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July 10, 2021

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Open thread? OK...ran across this in the Times this morning. For your reading pleasure.

Have a nice summer day.

For your reading pleasure.

hilarious.

this meta argument over what specific theories really mean, and their genealogy, is starting to reach the jurisdiction of Sayre's Law:
"Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low."

I have completely removed CRT from my existence.

Flat-screens all the way, baby.

The CRT that only shows 'black' and 'white' is the worst, also, too.

from bobbyp's link:

The fact of the matter is that society is divided by race, gender, and class in a lot of complicated ways and it requires concerted thought and effort to untangle them.

indeed.

some folks actually want to try to untangle them, or at least mitigate their effects.

some folks see the divisions but have no idea what to do about any of it.

some folks are sick of hearing about it, wish it would all go away, and spend their energy pretending it doesn't exist. sometimes quite vigorously.

and some folks use the divisions to further their own agendas, whatever those might be.

there are no magic bullets here, but IMO there's no path forward that doesn't involve at least listening to people when they say they're struggling.

My university had somewhere around 120,000 applicants last year. Imagine how many pages of transcripts, test scores, and admissions essays that generates.

Now, considering that going over those applications counts as university service, which is about 10% of the typical professor's workload, try to estimate how much actual time goes into looking at each application file and considering that student's merits, trying to decide if that student is the best qualified applicant.

Now think about how much of that application process is shaped by the applicant's access to outside resources during the application process: admissions consultants to help with the process and advise on submitted materials; test prep courses; being able to retake the tests multiple times to obtain a more competitive score; having a sympathetic doctor who will give a student a diagnosis that allows the student test accommodations.

Now consider how many of those students choose a popular major that admits far more applicants than it can actually serve in upper division classes, and the systematic winnowing out of capable students that has to occur between sophomore and junior year regardless of ability. Those intro classes have an attrition factor built into them as an institutional feature, and it only serves to make those courses seem more desirable, and to stigmatize those who do not make it past the moving cutoff that has nothing to do with ability and everything to do with class size at the next level.

When you look at degree attainment, I think it is significant that, when looking at students with admissions test scores in the 76th+ percentile, students coming from households in the top 25% of household income graduate at rates 20% higher than students from the bottom 25%.

And despite all the much cited data that high school academic prep is the single highest predictor of college completion, students whose test scores are in the 50th-75th percentile, but whose family incomes are in the top 25% graduate at a 10% higher rate than students in the 76th+ percentile who come from the bottom 25% of household incomes.

All of these things really problematize the discussion of "low-achieving" students in the "mismatch effect" theory for me.

Now consider how many of those students choose a popular major that admits far more applicants than it can actually serve in upper division classes, and the systematic winnowing out of capable students that has to occur between sophomore and junior year regardless of ability. Those intro classes have an attrition factor built into them as an institutional feature...

And consider that students who are the first in their family to go to college do not realize that they can pick an initial major which is less popular, and thus has more spots relative to the number of applicants. And then, once they are in, change to whatever major they actually are interested in. In short, if your family has been to college before, you have insights into how to game the system. If not, not.

The trouble with state-wide numbers is that they conceal more than they reveal.

Then why did you make a state-wide statement ("funded (at least in California) overwhelmingly by local property taxes")? I prefer to work with number of students for an estimate like this. A couple of back of the envelope examples and the constraint that the state totals have to come out one-third local funding and two-thirds not suggests to me that less than 10% of students will be in districts that are overwhelmingly locally funded. Possibly quite a bit less than 10%.

There's an interesting post here about how the local control of education, which grew out of frontier expansion was, at one point, a world beating idea, but as the world changed, it's become a liability. It has also, I would suggest, been one of those ideas that has fueled fetishization of privatization, because you have this idea that the community just bands together, hammers together a school and finds someone to be the school marm. Again, great if you are dealing with a frontier and you are racing beyond the government, but not so good in an interconnected world.

great if you are dealing with a frontier and you are racing beyond the government, but not so good in an interconnected world.

Great if you have nothing better (which, on the frontier and at the time, they didn't). But not as good as what we can provide now. And what our kids need in a world which is far more complex that a couple of centuries back.

The anti-life party reaches a new low. From The Nashville Tennessean
https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/health/2021/07/13/tennessee-halts-all-vaccine-outreach-minors-not-just-covid-19/7928701002/

The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for coronavirus, but all diseases – amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. If the health department must issue any information about vaccines, staff are instructed to strip the agency logo off the documents. [Emphasis added]
I guess the anti-vaxxers have achieved victory. Sad.

But not as good as what we can provide now. And what our kids need in a world which is far more complex that a couple of centuries back.

Which would seem to argue for more flexibility and choice in education. Instead of the current largely one size fits all public schools. One way to encourage education innovation is to direct funding to the student instead of the schools. Then the school that's selected as the fit by the student and their parents would get the funding.

Another approach could be education savings accounts that would be similar to SNAP. Funds credited to the accounts could only be spent on approved educational products and services.

Or scholarship funds that individuals and businesses can make tax-deductible contributions to.

To you, it would. But it seems that it would also require some sort of national structure, you know, like every other developed nation has. Yes, it can go overboard, But the structure of USeducation seems to be custom built to maintain structural inequities

the structure of USeducation seems to be custom built to maintain structural inequities

Built? To some significant extent. But not (in most places) designed for that purpose.

In fact, it was designed to reduce inequities. To move us from a place where only the rich got an education, and even literacy was limited. Not-rich people pooled their resources to at least give their kids some education, so they could move up in the world.

Today, it is an innovation from a different time. And we need new innovations to meet the needs of a different time. The challenge will be to design one based on the real world. Rather than on somebody's ideologically-based vision of how the world is. Sadly, both right and left have enthusiastic ideologues just itching for a chance to ignore reality. And who, if you look at it, care more about their vision than about real kids.

I keep wondering what might have been, had the Supreme Court upheld the District Court's ruling in San Antonio v. Rodriguez and declared that education was a fundamental right that was guaranteed equal protected under the 14th Amendment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio_Independent_School_District_v._Rodriguez

https://scholarship.richmond.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1280&context=jolpi

Had that case been heard while Justice Black was still on the SC instead of Justice Powell, we'd likely have had a federal mandate for equal funding by district.

