Although I’ve made clear that I’m in favor of civil rights for minority ethnic groups as well as transgender rights, I’ve also been critical of some of the tenets that pass for dogma in both the transsexual “affirmation” community (those who see a transsexual woman, for instance, as equivalent to a biological woman in every respect, including in sports and in women’s prisons), as well as in the Critical Race Theory (CRT) community (I’ve criticized the elimination of meritocratic measures that might hinder “equity”, as well as the constant demonization of white people and the characterization of various traits, like punctuality, as “white” rather than “black”).
I knew that holding such positions would get me called an alt-righter, a racist, and a transphobe. And indeed, that has happened, though, thankfully, less often than I expected. And I deny being any of those things.
But what has surprised me is the relative amount of pushback I get from the transsexual community versus from the community adhering to CRT or Kendi-an dogma. I would have expected far more pushback on race given its hegemony in the national discourse, and the fact that there are far more blacks than transsexuals, which would seem to imply much more demonization of perceived “anti-antiracists” than of “transphobes”.
And yet there’s no doubt that when I question whether transsexual women who have undergone no medical intervention should compete in women’s sports, or tell people to read Abigail Shrier’s book, I get far more pushback than when I agree with something that John McWhorter or Glenn Loury says. The pushback comes partly in the form of blog comments (including the really nasty ones that I don’t put up), as well as personal emails and comments in my Twitter feed. (I tend to not read Twitter comments but sometimes can’t resist.)
In other words, there’s something about criticizing transsexual dogma that seems to raise people’s hackles far higher than criticizing some assertions of Ibram Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, or Critical Race Theory.
Now there’s room for pushback from all sides, as no one issue has to completely dominate political and ideological discourse. But I’m surprised at the greater rancor attending those who raise questions about transsexual issues than about racial issues—at least when it comes to me. Another friend I discussed this with sees the same disparity. A staff lawyer for the ACLU, for instance, has called for the banning of Abigail Shrier’s book on gender dysphoria, but nobody on the ACLU, at least as far as I know, has called for any book on race to be banned.
My question is this: why the disparity? Why are critics of so-called “transphobes” so much more rancorous than critics of Kendi or CRT? Is this just my own personal experience and not a general observation? And if it is general, why, given the relative number of people involved in both issues, why? Is there something about transsexuality that makes its advocates especially defensive or offensive?
I can’t think of a reason, so I just thought I’d ask the readers.