Ideological Capture

How Denial of the Sex-Binary Corrupts Academic & Scientific Media & Institutions


A review of several academic and scientific publications, articles which reveal an alarming disregard for scientific rigour and which promote pseudoscience by denying the binarity of biological sex.

Sommaire en français Une discussion de plusieurs publications académiques et scientifiques, des articles qui révèlent un mépris alarmant de la rigueur scientifique et qui promeuvent la pseudoscience en niant la binarité du sexe biologique.

As is well known (or at least was, until recently when groupthink conquered all), sex is a binary biological phenomenon, defined by the type of gamete (sperm or ovum) which the individual can produce. Male and female are the only sexes. Even rare “intersex” individuals represent anomalous conditions in which one or both sexes are inconsistently implemented, not some intermediate sex. And yet, it has become fashionable to assert the falsehood that sex is on a continuum, a spectrum, or that it is arbitrary, nothing more than a social construct. One particularly bizarre expression of this pseudoscientific claim is the allegation that sex is “assigned at birth” when in reality the sex of a foetus can be monitored during gestation and the sex of the baby is observed at birth.

Those who deny the sex binary (i.e. who promote what I call “sex-binary denialism” or “gender ideology”) propagate several false ideas about this issue.

  1. They lump sexual orientation, i.e. gay men and lesbians, with gender dysphoria, i.e. trans persons, thus conflating two populations and two issues which are very distinct from each other.
  2. They conflate biological sex, which is strictly binary, with gender, whose definition is not biological and refers to human behaviour in terms of social roles stereotypically or traditionally associated with men and/or women. Biological sex is not on a continuum, but gender may be considered so. Judith Butler is one philosopher who explicitly encourages this confusion.
  3. They use very rare intersex conditions as an excuse to reject the sex-binary, when in fact these conditions are simply anomalies in the development of one or both sexes.
  4. They claim that saying sex is binary harms human rights, in particular the rights of trans persons. This is nonsense.

  5. They claim that saying sex is binary harms human rights, in particular the rights of trans persons. This is nonsense. In fact, the opposite is true. If sex is not binary but rather arbitrary, just a social construct, then the terms “man,” “woman” and “sexual orientation” lose their meaning, compromising the rights of women, lesbians and gay men. Furthermore, this erasure of sex also erases trans persons, because if “male” and “female” are arbitrary constructs, then what is the purpose or result of transitioning from one to the other?
  6. They claim that only right-wing or far-right religious fanatics defend the sex binary. This is patently false. Although opposition to homosexual rights comes mainly (but not exclusively) from religious conservatives, criticism of sex-binary denialism comes from across the political spectrum and from many non-religious people. In other words, sex-binary denialists conflate the sex-binary with support for regressive, rigid gender roles and stereotypes.

There are two major themes running through the above false ideas: (1) the straw-man fallacy, i.e. sex-binary denialists criticize their opponents for things those opponents do not say; and (2) virtue-signalling, i.e. the denialists think they are being good moral people and are ostentatiously signalling their supposed morality to other denialists.

The implication of the above falsehoods, especially the last two, is that if one dares to affirm the sex binary, then one is a bad, immoral, right-wing scumbag who hates sexual minorities. This accusation is, of course, utterly baseless. Nevertheless, whether through stupidity or cowardice, some people who really should know better have swallowed the non-binary propaganda. This is unfortunate, but it gets worse: several academic and scientific media and institutions have themselves capitulated to this emotional blackmail. Here are some examples.

Anthropologists in the USA & Canada

In 2023, the American Anthropology Association (AAA) and Canadian Anthropology Association (CASCA) issued a joint statement “No Place For Transphobia in Anthropology” which attempts to justify the cancelling of a session on biological sex at the AAA/CASCA 2023 conference, accusing the cancelled speakers of promoting the notion that “sex and gender are simplistically binary.” I doubt very much that those speakers would make the foolish mistake of conflating sex and gender; that foolish mistake is made by the AAA and CASCA.

…the real reason for the cancellation is not scientific, but moralistic. […] They are terrified of being accused of transphobia.

The joint statement accuses critics of gender ideology of having the same perfidious agenda as promoters of “race science” a century ago, that is “to advance a ‘scientific’ reason to question the humanity of already marginalized groups of people, in this case, those who exist outside a strict and narrow sex / gender binary.” Thus, we see that the real reason for the cancellation is not scientific, but moralistic. The AAA and CASCA are simply signalling their (alleged) virtue and their (very real) cowardice by capitulating to fashionable nonsense. They are terrified of being accused of transphobia.

The Lancet

The once venerable medical journal The Lancet, founded two centuries ago, has evidently degenerated, if the recent article Confronting the anti-gender movement by Angela Saini is any indication. The article is a diatribe condemning any criticism of gender ideology and lumping all such critics into the same category: hate-filled, patriarchal, right-wing religious fanatics and conservatives who oppose abortion rights and same-sex marriage. This is simply an extreme example of the straw-man fallacy.

Saini refers to gender ideology as “an umbrella term for everything that undermines notions of the heterosexual family in which a woman’s role is primarily as a mother.” It must be pointed out that it is she herself and her ilk who have installed that umbrella, by slandering all her critics as bigots.