Without that ruling, it's proven nearly impossible to try to equalize pay across districts in a state. People may be interested in funding education, but a majority opposes any funds being redistributed from their own districts to others.

So it's not so much about reducing inequalities as it is about making sure that all districts are minimally funded before fighting like hell over what remains.

wj, that's the foundation myth and like all foundation myths, has some truth to it. It was certainly designed to reduce inequities for different areas, but because it was locally controlled, whatever inequities were already around, it basically baked them in.

And then there are the guys who complain that they have to pay (via taxes) even for local education since they themselves have no kids (or at least no offspring in the age bracket).
Probably there exists a great overlap with those (male) guys that complain that their health insurance premiums also pay for services that only concern women and demand lower rates for themselves.
Solidarity is a dirty word and just a Trojan horse for communism.

I keep wondering what might have been, had the Supreme Court upheld the District Court's ruling in San Antonio v. Rodriguez and declared that education was a fundamental right that was guaranteed equal protected under the 14th Amendment.

From a homeschooling parent's point of view (mine), one of the striking things about that the decision is that it leaves in place a system that ensures appallingly bad schools for some kids, while maintaining the system of compulsory attendance. Schools can be worse than useless, but kids still have to go.

You might almost think there's some underlying nefarious purpose to that combination.

Further to our discussion on racism, and how much better things are now, I think it's vital, as russell says, to listen to what black people are saying. This article is in today's WaPo, about a black undercover cop who was information-gathering at a protest, and was enthusiastically beaten and brutalised by white cops who had exchanged texts earlier about how much they were looking forward to beating up the anti-racism protesters once it was dark and they could not so easily be identified. It's sickening to read about the victim's life-changing injuries, but much more to the point, what kind of blinkers do you have to be wearing to hear these kinds of stories (and there are plenty of them) and still deny there is systemic racism in law-enforcement and elsewhere?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/07/14/police-beating-undercover-protest-stlouis/

i'm mad that my insurance premiums go to keep anti-vaxx numbskulls alive.

What cleek said.

Eeek! I can't remember if anybody else has linked this from LGM, or anything on the same subject, but given how many New Age types I have known in my life, this made my blood run cold:

The links between right-wing extremism and New Age wellness circles have become increasingly evident, as fissures appeared during the pandemic among wellness influencers on social media over the effect of conspiracy theories.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/07/cults-birth-other-cults

given how many New Age types I have known in my life, this made my blood run cold

Look on the bright side. If it wasn't for the big overlap, that would mean we had twice as many nut cases in the population.

For better or worse, the same people who believe in one conspiracy theory are prime candidates to embrace another. Just as political extremists can move from far left to far right without ever touching down in between. They're looking for something, but the specifics don't turn out to matter much.

the horseshoe is real

It’s a horseshoe magnet. They are polarized and opposite, but attracted to the same sorts of crankery. And once they get attached to it, it’s hard to get either end to let go.

I'm always grateful for reasons to be cheerful:

https://reasonstobecheerful.world/reducing-incarceration-no-prosecuting-minor-non-violent-crimes/#

Both sides of the political fence in the U.S. agree that mass incarceration isn’t working. It is expensive, discriminatory and has serious societal consequences. Crime has, in general, been trending down for decades (even in 2020, despite public perception) while prisons just keep filling up. The partisans may disagree on the best way to lower the prison population, but the good news is they agree it has to happen. The present system is unsustainable.

One way of reducing mass incarceration is to simply start ignoring certain laws. Some 80 percent of cases filed nationally are for misdemeanors. These are the types of crimes that are often victimless, but that can mess up the life of the person prosecuted for them. A few places have addressed this in the most straightforward way possible: by not automatically prosecuting these crimes. What has happened as a result? Studies have shown that these places reduced their prison populations without putting the public at risk. Crime did not go up. In fact, in many cases, it went down. And, surprisingly, often not just for misdemeanors.

Note also that, within 3 years of their release, 2 out of 3 people are rearrested and more than 50% are incarcerated again. In short, as a way of discouraging law breaking, prisons do not appear to be particularly effective. Let alone rehabilitating criminals, that is turning them into ex-criminals. If anything, they may be increasing crime.

Gosh, on the subject of different skill sets, I saw that the author of that piece on reducing incarceration was called David Byrne, but it never occurred to me it was THE David Byrne. But so it is. It turns out he is the founder of Reasons to be Cheerful. Quite an interesting second (or severalth) act.

Reasons to be Cheerful is a non-profit editorial project that is tonic for tumultuous times.

We tell stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful. Many of these reasons come in the form of smart, proven, replicable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We’re here to tell you about some of them. Through sharp reporting, our stories balance a sense of healthy optimism with journalistic rigor, and find cause for hope. We are part magazine, part therapy session, part blueprint for a better world.

Reasons to be Cheerful was founded by artist and musician David Byrne, who believes in the power of approaching the world with curiosity—in art, in music, in collaboration and in life. Under the banner of Byrne’s non-profit organization, Arbutus, Reasons to be Cheerful embodies this sensibility, applying it now to the future of our world. Through stories of hope, rooted in evidence, Reasons to be Cheerful aims to inspire us all to be curious about how the world can be better, and to ask ourselves how we can be part of that change.

Both sides of the political fence in the U.S. agree that mass incarceration isn’t working

i wish that was true.

right now, the GOP is back to singing from the book of Tough On Crime because Fox is pretending cities are being decimated by gangs of BLACK gangs, and blaming Dems for "defunding" police, etc..

same shit, different singer.

And Florida has decided not to use it's new and harsh 'do not block highways in the context of protests' law in a case of anti-Cuban protests doing exactly that.

Asked for some kind of explanation, the GOP governor said those who blocked the highway were "going out and peacefully assembling." He added that protests in support of Cubans are "much different" from the Black Lives Matter protests that inspired the state Republican law.

The Miami Herald put it this way:
"Honestly, we would have been more impressed if he had just responded: 'Nah, the Miami-Dade demonstrators seeking human rights in Cuba have nothing to fear from my anti-riot law. We created it to subdue Black folks seeking human rights in the United States.'"

