The Dead Dogma of Trans Rights Advocates

index

Living on a campus where the student body is always brimming with ludicrous outrage, a second-year student should be resigned to the fact of life that a protest is never far away. In recent weeks, the American University (AU) populace has focused its white-hot spotlight of rage onto Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and its upcoming spring speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos.

For the purposes of full disclosure, it’s important for my reader to note that I serve as Treasurer for the YAL chapter here at AU, and I was a part of the decision-making process that led to Yiannopoulos’s speaking arrangement. I’m writing of my own accord and my views do not necessarily reflect those of any other members of the executive board, or YAL as a whole.

Much of the controversy surrounding Yiannopoulos revolves around his various statements concerning the transgender community. He recently penned an article entitled, “I Am So Done With The Trans Outrage Brigade: Why I’m Supporting ‘Drop The T’” and included some admittedly inflammatory statements such as, “If you ask me, when a guy says he needs to cut part of himself off for the world to make sense, we should start with his head.”

Understandably, this has generated a lot of anger from the trans community at AU. They have used this sentence to justify banning Yiannopoulos from appearing on campus, in that he is an advocate for violence against trans people. However, not more than a couple sentences later, Yiannopoulos explains, “I say all this in language designed to provoke the self-appointed arbiters of speech.” The politically correct student base obliged and played right into his hands.

Yiannopoulos does not advocate for violence any more than any person who has hyperbolically said, “I’m gonna kill you” in an argument. The Left’s focus on the extreme nature of his language represents a clear attempt to dismiss him without having to address some of the real arguments he makes. This is a disturbingly popular trend within the community at AU, and is most common when transgenderism is injected into an argument.

One of the most common arguments I have heard when trans people are discussed is that any skepticism directed towards trans people is transphobic and that, as a cisgender person, I cannot possibly understand anything about the decisions trans people make and the issues they face. Any intermediate school debater will notice that this is not, in fact, an argument, but a line of attack.

Even to the most well read Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) major, is it really so incredible to believe that some people might be confused about these theories? They are proposing that sex and gender are completely different and that people can be biologically male, but identify as a female. They also propose that gender is not a question of male or female, but a nebulous cloud, or spectrum, of various options. However, trans advocates will meet skepticism with epithets despite the obvious outlandish nature of the claims.

If I were to ask a trans rights advocate what it meant to “identify” as a woman, and I have numerous times before, I would be met with the claim that I should not deny the experiences of trans people, just because I do not understand them. They will ignore the obvious irony that my question was, in fact, to try and better understand the experience. This is a fairly basic question at the heart of all this, and I have not once received a direct, specific answer.

Another question that should be fairly basic for trans advocates is that if gender is not a binary construct, then what are the other options, and what does it mean to identify as a non-binary option? Again, I will be told that I am narrow-minded for thinking in binaries, without, of course, any concrete argument as to why binaries are inherently wrong. Even if I wanted to think outside of the binary, I have not been given any semblance of a justification for doing otherwise. Claiming that binaries are bad does not answer a single question about why that is so, and conveniently cloaks a fundamental lack of logic.

The trans advocates on this campus have risen to the epitome of arrogance with their tactics. Their refusal to directly address the claims of their political opponents echoes the warning that English philosopher John Stuart Mill issued in his book, On Liberty, where he proclaims that refusing to hear out a “devil’s advocate” is to mistake one’s personal certainty for absolute certainty. This is arrogance in its purest form.

However, the social tyranny stretches beyond mere dismissal. Not only is not believing what trans advocates believe incorrect and bigoted, it is also, in their minds, akin to promoting violence. They say that standing idly by to allow people like Yiannopoulos to express his opinion is to condone the murder of trans individuals. Opponents of trans rights advocates cannot merely be wrong. They have to be accomplices to murder. Otherwise, trans advocates would have to address the arguments point by point, and they know they simply cannot do it.

Let’s say, however, for the sake of argument (because America is built on dialogue and argument) that there may be some merit to this argument that trans skeptics condone murder. After all, there were a record number of trans people murdered in 2015. How many, you might ask? Twenty-one. For perspective, more people were killed by being bitten by ants, and over twenty times as many people dies from rolling out of bed. There is simply no epidemic of trans murders, and the assertion is both ridiculous and lazy.

The assertion, unfortunately, was furthered by the presence of a group called Dark Matter on campus a few short weeks ago. They are a South Asian transgender duo of poets, and they made much the same claim in their performance. They also ridiculed the white, cisgender community for “stealing the gay movement from non conforming Black and Brown people.” They also asked that people interested in being allies to their cause “get the hell out of their way.”

