Neil deGrasse Tyson goes after women’s-only spaces

September 25, 2023 • 10:15 am

I’ve never been a huge fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, but at least he was good at conveying the wonders of physics and cosmology.  My one problem with him as a science communicator was that he tried too hard to cater to his audience, as if making them like him was one of his main goal. (Ergo his former issues with being called an “atheist” rather than the gentle and acceptable “agnostic.”)  And, by and large, people did like him, for he was smart and enthusiastic.

Now, however, he’s gone into another area, and here he hasn’t been so successful. The area is sex and gender, and in his 14½-minute diatribe below (for that’s what it is), his blustering is directed at nothing other than trying to eliminate women’s-only spaces, like changing rooms, sports, jails, rape counseling centers, halfway houses for battered women, and any number of places in which biological women would feel uncomfortable if  biological males who identify as trans females, were to be present.  Note that Tyson addresses and dismisses only the concern of biological females, not biological males.  Why is that?

He also gets angry, arrogant, and pedantic in a way that’s profoundly unappealing but gives us a window into his psyche. He may not be an unpleasant and haughty character, but he sure seems like it here.

Here’s the relevant video. It’s short, so I urge you to watch it.

Tyson has gone down this road before (I posted on it here), but in this case he devotes time not only to the gender “spectrum”, misconstrued as people feeling “X% female and 100% – X% male”, but, more important, also to getting rid of women’s only spaces, which he thinks is merely a scientific problem that’s not too hard to solve in a way that allows men into women’s-only spaces. He’s wrong, because here he fails to recognize that we’re dealing with a complex and largely insoluble problem dealing with both human emotions and the inevitable differences between men and women in both thought and physicality.

First, the YouTube summary:

Konstantin Kisin questions Neil deGrasse Tyson about his views of gender on a spectrum. They discuss societal constructs of gender, female-only spaces and debate the future of sports and how to resolve the issue of trans athletes.

You all know Tyson, but perhaps not Kisin, described by Youtube as a:

Russian-British satirist, podcaster, author and political commentator. Kisin has written for a number of publications including QuilletteThe SpectatorThe Daily Telegraph and Standpoint on issues relating to tech censorship, woke culture, comedy and culture war topics in the past but currently publishes articles on these subjects on his Substack. He has co-hosted Triggernometry since 2018, a YouTube channel and podcast featuring fellow comedian and co-host Francis Foster.

There are two parts to this conversation. The first involves Tyson’s claim, which he made in a video before, that gender is a flexible spectrum because “people wake up feeling 80% female and 20% male and thus put on makeup.” Or, if the proportions are reversed, they put on a “muscle shirt”.  The claim is not only that people dress and adorn themselves based on their assumption that they’re a separable mixture of male and female notions, leading to a “sex spectrum”.  Tyson wants to be the good guy, so he says that people should be able to dress how they want depending on how they feel.

Kisin notes, properly, that that is not in any sense the problem because everyone already agrees with that. The problem is that there are two discrete biological sexes and that they (especially females) should be able to have some privileges, including female-only spaces, depending not on a spectrum of gender but on their discrete biological sex.

I’ve discussed this before, and I can only repeat myself: the world doesn’t seem to work the way Tyson thinks it does.  There are two issues here. First, people recognize members of their and the other sex not based largely on how they adorn themselves, but on visual cues about how their bodies look, including features like size, musculature, throat morphology, and so on. That’s discussed in this tweet by Carole Hooven (read her whole tweet):

Second, if a woman goes to a party and puts on makeup and a nice dress, does that mean that she feels “more female” than a woman who wears jeans and a tee-shirt to class? I don’t think the world works that way, or that people think that way. If you told such a woman, “Well, I guess you feel more like a man today,” you’d probably get chewed out. And you’d deserve it. Here’s a response I put up before to this fatuous claim by Tyson. It’s a bit heated, but I’d be upset too if, when I put on a nice aftershave before a date, somebody told me I must feel 10% female:

But the important part is the second half of the discussion, in which Kisin reminds Tyson that he’s been dealing with a non-controversy, and that the real controversy is whether we should have sex-limited spaces.  Tyson seems to feel that this devolves only on “the bathroom issue”, which, he says, has already been solved by having two-sex bathrooms with stalls.

It hasn’t.

I used to think that that was a good solution, but I’m not so sure any more. I’ve talked to several women about this issue, and they just don’t want men next to them in a stall taking a large dump, nor do they want men in the room when they’re putting on makeup.  (Bathrooms with a single stall are one solution, but that creates another problem, one that you can see by looking at bathroom lines at halftime during a sports event.)

Women also object to the fact that men’s bathrooms are dirty (we all know that men pee on toilet seats).  The bathroom issue is discussed by Helen Joyce in her book Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, a book well worth reading.  I now think that yes, you can have single-sex bathrooms with stalls, but there should also be separate men’s and women’s rooms if you want multiple stalls, a necessity in a large facility. And, needless to say, there should be separate men’s and women’s changing rooms in sports.

And this brings us not only to sports, an area where Tyson’s ignorance of biology is palpable, but also to other issues that he seems to have forgotten: women’s prisons, rape-counseling centers, halfway houses for battered women, and yes, even genital waxing.  Tyson seems to think that all of these are problems that can be solved by allowing men or trans women to occupy spaces previously claimed by women. It is, he thinks, like a physics problem.  And while the bathroom issue can be addressed (provide several alternatives), what do you do with biological men who abused women and then claimed they were  trans women, just so they can get into women’s prisons and abuse more women? The solution is not to find some halfway position, but to just say “no”.  There’s no good solution that will allow men who say they are really women (and yes, that’s the ubiquitous claim) to enter women’s spaces.

That’s even truer with sports. Tyson shows a profound ignorance of why women’s and men’s sports are separated when he first claims it’s all due to hormone differences. Kisin reminds him that that’s not true, and there are differences in musculature, physiology, grip strength, and so on.

And that, at about 8:20, is when Tyson gets really peeved, starts interrupting Kisin, and becomes loud and arrogant, saying that if the problem of male wrestling or rowing can be solved by creating weight classes, then surely we can solve the sex-differentiated sports issue by “finding ways to slice the population so that whatever the event is interestingly contested.”  But how many classes do you need to have “equal” competition between men and women if you incorporate factors like hormone titers, musculature, previous performance, and so on? I can say two things in response. First, whatever solution you find will still be unfair to women, and second, you’ll surely going to have a ton of different categories, not just two. It’s unworkable.