For russell.
https://www.npr.org/2021/07/15/1016020385/re-revising-the-history-of-jazz

Have you read his book ?

leopards, faces...


https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/the-qanon-conspiracy-theory-inevitably-turns-on-evangelicals/

The spread of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which alleges that a secret cabal of satanic cannibalistic pedophiles rules the world and has long used its power and influence to freely murder and traffic children, has reached deep into the white evangelical community in recent years. While such allegations have usually been leveled against Democratic politicians and left-leaning entertainment, media, and business leaders, the conspiracy theory now appears to be circling back around on evangelical leaders themselves.

Earlier this week, Right Wing Watch noted how MAGA pastor Jackson Lahmeyer, who is running a primary campaign to unseat Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, has openly embraced QAnon conspiracy theorists as part of his campaign, only to become a target of their conspiracy theories. QAnon activists accused the pastor of pedophilia and child sex trafficking in July after he posted a photo of his young daughter wearing red shoes.

Hey, I normally don't believe this stuff, but red shoes?... [sarcasm]

God, I hope these losers get hoisted by their own petards...

red shoes on children are a signal of pedophilia, in the Q mythology.

probably because the amoral pranksters at the heart of this thought it would be fun.

QAnon activists accused the pastor of pedophilia and child sex trafficking in July after he posted a photo of his young daughter wearing red shoes.

These folks are just loonies. But we knew that.

On the other hand, how is it hard to believe the accusations reported later in the article of (massively hypocritical) sexual misbehavior by evangelical leaders?

Alexandra Petri's Washington Post humor columns routinely come up with blistering criticisms. Consider this, from Concerned vaccine skeptics push back against disturbing fad of teenagers living

Clearly, standards had declined over the past hundred years. “Contracting polio and dying was a fact of life for my grandparents’ generation,” observed one ardent opponent. “But Gen Z and the coddled kids these days somehow think they should get some sort of escape from that reality simply because medical science has improved and such deaths today would be not only unnecessary but utterly pointless?"

Vaccination, as pediatricians have long observed, can be a gateway into years of engagement with modern medical science. First, a youngster is getting vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, and then before you know it, they are dosing themselves with annual flu vaccinations and, in some cases, penicillin. “It’s a cycle,” one doctor noted. “Get them access to lifesaving medicine when they’re young, and you have someone who will keep coming back for more of it for decades.”

“Don’t they have any idea what we’re doing to the earth?” asked another adult. “They won’t want to be alive in seven or eight decades, a terrifying fate that getting vaccinated now will make all the more likely. By then, the planet might well be ravaged by heat and scarcity!”

"I don’t want the teenagers to die decades from now because of my utter recklessness with the planet,” the adult noted. “I want them to die right away, from preventable diseases, as God intended.”

Pity these skeptics didn't succeed in dying young themselves. /snark

When I was a kid, penicillin was pretty easy to get. Consequently, some kids got a shot by a parent every time they got a sniffle. Apparently ineptly given that they would lose it when faced with getting school-facilitated vaccinations.

The latest right-wing grift appears to be the Freedom Phone. $500, ships in August. The front man told the Daily Beast that it is manufactured in China and that FreedomOS -- billed on the website as a new mobile OS -- is based on Android. Speculation is that it's a rebranded $120 phone made by Umidigi.

The front man told the Daily Beast that it is manufactured in China

Which the evil Biden administration is allowing US companies to do busines with. Tsk, tsk.

Let Freedom Phone Ring!

and the biz filings with the state of WY show the business is actually registered as "MyCompanyWorks,Inc" - which is a service to help small businesses get started. and it's phone number is all zeros. and the email address is [email protected]

in other words - the guy mailed in the sample form.

“Don’t they have any idea what we’re doing to the earth?” asked another adult. “They won’t want to be alive in seven or eight decades, a terrifying fate that getting vaccinated now will make all the more likely. By then, the planet might well be ravaged by heat and scarcity!”

Well... they're not wrong.

(Yes, I know it's meant to be humorous sarcasm. But they're not wrong.)

in other words - the guy mailed in the sample form.

And someone registered a domain name, arranged for site hosting, and put together a web site. Although as near as I can tell, there's only two or three pages total. Of course, that's quite cheap to do these days.

Of course, that's quite cheap to do these days.

And if you get it done cheap, outside the US, and by someone who is not a native speaker of English. Well, he might have no idea that the sample form examples weren't the real company info.

The website is using Shopify to handle its ecommerce. They may have used Shopify apps to generate the website.

Umidigi appears to do lots of rebranding. One could probably approach them with, "I have an idea for selling a lot of phones at a high mark-up in the US," and they would do the grunt-work on spec.

It seems that the MAGAtPhone will come pre-loaded with (free) apps.

"damn GeyDar app keeps blasting out an alerts and show-tunes!"

I've wondered why the "culture wars" stuff all seems so alien to me. But apparently it's not just me. I came across this in my local paper
Hey, Californians. Why aren’t you at war over critical race theory, transgender athletes and voting?

More than 5 million Republicans call California home — nearly a quarter of the state’s voters — and more than the number in Wyoming, South Dakota and South Carolina combined. While there is no lack of partisan fight in the state’s GOP — they’re trying to recall the Democratic governor, after all — the wedge issues fueling a frenzy on cable news are largely absent west of Nevada.

Matt Shupe, Contra Costa County [which I call home] GOP chair, recently sat through a four-hour party committee meeting focused on the recall and 2022 elections and “quality of life” issues like crime and the cost of living.

“Not once did anything within that realm of things pop up,” Shupe said of wedge issues dividing other states. “We’re not even having conversations about the conversations.”

I guess part of the reason it seems so foreign is that, as loonie as the California Republican Party has gotten, they aren't going down that road.

I've wondered why the "culture wars" stuff all seems so alien to me. But apparently it's not just me...

My impression is that it is mostly a matter of: (a) do the Republicans control the state legislature and (b) is the Republican Party there dependent on white fundamentalist churches. Not a perfect correlation, but pretty strong. This NPR piece has an interesting map about where trans athletic restriction bills have been introduced, and correctly points out that introduced is one thing and passed is quite another. I believe that all of the states that have passed such bills meet both of my criteria.

California has plenty of "culture wars" stuff going on, it's just that the Republicans are fragmented enough on any one front of the war that it is hard for them to get a large enough coalition to make it stick at the state level.

