude and disrespectful to whom. 

There is no hierarchy, that's made up entirely by the anti-identity politics lot. The distinction is between people who face discrimination due to characteristics they don't choose, and those who don't. 

> As I said above, if people want to be equal, then part of that is thinking and acting equal, and part of that is adopting and accepting the same standards for everyone. 

Being equal means not facing discrimination and abuse relating to characteristics you don't choose. We can't level this up by *creating* heterophobia, etc (and wouldn't want to), we level this up by trying to eliminate the abuse. 

You're arguing that trans people should havea better to put up with abuse that others don't have to. It isn't equal treatment. 

> We should decide what sort of everyone-equal society that we want, and then head for that by enacting that as much as possible, rather than by trying to propagate and ossify past differences. 

The past differences are only relevant in how they manifest in peoples experience of the present. If you are a member of a minority that has a history of abuse, then the abuse affects you more severely - you're being kept in your place as lesser than others. 

Offwidth 16:19 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I know that, that is their free opinion... it still doesn't indicate why she hasn't been banned yet.... and you are also avoiding the question on how you would resolve the dilemma that these students are just expressing their views under our generally adequate UK laws on freedom of speech.

Accusing me of being a loon is childish attack dog politics that you complain (often unfairly) about from others;  and this is despite the fact I disagree with those students opinions on a ban (yet still think Germaine was wrong to say what she said) but support their rights to protest. I still think our UK law is about right in freedom of speech terms (but occasionally a bit too strict). 

Jon Stewart 16:29 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The other problem with your argument is that it treats the minority as if they were a uniform cohort all having the same views.   

It makes a fair assumption that anyone who's been through gender reassignment is going to object to being publicly ridiculed and treated with contempt. 

> How about those blacks who are offended by the notion that it is inappropriate for an English-literature professor to refer to the n-word when teaching Huck Finn

My judgment is that GG was well out of order. I haven't got much of a view on this case I've never heard of. 

> How about the ex-Muslims and reformist-minded Muslims who are happy with critical commentary about Islam

My view is that religion isn't a characteristic you didn't choose, so I see no reason to protect religious people from anti-religious views. That doesn't mean I think that abuse of religious minorities, or stirring up hatred against them should be accepted. To criticise or laugh at someone's religion is not equivalent to criticising or laughing at their sexuality or gender identity. 

Coel Hellier 16:39 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

> you are also avoiding the question on how you would resolve the dilemma that these students are just expressing their views under our generally adequate UK laws on freedom of speech.

They can express their views; but they should not be allowed to prevent events from going ahead.

> Accusing me of being a loon is childish attack dog politics that you complain ...

And you're a hypocrite.  You're very ready and willing to start the insults and derogatory language, even when it's a topic that you clearly don't know about. 

cb294 16:49 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

There is probably no single term, SJW is used to lump multiple groups into some disparaging catch all. It is also silly, as if social justice was something to be avoided, or injustice desirable.

Yes, I agree that a university should be a place of controversial academic discussion, but that speaking at a university should be considered a privilege not a right, and that the decision which speakers are allowed to speak on its premises should ultimately rest with the university. 

The important point is that deplatforming someone is not the same as interfering with their freedom of speech, but should be seen as platform hygiene.

This is not political as such, so therefore the taxpayer argument is irrelevant, but a question of a reasonable trade off between freedom of speech vs. freedom from shit stirring and the protection of academic standards.

To choose nonpolitical examples, why should a university offer its premises to some "pickup artist" coach (even though the nonpolitical is debatable here), even if some underlayed fraternity boys would like to invite them for advice, or to the National Society of Dowsers, thereby offering them credibility? Friendly as the Dowsers were a few years ago when they shared the UCSC facilities with our biology meeting, I think it is fundamentally wrong to allow such groups to propagate their nonsense at a university campus. Again, I would not consider this a freedom of speech issue. However, this was the US, so their rules applied.

FWIW, I would have no problem with Germaine Greer or, say, Ayaan Hirsii Ali, even if it would be clear beforehand that either would piss off some section of the student community, as both would bring something worth discussing to the table.

