152 Comments

Chase Strangio is a throbbbing, talking bag of personality and psychiatric disorders in the approximate form of Charlie Chaplin. Never have I seen a more disingenuous liberal attorney barking away on Twitter, which is like finding the most steroid-powered rider in the history of the Tour de France.

Ever since Stangio's jaw-dropping Slate article from years ago asserting in Book of Revelation-like overtones that anatomy is irrelevant, I've been waiting for one damn person in a sea of what has to be millions to rise up and say, "Chase Strangio is a flagrant lunatic," so that everyone else can finally exhale and stop worrying they were the only one not in on a worldwide dark joke.

There is something badly wrong with anyone who blatantly lies to millions of people a day and knows they can knock out the "tattletales" with the immediate help of Twitter's equivalent of knuckle-rapping nuns.

It's too bad Twitter is not a physical place, so that it could be purchased, evacuated of anyone still possessing humanity, and razed. I refuse to admit that people there might be as bad as they seem, so I cling to the thesis that Twitter elicits the worst and suppresses the best simultaneously in almost everyone.

Expand full comment
author

I’ll say it. Chase Strangio is a flagrant lunatic.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

As a lawyer myself, it really grates when someone like Strangio--who presumably has some experience with litigation, and should know better--plays dumb about the significance of statements, or citations, that get made in legal filings. Lawyers make argumentative (if not dubious) citations to "supporting" documents that may not really support their argument ALL THE TIME. It is, in a real sense, one of the things that lawyers get paid to do; be aggressive and creative in marshalling support for the argument they're being paid to make. There's a line when this sort of thing shades into outright deceit, and most lawyers really don't cross it; but short of that line, your job is to win, not provide a fair and balanced review of the record. Legal writing is advocacy, not journalism. Strangio should know that, and he should bloody well know that you can't blame the author of an article for some litigant's attempt to misuse that article in some way.

Expand full comment

As yet another lawyer (commercial litigator), I'll add that you might cite something or use it as an exhibit even if it goes *against* your position in the case because you expect the other side to bring it up in their brief/argument and you want to preemptively address it!

Expand full comment

I am blessedly unfamiliar with the particulars of litigation, but it doesn't take a sharp analytical mind to see what's happening when someone with 14 billion unique followers of his 456.5 million tweets suddenly decides he doesn't have time to "educate" people.

It's not possible for me to take anyone seriously when they make a long-winded series of hard claims, ones central to their argument or their very identity, only to switch to "Hey now, I'm just brain-fartin' away here, I'm not a reporter or a scholar" whenever someone outside the bootlicker class chimes in to scuttle his nonsense. This reminds me of arguments with creationists (a big thing 15 to 20 years ago) where someone defending some Bible contradiction with "That's been asked and answered already." Really? Has the world reached its limit of that arrangement of words for the day or something?

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

No actually, as a regulatory compliance lawyer, Strangio's attitude is (though much more aggressive) similar to the one I bring when reviewing a client's prospective publications and public statements for enforcement risk. The standard isn't just "is this thing 100% true," but also "is this phrased in such a way that a bad faith reading could twist this into something which, if believed to be the truth, would harm the client?"

Expand full comment

That degree of ass-covering, while understandable for a 10k or whatever, would literally kill the practice of journalism, though.

Expand full comment

I don't disagree, and it's interesting that Strangio is trying to police the NYT like this.