Orange County is 70% white only, but nearly half of that 70% is latino or hispanic white, and a decent sized chunk of the remaining white population is Arabic or Persian or Jewish. 21% of the population is Asian. Almost 4% identify as Hapa or Multiracial.

30% are foreign born. Only 46% claim religious affiliation.

That's a lot of cross-cutting on a lot of culture wars issues right there. I'd bet that most of the big coastal population centers look somewhat like that, leaving the culture warriors literally out in the wilderness, political and otherwise.

Still enough of the fanatics, though, to outnumber the populations of half of the states in the union, even if there aren't enough of any one stripe to get a plurality of the Republican base.

Our bigots are either rural or they are specialists and connoisseurs.

"Our bigots are either rural or they are specialists and connoisseurs."

They're the small-batch artesanal free-range bigots, then?

Needz smaller batchez.

They are, Snarki, but they are never in season.

Still enough of the fanatics, though, to outnumber the populations of half of the states in the union, even if there aren't enough of any one stripe to get a plurality of the Republican base.

Our bigots are either rural or they are specialists and connoisseurs.

Perhaps the way to look at it is this. The plutocrats are smart enough to notice that the usual culture wars nonsense won't get them enough marks to win anything significant. So they don't waste their time and effort working that con.

The party leaders would like to replace their existing base with something more suited to the state's current overall environment. (Let the flat out racists return to their natural home in the AIP.) But haven't yet figured out how to get from here to there. Frankly I don't see a path either. Pete Wilson's embrace of Prop 187 (demonizing illegal immigrants, for you non-Californians) set to California GOP on a death spiral with no obvious exit.

Dropping another recurring topic in the soup here, since the Olympics have stirred up a lot of the gender critical, segregationist feminists in my circle of acquaintances:

https://www.si.com/wnba/2021/04/16/nonbinary-athletes-transgender-layshia-clarendon-quinn-rach-mcbride-daily-cover

Conversations about how sports should be organized are not new. There’s this idea that “the possibilities for the future are to maintain the fully sex-segregated system or to abolish it entirely,” says Elizabeth Sharrow, associate professor of public policy and history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and whose work focuses on equity, policy and Title IX. “But that is a false narrative.” A false binary, like gender itself. “We have the ability to imagine participatory or competitive structures in lots of different ways,” they explain. “But in order to do so we have to give up the notion that categorization for athletics is easy, or is most fair or justifiable when we base it on the question of sex.”

Lots to talk about.

I'd love to drop in a couple of articles by the professor interviewed in the article - E.A. Sharrow - to deepen things further still, but they are paywalled.

Elizabeth A. Sharrow (2017) “Female athlete” politic: Title IX and the naturalization of sex difference in public policy, Politics, Groups, and Identities, 5:1, 46-66

Elizabeth A. Sharrow (2021) Sex segregation as policy problem: a gendered policy paradox, Politics, Groups, and Identities, 9:2, 258-279

“We have the ability to imagine participatory or competitive structures in lots of different ways”

Do they happen to give examples of such alternative competitive structures? Or are they merely asserting their existance ex nihilo?

Some alternatives are mentioned in the next paragraph, and it doesn’t take a black belt in keyword fu to find others.

reimagining the way we think about sports in the first place will require blowing up everything we think we know about how they should look.
And there we see the problem. It's one thing to change some aspects of how we organize sports. That's difficult, but potentially doable. But if you start from "blowing up everything"? That simply won't happen.

It's no doubt fun to brainstorm visions. But there's no practical road to get from today to there. The most that demanding your vision happen will accomplish is to build up resistance to even the kind of changes which might actually be possible.

And there we see the problem. It's one thing to change some aspects of how we organize sports. That's difficult, but potentially doable. But if you start from "blowing up everything"? That simply won't happen.

Title IX already did that 50 years ago, and it's happening all around us right now already.

We "blow up everything" all the time when we change some fundamental way in which we think about it.

Salary caps "blew up everything." TV revenue and broadcast licensing "blew up everything."

Climate change is going to "blow up everything."

Not responding to change is going to "blow up everything."

And it's not "blow up everything," it's "blow up everything we think we know." That's a subtle, but important difference.

"NEW YORK, NY—In an inspiring story from the world of professional cycling, a motorcyclist who identifies as a bicyclist has crushed all the regular bicyclists, setting an unbelievable world record.

In a local qualifying race for the World Road Cycling League, the motorcyclist crushed the previous 100-mile record of 3 hours, 13 minutes with his amazing new score of well under an hour.

Professional motorcycle racer Judd E. Banner, the brave trans-vehicle rider, was allowed to race after he told league organizers he's always felt like a bicyclist in a motorcyclist's body."
Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record...

We "blow up everything" all the time when we change some fundamental way in which we think about it.

Simply put: No.

Perhaps an example from outside will help. Until a century ago, we understood how the universe moves via Newtonian mechanics. And it worked fine most of the time. Although not in some few cases.

Einstein changed how we understand the universe in a fundamental way. However (and this is critical) he didn't "blow up everything we think we know" in order to do so. Newtonian mechanics still works just fine; we all use it all the time. It's only at the margins, in those special cases, that the change in our fundamental understanding becomes relevant and important.

I submit that, when the dust has settled, we will find ourselves again routinely using the "binary world" paradigm. We may have a different understanding for some few special cases. But they are just that: a small number of special cases. That, after all, is why our existing understanding doesn't already include them.

On an unrelated front, I just finished Hakeem Oluseyi's A Quantum Life. A really stark look at just how bad life is for "the other half". By someone who (barely) managed to escape it.

How barely? Consider that he was the first in his family to finish high school. (And not because they were stupid; just because they grew up under the system in place.) Yet he ended up with a PhD . . . from Stanford . . in physics. As the book makes clear, it was an extremely narrow escape. And at many points could have gone wrong in an enormous number of ways.

Next time someone is getting exercised about how horribly traumitized they have been by something in their life, hand them this for a reality check. Because, bad as their lot may well have been, it's virtually certain to pale by comparison. If only those putting lots of time and effort into the cause de jour would put even a quarter of that into the systemic problems we see here, far more people could be far, far better off.

"If only those putting lots of time and effort into the cause de jour would put even a quarter of that into the systemic problems we see here, far more people could be far, far better off."

Skill sets, how *do* they work?1??

can we call them the the anti-science party now?