I can easily think of right wing youtube shit stirrers where I would hope that they were not be given a platform a my university, as they would be too much trouble for the worth of their contributions. Provocation for the sake of provocation is not enough (unlike provocation to make a valid point).

Can't think of a corresponding left wing example, they have largely faded into irrelevance since uncle Joe died a while ago. Here in Germany, let's maybe avoid giving the stage to terrorist sympathizers from the fringes of the Red Army Faction.

CB

Coel Hellier 17:04 Mon
In reply to cb294:

> There is probably no single term, ...

Which is why I use "SJW". I could use "woke" but that may not be an improvement in your eyes.

> ... SJW is used to lump multiple groups into some disparaging catch all. It is also silly, as if social justice was something to be avoided, or injustice desirable.

Agreed, "social justice" is a good.  Opponents of "SJW" oppose the particular approach to social justice promoted by the "SJWs". Again, I'm open to using a neutral term instead of "SJW" is one is available.

> The important point is that deplatforming someone is not the same as interfering with their freedom of speech, but should be seen as platform hygiene.

It's more than that, though.  Ever since Mill, "freedom of speech" has been taken to be a wider issue than the narrow issue of what is legally tolerated, and more about what is de-facto discussible in the usual forums that society uses to discuss things.  So that includes universities and social media.  It also includes not being sacked for saying something.   In that respect, universities should be one of the main free-discussion forums.

> This is not political as such, so therefore the taxpayer argument is irrelevant, ...

I don't agree with that reasoning.   Taxpayers can legitimately care about societal issues much wider than narrowly defined politics.  One of the problems in the US is that swathes of the right have stopped supporting universities because they see them as too biased.  And that has knock-on consequences including a dismissal of anything else coming from universities (such as climate-change science).

1
Pan Ron 17:22 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

An interesting debate to follow.  If I have this right:

1) Some people should have more rights to be spared from hurtful language than others, on account of activist mobilisation.

2) Some views should have fewer avenues for public presentation than others, and universities are one of those venues where this sort of filtering should occur.  While we might all agree that incitement to violence may be grounds for such a restriction, it appears even the views of Germaine Greer fall into this "off-limits" category. 

3) "SJW" is now too an offensive term (next stop, "hate speech").

4) These are the views of the mainstream left.

You don't need to be alt-right to be concerned by this.  Simply believing in equality of opportunity and there being no right to "not be offended", would be enough. 

If the Left can't see why this appears to contravene fundamentals of a liberal society, how these sorts of arrangements can be abused, and why those who oppose them might not automatically be "right-wing", then its no surprise they have a blind spot to these growing occurrences of campus and workplace lunacy being a problem. 

This should matter to them.  Unless they're willing to reign this all in a bit (or use some imagination for where it might lead), they shouldn't be surprised that that left makes a very unattractive electoral option for a wide range of people.  

4
Jon Stewart 17:26 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> An interesting debate to follow.  If I have this right:

You don't. You're miles off.

Go back to the start and pay much closer attention. 

Pan Ron 17:28 Mon
In reply to cb294:

> Can't think of a corresponding left wing example, they have largely faded into irrelevance since uncle Joe died a while ago. Here in Germany, let's maybe avoid giving the stage to terrorist sympathizers from the fringes of the Red Army Faction.

What about the kind of people who disrupt talks because they don't like the content, launch campaigns to remove academics with "unpopular" views (two prominent ones at my Russell Group uni in the last year), or the student union that requires a visiting comedian to agree not to tell jokes unless they are “respectful and kind”?

The whole point of this thread is that the state of universities is that they are so stridently left-wing that only the Right stand out - they're the minority, ironically.

Post edited at 17:30
Pan Ron 17:29 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Correct me then please.  What am I missing?

cb294 17:31 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I cannot offer you an alternative. SJWs as a coherent group that would e.g. self identify as such, presumably using a different term, simply do no exist. They are a bogey man made up by shit stirrers like Peterson. And you are right, the term "woke" makes me just as sick.

I also agree that universities should be as open as possible in what can be discussed under their umbrella, but it should be clear that the ultimate responsibility for what is discussed should always rest with the platform.

