Here are two comments that came in recently. I pondered putting the second one up, but decided not to for the reason mentioned below. But at least you get to read both.
This one came from “Angela” intended as a comment on the post The Ice Cream Scams, decrying the decline of size and concomitant increase in price of food items. The comment:
This entire country is going to hell In a handbasket! Raising prices on EVERYTHING and the government profits off of all of these companies so they’re pinching back on the amounts given for an even higher price! Minimum wage is raised at a ridiculously small rate because our economy is soaring! Everyone is getting rich except for the poor in this so called equal opportunity country! Social security Taxes are being raised but by the time most of us qualify for social security, it won’t even exist!
Our country is supposed to stand by the whole “In God we trust ” but nobody trusts in God anymore as our government and country are allowing foreigners to move here to continue to take away everything pertaining to what we used to stand for (ESPECIALLY) God when he’s the only reason we and our planet even exists! Money has truly become the root of all evil!
That would have been posted except that it went totally off the rails in the second paragraph! Religion and xenophobia go together like hot dogs and mustard. And you don’t tell an evolutionary biologist that God is the “only reason we and our planet even exists!”
This one seemed mostly okay but there was to be some internal contradiction that I have put in bold. The intended poster was “Sim 55” and the post it was aimed at was Washington Post ditches “pregnant women” for “pregnant people”.
What’s wrong with saying pregnant people?
Pregnant people includes, you know, people who are pregnant, not categorizing on the basis of gender.
Saying women would exclude trans men (their gender is that of a man, their biology is female, they are not women in any way) and other non-binary folks (their gender is nonbinary, their biology is female) capable of giving birth.
Their biology is female but they are not women in any way? Sorry, but that’s too muddled to merit publication.
34 thoughts on “Two stray and unpublished comments”
Dear Dr. Coyne: Did you see this link regarding gender issues promoted by your governor? i posted in a comment a few days ago. I see it as very disturbing.
I think Angela’s first paragraph is also confused. What can this sentence possibly mean?
“Minimum wage is raised at a ridiculously small rate because our economy is soaring!”
I mean free market ideologues might argue that “the economy is soaring because we do not raise the minimum wage.” But surely Angela did not mean that. But why would a soaring economy make minimum wage increases less likely?
I’m grateful that not every comment sees the light of day. It must be quite a burden to filter the stuff.
I remember the days of dead-tree tech, when people used to write letters to the editor, and William Buckley’s publishing a book of the weirdest letters sent to National Review, and his replies, called Cancel You Own Goddam Subscription.
The F2M hero in the documentary Seahorse quit male hormones long enough to become pregnant, and give birth, but was adamant about wanting to be named the baby’s father on the birth certificate, when he is the biological mother. Movie didn’t explain how to circumvent being named the mother, a term he seemed to detest.
The same dude just quit writing for The Guardian because of its “transphobia”. The article that provoked his/her /their ire was actually published in The Observer, which shares the same ownership and website as The Guardian but has a different editor etc. And he/she/they flounced out despite the fact that 1) The Guardian has been very supportive of trans activists’ perspectives, 2) it has heavily promoted his film, and 3) he has only written for them extremely occasionally in any case.
Actually, the film Seahorse “was produced in association with” The Guardian! https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/27/seahorse-review-freddy-mcconnell-trans-man-gave-birth
Here’s a (not exactly impartial) piece about Freddy McConnell’s decision to stop writing for The Guardian: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/06/transgender-journalists-refuse-provide-pride-coverage-guardian-due-transphobic-content/
>It’s a much more fundamental sort of total loss of myself. I just want to close my eyes and be on the other side of this.
I’m sure his sure his sense of moral purity or angst or whatever, will carry him through this difficult time. If only he could have become a father without having to actual have one.
Thanks for the updates.
Maximalists and fringe fanatics never, ever seem to have the self awareness to know how crackpot they or their positions are.
Confused minds are ubiquitous. That has not changed over time.
Gravity is the only reason our planet exists, as any astronomer will tell you. Well, that and nucleosynthesis, which created the elements heavier than helium. But gravity is required for stars to form, and it also powers core-collapse supernovae, where most of the heavier elements like iron are made. So without gravity, you wouldn’t even have the raw materials to make planets. Yay for gravity.
Well, they’ll just reply that God made gravity. That’s their end-all argument, which, since it doesn’t rely on facts or reason, can’t be reasoned with.
Yep. And, unfortunately for them, any “explanation” that can explain anything explains nothing. As Eliezer Yudkowsky points out, if your retina always does the same thing no matter what photons are falling on it, that’s called being blind.
There is nothing wrong with saying pregnant people. Just don’t beat people up for saying pregnant woman.
