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?
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.