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joined 2023 August 23 22:02:14 UTC


User ID: 2640



2 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2023 August 23 22:02:14 UTC


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User ID: 2640

It's in my queue, but I've gotten like 90 replies since yesterday and the long ones take a long time to do justice (and I do have a job and a family). At this point most comments aren't going to get a reply, realistically.

I will say that 'carefully litigating every word JK Rowling has ever said to determine whether it is about X of just mentions X' is exhausting and frustrating.

Frustrating because it's really super irrelevant to my larger point about the rhetoric and factions involved here, which is the relevant thing I actually care about, which few have bothered to respond to (and which I'm trying to prioritize responses to). So many of the comments are nit-picking about whether I'm being 'fair' to Rowling, and I frankly don't give a fuck about one person like this and what they did or didn't say, the interesting issues are the larger factional concerns.

I'd be happy to just say 'sure, whatever, Rowling is a perfect angel who has never done anything wrong, if that's what you want to believe; can we please talk about my actual point though' if I thought that would get anywhere, but I doubt it.

  • -30

You're confusing between acts and attitudes here, I think.

Unless your claim is that when acts are rare, no one will bother to form attitudes about them. But I think that's hugely wrong, people form attitudes and opinions about everything, and attitudes towards rare and taboo things are ussually more extreme and dangerous.

It's really, really not. 'Hermaphrodite' is not a social category, outside of furry porn.

  • -10

I reject the idea of a history of civil rights where you draw the 'first' line at the last thing you feel conflicted about, and then draws a slope starting there.

if you want to go that far back into the history of civil rights to try to draw a slopeand calim it slippery, then the 'first' thing is repealing miscegenation laws, or slavery abolition, or like challenging the right of prima nocta or w/ethefuck.

  • -11

I don't remember the full sequence of events now, but I thought the inciting incident had something to do with information about his rich and powerful associates being in danger of leaking to the public, and then he was disappeared and teh issue was hushed up? I could be wrong.

But, either way, yes this is a hueristic not an immutable law of physics. The fact that it takes being an incredibly high-profile pedophile and sex trafficker for decades, with the full knowledge and in full view of everyone on the planet, to face any consequences eventually, doesn't really disprove my point that the rich are insulated from consequences. It's not an inviolable shield, but it's a pretty massive one.

This is what we call 'an anecdote'.

Lots of crazy people out there, anyone can appeal a decision and ask for a hearing, let me know if anything actually happens. This individual was already ruled against twice, I'll be surprised if the third time's the charm here.

The Telegraph writing an article about this doesn't suddenly make it the central issue of the whole trans rights debate.

Agree that trans women are women and deserve all the rights and respect of any other woman, and I'll happily agree that we should shelve the question of hermtaur surgeries for the next 50 years or so.

But if you're not ready to grant the first thing, which is what everyone actually cares about, then don't pretend the conversation has 'moved on' to stuff like this. The conversation is still very much about the first thing.

  • -19

There's a trans woman who plays at our local boffer combat realm, my wife beats her in like 90% of duels, is that good enough for you?

You're asking for 'dog bites man' statistics here, I don't know the names of random trans athletes ho haven't won anything because that's not newsworthy, which is the whole point.

You can keep trying to assign me positions I haven't ever taken for as long as you want, if it brings you comfort. But it's not actually an argument.

The laws being passed are about athletes, not flashers and rapists. Rape and sexual assault have been and remain illegal whether you're a 'real' woman or not, the question is immaterial to those cases. Cases like that are bludgeons that one side occasionally trots out, but the bailey here is and continues to be normal trans people trying to live normal everyday lives.

You say that the athlete 'is going to fit into normal society' and therefore isn't the issue at hand, but the laws being passed today are targeting them and how they live their normal life, and they are the living the type of lifestyle that speakers at Republican national conventions are talking about 'eradicating'.

I agree that this would be more convenient for you if the debate were only about the rapists and flashers, and your opponents were for some reason defending them. But that's really not what's happening, no matter how many times you say it.

Because he fucked around with and stole/lost other rich people's money. Same as Madoff.

That's one of the few ways I do believe rich people can suffer consequences around here. Being new money helps.

Thanks. I try to be careful about specifying when I'm saying what I believe, steelmanning what some group or person on the left might say about the topic, or playing devil's advocate to stress-test a position. I do get the feeling that people are often not noticing this distinction, maybe I can be more explicit about it or maybe that's a lost cause.

