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User ID: 2350



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User ID: 2350

Right now, the parents have socially transitioned the kid. The path of least resistance will be toward following the WPATH "best practices" with the the tragic result of medical transition at at age 12, unless he steps up and questions the therapists and the experts and the gets the train turned around. The dad has to become uncomfortable at some point if he is to pull the emergency brakes on this train.

Seems to me my options are:

  1. Send a much shorter email with a few key links. Problem with this is that it only gives him a fraction of the information he needs to know, and so unlikely to make much impact in reprogramming him and budging him from his path.

  2. Drip out a lot of content over a long period of time. Problem with this is that it draws out the conflict, and will him and maybe his wife dread seeing me

  3. Drop a big info dump on him, tell him I'm not going to draw out the conflict, but I do hope he seriously considers everything I wrote. He will at least be exposed to the information he needs -- and hopefully that will provide the foundation to at some point step up and make the changes he needs to make.

I will admit, in my writing I do have a messy mix of emotions -- genuine concern for his son, but I also have genuine anger at him for being so effing stupid about this issue and then one time correcting my own daughter about what is a boy and what is a girl (and not just stupid -- I think I detect some amount of self-righteous pride in being more "progressive" on this matter). I'm not sure I want to completely hide this anger, as I think it is coming from the right place.

If my own brilliant and thoughtful brother, whom I adore and whose opinions I value deeply, sent me 70 pages criticizing my extremely personal parenting decision, I would find it too overwhelming to read in full.

Would you rather have him drop one 70 page manifesto and have him say, "I've given you my way of thinking, I've given you the evidence and information I have. I won't continue to pester you about it but I do hope you continue think about what I have written as you navigate this issue."

Or would you rather him send you emails every week with articles and arguments as he comes across them and as he thinks about them?

What's wrong with your daughter experimenting - and there's a chance any girl your daughter is with could be bisexual or attracted to women, not just the obvious masculine lesbians. I take it you wouldn't prevent a hypothetical son from hanging out with girls though? Double standards like these were a contributing factor in me being very upset with cis-heterosexual norms.

I wouldn't let my son sleepover a girls when he is a teen either.

I basically think that traditional Christian norms are the best route toward living a happy, fulfilling, productive life. That is, date people of the opposite sex, don't have sex with someone you don't see yourself marrying, preferably wait until after marriage. Love your spouse forever, have lots of children. Some people are of dispositions that make this path more difficult, but it is the path I think it is best to encourage. I don't think being a lesbian is innate and I think it best to be discouraged. I think sexuality is more malleable than people think. She should aspire to have a husband, and for her children to have a dad. There is a trope that being a strict, conservative parent will only drive your kid to rebel and make them more sexually deviant. This has not been my observation. Yes it happens, and the one's who do rebel can be VERY vocal, but in general, one's children are more likely to have your values if you actually work to pass on your values. And statistically, it seems like the conservative families are doing much better these days on measures of well-being and mental health.

That was the first thing I did. He responded: "I believe she is who she says she is." Parenting ideology is getting crazy these days: https://pitt.substack.com/p/true-believer

Just dumping a bunch of horror stories about how he's going to maim and damage his son, however earnest and heartfelt your intentions, is probably not going to make him read all the way through until he slaps his forehead and says "You're so right, what I fool I've been!" I mean, how many people do you know who are actually persuaded at one fell swoop to alter their worldview?

I don't. I expect it to make him deeply uncomfortable and hopefully start the process of convincing himself that he needs to change his approach.

I would suggest that you try prying at cracks in his worldview with some judicious Socratic dialog.

The problem is you need to have certain facts in common. If he says, "We need to affirm his gender identity otherwise it will lead to higher risk suicide." I need to be able to say, "Did you read the analysis I sent you? Did you read the actual details of the studies that were making these claims? I can walk you through it line by line if you want. Your best bet of avoiding suicide is by getting Skylar off this train." Without actually giving him an opportunity to mull it over at leisure in written form, there is no way we can agree on a common set of facts. And if at worst, he doesn't want to look at it, at least I am arguing from the moral high ground of actually putting in the work to find the truth.

