site banner

Culture War Roundup for the week of April 1, 2024

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.

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.

We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.

  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.

  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.

  • Recruiting for a cause.

  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.

In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:

  • Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.

  • Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.

  • Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.

  • Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.

11
Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

'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

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

Whereas people like Rowling aren't fully committed to that broader conservative project, they just want to slander and eradicate trans people

All right, you have hit one of my pet peeves, because I hear this shit all the time from my nice progressive friends. It's just repeated ad infinitum, as an article of faith, as a proven, established fac, that JK Rowling "hates trans people," that she "wants to slander and eradicate them," etc. In unrelated hobby spaces, I've seen it argued unironically, in all seriousness, that she literally advocates "genocide of trans people" (and also that Harry Potter goblins were intended to be metaphors for Jews because she also hates Jews).

I have been a Rowling fan since before she got on Twitter. Yes, I actually like the Harry Potter books (despite being way too old for them). I've read all her Cormoran Strike novels, and even The Casual Vacancy. I follow her on Twitter and I read her blog. So I know whereof I speak, though I won't claim I can remember every single thing she's ever said in public.

I have never seen her say anything that approaches "hate" or "wanting to eradicate" trans people. She has said the opposite many times. She is a standard issue very liberal second wave feminist.

What does she say?

  1. She does not believe trans women are women.
  2. Therefore she does not believe trans women should play in women's sports or go to women's prisons.
  3. She believes trans people should be free to live their lives in peace without harassment.
  4. Some so-called trans women (like the sexual predators she highlighted) are bad faith opportunists claiming trans status for political purposes or because they would prefer to go to women's prison rather than men's prison.

I think all of these points are reasonable, and even if you disagree with some or all of them, none of them resemble anything like "hate" or wishing for a "trans genocide."

I would love it if you could point to me any public statement of hers, or even a reliable second-hand account of some alleged private statement, in which she's said anything that resembles what you are claiming.

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

You know man, you get reported a lot and even the other mods have a hard time with you because a lot of people think you are and always have been a bad faith borderline troll who just says things to get under people's skin, without regard to truth or accuracy. And I have always leaned towards leniency, maybe because I'm a quokka and too willing to assume people actually believe the things they are saying and are sincere in their argumentation, even if they're really annoying. But I have frequently argued against banning you because it's too easy to find things you say that are moddable when most of the forum is trying to get you banned.

I guess this is the point where I say "Goddamn, I get it now," because frankly, you are either being astoundingly clueless or just flat out disingenuous.

(Let me also be clear, this response is with my mod hat off, and I am not threatening you with mod action for the above post, because I found it merely aggravating, but not in violation of any rules.)

You have actually spouted a ton of bullshit about something I know a lot about (for my sins), so let's go through this.

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.

Just for starters, and not strictly on topic, we get accused of being an echo chamber so often it's tiresome. You are right that you're an outlier here, as an unabashed leftist. You are definitely not some unique snowflake with views unrepresented by anyone else. And "intentionally taking a contrarian position" is pretty close to trolling. I mean, if you really believe the things you are saying, fine, argue them, but if you're just doing it as an "intellectual exercise" (or to "own the righties") you should know that most people do not like feeling like they are being treated as NPCs in your roleplaying game, and this is perhaps a reason why you generate so much resentment and hostility.

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.

Okay, that's a hell of a waffle. If you say "People like Rowling want to eradicate trans people" and I rebut that by pointing out that Rowling emphatically does not want to eradicate trans people, it is not a credible defense that "You meant people like Rowling." I mean, I could say "People like guesswho want to literally guillotine landlords, redistribute the property of all rich people, and disenfranchise whites." (Because some of your fellow travelers certainly do.) If you objected, reasonably, that you want no such thing and have never endorsed that, I don't think you would be satisfied if I said "Well, there's a reason I said 'people like you.'" You'd find it disingenuous and evasive. We are talking about JK Rowling, not everyone who has ever expressed an anti-trans sentiment.