When Gallup asked Americans how much confidence they had in science in 1975, the party groups varied little in their responses. At that time, Republicans (72%) were slightly more likely than Democrats (67%) to say they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in science. Meanwhile, 73% of political independents expressed confidence.

Compared with that earlier survey, Republican confidence in science has fallen 27 percentage points, and independents have dropped eight points, while Democrats' confidence has increased by 12 points.

yes, data says we can.

About binary world, the Newton/Einstein analogy is interesting in how it doesn't fit. Newtonian mechanics works to cover most cases, but in this day and age, it is hard to imagine someone arguing that Newtonian mechanics is correct, therefore Einstein is wrong. Yet with binary gender, you don't have that. Obviously, there are folks who are milking this for all it is worth, but were there people saying 'well, of course Einstein is wrong'. People knew there were limitations.

So you have to wonder what has people get stuck on the binary view. My suggestion is that it is (and apologies for throwing around leftist academic scare words, but ...) the patriarchy. Which I define as the inability to see beyond a male centric viewpoint.

Here's an article about various innovations stopped short because men didn't want them
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jun/24/mystery-of-wheelie-suitcase-how-gender-stereotypes-held-back-history-of-invention

From my academic leftist vegan birkenstock wearing perch, it seems that if we go back to a 'binary world' paradigm, a lot more folks are going to push back. And push back hard. The genie is out of the bottle...

in this day and age, it is hard to imagine someone arguing that Newtonian mechanics is correct, therefore Einstein is wrong.

Today, yeah. But for the first half century after Einstein published? Still getting pushback. (Including those willing to concede that he was more accurate than Newton, but still not right.)

I'm not suggesting that we "go back" to the binary world paradigm. I'm just saying that, for most day-to-day purposes, it's what we'll use. We'll only bother with the non-binary view in those few cases, and in those circumstances, where it is really relevant.

I also expect that pretty much everybody will go back to using "he" or "she" -- whichever the individual prefers. Rather than going thru contortions over pronouns. And mostly we'll shrug, just like the kids today do when somebody points out that one of their classmates is homosexual.

I, for one, look forward to the day in the distant future when we can stop arguing about Free Silver.

We have gotten past Free Silver. But gold bugs we have yet with us. And folks cheerfully scamming them to buy more for "safety".

I'm not suggesting that we "go back" to the binary world paradigm. I'm just saying that, for most day-to-day purposes, it's what we'll use. We'll only bother with the non-binary view in those few cases, and in those circumstances, where it is really relevant.

I also expect that pretty much everybody will go back to using "he" or "she" -- whichever the individual prefers. Rather than going thru contortions over pronouns. And mostly we'll shrug, just like the kids today do when somebody points out that one of their classmates is homosexual.

This misses a deep and important difference in the two situations.

We ignore Relativistic and Quantum effects in everyday life because the circumstances in which they matter and change things are invisible to us. We are not operating on that scale.

In the case of trying to understand gender, that has the effect of telling people that you would prefer that they remain invisible for your own convenience.

You point out that homosexuality is no big thing to the kids, but that's not because it is invisible. They act that way because we blew up the way that we thought about homosexuality (or had it blown up by activists in the wake of the Stonewall Riots, a.k.a. Pride), and they have reassembled the pieces in a way that makes room for it.

We aren't there yet for Trans Rights. We're still at the stage where people demand that we force people into a binary model of gender and of gender performance because non-binary people don't matter enough to us to warrant any consideration.

One more story for consideration here, prompted by CharlesWT's response, about the controversy surrounding a science fiction story that tried to push back against the erasure being forced on people by the "I identify as..." jokes:

https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/22543858/isabel-fall-attack-helicopter

One criticism above all got to her: that Fall must be a cis man, because no woman would ever write in the way she did. And because this criticism was so often leveled by cis women, Fall felt her gender dysphoria (the gap between her gender and her gender assigned at birth) increasing. In Fall’s story, Barb and Axis destroy the lives of people they cannot even see. Now, in a bitterly ironic twist, the same was happening to her.

“In this story I think that the helicopter is a closet. ... Where do you feel dysphoria the hardest? In the closet. Or so I have to hope; I have not been anywhere outside it, except for [in publishing ‘Attack Helicopter’], which convinced me it was safer inside,” Fall says. “Most of all, I wanted people to say, ‘This story was written by a woman who understands being a woman.’ I obviously failed horribly.”

That was when she asked Clarke to take down the story. That was when she checked herself into a psych ward, so she wouldn’t kill herself in the midst of her dysphoric spiral.

“It ended the way it did because I thought I would die,” she says.

We want non-binary people to be invisible because we don't want to change things that we enjoy and we don't want to see people suffering because of the things we don't want to change, and we blame them for ruining our enjoyment.

Have you read his book ?

I have not - and it looks great! Thanks for this, and also for the link to Gioia’s blog earlier - I’ve since subscribed to that.

We "blow up everything" all the time

I’m trying to think of a significant cultural or social change here in the US that didn’t require disruptive upsetting of the apple cart to make it happen.

Nothing comes to mind.

colloidal silver is where the real action's at, these days.

"So you have to wonder what has people get stuck on the binary view."

the non-binary view is very complicated, if you think you need to treat men and women differently. all those rules about door holding and pink v blue and who goes in which bathroom and what TV shows are appropriate and manners and housework, etc, etc, etc.. if you don't know which gender you're talking to, you don't know which box to put the other person into.

I’m trying to think of a significant cultural or social change here in the US that didn’t require disruptive upsetting of the apple cart to make it happen.

Does regional count? The Great Plains, roughly 500,000 square miles in extent, have been depopulating for 90 years now. Outside of the areas where there are hydrocarbons worth extracting, it seems to have reached the death spiral stage now: too few people to support services, and as the services disappear there's no chance of getting people to move there.

I keep meaning to get in touch with the authors of the paper this CityLab piece is based on to see why they think people escaping rising sea level on the coasts are going to move to the rural Great Plains (which will have its own set of climate issues).

too few people to support services, and as the services disappear there's no chance of getting people to move there.

Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour will put them out of their misery faster.

why they think people escaping rising sea level on the coasts are going to move to the rural Great Plains

This sounds like nonsense to me. Per the article the worst case scenario is a six-foot rise in sea level by 2100.