It's not a friend, it's very close relatives, my kids and their kids play together all the time, and while I was quiet for a while, it's at a point where they are pushing false beliefs onto my kids and so the issue is becoming more critical. I added some more context here: https://www.themotte.org/post/454/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/89837?context=8#context

Gender roles are in many, many ways entirely irrelevant in the modern world. Child rearing and housekeeping has gotten so efficient that it simply makes no sense to keep women in the kitchen, as the saying goes. Physical fighting and hunting is even worse, both have been effectively completely replaced and the obvious male optimisations towards it are pointless now. Instead, almost everyone is doing office or light physical work that can be done by both sexes, and that both sexes are clearly broadly unoptimised for.

I don't buy this. If you look at the actual real work being done, most of the work that ends up providing food, shelter, tools, etc. is done by men. Men still do the policing and the fighting, women cops and soldiers are a joke.

Doing child rearing well is not that much more efficient. Running a household with multiple children is still a full-time job, and still done primarily by women, whether mom's or childcare workers. Institutional childcare for infants and toddlers, with moms working in an office is not actually an efficient situation. It's incredibly stressful for the parents and suboptimal for the kids. It would not be a thing without subsidies, affirmative action, and extensive propaganda.

Women's jobs tend to either be:

  1. Caring directly for children and the infirm -- the same work women always did.

  2. Bureaucratic make work

  3. Work that is leveraging female sexuality -- I include in this almost all sales, marketing, baristas, waitresses, etc. Even for most office jobs, I believe that women's productivity is massively overrated and they are usually hired as affirmative action hires or as a perk for the productive male workers.

It's not a novelty of modernity that women can make money outside of the home. It is only in the late stage of civilizational degeneracy that women are allowed to work outside the home, and think that other things are more important than raising their own children. Historically, they would be working outside the home as dancers, geishas, actresses, socialites, prostitutes, etc.

A pet theory of mine is that a lot of the modern confusion around gender and sex stems from the fact that in the ancestral environment sex differences were just so obvious that there was no chance to become confused, so we didn't evolve to recognize our sex outside of them.

What I think has changed is mass media and mass education. We are bombarded with fictional imagery of fighting women, working women, productive women in the office, bad-ass women, etc. so we ignore our own personal experiences, and instead take what we see in movies and on TV as the default. We are given years of schooling where what we believe is dictated by who can rewrite the textbooks, and not by a slowly evolved tradition that gets taught from parent to child.

But yes, the concept of "gender roles", that is, the idea that the cultural roles we associated with men and women are somehow separate from biological sex, is entirely novel. And it is wrong, it is an anti-concept. Societies have "sex roles", not "gender roles."

Thank you for your response, other commenters made similar points which I responded to here: https://www.themotte.org/post/454/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/89837?context=8#context

That is a great article and video, it was already going to include in my email and tell him if he didn't want to listen to me, please please listen to that mom.

Start with something short and simple and let him ask questions and probe further if he wants to. Have the conversation irl if possible, instead of over text.

Yeah that's what I did at first, unfortunately, he was was more bought into modern gender theory than I expected. I explained a bit more in another response about what the actual situation is: https://www.themotte.org/post/454/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/89837?context=8#context

Thank you for your response, other commenters made similar points which I responded to here: https://www.themotte.org/post/454/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/89837?context=8#context

This is all very well-written, but you're arguing at a more philosophical level, trying to convince your friend that sex is real and gender differences matter. ... I would suggest you focus on the very real dangers of transition

Responding to you and a few other comments...

