Monday, August 14, 2017

Heartland Inst. polemicist adds trans-denial to his org's climate denial

Howard Beale "Mad as hell ..."
"I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
Monday, Michael T. Hamilton writes: “How Lena Dunham’s Transgender Dogma Turns Straight People Gay” for The Federalist. His subtitle reads:
Trans activists identify as infallible but trip over their own language and logic.
Hamilton has a pretentious academic title at the financially troubled Heartland Institute (in 2015 the small organization had a deficit of $1.4 million). Hamilton is neither an officer nor a highly compensated individual. However, he is highly confused — and confusing. He is not trying to be witty or satirical. After a few thousand words he tries to explain how an understanding of gender turns people bisexual. He is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is.

Apparently Mr. Hamilton believes that being transgender is some form of ideology. Perhaps he has reached that conclusion based upon the misguided statements of the pope or other religious leaders. Religious opprobrium does not alter medical science. Nor are religious teachings the source of peer-reviewed research published to scholarly journals. Faith is not science and it sure as hell is not medical science.
Some say Dunham’s alacrity to eavesdrop on her fellow man and turn him into the authorities (even nongovernmental authorities like American Airlines) mirrors the spirit of voluntary compliance citizens of East Germany once gave the secret police. Others have noted Dunham’s hypocrisy in urging respect for people’s views about sex while turning informant on two airline workers sharing their own opinions on sex in a private conversation, without even attempting address the workers personally.
Hamilton would have us believe that there are two respectable competing views regarding transgender people. Competing? Yes. Respectable? No more so than the claim that Jews control the Federal Reserve (which is an expression of anti-Semitism). Bigotry is not a valid point of view.  In spite of all the noise, there are some scientific truths. These do not constitute dogma. Scientific fact is not ideology. Those facts include:
  1. Gender dysphoria is a medical condition that can be objectively diagnosed.
  2. Being transgender is a medically approved and proven means of mitigating the symptoms of gender dysphoria including depression and anxiety.
  3. There is no known medical intervention that reduces or reverses gender dysphoria. 
  4. Without addressing the symptoms of gender dysphoria people may endure great suffering.
Ignorance is not the foundation of a valid point of view. Hamilton is employed by an organization that promotes climate denial for the economic benefit of its supporters. Intellectual honesty does not find a home at Heartland Institute. But I digress.

The notion that this was a private conversation is false. The two nitwits that disturbed Dunham with offensive statements were seemingly on company time, on company premises and wearing company uniforms. Moreover, the statements were heard by Dunham. That is not eavesdropping. Suppose, instead of Dunham, that the two were overheard by a transgender kid or the parent of a transgender child. The might cause considerable upset.

Perhaps Dunham should have intervened. She did not. A few years ago I would have politely attempted to correct their misunderstandings. These days I would not. PTSD has robbed me of a rheostat. I go from calm-to-batshit in 0.5 seconds and have no control over the acceleration. Again, I digress.
What ought to perplex Dunham is how seamlessly she slipped into using the same bigoted, provincial, old-world stereotypes as the flight attendants she accused. She did this by describing the attendants as “female” without having any politically correct evidence of their gender.
Hamilton is too cute by half. Were they transgender they would still be female. He disagrees but that is the overwhelming consensus of medical science.
Dunham’s misstep transgresses her own draconian code of ethics, a code so mired in Orwellian newspeak and doublethink that not even the Left can keep it straight. Then again, why bother? It is far easier for the transgender activism movement Dunham champions to turn straight people bisexual, which is exactly what transgender philosophy does.
The above expresses the notion that people who understand the science associated with being transgender are confused and promoters of confusing rhetoric. It is a charge that is not supported by evidence and it is very similar to the attempts to discredit people who understand the science behind climate change.

Being transgender is not a philosophy. Nor does being transgender have any connection to sexual orientation. Gender identity and sexual orientation are independent of each other. Hamilton is clearly confused. He is also confusing. According to his sentence structure, people who understand gender are somehow responsible for turning heterosexuals into bisexuals. Perhaps this is a dim effort at satire but it is utterly nonsensical.
The trouble started when Dunham took to Twitter on August 3 to perform her civic duty of ratting “2 female attendants” for “talking about how trans kids are a trend,” how “they’d never accept a trans child” and that “transness is gross.” …
I doubt that Ms. Dunham perceived this as a civic duty. The more rational explanation is that she was offended by the transphobia which motivated her to take action. As a former CEO I would have taken this seriously, regardless of the issue. On company time, on company premises or in company uniform employees should not be sharing controversial opinions that might be overheard by others. Employers have every right to restrain the speech of employees.
But hang on. Did Dunham have any politically correct basis for assuming the offending flight attendants were female? Did Dunham speak to the persons she accused of bigotry? Did Dunham’s detailed account of the attendants’ conversation capture the accused parties self-identifying as women?
He is repeating himself moronically. The reference to self-identification suggests that gender identity is a choice. I am emphatically certain that no one makes a choice to have their gender not be congruent with their natal sex. It can produce extreme discomfort that no one volunteers to endure.
Dunham made an assumption about people’s sex of a kind rational people make but transgender activism prohibits. Dunham guessed the sex of the accused based on their appearance, opinions, or both. She then used her assumption as the primary basis for identifying the persons when making her accusation.
Hamilton just doesn't want to understand gender. In polite and civil society we are expected to regard and treat people based upon their gender. Usually that is the same as their sex but sometimes it is not. It usually doesn't require an assumption. Hamilton keeps restating his complete, yet determined, bewilderment.
Dunham could have described the attendants any number of ways that would have avoided making assumptions about their sex …
I think this is Hamilton's fifth intellectually dishonest attempt to make the same idiotic point. The people in question presented as female and were treated accordingly. It is the courtesy that transgender people have every right to expect. Ultimately, that is the basis for activism. Hamilton is undermining his own efforts.
Or maybe Dunham assumed the attendants were women not because of their physical attributes, but because of the views they were privately sharing. By the standards Dunham professes, this assumption is no better, because it would have additionally required Dunham to assume that women are typically less likely than men to adopt transgender dogmas. …
Maybe they get away with this crap at Heartland or with the Federalist's readers. The logical fallacies include begging the question and appealing to stereotype. This all gets down to treating people according to their gender presentation. In polite society we address people according to certain conventions. We do not call people by their first name unless invited to do so. We use the appropriate honorific and title if applicable. Similarly, convention makes life simpler. We do not have to speculate about someone's natal sex. We are expected to address people according to their gender presentation. It's not that difficult. The assumption that we make is not about their sex or gender. It is that they are deserving of respect.

