The Revolving Cast of Characters with Aliases and Grandiose Theories

In the thirteen months I have been running this blog I have had several people whose blogs seem obsessed with me and how I have somehow failed them.  My imagined crimes are many and to prove it they mine my words looking for nuggets they can strip of context to prove their point.

Mostly though I have failed them by returning to my left wing hippie ideals of fairness and social justice.  My unpardonable sin is that I consider transgender people human beings and as such endowed with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Further I am as willing to defend their rights as I am my own.

I realize I live in a nation filled with people who are often ignorant regarding basic matters of biology, ecology, physics etc.  Not to mention history and the basics of feminism.

I am really concerned regarding the idea of “female brains” and “male brains”  That leads us down the garden path to some very nasty places that justify some very humanity denying positions as well as supporting misogyny, racism, homophobia etc.

About 15 years ago there was a book titled The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray.  See Fair’s Review from 1995.

Racism Resurgent

How Media Let The Bell Curve’s Pseudo-Science Define the Agenda on Race

By Jim Naureckas

When the New Republic devoted almost an entire issue (10/31/94) to a debate with the authors of The Bell Curve, editor Andrew Sullivan justified the decision by writing, “The notion that there might be resilient ethnic differences in intelligence is not, we believe, an inherently racist belief.”

In fact, the idea that some races are inherently inferior to others is the definition of racism. What the New Republic was saying–along with other media outlets that prominently and respectfully considered the thesis of Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein’s book–is that racism is a respectable intellectual position, and has a legitimate place in the national debate on race.

The Bell Curve was accorded attention totally disproportionate to the merits of the book or the novelty of its thesis. The book and its dubious claims set the agenda for discussions on such public affairs programs as Nightline (10/21/94), the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (10/28/94), the McLaughlin Group (10/21/94), Charlie Rose (11/3/94, 11/4/94), Think Tank (10/14/94), PrimeTime Live (10/27/94) and All Things Considered (10/28/94).

In addition to the above-mentioned New Republic issue, the “controversy” made the covers of Newsweek (10/24/94) and the New York Times Magazine (10/9/94), took up nearly a full op-ed page in the Wall Street Journal (10/10/94), and garnered a near-rave review from the New York Times Book Review (10/16/94; Extra! Update, 12/94).

While many of these discussions included sharp criticisms of the book, media accounts showed a disturbing tendency to accept Murray and Herrnstein’s premises and evidence even while debating their conclusions. “While Murray and Herrnstein base their findings on various surveys and extensive research, many of the conclusions they draw are fiercely disputed,” declared Robert MacNeil (10/28/94). “You’ve written a long book,” Ted Koppel told Murray (10/21/94). “I assume a great deal of work and research went into it. But the problem is your book has become a political football.”

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Female brain is such a gross simplification of matters as to fall into the category of,  “I’m not a trannie, I’m really intersex.” claims.

The simple answer is, “Perhaps, but not in the grossly simplified manner in which you are presenting it.”

Transsexual people and transgender people have been hurt by the cabals of people hiding behind aliases positing all sorts of grandiose theories and attacking anyone and everyone who points out the flaws in their theories.  This goes for those who found Bailey and Blanchard to provide answers to their questions of why just as it applies to those claiming impossible/improbable combinations of intersex conditions and spontaneous sex changes  that are contradicted by their having fathered children.

While I would like to think that most of the bullshit has come from benevolent ignorance I am a political lefty and have seen too much malevolent theorizing used to prop up misogyny, homophobia and racism.  I find it hard to view those hiding behind sock puppets and aliases while generating hateful theories and attacks upon anyone who questions those theories as coming from a space of innocent ignorance.

I ignore ignorant sheeple even when they devote major portions of their blogs to attacking me and spewing their ignorant bigotry.  People see them for what they are, they have ever since these people trolled the Usenet.

I am not going to waste my time going after the ignorant.  Rather this blog goes after the cabals that function as internet gangs of thugs hiding behind aliases and sock puppets while harming transsexual and transgender people.

One Response to “The Revolving Cast of Characters with Aliases and Grandiose Theories”

  1. dianakat Says:

    I think the “female brain” notion, when properly viewed, is a means of explaining at least some types of transsexualism. For many people, there is clearly a different range of feeling and thought for persons born with their anatomy, and a range which is far more comfortable with the opposite anatomy and social gender role. For those that eventually have surgery, this seems almost a truism. And one way of expressing that notion is that transsexuals were born with male anatomies and female brains. I have no quarrel with that view, at least as a generalization that coincides with the feelings that many transsexuals have from earliest memory.

    But this, in social science terms, is a positive rather than normative statement. It describes, in terms of a generalization, rather than requires compliance.

    My problem with this kind of talk is when some post-op transsexuals attempt to distinguish among themselves on these terms. For some people, “female brain” means you agree with them. And the irony is that this point is often made in very aggressive terms that many objective observers would consider not only illogical, but also aggressive and hypermasculine behavior.

    Perhaps some day they will autopsy enough post-op brains to draw a highly confident conclusion about whether transsexuals generally have a physically female brain. I would put money on that proposition if I knew I would live to see the results. But we already know there will not be a perfect 100% correlation in any case. There almost never is.

    But what does that matter in tems of transsexual lives and transsexual rights? Sex, at bottom, is as we define it. And society does not see brains during normal interactions, let alone make conclusions based on their structure. In my mind, many factors go into what sex is, and I have to admit to viewing genitalia as a prominent determinant.

    When seen in this context, I view the more aggressive bloggists’ “female brain” notion as analogous to an extreme early Calvinist notion, in which a subgroup adopts a strict weltanschauung in order to prove to others and to themselves that they are the chosen people. The loud damnation of the heretics that challenge that social order soothes the fears of those with insecurity about their own souls.

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