Expand full comment

Because she is a lying fraud.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

For us Michaganders, anyway, there's a kind of fascinating subtext to Tlaib's participation in all of this. She's spent her first two terms in Congress representing Michigan's 13th District, which covers a big chunk of Detroit and some inner-ring suburbs, and was one of the safest Democratic seats in the country (the district was the creation of Michigan Republicans, who were packing as many urban Democrats into one district as possible). But in 2020 Michigan voters amended their constitution to eliminate party involvement in redistricting, and Tlaib's old district got cut in two, with downtown Detroit in one district (still the 13th) and a chunk of the western inner-ring suburbs in another (the new 12th). Tlaib, who's always had relatively soft numbers among Detroiters, has chosen to run this year in the 12th rather than the 13th -- which means she's facing a much more mixed electorate (assuming she wins the primary, this will be her first time running in a general election that she could plausibly lose). Her new district is still pretty blue on economic issues but also has large populations of very religious voters, many of them with pretty conservative social views (a mix of Catholics, Coptic Christians, Muslims and Protestants). She's also got three primary challengers. Not to be entirely cynical, but it seems like LGBTQIA+ justice is one of the planks she's using to distinguish herself in the primary, even though it seems like kind of an odd play given her new district; I guess she might also be looking for national attention to build up an out-of-district donor base to help with the general.

Expand full comment

Good to know she might be unseated. It is possible there are worse who are just not as notorious as her, but I find her to be, hands down, the most noxious member of congress- a difficult feat given her company. I truly don’t understand how anyone can support her. She’s so openly hateful.

Expand full comment

Catholics, Coptic Christians, Muslims, and "mainline conservative" Protestants tend to be socially moderate-to-conservative and fiscally liberal-to-moderate.

She probably thinks she can win the primary by appealing to the core of her most activism-oriented liberal supporters by making it clear that she stands with them on LGBTQ issues. I think moderate voters are usually less likely to vote in primaries.

Even if she loses her seat, losing the primary might be worse for her political career.

Expand full comment

I wish people would make a stronger distinction between trans people and trans activists. Trans people really are marginalized and deserve a great deal more respect and safety than they currently receive. Trans activists like Strangio, by contrast, are self-aggrandizing blowhards and cultural imperialists who believe that they alone should dictate how the rest of the world uses language. Trans people deserve better advocates.

Expand full comment

Are they really marginalized, though? At this point I’m having a difficult time coming up with actual examples of the alleged marginalization trans people are facing.

That being said. I think you’re very much correct about there being a distinction between trans people who just want to live their lives and be left the hell alone (Not unlike the vast majority of humans in general) and the rabid activists are probably making things worse for the people for whom they claim to be advocating.

Expand full comment

Trans people face a much higher unemployment rate than cisgender people. Gender non-conforming and transgender youths are vastly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, as well as in the homeless population. Average incomes for trans people are lower than comparable cisgender incomes.

The numbers may get exaggerated by woke twitter ("1 in 12 trans women of color are murdered!!!!") and Twitter trans activists are often intellectually dishonest and hypocritical but the reality is that being transgender does have a detrimental effect on someone's ability to maintain employment and avoid criminalization.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022Liked by Natalie

All true, and frankly not that surprising, but I don't think it means that those issues are just because the person is trans and the world wants to punish them for it. Take the youth incarceration/homelessness for example. What did those stats look like 20 years ago? Heck, even 10 years ago? Children who were once just kids with behavioral/mental health issues that put them at risk for run-ins with the law are now kids who are being indoctrinated online into thinking that their mental instability is the result of being born in the wrong body, and are self-identifying into transhood without ever having their underlying mental illness treated.

Same would apply to unemployment in adults. I know it sounds shitty to admit it, but a trans identity is not a normal variation of the human condition, and I mean 'normal' in the statistical sense. It is a mental health issue, and there are likely other mental health issues at play in a person who identifies as trans which also contribute to having difficulty holding down a job, avoiding criminal run-ins, etc.

This does not mean that the world hates trans people, and it does not mean that trans people don't deserve respect and decency. I just think it's ridiculous to have to pretend like it's all fine and normal... again, normal in the statistical sense, not necessarily good or bad. Trying to deny reality is not helping anyone. It is especially not benefitting the people who are most in need of help.

Expand full comment

How many trans people do you actually know? It sounds like you don't know many of them, and that the ones you might know are vocal Online types.