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,

It is not "mildly true," it is absolutely true. Her personal rhetoric is not "extreme" by any reasonable definition. Again I will ask you to cite an example if you think otherwise.

she is very much a part of a faction that does use rhetoric of that level of extremity (including onstage at national political conventions),

What do you mean "part of a faction"? If you mean "Everyone who is gender-critical/trans-skeptical," well, that's a hell of an umbrella and she would reasonably reject it, as would I. I have in fact seen absurd allegations online that she literally donated to the Texas GOP (!!) just because they are anti-trans, an accusation that makes no sense on multiple levels. If you're trying to lump JK Rowling with the Texas GOP just because they are both critical of trans activists, your idea of what constitutes a "faction" is just frankly ridiculous. I believe IQ is a real measurable thing and there are racial differences in IQ; by this standard, I guess you would put me in the same "faction" as white nationalists and holocaust deniers, because they also believe that.

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.

Show me. Show me her endorsing someone who literally wants to "eradicate trans people." The most extreme example I can think of coming anywhere close to this is Maya Forstater, a gender critical feminist whom Rowling has famously supported. Forstater's public statements are mostly pretty mild (you could more legitimately accuse her of carefully curating her public statements than Rowling) while she has occasionally, in public and private, gone full mask-off with rather derogatory language about trans people. But even Forstater has never, to my knowledge, said anything remotely close to advocating violence or eradication of trans people. It's probably fair to say she thinks they are all perverted AGP men. Maybe Rowling actually believes that herself in private too. She famously got in a spat with Ben Shapiro because Shapiro endorsed her trans-critical views and Rowling was quick to point out that mildly agreeing about one thing does not make them allies.

I don't think you can actually show Rowling endorsing the views you claim she does. Even with this wide net you are casting where anything she has ever touched, by transitive property, is endorsing any statement by anyone else who is touched by it.

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.

Again: show me. No, one person on the Internet who says something nasty about trans people who is also a Harry Potter fan does not by transitive property mean Rowling is endorsing anything they say. This is the kind of nutpicking that LibsOfTikTOk does. LoTT regularly finds some trans person being accused of rape or child abuse and blasts it to the Internet, the implication clearly being that this is typical trans behavior. I'm pretty sure you don't appreciate LoTT's tactics and would consider it offensive and disingenuous for them to say "But these are their bedfellows, this is the faction they are part of." So no, you don't get to do this either.

And, like, come on, you're obviously underselling what she says herself and what the implications of that are.

This is not obvious to me, as I think I am very accurately describing what she says herself, and the "implications" seem to be irrational projections you have made up.

She wrote a whole book about a serial killer pretending to be trans to prey on women in women's spaces.

You are referring to Troubled Blood and you are taking her most hysterical critics' claims about the book at face value, most of whom never read it and just repeated what other people said in a game of Chinese whispers, until it became "a book about a serial killer pretending to be trans." That's not a remotely accurate description. I can post a whole damn book review if you want, but a serial killer who in one scene disguises himself as a woman is not something any reasonable person would read as some sort of metaphor for trans people. The killer never "pretends to be trans" (I don't think trans people are ever even mentioned in the book, but I can't remember for certain) he does not "try to get into women's spaces," and the cross-dressing scene is a single incident that's there as a red herring.

My point here is that you haven't read Troubled Blood, and you're just repeating the bad faith accusations of Rowling's haters who also haven't read it, and this is how you arrive at nonsense claims about Rowling being a literal fascist who wants to genocide trans people and Jews. (I mean, you didn't say that. But people "like" you have! You know, people in your faction.)

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.

This is possibly true, and while you may find it offensive, the belief that trans social contagion is a real phenomenon and that many troubled girls today are embracing trans identity as a way of escaping what they perceive to be an unpleasant existence as a female, and that other kids adopt it because it's "cool" and trendy and rebellious, is one I share. So does that mean I also want to eradicate trans people?

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.

