Grist to the #GoodFences Mill

It goes on. The TERF wars continue to rage as the main game in Twitter-town when it comes to objective science and human classes talking past each other.

Firstly, Angela Saini writing “What is a Woman?” in Prospect Magazine.  I’ve had problems with Saini before, being too conservative in minimising sex/gender and race differences – a lack of definitive objective evidence – to acknowledge their reality in the context of social constructions. She’s taken a lot of flak today and I’m not here to defend her, but to point out there are entangled issues not to be conflated. Even if “sex” is a scientifically binary property, the sex/gender “war” cannot be reduced to a binary fight. When it comes to rights – conflicting rights – social (cultural) aspects do matter, even if a binary opposite Post-Modern stance is just as bonkers as the radical scientistic stance.

Secondly, same war different battle, Rebecca Myers writing “Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard in eye of the storm at Tokyo Olympics” in The Times. “Following the rules” comes under scrutiny. I say, where do rules come from anyway and what are they worth without good faith?

Andy Lewis (Quackometer.Net / @LeCanardNoir) posted a 36 Tweet “takedown” of Saini which I’ve not seen as a continuous text yet(*), but it is very interesting from the orthodox science perspective.

Starts here:

And ends here:

Classic “pointing out the errors” kind of critical thinking, but it’s not necessary to accuse Saini of dastardly deceit. Deracinate is a strong word, but sex has biological roots and social context. Sex and associated gender rights are firmly planted in both. Rhetoric is surely involved, but it’s no pejorative trick, it’s a tricky part of reality. What’s needed is getting on the same page. A dialogue.

Andy Lewis has written on this before “The Ontology and Epistemology of Sex” at his Quackometer.Net. This is reassuringly close to my #GoodFences take that I’m pretty sure it’s possible to get on the same page.

[(*) Andy Lewis has written up his “Deracination” thread the same-day in his quackometer blog.]

I should add for context, this is the same day JKR responded in style to the ludicrous “pipe bomb” threat.

I’ll be back.

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