Elves, Orcs, and all that

As I understand it, right-thinking people are supposed to act as if men who have undergone ‘sex-change’ surgery are really women. As opposed to crazy.  The thing is, there are other transitions that people may wish to make, and I’m wondering if right-thinking people will soon be expected to honor those people’s new status.  I’m talking about elves.

Surgery can certainly give you pointy ears, and for the moment let’s assume that’s as far as it goes.  Will we be expected to pretend that pointy-eared Americans really are elves?  When they’re in the Army, will grizzled NCOs still ask them if they want to live forever?  Will insurance companies feel compelled to charge them low prices for life insurance and super-high prices for annuities?

Other than an aversion to cold iron, vulnerability to holy names, and possibly being soulless, being an elf doesn’t sound all that bad. The transition is a lark, compared to a sex-change operation.  In the near future, I’m sure that the genome can be edited so that their descendants are born with pointy ears.

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160 Responses to Elves, Orcs, and all that

  1. Jaim Jota says:

    Sure, you wouldn’t want to disrespect or hurt the feelings of an elve. We may have a problem with gremlins because they stink, but what we do when trapped in a lift with one? We look at the ceiling or play with the phone.

    • TWS says:

      Not as bad as the nisse grandma warned me about. They could be mean even at Jule time. She taught me some songs and rhymes about them but to my shame I have for gotten all my Norwegian.

      • Jaim Jota says:

        TWS: You should refresh your Norwegian, it will be most useful when Greg starts swamping us with genetically modified elves, orcs, gremlins and other Northern creatures.

      • TWS says:

        My uncle went back to Norway 40 years ago. He said people (gently) told him he sounded like a rube and old fashioned. My family still lives there (cousins and such) one nearly died laughing when he found I married a girl named Nisse.

        “You mean Nielsen?”
        “No Nisse.”
        Sound of crazy laughter over the phone.
        “He married a Jule Nisse!” shouted to people in the background.
        More laughter.

  2. The problem with sex change operations is, of course, that they don’t change your sex. Instead, they dump you in the middle of uncanny valley.

    If sex change operations actually worked, we might reasonably suppose transexuals to be sane. Since they don’t work, they are obvious signs of madness.

    • Y. says:

      Buying stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like is also madness. Just look at the credit card debt. Heh- morons!

      Surprisingly popular though.

      Transsexuals probably have a mismatch between body and brain’s model of the body.
      No one knows where exactly, but research is ongoing. Related disorder, the body integrity D., no less ‘insane’. seems to have neurological correlates

      http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/136/1/318

      However, a caveat is that some number of the transsexuals is motivated fetishistically.
      That is why more enlightened countries such as Czech Republic test people applying for gender reassignment for arousal when viewing autogynephilic pornography. If you have no idea what that is, go look at trans porn sites, it’s pretty bizarre. Only quicksand porn is weirder.
      _________________________

      Ever heard of David Reimer, the guy whose accidental mutilation killed the idea of gender identity being somehow ‘learned’ ?

      We know brain has proprioception,
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception
      .. why is it preposterous to imagine missing a brain ‘model’ for your penis because some accidental fuckup in neonatal development caused you to possess a brain model for vagina?

      One tiny little error in hormone receptors can make genetical XY men develop into infertile, ovaries and womb impaired women.
      http://www.secondtype.info/ais.htm

      For some sick reason, they seem to be more beautiful than XX women. If there’s a creator, he’s an asshole.

      Enjoy.

  3. Richard Kennaway says:

    Reality is ahead of you. I’m not sure I can put a web link in a comment here, but see the Wikipedia article on “Otherkin”.

    “Some otherkin (such as elvenkin) claim they are allergic to iron (and products of modern technology), whilst other otherkin (such as dragonkin) claim that having no allergies is a sign of being an otherkin.”

    It goes back twenty years.

    • gcochran9 says:

      I know about that. But as yet, I have not seen people taking claims of elfhood seriously, even though that’s far less crazy than claiming that you’ve switched sexes.

      • TWS says:

        To hel with it, I’m one of the elves. Alergic to iron Jesus and crowds. I demand people pay for my realignment and SS so I can go live in the woods. I’ll also need plenty of acreage to dance, roam, and hunt. And I need carte blanche to grab unbaptized kids that kind of thing. On the plus side you will get really maudlin poetry another ethnic cuisine for food snobs and quaint native costumes.

      • feministx says:

        I think part of the issue is that transwomen are generally likable. The ones I have known try extra hard to emulate feminine behavior, so they seem hyperfeminine, which can come off as rather endearing. Real women don’t bother playing up their feminine charms all the time. We are comparatively dour.

        I think part of what makes gays successful is that gay dudes are damn likable. With their rainbows and shiny shoes and general gayness- it’s hard for neurotypical people to see them as outcasts. Transwomen are not usually quite as adorable as gay guys, but transwomen are still a fun bunch.

        Sorry greg, but people are going to love the faaabulous more than they love spergy nerds who really know their data inside out. That instinct trumps aversion to sexually errant males for a lot of people.

      • feministx says:

        In our culture, we may have a vested interest in believing that gender is a social construct and that any sexual orientation or gender identificaton is equally valid. However, we are not the only culture that accepts transwomen. Cultures diametrically opposed to ours or different from ours accept them too such as Iran and India.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexuality_in_Iran

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijra_(South_Asia)

        Thus, I am not convinced that visceral aversion against transwomen or defining them as insane is a normal or instinctive reaction. Transwomen do not automatically strike people as mentally ill.

      • a.morphous says:

        The movie and book “Little Big Man” has a native American trans-woman character. It’s been widely praised as accurate, also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Spirit

  4. Anonymous says:

    Body integrity identity disorder “The sufferer feels incomplete with four limbs but is confident amputation will fix this. The most common request is an above-the-knee amputation of the left leg”.
    .

  5. Staffan says:

    Perhaps it’s just to get chicks. I bet pointy ears is one of those gaudy traits that attracts females.

  6. Matt H says:

    I thought gender differences were all cultural, isn’t wanting to change gender a cultural disease? Akin to a white person wanting to be black?

  7. Jim says:

    I don’t believe that elves were actually described as having pointy ears. The principal problem with elves is that when they dance anybody watching them went into a trance and time slowed down for them. So someone might walk out of their village, come accross a bunch of elves dancing and when they finally returned home thinking only a few hours had passed they found that in their village years had gone by. For this reason people to elf conversions should be discouraged.

