Those boys will believe anything.

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Discussion (61)¬

  1. Mike Brand says:

    Nice take on those demanding gender recognition on demand.
    Yours Sincerely,
    A TERF (who knew there were male TERFs)

  2. Love it! And, yes, Mike, the very fact that men are called ‘TERF’ too just goes to show what a daft label it is.

  3. Rob Barnett says:

    Gender fluidity cannot be derived using Navier-Stokes equations…..

  4. That’s not how gender or biology or history works.

  5. Hahahaha classic. Mo feeelz lyk a wooman inside except that when a woman disputes him that feeel magically goes away. Funny how often we see that.

  6. jb says:

    I still feel that the term “transubstantiation” is just soooo appropriate here. When the priest waves his hands over them and says the magic words, the bread and wine truly and really become the body and blood of Christ, even though by all appearances they continue to be just normal bread and wine. How does that word not perfectly capture the mentality that says that a guy with all his guy bits nevertheless truly and really becomes a women the minute decides that he truly and really is a woman?

    The word even captures the religious aspect of that mentality perfectly. There is what I consider to be a very serious argument which says that as educated people have abandoned religion (which, for educated people, was generally left leaning and socially conscious, rather than hellfire and brimstone), the underlying religious mode of thinking didn’t go away, and as a result a large pool of untethered religiosity has attached itself to various social justice causes. To put it more concretely, the same people who, 100 years ago, would have been missionaries preaching Christianity to the heathens in China, are today professors and activists preaching that biology isn’t real to the heathens in their own countries. The doctrines are very different, but I am convinced the underlying psychology is the same.

  7. Me et al. says:

    Well this has the potential to be divisive. While it is fully my intention to discuss this with sensitivity and inclusiveness, my own identity precludes me from being able to know what another persons experience is. (full disclosure, I am a straight white 6′ male). That said, it is my hope that this does not make a person feel hurt, excluded, or less than true in their own life. Responsibility for inadvertant or misused terms remains my own.

    For reference:
    TERF (terf) is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. (wikipedia)

    While looking at the intent and history of “TERF” reveals it being completely valid to apply to any person who is a Radical Feminist (dissolution of patriarchy) and against Trans-Inclusion. The term is accademically discussed as and sometimes used as a derogatory term. However it is apparently valid to apply to a person who espouses a “TERF” position regardless of their gender and orientation. Arguably there could be trans people who are radical feminists and against inclusion. Not sure why, but there are women who don’t identify as feminists, so why not.

    As for Gender-Fluidity, that is another issue that any biologist can tell you is not as clear as what physical organs may (or may not) have manifested visibly on a persons body. While the base xx, xy chromosome would seem to provide an obvious answer, there are many cases of xxy, x, and other chromosomal and (more subtley) genetic combinations and factors that provide a dramatic and varied range for what seems to be discussed as sex vs gender identity. Add to that hormonal variation during development (due to internal or environmental factors), and things become much murkier. Certainly it’s not as clear cut as just the “biological reality” of a persons body. Clearly historically, “biolgical reality” has been used to disempower anything that was non-male, and when that wasnt sufficient new ones were created, with eunuchs, female genital mutilation and other variations being imposed on people to physically make them “less than” or forcibly categorizable as “other”.

    There isn’t a clear answer for me, as to why someone who could see an obvious ally would rebuke them, but that seems to be what the TERF position is about. Trans-women are being neither accepted by the male culture that seems to reject them, and they’re being rebuked by the feminists who are arguing that transwomen aren’t “real women”. Obviously this isn’t everyone’s position, but with people out there arguing (loudly) for these positions, it would seem to be the most terrifyingly vulnerable transition to make. (this unfairly glosses over the dangers a trans-man faces if discovered by violently unaccepting individuals, or worse). Giving up the benefits of being male in a patriarchal society, and adopting as many of the disadvantages as possible in order to live as a woman seems an absurd thing to do. And yet this is the life your experience you tells is true. (as I understand it).

    So the questions to consider are what makes a real woman? With a testosterone deficiency it becomes the default template for human development. With H.R.T. trans women experience p.m.s. Women don’t need to have periods, continuous cycling of birthcontrol can stop that (for many). Giving birth isn’t universal since many women either can’t conceive/carry or alternately choose not to. Chromosomes and genetics were discussed above. Some xx women don’t develop a uterus.