"Blood libel" would be something that's wholly untrue (like "Jews drink the blood of Christian children").

My personal belief is that the "blood libel," as you put it, does accurately describe a significant number of trans women today, especially the ones who are going out of their way to be public activists. I also believe many trans women are sincere in their gender dysphoria, and even if not, they are sincere in wanting to live as women and be left alone, and they should be allowed to. I can't speak for JK Rowling but I am pretty sure that's reasonably close to her position. This is a far cry from spreading "blood libel" because you believe trans people should be "stamped out."

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.

Nothing I or JK Rowling have said (that trans women are not the same as women, that they shouldn't be in women's prisons, that social contagion is real, that children probably shouldn't be put on puberty blockers and SRS) leads to the "obvious and inescapable" conclusion that we need to eradicate transgender people.

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.

Yes, I do want you to do that. But before you go to the trouble, let me be clear that the "receipts" I want are JK Rowling actually saying or endorsing any of the things you've claimed. Not shaun or contrapoints (whom I've watched) constructing a fallacious argument like you have that her statements "imply" or "inevitably lead" to this, not guilt-by-association where someone whose tweet she once Liked might have said something extreme. You seem to think I am unfamiliar with the charges against her and why trans activists claim these things about her. I am not.

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.

Sure, let's play!

Top result: A Complete Breakdown of the J.K. Rowling Transgender-Comments Controversy.

Reading through that post, I see a rehash of all the statements I am already familiar with (from her snarky "people who menstruate" tweet to her long "TERF Wars" blog post in 2020). And this example of her "hatred of trans people":

The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women—i.e., to male violence—‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences—is a nonsense.”

She continued, “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

Most of the other links are similar collections of snarky tweets and her trying to defend her views while emphasizing the same things I have said above.

GLAAD's summary is predictably uncharitable, if not outright dishonest. They repeat your bad faith summary of her books, and say things like:

07.05.2020—Tweeted false information equating trans-related medical care with mental health care, writing: “Many health professionals are concerned that young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests.” In the same thread, falsely equated transitioning with a “new form of conversion therapy for young gay people” and suggested that gender transition is “driven by homophobia.”

So "Many health professionals are concerned that young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests" is false information? Or just something you and GLAAD disagree with? Likewise, you may disagree with her about trans social contagion and homophobia, but that does not substantiate the extremism you claim is so obvious and well-documented. GLAAD's page is full of "Falsely claimed" accusations, followed by a tweet by Rowling simply asserting something they disagree with (but nothing that resembles "blood libel").

The Cut's Here's what J.K. Rowling has Actually Said About Trans People is mostly just repeating everything GLAAD said, and statements like:

No, she simply doesn’t seem to believe that trans women really are women — an attitude that denies the validity of their existence.

I mean, that's just describing how their viewpoints differ. Where is the extreme rhetoric, the "inevitable conclusion" that trans people must be eradicated?

I scrolled through a lot more results, and got the same thing. Nowhere did I find any quote of Rowling actually saying anything more extreme than what I've mentioned, implying it, or endorsing it.

So, got anything else? Bring it.

Of all of the comments that @guesswho can respond to, I really want them to respond to this. I'm fairly ambivalent about the whole JKR thing but I'm getting convinced that the @Amadan position is closest to the truth and this post in particular needs to be dealt with to swing me back.

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

Any updates?

nit-picking about whether I'm being 'fair' to Rowling

Is that a nitpick?

You started out by complaining about slander. Was that because you think slander is a serious, non-nit-picky thing, or was that just rhetoric targeting all the people here who do care about slander? Hopefully it's the former, but then since making untrue accusations of Rowling is slander, shouldn't you be horribly upset by even the possibility that you've committed it unwittingly?