Reminded of this, Tyson gets more ticked off and yells: “So fix the playing field, dammit. . . . We’re in the middle of solving that problem now.”  Well, we’ve “tried” to solve the problem, like banning trans women from women’s cycling and women’s rugby, but that’s not the solution Tyson wants. He wants men and women to compete against each other, and no matter how you slice the bologna, if you include trans women as biological men, which they are, you’re going to create an unfair solution for women.  The best solution is not making up a bunch of different categories of competition in the Olympics (the Olympics has already bailed on this issue!), but to either retain the sex-segregated categories, create three categories: “men’s”, “women’s” and “other”, or have two categories “women’s” and “other”.  Tyson, of course, wants a lot more categories, though he can’t even begin to suggest how that would work. He just thinks that, like all scientific problems, it can be solved. (No, not all scientific problems can: we’ll never know what the first replicating organism looked like.).

In the end, I was disappointed by Tyson’s apparent lack of understanding of the problem, by his arrogance and anger at those he considers his intellectual inferiors, by his apparent indifference to the fact that yes, there are two sexes that differ biologically in both athletic abilities and ways of thinking, and above all by his casual indifference to the reason why women are demanding their own spaces.  He may be an okay physicist, but as a social thinker he’s inferior to the many women (and some men) who have thought seriously about this issue.


h/t: Hoovlet

100 thoughts on “Neil deGrasse Tyson goes after women’s-only spaces

  1. I think it is telling that Tyson gets angry. This is almost always a sign of intellectual insecurity. Bertrand Russell once wrote that if someone told him that 2 + 2 = 5, or that Greenland was on the equator, he merely smiled, and pitied their ignorance. He knew they were wrong so he had no need to get angry. But, he noted, when he felt himself losing his temper in a dispute, it was a sure sign that he felt himself to be on dodgy ground.

    1. Great point. His inability to offer calm argument and not resort to a self righteous emotionalism and reductionist shows insecurity. He can only consider one side, basically, “Trans exist and we must reorganize every aspect of society, language and law as necessary until sexed differences can be made irrelevant.”

      He is not unlike my sensitive bipolar sister who became a vegetarian in her 20s and for a few months decided humans should devote our resources so no animal has to kill and eat other animals to live. Grandiose? Yes. But what problem does it solve? It removes some pathological guilt that she is a physical being that has to eat other life to survive.

      What is deGrasse Tyson’s pathological guilt that demands he never question individual identity? Maybe it is a guilt at his success, knowing others fight harder battles? That is ultimately the liberal thesis.

      But still, it must be personal. Is there a trans person in his circle that he is white knighting for? And that’s usually what happens I expect. Liberals have a singular harmless person in their minds who was suffering, found god through trans identity, and happy, if only the haters would let them be. With that example you can cover over all harm as a “problem to be solved” without punishing innocent trans who “just want to pee”.

      1. His child. Not guilt, just a parents bias in favor of their children. Or so it has been said, haven’t verified that.

        1. I was about to suggest he be asked how he would feel if he had a teen daughter with boys accessing her changing room? But if he has a trans child and has drunk that KoolAid I guess all is explained.

  2. surely we can solve the sex-differentiated sports issue by “finding ways to slice the population so that whatever the event is interestingly contested.” But how many classes do you need to have “equal” competition between men and women if you incorporate factors like hormone titers, musculature, previous performance, and so on?

    Well two. One for adult human males and one for adult human females. We already have a way to slice the adult population to make it relatively fairly contested. It’s just that a small but vocal minority think it’s denying their identity not to classify them as women.

    On the subject of safe spaces, if somebody sets up a safe space for human females, is that not allowed?

    1. “Well two. One for adult human males and one for adult human females. ”
      That wouldn’t be fair to either. If transmen who are taking testosterone are considered “adult human females”, they would have an unfair advantage against women who have testosterone levels that are normal for women.
      And if transwomen who have been feminized by hormones are considered to be “adult human males”, they would have an unfair disadvantage against men who haven’t been feminized.
      And trans people who’ve had their hormone levels modified are becoming much more common.

        1. It all would be quite interesting, if it weren’t for the insistence that trans people ARE their target sex, so that transwomen should be able to use women’s spaces as they want.
          The transwomen around are interesting-looking, certainly. I like the feminized-male look that their bodies have.
          And someone using medical technology to convert herself into a sort of sexual centaur, like Gabriel Mac did, is also interesting – although very painful too for the person who does it.
          There may not be enough good trans athletes around for a league to work well.
          And maybe males who haven’t gone through male puberty would not have an advantage over women in sports. I haven’t seen research on that.

        2. Sounds like a riot: One guy in the pool swimming by himself. One guy riding a 100-mile bike race all by himself. One guy rowing an eight by himself (and coxing himself.) No one in any of the track and field events. And in the team sports: a guy playing cricket not only against no other team but without any teammates.

          1. There are plenty of trans athletes around to make a league.
            But the level of competition would be a lot lower, because trans people are a lot less common than non-trans. It would be a big opportunity for trans athletes, because it would be less competitive. Maybe it would get a lot of attention and money, too.
            Trans people seem to be getting a lot more common, and fast. At least, where I am.

          2. Sure, there would be two leagues.
            Whether transwomen or transmen were better on average, might depend on the particular sport.

          3. Actually, for some sports, maybe the advantages of male hormones for transmen and the disadvantages of female hormones for transwomen *would* make it close enough to an even competition for them to form a trans league together.

          4. Laura, you are forgetting that sanctioned sport prohibits anyone taking pharmaceutical testosterone. It’s considered doping. So “transmen” would not be able to take testosterone if they wanted to compete in any category.

          1. Women who identify as male don’t need their own league. They can compete as women provided they aren’t doping with testosterone or other anabolic steroid (which is a disqualifier in sanctioned competition.) They could compete as men if they wanted to (and if they aren’t doping) but none do, out the straightforward knowledge that they are at an insurmountable competitive disadvantage.

            The performance advantage of male puberty is fatuously obvious to women. Odd that it seems so hard for it to sink in with male activists and rule-makers.

          2. A strange thought, is it not, that transmen do not try to compete in male leagues, knowing they are at a disadvantage—but that transwomen, we are told, must be allowed to compete in women’s leagues as they have no advantage…..
            These TRAs are better at believing impossible things than I am!

          3. Or, people say that transwomen should be allowed to compete in women’s sports because “transwomen are women”.
            There’s a risk in being polite and calling transwomen women. It leads to people taking it too literally.
            Trans people actually like an artificially created intersex person, if they’ve had medical or surgical treatments to make them more like the opposite sex. Many trans people might object to thinking of themselves that way, but it doesn’t have bad consequences for things like women’s sports.
            Transmen and transwomen are a different situation, and transmen not being competitive in men’s sports doesn’t mean that transwomen have no advantage in women’s sports.

        3. A few weeks ago I ran a half marathon as “non-binary”. I purposely ran 30 minutes slow, and still won overall 3rd place, $100 cash prize, my male age grading of 53% getting same $100 as third place male at 86% grading.

          It is llonely” with 1400 men and women in their competition, while 8 nonbinary runners get easy prizes. But we run the same course so not really lonely.