I do think a few things can all be true: being trans doesn't necessarily indicate having anxiety, depression, substance abuse issues, personality disorders, etc. that lead to run-ins with the law and unemployment. Being trans is often comorbid with mental health issues, both because being trans exposes some people to discrimination and violence that exacerbates or causes mental health issues, and because being mentally ill may push someone to identify as trans when they otherwise wouldn't. Some people - like you, it sounds like - make the assumption that the trans people they meet are mentally ill; some of those people are people with power, like employers. Both actual mental illness and the presumption that you're going to be symptomatic of mental illness, litigious, "weird" or disturbing to others can lead to compounding issues maintaining both mental health and employment and housing.

My work with the criminal justice system, including the juvenile justice system, also supports my conclusion that the statistics about gender non-conforming youth being disproportionately represented are true. It also supports that basically none of these kids in juvie are Tumblr kids spending all their time socializing on the internet. They're just not online enough for that to be the source of their "indoctrination."

And honestly, the statistics DID look that bad ten years ago. I was working in this field ten years ago! Trans youth were still overrepresented in the homeless youth and juvie population, they just weren't the front pages of the NYT. It sounds like you don't have a lot of personal experience with this topic area.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

I clearly don't know as many as you. But if you would look to my original comment on this thread, it was my first point that the majority of trans people just want to live their lives in peace and not all of them are vocal online types. So no- I do not make the assumption that they're all crazy, ligitious, symptomatically mentally ill, or otherwise, but I get your point about employers having those concerns.

And I do agree with your larger point about their overrepresentation in the justice system, homelessness, etc. I just said those statistics are not surprising to me given that trans people are also over represented when it comes to mental illness. So I guess it comes down to what I think of when I think of the term "marginalized", which started this whole discussion. To me, that means other people forcing you into an unfair situation, and my point is that I do not believe that disdain for trans people is motivating society to 'marginalize' them.

I realize there are always exceptions, but I believe there are many internal, personal factors in a person that are much stronger contributors when it comes to a person having ongoing issues with unemployment, homelessness, criminal run-ins, substance abuse, etc.

Expand full comment

My apologies, I misread the "there are likely other mental health issues at play in a person who identifies as trans" as you applying that to trans people in general as opposed to just those that are running into financial and legal issues.

I don't believe your conclusion on the other factors being stronger is supported, though, or at least not that those factors are so strong that they negate the existence of discrimination against trans people. Even if they are factors, even if they are the largest predictors of unemployment/homelessness/criminal issues - which isn't proven, just a supposition* - that doesn't mean discrimination against trans people doesn't exist. If you do have resources that support the conclusion that after adjusting for mental health issues, trans and cis people have the same outcomes, I would love to see it, sincerely.

*It goes against the experience of every trans person I know and several advocacy organizations, but like you, I don't trust the advocacy organizations. I do trust my friends and family when they say that they've experienced threats, poor treatment, workplace hostility and harassment due to being trans.

Expand full comment

I would tend to also look at the other conditions of the person’s life that factor into unemployment. The argument that trans ppl face x y or z really only isolates one variable and there are more factors holistically that are at play.

Expand full comment

Yeah, an odd thing about trans acceptance at the moment is just how insanely polarized it is. It's really true that in spaces dominated by left sensibilities (especially young left sensibilities), trans people are more likely to be celebrated than marginalized. But there are still plenty of other places in which a cold shoulder is just about the best reaction that trans people can expect.

Expand full comment

These are all due to the obvious mental illness that most trans have. Mentally ill people do not get jobs, because they are unable to fit in to normal society.

Expand full comment

Eh, to answer the question of if Trans people are actually marginalized, think about it this way. I'm a guy, would I feel safe dressing like a women and walking around most places? As in, looking like a non-passing trans women? Maybe in some places, and probably more than 5-10 years ago, but I imagine in most of America and the world this would be a pretty stressful experience.

Expand full comment

But consider 90% of trans id males are AGN.

Expand full comment

Source?

Expand full comment

who cares? The actual trans people who live their lives trans and are clearly identifiable are the ones that are marginalized by it.

