The year the transgender war went big
I know there are a lot of people, myself among them, who will gladly call someone by their preferred pronouns to be polite, but chafe at being compelled to do so or being expected to pretend that it reflects biological reality. But I don't know if it's just the "Ts" that are responsible for the militance and pharisaism now associated with the LGBT political identity. The gay pride movement in general seems to demand something that goes well beyond a simple "live and let live" type tolerance for the LGBT lifestyle. I know many gays and lesbians in past generations faced unfair prejudice and harassment, so it's understandable that it would be a political identity, but when is enough enough? The LGBT movement has gone mainstream and has fully captured major institutions and now wields real political and economic power, but as soon as it got power, it abused it. That movement no longer demands simple tolerance, but rather insists that everyone celebrate every form of sexuality and identity falling under the LGBT+ umbrella, not just the "T." The Ts seem to have just pushed the movement over the edge and triggered a growing backlash, but the rest of the movement can often be just as militant, self-righteous, and intolerant of dissenting views.
I wish I had your optimism this is going to go away. with how ingrained it is within our public institutions, and growing by the day, i’m a bit more skeptical.
I prefer "TEF", since it's not actually all that "Radical" what they espouse.
Never been a fan of the PC movement. I am all for live and let live, but don't drag me into your reindeer games. Calling a man a trans woman is part of it. They are transexual men in my mind. The trans woman are the the ones born with female genetalia. That is what makes sense to me. And the cross dressers and drag queens are their own category. You are not trans until you get your genitals turned inside out. Guys with boob jobs and beards that insist on being called she can just go away. I don't want to play with you. And women that get mastectomies, but don't get the bottom surgery, I don't even know what to think about that. All of this is a disease of affluence. People looking for something to make them special in a world of CGI perfection. Boy won't they be disappointed when they realize that they still don't get the attention they desire! They can push themselves on the rest of us, but don't be surprised when we walk away. We won't be addressing them by their preferred pronouns, because we will not be addressing them at all, just walking away in dismay.
Your analysis of wokeism as quasi-religion has been spot-on, by the way, including this essay. It looks like writers at the Atlantic have started reading your substack. I saw this article in an email they sent to me this evening: https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2022/08/is-politics-filling-the-void-of-religion-helen-lewis-interview/671198/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=atlantic-daily-newsletter&utm_content=20220819&utm_term=The%20Atlantic%20Daily
I've always had great sympathy for the LG community given their difficulty finding partners. Back years ago I had friends who became terrible ill with AIDs. The T community has always been quite complex in terms of men modelling women but less so in the reverse. As a man I hardly understand women much less lesbians so have minimal contacts; my late wife could deal with lesbians but preferred men and had a lot of gay friends who she was quite attracted toward. Together we had gay friends where I admired their somewhat different approach to art, creativity and life. I sense we all had a mutual respect for each other - life goes on.
Time passes and now suddenly we have an explosion of misgendered people. Seems more like a world all trying to become victims of something. But the trans types now seem to wish immediate attention to some particular plight. To my mind, genetics has a role that determines how our brains work and how we experience life. With my male brain there is no way I can see the world through a female lens nor for that matter through a gay lens. No matter what I might imagine those thought patterns might be I cannot have them as a shared experience. There are some things that seem hard wired so that men relate to men in a given way quite different from how they relate to women. I must admit I hardly understand much of it so depend on my reading to help.
I lived in Japan for some six years and adapted to some extent to many cultural norms yet they were never ingrained as by birth. Married a Japanese gal and learned both formal Japanese from classes but a lot of speaking from my wife and her circle. In casual conversations with males in male groups I quickly learned that my speech was too female. They forgave me as a foreigner and would correct me later in private. I adapted, I think and adopted a male form of speech. Oddly, within my wife's group of female friends either mode of speech from me was accepted without notice but in new male groups should I use any female terms, I could gather odd looks. Formal speech, like Toyko TV standard has no gender, only in casual speech does it have different forms. And as in Spanish where I am quite weak, I see different slang terms from different places, the Japanese slang is much the same. I assume some phrases in Spanish are never uttered by females and vv. Those language differences do suggest differences in brain wiring, but again I have no real knowledge.
So I do appreciate your tracking these human things like TERF wars as I try to understand a world as it changes.