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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

"I am leaving academic philosophy because of its transphobia problem"

I am leaving academic philosophy because of its transphobia problem

"I am a trans woman and a philosophy grad student, and I have decided to leave the discipline and seek a non-academic job because of transphobia in the academy...

The past two years have taken a toll on my mental health because of the amount of hateful discourse regarding gender identity and “biological sex”, starting with the Hypatia/Tuvel affair, and most recently concerning the actions of Kathleen Stock and her co-conspirators, Brian Leiter, and to a lesser degree, Justin Weinberg...

I do not feel safe or comfortable in professional settings any longer...

Here are direct quotes from Stock’s twitter explicitly arguing that I (as a trans woman) am a danger to women because of being trans...

My gender is not up for debate. I am a woman. Any trans discourse that does not proceed from this initial assumption — that trans people are the gender that they say they are — is oppressive, regressive, and harmful...

It is not merely TERFs that have harmed me as a philosopher. It is all of the philosophers willing to defend a TERF’s right to philosophically examine my existence, in journals or elsewhere. It is so disheartening to know that any comment section on a Daily Nous piece will be filled with comments from philosophers defending TERFs on the basis of “free speech” and “academic freedom”."

All this handwringing about 'transphobia' in philosophy shows that philosophers are not easily intimidated by trans activists, they're anti-censorship, they won't say that 1 + 1 = 3 and they recognise bad arguments (like bland assertion with poor/no supporting points). Which speaks reflects well on them and their discipline.

It's interesting how to trans people, not accepting trans mania means you are denying their 'existence'. Possibly this is a deliberate conflation of existence and essence, and/or the bait and switch is a sleight of hand to get people to accept their bland assertions (since everyone agrees that trans people 'exist' - in the same way we know that anorexic people exist)

It's lucky this person is leaving academic philosophy as it has poor logic: "If we legally allow transwomen into female-only spaces, SOME females will be hurt by SOME transwomen" is somehow claiming that an individual transwoman is a danger to women

Hearteningly, the responses with the most claps (except the first) are slamming this individual (the ones the author applauds float to the top despite having fewer claps). Plus the majority of the comments overall:

Stacy Dianne Kennedy: "So, you are unable to critically examine the claims and ideas you embrace. You cannot tolerate disagreement about concepts like “gender,” “woman,” “man,” etc.

You want a discipline known for challenging all assumptions, examining all ideas however cherished, to use authoritarian measures to shut down discourse that makes you uncomfortable.

I imagine philosophy’s answer to this self-important and hyperbolic little announcement is “Be careful on the way out; don’t let the screen door hit you where evolution split you.”"

may0: "Homosexuality is a protected characteristic in the equality act. It may surprise you, and it also may surprise you British lesbians and gays (actual homosexuals) have the right to be free from hate and discrimination, also when it comes from the transmovement. Sex is also a protected characteristic in that same act. Why don’t you look at yourself for not respecting the rights and lives of women and homosexuals who are dealing with a very serious assault on their freedom (of speech) and protected rights? Many suffer from anxiety, depression and even suicidality b/c of what your trans movement is doing to them. That you dare to call them TERF, which is a misogynistic and lesbo/homophobic abusive hate slur says all I need to know. Trans people have to learn you cannot violate the rights of others and have to learn to take responsibility for them being transgender. This is nobody elses responsibility but yours. The transmovement needs to learn not to externalize their problems and blame others an demand others change for them. You will never reach that goal, unless you want to impose a totalitarian ideology. The transmovement hates biological sex and ‘cis’ people. Take responsibility for your hatred. If you’d take responsibility for your life and are respectful of other minorities, I am sure you would get a lot more support. I see and meet extreme lack of empathy by many trans people for the minorities who’s rights they want to take away. So look at yourself first."

John Drinnan: "A phisopopher who can’t cope with other people’s views. It does not seem like a big loss,"

Matt Osborne: "Wow, this is the most narcissistic thing I have read in ages. “I am quitting my career because of mean tweets!” “I am quitting my career because you people won’t impose my tautology on the academy!” FFS, debating the reality or unreality of concepts is basic to philosophy. Imagine an Athenian sophist quitting the agora because Socrates won’t use her bespoke pronouns. That’s you.