    • engleberg says:

      According to Grant Allen’s translation of Catullus’ ‘Attis; or, the Origin of Tree Worship’, there’s a long-term connection between elves and guys who whack their doodles. Sylvanus having aspects of ancientry, gaps in time, personably animalistic appearance, and chicks dangerous to one’s courting tackle.

      • I think the origin of tree worship is food – notably in the northern euro context, acorns.

      • engleberg says:

        I think the origin of tree worship is food too- plains apes with the protein storage habits of a shrike. Stays alive and partly unrotted for days, you can play with it, you can impale your political competitors alongside, or pieces thereof- over time you get Inklings of the Holy. ‘The Lost Secrets of Classical Architecture’, Uppsala’s Horrible Tree, CS Lewis’ ‘Till We Have Faces’. Catullus was a rich rake who liked the sexy side of this.
        Of course you’d be nuts not to store acorns like a field mouse while you are at it.

  8. Ilya says:

    I’ve talked to a British person, in real-life, with pointy ears. I don’t know if it was due to surgery (likely) or (possibly) genetic defect, but it was somewhat unsettling. But not to the degree as interacting with a tranny is (sometimes, they also attend professional conferences, and you’ve got to play along with the charade).

  9. TWS says:

    It’s less creepy than wanting your children to be deformed or severely disabled. However morons advocate for that and some idiots take them seriously. It’s not like genetics can create Tolkienesque dwarves or elves tomorrow. The most people can do is pick a mate with the same faulty genes then deny their children whatever treatments are available.

    If we follow this idiocy to the end we’ll let morons mutilate their children for designer accessories to their delusional lifestyles.

  10. Patrick Boyle says:

    Since you are a geneticist I assumed that you were writing about Williams syndrome and that you were struggling with the question of how to feel about parents who induce Williams syndrome in their children so as to make them more attractive and better behaved. But that was not it. You are only dealing with simply body modification not real essence modification. As far as I know no one has induced Williams – yet.

    I suspect that pointy eras so as to appear elfin is no better than the third choice among ear modifiers. The top ear trimming motivation I would guess would be to appear devilish. These people also plant plastic bumps under their scalps to simulate horns. Next in line I imagine would be Trekkers trying to look like Spock.

    It should be possible today to surgically alter your foot so as to approximate a hoof. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that but I’m hardly a judge. I don’t even understand tattoos.

  11. Sinij says:

    >>>As I understand it, right-thinking people are supposed to act as if men who have undergone ‘sex-change’ surgery are really women. As opposed to crazy.

    Even if you apply highly subjective judgment of “crazy” to these people, it still doesn’t absolve you from the responsibility to act in a charitable and civil manner to them. I personally think you are crazy to blog opinions like these in our over-litigious society under your real name, but I won’t start denying your experiences when you get bankrupted by various discrimination lawsuits in the workplace.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Of course they’re crazy. Nothing subjective about it.

      • Sinij says:

        Consider using ‘socially abnormal’ or ‘deviating from societal norm’. While there is evidence that transexual people are more predisposed to a wide range of mental conditions, none of these conditions could be conclusively linked to “undergone ‘sex-change’ surgery” and are likely unrelated comorbidities.

        When you use “crazy” you are trying to frame the argument in a way that denies validity to their (by our norms very bad) choices. I strongly believe that tolerating deviations from accepted norm is much more beneficial to functioning of free society that any benefit that might come from enforcing the optimal norm.

      • Matt H says:

        Crazy really?
        I would guess there are a bunch of different things going on and a continuum from purely mental issues to physical ones.

        1. Some folks have a mental illness akin to BIID,
        2. A kid born intersex who had the wrong part snipped off, isn’t in the same category and isn’t crazy.
        3. Between these extremes, I wonder whats going on, some of its mental and others physical. A gay man with a fetish for dating straight men, An odd hormone imbalance.

        If your penis inverted tomorrow and no other aspect of you changed would you still be a man? What makes you a man? Is what makes you a man physically measurable beyond your penis? If so then can we tell if a transgender person is crazy and wants to hurt themselves or is really suffering.

        I think eventually we will study this well enough to know that trans people fit into a few different categories, and for very few is surgery a healthy and responsible option. The rest need medication,

      • TWS says:

        Fucking-A they’re crazy (the surgically mutilated). I was speaking about the deaf and dwarf community. Some of them consider it genocide to treat those conditions. Some seek out mates with the same conditions to pass it on to their children. If there were any fixes for any of my faulty genes I’d jump on it as a parent. If the ‘zero-error’ option ever becomes a reality I might consider more kids no matter my age.

        Of course, I will love the superior children more. Just sayin’.

      • dave chamberlin says:

        I don’t understand what bugs Cochran about some folks deciding that they are much happier being the opposite sex as to what they are born. Who wants to live in a conformist culture where the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. If they want to change their name to Peaches, get implants, and work hours a day looking like one plug ugly old broad, not only let them, respect that it makes them happier. I draw the line of crazy at a different place thean Cochran does. Asking a surgeon to convert your penis into a hole, now that’s crazy. Maybe Cochran thinks that Peaches is crazy, maybe I think a Methodist Priest is crazy, it is subjective.

      • Asher says:

        @ dave chamberlain

        I’m not sure I’d use “crazy”. The most logical and obvious explanation for trans-sexualism is that it is just a sexual fetish. We normally don’t approve of people advertising their sexual fetishes in public and asking others to do so is just rude and asocial.

        Having an XY chromosome pair makes you biologically male, period. What male to female transvestites and trans-sexuals want is for everyone else to pretend that they are not biologically male. Personally, I have known many heterosexual, biological males who I would not refer to as “men”, even though that was their preference.

        Language isn’t something that each individual gets to pick and choose what it means to them. If I run around hitting random people I don’t expect people to consider me “nice”. Language is inter-subjective, not purely subjective.

      • Sinij says:

        Biological sex and gender are not the same concepts. Even for heterosexual males and females your procreative capability does not reflect your gender identity. Sterile males and post-menopausal females are still accepted to fall within gender. As such, argument that “this is all biology” is not valid – the issue is much more complex than that.