Why that's going to get Bostonians to freak out and move to the Great Plains is beyond me. Just checking, Cambridge is about 39 ft above sea level. Would it be uninhabitable at 33 ft?

Yes, Miami might empty, but why to the Great Plains? There are closer places.

We're still at the stage where people demand that we force people into a binary model of gender and of gender performance because non-binary people don't matter enough to us to warrant any consideration.

***

We want non-binary people to be invisible because we don't want to change things that we enjoy and we don't want to see people suffering because of the things we don't want to change, and we blame them for ruining our enjoyment.

Who is this "we"? It certainly does not describe me, or any of the feminists I know (and I guess we are now described as "gender critical") who are grappling with this issue, although it may well describe the rightwing loonies who have gleefully seized on it, and are intent on using it as a weapon.

Also, it is important to note that gender-critical feminists, as I understand it and experience it, are not arguing against non-binary gender identification, they are arguing that since we are a dimorphic species, sex is (from an overwhelming statistical perspective) binary. I therefore think it would be helpful if, here and elsewhere, people discussing this issue would differentiate between gender and sex.

Gender-critical feminists are arguing that the oppression of women has historically been based on their biological sex, i.e. menstruation, child-bearing etc, and that the attempt to anathematise words like "women" (or "mothers") in medical contexts, and replace them with expressions like "people with cervixes", or "people who menstruate", (or "birth-givers"), is misogynistic. They are arguing that people with penises who demand openly to use spaces where e.g. women are changing should not automatically be given the benefit of the doubt and assumed to be women just because they say they are, and that the possibility of predation or misogynistic intent must be considered. And some of them are arguing that the recent astronomical increase in teenage and pre-teen girls (many of them on the autistic spectrum) identifying as trans might well be (at least partly) because of the increasing prevalence of certain types of misogyny in the culture (e.g. the increasing normalisation of violence and humiliation towards women in mainstream pornography), and/or the increasing pressures on girls (with selfie culture etc) to conform to the more extreme norms of acceptable "femininity".

I think the idea that populations will shift to the Great Plains are driven by more than just assumptions about sea level rises. There's also changes in precipitation patterns and climatic zones and extreme weather and fire danger at work in the calculations.

https://projects.propublica.org/climate-migration/

And this is before people start working in the effects of all of these on real estate values and wealth based on those property values. The places with the worst impacts will be the places that have lost the most economic power as well. Sure, a lot of them will end up homeless or poor in the next closest region, but that will drive those more fortunate (who can afford the move) to go somewhere they don't have to deal with all the refugees and negative climate impacts.

You can bet that our household has been looking at these maps and trying to find the areas that are currently more affordable and will, in the near term, be more livable, and trying to calculate possible scenarios for relocation.

We're still at the stage where people demand that we force people into a binary model of gender and of gender performance because non-binary people don't matter enough to us to warrant any consideration.

Not really. Nobody (outside the small, and dropping/dying off rwnj community**) is trying any more to force homosexuals into a heterosexual model. Nor bisexuals. So how big is the community we are actually talking about?

Estimates of the number of transgender individuals run perhaps half a percent of the population. Maybe less.
https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/how-many-people-lgbt/
The small number doesn't mean they should be forced not to transition. But it does make it hard to justify blowing up the language, which works just fine for everybody else, just to accomodate them. Especially as, in my observation from a distance, a fair number of trans individuals don't want to change the language either -- they just want to change which pronoun is applied to them. Which makes the demand even smaller.

As for sports, we have rules against athletes taking steroids for good reason. You can take them for medical reasons. Or just because you like the way they make you look or feel. You just can't take them and do competitive sports. If you show up with outside-the-normal-range steroids in your system, you're out. If you're going to argue for waiving that for trans individuals, you've pretty much got to, in fairness, drop the rule for everybody. Not sure you want to go there.

** I include here religious fundamentalists of all persuasions. Even if they have managed to capture control of their local country's legal system.

Have just seen some coverage of violent anti-trans protests in LA. I cannot emphasise enough how horrible it feels to have perfectly reasonable concerns and points of view co-opted in the most cynical way possible by vile RWNJs. I repeat, as I have before, I am in no way against trans people, and I believe they should be protected from oppression and discrimination in every way. But discussion of how current extreme trans-activism can result in threats to the rights of women should not be silenced, and in fact attempts to silence this discussion, and write it off as transphobic, play right into the hands of the RWNJ bigots.

Who is this "we"? It certainly does not describe me, or any of the feminists I know (and I guess we are now described as "gender critical") who are grappling with this issue, although it may well describe the rightwing loonies who have gleefully seized on it, and are intent on using it as a weapon.

I'm always glad in these conversations that I suffer from no dysphoria and am unproblematically cis-male. The levels of hostility towards male bodies that gender critical feminists invoke on a regular basis would be deeply triggering to the non-binary people I know who were identified male at birth and have been struggling with that internalized hostility themselves.

I certainly understand the gender critical framing of feminism and the policeable borders they impose on people. And I understand and oppose the misogynistic violence that women suffer. But the intersectionalists have real concerns, too, and real people who are at risk and in need of our support. From one of the (paywalled? articles I cited above:

Several consequences follow from this framework for thinking about Title IX. The paradox suggested in policy design sanctions, rather than challenges, pernicious stereotypes about women’s inferiority. This means that for all that Title IX’s implementation has achieved in increasing opportunity for women, it has simultaneously undermined the goals of full gender equality. Segregation is premised on the perceived “need” for women to be protected from men and their purportedly stronger, faster, larger bodies, in order to achieve their full, competitive athletic potential. As political theorist Iris Marion Young elucidates, this encodes and transmits a confounding message: “Feminine bodily existence is an inhibited intentionality, which simultaneously reaches toward a projected end with an ‘I can’ and withholds its full bodily commitment to that end in a self-imposed ‘I cannot’” (1980, 145).

