Comment Of The Day: “Query: How Many Ways Is This Poster Unethical Or Ethically Obtuse?”


Mrs. Q—I’m still beginning 2021 hoping that she will re-activate her personal column on Ethics Alarms!—delivered a characteristically sharp and thoughtful commentary on the meme/poster above, thus earning the Comment of the Day.

In related news, Andrew Sullivan had this exchange with a trans activist who accused him of being a bigot. (Andrew, as he tells us at every opportunity, is gay):


A brief on-topic digression: I find it amazing how really terrible reasoning and stunningly lame arguments find their way onto public forums to make the public even more ignorant and incompetent than it already is, meaning dangerously ignorant and incompetent. Consider that last tweet: Molly begins by saying that her assertion that Sullivan is bigot is bolstered by her own self-proclaimed status, or in other words, “It’s true because I saw so.” Next, she cites a personal anecdote as if what she thought and she chose to do proves anything about anything other than what she thought and she did. Finally, we get the non-sequitur that “Foucoult had sex with transwomen,” a twist on #32. The Unethical Role Model: “He/She would have done the same thing.” There was nothing wrong with Foucoult having sex with transwomen if indeed that is true, but that still doesn’t mean that not having sex with transwomen is proof of bigotry, and who made Michael Foucoult the arbiter of sexual preferences?

Ann Althouse, who found that Twitter exchange, was sufficiently perplexed by Molly’s argument that he hypothesized that it has to be a joke. She also found this, for which I am grateful:

Schrödinger’s Douchebag: A guy who says offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him.

That’s funny, but in real life the process is that someone makes a statement that offensive or stupid, means it, but retreats to Rationalization #55, The Joke Excuse, when they are criticized.

Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Query: How Many Ways Is This Poster Unethical Or Ethically Obtuse?”:

Welcome to the world lesbians have been subjected to for at least 6-10 years.

Please take a gander at TERF is a Slur. A “TERF” is likely defined as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. However this term has been used specifically against lesbians who object to sleeping with or dating men who identify as lesbians. Ask any lesbian what being a part of the LGBTQ+ “community” is like if you object to a born-male partner personally.

The sad thing is there are plenty of queer and bisexual identified women (and men) who are more than happy to date men who identify as women and/or lesbians. For a long time in history, men have viewed “bedding real lesbians” as a badge of honor or conquest or something. For some lesbians the energy from these born men feels the same. Now straight men are finally getting the same treatment.

Gay men are also being pressured to be an ally by sex act. The whole LGBTQ+ solidarity idea is a myth pushed by lobbies hungry for money and power. This queercraft – as I call it – pushes a message that gay is whatever you decide but also that gay is old-fashioned and to be transcended by being an all encompassing “queer.”

And queer, mind you, increasingly means heterosexuals (often white, progressive, and middle class or above) who want to facilitate both “gender variance” in fashion/personal expression, and playing with “sexual edges and norms.” Basically some kinky straight folks want to get points for donning more than rainbow socks but also rainbow identities.

Gays who don’t have an interest in transgender partners are at times vilified for having a “genital fetish” and I suppose the TRA’s, aka trans radical activists (or trans rights activists – but I like to separate those who want equal rights from those who perpetuate false equity through eradicating sex-based rights), are finally coming for the straights.

But I want to say something else regarding why this issue became something I came to pay attention to for a while.

It began when my wife, a “gender non-conforming” lesbian, was harassed multiple times by FtM’s. Each time she was literally just minding her own business when one shoulder-checked her and called her a “fucking dyke.” This happened a couple more times in different ways by two others assailants. Worse, at her former workplace, a bizarre campaign to remove sex-segregated bathrooms went out of control.

When a six foot two person in heavy boots and too short of skirts claims online to “love blood” and “body horror” while identifying as a “leather dyke” who is into children’s books and anime, it’s understandable some women may be uncomfortable around such a person, especially one who clearly shows, by the fit of clothing, to be an intact male. The bathroom felt like a war zone when this person and others began publishing various workplace bathroom photos online.

And the lesbian bars in cities across the country closed, many after being targeted for being “transphobic” for simply calling themselves “lesbian bars.” Some were cancelled because enough women at such venues rejected born-male advances.

And then there was this.

To be honest, before these events we had never had an issue with trans identified people. I have a tattoo on my wrist that I got with a friend who transitioned. We always had trans friends in the past. Finally we looked online for answers. At that point we saw why my wife was receiving intolerance, not just from trans identified people, but also from their allies.