          I signed up for a second race in October as non-binary. They list men and women top-3 prizes, but nothing for nonbinary yet. Clearly they are trying to avoid insincere entries for easier prizes.

          I called myself a gender nonconforming male, not identifying out of my sex, but protesting a third category which just gives a chance for slower males to win.

          I support a third category for people who want to register without their sex, but we can accommodate by an open category. No need to protect males, but female category needs gate keeping sex over identity.

          I wear a sign “Restore female category” and explain race directors refuse to validate sex, so “John smith” can run as a “woman”, and second place biological woman had no grounds to object.

          We’ll see how long non-binary prizes last…

      1. Only two categories are required: one for androgenised bodies, called “open”, and one for non androgenised, called “women’s”. TW enjoy the legacy effects of male puberty regardless of their current hormone levels, and while suppressing T and taking oestrogen will impact (albeit minimally) on their performance, those hangover benefits mean it is unfair for them to compete against female bodies: they belong in the former category. And TM are in effect doping with performance enhancing drugs, so they too belong in the former category. We all have to weigh and balance our choices in life, and if some people choose to alter their hormones in ways that are acknowledged to impact on performance, they should accept the flow-on effects of their decisions: they may not be as competitive as the other competitors in the “other” category.

      2. The transman on androgens would be disqualified for using performance-enhancing drugs in all well-regulated sports. The transwoman would lose – but that’s her problem, not that of the other competitors.

  3. I said it before, I’ll say it again :

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson must read books first, then speak. Perhaps start with :

    Material Girls
    Kathleen Stock

    Thinking Sex
    Gayle Rubin

    He does not understand the forces at work.

  4. We’ve met Konsantin Kisin here before, if I recall. This Oxford Union debate is well worth a second listen.

    PS, typo I think: “what do you do with trans women who abused women and then claimed they were men, just so they can get into women’s prisons …”; “women” not “men” there?

  5. I’ve been weary of Tyson’s blowhardiness for years now, and when I saw this podcast clip over the weekend, it confirmed to me that he is pandering to an ideology. And doing so in the most obnoxious and arrogant way. The hosts made good points and did not resort to histrionics, unlike NGT.

    1. Tyson keeps trying to carve out a space he can defend by going into areas that are beside the point.

      Let’s spend several minutes arguing that it’s okay if men want to wear lipstick and women want to wear trousers. Then I can waste more minutes talking about historic examples of sexism so that making public restrooms unisex sounds progressive. Now watch me duck the problem with males being put in spots designed to encourage women by introducing the novel idea of hey, let’s get rid of sex discrimination. And sports? Be CREATIVE. That trite recommendation and accompanying huffing and puffing can surely be stretched out to fill even more time that could have been used to deal with the actual issue and realistic problems.

      You can almost feel the relief when he grabs onto a safe space.

  6. There is no way I would use a public rest room if men were using it too. I have a right to privacy when I take care of my bodily functions. Incidentally this is one of the times people are most vulnerable…..the other being lovemaking when you are distracted. In my opinion evolution favored those who did both of these things
    privately, away from other people, where there would be no competition or threat from other people. The exact opposite is eating, a social, communal and nonthreatening reinforcement of human relations that has lasted for eons. As Dobzhansky observed, everything in biology can be explained by evolution.

  7. Women-only spaces are also all-ages.

    Think about that for a bit – especially when Gayle Rubin discusses “eroticism that transgresses generational boundaries” in Thinking Sex.

    Think about that.

    Think about that.

  8. Oh good. A man arguing against women’s spaces and declaring how women feel. Tyson should know better. He has said things in the past that showed himself to be much more understanding of women’s issues. Perhaps listen to how women feel about this? Or is it that we don’t matter because there is another minority view that supersedes us (again?).

    1. Diana, are you aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Tyson? I’m not passing judgment on him either way, just relaying info pertinent to your claim that he showed understanding of women’s issues.

    2. Diana, I used to disagree with your viewpoint on this, but now I think you’re right. It seems that women and their concerns are being sidelined.

  9. If gender is as fluid a social construct as deGrasse Tyson says it is, there can be no basis for making gender expression or “identity” a protected ground under civil or human rights legislation. The discrimination laws reflect things that people can’t be made to change about themselves: sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, record of offences. The last two got added when the social consensus got around to recognizing that they weren’t choices of “lifestyle” but were part of the person’s reality. So if gender expression is down to today’s choice of dress and makeup at work, then an employer can require an employee to wear appropriate clothing at work every day, not just on the days the employee feels like the gender that matches his sex.

    It’s one thing to have sexless individual bathrooms in restaurants, malls, and other places where use is steady and random. Public bathrooms at venues that have to have surge capacity (like at half-time, intermissions, train stations, and airports) will collapse if urinals are removed. Men have been socialized to pee standing up beside other men and can do so rapidly and efficiently, with less cleaning required than if they used toilets. (Although some women do squat on top of the toilet seat and pee all over it just like men do, then leave large wads of sodden toilet paper on the floor.)

    Bathrooms don’t generate revenue but cost money to clean and they take up revenue space (like audience seats.) The square-footage they take up adds to the rent the venue has to pay. They have to be efficient especially in high-rent, high-wage economies. Vast tracts of single-use personal bathrooms at a concert hall just aren’t going to happen. If some men are shy about using a men’s bathroom with urinals, they can pee in a stall or they can adopt a male gender-dress when they go to a basketball game.

    1. As I gather, sex apparently has to be “affirmed” with breasts, genitals, and hormones.

      So why would breasts, genitals, and hormones need to be swapped out for their (binary, in fact) counterparts? They weren’t the right kind of affirmation?

      Only the gnostic wizards of hermetic alchemy would know. So mysterious.

  10. Transwomen who’ve transitioned medically or by surgery could be considered artificially created intersex people – biological females in some ways, so they appear more female than most men do. Yet they’re still biological males in other ways that can’t be changed. Similarly for transmen.
    We have a novel kind of intersex people around, who are relatively common, and it’s causing all sorts of social disruption.
    The problems aren’t easy to solve.
    To me, the biggest issue with bathrooms is the often predatory sexual behavior of males. Bathrooms are closed-off spaces, and likely don’t have security cameras in them. Transwomen may be less likely to be predatory if their hormone levels have been feminized. But a lot of them – the majority, from the best info I have – are attracted to women. It wouldn’t be such an issue if they were mostly femmy gay men who’d further feminized themselves with hormones.
    Similarly with locker rooms – it isn’t fair to the women to have to undress or take showers around transwomen who haven’t surgically transitioned. Yet it’s also unfair to transwomen who look somewhat like women, to make them undress and take showers around men.
    NdGT objected to female shortlists for Parliament, and similar measures, on the grounds that they aren’t fixing the underlying problem.
    “Fix the underlying problem instead”, he says. But the underlying issues may be partly fixed by bandaid solutions, even if they are bandaids.
    For example, if more women are in Parliament bc of shortlists for women, then people can become comfortable with women as leaders, and develop confidence in them, and vote for them.
    We’ve had affirmative action on the same basis. It’s a bandaid, of course. But it isn’t so easy to fix disadvantages for women and people of color that have existed for centuries.
    And if women and people of color are in jobs that are traditionally the province of white men, it gives them a chance to prove they can do it too, and change the stereotypes.