      • misdreavus says:

        “Biological sex and gender are not the same concepts.”

        Stop that bull crap. It was just as silly the first time I read it in a women’s studies reader.

        I can understand gays, lesbians, and transsexuals trying to make the best of a truly unfortunate lot and pretending that what they are is healthy and normal. But what explains the perplexing behavior of the rest of you who fight tooth and nail to right biological wrongs? When your son “Jonathan” comes home for Christmas in ruby red high heels with a pair of cheap double Ds and a peroxide blonde wig, what is your first instinct, to congratulate him while grinning from ear to ear for having truly discovered his one and only “gender identity”, or to curse the very heavens for your ill fortune?

      • Sinij says:

        “I can understand gays, lesbians, and transsexuals trying to make the best of a truly unfortunate lot”

        By discriminating against them you are adding quite a bit to that misfortune. We know sexual orientation is not a choice. We know it cannot be changed and there is no cure or vaccine. This is who they are, and by framing them as “deviants” or “crazy” you alienate and demonize them.

        You might be educated enough to know that they do not pose harm to others, but when people speaking from authority start framing them as deviants and crazy then we have Joe-6-packs taking this as a permission to enact violence.

        Again, gender is not a problem that currently has a solution. We can discriminate or we can accommodate. Would you rather live in a society that default to discrimination toward any abnormality or accommodation and acceptance?

      • Asher says:

        @ shinij

        By discriminating against them

        Discrimination doesn’t necessarily imply “against” anything and that is a juvenile rhetorical ploy with no substantive content. Objectively, you discriminate between things that are, by nature, different. In no universe does XY = XX.

        you alienate and demonize them.

        A) They are alien. Given that around 96 of males exclusive sexual interest involves females that very fact will produce feelings of alientation for the remaining 3 to 4 percent. Socially awkward people *fee* alienated because they socially interact differently

        B) No one is demonizing anyone. Period. To assert otherwise is pure slander on your part. I HATE slander.

      • Sinij says:

        Asher, maybe this will help you relate. Imagine if by virtue of your condition (you self-disclosed it on other site) you were labeled “crazy” and “alien”. You do realize that most people do not have this condition and you are in fact is different. Imagine if that defined all your relationships both in personal and professional life.

      • erica says:

        Sinij: “You might be educated enough to know that they do not pose harm to others, but when people speaking from authority start framing them as deviants and crazy then we have Joe-6-packs taking this as a permission to enact violence.”

        There you go again, bad mouthin’ the always good-for-blamin’ Joe-6-pack, the Joe-6-pack, who knows a hell of a lot more than he’s given credit for knowing, who frequently knows more than the “educated” who just can’t wait to help the world and fix all its ills by offering up whatever is the fad of the day, whatever it is that makes him feel omnipotent.

      • Asher says:

        @ Shinij

        My condition? You’re going to have to be more descriptive. About the closest thing I have to a “condition” is extreme introversion. The mistake you are making is that you assume that the label “crazy” is just applied to things people find distasteful and that they are unrelated to actual function. Imagine the two following societies:

        A) All coupling is same sex
        B) All coupling is opposite sex

        Would those two societies function identically and have measurably similar outcomes?

      • Asher says:

        when people speaking from authority start framing them as deviants and crazy then we have Joe-6-packs taking this as a permission to enact violence.

        You complete misunderstand how human beings are motivated. People mainly just mind their own business unless their immediate social environment is threatened or severely disturbed. You are evincing the fallacy of the excluded middle. There is more than the two possible arrangements to hunt down anyone with XY chromosomes thinking themselves female and killing them or having everyone calling someone with XY chromosomes “female” simply because they *feel* themselves so.

        The excluded middle is that such a person has a fetish and they keep it private.

        Further, whatever “condition” I may have hinted on is probably some niche trait that has a place in the overall fitness landscape.

      • RobertFord says:

        Greg, would it also be appropriate to say they have a congenital disorder (like any gay person or pedophile.)?

      • Wanderer says:

        Asher, maybe this will help you relate. Imagine if by virtue of your condition (you self-disclosed it on other site) you were labeled “crazy” and “alien”. You do realize that most people do not have this condition and you are in fact is different. Imagine if that defined all your relationships both in personal and professional life.

        I don’t care, and while I don’t speak for Greg, I suspect he wouldn’t waste too many tears on that either.

    • LP says:

      These aren’t social norms, they’re biological norms. The insane Left has come to believe that ALL norms are social norms. It is biologically normal for a male to identify as male and be sexually attracted to females. Deviation from these norms isn’t like refusing to put lights on your house at Christmas, its like having a deformed heart, or other birth defects.

      • erica says:

        That’s it, yes, the insane Left and those who don’t realize that they are the insane Left believe that “all norms are social norms” and further, that norms are meant to be challenged or else what’s the reason for their existence, where’s the fun? These are the people who believe (or pretend to believe) more fervently than ever in the Blank Slate. It’s their religion. Perhaps because science has accelerated in disproving their religion every day, they’ve begun clinging to it more feverishly.

      • Asher says:

        @ erica

        It’s the old nature vs nurture debate. When I ask people what they mean by “nature” they usually say either biology or evolution. But when I ask them to define nature they can’t provide one that I can’t easily reduce to biology or evolution.

        When people on the nurture side of that debate say “nurture” what they really mean is “free will” and it’s fairly easy to demonstrate that this is what they really mean.

      • erica says:

        “When people on the nurture side of that debate say ‘nurture’ what they really mean is ‘free will’ and it’s fairly easy to demonstrate that this is what they really mean.”
        _____________________________________

        Yeah, “free will.” When I ask people on the “nurture side” what they mean, they respond with “people will be what their immediate culture–parents, extended family, schools teach them to be.”

        So, if kids are dull, they argue it’s because the culture around them hasn’t pushed the kids hard enough. If the kids are unambitious, they argue the same. If the kids are violent, the same. If the girls are disinterested in mathematics or mechanics, they argue that it’s because their teachers and parents haven’t expected them to be interested in such things or encouraged them to be or rewarded them profusely for being interested in such things.

        If the girls don’t like boys’ battle toys, however, these same people are perfectly accepting and proclaim, “Thank God girls aren’t born with the aggression to like such things.” In contrast, there reaction to a little boy wanting to dress in a My Little Pony costume on Halloween depends on if it’s their child or someone else’s.