Similarly, I would argue that youtube and facebook, and in particular their owners and employees, should be held criminally liable for every piece of Nazi hate speech, IS murder video, or piece of child sexual abuse that is distributed through their channels. You distribute it, you own it.

Free speech does and should have limits.

As to your final point, I think you have that the wrong way round. The Trumpist climate change deniers were idiots even before they figured out that intelligent people, who tend to congregate at universities* tend not to share their prejudices. I agree, though, that certain trends in the liberal arts, mostly in the US but also here in Germany, especially in the "grievance study" subjects, run counter to anything academic science stands for, and that tolerating that kind of rubbish risks tainting and discrediting genuine science.

I am out for today, need to run and beat up some innocent students at judo practise to channel my manuscript rage...

CB

* but are of course not exclusively found there, and neither does being at uni prove your intelligence

cb294 17:35 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

No, using the term SJW is not hate speech. It is just proof that you have not properly thought this through.

As I replied to Coel, I need to run now, but I guess this thread will still be live tomorrow. The boundaries of free speech are indeed an interesting and pertinent topic for an internet forum!

CB

Coel Hellier 18:19 Mon
In reply to cb294:

> Similarly, I would argue that youtube and facebook, and in particular their owners and employees, should be held criminally liable for every piece of Nazi hate speech, IS murder video, or piece of child sexual abuse that is distributed through their channels. You distribute it, you own it.

That doctrine would close down the internet! 

Jon Stewart 18:41 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Correct me then please.  What am I missing?

I don't know where to start, because I don't even understand whose views it is that you're deliberately misrepresenting. 

Whose views, specifically, do you believe that you have summarised accurately?

Jon Stewart 19:08 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I'm saying that they should act the status that they want to attain.  That's a big part of it.

I really don't know what you're trying to say here. This reads to me as saying that you think minorities such as gay and trans people aren't treated equally in society because their behaviour doesn't warrant equal treatment to straight people. These minorities should change their behaviour and then they may deserve to be treated as equals.

That's obviously a vile, bigoted opinion, so I'm presumably taking a very uncharitable interpretation. But if it wasn't that, what were you trying to convey?

And, I have a more personal, psychological question: why would someone who's intelligent enough to avoid this, be so unclear as to invite the obvious interpretation that they hold disgusting and bigoted attitudes towards minorities? Do you get something out of that?

Post edited at 19:08
TobyA 19:31 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

So black people should act as if there isn't racism in order to end racism. Ok....

Jon Stewart 19:49 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> That doctrine would close down the internet! 

Why? Because *you've* posted at least one piece of Nazi hate speech on every single platform?

[This is a joke.]

Post edited at 19:49
Coel Hellier 20:10 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> This reads to me as saying that you think minorities such as gay and trans people aren't treated equally in society because their behaviour doesn't warrant equal treatment to straight people.

No, that wasn't the intent. The point was that one can't aim for equality at the same time as aiming for special status.  And I do think that people regarding themselves as fully equal is a necessary part of being fully equal.

To give an example: I remember Matthew Parris (he, of course, being "old guard") writing a piece saying that when gay marriage was first being advocated he regarded it as a request too far, that de-criminalisation was sufficient (maybe his innate conservatism showing?).  If people then had not thought differently, and thought they deserved full gay marriage, and demanded it, then they would not now have it.

Coel Hellier 20:18 Mon
In reply to TobyA:

> So black people should act as if there isn't racism in order to end racism. Ok....

No, but they should regard themselves as fully equal to whites if they are to be fully equal.  In the US today, a lot of "critical race ideology" does not -- it says that trying hard at school and valuing education is "acting white", it says that science is a "white colonial" system, it says that the whole system is a "white supremacist" one that they cannot and should not compete in.  It says that the way for blacks to better their status is for whites to give them money (aka "reparations"), as though they are incapable of bettering their status themselves.   All of these things are hugely harmful to their future prospects.    It's also the opposite approach to that of US immigrant groups (Chinese, Jews, etc) that used to be low-status and poor and discriminated against but are now high-status and rich.