My full email is going to come out to 70 pages. The meat of the email is stories of the horrors of transition, testimonials of teens or parents who dealt with this but then ended up desisters, and take-downs of the 'science' and 'studies' that justify transitioning as being good for mental health. But he is asking that we call his boy a girl, and basing this a theory that sex is different than gender. So I do feel a need to explain why I reject these distinctions, and to explain what I believe and what I am teaching my family. And I want him to know these are deeply considered beliefs -- I'm not just rejecting his request because I'm being a dick or am not up to date on the latest "science" of gender. Based on my relationship with my relative, I do expect him to take time to read the whole thing. I do expect him to at least start off by taking my views seriously, because in real life I am relatively high status.

He has no concept of sexuality and barely any concept of gender roles. Who even put the idea in his head that he might be a girl? Refuse to indulge him and almost certainly he will forget about being a girl in a week.

The dad is kind of a hippie and has long hair, and raised Skylar with long hair. Around age 3 the kid watched Frozen at daycare and wanted to dress as Elsa for Halloween, and started to want to wear dresses. IMO, he did not wear these dresses in a feminine way (for instance, he once told my daughter to stay back it was too dangerous while he went "monster hunting" in his dress). Then his mom started asking him every day before daycare, "Are you going to be a girl today or a boy." The mom is no woke radfem, she is mostly normie liberal, but she was involved with the LBTQ crowed in college, was a lesbian for a bit, and has friends who have transitioned, so I think the mom thought that asking the kid was a best practice. Eventually Skylar started consistently saying girl. The parents decided to socially transition him and they enrolled him in kindergarten last fall as a girl and are telling family to call him "she."

When I asked the dad one-on-one, "What do you think Skylar is?" The dad said, "I think she is who she says she is." And I said, "Um, Skylar has a penis" And the dad said, "That is sex, not gender identity." I said something like, "Don't you think it is important as a parent for help in building his identity, and not just let the kid lead, and to teaching him how to grow up to be a man." He said something about not wanting to raise a kid to conform to stereotypes. He then told me it was important to be accepting and let the child lead because otherwise later in life the kid would be at very high risk of suicide. I asked him if he was thinking of puberty blockers at some point, and he said he hadn't thought about it and hadn't looked into them. I asked him if he knew the history of the development of the concept of "gender identity" and made the point that "gender" was invented as a word by a pervert academic back in the 1950s. He was not aware of this.

The situation of my relatives seem very similar to the story described by the mom in this article: https://pitt.substack.com/p/true-believer There is now a parenting ideology where it is a best practice to let kids develop their own 'gender identity.' The mom in this article eventually came to her senses, hopefully my relatives can do the same:

At an early age, we noticed that our first son was a bit different. He was highly sensitive, and was extremely gifted. By about three years old, he started to orient more toward the females in his life than the males. Since he did not have the language, he would say, "I like the mamas." Some of this difference we started to attribute to possibly being transgender. Instead of orienting him to the reality of his biological sex by telling him he was a boy, we wanted him to tell us if he felt he was a boy or a girl. As true believers, we thought that he could be transgender, and that we were to "follow his lead" to determine his true identity.

At around four years old, my son began to ask me if he was a boy or a girl. Instead of telling him he was a boy, I told him he could choose. I didn't use those words—I thought I could be more sophisticated than that. I told him, "When babies are born with a penis, they are called boys, and when babies are born with a vagina, they are called girls. But some babies who are born with a penis can be girls, and some babies born with a vagina can be boys. It all depends on what you feel deep inside." He continued to ask me what he was, and I continued to repeat these lines. I resolved my inner conflict by "leading" my son with this framework—you can be born with a penis, but still be a girl inside. I thought I was doing the right thing, for him, and for the world.

His question, and my response to it, would come back to haunt me for years, and continues to haunt me now. What I know now is that I was "leading"—I was leading my innocent, sensitive child down a path of lies that were a direct on-ramp to psychological damage and life-long irreversible medical intervention. All in the name of love, acceptance, and liberation.

As a trans woman, this post is like reading the world view of someone from a completely different civilisation.

Yes. And I feel that way when suddenly my relative is claiming their little boy with a penis is really a girl.