  11. For example, how can one see this video and still think there is no serious moral problem with sacrificing women-only spaces and women-only teams for the sake of the rights of transsexual men?

    “Paula Scanlan, former teammate of trans-identifying swimmer Lia Thomas, speaks out on her experience in speaking out, facing censorship, and the devastating first-hand impact of being forced to share a locker room with a biological male.”

    1. It would also be unfair to transwomen who’ve had their bodies changed a good deal to look like women, to make them use the men’s locker room. So we have a quandary.

      1. Nobody forced them to mutilate their bodies, Laura. They made their bed, they can lie in it. Whatever problems that creates for them are not women’s duty to fix for them.

        1. For whatever reason, trans people have a powerful need to look and feel more like the opposite sex. Kenneth Zucker wrote about some possible causes for gender dysphoria in “A developmental, biopsychosocial model for the treatment of children with gender identity disorder”. Although, trans people don’t necessarily have gender dysphoria.
          Whether transwomen can be accommodated in various women’s spaces without causing a lot of problems depends on a lot of things (such as, how thoroughly the person has transitioned).
          It’s a difficult problem for society in general to try to come up with some workable solution, for transmen and transwomen as well as the women.
          Similarly for men.

          1. A “need” no matter how “powerful” doesn’t translate into an obligation on society to satisfy it or accommodate it, especially if we think it is an imaginary or self-serving need. You acknowledged that trans is not itself a mental disorder; there is no humanitarian need to indulge it. There is no need for society to come up with any solution to autogynephilia other than “No.” Women (and the men who love them) will either vote out governments that try to make them share intimate and competitive spaces with male predators and cheaters, or they will roll over and capitulate. If they do the latter, we can’t help them.

            Current WPATH standards are that mutilation with drugs and surgery should not be given in the absence of gender dysphoria (although this is honoured in the breach.) I don’t think you will get very far toward a meeting of the minds with trans activists if you tell them you’ll welcome their men into women’s spaces if they’ve had their genitals cut off. 🙂

        2. Let me offer my opinion (not a claim of fact, just opinion). In my opinion, biological males who undergo ‘bottom surgery’ should be allowed into female bathrooms and prisons (and a few other domains). I would draw the line at sports, because even ‘bottom surgery’ doesn’t eliminate the physiological advantages of being male.

      2. So respectfully why would it be unfair,? these trans”women” are/were men and understand the whole mens locker room , toilet, urinal practices plus they are probably used to seeing male genitalia on show, this is not the case for women and girls who must keep their women only spaces and this has nothing whatsoever to do with how much an individual has “transitioned” and it is not womens responsibility to fix this problem for them. This is predominantly a male generated problem and it is not once again a reason for women to be victimized because of it. If I were a women in a womens only space and confronted with a trans women displaying male genitalia there is a good chance he would be dragged out by his heels!

        1. By “transitioning thoroughly”, I meant looking convincingly like a woman.
          Michael Bailey described in “The man who would be queen”, transwomen who were so convincing as women that they got married to men, and kept their trans-ness a secret.
          It’s surprising that hormones and surgery can be so convincing, but there you go.
          There are degrees of looking more or less like a woman, but someone who has male genitalia and is visible nude in a woman’s locker room, definitely does *not* look like a woman 🙂
          Michael Bailey’s book has a very interesting perspective on trans issues, by the way. He’s a sex researcher, and has a politically incorrect perspective that seems likely to have a lot of truth to it.

  12. I’ve watched some Tyson clips online which are fairly interesting as he’s explaining some aspect of science, but I’ve found him to be overbearing to his guests, often talking over them and insisting on having the last word. He also always has a sidekick guest, someone whose role is to look dumb compared to him.

    He just strikes me as pompous a lot of the time, but my guess is the same as others have suggested, insecurity. He feels the need to demonstrate that he knows all the answers, that he’s smarter than his guests.

  13. I agree with everything you say about Tyson. He has said when he was young that Carl Sagan inspired him to his career. That is all well and good but he is no Carl Sagan.

  14. The Triggernometry interviews are always interesting. NDT has clearly lost the plot when it comes to this issue. Does he seriously not know that a man has a physical advantage over a woman even when they are matched for height and weight?

  15. On the narrow issue of whether using classes in sports based on weight/size instead of sex, it wouldn’t remove the performance advantage arising from male puberty. International weight lifting has a lot of weight classes that are identical for men and women. In every case, the record amount lifted by men is 15-30% higher than the record amount lifted by women who weigh the same.

    1. That actually understates the difference. If you look at the records, you’ll see that the lightest men can outlift the heaviest women. As in, men who tip the scales at around 60 kilos can lift as much or more than women who are twice their size.

      For example, per wikipedia, Li Wenwen is the top female lifter, and her bodyweight is listed at 331 lbs (150 kg). Her record total (snatch and clean and jerk) is 320 kg.

      Chen Lijun is the male record holder at the 67kg (148 lbs) weight limit. His record total is 332 kg, 12 kilos more than the woman who is literally more than twice his size.

      This also dispels that notion that I’ve heard from some feminists that although men may have higher absolute strength than women because they are simply larger, when you control for bodyweight, women are just as strong as men. Look through these records, compare the weight categories, and you’ll see than men are also much stronger in relative strength as well.

      Men not only have more muscle per given bodyweight than women, but they also enjoy advantages in how efficiently they recruit those muscles for explosive power. This translates to virtually all sports that involve any type of speed, agility, and leaping.

      If that doesn’t put the relative difference in strength and explosive power between men and women into context, nothing will.

  16. I took my daughter to an open day at the University of Manchester in the summer. At one point I really needed to go for a pee, so my daughter showed me to the nearest one. We got there and as females were streaming in and out, so I said ‘No, that’s for women’. She looked at me like I was daft and said ‘No, Dad they’re for everyone’.

    I went to the loo and felt exposed and uncomfortable throughout. Firstly the entrance wasn’t a door, more like a massive, very wide hole in the wall. It allowed people in the corridor to see pretty much every entrance (intended to deal with the safety issue, I guess), and being an open day it was really busy. I found my social anxiety rising quickly as I searched for a stall without a woman in an adjacent stall. There were a few factors in my choosiness: i) uneasiness and embarrassment, ii) I didn’t want to make women next to me uncomfortable, iii) I felt exposed to judgment for inadvertently making more ‘manly’ sounds in a female space. I even felt judged for trying to figure out the identity of stall occupants but realising it was impossible anyway, I bit the bullet and chose a loo.