1
Bob Kemp 20:19 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Correct me then please.  What am I missing?

A lot of things. For example, that society isn't simply divided into two opposite camps of 'left' and 'right', that there isn't some homogenous mainstream left that has one set of views, that many people on the left also regret the dominance of identity politics and the Labour Party's neo-Stalinist turn, that simplistic stereotyping does not advance the cause of free speech,  that the threat to free speech from left-wing academics and students is in reality limited and trivial, that there are bigger threats to university from things like the Respect campaign...

Jon Stewart 20:24 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, that wasn't the intent. The point was that one can't aim for equality at the same time as aiming for special status. 

What's an example of a minority aiming for "special status"? 

Being free from abuse aimed at characteristics you didn't choose isn't special status. That's equality, seeing yourself as deserving a the same level of respect as others. 

I shouldn't have to put up with homophobic abuse because someone else gets abused for being a Tory. If that's your idea of equality for minorities, it's simple ignorance and you need to understand the issue much better. 

*edit. On that unanswered psychological question, your response to the other part indicates that you are just very clumsy with what you say! 

Post edited at 20:30
marsbar 20:40 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

It's not complicated.  

People don't choose to be gay.  People don't choose to be black or white or brown. People don't choose gender dysphoria. People don't choose to be disabled.  People don't choose to be neurodiverse (autistic, ADHD, etc)

Attacking people for aspects of their identity they didn't choose is unacceptable.  This is hate speech.  

People do to an extent (within family and society's pressures) choose religion.  Its rude to criticise people's religion. Generally it's not nice but it probably isn't hate speech.  

However some people use religion as a shorthand for race or ethnicity and then use the "but religion" excuse. 

Anti semitism is an example of this, as is Islamaphobia and Sectarianism.

Me, I'm a big fan of Jesus and Mo.  Love Father Ted too.  

Anyway, why are you so obsessed with trans issues and Muslims?  

As for special treatment, look up equity vs equality.  

Post edited at 20:42
Pan Ron 20:44 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You're running headlong there into the issue of subjectivity.  A prominent angle in the gender identity debate is that how someone feels defines what they are - hence fluidity can be accommodated.  Now, how can you really hold the line on "characteristics you didn't choose" when identity has very much become a question of what you choose?  And that choice allows you to define yourself as a minority, and therefore define some forms of speech as no longer acceptable.

There's a real tendency to strawman in your argument in that you seem to be extending a justification to not accept homophobic abuse into a justification for the likes of Germaine Greer to be denied a platform. 

2
Pan Ron 21:05 Mon
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I get the left and right aren't two discrete camps.  That point is pretty redundant really.  On the issue being discussed, its clear we fall into two broadly defined categories. 

The (left-wing) point is precisely that the current mindset of left-wing academics, the lack of intellectual diversity on campuses in social-sciences and humanities, is a trivial threat to free speech.

My view (call it right-wing if you want), is that the strong left lean of the university environment and it's influence on society at large (everything from setting social policy and company culture, to school-age education and social media behaviour) is the most notable threat to free-speech that exists.

Its astounding to me that the former are so indifferent to this, while the smallest hint of a rightward trajectory, or speech that can in any way be associated with the worst excesses of the right, is seen as something that absolutely must be smashed and has no place in civil society.  Liberal ideals evaporate at a hint of offence, but there seem to be few (if any) circumstances where the same is true for left-wing behaviours.

2
Jon Stewart 21:06 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> You're running headlong there into the issue of subjectivity.  A prominent angle in the gender identity debate is that how someone feels defines what they are - hence fluidity can be accommodated.  Now, how can you really hold the line on "characteristics you didn't choose" when identity has very much become a question of what you choose?  And that choice allows you to define yourself as a minority, and therefore define some forms of speech as no longer acceptable.

> There's a real tendency to strawman in your argument in that you seem to be extending a justification to not accept homophobic abuse into a justification for the likes of Germaine Greer to be denied a platform. 

My argument rests on the notion that being trans is not a choice. How people with less well-defined gender identities (people who identify as "non binary" etc) fit into all this is pretty difficult to tackle and all I have to go on there is vague hunches.

My view on GG is that she was abusive. She could have made a valid political point, but that isn't what she did - she went on a diatribe that targeted all trans women on the basis of them being trans. It was abuse aimed at a characteristic they didn't choose, and is absolutely the same as homophobic abuse.