        Funny how they pick and choose what’s nature and what’s nurture, isn’t it?

      • erica says:

        “there reaction”
        correction: “their reaction”

      • Asher says:

        @ erica

        “people will be what their immediate culture–parents, extended family, schools teach them to be.”

        I point out that every *thing* that exists comes from some *things* prior to it. I ask them what caused those things and they either stare at me with a dumb, blank look on their face or they offer a handwaving “oh, a bunch of very complex factors”.

    • Asher says:

      @ shinij

      By discriminating against them

      Discrimination doesn’t necessarily imply “against” anything and that is a juvenile rhetorical ploy with no substantive content. Objectively, you discriminate between things that are, by nature, different. In no universe does XY = XX.

      you alienate and demonize them.

      A) They are alien. Given that around 96 of males exclusive sexual interest involves females that very fact will produce feelings of alientation for the remaining 3 to 4 percent. Socially awkward people *fee* alienated because they socially interact differently

      B) No one is demonizing anyone. Period. To assert otherwise is pure slander on your part. I HATE slander.

  12. LP says:

    Have you seen the South Park episode where a character decides he want’s to be a dolphin?

  13. erica says:

    Here in California the present legislature and the governor would see to it that elves would be able to compete on any sports team they wished in the public schools, have access to mortal human male and female bathrooms (whichever they chose based on their perception of their gender), benefit from affirmative action in the hiring practices of the state and the localities, run for public office, marry mortals of either gender no matter their own gender, of course…. the usual stuff.

    So usual, in fact, that an elf or even a mere mortal who simply perceived himself/herself an elf– the way Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee, perceives herself– would be embraced by the tolerant peoples of California to the extent that a few of them would be appointed to the state’s Supreme Court, would one day in the fairly near future become our governor. This, of course, would start a electoral movement in the Eastern and Western coastal states that resulted in other elves being elected to high offices until the movement spread hither and thither and one day down the road, an Elf of Color — the VERY, VERY best kind in the whole wide world in the judgment of all the media, the only people that really count….oh, and academics too—would become our very first POTUS and almost all the people of the land (and Europe too) would be excessively happy for a very short time until, until, until …well, we know how it all ends. Elves are not so hot.

  14. Gerard Mason says:

    The whole area of body modification is a tricky one.

    For example, some people think that transforming their infant sons’ bodies by cutting off their foreskins will transform them from being ritually ‘unclean’ to, well, I suppose, clean. Many more think that a slight decrease in cancer rates in later life justifies the same procedure, though that could probably be avoided by teaching men to retract and wash.

    I remember running into a bunch of females on LiveJournal discussing the merits of (male) circumcision. They were arguing about the aesthetic appeal of circumcised versus uncircumcised cock, but they seemed unanimous about preferring it from the point of view of a physically receiving female. As a gay man I’m thankfully free from the compulsion that heterosexual men seem to have to curry favour with females, so I told them I was outraged at their selfish insensitivity and asked them how would they feel if the next man they had sex with asked them to shave off their labia because he found it preferable to have sex with something that looked like a delicate rosebud rather than a pile of rotting liver. I was amazed that they seemed unable to see my point, and in fact they then unanimously decided that female genital mutilation was obviously very much worse than just cutting off a bit of skin from the tip of a tiny boy-baby’s thing. Two-faced hags!

    Personally I think male circumcision is a disgusting form of child abuse and should be illegal. However, since my nasty experience on LiveJournal, I’m feeling much more tolerant towards the ancient and, in many parts of the world respectable, practice of clipping and sewing up females.

    • erica says:

      Maybe in the future our host will address the topic of male circumcision. I know little about the evidence concerning its long-range benefits beyond what you mentioned, and I have read that in many it decreases sensitivity, thus pleasure in some. Unlike you, I don’t think a lot of men would actually take great care in keeping themselves clean often enough.

      As for the aethetics? There’s a great deal of variety in the length of foreskins.
      Just one woman here and my knowledge of uncircumcised mature male penises is primarily based on having seen pics, but I’d say that it’s when the foreskin is pretty long that it’s really displeasing to a woman’s eye, not unlike what menopausal women’s saggy breasts look like to men.

      • reiner Tor says:

        What sounds somewhat fishy is that if there was such an advantage to removing the foreskin, then why on Earth didn’t evolution solve the problem by removing this harmful piece of tissue? Why go into the trouble of growing an unnecessary tissue and then rely on unreliably variable human cultures to remove it?

      • Asher says:

        We didn’t evolved in densely packed social environments. That might have something to do with it.

      • Sandgroper says:

        rT – For the same reason that skin cancer still happens – because it doesn’t kick in until after reproductive age, so it has no effect on reproductive fitness.

    • erica says:

      “What sounds somewhat fishy is that if there was such an advantage to removing the foreskin, then why on Earth didn’t evolution solve the problem by removing this harmful piece of tissue? Why go into the trouble of growing an unnecessary tissue and then rely on unreliably variable human cultures to remove it?”

      Well, we don’t live in our ancestral environments and there are all those creepy pathogens around, you know?

    • feministx says:

      It’s perfectly common for people ending up preferring something that isn’t possible without technological aids. We get teeth whitening, breast implants etc. So, it can be that a circumcised member is something like that. However, I do find it odd that women do tend to have a preference for it being cut. Why should that be so?

      I don’t have any ethnical defense for doing this to baby boys, but I’m still thankful that it is done. Cut >>>>> Uncut.

      • Gerard Mason says:

        Yes, I take your point about technological aids, but the thought of doing it to a baby who can’t give their permission — well it’s more than creepy, it’s molestation of an infant, and it’s no excuse to say that it’s normal in one’s culture.

        I was going to say more in the comment you commented on, but was long enough as it was. So here’s some of the missing extra — it’s not particularly directed at anything you’ve said, this is just a convenient place to hang a new comment, so please don’t take anything personally.

        Re. tech aids: I myself have had a very useful body alteration involving surgery. Yes! I am coming out as someone who had double, galloping cataracts and went from my previous-normal short-sighted vision to almost totally blind in four years. Now I have intra-ocular lenses in both eyes, and can see normally without glasses. Interestingly, my father also developed cataracts in his early fifties. Perhaps my genes ‘intended’ me to be blind at 55 and some here think that it’s a sickening, viscerally repulsive kind of messing with nature to have had surgery. Or perhaps they wouldn’t be that foolish.

