Home/Rod Dreher/Totalitarian Trans War On Reality

Totalitarian Trans War On Reality

Statue of George Orwell outside BBC headquarters (from a reader of this blog)

From the ruling that UK employment judge J. Tayler issued against Maya Forstater:

“The Claimant believes that “sex” is a material reality which should not be conflated with “gender” or “gender identity”. Being female is an immutable biological fact, not a feeling or an identity. Moreover, sex matters. It is important to be able to talk about and take action against the discrimination, violence and oppression that still affect women and girls because they were born female.”

More:

At the end of September 2018 the Claimant stated in a conversation on Slack,
when challenged about what she had said about Pips Bunce [a Credit Suisse manager who sometimes dresses in women’s clothing, and identifies as “genderfluid” — RD];

“Thanks Arthur. Yes I think feminists and non gender conforming and trans people are natural allies. If you look at the people that are concerned about this they are lesbians, longtime LGBT activists,
transsexuals, left wing campaigners. They don’t want to enforce gender conformity.

But I think there are also a group of misogynist people, and others who want to undermine protections for women and children that have become entryists to the Trans Rights Activists movement that are not natural
allies to women: gamergaters, incels, narcissists, extreme porn advocates. They are exploiting vulnerable young people and everybody’s empathy and concern to do the right thing in respect of them – (For an example see the recent case of …

(I am not saying all trans people – -I know this sounds like ‘moral panic’ and I know most people just want a quiet life, but there is a dark side to some of the people making a political career out of arguing that males should be allowed into women’s spaces. – – this vocal group is never going to be on common ground with feminists, or benefit people suffering gender dysphoria or depression etc)

You are right on tone. I should be careful and not unnecessarily antagonistic. But if people find the basic biological truths that “women are adult human females” or “transwomen are male” offensive, then they will be offended.

Of course in social situations I would treat any transwomen as an honourary female, and use whatever pronouns etc…I wouldn’t try to hurt anyone’s feelings but I don’t think people should be compelled to play along with literal delusions like “transwomen are women”

More:

On 2 October 2018 the Claimant stated in part of her response to the complaints against her:

“I have been told that it is offensive to say “transwomen are men” or that women means “adult human female”. However since these statement are true I will continue to say them. Yes the definition of females excludes males (but includes women who do not conform with gendered norms).

Policy debates where facts are viewed as offensive are dangerous. I would of course respect anyone’s self-definition of their gender identity in any social and professional context; I have no desire or intention to be rude to people.”

More:

On 10 August 2019 the Claimant responded to a very strongly worded complaint to the Scout Association made by Gregor Murray, who describes themself as a “non-binary person”, who alleged that the Claimant had
misgendering them:

“28. On Twitter I referred to Murray by the pronoun ‘he’. This was not purposeful or meant to cause harm. I had simply forgotten that this man demands to be referred to by the plural pronouns “they” and “them”.

29. Murray states that my failure use the pronoun “they” in relation to the complainant breaks the third and seventh scout laws (“A Scout is friendlyand considerate” and “A Scout has self-respect and respect for others”) because Murray believes that Murray is not a man. Murray also calls it “transphobic” that I recognise a man when I see one. I disagree.

30. In reality Murray is a man. It is Murray’s right to believe that Murray is not a man, but Murray cannot compel others to believe this. Women and children in particular should not be forced to lie or obfuscate about someone’s sex.

31. I reserve the right to use the pronouns “he” and “him” to refer to male people. While I may choose to use alternative pronouns as a courtesy, no one has the right to compel others to make statements they do not believe. I think it is important that people are able to refer to the sex of other people accurately and without hesitation, shame or censure. This is important for children to be able to speak up about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, and for adults to be able to risk assess the difference between a single sex and mixed sex situation.”

Among Forstater’s other tweets (mentioned in the ruling):

39.5 “Sex is determined at conception, through the inheritance (or not) of a working copy of a piece of genetic code which comes from the father (generally, apart from in very rare cases, carried on the Y
chromosome).” Para 16

39.6 “Some women have conditions which mean that they do not produce ova or cannot conceive or sustain a pregnancy. Similarly, some men are unable to produce viable sperm. These people are still women and
men.” Para 17

39.7 “I believe that it is impossible to change sex or to lose your sex. Girls grow up to be women. Boys grow up to be men. No change of clothes or hairstyle, no plastic surgery, no accident or illness, no course of hormones, no force of will or social conditioning, no declaration can turn a female person into a male, or a male person into a female.” Para 23

This is fascinating. More of the ruling (emphasis below mine):

41. When questioned during live evidence the Claimant stated that biological males cannot be women. She consider that if a trans woman says she is a woman that is untrue, even if she has a Gender Recognition Certificate. On the totality of the Claimant’s evidence it was clear that she considers there are two
sexes, male and female, there is no spectrum in sex and there are no circumstances whatsoever in which a person can change from one sex to another, or to being of neither sex. She would generally seek to be polite to trans persons and would usually seek to respect their choice of pronoun but would not feel bound to; mainly if a trans person who was not assigned female at birth was in a “woman’s space”, but also more generally. If a person has a Gender Recognition Certificate this would not alter the Claimant’s position. The Claimant made it clear that her view is that the words man and woman describe a person’s sex and are immutable. A person is either one or the other, there is nothing in between and it is impossible to change form one sex to the other.

Even if the state issues a piece of paper declaring that 2 + 2 = 5, Maya Forstater will insist that 2 + 2 = 4. Thought criminal!