…self-identification allows any person (male or female, predator or not) to hack the system very easily…

Saini even quotes Judith Butler approvingly and displays, below her article, the cover of Butler’s most recent opus Who’s Afraid of Gender (2024) which, according to the publisher’s overview, indulges in the same straw-man fallacy as Saini. Saini quotes Butler complaining about critics who insist “that trans women are male predators in disguise, or that they could be” and then adds “It does not take much to appreciate how unfair it is to damn all trans women this way.” What? I do not think than any critics of gender ideology—not even the religious bigots—say all trans women are male predators. What we are saying, rather, is that self-identification allows any person (male or female, predator or not) to hack the system very easily by simply claiming to be trans. Have Saini and Butler never heard of the concept of cheating? Or that controls to prevent or reduce cheating are often a good idea?

According to Butler, the gender-critical movement “demonizes struggles for equality, fuels aggressive nationalism, and leaves millions of people vulnerable to subjugation.” And, like all good post-leftists (i.e. the woke), Butler associates such critics with “authoritarian regimes” and “fascist formations” of course. However, Saini and Butler fail to mention that affirming the sex-binary also causes earthquakes and anal warts, just as Quebec Bill 21 does.

Scientific American

The once respectable publication Scientific American (SciAm), almost as longstanding as The Lancet, has published several articles denying the sex binary. Some articles end with a disclaimer, saying that it is an opinion piece not necessarily endorsed by the editors. But SciAm published them, so the editors are not innocent.

…if sex is arbitrary or on a continuum, then being trans becomes meaningless.

A 2019 blog entitled Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia fails to distinguish adequately between sex and gender. Its author angrily rejects the sex-binary without even mentioning gametes which define sex, concentrating instead on chromosomes and hormones which do not. The blog also alleges that affirming the sex binary leads to “the dehumanization of trans people.” Worse, it makes the bizarre claim that “the science is clear and conclusive: sex is not binary, transgender people are real.” Thus, the blog’s author is clearly signalling two things: (1) that their real concern is moralistic, not scientific, and (2) that they hold the preposterous belief that asserting the sex binary is equivalent to denying the existence of trans persons. As explained above, the very opposite is true. A trans person is an individual who wishes to transition to the opposite sex. But if sex is arbitrary or on a continuum, then being trans becomes meaningless.

The 2018 article Sex Redefined: The Idea of 2 Sexes Is Overly Simplistic (originally published in 2015) is entirely devoted to discussion of various intersex conditions, which the author calls “disorders of sex development” (DSD), used as an excuse to attempt, unsuccessfully, to deny the sex-binary. But none of these conditions disproves the sex-binary; in fact, they all illustrate the sex-binary as each involves some mixture of male and female or an incomplete development of one or both sex types. The real purpose of the article is revealed in the following paragraph:

“…more than half a century of activism from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has softened social attitudes to sexual orientation and gender. Many societies are now comfortable with men and women crossing conventional societal boundaries in their choice of appearance, career and sexual partner. But when it comes to sex, there is still intense social pressure to conform to the binary model.”

…the authors foolishly believe that one must deny the sex-binary in order to reject rigid, traditional sex roles.

The above statement is irrelevant to the definition of biological sex. Whether sex is binary or not is a scientific question, not a social or political issue. Rather, the statement reveals that the authors foolishly believe that one must deny the sex-binary in order to reject rigid, traditional sex roles.

A 2023 article entitled Here’s Why Human Sex Is Not Binary is particularly ridiculous. The author argues that saying sex is binary is equivalent to a “misrepresentation of biology” whose purpose is to deny women’s rights, to “attack the rights of transexual and transgender people” and even to promote slavery and racism, no less! The stupidity of this article is outrageous. SciAm editors should be ashamed of publishing such drivel, even if it does have a disclaimer.

National Geographic

On a more positive note, a recently updated article How Science is Helping Us Understand Gender by Miles Griffis on the National Geographic (NatGeo) website makes a number of valid points, corresponding to arguments frequently made by critics of gender theory. It acknowledges the importance of correct diagnosis of gender dysphoria, mentioning the danger of social contagion by asking “whether too many young children, at too early an age, are being encouraged to socially transition in the first place.” It recognizes that among children who express discomfort with their birth sex (the article unfortunately uses the term “birth gender”) but do not transition, many “will eventually identify as gay or bisexual.”

The article mentions the importance of fully understanding that behaviour need not conform to traditional gender roles, regardless of sex. One must not assume that a child or adolescent is trans simply because of their non-conforming behaviour. The article also acknowledges the strong correlation between gender nonconformity and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

…the NatGeo article also raises legitimate ethical concerns about the medical treatment of intersex persons

Finally, the NatGeo article also raises legitimate ethical concerns about the medical treatment of intersex persons who are sometimes subjected to irreversible surgical procedures without their informed consent or even without their knowledge.

However, the article fails to distinguish adequately between sex and gender, referring frequently to rejection or acceptance of the “gender binary” whereas it is sex, not gender, which is binary. The simultaneous discussion of intersex individuals and trans persons suggests some important connection between them, when in reality the former are very rare and the two populations are largely unrelated. Particularly dubious is the article’s approval of the use of “puberty-blocking drugs that can buy time for gender-questioning children,” affirming that “the effects of puberty suppression are thought to be reversible.” On the contrary, the reversibility of the results of such medication is not well established.

The NatGeo article also uses the expression “gender assigned at birth” several times, an expression which is nonsensical except for rare intersex individuals.