        Soon I’ll have to have more surgery (sheesh! what is it with these body-modification types?) to replace a stenotic bicuspid aortic valve with a nice shiny carbon one that will make me produce a suspicious ticking sound wherever I go (good-bye plane travel). I’ll also have to take a drug to thin my blood for the rest of my life. And all this, just because I prefer to be alive rather than dead! That’s not really so far from someone who has to have their kit altered and then take hormones so that they can stop feeling dead inside.

        As a gay man, I’ve stopped worrying about people attacking me. I’ve heard and read too much from people like RobertFord who can’t mention the word ‘gay’ without putting ‘or pedophile’ straight after (just so’s we know, right?). The impulse there isn’t simply to enlighten us by transmitting information about his thoughts, it’s to insult, hurt and degrade the helpless by defiling them in public. Now there are sound Darwinian reasons for heterosexual males to behave like that; it’s surely adaptive for them to push gays away so that they don’t waste any of their sex drive on us (though actually, plenty of straight men do enjoy being blown by gays, take my word for it, so perhaps there’s a bit of evolution going on there before our very eyes, maybe the genes for visceral disgust will become more common over time). So when I see comments like ‘(like any gay person or pedophile)’ I just get a mental picture of a seagull chick pecking at the red spot on it’s parents’ beaks. Peck, peck, peck! Vomit, vomit, vomit! Gulp, gulp,gulp! It’s just an animal following its biological programming, nothing to see here.

    • TWS says:

      The difference is no one is asking anyone to say the circumcised penis is a space shuttle. Whereas they are saying a delusional man is a woman.

    • melendwyr says:

      The cancer ‘reduction’ is a statistical artifact from poorly-conducted studies, as are the now-abandoned claims that circumcision reduces the rates of STD infection (it increases them) and the chance of urinary tract infections in infants (it doesn’t, and even if the claims held, the monetary cost alone of the surgeries is something like five hundred times the cost of other interventions).

      I suspect there is a slight reduction in HIV infection due to elimination of contact with the immune system, although it may well turn out that (like the older benefit claims) it won’t hold up either.

    • Udolpho says:

      Could you be boring in fewer words? Thanks.

  15. Asher says:

    I’ve always suspected that trans-sexualism was simply sexually fetishiing oneself. In other words, it’s “crazy” to the extent to something like a foot fetish is crazy. What’s absurd is parading your sexual fetish around in public and expecting others to pretend it’s anything else.

    • “What’s absurd is parading your sexual fetish around in public”

      I assume that’s part of the fetish.

      • Asher says:

        What is fixating on one individual, despite rejection, to the point of stalking, except a fetish? We don’t tolerate that fetish; why should we be forced to tolerate others.

    • anonymous female says:

      “What’s absurd is parading your sexual fetish around in public and expecting others to pretend it’s anything else.”

      My particular beef is with men who wear toupees in public and expect others to pretend they don’t have a clue.

  16. Can a person who changes sex sue the midwife for the original, presumably mistaken, identification of gender? Or can midwives absolve themselves by saying that since sex is socially defined they were merely following the fashions of the time, and acting in good faith? I should clarify that, in posing this question, I use the word “midwives” in the inclusive sense, to embrace “persons who take female hormone tablets and persons who don’t take female hormone tablets because they don’t need to”. This probably needs to be seen by a lawyer.

  17. Asher says:

    Here’s a challenge for transo-philes:

    If someone ran around hitting random people and then expected to be called “kind and gentle” would you oblige them?

    Serious question. Answer it.

    • James says:

      No, because they are hurting random people. Transsexuals aren’t hurting random people (unless you thinking “I would not adopt this stranger’s lifestyle” upon seeing them counts as hurting you) so, as much as I generally have trouble perceiving them as their desired gender, I don’t really think about it, or at least judge them independently of this deviant desire which I very much doubt they can just make themselves not have.

      • Asher says:

        Except that the trans movement is asking people to affirmatively embrace them. Employment law, for example. Look, the vast majority of the population is going to politely avert their gaze to a trans-sexual. Requiring them to hire such an individual is well beyond tolerance, it’s embrace.

  18. Asher says:

    Male to female transvestites and trans-sexuals don’t just want me to pretend that they’re “female” but that they have XX chromosomes. In other words, they want everyone to lie for them, something we call “co-dependency”.

    Am I courteous and respectful to someone who is trans? Absolutely, as that’s just being a decent person. Am I going to lie and pretend they have a different set of chromosomes, other than what they have? Hell, no, and if they shove it in my face I am going to shove back. Hard.

    • Sinij says:

      Gender identity is not about chromosomes. Just like with any other type of identity, it is similar to ‘culture’. Just like anyone can adapt Jewish Culture and start self-identifying as one despite being born, for example, Christian. The same principle applied to gender, only you have less choice in the matter since humans are hard-wired to identify one or another way.

      Someone who is self-identifying as male is not doing so because they are interested in fathering babies. This is only one aspect of a male gender role, there are a lot more.

      • Asher says:

        Again, you don’t get to self-define, infinitely. If I run around hitting people then I don’t expect to have people describe me as “kind and gentle”. If you run around with XY chromosomes then you don’t get to expect to be described as “a woman”.

        Someone who is self-identifying as male is not doing so because they are interested in fathering babies.

        Complete red herring. No one is reducing male-ness to implanting sperm into a viable egg. I would not call a trans person either a man or a woman, I would identify them as a male/female with a sexual fetish they insist on publicly displaying.

      • Sinij says:

        “You don’t get to self-define, infinitely.”

        No, and that why we need to accept gender self-identification. You do understand that responding with “no you are not gay” or “no, you are biological male/female and have no right to feel like a woman/man” is counter-productive? They are not trying to “run around hitting” you, just themselves.

        “No one is reducing male-ness to implanting sperm into a viable egg.”

        You are when you start talking about chromosomes. If you are not implanting sperm into a viable eggs, then what difference what chromosomes you have does it make?

      • Asher says:

        @shinij

        “no, you are biological male/female and have no right to feel like a woman/man”

        Now, you’re just lying. The trans community is asking people to treat them as if they were born with different chromosomes. They can think of themselves however they feel but that does not obligate me to view them as having different chromosomes than they actually do.