    Racially people who have emigrated tend (over generations) more to the culture they grow up in. Black people that are whiter than white people. White people more asian than asian people. British folks with Indian ancestry speaking the queens english. Japanese kids growing up in France. Middle-Easterners in South America. Germans in Argentina. Africans in Sweden. Example after example of people who don’t live as their physical identity “tells them to”.

    While I can find many many reasons to help people who have been socially disadvantaged, I can’t find a single concrete “biologically real” reason to treat a person as anything other than they are: a person.

  8. Michael says:

    Goodbye, Author. It was interesting reading you but if you refuse to accept that transgenders are real then I’m not going to read you any more.

  9. FrankN.Stein says:

    Do you seriously think Mohamed would be on THAT side of the argument? Because nothing – in history – has done more to oppress people (not just trans women) who do not mentally fulfil the standards of what society expects from people with their particular body than religion.
    Your point is taken – I disagree with it, but that’s as may be. But having your two religious zealots be the pro transgender spokespeople just because it’s a stance you happen to disagree with is just silly. You’re in one boat with the religious conservatives on that one, after all.

  10. Oozoid says:

    I nearly choked on my Scotch! But, Author, here’s a challenge: I might double my Indulgence if you can come up with something as witty from the obverse point of view, namely that of the women who think they know exactly how every man thinks and feels and, despite their supposed oppression, don’t mind saying so, and expect men to put up and shut up or be ostracized.

  11. Chiefy says:

    Well said, Me et al.
    Even on an exclusively cognitive basis, it is not as simple as a decision. I didn’t simply decide to become an atheist, and wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had good reason to. Why face all that family discord on a whim? I can only imagine that trans individuals face much more antipathy for what is falsely taken to be their choice.

  12. Jim Baerg says:

    If person A who has a penis wants to do ‘feminine’ things, or person B who has a vagina wants to do ‘masculine’ things (whatever things are classified as feminine & masculine in their cultures), and person C gives either one of them a hard time about that, then person C is being an @$$hole & should stop. This much I *think* the trans activists & I would agree on.

    However the trans activists so far leave me unpersuaded of their position on labels. To the extent that it is worth labeling people as men or women rather than just human, why should we use anything other than the shape of the body to decide which label applies?

    Also if there were no persons C around, would any persons A want to be called a woman, or persons B want to be called a man?

  13. cjsm says:

    People are who they are. And I do not mean just physically, just emotionally, just culturally, etc. If a particular label makes them feel more comfortable, then that is okay with me.

    @Michael, the biological reality of our bodies does have an effect on our mental and emotional health. Especially if not culturally conforming. I believe Author is pointing out that Mo is being hypocritical – again. He is not trans, and will return to his male identity when he takes off the burka. I don’t believe he is even gender fluid. More like cosplaying. And I am not sure I support his style of cosplaying. Sure, dress up and have fun. But don’t then turn around and actively damage who or what you cosplay.

    To be extremely clear: I am all for dressing up and having fun. That is not what Mo does. He is not a Drag Queen and I adore Drag Queens.

    FYI: Old, hetero cis female who was a Tom Boy as a child.

  14. Me et al. says:

    While I understand how offensive the interaction between Mo and the Bartender may be to some, and that the bartender is often a perceived substitute for the author, it isn’t clear to me that perceived offense was the intent here. (espescially considering the stated position on the comment form, that comments of a homophobic nature willnot be tolerated.) A significant difference between actual trans people and Mo’s situation is that Mo can and does _chose_ to wear the Burka or not on a whim. While transvestites put on/take off clothes for their reasons/compulsions (apoologies for simplifying that subject), and actors do professionally, trans-gender individuals don’t just throw on clothes and say, “Hey, today I’m other.” (although I gather that some that id as queer or those questioning may do that as an exploration). A trans-life is wrought with grief, confusion, and hardship brought on by living in a culture than still expects people to easily fit into convenient boxes. It is most definitely not a simple choice, despite what trans-phobic dialogues argue. In fact, Mo here, appears to be more of a personification of the StrawMan that TERFs are comparing trans-women to.

