Sunday, 16 November 2014

Gender Fundamentalism

The New American has an article here with the headline: The Transgender Con? Many “Transgender” People Regret Switch.

Interestingly when I read the article there was an advertisement for hormone therapy included.

The New American article led me to an article here in The Federalist, headed Trouble In Transtopia: Murmurs Of Sex Change Regret.

The New American also led me to which is put together by Walt Heyer.

I’ve read the two articles and some of Walt Heyer’s web site.

I was left with the impression of people that have decided that whatever their own personal experiences are, then everyone must be the same. With almost no room for diversity.

I was intending to put together some kind of a critique of this but came across this article headed Walt Heyer, the Fallacious Transsexual written by Alison Hudson.

Alison’s article is very full of insight …  which is shorthand for saying that I agree pretty much with all that she says there. That doesn't mean it’s correct of course … but read what she has to say and see what you think. The refreshing thing is that Alison doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Walt Heyer, on the other hand. Well he’s much more of a fundamentalist and crusader.

Some of Alison’s words:

I am not going to judge Heyer’s personal experience nor his decision to detransition. That’s a private journey and only he can be the judge of it. What I will take issue with, however, is the way he’s chosen to turn his negative experience into a crusade against SRS [Sexual Reassignment Surgery] and the transgender community.

his [Walt Heyer’s]view on the matter: perverted gender imposters and greedy surgeons are going to get your kids if you don’t fight back! Won’t someone think of the children?

The main ways that Heyer backs up his extreme position are overemphasizing the importance of individual studies, cherry-picking data, and relying on a fallacious black-and-white view of the debate,. These are tactics are straight out of the pseudoscience playbooks of the anti-vaccination and anti-GMO movements.

In a larger sense, all of these flaws expose Heyer’s true problem: confirmation bias. He has an agenda that he is promoting, and therefore he selectively presents and overemphasizes the import of anything that agrees with his view while dismissing science that does not agree. Ironically, he accuses his opponents of “ignor[ing] studies that do not support their fabricated false information.” I’m sorely attempted to invoke the “takes one to know one” defense here.

In addition to these flaws, there’s the simple fact of Heyer’s general anti-trans rhetoric. He uses terms like “delusional” and “gender-imposters” when referring to transgender people, and calls transgender advocates “gender non-compliant activists” and “pushers of sex change.” He’s clearly not interested in an open dialogue, and certainly not interested in changing his mind.

Ultimately, is Heyer right about trans being purely a mental disorder? The scientific jury is still out. But his approach to defending his position is full of the worst sort of pseudoscientific flaws. It’s selectively edited, riddled with fallacy, and shackled by a concrete anti-trans agenda. It’s hard to take his conclusions seriously when they are so poorly argued in so many ways.

And here are some of Walt Heyer’s words taken from his blog here:

Transgenders want laws that protect them so they can provoke others with their often flamboyant, even obnoxious, behaviors. They want legal protections as transgenders so they can freely provoke, taunt and bully non-transgenders, secure in knowing they are protected from any consequences.

A bit further up he does say, in a smaller and not-so-bold typeface:

We are not talking about the transgenders who prefer to remain under the radar, blending in unnoticed. This discussion is about the gender non-compliant activists who want to be in your face, not blending in at all.

I guess that, like Alison:

I am not going to judge Heyer’s personal experience nor his decision to detransition. That’s a private journey and only he can be the judge of it.

But none of the transgender people that I know want laws to protect them so they can provoke others.

They are just people that are trying to get by.

Does that mean that there are no transgendered people on the planet that have obnoxious behaviours?

Of course it doesn’t.

People who are transgender are a diverse bunch.

People are diverse.

And so are their needs.

The real problem that I have with Walt Heyer is that based upon the experiences of some people, he develops an entire ideology that he seeks to impose upon all people.

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