Would you rather your daughter go on a sleepover alone with a masculine lesbian friend, or a very feminine gay boy? What about a trans guy of the same age, vs. a trans girl, both being straight (i.e., the trans guy is attracted to women and the trans girl to men).

Hard no to all of these. I don't want the lesbian trying to get my daughter into "experimenting." And I have no guarantee the gay boy isn't sometimes into sex with women, a lot of guys who might seem gay will swing both ways now and then. Also, there is just a very basic difference in values between those of people who identify as gay or trans, and the values I want to foster in my family.

I believe that men and women have a deep need for spending at least some time in sex segregated clubs.

When I was with a group of male friends and an attractive guy I had a crush on joined, I developed those behaviours you mention - white knighting, favouritism, always taking his side, etc. It has nothing to do with the sex of the person, and you should learn to deal with it rather than avoid the opposite sex altogether.

Actually, I think this supports the idea that men's clubs should not just be men only, but straight men only. I've seen gay drama blow up numerous groups. And the most successful fraternities I have been a part of have excluded men who have made boning other men part of their identity.

And of course, I don't avoid the opposite sex altogether, I spend most of my time with the opposite sex. Most of my straight guy friends with wives and daughters and in-laws and children's parents friends hardly ever get away from the opposite sex. That is why it is important to set some time and space aside for a men's only group, it's something most modern men are missing out on.

This just seems sad. Are you clearly not capable of having deep one-on-one time with a woman without it being potentially sexual? I'm sexually attracted to a lot of my male friends and I had to learn to resist the temptation...

Do you have deep one-on-one friendships with other gay men that stay entirely non-sexual with no drama over a long time?

Back in college I had deep, non-sexual, one-on-one time with girls. It can work for a while if both of you have the understanding that you aren't really right for each other. It ends up being a kind of mutual "back-up girlfriend" / "back-up boyfriend" kind of thing. But it wasn't stable long-term. Someone either catches feelings, or gets a steady relationship and grows apart. A lot of the deep one-on-one time is talking about dating other people, but once you are married, it feels unseemly to be talking about relationship problems with another women. Also, there isn't much relationship drama to make interesting conversation. And in general, without an element of flirting and sexual tension, I don't actually find women that interesting to talk to. The number of friendships I can maintain is limited by my free-time. So all-in-all, I do not miss out on having deep one-on-one friendships with other women.

I'm bi and could potentially have sex with anyone I spent the night with - should my boyfriend be anxious whenever I'm alone with literally anyone?

Have you made substantial commitments and sacrifices in order to build a household and family together? Are you both committed to monogamy?

Also, the sexuality of a born biological-male-person-who-is-attracted-to-men is not at all the same as a biological womans. You can't cuck him, hypergamy and pair-bonding doesn't work the same when in gay men as it does in straight women, etc. etc.

I was a feminine bisexual man and this was not my experience. If anything, women were even more interested in me, both sexually and as friends, once I became an adult.

This is a fair criticism -- although in this case my relative boy who says he is a girl is not actually feminine and does not have feminine hobbies. A weak, effeminate, opposite-of-Chad boy with male nerd hobbies will have a lot of trouble relating with the ladies.

I can only speak to my personal experience, but I’ve been through childhood gender dysphoria and I wish I had know transition was an option then.

Do you think you would have been better off with medical transitioning pre-puberty, even if that meant you would never orgasm or have functional male or female sexuality (like what seems to have happened with Jazz Jennings)?

That's true, but I don't think the vast majority of women are 'cared about' by random strangers either.

I think it is much easier for a woman to be cared about by an acquaintance and to find strangers who are receptive. For instance, finding another person who will listen to you vent, or help you move. Or inviting people to your birthday party and hoping people will show up. Or interrupting someone at a coffeeshop or party and asking for advice. Or finding the smartest colleague or classmate to help you with work. Or being the slowest and most incompetent person on a camping trip and not getting ragged on by everyone else and left out next time. Or asking a group of coworkers you have only recently met, "hey who wants to go do X with me?" Also, if there is a group, and the woman has some complaints about the group, her complaints will by default be taken way more seriously. All these disparities are particularly large when comparing an attractive women, and unattractive men.