        If you are not implanting sperm into a viable eggs, then what difference what chromosomes you have does it make?

        You’ve got to be joking. You are joking, right? Different chromosomes involve all sorts of different ranges of behavioral traits.

      • Asher says:

        btw, your reply let’s slip the mask hiding what’s really behind the trans movement, which is the end of all distinctions between male and female.

      • Sinij says:

        “Now, you’re just lying. The trans community is asking people to treat them as if they were born with different chromosomes.”

        Now you are just doubling-down on ignorance. I haven’t heard about “trans community” caring about chromosomes. What is your fixation with chromosomes anyways?

        Transexuals mostly care about gender roles and secondary sexual characteristics. They want to fit into society on their terms. They certainly do not plan or pretend to impregnate/carry child to term and have no delusions about biological-physiological sex.

        You need to learn differentiate between gender and sex. Sex is biology. Gender is sociology. LGBT goals are sociological (getting accepted into society), not biological (procreation). Even you have to realize this.

      • Asher says:

        @ shiniji

        You need to learn differentiate between gender and sex

        Gender is simply a secondary characteristic of sex. Period. You know that whole nature v nurture debate? Yeah, it’s over. Nature won, and nurture is just an extension of nature.

        Transexuals mostly care about gender roles and secondary sexual characteristics.

        No. They are only cognitively aware that they care about social roles and secondary sexual characteristics. Since nurture is just an extended phenotype of nature that makes the underlying causal processes the primary biological characteristics.

        They want to fit into society on their terms.

        No one in the history of the entire world has ever had this privilege. If anyone has any ability to affect anything about you in any way without your choosing then you are not fitting in “on your own terms”.

        I didn’t get to do this, you don’t get to do this, and no one will ever get to do this. Period. This is heaven on earth, second coming fantasy gibberish.

      • albatross says:

        Asher:

        The point of the trans movement is the elimination of male-female distinctions? Isn’t that a little over-broad?

        The way it looks to me, trans people are just people with a rare kink, which they get scratched partly by getting to live or pass as the gender they identify with. Though I think a lot more of the folks with that kink scratch it in much less obvious ways, like going to trannie prostitutes or dressing in womens clothes at home or something.

        And the tragedy is, if the technology available for them didn’t suck, it would work out okay for them. They could go to Beta colony for surgery and come out as something that would register biologically as their desired gender, and nobody would ever even notice unless told. Instead, they get really awful surgery and hormone treatments that relate to what they want the way a peg leg relates to a modern prosthetic leg.

        The movement to include transgendered people into the gay rights movement is, as best I can see, a combination of coalition building and striking while the ideological moment is hot. Unlike gays, who are numerous enough to make a reasonably effective political bloc (especially given the threat of outing prominent gay politicians who don’t go along), trannies are not in the position to do that–there just aren’t very many of them.

    • James says:

      This is not what any transsexual person I’ve met (I know a few and would call one a friend) believes. They’re aware of their chromosomes, they’re generally not idiots. Referring to a trans-X as an X isn’t lying, it’s “being a courteous and respectful and decent person”. What exactly does shoving their perceived gender in your face and you shoving back look like?

      • Sinij says:

        Violence against unfamiliar, what else?

      • reiner Tor says:

        Violence against unfamiliar, what else?

        Sinij, why do you keep microaggressing against us? Why can’t you accept our different personalities, the colorful subculture that we are nourishing, a subculture of homophobia and racism? We were born with it, and our culture and worldview might be different from yours, but it’s equally valid.

        Microaggression is a bad thing, Sinij, please don’t microaggress against us any more, lest our sensitive souls get totally hurt.

      • Asher says:

        This is not what any transsexual person I’ve met believes.

        Who cares. Completely irrelevant, what they believe. I am only interested in the causal mechanisms behind behavior and what they think about themselves is irrelevant. BTW, in case that sounds callous, guess what, very few people care what I believe about myself. Adults understand this, trans-sexuals should, too.

        They’re aware of their chromosomes,

        Not in any functional way, they aren’t. The blank slate false ideology dismisses any notion that there is any link between human behavior and human biology. Trans-sexualism is just one prong in the pervasive many-pronged assault on reality by the blank-slatists.

        Trans-sexualism is just on facet of … well, to crib from Eric Cartman “whatevah, whatevah, I’ll do what I want”.

      • Sinij says:

        @Asher “Completely irrelevant”

        It isn’t. You build your argument around the premise that LBGT community cares about chromosomes, and continue to do so. Now that you were informed that this is faulty premise you have to reformulate your conclusions or admit they are unsound.

        To restate, you demonstrate faulty understanding of “causal mechanisms behind behavior” due to general lack and willingness to understand motivations behind transexual people.

      • Sinij says:

        “Sinij, Why can’t you accept our different personalities, the colorful subculture that we are nourishing, a subculture of homophobia and racism? ”

        Because you are not owning up to this as a ” subculture of homophobia and racism” . Instead you (plural) trying to rationalize it away as something else. I would be more than happy to disengage and let social consequences kick-in when you own up your subculture. For example, you won’t find me engaging Stormfront posters, but then they are very upfront about their values and willingly accept social consequences of their believes.

        So far this blog is mostly about HBD, a very interesting topic that happen to get occasionally hijacked by bigots and racist trying to escape social stigma of their unsound believes. I don’t want to see this area of scientific inquiry confounded with racism and bigotry more than it already is and further get damaged by “friendly fire”.

      • Asher says:

        @ shiniji

        You build your argument around the premise that LBGT community cares about chromosomes

        No, I don’t. The point is that the LBGT position is that chromosomes are entirely irrelevant to any human concern, at all. The social constructionism goes all the way to the point of denying the very existence of nature, itself.

        In the end, it’s a question of who is right and who is wrong. If the existence and causal primacy of nature is what is going on behind everything then they really ARE talking about chromosomes – they’re just not consciously aware of it.

        lack and willingness to understand motivations behind transexual people.

        I flatly deny that intentionality is the primary factor in the vast majority of human behavior and cognition. Your entire comment is question begging – first, you need to establish the primacy of intentionality (i.e. free will) in the causes of human behavior.

      • Sinij says:

        “you need to establish the primacy of intentionality (i.e. free will) in the causes of human behavior.”