If "if your idea of fun is getting bummed by your mate, then don't expect me to treat you as an equal man" is unacceptable homophobic abuse (I think it is), then why should "just because you lop your dick off, that doesn't make you a f*cking woman" be accepted as legitimate political discourse? It's just abuse.

Now whether or not she should or shouldn't be denied a platform at a university speakers event doesn't really interest me. GG is world famous and she can say and do whatever she likes without being silenced. If you spew vile abuse at minorities, then expect your speaking events to be disrupted: you made your bed, so lie in it, princess.

Post edited at 21:07
Pan Ron 21:12 Mon
In reply to marsbar:

> Attacking people for aspects of their identity they didn't choose is unacceptable.  This is hate speech.  

The problem is what you define as an "attack". 

> As for special treatment, look up equity vs equality.  

If you accept identitarianism, demands for equity are a significant problem.  I don't have money.  That person over there does.  If I can claim I don't have money due to an inate characteristic, equity holds they give half of theirs to me.  Even if my inate characteristic has nothing to do with that circumstance.  Doesn't matter, I get to define the terms.

The demand for equity, apparent insufficiency of equality, and with it an apparent dislike of hierarchy, does seem to be a defining difference between the left and right.  It has become a justification for turning MLK's speech on its head, and no surprise we end up with four-legs-good-two-legs-better.  

4
Jon Stewart 21:15 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> The (left-wing) point is precisely that the current mindset of left-wing academics, the lack of intellectual diversity on campuses in social-sciences and humanities, is a trivial threat to free speech.

> My view (call it right-wing if you want), is that the strong left lean of the university environment and it's influence on society at large (everything from setting social policy and company culture, to school-age education and social media behaviour) is the most notable threat to free-speech that exists.

> Its astounding to me that the former are so indifferent to this

I personally just don't give a shit what goes on in university humanity departments! I'm astounded that you think I should.

Pan Ron 21:19 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If "if your idea of fun is getting bummed by your mate, then don't expect me to treat you as an equal man" is unacceptable homophobic abuse (I think it is), then why should "just because you lop your dick off, that doesn't make you a f*cking woman" be accepted as legitimate political discourse? It's just abuse.

Because the debate, despite what social scientists might want us to be allowed to think, is far from settled. 

Just saying it is, or trying to make it so by declaring it illegitimate public discourse, is precisely the problem.  

Anyway, it's no longer us right-wing reactionaries having to make the theoretical point.  The redefinition of this binary category is (seemingly on account of small outliers, variance around a mean, and a continued push for ever more imaginative definitions) now playing out in sports fields, in prisons, and elsewhere. 

1
Pan Ron 21:21 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I personally just don't give a shit what goes on in university humanity departments! I'm astounded that you think I should.

What if those university humanities departments were 95% right-wing and producing social policy to match?  Perhaps with a few out-and-out Nazi's in the mix, who we were dismissing as "trivial"?

Jon Stewart 21:23 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

If these departments have anything to do with setting social policy, then presumably they are 95% right wing with a few Nazis thrown in?

Jon Stewart 21:26 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Because the debate, despite what social scientists might want us to be allowed to think, is far from settled. 

> Just saying it is, or trying to make it so by declaring it illegitimate public discourse, is precisely the problem.  

So the idea that trans people don't deserve to be treated with the respect that we extend to gay people because they choose to be trans, is something that we should take seriously?

I don't agree. I think that attitude should be ridiculed as bigotry and nonsense. 

> Anyway, it's no longer us right-wing reactionaries having to make the theoretical point.  The redefinition of this binary category is (seemingly on account of small outliers, variance around a mean, and a continued push for ever more imaginative definitions) now playing out in sports fields, in prisons, and elsewhere. 

Aaaaghh! Transmania!! I'm sorry, I can't take it seriously.

Old Skooled 21:27 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I would like to thank Coel for his nearly flawless display of white privilege, in which he effortlessly and magnanimous displays his profound understanding of the black experience in America, his deep knowledge of what and how black people in America think and believe,  and, best of all, dispensing his infinite wisdom on how they should behave (that is, in accordance with principles satisfactory to Coel Hellier)

And, yes, the use of white privilege is designed to annoy you. 