Of course men do have friends and do have people going to their parties. But if you examine it, I think you will see the men had to put in work to bring value to people who become their friends or wives. Young, attractive women just have to show up and be nice.

People smile at me, if I make a reasonable request of a total stranger ("can you hand me that," "can I take this chair," "can you break a fifty," etc.) it's usually granted, if I'm carrying stuff and drop some things usually someone will stop to help me pick it up.

I think it shows up more when making more substantial requests, like finding another person who will listen to you vent, or help you move. Or inviting people to your birthday party and hoping people will show up. Interrupting someone at a coffeeshop or party and asking for advice. Also, if there is a group, and the woman has some complaints about the group, her complaints will by default be taken more seriously. All these disparities are particularly large when comparing an attractive women, and unattractive men.

These disparities are partly hidden because most men heave learned over the course of life they need to put in the work and so already compensate for this. Men do find friends, and people to help them move, and go to their birthday parties, but they had to put in the work to bring value to establish these relationships. It's only when you step back and imagine the counter-factual, "Would I be putting up with this behavior if they were an unattractive guy? etc." that you see the difference.

(part ii of ii)

This massive disparity in strength and ability to do violence is why men are inherently scary to women, and a key reason why we create dedicated female spaces whether it be sports teams or locker rooms or sleepovers. The need to make distinctions between girls areas and boys areas are rooted in basic biology, not some amorphous sense of 'gender' in the brain.

And it's not just acute strength -- injury rate is a huge issue. When the Marine Corp was studying women in entry-level infantry training, the women had an injury rate 600% higher than the men. Women troops carrying combat loads were one hundred times more likely to develop pelvic stress fractures. Women soccer players are 400% to 600% more likely to tear an ACL.

When Los Angeles made a push to hire female fire fighters back in the 2000s they could hardly find any women who made it through their training:

What these two women saw — and experienced — is not what you might think.

Nobody tried to make either of them fail. No “old boys” got in their way. Mary was admired by her male boss and encouraged at each step to be a firefighter. “I was just too slow,” she says. Firefighting equipment, like the one-man ladders, started “getting heavier,” and she began to realize she wasn't strong enough to repeatedly lift it — a necessary skill. Eight weeks into the training — which causes plenty of men to wash out — Mary was stunned to realize that her body had begun “breaking down.”

Vesey's story is much the same. She was contacted by the department after applying online and joined the training academy in August. She was unprepared for how tough it was. “I would fail on the hose-lay and only have a couple of hours on the ladder,” she recalls. “Then I would fail the ladder.”

But of the captains who trained her along with 45 men, Vesey says, “I respected them. I wanted to be on their crew. The people at the tower were phenomenal. They really wanted you to learn.”

It's not easy for anyone. According to a fire-department official who refused to be named, 35 percent of the men since the summer of 2006 have failed to finish their training. During the same time period, however, all of the women have failed to do so. Along with many men, two women are retrying.

Today, Los Angeles boasts a dozen newly built locker rooms for women citywide. Most days, they sit eerily empty, and men sometimes use the space to study. The abandoned lockers are a testament to a social-engineering experiment gone bad, a failed dream unfolding from New York to San Francisco to Oakland — to Los Angeles.

They eventually had to drop the standards for women. When Army Rangers made a push to add women there as a big headline when a few finally passed -- and then it came out a few years later they had to cheat. Perennial gold medal contending Canada's women hockey team trains by playing in a regional boys high school league -- and ended up in the middle of the pack -- even though checking is banned when they play the boys because they don't want the women getting hurt by the boys. The best adult women's soccer team in the world has gotten soundly beat by a 14 year old boy academy team from Dallas.

The physical differences are such that men will always be the ones who carry the physical default load in physical matters from construction to combat to packing up the car.

