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This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.

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This is the Quality Contributions Roundup. It showcases interesting and well-written comments and posts from the period covered. If you want to get an idea of what this community is about or how we want you to participate, look no further (except the rules maybe--those might be important too).

As a reminder, you can nominate Quality Contributions by hitting the report button and selecting the "Actually A Quality Contribution!" option. Additionally, links to all of the roundups can be found in the wiki of /r/theThread which can be found here. For a list of other great community content, see here.

This month we have another special AAQC recognition for @drmanhattan16. This readthrough of Helen Joyce’s Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality garnered several AAQC nominations throughout the month:

Part 1 – The History of Transgenderism

Part 2 – The Causes and Rationalization of Transgenderism

Part 3 – How Transgenderism Harms Women And Children

Part 4 – How Transgenderism Took Over Institutions And How Some Women Are Fighting Back

Part 5 – Conclusion and Discussion

Now: on with the show!


Quality Contributions Outside the CW Thread

@gattsuru:

@Rov_Scam:

@OracleOutlook:

@popocatepetl:

@AmrikeeAkbar:

@urquan:

@Chrisprattalpharaptr:

@DaseindustriesLtd:

@erwgv3g34:

@ymeskhout:

@aiislove:

@faul_sname:

@throwaway20230125:

Contributions for the week of December 26, 2022

@FiveHourMarathon:

@dr_analog:

Contributions for the week of January 2, 2023

@FiveHourMarathon:

@Rov_Scam:

@JhanicManifold:

@screye:

@problem_redditor:

@veqq:

@daezor:

@LacklustreFriend:

Contributions for the week of January 9, 2023

@naraburns:

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@Stefferi:

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@DaseindustriesLtd:

@Dean:

Contributions for the week of January 16, 2023

@Dean:

@ControlsFreak:

@Stefferi:

@DuplexFields:

@ymeskhout:

@strappingfrequent:

@doglatine:

Contributions for the week of January 23, 2023

@gattsuru:

@TracingWoodgrains:

@arjin_ferman:

@vorpa-glavo:

@Amadan:

Contributions for the week of January 30, 2023

@gattsuru:

@TracingWoodgrains:

@DaseindustriesLtd:

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Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

SS: I make a case for drastically cutting back on education. I argue that education doesn’t achieve its desired goals. The material is irrelevant and students forget much of the material. Most information taught in schools is quickly accessible with a smartphone. Education might be warranted if it boosted cognitive ability but it appears to be increasing IQ scores rather than actual ability to think.

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The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

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Do you have a dumb question that you're kind of embarrassed to ask in the main thread? Is there something you're just not sure about?

This is your opportunity to ask questions. No question too simple or too silly.

Culture war topics are accepted, and proposals for a better intro post are appreciated.

Part 1 – The History of Transgenderism: r/theschism, r/BlockedAndReported, themotte.org

Part 2 – the Causes and Rationalization of Transgenderism: r/theschism, r/BlockedAndReported, themotte.org

Part 3 – How Transgenderism Harms Women And Children: r/theschism, r/BlockedAndReported, themotte.org

Part 4 – How Transgenderism Took Over Institutions And How Some Women Are Fighting Back: r/theschism, r/BlockedAndReported, themotte.org

Part 5 – Conclusion and Discussion: r/theschism, r/BlockedAndReported, themotte.org

How Much Was Covered In The Series?

Firstly, I just want to say that, if you’ve read the book, you’ll know that I picked information and arguments out of reading order. That is, Joyce’s book is a list of chapters that can mostly be read out of order, but her original list isn’t how I organized my posts. There was a great deal of jumping around.

Secondly, I did skip a few sections, including the entirety of a chapter that contained nothing new or useful. For those are currently reading or plan to read the book, it would be chapter 12.

Overall Impression

I had gone into this book expecting a great deal more. I knew that Joyce was gender-critical, but I expected stronger argumentation or attempts at finding examples of what Joyce was concerned about. As it stands, the book isn’t bad, but it can come off as polemic.

The minimal citations hurt the book’s credibility. There were times that I wanted to know where Joyce was getting some information and I had to do my own research because she didn’t give a citation in the references at the end or just in passing (“Study X titled Y from Z”). You would think you were reading a US high school student’s essay if you took a look at the number of references.

Does this mean that Joyce is wrong on the details? Not for the most part, I think. Most of her history probably comes from How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States, which is a book that does have an extensive reference list.

I think Joyce has the history, harms, and ideological tenets mostly correct, but there’s a weakness in her arguments about the science, which is less forgivable when you realize this book didn’t come out in 2001, but in 2021. I’m not arguing her representations of the science are wrong, just that her arguments don’t really make you believe she’s considered the opposition’s arguments and evidence.

There’s also a very culture-warry practice in this book where Joyce fires arguments she doesn’t even necessarily care about. This results in sections that are too big to ignore, but too small to fully flesh out the argument with the amount of evidence needed to really justify it, and perfect for inciting long arguments between people who agree with her and those who find the arguments as presented in the book lacking. The best example of this is the part where she accuses rich, white, male billionaires of controlling the TRM.

Other Reviews

This book has obviously been reviewed by others, you can find a pretty good list on Wikipedia. There are multiple people who praise it for being an excellent analysis of the TRM, but a few acknowledge, like I do, that it has its shortcomings.

Jesse Singal ultimately agrees with me that the book is short on citations and on considerations for the arguments the opposition has made. Gaby Hinsliff doesn’t find it bad, but criticizes Joyce for making arguments without spending enough time on developing them further. She suggests Kathleen Stock’s Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism.

For the people who criticize more strongly, you can check out this review by a law professor who also suggests Material Girls to be a better book, though ultimately rejects them both.

Shout Outs

Lastly, I want to highlight some important responses which I think greatly added to the discussion across the 3 places I posted. I encourage you to check them out, though the last two link to a website which takes a certain amount of cavalierness to engage with.

/u/woodD was a frequent and important trans commenter who pushed back, generating good discussion. See these comments: 1, 2.

/u/gemmaem had a good comment about puberty blockers and desistance.

/u/professorgerm had an interesting point about the differences between the TRM and previous movements, along with a hypothetical about the same-sex marriage movement.

There was a thread about the social pressure on men to transition.

@gattsuru had an informative comment regarding puberty blocker clinical trials and the Canadian trans kid case mentioned in part 3.

@Folamh3 argued that the use of male/female to refer to sex and man/woman to refer to gender is not as widely held as some might thinkg.

Lastly, I just want to mention that I’m going to update all posts so that you can find all discussion threads from the links at the top.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed!