Monday, October 22, 2018

Count on The Federalist to provide a forum for transphobic BS

David Marcus
David Marcus (date unknown)
Image source: The Federalist
According to one David Marcus: The Trump Administration Is Right To Define Gender Biologically. The remarkable subtitle for this enlightening polemic is:
The federal government needs a definition of gender rooted in science and the Trump administration is right to enforce it.
I will get back to that but first, about Mr. Marcus. According to the Federalist, Marcus is the artistic director of Blue Box World in Brooklyn. Blue Box World has nothing to do with the well known Bluebox Theatre Co. on Long Island. According to the website of Blue Box World (BBW):
Founded in 2000 by David Marcus and Libby Emmons [also a Federalist author], blueboxworld is a theatre project presenting art for non fascist living, meaning that we seek to rule our ideas and not be ruled by them.
BBW doesn't seem to be active. The last entry on the (rather strange) website is from March, 2017; there is no place on the site to purchase tickets and no indication of any production going forward. This all suggests that Mr. Marcus is living off of whatever The Federalist pays him to write articles. He is quite prolific in that regard.
Getting back to the noxious piece on gender:
Mr. Marcus needs to actually read some of the peer-reviewed science published to highly respected journals. The overwhelming consensus of medical science is that gender is a separate construct from natal sex and that, in a small number of people, gender and natal sex are not congruent. Gender is also a continuum with male and female at the extreme ends.

The decision of the American Academy of Pediatrics to define best-practices as the gender-affirmative care model is based on the science. In their recent statement, they cite nearly 100 studies of gender and gender dysphoria. That would be a good place for Mr. Marcus to start.

Whatever it is, the possible Trump policy is not based on science. In contrast, it coincides with Roger Severino's fundamentalist Catholic views. Severino is the director of the Office of Civil Rights at HHS which originated the draft memo that the New York Times received.
According to Marcus:
The Trump administration is moving forward with efforts to define gender on the basis of biological sex, reversing decisions under the Obama administration that essentially allowed individuals to choose their own sex for federal government purposes.
Marcus is incapable of differentiating between sex and gender. People do not choose their gender. Were that the case no one would opt for gender which competes with natal sex and gender dysphoria would not exist.
Progressives are predictably outraged by the fact that the Trump administration will no longer allow pseudoscience to define the words “man” and “woman,” but this is a common-sense move that will help the government better protect women’s rights and avoid the confusion of trying to regulate the myriad genders that have been invented in the past several years.
Pseudoscience? Peer-reviewed articles published to esteemed academic journals like JAMA and Pediatrics are pseudoscience? What on earth is this guy talking about? Can Marcus cite any article published to a respected Academic Journal with rigorous peer review which provides evidence that gender is synonymous with natal sex (which is what the draft memo asserts)? If he could, I assume that he would. He did not.
It is important to understand that this change will in no way affect how trans people or anybody else choose to label themselves. Rather, it will allow the government to have an objective standard when implementing federal programs. Without such a standard, a haphazard set of rules exists as to who qualifies for legal protections under Title IX.
“Choose to label themselves?” Gender is neither a label nor a choice. What we are talking about applies to less than 1% of the population. For religious reasons, the OCR at the Education Department has already ceased to protect the needs of trans and gender nonconforming students. The Obama administration rules were not haphazard in any way because gender is quite objective.

Discrimination based on gender incongruence is sex discrimination. What this is really about is Christian conservatives trying to conform science to scripture. Those Christians require a sex binary where gender and sex mean the same thing. Their god designed things that way.

This is once again an attempt to integrate a belief system — based on faith — into government policy in spite of the fact that it does not comport to the science and science is based on evidence.
Frankly, this move has been a long time coming and is very obviously needed. Our government and governments around the world have been struggling to keep up with new definitions of gender that seem to pop up every day. In recent years many advocates of the idea that people can choose, or self identify, their gender have argued that its nobody’s business but the person making the choice. But this is patently false.
Can Marcus cite any science which conforms to his apparent understanding that gender is a choice? He hasn't done that either.
Questions were always bound to arise that would require the state to make a determination about a person’s sex. College athletics, where men who identify as women have unfair advantages, is one example; another is set-aside or quota programs. If government contracts require that a certain number of subcontractors on a project have to be women-run businesses, for example, then there needs to be a definition of “woman.”
The IOC has established objective guidelines based on levels of testosterone. Transgender women (“men who identify as women” is religious speech) have reduced levels of testosterone. Whether or not they have an unfair advantage could be resolved with broader adoption of the IOC rules.

As for government contracts, set-asides are based on minority ownership (which includes women). The tiny number of transgender women who own businesses that do business with the government probably doesn't have a great deal of impact. Moreover, according to the science a trans woman is, for all intents and purposes a woman.

I get that Marcus has to write this nonsense to put food on his family table. I hate to play name games but it seems reasonable to guess that he is a fellow Jew. 6,000 years of oppression taught us a few things about prejudice.

The revised Trump policy is designed to facilitate discrimination against a small minority of people that Christian conservatives disapprove of. That should give David Marcus pause. At least a moment or two of rational thought. Apparently nothing is too awful for either The Federalist or David Marcus.

Writing stupid things like the peer-reviewed science is pseudoscience is just more upisdownism. If nothing else, it is intellectually dishonest. It demonstrates a serious lacking of critical thinking and the intellectual curiosity to find out the truth.

Editors at The Federalist don't care and neither does Marcus. I think that he has one or more children and that makes Marcus dangerous if one of them turns out to be LGBT. Would he then eventually conclude that sexuality is not a choice.

Personally I could make oodles of money if I renounced my sexuality. Even more if I became a Christian convert on top of that. My integrity is more important than the size of my wallet. Mr. Marcus does not seem to have given serious thought to the importance of his integrity.

There is more to Marcus' piece but it just repeats the same odious misconceptions.

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