Journalism and media criticism both require skepticism
Trans activists have become so dishonest and hyperbolic that they're becoming their own worst enemies. I also don't think they realize how much they are turning off otherwise left-leaning voters. A politician's support for child transition treatment is a deal-breaker for many at the voting booth.
“While the segment does include an interview with Times Magazine editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein, his voice is mostly used to represent the “other side” in the classically superficial style of subpar journalism everywhere — the producers make no independent effort to really get at the truth, and they clearly default to the stance that the open letter authors’ claims are true as written, with just about every editorial choice, big and small, pointing in that direction.”
I apologize for the long quote, but Jake Silverstein’s name is something of a trigger for me.
Silverstein was the NYT magazine editor when Nikole Hannah-Jones published her ‘1619 Project’ essay claiming, among other things, that England was deeply conflicted about slavery at the time of the American revolution. This is incontrovertibly false.
(The only people speaking out against slavery at the time in England, then the most powerful nation on earth, were Quakers and it would be decades before they were allowed in either Parliament or England’s elite universities. They were literally a marginalized minority. The Quakers wouldn’t even began to form the basics of the abolitionist movement until the 1780s. A host of things would have to happen, including the emergence of William Wilberforce and a mass evangelical movement amongst prominent, affluent non-Quaker women in the 19th century, before there was even a hope of making slavery an issue in England. Decades later.)
Silverstein was told by the historian they’d hired to fact-check that these claims weren’t true. He overruled her.
Post-publication he was told by respectful and sympathetic historians in an open letter that they weren’t true. He and Hannah-Jones snidely questioned their motives.
Jake Sillverstein is a sad reflection on the NYT. He has played a real part in fostering the culture of dishonesty and misguided activism in media that this letter (and the subsequent coverage of it) exemplifies.
Polls for gay marriage support showed it consistently and steadily going up and up. The same can’t be said for trans support, which has seen a sharp downturn over the past few years. Trans activists are sinking public support of the cause via trying to impose it on everyone else and mass censorship. The NYT did nothing wrong on trans but the activists (like the person who runs TransgenderMap) display levels of zeal the most fanatical Christian couldn’t even match.
The notion of "decades of puberty blockers" is a complete fabrication. The use of puberty blockers was first proposed in 1996 in the "Dutch protocol". The method was VERY SPARINGLY used until about 2015. Since 2015 and the advent of the ROGD tidal wave of trans deluded children, more have been put on this EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH WHICH HAS NO EVIDENTIARY SUPPORT. The entire rotten enterprise of "gender-affirming care" is experimental. Even today, in August 2023, more side-effects are coming out - these include osteoperosis at 22, heart aspects, retinal damage, and so forth.
Almost all studies have been on VERY small groups. ALL longitudinal studies have unacceptable loss-to-follow-up. The research is TERRIBLE. There is DELIBERATE and ACKNOWLEDGED DATA MANIPULATION.
If a person goes on a hormone that is not appropriate for the SEX THEY ARE AT SINCE CONCEPTION, there are dire and life-long debilitating consequences. If you decide to do this, you are part of a huge experiment. Good luck!! At least you won't have children who will be forced to support your damaged carcass into old age.
There is no doubt that Transmania is the Big Lie of our era, a combo of frontal lobotomy, Satanic panic and Mao's Thought Reform. That this has been sold as "the great civil rights struggle of our time" will live on as the perfect symbol of American decline (intellectual, moral and political), a grotesquerie on par with Roman gladiator shows and Aztec human sacrifice.
And as "Gender Theory" and all its works have no scientfic foundation and are rooted in the deranged idea that the mammalian sex binary is an oppressive political imposition that needs to be destroyed, its proponents have no choice but to rely on every possibe underhanded tactic: hounding and attacking opponents and dissenters (like Jesse), victim wallowing ("Your questions are literal genocide!"), intense moral blackmail and emotional bullying, brazen lying and gaslighting, plus the lowest form of argument ever crafted: do you want a dead son or a living daughter!?
The upscale progressive media class has painted themselves into quite a corner here: the Science is settled! (even though new studies are done constantly), they screech, and then they present the 2 options that all zealots in the grip of a fundamentalist mania give: either join our cult and bow down and worship our sacred idol (the Holy Trans child) or else be cast beyond the moral pale and smeared as a "hate group".