    In this case, between the bartender and Mo, he is most definitely not trans. First, we already know that despite his own pecadilos within the comic, Mo’s doctrine[1] is not accepting of actual trans- people (or anybody under the rainbow), so he is fully deserving of the bartender’s mockery. As well, the /purpose/ of Mo’s wearing the Burka is not to be female (despite him saying it achieves that), but it is for him to again support the position of his religion in disempowering women and others. It perfectly suits his purposes to be able to dress and claim he’s a woman if it enables him to reduce their stature or the stature of others. Which he of course immediately does to the bartender.

    Now, there is another issue within the atheist community on which I have been reading, and that has been the apparently growing divide between the old guard and new atheism. A lot of this has been highlighted by the #MeToo movement due to the number of allegations of assaults involving old guard prominent atheists. I used to assume that there was a certain amount of friendliness between Organized Atheism and Rational Humanism (and hence Feminism). But the way some old guard atheists have closed ranks when confronted with allegations of assault is…disturbing. This has spurred something of a growing divide in the atheist movement, and demonstrates that being an atheist doesn’t make one above making primitive mistakes. Thus it has become clear that atheism and rational humanism, feminism, LGBTQ2+ activism, and other generally pro-humanist movements are not authomatically compatible.

    Perhaps it was inevitable, but it seems a shame that people who seem to have been able to make a rational observation about the world around them, have aparently chosen to ignore evidence with regards to other aspects of the human condition. This applies to atheism, feminism, #MeToo, trans issues (really the whole LGBTQ2+ rainbow), racism, culturalism and I suspect we’ll see it coming into play in other areas as well.

    So, maybe the author is declaring a stance with regards trans issues, and maybe this was just intended to be speciically pillorying Mo. I intend to keep reading, as regardless of the author clarifying the subject or not, I find J&M’s readers an excellent community to explore thought, discuss controversial topics, and be exposed to perspectives other than my own.

    [1] And it /is/ Mo’s doctrine. It is not someone else’s that he subscribed to, it is his perfect word, transcribed into text and flawless.

  15. Rob says:

    FrankN.Stein and Me et al, it’s worth noting that in Iran gay men and women are encouraged and provided the opportunity to transition, because the religious authorities regard that as less bad than being gay. It’s more authoritarian, but just as harmful as the social and in some cases medical pressure placed on gender non-conforming teens to transition in the west. Many of those teens being gay, while others simply don’t like being put in a box.

  16. Me et al. says:

    @Jim Baerg “why should we use anything other than the shape of the body to decide which label applies?”

    An excellent question Jim.

    The short answer is, “because the shape alone is an incomplete picture”.

    That is the heart of the complaint that trans-exclusionists have, and it is predicated on a fallacy. I addressed it off the cuff in my response above, but if you really want to know more on the subject, a google search on “Biology of sexual identity” will provide many great articles on the subject.

    The external shape of a person’s body is not sufficient for deciding what label applies. Consider that we all (generally) wear clothes. Clothes make it so easy to disguise that shape, and in fact we intentionally do it (either by reducing or, as in fashion, enhancing facets of that shape).

    A particularly good read with references is provided at harvard:

    Remember, a cube viewed from only one side is just a square, but that won’t make it fit into a bag that is too flat.

  17. Me et al. says:

    It /is/ interesting (and I meant to address) that the author had the Bartender use the term, “Biological Reality,” as that sounds similar to the terminology that TERF’s and #IStandWithMaya use. Painfully ironic is that a google search on that term immediately returns results substantiating that “Biological Reality” is not at all supported by science. People have tried to make the same arguments for racism and sexual identity. At the end of the day, the evidence provided by many scientific studies demonstrates that neither a categorical view of race, nor a binary view of sexual identity is valid.

    Part of me wants to ask you @Author, if that was meant as a nod to #IStandWithMaya, or if the Bartender was being fasecious with Mo (which fits more with her character to date). Part of me wants you to stay quiet, because I’m fascinated by what other’s are saying.

  18. Peter says:

    Yeah, no, did *not* expect this comic to fall into the anti-science of TERF-dom. I won’t be returning.

  19. M27Holts says:

    Interesting argument. However, given some of the speculation and ignorance based on psychologists insistance that there are in fact tens of thousands of mental gender designations and a person could fluctuate between these at any given time (t). Perhaps it’s time to see if we can submit to a quantum theory of gender identity. This is where the waveform is broken when the biological entity enters the ladies and/or gents?