Indeed.The coercive nature of so much language policing is what gets under my skin.
That was the point of the piece: coercive language use.
It used to be more common to use adjectives as nouns ‘the blind’, ‘the poor’. Maybe we could start saying ‘the pregnant’. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like ‘people who are pregnant’ soon; people-first language was popularized ~30 years ago, when I remember hearing things like “people living with AIDS”; it stresses personhood first, and the condition second. The AMA has required person-first language for the last fifteen years.
Which is kind of silly, IMO, since the condition of having AIDS is the important part of conversations about AIDS. Very few people would talk about “non-persons living with AIDS”. Maybe they just wanted to distinguish the living from the dead?
People experiencing the condition of AIDS. 🥴
I think there is something wrong when it comes to things like health information from the government. 90% of the population probably doesn’t even know the up-to-date language we’re “supposed to” use for trans stuff. A lot of people are going to end up confused when they read health information from the FDA or CDC with sentences like “people who have wombs should do [x] because of [y],” instead of “women should do [x] because of [y].” That’s where this leads: far more confusing sentences, when what’s needed is concise language that everyone will understand.
But they will, Mr. Brew. That’s the whole point: to be able to beat up on people.
Mis-gendering is a micro-aggression that gives you the power to extract an apology from someone if you are feeling magnanimous. If you are feeling vindictive you can make serious trouble for an aggressor who is a member of a regulated profession, e.g., an obstetrician who is looking after her first ever pregnant man and makes a verbal slip in providing standard advice about the risks and danger signs that “pregnant women” can experience. Nothing says the aggrieved “pregnant person” has to surmount the power imbalance and speak up then and there and request an apology. No, they are perfectly entitled to endure it sullenly and complain to the regulator after they get home and have recovered from being triggered….or get talked into it by their support person. Complaints like this are heartbreaking and soul-destroying for doctors.
The activists are of course delighted that doctors can be coerced through professional disciplinary action into using nonsensical language (or language that erases the women they provide care to.). Chalk up another victory for the cause.
I like how the commenter touts “In God We Trust” and yet money (with said motto on it) is the root of all evil.
Maybe it’s just me who finds that amusing.
One thing people forget is the relevant biblical passage actually says the love of money (e.g. Greed) is the root of all evil, not the money itself.
Pregnant women vs pregnant people —
I suppose there is some validity to saying people, as in couples saying we are pregnant.
My own feeling is that saying pregnant people rather then women is just another example of women being put into a sub-class. I find it objectionable. Objectionable because women are still subjected to discrimination and abuse and this is just another example. I might make a comment if someone used the phrase in conversation with me.
As in couples saying we, I think saying pregnant people is inaccurate.
Women are pushed aside if it benefits another group that is also marginalized. Always. It’s a law. MacPherson’s Law as Jerry has honoured me by naming it so.
It always amazes me that posters like the first one end up making a comment here. I assume that person just was linked to your article from some right-wing publication/message board/Facebook page, and had no idea the type of environment this is.
It’s my personal opinion that you should have let the second one through, solely for other commenters here to argue against (or, I assume in some cases, for). Since it wasn’t rude or inappropriate, I think it’s good to take the chance, however slim, that someone’s mind might be changed, or at least some thought or doubt on their part spurred by discussion of their comment. But it’s not my website, and I’m not criticizing your decision; just giving a different take.
Not according to their definition of “woman,” which is “garblebafflegabcircularhowDAREyouaskthat’sadogwhistlefortransphobia.”
You forgot TERF.
Even IF you accept that biology is irrelevant for gender and that it’s all down to social construction (and that’s as massive an IF as you can find), in all societies at all times, getting pregnant and having children was something that women had a strict monopoly on, and which was central to their role in society. So there’s just no possibility to be pregnant and at the same time not be a woman in any way, unless there is no substance whatsoever (even in terms of social roles) to the social genders. And in that case, why make a big fuss about them?
Again, raise our glasses to the host who spares us from the maniacs who try to post here. Some days I imagine he must walk away from editing with the kinds of skin reactions he gets from a dip in Botany Pond!
Creationists – of all crazies – posting here always amuse me the most. Don’t they – like – read the title? 🙂
Someone apparently got in trouble with the police for saying transwomen can’t be lesbians.
The second paragraph of the first one reminds me of the “anti-dentite” episode of Seinfeld where Jerry Seinfeld started making fun of dentists with his date but then suddenly she starts an antisemitic rant and he has to walk her out and send her home from the event they are attending.
“You’re a rabid anti-dentite!”
His antisemitic (and racist!) date was played by Debra Messing, later Grace on “Will & Grace”.