I do feel like this community many years ago (like, back when it was part of /r/ssc and right after) was much more interested in stress-testing ideas against devil's advocate objections, and searching for steelman representations of the opposition to learn about and discuss, and trying to pass ideological Turing tests. And it feels like here and now it's more often about gesturing at the 'loony left' being dumb and then expressing incredulity of people disagree. Not that it is/was 100% either one then or now, just feels like the types of conversations I'm trying to have are not appreciated the way they used to be.

Not referring to all hate speech and similar types of laws, just narrowly to the misgendering stuff.

  • -15

Could you give some specific examples of people with extreme transphobic views who've been supported or signal-boosted by Rowling?

Here you go, to get started.

The novel never suggests that the serial killer is trans, or even a transvestite.

As I said, and you quoted:

She wrote a whole book about a serial killer pretending to be trans

Sometimes I think people just pattern-match me to a strawman of their opponents that their media bubble has crafted for them and don't bother to carefully read my actual words.

The narrative of 'people claiming to be trans are just perverts presenting as women in order to prey on women by getting them to let their guard down' is very much a major blood libel against trans women in general, and it's exactly the situation you describe as appearing in the novel.

This sounds like you're worried you won't find what you're looking for.

The person I was talking to already said they refuse to watch those videos to learn what the other side has to say. I'm not the one avoiding the other side's position here (notice where I am right now). I'm just the one whose sick and tired of taking the time to provide links that people will disdainfully and ostentatiously ignore.

BTW, thrilled to see whether you and the other people who reply to this will actually watch that video I linked earlier in this comment, or will offer some excuse not to.

  • -14

eah, because watching video of people I hold in contempt is not something I'm going to subject myself to.

Right, and since you hold those who disagree with you on this in contempt, you'll never learn whether your beliefs are accurate or not.

That's why I stopped bothering top provide links on this topic, no one ever used them. Everyone knows how to use google if they care to learn.

If this is blood libel, then jews really do drink the blood of Christians.

This is actually a pretty stunning example of taking a quote out of context to lie about it. I reference two specific types of statements she's made in one sentence, and discuss their import in the next sentence. You take the second sentence and pretend it was referring to a completely different statement, then spend a paragraph stridently mocking how dumb it would be as a discussion of that different statement.

I'm going to be charitable and assume that you couldn't bear to read my whole post carefully because o the contempt thing and just got honestly confused, rather than concluding that this is intentional slander. But it sure doesn't make me hopeful about the EV of this conversation going forward.

Eradicate? No, fix. But you're right that in an ideal world, the number of trans people is 0.

I have someone you should talk to.

  • -15

They'll charge a bunch of loud people who engender no public sympathy

I predict pretty strongly that they won't, at least not under the current administration. The british government is pretty anti-trans in general, the police are underfunded and ineffectual, and these just aren't the type of laws that go on the books with the intention of being enforced.

Remember years back when Peterson said that x new law means everyone will get arrested if they misgender someone in class or w/e, and then no one was ever prosecuted ever for anything? At some point, you have to notice that the meteor keeps not coming, despite Dear Leader's repeated predictions that it's due any day now.

  • -24

you're so confident that cis women are handily winning competitions against trans women, it shouldn't be so hard for you to cite some specific examples of some to win me over.


Every competition in which a trans woman competes and doesn't win is an example of this. That's every case in existence that's not the handful of anecdotes your side keeps recycling.

I don't think OP was saying the laws are farcical, I think OP is saying it's farcical to call them anti-LGBT.

"Rich person flaunts the law" implies that the rich person gets away with crimes because they can retaliate using their wealth and connections.

I pretty strongly disagree. 'The system is not set up to persecute rich people, the powerful people running the system aren't really interested in harassing rich people to begin with, money can buy you out of problems through ;legitimate' methods that most people can't access' is the central meaning of 'Rich people don't ace consequences' that I always think of.

This may be one of those left vs right 'systems define society' vs 'personal responsibility and individual actors' things. I don't think of rich and powerful people as dangerous ubermensch who will crush anyone that crosses them and are therefore above the law. I think of them as over-privileged and under-perspective children, safe in a world that is carefully designed to benefit them at all turns, such that they never really need to learn self-restraint or discipline.

  • -12

I'm not even claiming that the balance trivially obviously falls on the side of distorting the language in this case

So I agree that if we lived in a perfectly rational world where no one ever did linguistic maneuvers like this ever and instead all language was maximally precise and informative, because having perfectly accurate information is what let everyone engage in sophisticated and dispassionate object-level debates about the empirical outcomes of different policy proposals to find the utilitarian optimal approach, then the first person to do something like this would be breaking a sacred trust and destroying a public good and committing a grave sin.