Amping up the level of seriousness, you continued by complaining about blood libel ... but let's go back and look, and ah, there it is, "eradicate trans people". Either Rowling does want to eradicate trans people, or you personally have just committed blood libel. It is in fact a very important thing to determine whether you have done something so horrible or not - not a nit-pick! If it still feels like a nit-pick, which does seem like a potential consequence of the attitude of "frankly don't give a fuck about one person like this", that's not an excuse for evil, that's a confession of evil, but whether or not you strongly care about blood libel, you really shouldn't be surprised when other people do.

Even if you haven't committed blood libel, if there's some hot mic recording where we can hear Rowling talking about how she totally wants to murder all the transpeople, it would still be wrong to make the accusation against her in the awful, no-evidence-except-false-evidence way you have. The Boy Crying Wolf is not actually acting to protect people from the wolf! The next time your readers see such an accusation, even if the new accuser provides better evidence behind it, you've made "dive into the evidence, that won't be a waste of time" a slightly less safe conclusion for them to reach.

sure, whatever, Rowling is a perfect angel who has never done anything wrong, if that's what you want to believe

Has anyone actually said they believe that, or are you now putting words in their mouths too? Wasn't this a big part of the vicious cycle that eventually got Hlynka permabanned? When you find that making up strawmen is the only way to feel like you've brought your interlocutors down to your level then it's time to consider climbing up to theirs instead.

if I thought that would get anywhere

This is another confession, though framed as an attempt to blame the victims. You aren't supposed to avoid telling falsehoods because you expect to gain something out of unnatural self-restraint, you are supposed to avoid telling falsehoods because avoidance of evil is worthwhile for its own sake! And then, if you are incapable of that, the blame is entirely on you, not on any people who might not have rewarded you as much as you would have wanted otherwise.

the interesting issues are the larger factional concerns.

There's a naive-utilitarian inside me that's tempted to agree! On the meta level alone, this thread is a fascinating microcosm of them, even! We can see how factionalism gets exacerbated by outgroup homogeneity bias. We can see how our faction's noble goals get used to excuse harsh tactics while our enemies' dirty tactics reinforce our disdain for their hypocritiical goals. And when we zoom out far enough, we come to perhaps the most interesting question: isn't it at least sometimes okay if we "don't give a fuck about one person"? If with such an eagles-eye-level view we learn something helpful to a hundred other people then we're still ninety-nine in the black, and that sounds like a win, doesn't it?

And yet ... do we actually have an eagles-eye-level view, just because we'd really like to have one? Here you are, purportedly trying to get people to care about slander and blood libel, while you're in the middle of committing it and trying to make excuses for it. You don't help even the victims you do care about by trying to normalize the crimes being committed against them! Letting this kind of rhetoric slide wouldn't clearly be sacrificing one person's reputation to save 100 others, it might just as likely be sacrificing one person's reputation to harm 100 others!

Since we're this bad at trying to figure out all the second-order and third-order effects that a non-naive utilitarian would need to consider, maybe it's just time to back off and look at virtue ethics instead?

There's a quote from Dostoyevsky dialogue that comes to mind here:

"...the more I love mankind in general, the less I love people in particular, that is, individually, as separate persons. In my dreams, I often went so far as to think passionately of serving mankind, and, it may be, would really have gone to the cross for people if it were somehow suddenly necessary, and yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone even for two days, this I know from experience. ... I become the enemy of people the moment they touch me."

From a moral standpoint, it's very dangerous to lose love for individual people but then hope to make it up to humanity in volume. A lot of people who decided to care about fighting "principalities and powers" at the expense of mere "flesh and blood" just ended up shedding a lot of blood without actually improving any balance of power - we easily promise to repay today's certain nearby moral debts with interest after tomorrow's vaguely-expected distant moral credit comes in, and yet that ends up being an excuse to increase the debt, not a real plan to make good.

But even from just an epistemological, pragmatic make-my-ideology-win standpoint: a "faction" isn't a smooth undifferentiated mass that you can stuff a bunch of people into to avoid having to look at each one's particular flaws and virtues. The more details you ignore, the more mistakes you're going to make! If you do the rhetorical equivalent of air-striking a wedding party because you're certain there are terrorists nearby, don't be surprised if you end up creating more enemies than you neutralize!