Expand full comment

My point being that the great majority are men for whom it’s a fetish. The same percent don’t get surgery or hormones- which w self id laws makes the entrance into womens only spaces a danger. I guess w you saying as a guy, would you feel safe set off the safety of women for me.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

You are completely imagining this.

In reality, the current assistant secretary of health is a non passing trans woman (who previously led a state health dept). A non passing trans woman was named woman of the year by glamour, a major women’s magazine. A teacher in my child’s elementary school is a non passing trans woman.

And I could keep going.

Trans people are everywhere in society in all positions. Their status is socially and legally protected vociferously by an entire political party, almost the entirety of corporate America, celebrated and promoted in media and medical organizations.

Expand full comment

Yes. Our societal norms have been established such that a giant swath of our public and institutions have immersed themselves into the fiction that ppl have changed their sex. But material harm has come to women and girls as a result.

Expand full comment

Trans folks are not marginalized. They are whiners however, and they whine themselves into a position of whining marginalization. Most are pretty poor specimens of person - confused about appearance, social cues, etc. I go way out of my way to avoid them.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022Liked by Natalie

I just looked at your linked tweets. It's so strange to me how these progressives that claim to be so ANTI-BULLYING are the biggest damn bullies. All they do is send their followers at people they don't like. Twitter is such a cesspool.

Also, I too miss when the ACLU was about free speech

Expand full comment

I was involved in a sports league w an ACLU lawyer and she was intolerable. Thought police at every turn. No room for considering, much less being ok, with other ppls view points. Woof.

Expand full comment

That's a bummer. It's a shame that they've drifted so far from their original mission.

Expand full comment

“Current treatment protocols for people with gender dysphoria are likely to lead to suboptimal outcomes for some patients” = “trans people don’t have the right to exist”? BS.

Expand full comment

Your use of the words dysphoria and suboptimal in the same sentence is literal violence.

Expand full comment

While it is true that many organizations on the left are "pushing for reproductive rights for women", they are simultaneously pushing to deny women the right to free association. They universally support (as do all Democrats in Congress) the Equality Act, which would allow any man to enter any women's space, place, organization, event, or competition at will, and make it illegal under federal law to stop him (and vice versa of course).

I am a 66 year old lifelong Democrat who has worked, over the decades, as a volunteer on multiple Democrat campaigns, and yet I voted straight Republican in the recent California primary, precisely because of this neo-miscogyny of Democrats, which I simply cannot bring myself to support.

Expand full comment

I’m a California democrat and have the same concerns. TIM are already in womens prisons. CA solution? Give women inmates condoms. Wtf? I am horrified at self id and the dangers to women and children. I also do not appreciate as a teacher that I have to call a student whatever they want, however many name changes they want and I cannot tell the parents if they don’t want me to. Who are the adults here? It’s so counter to good education.

Expand full comment

The Women's Liberation Front is fighting back on the California prison issue:

https://www.womensliberationfront.org/chandler-v-cdcr

Expand full comment

Awesome news!

Expand full comment
author

I have my doubts that Abbott gives a single flying fuck about anything the NYT has to say.

Expand full comment

What is a "trans kid"? A little boy who likes to play with girl toys, wear pink? It is this liberal, nonsensical notion that continues to be repeated as though it is truth. It is a made-up bull sh!t moniker. I am a parent of a child who for 2 years was persistent that she was a "he", but when I swam upstream and fought against every medical professional (that sounds quite like the satanic panic ilk of two decades ago). She went through endogenous puberty unencumbered by experience medicine and grew out of her delusion. (It wasn't quite as simple as that.) The NYT barely scratched the surface of truth, and you reiterate the falsehood that a child can be born in the wrong body. Jesse, you are smarter than that. Want to talk to parents? desisters, detransitioners? DM me.