Thus, raising a boy to be a man means preparing him for this world. It means that women will expect the men in the life be the physical protectors, it means women will always have someone more discomfort around strange men because of the potential for them to use overwhelming physical force.

The third thing of importance in sex distinction is the potential for sexual intercourse.

From time-to-time, I sometimes do an overnight getaway and spend a night out on the town with an old friend, maybe I crash on his couch, etc. As a married man, I feel like this would be very inappropriate to do with a woman. Even if I had certainty that it would be entirely chaste, it would cause my wife anxiety. But I also don't even want to lead myself into temptation. Writer Te Ne Hasi Coates put it well:

I've been with my spouse for almost 15 years. In those years, I've never been with anyone but the mother of my son. But that's not because I am an especially good and true person. In fact, I am wholly in possession of an unimaginably filthy and mongrel mind. But I am also a dude who believes in guard-rails, as a buddy of mine once put it. I don't believe in getting "in the moment" and then exercising will-power. I believe in avoiding "the moment." I believe in being absolutely clear with myself about why I am having a second drink, and why I am not; why I am going to a party, and why I am not. I believe that the battle is lost at Happy Hour, not at the hotel. I am not a "good man." But I am prepared to be an honorable one.

Even forming a deep friendship where you are spending a lot of 1-on-1 time and spilling your guts is a dangerous proposition between any man and any woman. The potential for sex is there. Back home, a husband and wife are caught up in the grind and conflict of running a household and doing hard things together. Time away spent purely in fun with a woman friend might seem magical...temptation would arise... From everything I've heard, deep one-on-one time with someone of the opposite sex is the fast road to ruining a marriage.

The potential for sex also leads to the potential for crossed-signals and uncomfortable situations. A friendly gesture to a man could be seen as a come-on to a woman.

Thus from the very moment I meet someone it is very important to know what biological sex they are, because it will define everything about our future relationship. A male saying to me after I have met him a party, "Hey you like the Sharks too? I happen to have tickets next week, wanna come?" is very different than a woman saying the same thing. This is why every successful culture has language and norms of dress that make distinctions based on biological sex. (This is also why it has been normative for gay men and lesbians to dress in ways that would readily identify themselves).

The temptation issue is also why I would never allow my daughter when she is 14-years old to go on a sleepover alone with any guy. It's not so much about the guy being a potential "rapist" -- it's about the very real possibility they both could be succumb to temptation.

Thus there will be possible situations in the future when I must treat Skylar as a boy. Maybe we are doing a trip with friends and Jessica and her girlfriend are in another room and we have another room that is a boys room. Skylar cannot be in the girls room, sexually he is a boy.

And these issues become more acute when we have nudity involved, which is why we have norms around modesty and why we separate locker rooms. Men don't want to have to fight off getting a boner because some biological woman is in their locker room. Women don't want to feel vulnerable from seeing a much stronger person with his cock hanging out seeing her naked. Even if most men and most male-to-female trans people would never rape, by making "femaleness" a matter of self-identification and by normalizing allowing people with dicks hanging out in a women's locker room, there is no way to keep out actual creeps and rapists who will cynically abuse the policy.

Sex also matters for group dynamics. For instance, I was in a gaming group. We had a young woman join who was very much into the stereotypical nerdy games that guys were in. All went well...until one the core guys of the group offered to walk her home one night. This guy was not at all a sleaze. He likely did want to date her as she was a catch. But she got uncomfortable, and then in other events didn't want to invite him. The entire group dynamic was ruined. When Harry Met Sally proven right again: "The sex thing always gets in the way."

For all these reasons, biological sex matters from the moment we meet a person. The potential for long-term relationship, the nature of that relationship, the meanings of requests, changes based on sex. That is why our society (and almost every successful society) makes basic distinctions between the sexes in names, language, and apparel. These norms are linked at core to biological sex not to some nebulous notion of 'gender identity' inside the brain.