I appreciate you coming here and representing locally-unpopular points of view, even when you're getting dogpiled for it, but can you imagine the damage if your readers started to assume that everyone who might be considered part of your "faction" or "people like" you was guilty of the same logical and moral flaws you've exhibited in this thread? At least try to imagine, and then consider what you could change to moderate their future reactions accordingly? Outgroup homogeneity bias is a common human failing, and I doubt I've managed to even cure you of it in the space of a few paragraphs, so I surely haven't cured most of the people with that failing who don't see themselves in you and don't realize how much of these warnings might apply to them too. Now might be a good time to show them that their outgroup can admit mistakes and do better. The psychological foibles that sadly lead us to factionalism and division are indeed an interesting object of study, but if you really want to be sure you know a subject, then the most important part of studying isn't the reading, it's working the exercises at the end.

Look, I do appreciate you arguing on here with us and you're getting hammered with a lot of negative replies, but to be extremely basic about it: you started it.

You're the one said "Rowling said x, y and z that is anti-trans". You then quoted things which are inaccurate and known to be inaccurate. When pushed, you then tried logic-chopping with "I didn't say Blorgs are cannibals, I said people like Blorgs are cannibals" which is one of those differences that make no difference; if a cannibal is like a Blorg, then a Blorg is like a cannibal, so you are in effect saying Blorgs are cannibals.

Then you went with the blood libel bit, which whoa Nelly.

And now you're pulling "anyways it doesn't matter if she said it or not". Well if it doesn't matter, then why did you bring it up in the first place?????

We're pedants and nit-pickers and obsessives on here, if you say "It is known that beeps are boops", you are going to get nine million names of "how is it known and by whom is it known and where is it known and how is it that a beep may be a boop?" in response.

(and I do have a job and a family)

Fascinating how you have seemingly limitless time to expound your opinions, but the second you get any pushback on them, all of a sudden you're far too busy to spend time on something as trivial as defending the opinions and factual statements you voluntarily chose to make. And it's not even the first time you've fallen back on this excuse: "I've responded to about 20 long replies in the last 6 hours, and I also have a job and stuff."

Anything to avoid taking the L and admitting "you know what, maybe my synopsis of this novel I haven't read didn't accurately describe the plot and characters, mea culpa" or "actually I really was misinformed about the state of the evidence regarding the structure of trans women's brains, thanks for disabusing me of my misconceptions" or "oh, people actually have been criminally convicted for misgendering, thanks for pointing it out".

I frankly don't give a fuck about one person like this and what they did or didn't say

If you didn't give a fuck about Rowling and what she did and didn't say, it sure is weird to dedicate no less than six entire paragraphs in this comment and two in this one to her opinions and the motivations behind them. Like seriously, this comment is 650 words long, and 480 of those words are specifically about Rowling and hardly mention the broader gender-critical movement. Then multiple people point out that several of the factual assertions you're making in these comments are provably, demonstrably false, and you change the subject: "it doesn't matter what Rowling said, I'm talking about the broader faction - the point I was making wasn't even about Rowling actually". This is the same kind of facile goalpost-moving as "it doesn't matter if this specific hate crime was staged, it started a conversation!"

Oh no, you don't get to duck out that easily.

You started this, and you started it with multiple, very specific, very damning statements about a very specific person (JK Rowling) which you claimed were obviously and provably true. And when I took on the challenge and went down the list of every one of your accusations, you suddenly play "Oh well, that wasn't my point, I don't actually care about Rowling"?

No, dude. You clearly do care about Rowling.

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.

If we're talking about JK Rowling (and we are), it actually matters what she actually said. I mean, if you were accusing me of being a Holocaust-denying white nationalist who also thinks we should abolish the age of consent, and you based that on my saying some things that Holocaust-denying white nationalists who also think we should abolish the age of consent say, you can bet I would care a lot about carefully litigating the words I actually said, because if you are accusing someone of holding reprehensible views, it matters whether they actually said the things you are accusing them of! You don't get to just accuse them of believing all the things the very worst people in their "faction" say!