2
Bob Kemp 21:56 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> I get the left and right aren't two discrete camps.  That point is pretty redundant really.  On the issue being discussed, its clear we fall into two broadly defined categories. 

> The (left-wing) point is precisely that the current mindset of left-wing academics, the lack of intellectual diversity on campuses in social-sciences and humanities, is a trivial threat to free speech.

> My view (call it right-wing if you want), is that the strong left lean of the university environment and it's influence on society at large (everything from setting social policy and company culture, to school-age education and social media behaviour) is the most notable threat to free-speech that exists.

> Its astounding to me that the former are so indifferent to this, while the smallest hint of a rightward trajectory, or speech that can in any way be associated with the worst excesses of the right, is seen as something that absolutely must be smashed and has no place in civil society.  Liberal ideals evaporate at a hint of offence, but there seem to be few (if any) circumstances where the same is true for left-wing behaviours.

The problem for me is that these view seems to be unsupported in reality. I don't actually see, apart from a few high profile sensationalised cases usually centering around invited speakers, much in the way of genuine threats to free speech from these quarters. Where's the evidence of a broad undermining of free speech in the universities? As for the idea that people on the left don't object to left-wing intolerance, you are clearly ignoring a long history of argument and dissent within the left that's still going on. 

Jon Stewart 22:18 Mon
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Seems to me that those in academia have a vastly inflated sense of their own importance. Who cares what views are regarded as intolerable in these places - what's that got to do with free speech?

We live in a world with the internet, for crying out loud. None of the so-called examples of infringement of free speech are anything like genuine infringements of free speech. Journalists being threatened or hurt as a consequence of revealing pertinent information about what is actually happening in the world is a threat to free speech. Locking up and preventing the activities of political groups is a threat to free speech. 

All of the people who claim to be being "silenced" have enormous audiences of millions online!

The whole debate is basically absurd. Someone like Germaine Greer gets told off or protested against when they fail to live up to basic societal expectations of politeness and decency, and this is reported and reflected on here as though a journalist has been beaten to a pulp and left for dead in the street for revealing what some corrupt government is hiding from their people to keep themselves installed in power. 

If these controversial figures moderated their language so that it met expectations of not being abusive, no one would kick up anything like the same kind of fuss- although people would still disagree with their viewpoint of course. Seems some people want to have their cake and eat it: they want to have the publicity and notoriety they attract by being abusive but can't handle the fall-out. No one's silencing any of these people - if I want to hear homophobic abuse or any other kind of bigotry, I can go on youtube and fill my boots, and so what if that speaker isn't invited to lecture local teenage layabouts/students/whatever. Threat to freedom of speech, my arse.

Post edited at 22:19
Pan Ron 22:40 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Seems to me that those in academia have a vastly inflated sense of their own importance.

Academia, especially the social sciences, tells people what to think and what they should expose themselves to in the formative years when they are considered adults and believe they think for themselves. It more than any other schooling sets themselves off on the path of what story of human nature and history is right.

These days, most people attend that finishing school.

> Who cares what views are regarded as intolerable in these places - what's that got to do with free speech?

If you care what a few people might be saying about minorities, you'd do well to care about what a quarter of the population are being taught for 3-4  key years.

Timely, https://policyexchange.org.uk/publication/academic-freedom-in-the-uk/

2
Jon Stewart 22:58 Mon
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Academia, especially the social sciences, tells people what to think 

I've done 2 undergrad degrees, one not so long ago, and they had absolutely f*ck all to say about politics.

> It more than any other schooling sets themselves off on the path of what story of human nature and history is right.

I think by the time they get there, they'll have picked up so much from their parents and childhood environment that the influence is small. I never saw anyone "reprogrammed" by university education - politics is involved in a tiny fraction of courses, and even then people go in with a worldview and seek out the courses, the authors, etc, that confirm it. I'm sorry I simply do not agree with your assessment of the importance of academia. I think it's self-referential and vastly inflated.

> If you care what a few people might be saying about minorities, you'd do well to care about what a quarter of the population are being taught for 3-4  key years.