I believe that men and women have a deep need for spending at least some time in sex segregated clubs. And this is rooted in biology in all the biology I noted above, that men and women have different strengths to develop and challenges to overcome. When you add just one opposite person to a group the dynamic changes -- immediately you get status posturing, sexual drama, and white knighting.

When I say with regards to a person 'he is a boy' the words 'he' and 'boy' refer to biological sex, as the words always have meant in the English language up until a few years ago.

This is an important matter of personal integrity. Boy, girl, man, woman, male, female are immutable aspects of human biology. Many schools and doctors are now teaching a false and poisonous doctrine, that a person can be born in the 'wrong' body and that medical intervention can fix this. It is important for me to be a rock for truth in kids lives -- the schools are wrong, you cannot change your sex, your healthiest life will always be by adjusting your mindset to find a good way to live with your sex.


It has happened. The transgender trend has hit close to home, with a close relative now insisting that we call his five-year-old, penis-having child a "girl." I have had a couple of conversations with the dad, and he repeated of the common transgender talking points. He was at least open to conversation. He did not seem to have been exposed to counter-arguments or to have thought through what he was doing. So I am writing the dad a very long email. Much of the email is quotes from desisters, excerpts from news stories, and reviews of the studies. But I thought I'd share with this forum some of the theory portions that I wrote. Maybe you will find it informative, or maybe you can help strengthen my writing. This is written under a throwaway, names and details are changed to protect the guilty and innocent.

Why biological sex and not 'gender identity' matters for norms, culture and language

When we last talked, I said it was important at this age to correct Skylar about his gender even as a five-year-old, because even at this point it is the role of a parent to guiding him to be a man. You replied that you don't want to raise kids to conform to stereotypes.

Now I don't feel any need to raise a boy to like whiskey and pickup trucks, or to raise a girl to like Barbie dolls. In fact, when first buying clothes for my daughter Jessica I was moderately peeved there were so few unisex options. I wanted to buy neutral clothes to save money for reuse with any future boy.

But there are essential sex differences, rooted in the basic biology of sex, that impact norms and culture around sex.

The most important is that women have the potential to make men immortal. For tens of millions of years of mammalian evolution, the pregnancy and nursing process has been the expensive part of reproduction. Women are the reproduction bottleneck. Much flows from this basic difference.

For a woman, simply acting pretty, helpful, and caring is a viable strategy for having a great life. She can find a man who will become attached to her and provide her all she needs. Note: this is not necessarily the optimal strategy, but it is a viable one. I don't want Jessica to be a princess. Some training in hard work, getting her fingernails dirty, and callouses on her fingers is good ... But she should also know how to be charming and cute and pretty because that will in fact get a girl far in life.)

For men, this is not a viable strategy. Men must develop strength and competencies.

I'm going to paraphrase a passage I found a while ago that really resonated with me:

The biggest difference between men and women is that when you're a man, the absolute indifference of the universe towards you is the norm, it will only care when you make it care, and only for brief moments. To women this is almost Lovecraftian horror they can't conceive of. Men don't realize that most women can never comprehend this because it's just too horrifying to the female psychology. Women live their entire lives knowing people care about them, they take it for granted, it's the universal constant norm for 95 percent of women. We care about them as children because humans generally care about the happiness and suffering of all children. Most women are pleasing to look at, so we look at them. When women are ugly or annoying, we pay attention to them even if it's negative attention.Even when women are shitty we pay some form of attention to them, people care about annoying women because they are hard to ignore. People care about women in distress or sadness because we just do. We want to save women in danger. This has nothing to do with their achievements, their character, just that they are women. When this constant electromagnetic field of empathy around them weakens a bit, particularly middle aged single women with no children, they talk about how cruel it is to be "invisible"

If you're a man, it's the inverse. The universe and the people in it are a yawning void of indifference, you are responsible for yourself. If you're sad you are expected to buck up, if you are having problems you are expected to fix them. If you are too annoying you will be dismissed, told off, or get your ass kicked. If people care about you it's because you built relationships with them that made you a person they care about. If people admire you it's because you built a reputation, a physique, or an empire. Cries for help from women are almost always answered, cries for help from men rarely are, be they metaphorical or literal. If you're a man, you need to understand that most women cannot understand or grok this. If you're a woman, you should try to comprehend that burden men have.