The arrogance to think you solely own a movement, unrelated to race, because of your race rivals that of claiming dissidence is complicity in murder. However, no one publicly took issue with their arrival out of fear of being labeled any number of bigoted terms by the leftist thought police that set up the event. Their sentiment also echoes some of Yiannopoulos’s claims that the transgender community is attempting to phase out members it does not deem fit from their movement, (as Yiannopoulos is a gay man) and is why he advocated “dropping the T” from the LGBT acronym. Dark Matter continued their arrogant tirade by asking, “What the hell are you going to do to fight to make sure that trans people are no longer murdered?” While, the truth is, there is not much anyone can do, because they’re not actually being murdered very much at all. These claims that that they fear constantly for their safety are utterly ridiculous and meant to intimidate others from voicing opposition.

An aside, once again, for full disclosure: I am currently romantically involved with the author of the article I hyperlinked concerning Dark Matter’s performance at AU.

The suggestion that trans people may suffer from some sort of mental illness is met with the same vitriolic attitudes. The argument I have heard most commonly is that transgenderism is real, because these people kill themselves because they aren’t accepted for who they truly are and it is not because of a mental illness, but because of a deeply held identity. To be frank, regardless of whether or not the suggestion of mental illness has any merit, to offer mass suicide as proof that mental illness is not in play would be laughed out of almost any other discussion on mental illness.

The Leftists who like to claim they are the side of science rebuff renowned psychiatrists like Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Dr. Joseph Berger, a life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, who both suggest that trans people suffer from a form of mental illness and are removed, in part, from reality. I suppose, though, that they too must be transphobic, and must not know anything about psychiatry. Again, regardless of the merits of the claim, there is a substantive discussion to be had, that trans rights advocates don’t want to have.

Trans advocates turn their hatred not only to the cisgender community, but to members of their own movement as well. I have heard various assertions that Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) has internalized transphobia for her endorsement of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the presidential race. The same claims have been made about Yiannopoulos, that he must be internally homophobic to believe what he does as a gay man.

I am hard pressed to think of anything more conceited than believing that anyone who disagrees with your perspective must hate themselves inside. Of course, if you confront the Left and challenge their claim on principle, and ask them about members of the Jewish community who support Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction measures against Israel, the Left will rail against you. They will put down your experience and hastily, lazily, and incorrectly redefine Zionism to fit their narrative, even though it conflicts with the principle of their previous arguments.

The argument over Israel and Palestine is one better left for another time, but it illustrates a key point that has been demonstrated throughout this article. Trans advocates have no principles. Their attacks drip with arrogance and are caked with vitriol. When they do try to make an argument, they often lack substance and will quickly and undoubtedly resort to personal attacks to divert from the real point.

As absolutely miserable as it has been trying to deal with all this butchering of civilized debate and free speech, I am oddly okay with this. As Mill warns in On Liberty, a point must be held up for debate or “it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth.” The repeated attempts to dodge discussion on this issue will render the Left’s position worthless, if it has not already, and I very much look forward to that day, so I can focus on more important issues like the future of our economy or the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

However, in the interest of civility and dialogue, I invite each and every reader who has hated everything I have had to say to this point to come to hear Yiannopoulos speak on April 21st when he comes to campus. Don’t try to drown him out with screams or fake blood. Listen, and come prepared with substantive, challenging questions to preserve the continued discussion of this issue you apparently hold so dearly. Only then, will you have proven me wrong.

 

 

The author can be contacted by email at ds1383a@student.american.edu and for comments related directly to this article, please title the subject line, “Milo Article”.

11 thoughts on “The Dead Dogma of Trans Rights Advocates

  1. In all of your questions you’re starting from a place of denying or questioning their dignity and identity. I can’t believe this is being held up as discourse. I highly doubt that in all the world you’ve found no one to explain their experience to you and answer your questions- I say this because I have had conversations like that with trans people, but they probably felt more comfortable talking to someone who doesn’t reject the personal truths they’ve worked long and hard to find. Respect is met with respect in most cases, which makes me think your search for answers is a thinly veiled attack on the legitimacy of the trans community. For example, you openly mock the notion that someone’s gender could be unaligned with their biological sex and as a well-read WGSS major I can tell you it makes perfect sense. So you’re being both offensive and uninformed. You cite a couple people who work for legitimate institutions and ignore the fact that the APA used to consider homosexuality a mental disorder. Why is that cultural evolution legitimate, but the further acceptance of trans people is not? Absurd.
    This had made me so sad to see people use their education to marginalize a group for the nature/quality of their representation after years of being silenced. To assume your problems with trans advocates are problems with trans people themselves ignores who these people are and why they have waited so long for a voice.
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/13/transgender-homicide-victims-us-has-hit-historic-high

    Like

  2. So your argument against transgender people and allies who silence you is to generalize about the points they make and to therefore silence them? That seems like a logical fallacy. And this article is pretty vitriolic to me, which is interesting because that’s your argument against the language or “dogma” of many transgender rights advocates.