    Depending on your viewpoint and background you may feel one or more of these factors are irrational, and they probably are. However, I didn’t feel comfortable at all, and anything other than peeing would be a no for me. I’m very far from a prude and I’m not even that ancient (late 40s). I’m one of the least uptight people you’ll meet and if I can feel like this, there must be gazillions more who will feel even worse.

    1. You are not on your own, I am sure of this. I feel exactly as you do. The absolute stuff that women and girls have had to endure throughout much of history and still are in many countries then to have this “transgender” nonsense foisted upon them in what are supposedly equal modern liberal societies makes me both very angry and ashamed. I am white male somewhat more aged than your good self but still going.

  17. Over 70% of sex offences in changing rooms and toilets happen in mixed-sex ones (we’re talking about voyeurism, secret filming, harassment, and much worse). Surveys show that both men and women are uncomfortable with using them. There’s a good reason why single-sex facilities were created in the first place, not least for the safety, privacy, and dignity of women in situations where they have to undress.

    Every week, Graham Linehan (creator of Father Ted, The IT Crowd, etc.) posts a round-up of the week’s news on women’s rights and gender identity ideology (note: he doesn’t always write the posts himself). It always makes for uncomfortable reading. Here’s this week’s:

  18. I am aligned with *almost* all the points being made here but one: I won’t acknowledge that men’s restrooms are any dirtier on average than women’s. My long work history included jobs where I was responsible for the restrooms in public buildings and saw just as many horrors in either.

  19. I have a background in competitive sport and for a few years. I was a mainstay of the national squad from which the Olympic athletes were selected, so I have significant insight into how the trans issue may affect top competitive female athletes. Yes, I’m a man, but the central principle we’re dealing with (unfairness in competition) applies to any athlete. This is something I feel really passionate about and I really can’t improve on what I said. I hope our host doesn’t object to me posting it here again (and sorry for the length).

    My sporting life feels so long ago now that I should probably start with ‘once upon a time’, nevertheless, here’s the comment:

    I’d like to offer my perspective. In my late teenage years and my early twenties, I was an elite athlete, representing my country internationally many times. To reach that competitive standard takes a level of commitment that is hard to explain to people who haven’t been there. The drive required is enormous; for 5-6 years every decision I made prioritised my mental and physical fitness for sport and competition. Nothing would get in the way – I never partied or drank alcohol and I controlled what I ate in forensic detail. I would gladly rise at whatever time I was supposed to, even in the middle of winter, and do whatever horrible exercise or drill I was instructed to. If there wasn’t an official training session, I would do my own, knowing that my competitors would be at home and cosy in bed. It’s difficult to convey the feeling, but I HAD to win – the need was overwhelming. My commitment was absolute because experience taught me that commitment worked – it differentiated me from others. Many were more gifted than I was, but I was able to overturn their advantage through effort and determination.

    In this situation, you know you only have a few years to be at your best, and you’re acutely aware of it. You also realise that the natural talent which makes some people excel in high school isn’t enough when they move to the next level. In nearly all circumstances the differentiators are commitment and self-belief, but there are exceptions. No matter what your mental approach is, you’ll never compensate for the superlative talent of a Messi, Ronaldo, a Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, or a Usain Bolt. But they are the extreme outliers.

    This is all a prelude to my main point. Allowing male-born athletes to compete with females is analogous to making every average male club sprinter compete against many thousands who are as good or better than Usain Bolt. As a club athlete, you will never come close – you’re wasting your time.

    As a teenage female athlete, how would you feel if you had committed your life to your sport (and to be at the top you HAVE to), just to see those years of sacrifice, single-minded effort and hope amount to nothing because you have to compete against men? I find it hard to find the words to express how I would have felt, but crestfallen, devastated and utterly disillusioned would be a good start.

    For females who compete at the top of their sport, introducing biological males is not just unfair, it’s cruel and unethical in the extreme. It erases their years of dedication, their total commitment in working towards a goal that is within their reach. As soon as male-born athletes are introduced to their event, they know they can NEVER compete. The years of effort and dedication, their sporting goals, disappear in a flash.

    This subject really grinds my gears, I know how severely the introduction of male-born competitors will affect many female athletes and I find it unconscionable.

    1. Well said.
      Introducing males into female sports also overturns the dynamic of competition and purpose of training. Trans-identified male athletes have to take drugs (hormones) which hobble their natural abilities so they are low enough to qualify, but high enough to win.

    2. We are already seeing it happening, one sport at a time. Track and field, swimming, powerlifting, cycling, and the list goes on. Another thing no one is mentioning is that many of the male-born athletes are much older than their opponents. Some of them are in their late 40s and older, beating women who are in their 20s and 30s.

  20. First, Tyson has been getting more douchey over time, too much for my taste. TV stardom went to his head. I blame PBS for using him for EVERYTHING. Anyway, I went to Vassar College and graduated 20 years ago (hard to believe). Even back then, the dorms were coed and so were the bathrooms. We’d all shit, shave, and scrub in adjacent stalls and everyone got used to it very quickly. There was a female-only dorm (and I wonder what’s become of it since my time there), but I digress. Coed bathrooms are literally no big deal. If a bunch of horned-out 20 year olds can do it for 4 straight years, so can everyone else.

    1. It would depend a lot on where the bathroom is. A bathroom at a Greyhound station in a big city, very different from the bathrooms at Vassar.

    2. Maybe a lot of those women, having no choice, didn’t like it but couldn’t do anything about it. One thing’s for sure, a lot of women don’t like it now. So what is the import of your comment that if 20 year olds can do it, everyone else can. WHAT IF A LOT OF THOSE OTHER PEOPLE DON’T LIKE IT? Are you going to tell them, “Tough, deal with it” when you could have single sex bathrooms?

      1. Nah, the women there could have gone to another school. It wasn’t a secret. We all had a choice. Zero people, out of the literally thousands of people there, only got into Vassar and nowhere else. And if a lot of people don’t like it, yeah. Tough. I don’t like lots of things but I’m an adult and can tough it out. If I’m unable to piss at a urinal while some total stranger washes her hands, why am I suddenly able to piss at a urinal while a total stranger washes his hands? Trick question. I can piss at both urinals.

        1. But Jon, don’t you see? The women who did go to Vassar (and other places) with its co-ed dorms were the ones who didn’t mind sharing bathrooms with fellow students who, don’t forget, weren’t random strangers. (And it’s Vassar!)
          The ones who were appalled at the idea went somewhere else and you never met them. You are committing the survivorship bias fallacy. You look at a photos of a reunion of RAF/RCAF Bomber Command aircrew in the 1960s and say, Gee, from the numbers I see here, flying air missions over Germany can’t have been all that dangerous. Look at all those guys! But 60% of them didn’t come back.