But we very, very, very, very, very... ... very, very, very, very much do not live in a world like that.

So given the fallen world we already live in, it's not clear how much marginal damage the 92,252nd instance of that happening does past the marginal damage done by the 92,251st instance.

It would certainly be better if everyone did it less, and I am actually an active proponent of doing it less in many contexts.

But it's not obviously clear that the utilitarian optimal policy is to be an extremist about never doing it ever, when it's already a standard tactic that everyone uses and not using it puts the other things you value at a severe rhetorical disadvantage, and when the marginal damage of one more case is mitigated by all the other case.

It's certainly not right to be a selective extremist about it, where you notice and call out whenever your opponents do it, but turn a blind eye when your side does it ('abortion is murder' much?).

As for 'the people doing it would object to the other side doing it'.... yeah, obviously. That's exactly what an isolated demand for rigor is, people do it all the time to fight their opponents, that's exactly what this instance of calling it out and objecting to it is. That's kind of my point.

IANAL, but I think in legal terms I would be referring to mens rea.

Basically, you cannot distinguish whether or not someone is victim blaming from the simple fact of 'they mentioned something women could do to be safer'; that is an act that both victim-blamers and victim-defenders might do. What determines it is how that warning falls into their larger worldview on the topic, and what they are intending to accomplish with the warning.

If your view is 'society as a whole needs to do everything it can to protect potential victims, and giving them important knowledge about how to avoid danger is one part of that effort', you're not a victim-blamer and your warnings are fine and good.

If your view is 'people need to take individual responsibility for their own safety, we should educate them about the dangers but if they don't protect themselves after that then it's on their own heads,' then you are a victim-blamer, and your warnings are kind of sinister and instrumentally harmful.

Is it confusing that the same action can be good or bad depending on the intent behind it and the larger framework it is embedded in? Yeah, it sure confuses the shit out of me all the time! But that's unfortunately just true sometimes in the highly complicated realms of society and culture and politics, and us high-decouplers just have to acknowledge that reality and do the hard work of thinking about it.

Sometimes I think you just read posts, decide who's expressing the "conservative" (bad) position, and reflexively argue the opposite.

Well, someone has to, if this forum is going to be anything other than a complete echo chamber.

Also 'reflexively' and 'intentionally, as an intellectual exercise' are different things.

that JK Rowling "hates trans people," that she "wants to slander and eradicate them," etc.

First of all, there's a reason I said 'People like Rowling' and 'they' in that sentence. The whole post, if you read the rest of the post and not just that sentence, is about different factions on the conservative side of this issue, and the differences and disagreements between them.

While it's mildly true that Rowling plays a careful balancing act with her public image by not being too extreme in her own personal rhetoric, she is very much a part of a faction that does use rhetoric of that level of extremity (including onstage at national political conventions), and she very much supports and promotes (through valuable social media links and personal defenses and endorsements on her hugely popular accounts, through partnerships and collaborations, and by selectively endorsing and promoting the rhetoric of) people who famously do express those extreme views.

One could argue that in the early days of her involvement with this topic, she was just a useful idiot who didn't realize how extreme the people who were being nice to her and defending her were while other groups were attacking her for her views, and that she instinctively supported the people who were nice to her without realizing how extreme they were when not talking to her.

But this many years later, that's not a tenable position. She's not that dumb, at this point she understand who her bedfellows are and what their political program is about, and wholeheartedly assists them at every turn. At this point, the fact that she maintains a veneer of respectability in her own public statements is more cowardice and manipulation and intentional pipeline-creation than it is a sign of a mild position.

And, like, come on, you're obviously underselling what she says herself and what the implications of that are. She wrote a whole book about a serial killer pretending to be trans to prey on women in women's spaces. She says that she is glad trans didn't exist when she was growing up because she might have been socially infected with it and it would have ruined her life. Etc.

These types of things are the blood libel of the trans debate; they are all part of building a worldview in which trans women are just perverted men intentionally trying to prey on women and destroy them, and where trans identity is merely an infectious meme that needs to be stamped out before it takes more lives.

The fact that, after establishing that worldview and narrative, you don't vocally take the next step of saying 'and therefore we need to eradicate transgender people from the culture as a whole' is sort of irrelevant. You've spent decades carefully constructive a narrative in which that is the obvious and inescapable conclusion, if you convince people of your narrative then they will come to that conclusion without you needing to say it, that was the whole point of the narrative.