This has become a Manichaean moral crusade for them, and what used to be called "journalism" no longer applies. Our progressive media have abandoned journalism (and rationality) to become narrative-enforcement agents and Defenders of the One True Faith.
“Do you think she is more or less angry than the Swedish teenager facing severe spinal damage because of what puberty blockers did to their skeleton, or that kid’s parents?”
I love the rare occasions when Jesse relaxes his grip a bit and releases some venom.
"But that doesn’t mean you have to accept what they say. In fact, if you do accept what they say in a mindless or parrotlike fashion, you’re no longer performing journalism. You should probably leave this field, in fact, and go work for one of the many rights organizations that could use the PR assistance. You’ll be better paid there, and ideally the slot you vacate will be filled by one of the perhaps tens of thousands of competent, principled journalists who have been laid off during our industry’s implosion."
About left-handedness--when I look at those charts, it seems to have gone up from 2% to 12% over a period of **40 years.**
Number of people presenting at GIDS: 51 in 2009 and 1766 in 2016. A factor of 34 in **seven** years.
(from https://cass.independent-review.uk/entry-5-evidence-epidemiology-october-2021/ )
It went up much faster and by much more than lefthandedness.
If you put the proportional increase in lefthandedness on the same plot you'd barely see it, it would be at the bottom..
The comparison with left-handedness would be inane even if the curves were similar. After all, affirming left-handedness requires doing nothing, whereas affirming gender requires a lifetime of serious hormonal and surgical interventions. Not hard to see why one is making parents (and outsiders) more worried.
I'm currently reading Time To Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock's Gender Service for Children, by Hannah Barnes. I warmly recommend it to anyone interested in the youth gender medicine debate.
Thanks, Jesse. What a lot of work. So frustrating that you have to do this over and over again.
I remember seeing a longer version of the left handedness chart and it went back three hundred years or do and saw a steady state, then a big dip starting around the Industrial Revolution and eventually coming back up.
These folks style themselves as the proud adversaries of transphobes, but they see their true enemy as anyone who introduces nuance into the discussion. This is because they're not in competition with actual transphobes, as almost no one in that rightwing audience is persuadable, nor are trans allies going to be led astray by the bile.
But there are many fair-minded people on the left who are intrigued by compelling, nuanced arguments and would come to realize how unreasonable the ideology of the hardliners is if the well weren't poisoned. Obviously the activists can't scare them away from listening by explicitly saying, "Don't listen to nuanced points of view!" So instead they just cry transphobia and a lot of good-hearted people think, "Oh, Jesse Singal is a transphobe? Yikes, I don't want any part of that."
This tactic is, of course, is not at all unique to this particular issue. Where would Scientology (or any other successful cult) be if, instead of vilifying their critics, they said to their dupes: "By all means, listen to the counter-arguments and we're sure you'll come back to us more faithful than ever."
I can only imagine how exhausting it is to do this painstaking work over and over. So important! I am grateful.
Fantastic work. I also used to love OTM. Man, they are terrible now.
I happened across that interview on the radio by accident (my hobby is timing how long it'll take in an NPR story to bring up race--relevant or not)--and found myself as frustrated as you.
What's of central interest to me now is how the trans-activist movement (or whomever) has so effectively silenced any questioning or debate on this entire topic. Why is this topic given a pass, every. single. time?
What in our institutions happened at a fundamental level with this topic that extinguished all curiosity, and silenced all inquiry? Why elevate "gender identity"--this subjective, internal "sense"--to such dizzying heights and paramount importance (over all that we can see, touch, experience externally)?
And the "or whomever" parenthetical addition here is also of supreme interest--where did this come from (Judith Butler, etc., I guess), but who were the seminal (pun not intended) people in politics, medicine, legislation, social influence that proliferated this so thoroughly unquestioningly and then made it absolute dogma?
There's an amazing book in those topics, somewhere.
What remains strange and ominous is the way lesbians and gays have allowed themselves to be exploited and (one assumes) shame-silenced into a facsimile of unwavering support for radical trans activism. We know it's not so, and that the portrayal of LGBTQetc. as a lock-step, homogenous community is a fraud. Lesbians and gays need to find their voice and speak out on this. Some have, but not nearly enough. Like others, they've been cowed into silence.