          Besides, it’s not about you, being male. Men can piss anywhere. The people who get to vote on this are the women. You don’t get a say in it.

        2. If adults faced with doing things they don’t want to do ought to just tough it out and do it, then trans-identified males should develop the perspective, resilience, wisdom, and respect to use the facilities set aside for males. Or is it only women who need to bend?

      2. You said some women would be uncomfortable applying makeup around a male.
        But transwoman might tend to use makeup themselves, so as to look more like women. They certainly tend to dress in a female-stereotypical way, often more than the women around are doing.
        So if the transwoman is all makeupped themselves, why would a woman feel weird about applying it while they’re around?
        Unfortunately, there is going to be a lot of discomfort for many different groups, as society tries to work out some kind of workable way to accommodate trans people. Especially since transing has become so much more common.
        And it doesn’t seem likely to go back to being rare. Part of the reason it’s so much more common is that there’s better technology for transitioning now, and that won’t go away. Also, a medical solution for the emotional pain and other psychological issues that trans people often have is very appealing, although it may often be a false answer for the trans people. And, very appealing to those who make money from it.
        So, just sticking with the old arrangements for women and men doesn’t seem to be an option.

  21. Coed bathrooms are no big deal, for those for whom they are no big deal. But obviously there are people for whom they are a problem. This includes but is not limited to women whose religion makes more of a big deal about how women are exposed to men. Muslim women, or orthodox Jewish women, aren’t very likely to post on this blog. But they may need to pee when they go out, and the absence of facilities for women may make it impossible for them to enter even as much as they are able to into contemporary urban life.

    1. A small addition. Shonagh Dillon posted an interview in 2022 with three Muslim women (including a doctor) on the ways in which opening up space for trans women in what used to be women’s spaces (including gyms and swimming pools) has closed off various activities for Muslim women.

  22. Sastra once said something that stuck in my mind – I will try to restate it :

    Non-LGB individuals want the right to be believed.

    I think I see a deeper level of this “right” to others’ beliefs.

    Just as we might have a sense that we have two (and only two) legs, just as we have a sense that we bodily have 10 fingers, or lungs, or any other material feature of living things, non-LGB point to the sense that we bodily have only one of two binary/bimodal categories of :

    brow ridges
    pelvis angles
    Adam’s apples

    … and call that gender identity – the invented term stolen from linguistics by Robert Stoller and John Money in the 60s.

    But perhaps it is related to proprioception:

    Because that would make a lot of sense – an innate sense of bodily structure that otherwise has no name and people get by with being unaware of it if so.

    Ok sorry that was so long, I thought it would be short.

    1. No editing possible:

      So if there’s a party, say, and everyone pretty much knows everyone has two legs, we believe they have two legs – even though one person might have a prosthesis.

      I think that’s the “right to be believed” means.

      1. My next door neighbours a delightful family of practicing Roman Catholics believe quite sincerely in the “transubstantiation “ at mass. I can accommodate this but it does not mean that I have to believe it any more than I have to believe a man who states sincerely that he is a women or a women who states that she is a man and this does not make me transphobic any more than I am christianophobic if there is even such a thing!

        1. The analogy is a very good one, and is developed in detail by Gary Francione (who has been attacked as a transphobe).

    2. After seeing Matt Walsh’s “What is a woman?” movie, I looked at some attempts by philosophers to interpret “transwomen are women” in a coherent, non-circular way. They call it the “Trans inclusion problem”.
      The best attempt I’ve seen is from Katharine Jenkins. Paraphrased,
      “A woman is an adult with a female gender identity, which means that she takes a lot (enough) of the norms about adult human females to be about her. Norms could be norms for how she interacts with other people; norms about a woman’s body (breasts, a uterus, etc.); what she wears and how she grooms herself; what situations she should avoid so she’s less likely to be raped; etc. etc. She doesn’t need to follow these norms to have a female gender identity; but she’s internalized a lot of them.”

      I don’t remember her actually using the phrase “adult human female”, most philosophers seem to be allergic to it 🙁 But that was the gist.
      It doesn’t solve the “trans inclusion problem”, but it’s a good explanation of what it would mean to identify as a woman.

      1. Ok, that’s interesting

        But I’d point out – and not arguing with you – that no person or living thing of any sort has a gender.

        There is no location or material or empirical basis for gender.

        Gender is a linguistic concept/function (to say the least).

        1. In the sense that these norms are clustered into groups, one for women and one for men, those groups can be called genders. A combination of physical characteristics, social expectations and the other different realities of life for women and men.

          1. OK, I guess I’m sort of arguing now, apologies:

            “In the sense that these norms are clustered into groups”

            Yes, there is something, but where is it.

            How is it observed.

            It might be something simpler we already know a lot about with an empirical basis like facial recognition, or handedness (how do we know which handedness is right-handed?) – rather than requiring new (1960s) terminology – if that – is what I think, anyway.

            Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur


          2. I disagree. That used to be mostly true, but not anymore, and there are several reasons for that. Firstly, it depends on who you ask:

            i) A 65-year-old adult who came of age in a more sensible era
            ii) A 16-year-old gender activist who spends their spare time creating lists of neopronouns for their Tumblr blog

            These people would almost certainly give you wildly different answers as to what male and female means, or what a man or a woman is. In our current zeitgeist, any definition, and I mean any definition, of man or woman can be denied by anyone. Not only is that seen as a legitimate viewpoint (actually the legitimate viewpoint), if you persist in claiming that you know what a woman is based on traditional means of identification, you will likely be considered hateful and transphobic.

            Substantial numbers of people will even give you differing opinions on whether men or women actually exist as definable categories. Again, if you insist that they do, you may be labelled a bigot.

            And apart from all this, there are now countless other ‘genders’, all of them ridiculous, which have been dreamed up out of thin air by people with too much time on their hands.

            In short no-one can agree on physical or other characteristics which define a woman or a man. The woke media (especially on the internet) is chock full of assertions that it’s not possible to ascertain gender from appearance, behaviour, personality or any other observable characteristic. So, if that’s true what the hell is gender anyway?

            These days, the only socially acceptable way (at least in polite society and academia) to define what membership of a gender means is by claiming you identify with it yourself. It has become an entirely arbitrary and subjective concept, and is now so overused and ill-defined that it is completely meaningless.

          3. I’d like to point out how this comment illustrates very well the dialectic:

            obliteration of material distinctions of male/female (negation/negative thinking – antithesis), keeping and uplifting the elements consistent with the new understanding of “gender” (thesis) to produce a synthesis of each, on a new basis. This transforms “man” to a higher plane of being that matches the image of the self gained by gnosis in the mind.

            See Hegel and Marcuse for their expositions on the dialectic, Marcuse for his “negative thinking” idea.

            This is hermetic alchemy in the 21st. century.