        No I don’t. I only need to establish intentionality in gender reassignment surgery. Do you think that there might be a significant number of cases where people unintentionally underwent sex reassignment surgery? Woke up and decided on a whim to go under the knife?

        “The point is that the LBGT position is that chromosomes are entirely irrelevant to any human concern, at all.”

        I am waiting for you to run out of straw, but you show no sign of slowing down. Try to understand LBGT position before you proceed to build arguments against it. Still, you continue fixating on chromosomes…

      • Asher says:

        @ shiniji

        I only need to establish intentionality in gender reassignment surgery.

        Uh, no. To assign intentionality to any specific action you need to demarcating criterion that distinguishes between all intentional and all unintentional acts. That demarcating principle must be universally applicable to every single action in all of human history and to all actions, going forward.

        If you assign intention to a specific act without a demarcating principle then you are arbitrarily picking an choosing what you want to consider intentional and what you don’t.

        Try to understand LBGT position

        I understand the LGBT position perfectly well. The problem is that it either doesn’t understand itself, or it is deliberately lying. Frankly, it makes little difference which it is.

      • sinij says:

        ” To assign intentionality to any specific action you need to demarcating criterion that distinguishes between all intentional and all unintentional acts. ”

        This is absurd statement and very clear example of trying to redefine the argument. Do I also need to solve world hunger and cure cancer? It is very clear that gender reassignment is very intentional act and your whole argument falls down from there.

        “I understand the LGBT position perfectly well. ”

        Nothing that you have posted in this discussion indicative of this fact. You repeatedly trying to fall back to “chromosomes” argument (?) and frame whole thing as a dichotomy in context of biology. It isn’t. Until we have a way to prevent or cure the question is entirely social. The question still is, given that we have LGBT population and there is nothing we can do about it, how do we as a society treat them? You propose intolerance, bigotry, and trying to enforce the norm. In the face of the evidence that none of this actually works.

      • Asher says:

        @ shiniji

        This is absurd statement and very clear example of trying to redefine the argument. Do I also need to solve world hunger and cure cancer

        I am beginning to think that this conversation is outside of your intellectual capacity. In any distinction between “x” and “non x” one requires a broadly applicable demarcating criterion or else you are just arbitrarily picking and choosing when to apply each category.

        If curing cancer were remotely related to offering a concise definition of a term then it would be applicable. But it’s not. So, it’s not. Yeah, you’re clearly way out of your depth, here.

        I looked at the rest of your comment and it doesn’t warrant a response, especially since you can’t comprehend the value of concise word usage.

      • Sinij says:

        First you try to drown me with volume of nonsense red herrings, moving goalposts, and shifting definitions. When I don’t fall for it you try it couple more times with slight variations of “but chromosomes!”. Then instead of accepting evident truth that your arguments are unsound you proceed to capitulate into victory by declaration. It isn’t that your intellectually bankrupt worldview is rightfully ostracized everywhere, it is that you are not even willing or able to properly defend it. You do realize it that your capitulation here leaves you proudly wearing “bigot” label? Wear it with pride, you earned it.

      • Dan says:

        Referring to a trans-X as an X isn’t lying, it’s “being a courteous and respectful and decent person”.

        Actually to a scientist it is lying. There is a scientific reality here. Keep your science denial to yourself and stop demanding that heretics recant. It is possible to be polite without being dishonest. One could refer to to such a person simply by their name.

        James and Sinij, you are the modern equivalents of Pope Urban VIII — don’t you see? Every bit as fanatical about something that has already been proven to be false.

      • Udolpho says:

        Treatment of a mental disorder.

  19. Asher says:

    And no one is responding to my challenge. Wonder why that might be …

  20. reiner Tor says:

    @Shinij: Look, we were born homophobic. It’s more heritable than homosexuality, so you have to accept that we were just born that way. We cannot help it. It’s also our lifestyle choice. Possibly less crazy than declaring ourselves to be women with penises or men with vaginas, and then trying to modify our bodies to fit our distorted self-perceptions. By the way, the commenter Misdreavus was born both a homosexual homophobic, which is also a valid lifestyle choice.

    I think you should respect our lifestyle choices – we need more understanding from you. Imagine, being homophobic is so out of fashion, Brangelina, Bono, as well as Lady Gaga all disapprove of us and our valid lifestyle choices. Just imagine how wounded we feel.

    • Y. says:

      Actually not supported by historical evidence.

      Plenty of regions where in the past homosexual behavior was seen as completely unproblematic.

      Maybe it’s just you know, white anglo-saxons or something. How could is homophobia advantageous? Is being able to have a scapegoat or someone to hate conducive for mental health? Perhaps.

      Among my peers in Czech Republic – mostly engineering or computing students, homophobia, like socialist politics are pretty much nonexistent.

      • reiner Tor says:

        All I can say is that I grew up in a culture where the local language equivalent of faggot was one of the most serious slurs you can utter.

        I’m not sure if homophobia is advantageous, all I know is that it’s more heritable than homosexuality itself.

      • “mostly engineering or computing students”

        Well there you have it.

      • Ian says:

        You should reread The Anabasis. Athenian soldiers used to laugh at Spartans for their liking for young boys. It was just a “well-known tolerated behavior”, but nothing to be praised, at least for Athenians. And then, you must remember than Spartans were fully functional guys: they fought against their enemies, had their own kids and all those things despised by our proud modern sissies. It worked similar in Japan, where samurais and Buddhist monks shared the same “trait”: there were lots of jokes about what happened inside Buddhist monasteries.

      • Y. says:

        @Inane Rambler…
        I doubt it’s more likely among say uni students of social stuff, medicine, biology or the like. Among the less bright and old people it’s still a serious slur, but nothing approaching the level of hate seen in Russia etc.

        Also, online gaming, Czechs are more apt to call someone a dick (čúrák)or a male cunt (píčus, píča is feminine).

        Homophobic invective, if there is, is less common than among Americans, from what I’ve seen. Homosexuality was officially non-existent during the commie era – not prosecuted seriously, more of a don’t ask, don’t tell and you’re fine.

        Anyway, this thread is way too depressing. Needs some Oglaf:
        http://oglaf.com/brackenwife/

    • misdreavus says:

      Just to the record, I am anything but a homophobe.