And let’s not even get started on kids being put on puberty blockers and hormones, with the main goal of making these kids as passable as possible as adults. Passing still doesn’t mean a person can actually change sex. Surgery, medication, and other affectations, like voice lessons, won’t change anything but the surface. Kids, including potentially gay kids, need to be allowed to be embodied through puberty. Then as adults, they can make wise and sober decisions about their pursuit of body modification.

Thanks to an emerging group of brave transgender adults, some of the extremism is being called out. As in all groups, some people are sane, some not. Posters like this don’t represent a whole lot of trans folks. The news and internet push the worst of the worst. These narratives don’t equal truth.

People are people. No one has the right to guilt others into dating or sex acts for affirmation. Any such coercion is unethical no matter who you are or who you want to be or who you want to be with.

16 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Query: How Many Ways Is This Poster Unethical Or Ethically Obtuse?”

  1. (shudder) Too much weird for me. The more I read stuff like this the more I think the LGBTQ movement, or at least the force behind it, is not about allowing folks oriented toward the same gender to fit into society as it is to normalize weirdness at any and all levels.

  2. Though I trust that, as usual, MQ’s presentation will prove to be a rational take on this, I’m afraid I’m going to have to move to a different device where it’s easier to manage multiple tabs, so I can keep the Urban Dictionary and a couple of search engines open to manage some real comprehension of what’s being discussed 😉

    • My apologies William. I realized after posting I should have defined FtM. It means Female to Male.

      I can’t keep up with all the terms and identities either. Let me know if I can clarify anything.

      • No apology needed…I was (mostly) joking bout the ever-changing and growing glossary need to deconstruct this (and other) issues these days. 😉

  3. Foucault had sex with transwomen.

    1. Foucault was gay. He had sex with transwomen because he enjoyed having sex with people who have penises. Molly thinks that’s an argument for why I should force myself to have sex with people who have penises even if I don’t enjoy it.
    2. Foucault advocated sex between adults and children. Does Molly think I’m a hateful bigot if I decline to participate in pedophilia?
    3. Foucault deliberately infected countless men with HIV, at a time when there were no effective treatments for AIDS and it was a virtual death sentence for all of the men that he infected. Does Molly think I’m a hateful bigot if I don’t murder my sex partners?

    Molly’s real argument is that if she wants to have sex with you but you don’t want to have sex with her, you’re a hateful bigot. Also, if you want to have sex with her but she doesn’t want to have sex with you, you’re a hateful bigot. Whatever she wants, she’s entitled to, and your job is to satisfy all of her desires.

  4. I’m going to go a step further than MQ, Molly said to Sullivan: “People like you would like nothing better than to drop the “T” from LGBT.” To which I would answer: “What’s your point?”

    It’s 2020, and everyone seems to have lost all conception of nuance, but even before this especially fraught year, the left was egregiously bad at nuance. Every example of things they didn’t like were compared to the worst thing possible. Everyone was Hitler, or Nazis, or Fascists. That’s not useful. It’s not intelligent. It’s not true. But none of that mattered, every bad thing was and is the worst thing. Similarly, every not-straight thing is LGBT.

    I mean… Think about it… Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender…. Sexual preference, sexual preference, sexual preference, gender identity. One of these things is not like the other. And the alphabet soup gets wonkier from there… Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two Spirit, Curious, Polyamorous, HIV-Positive (actually a thing, Wikipedia tells me). At some point, sexual preference morphed into gender identity, which in turn morphed into biological disorders, kinks, fetishes, and viral load. I’m surprised leather daddies haven’t lobbied for a letter.

    The fact of the matter is that including Gay with Trans is a classification error; the experiences and struggles of Gay people and Trans people, without making any judgement on those struggles, are very different, and only tangentially related in that they deal with issues pertaining to people’s sex organs, and where you like to put them. This becomes even more obvious and egregious the further you go into the acronym. Most people don’t even understand what someone is trying to say when they say they’re Two-Spirit, or Questioning, and how similar are “Questioning” people’s issues to issues of Gay or even Trans People.

    The reason for the acronym, I am convinced, is that these communities are fractional in size. Gay people are something like 3% of the populations, trans people are something like 0.3% of the population, Two Spirit people are a Native American thing, so we’re talking about a fraction of that fraction. These lobbies attached themselves to a Human Rights movement that was getting traction, and because rights movements love a large wagon, no one really questioned their motives. But there’s no doubt in my mind that many of the Marriage Equality proponents of the 80’s and 90’s would be absolutely horrified at what their movement was hijacked into.

    For the historical revisionists out there: Gay Marriage would have eventually been a thing with or without the Trans-Queer-Questioning-Intersex-Asexual-Two-Spirit-Curious-Polyamorous-HIV-Positive-Leather-Daddy coalition. Just because you marched beside us then doesn’t mean we owe you until you have whatever vague sexual actualization you’re looking for. The kink train got way too weird a long time ago, and I want the fuck off it.

