"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, April 04, 2019

Writing for Quillette Ended My Theater Project

Writing for Quillette Ended My Theater Project

"The lack of heterodoxy in Western universities has been extensively documented. When I appeared on the podcast Cosmic Tortoise to discuss the article I’d written, the host asked why I would dig into trans ideology, when it is mostly localized on college campuses. But I argued that many of the extreme ideas that percolate in universities then boil over into the arts, and, in the arts, dogmatic positions on gender identity are now the norm. Trans ideology has been met with a loving embrace, complete acceptance, and fighting words for any who dares to disagree in public...

“You’re punching down,” my director announced from across the table, our scripts and a selection of snacks between us. She said that she’d been contacted my members of our theater community who had let her know that I had hurt them. These theater people wanted to make sure that she knew about the article I’d written and what people on social media were saying. The director reviewed the thread on my Facebook timeline from July, and determined for herself that I had participated in “trans erasure,” and hurt people by equating medical gender transition to rapidly growing trends in AI and body hacking.

In point of fact I wasn’t punching anyone. I was writing in an attempt to convey a somewhat complicated idea about what human beings are and what we are becoming. This is a topic that interests me greatly, along with the vexing questions of how we ought live. These questions have been hugely influential to my research, my art work, and my writing. They are the questions that had spurred the creation of this script and the theater collective I had co-founded to make it happen.

“You are cis gender,” she informed me. “You need to educate yourself.”

“I am not cis gender,” I replied...

If anything, it is the knowledge that I don’t identify with those things stereotypically female (high heels, makeup, being quiet while the men are talking) that has led me to believe that what society defines as belonging to the domain of women or the domain of men are not what make women and men what they are. Instead, it is our bodies that have the job of determining male and female, and the mind that is free to do as it pleases no matter the confines of the physical form. Yes, the physical form has its limits, and we ignore those limits at our peril. In college, I knew a PCP user who once uttered this truth: if there’s two of you, you can fly; if there’s one of you, well then you can’t fly. Because ideally one of the two will remember that the body has limits, and no flight capability.

“I don’t want to debate this with you,” my director said.

And that, of course, is the problem. No one wants to debate trans ideology...

My exploration of the ideas behind transgender ideology was painful for people. But it was only a discussion of ideas. Because I had written about the ideas behind the social movement of individuals chemically and surgically altering their bodies so that they appear to be a member of the opposite sex, I was no longer welcome in the feminist theater company I had founded, and no longer welcome among those I had thought of as friends. Exploring a new idea in a longstanding philosophical debate regarding the interconnected nature of human mind and body was hurtful because it did not uphold the delusion that biological sex is malleable. I had committed apostasy against the new gender religion...

Divergent opinions are not censored, they are self-censored. Artists who disagree do not speak up. To do so is to risk losing funding in an industry that relies almost entirely on philanthropic donations from organizations that routinely signal their virtue to one another, the artists they supposedly serve, and the progressive milieu at large"
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