I find it interesting, perhaps ironic, that Hamilton keeps referring to dogma. The way we are expected to treat people only becomes difficult for some religious zealots who are obsessed with the notion that everything is binary. Their “thinking” is that their deity created males and females, all of whom are heterosexual. Unfortunately for them, science does not conform to religious dogma which, for them, is infallible and irrefutable. They are simply wrong. They are wed to the notion that transgender people do not deserve their respect. Again, they are simply wrong.
Whatever assumptions Dunham used to deduce the attendants were female, Dunham undermined a crucial premise of the transgender cause—that appearance and other biological attributes do not determine a person’s sex.
Sometimes I think that the political and religious right are determined to promote false notions of what their opponents believe. I cannot determine if it is ignorance or willful deceit. It doesn't matter whether it is dishonesty or stupidity. In this case, people understand the difference between sex and gender. Caitlyn Jenner and Jazz Jennings, for example, are fully cognizant of the fact that their biology is that of a male, at least in terms of chromosomes. Their appearance is that of a female and they expect to be treated accordingly. Now I am repeating myself.
Dunham’s inconsistency during her crusade exposes her hypocrisy, but more importantly, it exposes why Dunham’s position is untenable. Everyone who tries to hold it must sooner or later play the hypocrite, because consistently using the transgender movement’s “Brave New World” language is impossible.
What on earth? Dunham and others are completely consistent and lacking in hypocrisy. The polite language is really quite simple. Hamilton has said that two plus two equals five. Later on when someone says “four” Hamilton responds with: “See? I told you they were wrong.” I refuse to repeat myself again.

If Hamilton is reading this he immediately thinks to himself that trans activists are the ones who are opining that 2+2=5. He reaches that flawed conclusion because he refuses to understand the difference between sex and gender. His is willful ignorance.
The movement’s language and assumptions actually prohibit individuals from determining their own sexes. Worse, the same rules the movement pushes to protect transgender people’s rights can actually change other people’s sexual orientation. Let me say that again. By the transgender activist’s logic, someone else’s opinion can turn straight people bisexual, en masse.
Ugh. No one determines their own sex. Moreover, no one determines their own gender. Then he repeats the same drivel, ad nauseum.

I am not going to quote the next few paragraphs of utter insanity. It all boils down to Hamilton's assertion that a naked transgender person who still has natal genitalia will confuse the sexual orientation of those viewing that person which is how transgender people turn straight people into bisexuals. It makes no sense whatsoever. Sexual orientation just doesn't work that way. Arousal, sexual attraction and romantic attraction are independent of each other. Furthermore, orientation is a continuum with gay and straight at the extreme ends.
This brings us (finally) to Hamilton's conclusions:
Logically, if the trans person is correct about his or her sex, that person’s opinion must negate other people’s contrary opinions—opinions not only about the trans person’s sex, but about his or her sexual orientation. The transgender activist’s presumption of infallibility renders the opinions of anyone doubting the dogma—such as a straight man who swears, by God, he is straight, or an American Airlines employee who thinks transgenderism a fad—are second-class, if not flying coach.
Logically? I love when people express illogical concepts and at the same time inform us that they are being logical. Sex and gender are not matters of opinion. Sex is biological and chromosomal (most of the time). People who are transgender are certain about their gender regardless of their natal sex. It is no more an opinion than our left or right handedness. Hamilton actually thinks that his opinions about trans people are important to them. It is a form of arrogance. His opinions are irrelevant. What is relevant is how he treats others.

Hamilton is free to believe whatever he wishes to believe. In society he can choose to be polite or act like a boor insofar as his interactions with transgender people are concerned. We cannot, for example, force him to use appropriate pronouns. He can choose to sound like a schmuck. These are choices that he gets to make. It might be helpful if he first accepted the simple fact that no one chose to be transgender. They are transgender because affirming their gender is the only thing that relieves the extreme discomfort of gender dysphoria. Hamilton can never accept this simple concept. His is the mind that is mired in nonsensical dogma.

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