American Psychologist

A long paper, The Future of Sex and Gender in Psychology: Five Challenges to the Gender Binary, available on a website of the American Psychological Association (APA), completely misses the point. The paper refers repeatedly to the “gender binary” or the “gender/sex binary,” while failing completely to distinguish between sex and gender. The authors even declare,

“In this paper, the term gender/sex is frequently used, to recognize that the biological and the sociocultural are typically inseparable […]. The term sex is used here to refer to biological systems involving the X and Y chromosomes, pre- and post-natal sexual differentiation, and hormones that influence sexual differentiation of the external genitals, which in turn serve as the basis for sex assignment at birth.”

Thus, the authors evidently do not even know what sex is!

Thus, the paper gives sex and gender a shared definition which is incompatible with the correct definition of sex. Chromosomes, hormones and genitals are expressions of sex, manifestations of sex, but they do not define sex. For mammals, the definition of sex is based on the type of gamete (ovum for females, sperm cell for males) which the individual produces or has the potential to produce, but the authors of this paper do not even mention gametes. Thus, the authors evidently do not even know what sex is! They also use the untenable expression “sex assignment at birth.”

The Consequences

All of the articles discussed above display the deleterious effects of the pseudoscientific claim that sex is not binary. Even the least objectionable article, from NatGeo, uses jargon imposed by that pseudoscience. I personally find it difficult to understand how any otherwise reasonable person, especially a scientist or science journalist, could fall for such folly.

One of the most obvious consequences of sex-binary denialism is the practice of self-identification, whereby an individual can simply define himself or herself to be of the opposite sex and thus be immediately legally recognized as such, with no control whatsoever. This is obviously a dangerous recipe for abuse. Of course male predators will take advantage of this gaping loophole (and some already have done so), by claiming to be trans and demanding admission to women-only spaces. Critics of gender theory are right to point out the injustice of allowing biological men to compete in women-only sports or to use women-only refuges.

…the indoctrination of children and adolescents, convincing them that their gender nonconformity implies that they must be trans[…]

Probably the worst consequence of gender theory is the indoctrination of children and adolescents, convincing them that their gender nonconformity implies that they must be trans (and can literally change their sex), and encouraging them to submit to invasive, irreversible medical treatments—medication or surgery—whose long-term effects can be very serious indeed and to which a minor is too immature to give informed consent.


The general pattern of ideological capture is the following. Denounce anyone who disagrees in any way with XYZ or their allies as an evil bigoted XYZ-ophobe, cancel anyone who dares to disagree, and intimidate everyone else until they either fall silent or capitulate. The safest route, for the most cowardly, to avoid any denunciation, is to grovel by making a fulsome declaration of agreement with XYZ. That is what most of the media and institutions discussed above have done in the case of trans activism.

It is impossible to change from male to female or from female to male literally, but such a change can be emulated[…]

Gender dysphoria is probably a much rarer medical condition than current controversies would lead us to believe. Those who suffer from it want to change sex, but we know that such a change can be cosmetic only. It is impossible to change from male to female or from female to male literally, but such a change can be emulated with medication, hormones and surgery. We need to be honest with trans persons and not lie to them by claiming that they can literally change sex.

Sex change procedures should only be performed when the gender dysphoria diagnosis is certain and the patient expresses a strong, unwavering, long-term desire for the change, because the result is cosmetic only and the procedures may have several negative side effects.

What are the origins of this false notion that sex is not binary? I identify two major sources. Firstly, I blame radical, postmodernist, anti-Enlightenment philosophers such as Judith Butler and Michel Foucault, so obsessed with deconstructing everything that they even deconstruct reality—such as biological reality—and throw it away. This is the post-leftist (or “woke”) aspect of gender theory, based on that toxic mix of ideologies which blames Europeans for all that is evil in the world. Secondly, I blame the wishful thinking of the most extreme trans activists who apparently wish that it were literally possible to change sex, so they have distorted the science to fit their wish. The unscrupulous philosophers have enabled the delusional activists.

To defend human rights, including the rights of trans persons, homosexuals and women, we must defend science, in particular the binarity of biological sex.

The bottom line is this: To defend human rights, including the rights of trans persons, homosexuals and women, we must defend science, in particular the binarity of biological sex. The movement for homosexual and trans rights, henceforth belaboured with the intractable moniker LGBTQ+ (and who knows how many more letters), as well as its ever-more-complicated “pride” flag, has become a bad joke, an object of shame and derision, and gender ideologues are largely responsible for this situation. The movement has now become associated, in the minds of many people, with censorship, ideological dogmatism, authoritarianism and abuse of human rights. I cannot stress this enough: those who deny the sex-binary, who defame anyone who differs from their dogma, are largely responsible for this degradation and for the growth of right-wing conservative movements for whom wokism is a windfall because it has turned what used to be called the “left” into a laughingstock.

Further Links about Biological Sex

Next blog: TBA

The Long March of Emotional Blackmail

2023-10-26: Added one new link

How the intellectual cowardice of some institutions is facilitating the spread of irrational ideology, in this case the denial of biological reality and the binarity of sex.

Sommaire en français Comment la lâcheté intellectuelle de plusieurs institutions facilite la propagation d’une idéologie irrationnelle, en l’occurrence le déni de la réalité biologique et de la binarité du sexe.