The NYT had story after story from parents. I was interviewed for hours, supplied Emily with countless documents, gave her contact after contact. But the article spotlighted WPATH without an investigation as to who is WPATH and its high ranking members. A quick review will show the fetish nature of that group. WPATH promotes Eunuchs and lower the age for young girls to slice off their breasts to 15. The ACLU pretends to care about women but cannot define them. The world is upside down, but this lawyer will not be silent. Yes, this lawyer will protect the truly marginalized - the children being told that there is something wrong with them that only a surgeon's knife will fix.

Chase Strangio is dangerous and insane.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

Rashida Tlaib is expressing the standard TRA view. If you don’t buy into every single TRA obsession, you are ‘transphobic’. Since the NYT dared to publish the opinions of folks who are not TRAs, the NYT is (by definition) ‘transphobic’. So are J.K. Rowling and a long list of other folks. According to the identity politics far-left, the world is full of dangerous ‘transphobes’ who must be suppressed.

Expand full comment

Reality is transphobic at this point which makes sense since post modernism holds that reality is only in our head and we construct it thru language only. Nothing exists materially.

Expand full comment

All of this is more than slightly ironic. It turns out that the inventors of post modernism (Derrida, Foucault) never believed in it. They (Derrida, Foucault) never believed any of it. They were (at times) conventional Marxists who thought (correctly) that post modernism would be a useful tool for tearing down the world around them.

Expand full comment

Like the Hegel dialectic? Woof it’s been a minute since I studied these guys in college! I’ve been reading a lot of gender identity analysis so am more familiar wi Judith Butler. I have two history of philosophy books en route so excited to go back and review. Derrida and Foucault didn’t believe that reality was only in perception and that things only exist after we name them? That was later ppl?

Expand full comment

And it is the "trans" activists who want to obliterate women's right to free association.

Expand full comment

"It’s regrettable that some abortion rights groups stopped using the word “women” (which I don’t think is necessary from an inclusivity perspective, anyway), but they’re still, at the end of day, pushing for reproductive rights for women, which is the opposite of what some conservatives are doing."

I know you specified 'abortion rights groups,' but an aside: I've been told my entire life that Democrats are pushing for reproductive rights for women. Recently I have started to seriously question whether they *are* pushing for this. Seriously, what have they done to protect abortion? Apart from saying they want to protect abortion, "please donate to my re-election campaign if you agree."

Expand full comment

What, exactly, do you want them to do? Please be specific.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

Bring bills to the table to codify abortion. Every single year. Whip up votes. Pretend like you're trying to convince people your cause is righteous instead of calling opponents or fence-sitters religious bigots (all while continuing to support the Catholic Church, as many hypocritical pro-choice Dems do). NOT CAMPAIGN FOR PRO-LIFERS, NANCY. There was zero sense of urgency before Roe was overturned. None. Look at Nancy and Obama's prior statements on the unimportance of abortion rights. Now they get to play the victims again - "vote, vote, vote!" - in spite of many of them being in power since before I was born.

If you're implying they can't do anything, you're going to have to explain why I should cast a vote for someone who can't advance my cause.

Expand full comment

The backlash is of the transmaximalists making, and they should acknowledge that it's their fault instead of being sullen protestors.

Expand full comment

That would require some self-awareness....

Expand full comment

As much a piece of work as Rashida Tlaib is, Chase Strangio is more of a piece of work. He is very strange indeed. I don't think he is deranged, I think he is a performative clown. Things have really gone to hell at the ACLU, a skulk is in charge of the henhouse there.

Anthony Romero, Strangio, and their like-minded illiberal colleagues, should be turned out at the ACLU. Can we p-l-e-a-s-e have Ira Glasser back? I know, he's 84, but I can dream.

There are too many nemeses like Chasio afoot in the land at present, who want to totally shut down what they don't like. You can just picture them in their schoolyards back in the day with their fingers in the ears, saying "Nana nana nana, I can't hear you," when confronted when things they did not want to hear.

God, we live in a juvenile country.

Expand full comment

Strangio is not a "he". Strangio is a female wearing the appearance of a male.

Expand full comment

"I am an advocate, not a politician or journalist."

