Take a look at this story. The quick version is that a transgender person was voted homecoming Queen and is upset because people are making nasty comments about her.
I got into it with some people in an online forum, where I wrote this:
I don’t mean this to be mean, but just because I identify and “feel” like a toaster doesn’t make me one. THAT is why I don’t think this person should have been homecoming Queen – because this person is not a Queen, whatever this person “feels” like.
I don’t think people should be mean to this person, but when a boy thinks he’s a girl he needs help, not acceptance.
I was actually received fairly positively, but the negative responses were fairly predictable, with many people semi-hysterically yelling about how I compared this girl to a toaster (I didn’t). One person tried to tell me that it was like blindness in that you don’t CHOOSE it. I responded with this:
What [blind people] CAN do, though, is try to make your eyes function as close to normally as possible and, failing that, try to navigate with your other senses out of default to the best of your ability.
What people DON’T do is try to convince people that it’s okay to blind yourself if that’s how you “feel”, and then get mad when people won’t make special accommodations for people who blind themselves intentionally.
Keep in mind, this response works even if transgenderism is genetic. If I am genetically inclined, if it is my orientation, to be a “blind person”, as in, I am a “blind person in a sighted person’s body”, then that does not invalidate what I said whatsoever. “Choice”, in the sense of choosing whether or not I want to see, is not relevant. And it’s no good saying that blindness and transgenderism aren’t analogous, since I wasn’t the one who brought it up in the first place.
Some of the responses were classic. Like this:
Comparing her to a toaster is absurd. Your ignorance astounds me. You see, 3-brain celled Bob [I must admit, I’ve never heard that one before], gender is how someone relates to the real, living world. Classifying your gender identity is as a toaster is what toasts bread [Still not sure what that means]. Imbecile.
I’m not sure what relating to the “real, living world” has to do with what I said. I made the simple factual statement, a fairly uncontroversial one, that feeling like something doesn’t make you that thing. Even if you’re genetically inclined to feel that way, even if you’re in the unfortunate circumstance where you have no choice but to feel that way, that’s still true, however important gender “identity” is.
But the real prize for craziest comment is this beauty from a commenter I’ll call Stacy. Everything here is exactly as it was originally written:
malcolm absurd means ridiculous or unreasonable [That is correct]. If you are uneducated on what it means to be transgendered, aka. ignorant you would not make a specious claim of a toaster comparison. The truth is it is a medical condition that stems from a biological condition in the womb. Many trans women are actually intersexed, but not all. All fetuses start out female. It requires a hormonal trigger to become a boy [I thought it was a chromosomal thing?]. Sometimes that trigger does not happen when it is supposed to. Therefore causing physical and psychological conditions initially called Gender Dysphoria. Therapy is almost always required to determine if one is truly transgendered and at that point if transition is necessary to the point of surgery. This is true suffering. We have a 44% suicide attempt rate. [That’s tragic; we need more acceptance of the disabled in society] That alone proves this is not a choice. [Now get ready, because the rest of this paragraph is pure gold, so utterly nonsensical that I’ll leave it as is just so you can experience its full glory] People like most of you who lead likely highly dysfunctional lives, likely much worse than I do. Feel so safe in your gender certainty. I ask you for just a bit think, what if I wasn’t? What if the very core of your being was a lie because your body was not reflective of your personality? The person trapped and shamed by society? What if that was you? What if that was you child? Could you tell your child at 5 years old ( most of us realize something is not right with our gender around 5-7, years before any sexual ideas enter our minds) that you consider their feelings absurd and is likened to a toaster? Really? How horrible of a person would you be in the eyes of other parents? Or maybe beat your child into submission to gender conformity to the point they kill themselves. Will you admit it was your fault? Or blame someone else? There is a disconnect from personal responsibility for your behavior on the internet and real life. In real life most of you would Never know I was trans and if you did, wouldn’t say jack. Because in truth you are scared, scared of what you don’t understand. Because if you met me and realize I have feelings, dreams, wishes, a job and children whom I raise to treat people kindly regardless of who they are. You would be afraid of what others would say about you that you said someone who was trans was actually a nice person. Because you are a coward. Your world is based on lies no less than mine once was. You lie to look good to others, you lie to yourself that you have problems with your character. I came to the point I no longer could lie to others or myself. It feels good and it is very liberating. You should all try it sometime.
Ladies and gentlemen, take a good look at that insanity. Really get the full effect. It is full of ridiculous assumptions about my life and character and makes arguments that I’ve already addressed several times. In order to make her point she feels the need to attack me personally and go on the defensive, despite me never saying anything remotely negative to her or about anybody. It attacks strawmen and is almost entirely an emotional argument. This:
“Could you tell your child at 5 years old ( most of us realize something is not right with our gender around 5-7, years before any sexual ideas enter our minds) that you consider their feelings absurd and is likened to a toaster…”
…is not an argument, or even a remotely adequate response to what I said. It is a blatant appeal to emotion, made to tug on the heart strings and convince people by making you feel sorry for them. There’s no real force behind it.
If Stacy HAD read everything I’ve written, both in the first comment and throughout, she’d know that whether or not it’s genetic or a choice has nothing to do with what I said.
If you want to convince people that you’re right and challenge me, I’m all for it. Just ditch the emotional blackmail and respond to what I actually said without insulting me, then maybe you can be taken seriously.
In the meantime, that comment stands as a testament to the success of my argument. You know you’ve won when your opponent starts trying to guilt you or make you cry. Or, in this case, both.