      2. I think it’s rather sly of Jenkins to casually throw “norms about a woman’s body” in with social and cultural norms which women are indeed free to follow or not. She’s hoping to slide the qualification of being female into the same bin as wearing makeup or letting people talk over you, though it’s the crux of the matter. So I don’t think it a definition which rises above the usual problems of circularity or sexism.

        The best attempt I’ve seen is Woman: “anyone feeling most congruent in a body with typical female sexual characteristics.”

        It’s still not very good. That “most congruent” is doing a lot of heavy lifting, though it at least recognizes that a definition of “woman” ought to make reference to being female.

  23. Wow. Lots of commentary on this one!

    Tyson seems more exercised than usual, even a bit angry, I’d agree. He’s always quite exuberant, so I could (charitably) read his demeanor as excitement, rather than anger. It’s a bit hard to tell.

    That said, I think that his solution to the problem of different spaces for men and women—whether in changing rooms or in sports competition—is naive and impractical. Looking at sports competition in particular, it is in theory possible to slice and dice people so that that there are categories where the competitions are “matched” (to use his word). But in practice, such a scheme would not work. If matching requires matching according to hormonal levels, muscle mass, bone density, and all the rest we could end up with too many categories of competition—perhaps even a unique category for each competitor (which would result in some not-very-interesting competitions). It might be interesting to attempt such an exercise.

    On the other hand, since virtually all of the criteria one might need to create matched categories already correspond to biological sexes, why not just create matching categories using biological sex itself? Creating categories using biological sex ensures that there aren’t too many categories for practical competition and that competitors would be sorted according to any reasonable list of matching criteria. Oh. We already have that! Adding an “Open” category would be perfectly reasonable, if one is deemed necessary.

    My main problem with Tyson is that he is getting out of his lane, and his authority as a public scientist risks him spreading inaccuracies. Even in this interview, he seems to be shooting from the hip in a couple of places—opining in the heat of the moment. Public scientists, in particular, should guard against using their authority where it is not warranted. He’s failing that test here but I think he’s redeemable. Let’s hope that he reads your web site, Jerry. He may.

    1. Neil has gotten crankier in recent years. I listened to him on Coleman Hughes’ podcast…for those who do not know Coleman is a talented young African American writer, speaker and podcaster, quite similar to Sam Harris in background and temperament.

      And throughout the podcast, Neil is often surly, pedantic, and talks down to his younger interlocuter. It sure didn’t seem like the Neil I remembered from 10 years ago.

      Many people commenting on the episode don’t seem to see Neil’s dyspeptic manner, but others do. For someone who has been listening to Neil for years, I definitely perceive a change in his temperament for the worse.

  24. If not positively angry, Neil does seem unusually skittish, but I don’t think that merits an ad hominem or anything.

    I basically agree with his points. He’s being more of an idealist and thinking about more fundamental changes than the interviewers, who are considering practical problems and how to address them more immediately. A lot of cross-talk.

    (Why does Tyson only address the concerns of biological females? First, presumably because that’s what the interviewers were challenging him with, and second: *did* he address them?)

    With respect to sports, I think the endless churning-up of such issues increasingly attests to the futility, if not stupidity, of competitive sports to begin with. I’ve been pretty open-eared and open-minded all my life to sports enthusiasts and have just never understood the value of them. Exercising and competing with oneself is enjoyable, physically beneficial, and makes a lot of sense, and all of that can be had without physical competition. The rest seems like it’s just a tradition-based industry that people “buy in” to without really thinking about it.

    The only thing I really find telling about Neil is that when asked specifically about sex, he changes the topic to gender and doesn’t acknowledge he’s dodging the question. He doesn’t respond to astronomy questions by veering into “who are you to tell a believer in astrology they aren’t the kind of person their Zodiac sign dictates?”

    1. Sorry, but tons of people enjoy sports (I enjoy some of them) and your saying that sports are stupid doesn’t make Tyson look any better.

      And really, do you think that changing sports so that the bologna is sliced in such a way that men can compete against women is feasbi.le? Have you thought about how that would or could work?

      It’s curious that all of Tyson’s “idealistic” solutions involve discomfiting women, not men.

      And, by the way, I made no ad hominem arguments, so you should apologize for implying that.

      1. Jerry – “ad hominem” wasn’t directed at you specifically. Since his tone was repeatedly pointed out in the post and the comments, I thought I’d speak against temptation to engage in that downstream.

        My impression about competitive sports is of course subjective. I’m not telling anyone what to like or dislike, and certainly not claiming that no one likes them.

        > “… Have you thought about how that would or could work?”

        Physical and mental capacity differs across individuals, and presumably that’s the intrigue of questions underlying competitions, such as “of all humans, who can pull this particular boulder the furthest?”, et cetera? Almost certainly the strongest man will beat the strongest woman, but almost certainly the strongest man will bear the tenth-strongest man. I don’t understand the need to try to “level” that when the purpose was to discriminate between varied individuals to begin with. So, yes, I feel like I’ve thought about it, and that’s all I’ve ever really come up with. It may just attest to the conclusion that I truly don’t “get it,” so perhaps I’m offering little, but I’m at least offering that people exist around the world who are perplexed in this way.

        I think I addressed the point about “discomfiting women,” though I (a man) have never relished an adjacent stall to a man either, nor would I particularly relish an adjacent stall to a woman. I imagine men would indeed be discomfited right along with women, and the requisite higher expectations on everybody to be open-minded and considerate of everyone else could prove worth applying and advancing.

        I wouldn’t even say that Tyson offered solutions to everything; the “idealism” was more like an expectation that solutions would be forthcoming, as you pointed out.

        1. We have various separations in sport competitions. Sex, age, weight in some sports.
          These separations are there so that people in the disadvantaged groups get a chance to compete.
          Which separations there are is somewhat arbitrary, but it tends to involve groups that are important otherwise in society. No basketball league for short people, for example.
          Women are already a disadvantaged group in many other ways, and if transwomen are allowed to compete and dominate women’s sports, it would be a further kind of oppression of women. The license that transwomen have been given to compete with women seems like a manifestation of male privilege, ironically.
          There are competitive sports mostly because people enjoy watching them. It’s interesting to see people doing extraordinary things with their bodies.
          And because of that, there’s money and glory for the winning athletes. Less so for women’s sports; one of the objections to transwomen competing in women’s events is that they’re taking away a piece of an already smaller pie.

          1. Laura —

            I appreciate the general commentary, which, as I’ve said, I try to spend extra time absorbing. And I agree it’s interesting to see anything extraordinary, so I can appreciate that aspect of it, but that doesn’t really figure into the contentious questions here.

            I’m a little confused by a couple of your remarks. Short people are unimportant in society, outside the context of basketball? Is that to suggest that tall people are important in society outside of the context? I don’t think I’ve perceived either.

            Can’t disadvantaged people compete in any activity, even if they tend to win less often?