  20. RDB says:

    “Clearly historically, “biolgical reality” has been used to disempower anything that was non-male, and when that wasn’t sufficient new ones were created, with eunuchs, female genital mutilation and other variations being imposed on people to physically make them “less than” or forcibly categorizable as “other”.” Thank you Me et al. You have summed up nicely why I guess I have to be a “radical” feminist.

  21. Me et al, well said. I am not a TERF. I fully support a person’s gender reality being whatever the fuck they say it is, and details are none of your damn business. I have seen trans men you wouldn’t want to see in the lady’s loo, and trans women who would be in grave danger if they entered the men’s. Let’s all just try to get along, eh.
    BTW, following the failure of my prostate cancer treatment three years ago – hormone therapy, radiation therapy, and brachytherapy – the doctors are now trying to save my life with new testosterone blocking hormone medication. This means I’m growing breast and my man bits have all but disappeared. I think I’m far to butch to ever really feel like a woman, but I’m tempted to go all the way and request a surgical transition. That might feel better than being stuck in the middle. And then I’d have a dog in this fight.

  22. Freemage says:

    @Me et al.
    “A trans-life is wrought with grief, confusion, and hardship brought on by living in a culture than still expects people to easily fit into convenient boxes.”

    This line contains a key point of contention. The difference between the Trans-Rights Activist position and the Gender Critical Feminist (BTW, for a movement dedicated to the right to label yourself as you wish, TRA’s insistence upon using “TERF” for GCFs is pure poetic irony) position is simply this:

    TRAs want the right to move from one ‘box’ to the other. They also demand the right to do so solely and completely on the basis of self-ID, rather than any form of external justification (such as discussing the matter with a psychologist, psychiatrist or other medical professional) or having begun any form of medical transition (whether it be HRT or GRS). The ideal, in the TRA world, is that I could go down to the government office, say, “I’m a woman now,” and have all my legal documentation, etc, transformed to match my declaration. Furthermore, this will immediately let me compete in sports as a woman, go to a women’s homeless shelter, and, if I were arrested and imprisoned, placed in a woman’s prison–despite my chest hair, beard, and my penis. (Oh, and if I am arrested, my crime will be logged as having been committed by a woman, thus affecting statistical analysis of such things as domestic abuse.)

    A related movement seeks to create a dozen new boxes, with labels such as “Gender Queer” or “Non-Binary” or “Gender Non-Conforming”, all of which have extremely squishy, inconsistent definitions. It often boils down to Humpty Dumpty-ism (“When I use a word, it means precisely what I want it to mean, no more, no less.”)

    The GCF position, on the other hand, is that we should be working to burn down the fucking boxes in the first place. That is to say, there should be no social constraints defining one set of behaviors as masculine, a second set as feminine, and then insisting that all men should aspire to masculinity and all women should aspire to femininity. As such, they get frustrated with TRAs who say things like, “I knew I was a woman because I liked to wear dresses.”–which implies (in casual conversation, if not strictly by linguistic logic) that A: all people who wear dresses are women, and B: all women should wear dresses. And the TRA approach can cause harm–the insistence that children as young as 4 or 5 can self-ID has led to cases of ‘feminine’ boys and ‘masculine’ girls being encouraged to identify as trans (rather than just letting the boy put on some damn make-up, and telling the other kids at school to accept it and stop bullying him).

    In short, the TRA approach reinforces sex stereotypes. The GCF approach is to undo them so thoroughly that no special value or connotation is tied to the term ‘man’ or ‘woman’ beyond the purely biological. However, they WOULD seek to retain those distinctions (sports, locker rooms, prisons, shelters) that are based primarily on sex, rather than gender.

    BTW, for the folks insisting that Mo would never do the trans thing–in Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death–UNLESS the homosexual also transitions to the opposite sex. So Mo’, as a stand-in for his believers’ views of the world, actually makes a fair amount of sense in this role. And Islam isn’t the only religion to espouse this view–I’ve encountered at least one deeply conservative trans woman who insisted that literally ALL homosexual men were simply undiagnosed trans women.

    Final Note: There are, indeed, some trans individuals who also identify as GCFs. This is because for the most part, they are trans-sexuals–individuals with medically diagnosed sexual dysphoria who underwent medical transition in order to deal with the dysphoria, and who, having now gotten as close as medical science can get them to their ideal form, still wish to strip down the gender-based notions of femininity and masculinity that society wishes to force on them.