    Like

    • 1) Generalizing another person’s argument does not, in any way, shape, or form silence anyone. It only highlights the widespread use of ad hominem by transgender rights activists. Contradiction is not a form of silencing. Labeling someone as a hateful person and attacking their character, however, is. This was the general point of the article.
      2) I would brush up on your definition of a logical fallacy. A logical fallacy is an error in the process of reasoning. However, what you are accusing me of here, is called hypocrisy. Still untrue, but it at least accurately categorizes your accusation. As an editor in chief of a publication on this campus, I would have assumed you’d be aware of this basic truth in writing.
      3) I have been accused of many things after writing this article. Your comment however, is the first, and only, one to accuse me of any anger or vitriol. Many have hated my arguments and what they believe they imply for the trans community, but not one has attacked my tone for any anger. I can only surmise at this point, that, as the editor in chief for AWOL, you need to accuse me of anger, because you believe no one can legitimately issue a level-headed criticism of any of your publication’s works (as I did with Mr Leibowitz’s piece).
      4) To have any sort of discourse, it would have been helpful to explain in what way my characterizations were generalizations and point out which arguments that I neglected to mention are worth more focus in my analysis of trans rights activists. It might have been helpful to point out where I mischaracterized anything. However, you opted to go the route of mislabeling my arguments as logical fallacies (the term would not apply whether I was on point or not) and go after the supposed tone of my piece. Nowhere did you dedicate the time or effort to address a specific point. You have successfully embodied “the problem” I identify in my work.

      Like

  3. This article is aboslutely fair. This is what journalism is supposed to be. It fraily assumed the strongest arguments for both sides and didn’t reach conclusions, rather allowing the reader to consider the implications themselves. Well presented. On pont. And grilling of the tactics used be the left. Which I am finding increasingly authoritarian and myself at odds with.

    Like

  4. This article is poorly written, extremely biased, and factually inaccurate. The author keeps claiming that they’re being bullied by trans activists yet provides no evidence, not even a single example of said bullying. Sounds pretty whiny to me.
    The author’s point about trans people not being murdered is also just plain wrong. Its lazy statistics. They point to the total # of trans people murdered as evidence it doesnt happen a lot. Wow, huge shocker: THERE ARE NOT MANY TRANS PEOPLE IN GENERAL. If the author cared to use simple statistics and basic logic, they would be able to find out that 1 in 12 trans women are murdered. 1 in 12 is a HUGE, statistically significant #.
    Funny how the author claims trans people are mentally ill because they’re likely to commit suicide, without addressing facts like 80% of trans people feel unsafe on a daily basis because of their gender expression (probably because of that 1 in 12 statistic…) and 50% are rape survivors, while 49% are victims of domestic abuse. But its prob all their fault cuz they’re just sick in the head, right?
    If the writer wants to know so bad what being trans is like, google is a very useful tool & its not the job of everyone else to educate them. Additionally, they could have actually *listened* to the experiences of the trans poets that came to speak at AU (Dark Matter), in order to find an answer to their queries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much of the abuse trans people receive comes from within the community itself. It’s a magnet for sexual predators. Your 1 in 12 statistic is as well inconsistent with the number of murdered trans people. Lastly it most certainly is your job to educate someone if you are claiming they don’t understand something.

      Like

    • Where do your stats come from? The Trans alliance group? Well-done for proving his point huh. Oh and there is nothing to educate-you are not that extraordinary. And stop using Black people as a further cover to be offensive-it’s desperate and disingenuous.

      And again speaking as a Black woman, your murder stats come from POOR Black trans women who remain in the ghetto AND don;t tell the dude they are dudes,therein putting more Black men in jail but never-mind!

      We have enough issues in the Black poor community but ya’ll don’t want to wait to transition once you get enough money to live,you have to do it there in the midst of a depressive destructive community. We’re already killing ourselves-like any poor working class community of any color,so trans murderers are nothing out of the ordinary.

      But yeah.it’s all about your cry bully tactics!

      Like

    • So, some real quick googling found that there are estimated to be 700,000 trans people in the US. As there are 23 recorded trans murders this gives us a figure of 3.3 murders per 100,000. This happens to be below the average homicide rate in the US which is 4.5 per 100,000.
      If you were to do some childish science on this you could even claim that being trans is safer (well, less likely to be murdered)..

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.