            If the idea is for people to be able to win more uniformly, why should people take obstructions to that goal so seriously when it’s acknowledged that separations are somewhat arbitrary to begin with – that is, when the system’s premise is only based on limited seriousness? Tyson, contrastingly, insisted on “levelling the playing field” with much more scrutiny and granularity. If you’re not with Tyson at least theoretically, why not?

    2. That you may not see the value of competitive sports is hardly a convincing argument for doing away with them! Boys, girls, women and men all over the world participate in sports at all levels and many lives (and livelihoods) are vastly improved by athletic competitions. Undoubtedly, there would be a lot less socioeconomic mobility without competitive sports.

      1. Keith –

        I don’t think I’m suggesting doing away with them, nor am I denying others like them or find them beneficial. Rather than becoming closed-minded after decades of willingness to listen to such people, I’m still open to understanding all of that. In the meantime, I’m left with a similar sense to Tyson’s that society is capable of focusing on fundamentally different conceptualizations around sexes, spaces and sports that may help preclude the potential of these issues to arise in the first place.

  25. What an embarrassment Tyson was.

    PCC is right, many categories is unworkable. Also, imagine the massive (and mandatory?) blood testing infrastructure that would need to be built to enforce his categories. Would testing be compulsory? What about performance enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids to keep the playing field level? The implication of Tyson’s own solution is unworkable – men who transition to women but have (or had) male levels of testosterone should simply have to compete with the men, right? That would be their new category but they don’t want that because they will be mediocre athletes by male standards. This bad faith is crystal clear – it’s to gain advantage (and accolades) in sporting competition that they couldn’t when competing as men.

    Really interesting was Tyson’s analogy of moving toward the future (progressive) and not the past…what he says led to conditions allowing for his own escape from historical anti-black racism. OK but I’m very curious to know if he thinks white or other ethnicities can identify as black or maybe 20% black on some days depending on how they dress and act. He might think this point absurd but it is not because sex is FAR more genetically well-defined than any race/ethnicity is, so why would it be taboo to assume the phenotype of another race not one’s own but not taboo at all when assuming the opposite sex?

  26. I am wary of posting this – I rarely comment.
    So I listened to the whole thing – and I don’t see the anger and arrogance (having listened to him for so many years, this is just his manner – and this should be obvious by now – and we would allow this normally – but the comments (on the Triggernometry site) are all ad hominem.

    Note: I am completely on the side of restricting biological men to women’s shelters and jails etc etc. 100%. I disagree with the ‘progressives’ of today appropriating real science for a political agenda, and thus harming women’s movements (as well as retarding the progress made for gay and lesbian rights). I loathe the quasi-biblical fervour of critical race theory and gender theory injecting the ‘original sin’ of inherited privilege and the blasphemy of speaking out about it.
    I note that every time NGT says anything online, everyone piles on – he’s a bad scientist, he’s this, he’s that.

    I watched this expecting a ranting out-of-control man, based on the comments on the Triggernometry site. But it’s just people who disagree with his stance piling on.
    I thought it was a great discussion, which he prefaces as not an attempt to push his view on anyone – and all these spaces pride themselves on allowing for diversity of opinion – which they allowed – only to spout hate on the person.
    I know that even my comments here will attacked, because it sounds like I am defending his views. I feel that people are so ideologically taken by one side or the other, that when they hear a dissenting view, they lose all ability to judge what actually happened – he was ranting, he loves himself, he is this or that – but the very comments themselves are arrogant and judgy and angry and biased! It is all so obvious it is laughable.

    Note: none of this is directed at our host – I mostly am depressed by the comments on the Triggernometry site (and every other forum commenting on NGT). Even though I disagree with NGT, I feel I have thrown my lot in with right-wing bigots masquerading as ‘free-thinkers’.

    Also – the podcast is over an hour long, and I notice that NGT detractors do not discuss the rest of the podcast and the interesting discussion. Did we watch the same podcast? (‘We’ as in all peoples, not WEIT people).

    I don’t know if the above will be received generously. May I also say that WEIT is my safe space. I love it here. Well, ‘safe’ is the wrong word – I have saved every single post on the NZ Maori debacle (for example), and I fume and rant myself at the monumental stupidity of the movement – because it serves as a litmus test for similar movements across the globe. It is ‘safe’ in the sense that I can come here and read real honest engagement with issues, and I love reading the varied comments that enrich the topic at hand.

    Full disclosure: I have a d*g…

    1. “I watched this expecting a ranting out-of-control man, based on the comments on the Triggernometry site.”

      Neil consistently overtalks his interlocuters. He interrupts them as they are developing their points in a supercilious way (“is it just sports and bathrooms…only those two, only those two?), yet expects to be given ample time to develop his and bristles if someone dares ask a clarifying question during one of his monologues.

      Basically, more so in than in the past, Neil treats these podcasts less as a give and take discussion, and more of a platform for him to dominate the conversation. He visibly gets irritated whenever the other person speaks for more than 10 seconds.

      I hate to say it, but Neil’s behavior is what term “mansplain” was invented to describe.

  27. “like changing rooms, sports, jails, rape counseling centers, halfway houses for battered women” You left out bathrooms, which might be more important (more common) than the rest. Tyson proposes to use hormone levels rather than sex tests in sports. There are at least two huge problems here. First hormone levels can not be so easily measured and can be variable over time. However, a more serious problem is that classifying athletes based on hormone levels would force William Thomas (he now calls himself Lia Thomas) and Rhys McKinnon (he how calls himself Veronica Ivy) to complete with actual men and they would lose. Since cheating is the point of TWAW (in sports), Tyson’s approach won’t work.

    1. In most sports at the beginning of all this, and some still, male athletes could compete as women if they manipulated their testosterone levels down to some level that is below that lower limit of normal for adult men. The lowest level I have seen used is 5 nM, which is still twice that of the upper limit of normal for women. So if hormonal level was to be used for eligibility to call someone “really” a woman, (as opposed to merely saying that a female-identifying man could compete in women’s events) there would be conflict over how low it had to be. I don’t know if it is pharmacologically possible to de-androgenize a healthy man down to women’s levels without intolerable side effects. “Medical castration” is known to be as effective as orchiectomy in eliminating testicular androgens in men with advanced prostate cancer where you are trying to prolong survival in a fatal disease.

      Your point is well taken. Most sport governing bodies have abandoned the requirement for testosterone manipulation because they realize the level alone in an adult man does not matter much in his competitive advantage over women. So if we did use “hormones” as the criterion, all men currently competing as women would be disqualified because many now have normal male levels and none (so far as we know) have levels in the normal female range. If 5 or 10 nM is “legal”, it is not rational to try to get it down to 2.4.

  28. NGT has a history of supporting affirmative action. However when it comes to affirmative action for women in parliament or corporations, he says we should get rid of it and change our culture instead, as if somehow discrimination against women is less imbedded than racial discrimination.

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