  23. hotrats says:

    Sorry to hear about your tribulations, Darwin old mate. And before you go, as it were, let me just say that you have been a beacon of wit and sanity on this page, and sometimes the only one. Barmaid, give this gentleman whatever he wants.

  24. Josh says:

    Boys will be boys. Or will they?

  25. Thanks, Hotrats. The feeling is mutual and I’m very fond of my mates in the C&B.
    BTW, I hate typos and do know the difference between “to” “too” and “two”. Please don’t think my “I’m far to butch” in my previous post indicates anything but fast and sloppy typing and a lack of proo freading.

  26. Suffolk Blue says:

    Darwin – or a bitch in this fight? 🙂

    Good luck with the treatment, mate.

  27. N Saunders says:

    I am really unhappy with this comic.
    Trans people suffer high levels of discrimination and you really shouldn’t be attacking the already vulnerable.
    Maybe stick to making jokes at the expense of the powerful?

  28. helenahandbasket says:

    Ooh, this should be good. In the 12th century in Paris there were riots over whether material reality trumped internal feelings. I’m sure the current debate will be just as reasonable and well-argued. And no-one will get castrated (unlike poor Abelard)
    Incidentally, if anyone wants to know who won it was neither–the enlightenment replaced essences with processes, but hey, who cares about the enlightenment these days, huh?

  29. Author says:

    Wishing you the best of luck with your treatment, DH.

  30. Adrian Morgan says:

    Your best one yet!

  31. Aria says:

    ” As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.” Can’t even play by your own rules? I’ve read your comic for years and learned from it – I suppose I had hints that you hated trans people like myself but I chose to ignore them. I could go on explaining how ideas like these expose people like myself to violence and discrimination, but I don’t expect you or your other supporters care.

  32. Son of Glenner says:

    I am rather disturbed, and annoyed, that Jonathan Dresner, Michael, FrankN.Stein, Peter, and perhaps others, seem to think that Author’s J&M strips express his/her personal opinions, even to the extent of promising to boycott the strip henceforth. It would be wrong to say we are better off without them – debate is important.

    Author makes it very clear when they are speaking for themself, as in the goodwill message to DH, or when thanking someone for spotting a typo. So please, don’t “put words, or ideas, in” Author’s mouth.

    The words and ideas that Author inserts into the strips are surely intended to stimulate thought, to question received ideas and to promote discussion among readers, not to “convert” anyone. This strip has certainly provoked plenty of discussion, some of it well-informed, some less so, and much of it very heartfelt, so I would say it has achieved its purpose.

    Thank you, Author.

    Personally, I just took it as a joke about “man talk” being used as a putdown to Barmaid when the subject matter of the “man talk” was of considerable relevance to women. If I were Barmaid, I would bar them from the old Cock & Bull pub for a while. Btw, we never seem to see another customer in the C&B – perhaps their trade is enough to keep the pub in prophet (pun intentional).

    While I’m here, sorry to hear your news, Darwin H – I hope your gender-bending treatment fends off the Reaper for a good while yet. Your comment: “Let’s all just try to get along” is the jewel in the crown of this discussion!

  33. Luxi Turna says:


    Great comic!!

    Strong-arming dictionary writers into defining men who pretend to be women as “female” is exactly the kind of thing that religious bullies do.

    In both cases, the deluded close their eyes and “believe” real hard that 2+2=5, then get offended, angry, and violent when nobody else goes along with their make-believe.

    Sorry, liars, you’re men dressed in women’s clothes, and no amount of beating up the little kid in The Emperor’s New Clothes can change the reality of the body you hate so much.

    Hey, how about a compromise:
    1) It’s completely legal for you to wear panties while sucking other men’s dicks, and
    2) Everybody else can point out that that’s what you’re doing.

    Okay? Fair?

    I LOVE THIS COMIC STRIP– which I suspect is created by a woman!

  34. Rod says:

    Well frag. Very sorry to hear this, Darwin Harmless. If it offers any comfort, it seems your wit (and wits) seem unaffected by your treatment. Hoping the best for you.

    As for the rest, I don’t see how people perceive the author is disparaging trans people. Just because you’re pointing out that a specific group (i.e. women) has had a pretty rough deal in society it doesn’t mean you’re saying other minorities (e.g. trans people, black people, poor people) don’t have a bone to pick.