We live in a country (one of several) populated by large numbers of intellectual cowards. Cowards who capitulate to fanatics who use scurrilous accusations of bigotry in order to bully, and thus silence, anyone who might dare to question the fanatics’ nonsensical dogma. These cowards pretend to believe the nonsense, even when its absurdity is obvious, because if they dared to question it openly they would risk being “cancelled.” This situation is often called “cancel culture” although it might more accurately be called social censorship. That is to say, not censorship by the State, but by one’s peers and fellows, often via social media. Some are so extreme in their cowardice that they even deny the existence of cancel culture.

One of these nonsensical doctrines is the pseudoscientific notion that sex is not a binary biological reality. This doctrine asserts instead that sex among humans is a social construct, that it is fluid, perhaps bimodal, perhaps even completely arbitrary. One hallmark of this doctrine is use of the highly dubious expression “sex assigned at birth,” as if sex were just an arbitrary assignment. In reality, sex is of course observed, not assigned, at birth. There is no ambiguity except in a tiny proportion of exceptional cases.

We know that sex is a biological phenomenon which is strictly binary. Every human being is either female, of the sex which produces large gametes which are eggs, or male, of the sex which produces small gametes which are sperm. In those very rare cases where an individual is intersex (or hermaphroditic), displaying characteristics of both sexes, we are dealing with a combination of both sexes in a single individual—not an intermediary constituting a different sex distinct from male and female. Such an exception proves the rule, rather than contradicting it.

This pseudoscientific doctrine of non-binary sex is enforced by emotional blackmail. This is done by propagating the outrageous assumption that if one asserts that sex is binary, then one must be a bigot who would deny the existence of trans persons (i.e. those who suffer from gender dysphoria), or deny such persons protection against discrimination, or even wish them physical harm. This assumption is obviously false. There may exist persons who display such hostile attitudes, but that is certainly not generally the case for those who maintain the binarity of sex.

Thus, in today’s world, it has become dangerous to make statements based on biological reality. Emotion has become more important that truth. Someone might be offended! And unfortunately, there are far too many cowards who capitulate to that emotional blackmail.

Back in the 1960s, German Christian socialist Rudi Dutschke coined the expression The Long March through the Institutions to describe his strategy of subverting capitalism and promoting revolution by infiltrating various institutions of power, “to create radical change from within government and society by becoming an integral part of the machinery.

This phenomenon has been referred to as “idea laundering” in that the academic origins of a set of bad ideas launder them, making them appear legitimate.

More recently, that toxic mixture of anti-Enlightenment ideologies which I call the post-left and which some call “wokism”—a mixture which includes a denial of sex binarity, a neoracist faction which claims to be antiracist and a few other ingredients—was born in the universities, mainly in the social sciences. Thus, it was already well integrated into some of societies’ most influential institutions. Furthermore, its basis in institutions of higher learning has lent it a credibility which it does not deserve. This phenomenon has been referred to as “idea laundering” in that the academic origins of a set of bad ideas launder them, making them appear legitimate.

Anti-Enlightenment ideologues are currently putting Dutschke’s idea into practice, marching though university departments, academic publishers, government agencies, NGOs and other entities. Of course there are differences: the post-left is not really anti-capitalist, and it proposes no specific revolutionary goals. The post-left is not Marxist, but observes a sort of lobotomized post-Marxism. Be that as it may, whether this strategy has been pursued consciously or not, it has been disturbingly successful. It is spreading from the social sciences into the formal sciences, with alarming results.

Here are three examples.

  1. Astrophysicist and science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson conflates biological sex (which is fixed) with gender roles (which are of course socially determined and very fluid), an obvious category error. He has also taken a position against banning biological males from women’s sports and, to rationalize this view, he even draws an utterly outrageous parallel between reserving women’s sports for biological women and reserving some drinking fountains for whites only.
  2. In a 2019 blog published by Scientific American, “Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia”, author Simón(e) D Sun claims to prove that “Actual research shows that sex is anything but binary.” As for the scientific angle, the Paradox Institute has produced an excellent video, “A Response to SciAm’s ‘Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia’” which refutes Sun’s denial of binarity. However, it is obvious that the fundamental topic of the blog is not science, but rather perceived morality. The title alone shows that the real issue is dodging accusations of transphobia. The blog’s conclusion confirms this by declaring that “the science is clear and conclusive: sex is not binary, transgender people are real. ” In other words, if you assert that sex is binary, then the blog’s author says you must be a bigot who denies the very existence of trans persons. Thus, you must agree with Sun or else you are horrible person. (Ironically, if sex were not binary, then transition would have little or no meaning.)
  3. Clearly, the AAA and CASCA leaderships are terrified of being accused of transphobia and they are prepared to jettison scientific fact in order to save their sorry asses.

  4. Recently the American Anthropology Association (AAA) and the Canadian Anthropology Association (CASCA) issued a joint statement entitled “No Place for Transphobia in Anthropology” concerning their decision to remove a session about the importance of biological sex from their 2023 conference program. (The statement is also available as a bilingual handout.) The statement, like Tyson, fails to distinguish between sex and gender, rejecting the idea “that sex and gender are simplistically binary.” It baldly asserts the falsehood that “There is no single biological standard by which all humans can be reliably sorted into a binary male/female sex classification.” The statement implies that recognizing the sex binary would cause harm to “already marginalized groups of people” and that “we are committed to upholding the value and dignity of transgender people.” Like the SciAm blog, the statement reveals that the real issue at hand is a moral one. It even compares gender critical scholarship to “race science.” Clearly, the AAA and CASCA leaderships are terrified of being accused of transphobia and they are prepared to jettison scientific fact in order to save their sorry asses.