    • Regarding your final paragraph, HT, one could make a good argument that the “assistance” of the more fringe-y groups in the alphabet soup acronym slowed acceptance of gay marriage, because it attached a whole lot of unnecessary, unrelated baggage to what is a straightforward human rights question. Getting people over their preprogrammed biases in order to accept same-sex marriage was a tough enough task, even without the furries and asexuals jumping on for a free ride.

      • I’d make that argument, but it’s subjective. I always thought the Gay Pride Parades in large cities did more to fetishize gay people than normalize us. We spent decades telling people “We’re just like you, we aren’t dirty, degenerates, or evil.” against the backdrop of floats featuring men suspended in gimp gear being beaten by furries with wifflebats. It was counterproductive, even if the people taking part found it amusing and affirmative.

        But it’s like the “female suffrage would have come around sooner if the suffragettes hadn’t been so batshit crazy and left it to the suffragist movement.” argument, it has merits, but it amounts to historical fanfiction, I see the arguments, but we don’t really know that.

        • The response to that is “Well Jeff, how are you so sure that Gay Marriage would have succeeded without LGBTQQIAATCPHIV+LDf!&v3 support? Why isn’t that subjective?”

          Because the acronym “LGBT”, even without all the garbage baggage, was a 90’s fad and European parliaments had already been making all kinds of in-roads towards gay marriage; Denmark had fully functional civil unions in the late 80’s. The States were always going to be a mess of legislation because marriage is a states issue, but marriage equality was inevitable before I was even born.

    • Thank you HT.
      You hit the nail on the head as usual. Thank you for expanding on my train of thought.

      I wonder if kinky and gay and gender bending have become conflated because of the underground nature all these groups have had in common historically. Yet, that’s precisely where our what we have in common begins and ends.

      You’re right, ultimately gays and bisexuals have nothing much in common with trans. Some women are more butch, some men more effeminate, but I thought thanks to feminism, we don’t have to categorize people into such small minded terms. A woman or man can dress how they like and still be themselves.

      Yet we’ve gone backwards. Ten years ago no one asked me or my wife if she’s trans. Now she’s (especially when we lived in Portland) asked pretty regularly. In fact she experienced shunning from certain co-workers for not jumping on trans-related workplace issues. She was pressured and had to explain she was fine and it wasn’t her issue.

      When did the LGBTQ or really TQIAPetc movement become one where men who like to wear dresses, have to be women and women who don’t, have to be men? To answer my own question, it seems this became so when it became obvious a lot of money could be made off those who identify as trans.

      It’s on the cover of magazines. Fashion designers are coming out with new “non-binary” lines like Celine Dion. Charities both for trans related issues and LGBTQ etc. causes are raking in the dough. Even Joe Biden has been donating to trans youth organizations for a while. And plastic surgeons in the field, medical providers, and specialized clinics are all in demand.

      And none of this has anything to do with being same sex attracted. The way I explain it is this way: gays and bisexuals are trying to be in their bodies and accept themselves as they are. Trans folks are trying to alter themselves to be more like an idea of themselves. These are opposite goals to say the least.

      What about the non-binaries and they/thems? I suspect some are lesbians who can’t relate to lesbians (which I understand as I never fit in with most. I can’t stand Melissa Etheridge for example) and dress in a more masculine way. Some are just kinky heterosexuals playing rainbow games. Some perhaps are budding transhumanists who view altering their gender identities and/or bodies as a means to “transcend.”

      Whatever the reason one chooses to identify as a different gender than their sex, it has nothing to do with same sex attraction. One’s shame about such an attraction may lead some to desire to change gender, but that’s a self esteem or psychological issue, not gay one.

      At then end of the day, I could care less about all of these identities, even the ones that supposedly describe my gender or sexual/romantic attraction. It’s all rainbow lies and it’s time to move on and just be humans.

      • “I wonder if kinky and gay and gender bending have become conflated because of the underground nature all these groups have had in common historically.”

        That was my second thought after “All these groups are really small and wanted to band together”, and I think you’re probably closer to right than I was. It hit me while I was writing that I was amazed that they hadn’t added “female” or “woman” to the acronym, because some women’s issues have more in common with LGB issues than Trans issues, particularly outside of America and particularly in the timeframe the Acronym was being expanded.

        Perhaps Acronymical Addition is determined by a certain amount of social stigma. While women’s rights have come a long way from where they were, and sexism is very different than it was in the 90’s, I don’t think anyone ever suggested being a woman was abnormal. If the glue that binds the acronym is being treated or feeling abnormal, that’s just another reason for me to bail.

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