    If you think Mo is M-to-F transexual in after so many years of Jesus and Mo, and that Mo’s arguments are legitimate and has been subjected to gender-derived discrimination and vulnerability…. well, in polite terms, you haven’t been paying attention. In impolite terms you’re an idiot.

  35. M27Holts says:


  36. oelgaard says:

    I agree with the barmaid. Denying the importance of biological sex is delusional in an essentially religious way. And this does not imply slagging of transgender people in any way.

  37. Ladyduck says:

    That is an interesting experiment you did here author. Look at all these atheists in the comments swearing allegiance to the new religion. I have had transgender ppl in my life for a very long time. They know they are not the opposite sex and can never know how it truly feels to be a woman (not a feeling anyway, rather a state of being). The new movement that declares biological sex is unclear (well it was always clear when women couldn’t vote or own property) and that gender essence is innate is pure ideology. And believing this doesn’t help people struggling with dysphoria.

  38. M27Holts says:

    Ladyduck? Enlighten us with precisely which religion is that? And I think that most peeps on here are intelligent enough to realuse that binary sex may be identified scientifically in that most species rely on genetic blending from two parts. However, how a persons consciousness perceives their self is still not understood and most on here would agree than dysphoria is an undeniable facet of human sexuality and gender awareness…

  39. helenahandbasket says:

    DH. Sorry to hear of your misfortune. I assume that they are giving you Lupron (or one of its surrogates?) Not a pleasant experience. Incidentally, for those who think that “puberty blockers” just “press the pause button” to allow young gender non conforming kids to have more time to think, reflect on the fact that Lupron is part of this process for them. Its effects are a lot more than just pressing pause, as I’m sure DH can attest to. In general, it would be good if people separated their ideology out from their information here. I know that people think they know which direction kindness points. It really isn’t so simple, even if we parcel out some of the self-consciously bad actors who are using the “fog of war” to gain access to vulnerable populations. And there are several of those.
    Best wishes DH.

  40. HaggisForBrains says:

    DH, old friend, my best wishes go out to you. I sometimes skip long comments (sorry Me et al and Freemage), but always read and enjoy yours.
    Take care,

  41. Anonymous says:

    Years of research shows that transitioning and acceptance reduces suicide ideation and that gender/sex are complicated things but given the tendency of TERFS to engage in bad faith I’ll leave this strip to go down it’s little hole of science denialism.

  42. Jinny says:

    @Ladyduck, So sorry for you that you don’t understand genderdysphoria.

    I know a view transwoman and transman and the are.
    They are a woman or a man.
    This cartoon is wrong in a lot of ways.

  43. helenahandbasket says:

    Anonymous: Care to cite some of those “years of research”? Because a lot of us on here are scientists and can quite happily unpack it.
    I’ll start.
    We’ve had a 3000% increase in ROGD in the last five years
    If what you say is true (re suicide prevention and gender reassignment) then there should be a huge pile of bodies corresponding to the suicides of these people where they weren’t treated in the 1960s-2010s. We don’t (or at least, haven’t) found this.
    What we DO have is a downplaying of lots of conditions (ADSD, eating disorders, ASD) that can often present as gender dysphoria and a lot of very enthusiastic pharmacologists, surgeons, and ideologues pushing a “one size fits all” solution to these things. However, there are reasons to not be quite so optimistic that this generation’s cure all is quite as good as some might argue.
    Removing healthy tissue and embarking on ultimately sterilizing hormone action is not to be undertaken lightly.
    This issue is not quite so simple as you imply. It is a dark joke around the Tavistock–the UK’s gender re-assignment clinic– at the moment (which has had 35 psychologists resign from it in the last 3 years over this precise issue) that “we are erasing a generation of gays and lesbians”.
    In other words–gender non-conforming kids who, in the majority (but not all) cases would have grown up to be as well-adjusted (as anyone ever is) to their sexuality and bodies, are being told that the only possible reason for their discomfort is the (and I have to point out that this is highly non scientific) “you are born into the wrong body” narrative.
    And anyone who thinks it is more complex than this is being dismissed as a “TERF” or a “transphobe”. I’m afraid that sloganizing will not do.
    Couple this “born into the wrong body” dualistic narrative with the discomfort of many religious parents over homosexuality (and thus their willingness to accept this narrative–look to Iran for examples) then your “This is the science” comment loses a a great deal of its rhetorical force.
    These are complex issues involving real people, and highly inter-woven political, scientific, and personal narratives. I’m afraid you are not going to get away with some “mike drop moment”.
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings here. However–more than willing to discuss the details.