In the face of emotional blackmail, it would be nice if scientists like Tyson and organizations such as SciAm, AAA and CASCA displayed a little intellectual courage, responding with a decisive NO to fashionable nonsense such as the denial of the sex binary, while simultaneously supporting proper medical care and anti-discrimination protection for trans persons.


Next blog: The George Floyd Case

Sur l’extrémisme trans

La théorie du genre est-elle la nouvelle thérapie de conversion ?

2023-06-29, ajout d’un lien

Le mouvement trans est irrémédiablement corrompu par la pseudo-gauche anti-Lumières et par la Théorie du genre, l’entraînant dans une direction extrémiste, irrationnelle et misogyne, voire apparemment homophobe.

Summary in English
This blog is available in English.
The trans movement has been hopelessly corrupted by the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left and by Gender Theory, leading it in an extremist, irrational direction which is misogynistic and even apparently homophobic.

La situation actuelle a assez duré. Nous devons dénoncer l’extrémisme insensé du mouvement trans.

En 1972, alors que je vivais à Ottawa et que j’étais très actif au sein de l’organisation de défense des droits des homosexuels Gays of Ottawa (qui a ensuite changé son nom pour devenir Lesbians and Gays of Ottawa), j’ai rencontré, pour la première fois, une personne que je savais trans. J’ai reçu la visite d’un jeune individu transgenre femme-à-homme dans mon appartement du Collège Pestalozzi. Nous avons bavardé et discuté pendant plusieurs heures. Je ne me souviens plus de son nom. Ce dont je me souviens le plus clairement, c’est que les attitudes négatives auxquelles il a dû faire face, en tant que transgenre, étaient très similaires à celles auxquelles j’étais confronté en tant qu’homosexuel : les préjugés basés sur des stéréotypes sexuels sur la façon dont les hommes doivent se comporter et comment les femmes doivent se comporter, et malheur à quiconque viole ces règles. Passé d’un genre à l’autre, il avait violé la démarcation infranchissable entre les genres — si je peux l’appeler ainsi — d’une manière radicale et socialement « répugnante ». Étant gai, attiré sexuellement par d’autres hommes, j’avais moi aussi violé cette démarcation, bien que de manière moins visible. J’ai ressenti un fort lien de solidarité, malgré la nature différente de nos « transgressions ».

Quelques années plus tard, vivant à Vancouver en C.-B. et militant au sein de la Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE), j’ai assisté à un événement à Seattle organisé par l’Union of Sexual Minorities (USM). J’y ai été témoin d’un affrontement dont je n’ai pas saisi pleinement les implications à l’époque mais dont j’étais convaincu qu’il était significatif. Une conférencière, une femme trans, expliquait qu’après une certaine période de vie en tant que femme, elle se considérait pleinement femme. Cependant, un groupe de lesbiennes dans la salle a réagi à cela avec colère. Comment quelqu’un né de sexe masculin et qui a vécu la majeure partie de sa vie en tant qu’homme peut-il prétendre parler en tant que femme ? L’animatrice de l’événement a rejeté ces préoccupations sur-le-champ, déclarant que le point de vue de la conférencière était une position féministe correcte.

Aujourd’hui, un demi-siècle plus tard, beaucoup de choses ont changé. Au Canada et dans de nombreux pays occidentaux, être gai n’est pas seulement accepté, c’est maintenant pratiquement à la mode et ce, depuis plusieurs années, bien que des lois et des attitudes homophobes draconiennes persistent dans de nombreux autres pays (tels que des pays d’Europe de l’Est, les pays à majorité musulmane et certaines parties de l’Afrique). Les personnes trans aussi sont désormais acceptées, bien que plus récemment. Mais il y a un problème. Un énorme problème.

L’abandon de l’objectivité

En plus d’une plus grande acceptation des minorités sexuelles, le XXIe siècle a vu la propagation d’une mouvance politique bizarre — que beaucoup appellent le « wokisme » mais que je préfère appeler plutôt la pseudo-gauche anti-Lumières, car c’est bien de cela qu’il s’agit : une mouvance qui se revendique de la gauche politique mais qui a rejeté les idéaux et les valeurs des Lumières qui constituent la définition même de cette gauche.

Cette mentalité anti-Lumières, fortement influencée par la philosophie postmoderne, valorise la subjectivité personnelle aux dépens de l’objectivité, l’émotion plutôt que la raison, et a gravement déformé de nombreux mouvements sociaux. Une composante particulière de cette mentalité, connue sous le nom de Théorie du genre (TG), a particulièrement miné le mouvement LGBT (lesbien-gai-bisexuel-trans). Partant du constat que les rôles des genres — c’est-à-dire les différentes manières dont les hommes et les femmes sont censés se comporter — sont socialement déterminés, la TG a fait un saut irrationnel en déclarant que le sexe lui-même — c’est-à-dire être mâle ou femelle — serait, lui aussi, une construction sociale. Cette conclusion est manifestement fausse, car mâle et femelle sont des catégories biologiques distinctes.