I think this statement tells you everything you need to know about the post-liberal left (PLL). The PLLs don't care about intellectual curiosity, or fairness, or empiricism; they're promoting the interests of the groups with whom they sympathize, and that's that. Whatever position they have to take, they'll take, and those liberals who refuse to accede will be treated as heretics. In this, PLLS are no different from the religious right.

Another similarity between PLLs and conservatives is the reaction to charges of hypocrisy. These rarely ruffle right-wingers, because they simply don't care about being seen as unfair or inconsistent. Fairness and consistency are not conservative values, and conservatives don't try to embody them.

Liberals, on the other hand, are driven to distraction by accusations of hypocrisy, and we'll spend an eternity either trying to explain why we are actually not being inconsistent, or else working to achieve a consistency that never satisfies our critics. That's probably why we call conservatives hypocrites; we expect them to react as we do. PLLs have moved rightward on this, because they, too, do not care if they are seen as hypocritical. Point out their hypocrisy and they'll probably tell you that consistency and fairness are the hallmarks of white supremacy. They simply do not value what liberals value, even if their goals are mostly the same.

That's my view, anyway. Feel free to criticize, to ensure I have not vanished into my own skull.

Expand full comment

Extremists gonna extreme, no matter the value set. Readily apparent these days.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

Chase Stangio is an extremist and a nutcase. She said that the book Irreversible Damage should not even be allowed in bookstores of libraries because it showed some of the downsides of transitioning such as long term effect of cross sex hormones. Imagine that ACLU that famously supported Nazis right to March in Skokie Ill, home at the time yto many Holocaust survivors now has one of their lawyers advocating banning books. So much for freedom of speech is you even dare to suggest that there may be some issues involving the trans activism that need to be discussed. I used to support the ACLU but as long as they insist that of trans trump everything else or the rights of biological women including refusing to use the word women, suing so men who identify as women whether or not they still have their penis,can share women’s prisons cells and play or swim on Womens sports teams, etc they will not get a penny from me.

Expand full comment

Not many people, fall into the category of “genuinely evil people”. Chase Strangio is one of them. He is (in)famous for tweeting “stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on”. What book was he tweeting about? That would be “Irreversible Damage” by Abigail Shrier. Of course, by one (very demented) standard, Strangio is actually one of the better people. Believe it or not, but a UC Berkeley professor (Grace Lavery) actually proposed to burn the book (safely of course).

Expand full comment

"he" - hehehe. Strangio is not a he.

Expand full comment

Correct. Strangio is a she.

Expand full comment

I muted strangino. The tweets seemed too hyperbolic.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

I can see how this behavior from Strangio and Tlaib could be viewed as a threat to other outlets who might report on the subject. But is it that scary of a threat? "We're gonna get you a bunch of outrage clicks on your articles, and you can take the chance to respond with a new article, which will in turn get you a shit ton of clicks." In the current economy for journalism, this seems more like a favor than a threat.

Expand full comment
Jul 13, 2022·edited Jul 13, 2022

I can see what you're saying, and I doubt that the NYT bigwigs are spending much time worrying what Chase Strangio thinks. However, I worry about the continuing corrosive effect this stuff has on leftist discourse. It's already difficult enough to pick your way through the minefield of progressive spaces without Strangio and Tlaib laying down more explosives.

I heard the term "post-liberal leftists" online, and it's maybe the best thing to come out of Twitter. These folks don't value empiricism or intellectual curiosity or fairness; they're simply concocting and enforcing dogma. It makes me both angry and sad.

Expand full comment

I somewhat prefer "illiberal" to "post-liberal", but I think we're on the same page.

Expand full comment

But the threat isn't aimed at the outlets or their owners, it's aimed at any journalist or writer who may decide to address the Trans issue. They are trying to send a very clear message to us all that if we deviate in any way publicly from their dogma, they will subject us to Twitter mob justice and attempt to harm us in any way they can, personally or professionally or both.

Expand full comment