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

I directly addressed your entire "This is what her faction believes and this is what her rhetoric inevitably leads to" argument! If you disagree with me, go ahead and point out where my reasoning is flawed, but don't claim I didn't bother to respond to it!

I find it frustrating that you make specific, provably untrue statements (for example, repeating bullshit about how Troubled Blood is about a serial killer who pretends to be trans and tries to sneak into women's spaces, as evidence of how much Rowling hates trans people) and when this is contradicted by people who actually read the book, you don't even acknowledge it, you're just all "Oh, I don't actually care about Rowling."

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 mean, we can all agree Rowling has FU money and immense popularity and can't actually be harmed by anyone saying mean and dishonest things about her. The reason we're arguing about Rowling is because people much less wealthy and powerful than her who say similar things (the people in her "faction" as you keep calling it) are suffering tangible harms, harms which you apparently believe are justified. So yeah, if you claim that JK Rowling wants a trans genocide, or that her "faction" does and she's abetting it, then that has implications for people who are not JK Rowling and that's why you are being challenged, not because everyone here is a JK Rowling fan.

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;

Transparent straw man. Stop this kind of disingenuous whining.

can we please talk about my actual point though'

Yes, let's. It's your turn.

If you say "People like Rowling want to eradicate trans people"

Even simpler than that.

"People like Rowling want to eradicate trans people". That means Rowling is like people who want to eradicate trans people. That means Rowling wants to eradicate trans people. After all, if these people are like Rowling, then it means Rowling is like these people. And what do these people want to do? Then what does that mean Rowling wants to do? Yes, that's right! Eradicate trans people!

I can appreciate nifty rhetorical hair-splitting as much as anyone, but this is a bit disingenuous. Suppose I said something like "I never said Jews were money-grubbers, I said Jews were like people who are money-grubbers", would I get away with that?

This is possibly true, and while you may find it offensive, the belief that trans social contagion is a real phenomenon and that many troubled girls today are embracing trans identity as a way of escaping what they perceive to be an unpleasant existence as a female, and that other kids adopt it because it's "cool" and trendy and rebellious, is one I share.

I mean, when I was eleven and going through unexpected puberty (it took my mother by surprise because she thought it would happen later, as it did for her, so she had never had any kind of The Talk with me to explain it and prepare me for it), I was very distressed by the weird changes my body was going through. I hadn't consented to any of this! I didn't like it! Why couldn't my body stay the same as it had been?

And yeah, I was thinking "boys have it easier" because suddenly there seemed to be a lot of restrictions on what I could now do and couldn't do that hadn't been there before, and a lot of the explanations I got were along the lines of "because you're becoming a young woman now".

I also had interests that differed from the run of the other girls in school, and looking back with hindsight, the family tendency to autism spectrum behaviour may have influenced me there as regards social development, inclination to science, etc. and 'male-brained' interests.

If trans ideology had been in full flow in schools back then, I do honestly think there's a good chance some over-enthusiastic supporter, in all good faith, would have steered me along the "consider that maybe you're a trans boy" path.

EDIT: I was never a 'girly-girl' and part of what annoys me about trans narratives, even as I can see that they're grappling with how to express their feelings in childhood and this is an easy way to signal their departure from expected gender norms, is that they're are all about "well I never liked typical boy things, I was always more interested in playing with the toy kitchen and pink and fluffy bunnies" stuff. That annoys me since "if that is what makes you a girl, then I was never a girl, because I had and have no interest in pink fluffiness". But I'm pretty darn sure I am a girl. The worst part of the whole trans debate has been the slamming down of rigid gender roles once more, this time as arbiters of "how do I know if my kid is a boy or a girl?", when I thought we'd finally gotten over the "pink for girls, blue for boys, the woman is the nurse, the man is the doctor" shit.