À contre-courant de la réalité biologique, les théoriciens du genre affirment que le sexe d’un individu est « assigné » à la naissance. Mais, quelle foutaise ! Le sexe du nouveau-né est constaté, non pas assigné. L’existence d’individus intersexués et la possibilité concomitante d’une constatation erronée — des phénomènes rares en effet — ne font que souligner la nature binaire du sexe.

Selon les termes du Projet Nettie, un registre de scientifiques, de personnel médical et d’autres qui affirment la réalité matérielle du sexe biologique, « Les tentatives de redéfinition du sexe biologique en tant que construction sociale, qui devient alors une question d’identité individuelle choisie, sont totalement idéologiques, scientifiquement inexactes et socialement irresponsables. »

Conséquences désastreuses

Les conséquences de cette théorie sont désastreuses. Le mouvement pour les droits des trans avait autrefois des objectifs éminemment raisonnables, tels que des soins médicaux de qualité pour les adultes atteints de dysphorie de genre, les aidant à faire la transition, sous la condition de leur consentement éclairé à une telle transition ; et la prévention de la discrimination, dans le logement et dans l’emploi, contre les personnes en transition ou ayant transitionné. Mais plus récemment, les militants trans, ou du moins ceux qui monopolisent la conversation, sont devenus extrémistes dans leurs revendications, ce qui a entraîné au moins deux problèmes majeurs :

  1. Auto-identification: Une personne est désormais considérée comme appartenant à un certain sexe sur la base d’une simple auto-déclaration. Donc, un homme peut devenir femme (ou vice versa) simplement en le déclarant. Il n’y a aucun contrôle. C’est une porte ouverte aux abus. Cela permet aux prédateurs mâles hétérosexuels d’accéder facilement aux espaces réservés aux femmes. Cela permet également aux athlètes masculins médiocres de concourir et de gagner facilement dans les sports féminins.
  2. Transition des mineurs: Sur la base de soi-disant « soins d’affirmation de genre », les adolescents sont autorisés à commencer sur la voie de la transition — impliquant souvent des médicaments bloqueurs de puberté avec des effets secondaires potentiellement dangereux, éventuellement irréversibles et impliquant parfois une intervention chirurgicale qui mutile le corps, y compris les organes génitaux. Ces personnes sont des mineurs, trop jeunes pour donner un consentement éclairé à des procédures aussi importantes. Les statistiques montrent que (1) si ces procédures sont retardées de plusieurs années, la plupart des cas se résolvent avec le temps et l’individu grandit simplement pour devenir un adulte homosexuel sans dysphorie de genre et (2) la probabilité qu’un mineur atteint de dysphorie apparente se suicide est bien moins élevée que ce que prétendent de nombreux militants trans.

Moins sérieuse, mais très révélatrice de l’absurdité de la TG, est la mode actuelle de déclarer ses pronoms. Il serait peut-être utile d’avoir un ensemble de pronoms neutres qui pourraient être utilisés pour désigner les personnes qui préfèrent ne pas être étiquetées hommes ou femmes pour quelque raison que ce soit. Cela permettrait à une personne de choisir l’un des trois ensembles de pronoms disponibles : masculin, féminin et neutre. Cependant, les extrémistes trans vont bien au-delà de cette idée, s’attendant à ce que les individus choisissent des pronoms personnalisés, qui peuvent être uniques et différents de tous les autres, et exigeant que tout le monde utilise ces pronoms lorsqu’on s’adresse à cet individu (et si on se trompe ou qu’on refuse, on sera accusé de transphobie). Forcer les autres à se souvenir et à utiliser des pronoms personnalisés est une absurdité narcissique.

Les hommes et les « non-hommes »

Ce ne sont pas les seuls problèmes. Le refus de reconnaître la binarité du sexe conduit à l’effacement des femmes et parfois même des homosexuels. Le mot « femme » commence à disparaître, remplacé par des expressions ridicules telles que « personne qui accouche » ou « non-homme ». Incroyablement, dans un glossaire LGBTQ, sur le site web de l’Université John Hopkins, le mot « lesbienne » est défini comme « un non-homme attiré par des non-hommes » (“A non-man attracted to non-men”). Par ailleurs, ce même glossaire ne comporte aucune définition du mot « sexe » mais dispose bien d’un article définissant l’expression « Sexe assigné à la naissance ».

Les lesbiennes qui ne souhaitent pas avoir de relations sexuelles avec des femmes trans, c’est-à-dire biologiquement mâles, sont accusées de transphobie. Qu’est-il advenu du respect du consentement ? Les extrémistes trans calomnient régulièrement les détracteurs de la Théorie du genre de la manière la plus atroce, appelant parfois même à leur mort (« Kill TERFs » où les détracteurs de la TG sont appelés TERFs = « Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists ») — en d’autres termes, prônant le génocide des féministes. Et pourtant, hypocritement, certains extrémistes trans accusent les détracteurs de la TG de promouvoir le génocide des personnes trans !

L’essentiel est le suivant : l’extrémisme trans est devenu misogyne et parfois homophobe. En particulier, lorsque les « soins d’affirmation de genre » conduisent à des procédures médicales inutiles et invasives, ils deviennent en réalité une forme de thérapie de conversion, transformant une personne qui normalement serait devenue homosexuelle en un ersatz d’hétérosexuel. Cela constitue une faute professionnelle médicale et une maltraitance médicale de l’enfant.