A quarter of the population are being taught some sort of politics at university? Are you sure? I never witnessed anyone being indoctrinated with radical political ideas about minorities at the university I studied at recently.

Ah yes, to convince me that academics aren't vastly over-estimating their own importance, a report in which some politics academics claim that the political environment in universities is really really important will do just the job.

And I don't buy any of the claims made about how we go to university to exchange radical ideas and develop who we are as people. I've spent 6 years in that environment and none of that happened. If you want to exchange ideas, go online. Watch some videos, chat on a forum. You can hear whatever you like, it isn't censored. 

Post edited at 23:05
Bob Kemp 23:12 Mon
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Ah yes, to convince me that academics aren't vastly over-estimating their own importance, a report in which some politics academics claim that the political environment in universities is really really important will do just the job.

This was the bit that amused me in that report -

"Are academics brainwashing students?

When asked how most students acquired their opinion on the Peterson and Greer cases, 68% said social media.This was by far the most important influence on student opinion on these issues, with parents well down the list at 14%. New partisan online news sites like Vox, Buzzfeed, Breitbart, theMail or the Guardian came in at 8%. University lecturers and schoolteachers both scored a paltry 1%. This suggests that the content of what students are learning is not directly shaping their worldviews on the speech issue."

So on this topic at least academics are almost totally irrelevant. I wonder how many other political issues that applies to?

TobyA 00:02 Tue
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Academia, especially the social sciences, tells people what to think and what they should expose themselves to in the formative years when they are considered adults and believe they think for themselves. It more than any other schooling sets themselves off on the path of what story of human nature and history is right.

What did you study at uni? I ask because you seem to hold very particular views on "the social sciences". And if you've worked for universities, what departments? I just want to know why I don't really recognise what you're describing.

Toby (MA joint hons Philosophy/Sociology; MA European Security Studies; PhD - from a department of "Politics and Philosophy", but really in IR/European Studies I guess. I now teach Sociology and Philosophy at A level.)

MG 06:24 Tue
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And a poll in The Times today says that 44% of undergraduates think she should be banned from such events.

I doubt 44% of UGs know who she is let alone have an opinion on her speaking 

cb294 08:11 Tue
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Good. No more f*cking cat videos.

CB

Coel Hellier 09:04 Tue
In reply to Old Skooled:

> I would like to thank Coel for his nearly flawless display of white privilege, ...

You are indeed most welcome!    And analysing everything in terms of the skin colour of the speaker is indeed the problem.  One notes that your comment did not contain any substance or refutation. 

And by the way, what I said derives to quite an extent from listening to blacks (some blacks, sensible ones, since not all blacks buy into the critical-race-studies stuff).

3
Coel Hellier 09:06 Tue
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Where's the evidence of a broad undermining of free speech in the universities?

It is really going on a lot more in the US than in the UK at the moment.  Of course we tend to follow their trends.

1
Coel Hellier 09:17 Tue
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I shouldn't have to put up with homophobic abuse because someone else gets abused for being a Tory.

I don't fully buy into the "attributes one chooses" versus "attributes one doesn't" distinction. 

There's much evidence that political orientation is innate and not a "choice", though there is a lot of choice in how one acts on it.    Things like that can be a strong part of ones identity.   Being a fan of a football team can be a strong part of ones identity, though is a choice.  But then, social pressures are strong, and an 8-yr-old boy in certain environments is heavily influenced in that "choice" of team.

Following a religion is ultimately a choice, but again, social conditioning means that the vast majority of people around the world identify with the religion that their parents did.  And that's often a hugely strong part of their identity.  Yet it's still a choice.

Sexual orientation is not a choice, but there is choice in how one acts on it.  The internal feeling of being trans is not a choice, but whether to transition and whether to "present" the opposite gender role are choices. 

Germaine Greer's disrespectful language might be interpreted as an attack on a non-chosen innate identity, but she would see it as a response to activist encroachment on women-only safe spaces that are important to her -- and about the latter people do have a choice.  

2
Coel Hellier 09:19 Tue
In reply to marsbar:

> Attacking people for aspects of their identity they didn't choose is unacceptable.  This is hate speech.  

Including when they are white and male?

1

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