Anyway, if you want me to go find you links on all the Breadtube Rowling videos so you can comb through them for receipts, I guess I can. But I've done that a lot and people mostly say 'I'm not going to watch that'. Names to search would be contrapoints, shaun, philosophy tube, I don't remember probably lindsey ellis or big joel or someone talked about it, etc. Honestly I bet if you google 'JK Rowling anti-trans statements' you will find a comprehensive list pretty quickly, if you actually want to know it doesn't take me to do the googling for you.

  • -30

Are you saying that you expect such attitudes to be more common in a society that allows for frequent sex and drugs?

I'm like 98% confident that they are way more common in societies that vilify those things, since in those cases anyone engaged in them is 'clearly' already a criminal/demon/idiot/slut/etc and therefore can't really be a victim/deserves what they get/must secretly want it/etc.

Having society disapprove of sex and drugs doesn't mean no one does sex or drugs, it just means there's no societal narrative about how to do it ethically or safely. I'm pretty confident you could go to almost any repressive society and find worse attitudes about this stuff.

If you want to play weird semantic games about the word 'right', replace it with 'liberty' and the sentence still works fine.

And, oh no, one trans woman won a competition one time. Since no cis woman has ever won any competition, obviously this represents the existence of a categorical advantage.

Statistical analysis or bust, as per usual.

  • -18

'Rich person flaunts the law, confident they will never face consequences' is not a very unique or interesting story. It's certainly not 'brave' or anything... if no one rich or powerful is going to face any legal consequences of any kind over Epstein connections, you can be damn sure she's not going to pay for anything relating to this, either.

But I don't see why conservatives would think this is supporting any of their claims? The conservative claim has always been that they are oppressed for their views, living in constant danger of being cancelled or arrested by the woke mobs and captured government institutions.

Someone blatantly pointing out in the most public way possible that this has always been a fiction, that governments may make figleaf declarations about opposing these types of slander but will never actually enforce them because they actually are inherently conservative entities that are on the side of the privileged and the default, that anyone can make the most vile comments they want and always could without fearing legal reprisals, that the whole Petersonian rhetoric about free speech crackdowns was and always has been a charade... why is that good for her side, exactly?

I mean, I guess the truth is that I'm being too simplistic in considering it one 'side'.

The Peterson/'free speech absolutist' wing points at 'cancel culture' and the specter of government censorship as a general bludgeon against the left, but they're actually committed to a much more broad model of conservatism and just using that to stir up their base.

Whereas people like Rowling aren't fully committed to that broader conservative project, they just want to slander and eradicate trans people, and they're annoyed that people like Peterson have scared some of their supporters into thinking they might ever face consequences for spewing vile slander 24/7, thereby mildly restricting the spigot.

So while the two have been default bedfellows up till now, it seems like JK has recognized the conflict of interest there and is ready to abandon the pretense of being oppressed in favor of proving that it's safe for everyone to start spewing as publicly and loudly as possible.

  • -50

I guarantee you these kids are not getting their ideas from sex ed,

Yes, that is what I am referring to by 'how bad sex education is'.

and I guarantee you that if sex ed addresses consent these kids don't listen to it.

Strong disagree. You do have to hit them younger before the culture has fully established other ideas, but if the curriculum is handled well and it's the first time they're hearing about it in a realistic setting with enough detail, you can form their first impressions on the topic, or heavily influence their existing impressions.

Some of the laws the journalists characterise as “anti-LGBTQ” are farcical. The most common type are those which “restrict trans student access to sports”, which is just a roundabout way of saying “forbids male students from competing in female sporting events”.2 Given that male athletes competing in female sporting events is manifestly, transparently unfair to anyone with even the most passing familiarity with sexual dimorphism, I support such laws without qualification.

'Given that african savages are manifestly, transparently incapable of civilization and self-rule, it's dishonest to say that enslaving them is a racist policy'.

Yeah these are anti-LGBT laws dawg. You can claim that they are anti-lgbt and justified, if that's the hill you want to die on. But writing a law with the sole purpose of restricting a right from a specific group is 'manifestly' anti-that-group.

Personally, I very much doubt that any would-be criminal hears a story on the radio about his state congress banning male students from competing in female sporting events, and immediately thinks to himself “Boy howdy, time to beat up some queers!”

I think there are plenty of people who are ore likely to commit a crime if they think they can get away with it; if that weren't true, there would be little purpose for having laws and law enforcement in the first place.

And while I suspect it's just true that police in those state are actually less likely to punish you - or will punish you less harshly - for that type of crime, I'm confident that a good portion of the people who want to commit those crimes will hear about their local government passing anti-lgbt laws and take that as a sign that the law is on their side and will treat them kindly if they go ahead.

  • -34