Cette faute professionnelle flagrante, basée sur une pseudoscience évidente, a assez duré. Il faut que ça s’arrête. En particulier, l’auto-identification doit cesser et la transition des mineurs doit être soumise à une surveillance médicale beaucoup plus stricte ou peut-être complètement interdite. Plusieurs pays européens (p. ex. Finlande, Suède, Angleterre, etc.) ont déjà pris des mesures pour restreindre l’accès aux bloqueurs de puberté, aux hormones sexuelles et aux chirurgies pour les mineurs.

L’un des résultats les plus dangereux, mais pas du tout surprenant, de l’extrémisme trans est l’essor de la droite politique homophobe (souvent religieuse). Face à des revendications outrancières qui discréditent le mouvement trans, et avec lui l’ensemble du mouvement LGBT, les homophobes sont grandement enhardis et renforcés. Les extrémistes trans et leurs alliés sont eux-mêmes en partie responsables de la vague de législation anti-gais et anti-trans que nous voyons dans certaines parties des États-Unis et dans d’autres pays.

L’émotivité l’emporte sur la rationalité, la diffamation remplace le débat

L’extrême irrationalité et l’hystérie dont font preuve les extrémistes trans et leurs « alliés » rappellent beaucoup l’opposition hystérique à la loi québécoise sur la laïcité, la Loi 21, dont les partisans sont souvent la cible d’accusations absurdes de « racisme » (pire que fausse, c’est aussi une erreur de catégorie) et d’autres péchés. Dans les deux cas, l’extrémisme trans et l’antilaïcité, l’émotivité l’emporte sur la rationalité, rendant le débat raisonné pratiquement impossible. Dans les deux cas, des accusations diffamatoires de diverses « phobies » et des mots à la mode vides de sens tels que « diversité » et « inclusion » sont galvaudés pour faire taire l’opposition.

Pendant ce temps, la pseudo-gauche anti-Lumières s’est, sans surprise également, montrée totalement incapable de nuancer. Au lieu de soutenir uniquement les demandes trans qui sont raisonnables (telles que des soins médicaux de qualité et la non-discrimination), les soi-disant « réveillés » sont devenus fous, approuvant sans réserve la Théorie du genre et embrassant, à fond, même ses conséquences les plus négatives.

Il faut dénoncer ces dérives.

Autres liens

Next blog: On Trans Extremism

On Trans Extremism

Is Gender Theory the New Conversion Therapy?

2023-06-29, addition of a link

The trans movement has been hopelessly corrupted by the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left and by Gender Theory, leading it in an extremist, irrational direction which is misogynistic and even apparently homophobic.

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Le mouvement trans est irrémédiablement corrompu par la pseudo-gauche anti-Lumières et par la Théorie du genre, l’entraînant dans une direction extrémiste, irrationnelle et misogyne, voire apparemment homophobe.

The current situation has gone on long enough. We must speak out against the insane extremism of the trans movement.

Back in 1972, when I was living in Ottawa and very active in the gay rights organization Gays of Ottawa (which later changed its name to Lesbians and Gays of Ottawa), I met, for the first time, a person whom I knew to be trans. I received the visit of a young female to male transgender person in my apartment in Pestalozzi College. We chatted and discussed for several hours. I no longer remember his name. What I do remember, most vividly, was that the negative attitudes he had to deal with, as transgender, were very similar to those which I, as a gay man, had to face: bigotry based on sexual stereotypes about how men should behave and how women should behave, and woe unto anyone who violated those rules. Having transitioned from one gender to the other, he had violated the “gender-bar”—if I may call it that—in a radical and socially “repugnant” way. Being gay, attracted sexually to other men, I too violated that bar, although in a less visible way. I felt a strong bond of solidarity, despite the different natures of our “transgressions.”

A few years later, living in Vancouver B.C. and active in the Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE), I attended an event in Seattle held by the Union of Sexual Minorities (USM). There I witnessed a confrontation whose implications I did not fully grasp at the time but which I was convinced was significant. The event featured a trans woman speaker who, after a certain period of time living as a woman, considered herself fully a woman. However, a group of lesbians in the audience reacted angrily to this. How could someone born male and who had lived most of his life as a man claim to speak as a woman? The event moderator dismissed these concerns on the spot, declaring that the speaker’s viewpoint was a correct feminist position.

Now, half a century later, much has changed. In Canada and in many western countries, being gay is not only accepted, it is now practically in fashion and has been for several years—although draconian homophobic laws and attitudes persist in many other countries (such as some eastern European countries, Muslim-majority countries and parts of Africa). Trans persons are now similarly accepted, although more recently. But there is a problem. An enormous problem.

The Abandonment of Objectivity

In addition to a greater acceptance of sexual minorities, the 21st century has seen the spread of a bizarre political movement—which many call “wokism” but which I prefer to call the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left, because that is precisely what it is: a movement claiming to be on the political left but which has rejected the very Enlightenment ideals and values which define the political left.

This anti-Enlightenment mentality, greatly influenced by postmodernist philosophy, values personal subjectivity over objectivity, emotion over reason, and has severely distorted many social movements. One particular component of this mentality, known as Gender Theory (GT), has undermined the LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Trans) movement in particular. Starting from the observation that gender roles—the various ways in which men and women are expected to behave—are socially determined, GT has taken the irrational leap to declaring that sex itself—i.e. being male or female—is also a social construct. This conclusion is patently false, as male and female are distinct biological categories.