  44. Jinny says:

    @helenahandbasket, ‘are being told that the only possible reason for their discomfort is the (and I have to point out that this is highly non scientific) “you are born into the wrong body” narrative.’

    You are wrong, it isn’t told people.
    People -know-.

  45. jb says:

    Jinny — People who are mentally ill “know” all kinds of things that aren’t actually true.

  46. Paul Seed says:

    Some odd arguments here. Can I try an analogy. Homosexuality is real (and to be applauded). So is child abuse (and to be condemned). They are not the same thing. Confusion between the two held back gay liberation for decades. I hope we can agree on all that.

    Now the analogy: gender dysmorphia is real (and to be applauded). So is the existence of men who abuse women (and to be condemned). Worse, we now have men who pretend to be women in order to more easily abuse women. The sooner we work out how to tell the difference, and enshrine it in law, the sooner we will be able to move forward.

  47. postdoggerel says:

    Women have penises. They’re just smaller.

  48. Son of Glenner says:

    Paul Seed: When you say homosexuality is to be “applauded”, is that not a bit too strong? Would “accepted” or “acknowledged” not be more appropriate?

    (Likewise for gender dysmorphia)

  49. Paul T Seed says:

    Son of Glenner – I stick with “applauded”. People being true to themselves, despite massive social pressure to live a lie. Gay pride events are a celebration of life that we should welcome.

    But this thread isn’t about homosexuality. It is about gender dysmorphia, and the cheats (like Mo) who fake it.

  50. jb says:

    Excuse me, but “massive social pressure to live a lie”? Have you been asleep since the 1950s?

    What we actually have these days is massive social pressure to celebrate homosexuality and transsexuality. These days, failure to express sufficient enthusiasm for sexual diversity (and every other sort of diversity — except diversity of ideas of course) can cost you your job, or prevent you from even being considered for one. Please, stop pretending that sexual minorities are powerless and oppressed. If anything, today they have the upper hand.

  51. Glen says:

    Yer, jb, horrifying. Meanwhile lgbtq+ people only have to deal with all the murder, rape and assault they’re subjected to.

    Get a fucking grip. Isn’t there a rule against this shit here?

  52. helenahandbasket says:

    Jinny. “Knowing” is a funny thing. Anorexics “know” that they are too fat. Schizophrenics “know” that god’s voice is talking to them.
    We don’t celebrate any of these delusions, and rightly so. However, this is not an occasion for kicking people when they are down–taking people seriously does not imply that we take them literally.
    Most of the scholars in the field would argue that reasonable accommodations can be made for the gender dysphoric, including (in some cases) GRS, hormones etc. Many transwomen and trans men (e.g. Debbie Hayton, Buck Angel ) are well aware that they remain of one sex but present as another gender.
    But, look me in the eye and tell me that (e.g.) Jessica Yaniv or Karen White have to be taken “literally”, when they say that they are women.

    Given that we are not souls floating in bodies then the sense that we are–a very strong sense–cant be taken as evidence that its true. What people know is a sense of dysphoria (although I note with interest that people who think that dsyphoria precedes, or should precede gender re-assignment surgery are referred to as “truscum” by the non-binary community. So much for their “knowing”, eh?)

  53. Paul Seed says:

    Actually, I am more worried right now about losing people like Jonathan Dresner, Peter and Michael. They are all walking away from the discussion because of the confusion over people with genuine gender dysmorphia and fakes like Mo.

  54. helenahandbasket says:

    Paul, wokeness has a religious quality to it. I am hardly the first to notice this. The proponents of the great awokening signal their moral superiority over the proles.
    This, of course, confirms their status (they almost are invariably rich, white, educated elites, the irony of all this being somewhat lost on them).
    Ask yourself–what are the falsification conditions for woke claims? What would count (say) as evidence against the all pervading nature of “patriarchy” as an explanation for the world’s ills? There are none–so this isn’t science we are dealing with, it’s ideology.
    Many of the woke claims are Kafka traps (e.g. to deny that you are racist only confirms your racism) or are self-confirming in other ways (studying sex differences confirms your sexism).
    When it comes to “the patriarchy” we have heard this so often, from so many supposedly smart people, that we have forgotten that, as conspiracy theories go, it is no more valid that blaming everything on “The Jews” or “The Illuminati”. Indeed, many of the sentiments expressed by its proponents are in the same same angry righteous tones as the wildest conspiracy theorists asked to justify their unidimensional world-view and condemn unbelievers with “well, the would say that, wouldn’t they?”
    Sections of the trans community have become the recent focus of wokeness.
    Dont be fooled here, it is only a limited section of self-identifying transwomen whose “feelings” are held to trump facts at the moment. Transmen are not included in this, and neither are intersex people, except by being dragooned into the service of some cod-biology nonsense about sex being a spectrum.
    Like all status systems a hard-to-fake signal is required (such as seeing a bearded guy who wears a dress 3 days out of 7 as a lesbian) which, of course, makes the rest of the world look on in horror/amusement
    It is a terrible irony that a section of the feminist community has, after decades of biology denial (and conspiracy theory explanations), suddenly finds itself in dire need of biology, once certain natal males start encroaching on protected spaces such as sport, prisons, rape crisis centres etc.
    Watching some of them run around trying to couch this in terms of “patriarchy” (apparently men get together in smoke filled rooms, plotting against women while wearing dresses and identifying as women now) is either amusing or horrifying depending on your mood/personality
    However, rather than going “told you so” (as tempting as that is) I think a better response is to recognize the awokening as part of a larger pattern of human status striving.
    To see this in action consider one of the most egregious aspects of status systems–sensitivity to others status. This is why, of course, the woke eat once another so voraciously.
    Any one who deviates from a moving target of piety claims gets set upon and rendered limb from limb (online). Like War Games–the only way to win the game is not to play. Once you play you get involved in a piety spiral from which there is no escape.
    Good article about it here
    And given that wokeness has most if not all the properties of a religion (elite saved versus the damned, hard to fake virtue signals, arcane signals of these using bizarre or technical language that excludes the outsider, punishment of heretics preferred over actually helping victims, a vision of sin and righteousness, etc) its inclusion in Jesus and Mo seems entirely appropriate.

  55. Succubus ov Satan says:

    fascinating to read how so many fail to grasp the subtlety of the writer and how so many equate transwomen who are women with festish tranvestites who are men . Transwomen, as with any variety of woman also have a ‘biological reality that has a significant material effect on their lives”. While it is true that there are going to be fakers and band- wagon jumpers the difference is clear to those who actually meet transwomen The false transwomen state they have a ‘belief’ or ‘feeling’ they are women the true ones KNOW this to be the case As for not being able to say if they share the same body experience as natural born women -while this is arguably true – it is also true of cis women – they also only know the experience of being THAT woman, NOT the internal experience of ANY other woman ALL identity trans or hetro or gay or lesbian is in the mind so statements that internal feeling is invalidated are a two edged weapon that could easily harm the weilder

  56. Jinny says:

    helenahandbasket, Here in the Netherlands we have some people who discovered that the brain of transwoman had the structure of women..
    They are woman.
    Google Dick Swaab.

  57. M27Holts says:

    I have the terrible burden of my original “sin”. I was born a white male…However considering certain aspects of my childhood, I definately have never considered myself to be “privileged”..

  58. ego says:

    it is clear that very few persons without an uterus have died in childbirth, but barmaid’s assertion despite being irreproachable as a matter of narrow fact is still substantially misleading. the cultural BULLSHIT attendant to women’s bodies explains a much greater fraction of the between-group variation than does any biological fact.

    if a human claims its gender that you wouldn’t have guessed on your own, BELIEVE THAT. If a human tells you that he or she or it is a benighted bigot BELIEVE THAT TOO.

  59. M27Holts says:

    ^ aye tis all well and good, but pulling a rocket fit lady who is model standard then when delving into her knickers you dont find the wet lips and hole you were expecting but an erect penis, may possibly do your swede in and ruin any further encounters by asking for a look before you buy kind of encounter…

  60. GetaLife says:

    Particularly amusing to see so many people on a site which explores humour in the face of religious censorship and appropbation, take the stance that any discussion of identity politics should be immediately censored.

    But then that’s the problem with the whole gender identity issue. People just standing up and screaming TERF!!! instead of actually engaging in constructive discussion and trying to understand why a significant number of women (both CIS and Lesbians) find the idea that men can just declare themselves to be women problematic.

  61. Sadie says:

    I agree with the barmaid.


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