This paradox then produces other “spillover” consequences within, and stretching beyond, Title IX’s policy domain. Chiefly, it reinforces the idea of a sex binary. Dichotomous understandings of sex are flawed scientifically and injurious both to transgender, intersex, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people (hereafter, “trans*”) as well as – albeit in different ways – to cisgender women.8 The paradox embedded within Title IX fuels a host of intractable and on-going tensions which help to sediment, rather than dismantle, many of the unresolved gendered hierarchies at the core of equity policy battles, from gendered equality at work to youth sports.9 Policy suppresses opportunities for direct competition between women and men while reifying the idea that women need to be “protected” from men. In a world grappling with the legacies of male enclaves in a sex integrated world (see Menarndt 2018 with implications for #metoo), and a young generation increasingly apt to challenge the meanings of gender (Meadow 2018), identifying the spillover and interconnections between sports and other venues is increasingly urgent.

tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21565503.2019.1568883

This is about trying to find the balance between protecting and empowering people who are not unproblematically male. That is not an easy prospect.

A safer question that puts no women's shelters at risk:

Should the Olympics continue to divide sports competitions into Men's and Women's divisions? Should trans athletes be segregated into their own (tiny) divisions?

It's a question that touches on a lot of the same issues without the intensifying complication of the policing of who should have access to women-only shelters.

The small number doesn't mean they should be forced not to transition. But it does make it hard to justify blowing up the language, which works just fine for everybody else, just to accomodate them.

At what acceptable percentage of the population should non-binary people be afforded equal consideration in the conversation?

The levels of hostility towards male bodies that gender critical feminists invoke on a regular basis

What does this refer to?

Should the Olympics continue to divide sports competitions into Men's and Women's divisions? Should trans athletes be segregated into their own (tiny) divisions?

Since I have no interest in sport (except tennis, sometimes), the question of M and F sports is of comparatively little concern to me. But I understand the concerns of female athletes who feel that no matter how good they are, a trans woman (particularly but not limited to one who practised their sport as a man before transitioning) would always have an unfair advantage, based on biological differences between the sexes. I have wondered, in the interests of eliminating the binary paradigm, whether some system of "classes" like in boxing might work, although not based on weight. But if not weight, what? That's a genuine question; I believe the testosterone test as used by the Olympics is very unsatisfactory for several reasons.

The levels of hostility towards male bodies that gender critical feminists invoke on a regular basis

What does this refer to?

Gender critical feminists insist that they must be allowed to segregate themselves from trans women because male bodies - specifically penises - are an intrinsic threat to women.

Helluva bind for a gender dysphoric individual to be in.

They fear male only spaces because they are at risk in them, but they are denied female only spaces because they are elided with rapists by gender critical feminists seeking to exclude all penises.

There are male high school athletes who can, for example, beat female Olympic track records.

There are male high school athletes who can, for example, beat female Olympic track records.

Because records are the part of sports that we most need to center our conversations on.

Just like the steroids question.

What is the most valuable think about human sporting contest that we should honor and value?

Start from there and organize decisions around that.

At what acceptable percentage of the population should non-binary people be afforded equal consideration in the conversation?

Equal consideration? But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about special consideration.

You can, I think, make a case for special consideration when, for example, people have been subjected to economic discrimination compounded across generations. That, after all, is what affirmative action, at its best, is all about. But this situation is nothing like that. Here, we're just talking about a conversation.

I would look at it in reverse. When you think of all the invisible structures that uphold a male centric world and imagine they are dismantled, it would add up to quite a change. It is astonishing how English enforces such a viewpoint. As that is being eroded (singular they, avoiding gendered language) that percentage of people who identify as trans will be joined by people who weren't so happy at being placed in one of two boxes. Which is a lot more people than you think. Yes, many trans people 'just' want to change the pronouns they are addressed with. But if that catches on, you find you have to review a lot more in your language and that review makes you more sensitive to a lot of other things.

If you think about it, pronouns are a key component of language, and the ones we have haven't changed much since our Indo-European forebears were working out the wheel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_pronouns
It would be like going to buy a car and saying 'I like that car, but can you make the gas tank smaller?'

I don't want to claim that English and its pronoun system makes English speakers have a particular problem with this (The US has nothing on Japan in terms of male centric nonsense) but pronouns will grind up against almost everything you can think of. 'The language works fine', but it only works when everyone has a similar mindset. If you look at it as a small minority of trans people wanting to blow up the language, you are looking from the wrong end of the telescope. I feel that a lot of women chafe under the casual sexism of English. To be sure, a lot of women may feel their role and place is threatened if you change things. But I believe that women will realize that they are largely being played in this. Though it will be a long process, there is still a lot of resistance to the ideas of intersectionality and how earlier ideas of feminism drew on excluding women of color.

It might seem hyperbolic to draw a line from pronouns to the protests GftNC mentions, and I think we would handle this change a lot better if the world weren't falling down around our ears, but that little drip of pronoun correction often elicits a fury, which then makes the stakes higher.

Gender reveal parties, women pushing back against being called by their first names
https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/05/22/529391023/think-your-credentials-are-ignored-because-youre-a-woman-it-could-be

They are all of a piece.

As far as sports, we have rules against steroids because we have these fictional ideas about what constitutes proper effort. We want to imagine the athlete as someone who, thru sheer force of will, has made themselves into a better human. Yet it is hard to imagine a person getting to that high plateau without a whole regime of helpers and aids. Yes, raw talent gets the door open, but they or their team has people who will make sure that they are highly tuned machines.

Babe Ruth's time had alcohol, Mantle's had amphetamines. I don't think steroids are good, but thinking that sports was some pristine field where these things were contemplated is nonsense. It's the old Reagan ploy of imagining a perfect past. That's probably why the 1619 project gets such pushback and Confederate statues provoke such anger.

Perhaps it's just because I'm a linguist, but I don't see changing pronouns as just a little thing. I think it has ramifications anywhere language is used. If you change that, you change everything.

I don't want to claim that English and its pronoun system makes English speakers have a particular problem with this (The US has nothing on Japan in terms of male centric nonsense) but pronouns will grind up against almost everything you can think of.

In English we are at least spared gender being used for ALL nouns. Often nonsensically -- what gender should table (masc in German), or bench (also masc), or chair (fem) logically be? Especially when there is a neutral option available. Our gender warriors would be in heaven!

Gender critical feminists insist that they must be allowed to segregate themselves from trans women because male bodies - specifically penises - are an intrinsic threat to women.

Helluva bind for a gender dysphoric individual to be in.