I'm not even knocking this state of affairs. I don't support the whole "Men should cry more and be more sensitive and raise a fuss" effeminate bullshit. The yawning void of indifference is our burden to bear by virtue of being men, you aren't a man without it. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have confidants to help you. Other men who can relate to this yawning chasm, to the struggles men face. Women can provide comfort and empathy, but most of them won't really and truly intellectually grasp and understand this difference. You should always have fraternal bonds with other men to commiserate over, to share knowledge of similar experiences to help each other overcome obstacles and achieve things. Brotherhood is important, you aren't complete without it.

Thus, raising a boy to be a man means gradually building their power level and gradually teaching them that the world will only care for you if you build something and make something of yourself. Childhood is going to end some day and no one will listen to your whining.

Whereas for a girl, they will hit 18 or 19 and suddenly have massive amounts of power purely on account of who they are. A pretty 20-year-old intern can make the CEO of a billion dollar company stutter and blush merely on account of how she looks. She will get stares and attention from men of all sorts. Thus the job of father in raising a daughter is both protecting her from the men who would prey on her, and also teaching her not to abuse or misuse this sexual power she will have. The father must teach her to leverage the power in goods ways to build a great situation while she is young, because she will lose the power as she gets older.

And in this, Skylar is irrevocably a boy, not a girl. You can already see it in Skylar's face. Men have evolved over a long time a fine sense of distinction between men and women, and almost no person born as biological male, with body parts and facial structure and brain developing under the influence of male hormones, can ever pass a girl. A woman who is by chance infertile still triggers men and woman, to treat her as a woman. A male on cross-sex hormones might fool someone at a surface level, but after any meaningful interaction an uncanny valley effect will be triggered. Other people might go along with it out of "nice", but they won't treat a male-to-female transgender as an actual woman in many of the ways that actually matter.

For a biological male, like Skylar, the test in life will come against other biological males. It will also be biological males who will be his future allies in competing against other groups of men -- whether in fighting, business ventures or being wing-man. Since childhood is the preparation for growing up, it is important from childhood to be socialized as a male, competing and cooperating with other males. Otherwise he will arrive at young adulthood, and the girls he was friends will forget him, as they will be interested in actual masculine guys, and he will not have the experience in relating to other guys as guys.

The second basic difference in male and female is the level of hormesis they can withstand. Growth and improvement in many matters from athletics to chess is getting enough struggle to trigger growth, but not so much that you become just damaged and discouraged. Simply put, boys and men can withstand a much greater deal of physical and psychological trial than girls and women can. The optimal level of training is far different. Physical training that will truly test a young man will destroy a woman's pelvic bone. Criticism that a man needs to be able to handle, will make a woman break down in tears (almost every woman I know has cried at work, very few men I know have).

Now a common refrain is "some girls can handle it, we shouldn't make assumptions." This is anti-knowledge -- we should start with assumption of averages and then be flexible about outliers. Furthermore, nothing I have seen in our kids indicates that we are outliers from the biological sex in terms of stereotypical traits. Nothing I have seen from any of the parents or grandparents either. I think that people commonly underestimate just how big the differences are, possibly because of so many strong female characters that have been added to entirely fictional movies, or because of headlines about some women breaking a sex barrier in some traditionally male line of work.

In reality, The bell curves of physical abilities barely overlap. For instance, in studies of grip strength the average man had a greater grip strength than every single female in the general study population. A 75th percentile male had a greater grip strength than every single elite female athlete in the study.

If you consider both upper body strength, weight, body size, skull structure a typical man punching a woman does not do 25% more damage than vice versa, but something like 1,000% more damage.

(continued in a reply)