Promised myself I wouldn’t post anymore about the “TERF War” since it seemed that at last common sense was starting to prevail, and I could shift my attention to the wider issues of identity politics in philosophy and science (and hence “science-led” politics) generally.
ie There’s an even bigger issue than the “TERF War” even though that already affects over 50% of the world’s population directly and who deserve our support and defence (Women and Trans and LGB and Children).
But, the Doc Stock interview with Julie Bindel is so positively uplifting and filled with unmitigated common sense around all the issues involved that it needs to be shared and experienced by everyone who “cares”.
“Kathleen Stock – I Won’t Be Silenced”
with Julie Bindel on Unherd.
Fantastic interview, and so much more optimistic tone than the @BBCWomansHour interview, where she looked and sounded “crushed”. Here we can see the release into a new phase of campaigning with a less restricted platform. Onward and upward. Well done @bindelj
â€” What, Why & How do we know? (@psybertron) November 4, 2021
(Retweeted and commented several highlights from the interview, and the transcript is only highlights too, but there are so many good points in there. An exemplary resource for anyone who cares.)
Post Note: and the best outcome for me? Adding Doc Stock to my list of philosophy resources generally – beyond this one issue. She’s a keeper.
Post Note: And the common sense reaches the mainstream. Hat Tip to Lorraine Kelly:
‘I don’t agree with everything that you’re saying at all, but that’s okay because we can talk about it’@reallorraine speaks exclusively to Professor Kathleen Stock who left her position at Sussex University after she was accused of transphobia.
Watch: https://t.co/vn8NeFi106 pic.twitter.com/3VxoKL3dWz
â€” Lorraine (@lorraine) November 8, 2021
4 thoughts on “Trans “Debate” Optimism”
I have also promised myself thatâ€™ll Iâ€™ll stop reading so much on this issue. Dreger, Soh and Joyce in book form, and innumerable essays (including ones by Stock) seem to me sufficient to have informed a solid position on the matter. Although Stock does seem to be an attractively clear and engaging thinker here, so I may give her book a tryâ€¦
On the negative side, attempted engagement with the so-called trans allies has been a pretty fruitless business. To a man – and, curiously, they do seem to be exclusively white, university educated, middle class and heterosexual men in the 20-40 range – the allies not only have poor arguments, but present them in the peculiarly stilted, humourless and perpetually peeved fashion that used to be the house style of certain Marxist grouplets.
Is there room for optimism? Certainly. Gender identity ideology does not long survive contact with reality, and is falling back as its practical effects become visible. But, as Helen Lewis has recently pointed out, this is happening in spite of the ideologists. Theyâ€™re not changing their minds. Itâ€™s because (predominantly) women are talking around them, going public and approaching politicians, lawyers, administrators and policy makers directly. And theyâ€™re winning.
Iâ€™ve finally found time to listen to the full Bindel interview. Stockâ€™s standout phrase, which sums up the whole strange episode with some resonance, is â€˜forgetting what we knewâ€™. This is another way, is seems, of making Chestertonâ€™s fences argument.
I think I will be reading her book, after all.
As I commented on Twitter: “Yes, absolutely. I keep coming back to the Frost / Chesterton ‘good fences’ metaphor with all identity politics.”
Forgetting what “we” knew is the point.
Finding a “fence” you don’t understand – the first reaction should always be
“There might be a good reason why someone before me put that there”, not
“let’s tear this fence down because it limits ‘my’ freedom”.
Her book is on my (currently 68 long) reading list ðŸ™‚
It took a while for me for the fences argument to really sink in. Because itâ€™s not the fence, which is easy to see and dismantle, but the reasons for the fence, which may be difficult to grasp and irritating to engage with, if all you want to do is tear the damn thing down. But engage you must, if you are not to blunder into being forced to realise how important the fence was, once itâ€™s gone. I think I was also a bit put off by suspicions about Chestertonâ€™s Catholic conservatism. That, in itself, is a bad reasoning. And this a wise sort of conservatism, the sort that one should pay heed to.
PS My reading list makes Borgesâ€™ Library of Babel look unassuming.