Flying in the face of biological reality, gender theorists claim that an individual’s sex is “assigned” at birth. But of course that is nonsense. The newborn baby’s sex is observed, not assigned. The existence of intersex individuals and the concomitant possibility of an erroneous observation—rare phenomena indeed—merely underline the binary nature of sex.

In the words of Project Nettie, a record of scientists, medics and others who assert the material reality of biological sex, “Attempts to recast biological sex as a social construct, which then becomes a matter of chosen individual identity, are wholly ideological, scientifically inaccurate and socially irresponsible.”

Disastrous Consequences

The consequences of this theory have been disastrous. The movement for trans rights once had eminently reasonable goals, such as quality medical supervision for adults suffering from gender dysphoria, helping them to transition if they give informed consent to such transition; and preventing discrimination, in housing and employment, against persons who are transitioning or have transitioned. But more recently, the most vocal trans activists have become extreme in their demands, leading to at least two major problems:

  1. Self-ID: A person is now considered to be of a certain sex on the basis a simple self-declaration. A man can become a woman (or vice versa) by simply saying so. There is no gate-keeper. This is an open door for abuse. It allows heterosexual male predators ready access to female-only spaces. It also allows mediocre male athletes to compete and win easily in women’s sports.
  2. Transitioning Minors: On the basis of so-called “gender affirming care,” teenagers are allowed to start on the path of transition—often involving puberty-blocking medication with possibly dangerous side-effects, and possibly irreversible, sometimes involving surgery which mutilates the body, including the genitals. These persons are minors, too young to give informed consent to such major procedures. Statistics show that (1) if such procedures are delayed for several years, most cases resolve themselves in time and the individual simply grows up to be a homosexual adult without gender dysphoria and (2) the probability that a minor with apparent dysphoria will commit suicide is far less that many trans activists claim.

Less serious, but highly indicative of the absurdity of GT, is the current fashion of declaring one’s pronouns. It would be useful to have a set of neuter pronouns which could be used to refer to persons who prefer not to be labelled male or female for whatever reason. (Existing English neuter pronouns “it” and “its” are inappropriate because they are insulting when applied to persons.) This would allow a person to choose one of three available sets of pronouns: male, female and neuter. However, trans extremists have gone far beyond that idea, expecting individuals to choose custom personal pronouns, which may be unique and differ from all others, and demanding that everyone use those pronouns when addressing that individual (and if they fail or refuse, they will be accused of transphobia). Forcing others to remember and use custom pronouns is narcissistic nonsense.

Men and “Non-men”

These are not the only problems. The refusal to recognize the binarity of sex leads to the erasure of women and sometimes even homosexuals. The word “woman” has begun to disappear, replaced by ridiculous expressions such as “birthing persons” or “non-men.” Incredibly, in an LGBTQ Glossary on the website of John Hopkins University, the word “lesbian” is defined as “A non-man attracted to non-men.” Furthermore, the same glossary contains no definition of the word “sex” but does indeed have an article defining the expression “Sex Assigned at Birth.”

Lesbians who are not interested in having sexual relations with trans women—i.e. biologically male—are being accused of transphobia. Whatever happened to respect for consent? Trans extremists regularly slander critics of Gender Theory in the most atrocious ways, sometimes even calling for their death (“Kill TERFs” where critics of GT are referred to as TERFs = “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists”)—in other words, advocating genocide of feminists. And yet, hypocritically, some trans extremists accuse GT critics of promoting genocide of trans persons!

The bottom line is this: trans extremism has become misogynistic and sometimes homophobic. In particular, when “gender affirming care” leads to unnecessary and invasive medical procedures, then in reality it becomes a form of conversion therapy, converting a person who would normally grow up to be homosexual into an ersatz heterosexual. This constitutes medical malpractice and medical child abuse.

This egregious malpractice, based on obvious pseudoscience, has gone on long enough. It must stop. In particular, self-identification must stop and transitioning of minors must be subjected to much stricter medical supervision and perhaps ended completely. Several European countries (e.g. Finland, Sweden, England, etc.) have already taken steps to restrict access to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries for minors.

One of the most dangerous, but unsurprising, results of trans extremism has been the strengthening of the homophobic (often religious) political right. Faced with outrageous demands which discredit the trans movement, and with it the entire LGBT movement, homophobes are greatly emboldened and empowered. Trans extremists and their allies are themselves responsible in part for the wave of anti-gay and anti-trans legislation which we see in some parts of the USA and in some other countries.

Emotivity Trumps Rationality, Slander Replaces Debate

The extreme irrationality and hysteria displayed by trans extremists and their “allies” is very reminiscent of the hysterical opposition to Quebec’s secularism law, Bill 21, whose supporters are often the targets of preposterous accusations of “racism” (worse than just false, also a category error) and other sins. In both cases—trans extremism and antisecularism—emotivity trumps rationality, making reasoned debate practically impossible. In both cases, defamatory accusations of various “phobias” and vacuous buzzwords such as “diversity” and “inclusion” are used to silence opposition.

Meanwhile, the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left has, also unsurprisingly, shown itself utterly incapable of nuance. Instead of supporting only those trans demands which are reasonable (such as quality medical care and non-discrimination), the so-called “woke” have gone whole hog, uncritically endorsing Gender Theory and thoroughly embracing even its most negative consequences.

We must speak out against these excesses.

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Next blog: Exaggerating Historical Injustices