This is childish, and your students are better off for not having you there to gaslight them." [Ed: Interestingly, trans mania is a great example of gaslighting]

Andy Lewis: "I think you have made the right choice.

If it is intolerable for you that other philosophers are writing on the nature of what it means to have a sexed body, the female experience, the meaning of ‘woman’ and the coherence of such concepts such as gender and gender identity, then perhaps philosophy is not really your bag."

May Hayami: "You’re obviously not a very good philosopher if you’re this simplistic. Philosophy is about questioning assumptions, not enforcing them. And do you lack the courage and will to continue with your work in the face of supposed harm? Good bye. You’ve accomplished nothing meaningful."

RohemiaXX: "Is there anything more male than wanting to tell us what words we can speak and what thoughts we can think?"

Rainbow Radicals: "The nasty women asking questions again ?

In a disapline that questions everything, this one subject is off limits because you don’t like women to have a voice about matters which directly impact them.

Nice use of a dehumanising acronym that supports threat & misogny though.

As you were women"

Eliza Mondegreen: "Don’t you think it’s painful and harmful for women to have to defend our hard-won, still desperately needed sex-based rights? Don’t you think we’re hurt and offended by the suggestion that women aren’t full and equal human beings but instead just “feelings” that males can have? We’ve been telling you that woman is not a feeling and you’re not listening, so the hurt and offense here definitely goes both ways. We’re exhausted from engaging with the oppressive (while denying our oppression on the basis of sex, destroying sex-based protections, and silencing women’s speech), regressive (define “gender identity” for me without defaulting to sexist gender stereotypes), and harmful (medicalizing gender-nonconforming kids, most of whom would simply grow up to be lesbian or gay) regime that is the ideology of gender identity? The “TERFs” you’re smearing want you to be protected from violence, harassment, and discrimination — by protecting trans people as trans people. What is wrong with that? What’s “transphobic” about defending the rights of trans people as trans people? But trans activists are trying to claim rights no one else has (to be recognized as a member of a sex class to which you don’t belong, when it’s impossible for any person to change their sex) at the expense of women’s rights. Women get to talk about this! Yes, even at conferences, in journals, on social media.

And to any woman reading this, think about how little you have to say or do to be branded a “TERF.” Want to talk about your experiences of sex-based oppression? That’s pretty terfy. Think women’s movements should be able to center women’s issues — or even talk about women’s issues like abortion without outrageous censorship to be “inclusive”? Look where all this inclusivity leads when it comes to talking about abortion: Some people want to control other people’s bodies. Huh? Why would “some people” want to do that to “other people”? That just doesn’t make sense. But when you put the actors back in, in clear language, and talk about women’s bodies and fortunes being controlled, suddenly it makes sense. Language matters. That’s why trans activists are trying to take language away from women."

Jo Meyertons: "Sounds like someone wants to flounce out because they aren’t getting their way. I can’t believe any serious philosopher would attempt to claim there’s “no debate” while arguing that we all must uphold what amounts to a fantasy about one’s self as reality, no matter the consequences. This is childish and absurd."

Delyth Rennie: "Nothing narcissistic in there at all… And nothing hyperbolic either: “Recent efforts to repeal trans rights in the field of medical care could literally lead to my death someday if an EMT or doctor denied me emergency care” Err, how? You have an accident and are taken to hospital in an ambulance say; how would that lead to your death as a result of doctor denying care because you are trans. That would indeed be transphobic — and you know I think we pretty much all agree, because we’re not transphobic. What I think would happen is that the doctor would look at the injury and treat it. Love the use of ‘literally’ by the way. I literally do."

steve savage: "There are more than enough comments now pointing how unsuited to philosophy you are. The idea that people just stating they feel like a woman makes them a woman is certainly something worthy of debate. However, the funniest part I thought was you thinking that the private sector is somehow more full of PC ideologues rather than academia. HR is not going to come to aid every time you hear a bad word. You will just be marked as a trouble maker and let go in the next round of redundancies. You will be surrounded by normal people, with normal families, and quite standard views on sex. You will find they are a lot less accepting of silly academic fads than your university peers."
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