My understanding is that true trans women who still have penises would, if using women-only spaces, be anxious not to show their genitals because they themselves are dysphoric about them, and also sympathetic to women who experience male genitals in women-only spaces as threatening. (Unfortunately, many women have good reason to feel this way.) In some of the cases we hear about, hopefully unusual ones, "trans women" have been openly walking around showing their male genitals in women-only spaces, and then complaining about being being discriminated against. This is why I put "trans women" in this case in quotes - I doubt their genuineness. It is also why I referred to them above as "people with penises": I did not want to call them "men", because I would never want to take the chance of calling a genuine trans woman a man, but in these kinds of cases I believe there is reason to doubt their bona fides, and to suspect their motives..

But if not weight, what? That's a genuine question; I believe the testosterone test as used by the Olympics is very unsatisfactory for several reasons.

I think one of those reasons, and it relates to just how difficult a problem this is, is that it's a one-way street. Many trans men are on a hormone regime that is simply against the rules in most sports. Top-level cisgender male athletes don't have to worry about whether trans men will have any sort of advantage, or take over the record books, because they're not allowed to increase their testosterone level sufficiently.

I also have a problem with things like Lasik. Talk to any MLB hitter who has had their vision lased down to 20/15 as they got older. Hell, Tiger Woods says openly that lasing his eyesight down to 20/10 made him competitive for years after he would have become just another PGA pro. Dwayne Wade and LeBron James both credit Lasik with substantial performance improvements.

but in these kinds of cases I believe there is reason to doubt their bona fides, and to suspect their motives

Certainly it would make things a bit easier if we had some objective test for trans. Rather than having to rely entirely on self-assertion. (It might also allow the situation to be properly addressed medically at younger ages.)

This is why I put "trans women" in this case in quotes - I doubt their genuineness. It is also why I referred to them above as "people with penises": I did not want to call them "men", because I would never want to take the chance of calling a genuine trans woman a man, but in these kinds of cases I believe there is reason to doubt their bona fides, and to suspect their motives..

And this is why I have been at pains to present gender critical arguments in as neutral a framing as I can manage. I am trying to assume good faith.

In every day policy discussion trans people, especially trans women, are invariably grouped with rapists and cheaters when spaces and activities are segregated based on the need to police bodies, and then are forced to give an account of why they should not be treated as a rapist or a cheater.

Given how this place blows up every time someone discusses systemic racism and "how dare anyone imply that I am a racist...," you'd think that we could try to do better for trans people as well.

Which is why visibility matters.

Because otherwise they get treated as a special case of asking for more rights, rather than just a human person asking for a measure of dignity, inclusion, and self-determination.

trans people, especially trans women, are invariably grouped with rapists and cheaters

Which is why we need some better way to determine who is, or is not, trans. Not just everyone else having to take someone's word for it.

Until we do have that, it becomes a risk/reward calculation when it comes to whether, for a given context, to simply accept what someone says.

Which is why we need some better way to determine who is, or is not, trans. Not just everyone else having to take someone's word for it.

Have you ever discussed dysphoria with someone who has it? I'd rather not subject people with it to some sort of testing and policing regime, any more than I favor making muslims prove that they are not terrorists.

Wouldn't it be more effective protection just to make public restrooms safer by default, or to disincentivize cheating, rather than trying to police gender and sex?

Sorry, on my phone trying voice dictate. So I’m not reading everything as closely as one might hope.

The ironic thing about gender as a grammatical category is that it lessens the attention made to it. That’s why I think in countries that speak languages with grammatical gender, there’s not as much fuss. Mark twain’s memorable diatribe about gender in German is a good example. When it reaches that point, it’s just noise it doesn’t carry any particular meaning. The fact of English speakers I think it’s deeply revealing that a radish is either masculine or feminine tells a lot more about English than about the language in question

We've had segregated bathrooms in the US for years and it has not prevented gender *conforming* rapists from raping people in those segregated spaces. Seems to me like we need a better approach.

I am trying to assume good faith.

You are trying, but your framing is not as neutral as perhaps you would wish. However, I value the attempt. I do understand that what are now called gender-critical beliefs are considerably less acceptable in the US than the UK, and they are not all that acceptable here either, although the tide may be turning. For my own part, I absolutely assume good faith on this issue within the confines of ObWi. Where I disagree with anyone, like you for example, I attribute what I consider possibly misguided impulses to the most benevolent, tolerant and compassionate attitudes.

Given how this place blows up every time someone discusses systemic racism and "how dare anyone imply that I am a racist...,"

If by "this place" you mean ObWi, I don't think anyone here denies the existence of widespread systemic racism, with the obvious exceptions of Marty and McKinney. If you are referring to various people's dislike of the DiAngelo phenomenon, I think this is a bit of a wilful misinterpretation, but we have gone into that already so I don't want to derail.

I also expect that pretty much everybody will go back to using "he" or "she" -- whichever the individual prefers.

A few days ago my seventeen-year-old daughter was baking in our kitchen with a friend, to whom she introduced me. Recognising the name, and surprised by the appearance, I asked my eighteen-year-old son about the friend. He told me that the friend plays rugby but he's not sure what pronoun the friend prefers. I asked my daughter, who said "they/them". That's how young people see the issue, and why not.

Meanwhile, my brother, who is gay, insists that biological gender matters. He tells me that his lesbian friends are accused of being transphobic for not fancying trans women. Neither of us thinks this is a good thing.

You are trying, but your framing is not as neutral as perhaps you would wish. However, I value the attempt.

You should see the responses before revision...

I try to avoid any gratuitous sharp corners, but not everything can be smoothed over.

If you are referring to various people's dislike of the DiAngelo phenomenon, I think this is a bit of a wilful misinterpretation

LJ and I were told - by people other than just Marty and McKinney...by people who I know from long conversation here to be quite unambiguously liberal people - that they resented DiAngelo and other anti-racists' framing of defensive behaviors as being rooted in racism because that implied that those individuals were of a kind with the unabashed racists of their childhoods.

Self-identities are fraught. I'm not immune there, either.

Meanwhile, my brother, who is gay, insists that biological gender matters. He tells me that his lesbian friends are accused of being transphobic for not fancying trans women. Neither of us thinks this is a good thing.

We should not ever be obliged to find anyone sexually attractive by reason of their taxonomic identity, and no one can demand that we find them attractive.

You should see the responses before revision..

LOL.

As to the rest, fair enough.

I'm for bed - good night all.

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