Comes the ruling itself:

84. However, I consider that the Claimant’s view, in its absolutist nature, is incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others. She goes so far as to deny the right of a person with a Gender Recognition Certificate to be the sex to which they have transitioned. I do not accept the Claimant’s
contention that the Gender Recognition Act produces a mere legal fiction. It provides a right, based on the assessment of the various interrelated convention rights, for a person to transition, in certain circumstances, and thereafter to be treated for all purposes as the being of the sex to which they have transitioned. In Goodwin a fundamental aspect of the reasoning of the ECHR was that a person who has transitioned should not be forced to identify their gender assigned at birth. Such a person should be entitled to live as a person of the sex to which they have transitioned. That was recognised in the Gender Recognition Act which states that the change of sex applies for “all purposes”. Therefore, if a person has transitioned from male to female and has a Gender Recognition Certificate that person is legally a woman. That is not something that the Claimant is entitled to ignore.

Notice that the judge is saying that the state has the right to overrule biological reality.

Finally:

90. I conclude from this, and the totality of the evidence, that the Claimant is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.

Feminist Maya Forstater is an enemy of the state, then. Read the whole ruling.

Turn in your copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four to the part where the torturer O’Brien is teaching prisoner Winston Smith the facts of life under totalitarianism. Here are some quotes for you to consider in light of Judge Tayler’s ruling:

[O’Brien:] “But the world itself is only a speck of dust. And man is tiny—helpless! How long has he been in existence? For millions of years the earth was uninhabited.” “Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How could it be older? Nothing exists except through human consciousness.” “But the rocks are full of the bones of extinct animals—mammoths and mastodons and enormous reptiles which lived here long before man was ever heard of.” “Have you ever seen those bones, Winston? Of course not. Nineteenth-century biologists invented them. Before man there was nothing. After man, if he could come to an end, there would be nothing. Outside man there is nothing.” “But the whole universe is outside us. Look at the stars! Some of them are a million light- years away. They are out of our reach forever.” “What are the stars?” said O’Brien indifferently. “They are bits of fire a few kilometers away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the center of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.”

More:

Winston shrank back upon the bed. Whatever he said, the swift answer crushed him like a bludgeon. And yet he knew, he knew, that he was in the right. The belief that nothing exists outside your own mind—surely there must be some way of demonstrating that it was false? Had it not been exposed long ago as a fallacy? There was even a name for it, which he had forgotten.

A faint smile twitched the corners of O’Brien’s mouth as he looked down at him. “I told you, Winston,” he said, “that metaphysics is not your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not solipsism. Collective solipsism, if you like. But that is a different thing; in fact, the opposite thing. All this is a digression,” he added in a different tone. “The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men.” He paused, and for a moment assumed again his air of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil: “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?” Winston thought. “By making him suffer,” he said.

Are you listening, Maya Forstater? You will be made to agree.

Orwell continues:

“If I wished,” O’Brien had said, “I could float off this floor like a soap bubble.” Winston worked it out. “If he thinks he floats off the floor, and if I simultaneously think I see him do it, then the thing happens.” Suddenly, like a lump of submerged wreckage breaking the surface of water, the thought burst into his mind: “It doesn’t really happen. We imagine it. It is hallucination.” He pushed the thought under instantly. The fallacy was obvious. It presupposed that somewhere or other, outside oneself, there was a “real” world where “real” things happened. But how could there be such a world? What knowledge have we of anything, save through our own minds? All happenings are in the mind. Whatever happens in all minds, truly happens.

Nothing is real outside the mind. What the Party says is true, is true. What the Party says is real, is real. It is important for all good citizens not just to say it, but to believe it. This is the essence of totalitarianism: it doesn’t simply want your obedience; it wants your soul.

Now do you see what free people are up against? Nothing less than the denial of reality, and even the right to say 2 + 2 = 5 without breaking the law.

The most influential gay rights lobby in the US stands against Maya Forstater, and her new Twitter ally, J.K. Rowling:

Every single Democratic presidential candidate should be asked if they stand with HRC, or with Maya Forstater and her right, as a feminist, to state an opinion contrary to transgender dogma. This is incredibly important.

One more line from Nineteen Eighty-Four:

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

So does the British legal system. So does the Human Rights Campaign. Where do Democratic Party lawmakers and presidential candidates stand?

Maya Forstater could be you, you know. And probably will be, unless this madness is stopped.

Take off that Party dress!

UPDATE:Sohrab Ahmari’s take. Excerpt:

As I said, Maya Forstater’s case will outrage you. What it calls for isn’t the heat of anger but cold, lucid sobriety. The kind that might awaken the bulk of Christians to the reality that we are toiling under a religious order—one that puts the temporal power at the service of a spiritual or metaphysical belief system and its clerisy.

An integral regime, if you will.

UPDATE.2: Jesse Singal is one of the best journalists writing about the trans issue. You should follow him. He’s on the left, but he recognizes how corrupted journalism has been by trans activism:

I caught some of the PBS Democratic debate tonight. Transgenderism came up. Do you know what the question was? Do you really want to know? Something very close to, “You all support the Equality Act, but if elected, what more will you do to stop violence against transgendered people?”

This whole massive discussion is going on about the clash between transgender activist and allies on one side, and feminists, J.K. Rowling, and like-minded people on the other side, but this — this! — is the question that the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour puts to the Democratic candidates in the debate. What a bubble these liberal journalists live in. Sick of them, just sick of them all.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

leave a comment

Latest Articles