      • reiner Tor says:

        My comment wasn’t serious enough to warrant any disclaimers, but I seriously don’t think there are many homophobes here. I am not quite homophobic myself. I only dared write this because once you wrote that you were the Uncle Ruckus of the LGBT community, and I needed to claim that you were both born with it and this was your valid and colorful lifestyle choice. Just as – of course – saying that the transgendered are crazy was something we were born with as well as our vibrant lifestyle choice.

  21. erica says:

    Asher on nature v. nurture: “I point out that every *thing* that exists comes from some *things* prior to it. I ask them what caused those things and they either stare at me with a dumb, blank look on their face or they offer a handwaving ‘oh, a bunch of very complex factors’.”

    Yeah, they get all hot and sweaty. The “bunch of very complex factors” is the ultimate cop-out they use for everything.

    • Asher says:

      Over at crooked timber I got that answer from John Quiggin, a tenured prof of philosophy in Australia. I keep insisting that he specify those specific factors and he banned me from the site for doing so.

      So much for social equality. I don’t claim to have the definitive answer for social equality but I’m pretty sure that behavior isn’t it.

  22. Asher says:

    @ shiniji

    It would have been nice had you specified my “condition” instead of coyly hinting at one. If I spoke of it elsewhere then I am quite certain I’d be happy to discuss it anywhere, as I’m a very open book and don’t bring up personal aspect if I am not willing to discuss them pretty much anywhere.

    Why play so coy?

    • Sinij says:

      Sure, that was on Popehat blog, right before you got banned for espousing “black people in large groups have never created civilization” nonsense and misinterpreting it as genetic determinism. It was something about misspelling my nickname due to autism spectrum disorder.

      • Asher says:

        No, someone else said that about autism spectrum disorder. I am a highly physically affectionate and expressive person, anything but autistic.

        And, no, no group of black people have ever created civilization for themselves. That’s just obvious reality.

      • Asher says:

        I have been labeled “autistic” because the internet holds zero emotional content for me. When I interact with you, you are just words on my screen and nothing besides. Yes, it produces a voice that is cold and ruthless, almost inhuman. So, what. I come to the internet to see what arguments work and to improve my positions and arguments for them. For myself, there is no other reason for the internet.

        I was banned from Popehat for violating the tribe’s sacred taboos, and tribes who do not police their taboos rigorously fall apart.

  23. Asher says:

    Which brings me to another distinct difference between a rightie and a leftie: the right tends to come right out and say what they mean, while leftists play coy hinting games.

    Why?

  24. pdevans says:

    I’ve known two – both were males who had surgery to female.
    In an astounding coincidence, they were both born not only the
    ‘wrong’ gender, but homosexual.
    So after the appropriate snipping and estrogen,
    they became (sic) not only ‘female’… but lesbian.
    Still hitting on chicks.
    If our host’s transmissible agent hypothesis is involved,
    I’m calling this Vector Vectoria Syndrome.
    (I suspect just crazy, though.)

  25. Michael H says:

    I’m a semi-liberal person by inclination who has nonetheless been won over by the intellectual arguments for hbd, so I’m well-suited to be the “loyal opposition” on this one. Ah, the curse of empathy…

    Yes, transgendered people are to some degree delusional or even crazy. But there is no effective treatment for gender dysphoria, so if humouring the transgendered and playing along at letting them “be” the opposite gender is the only effective means of alleviating their intense suffering, why not? It’s not as if doing so would place any significant burden on society.

    Do the transgendered *deserve* our compassion? I would say yes, since their disorder likely results from a congenital defect in brain wiring rather than a conscious choice. Since they didn’t choose to be sick, why not be nice to them? If calling him Nancy instead of Steve makes him less miserable, fine, I’ll call him Nancy…

    And if you don’t agree, we’ll just have to send you to a reeducation camp for sensitivity training… Just kidding.

    Ah, the curse of empathy.

    • Asher says:

      So, what you’re saying is that the gender dysphoric have zero obligations to gauge their behavior, at all, and the rest of us just have to adjust to whatever they do without any question or complaint. Doubt that’s gonna happen.

      • Michael H says:

        I suspect that the irritation a person might feel at having to pretend that a transgendered man is really a woman is smaller in magnitude than the relief the transgendered man would feel at being accepted as a woman, so it makes sense from a utilitarian perspective.

        That said, I think you’re right that it’s not going to happen. Or at least not quickly, it’s possible attitudes will shift over time just as they have with homosexuality.

        • gcochran9 says:

          You could at least bother to multiply by the relative numbers of people in each category.

          How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?

        • gcochran9 says:

          Also, although you may not know this, words are sometimes used for purposes other than stroking someone’s fragile ego. They can transmit information – and calling a tail a leg interferes with that.

      • Asher says:

        No offense, but utilitarianism is crap. I suspect that the discomfort caused by trans-sexuals is a secondary trait that is an expression of primary and hard-wired traits in a large section of the population. In other words, it ain’t changing. Ever. And no amount of philosophical arguing is going to change that.

      • Asher says:

        Greg, if all knowledge is really socially constructed then there is really no information being passed on, outside of meanings of words in relation to each other. It took me years before I finally conceded that many, genuinely, believe this.

    • “It’s not as if doing so would place any significant burden on society.”

      Back in the 1890s-ish a cultural marxist called Durkheim wrote that destroying normalcy would induce a suicidal state he called anomie.

      (And ever since cultural marxist types have been trying to destroy any sense of normalcy in the hope that he was right.)

      If he was right any dramatic social change considered to be more equitable – even if it was really just a politicized sexual fetish – ought to be done very gradually to maintain a sense of normalcy.

  26. Asher says:

    Yeah, I live in Seattle which has a pretty eclectic mix of this sort of stuff. I have a very high “openness” score on personality traits so I tend to be fine with that sort of thing, but I can understand why the average guy would be pretty off-put.

    One thing that liberals tend to miss is that what such people are encouraged to do is conflate their gender dysphoria with every aspect of their adult being. Such people should be encouraged to live in liberal areas where high “o” people tend to congregate. this portion of the population, however, is encouraged by political liberals to shove it in the face of every single person, in every single circumstance as hard as they possibly can.

    In the long run, this is not gonna end well. Part of “live and let live” is understanding the difference between tolerance and embrace.

  27. James says:

    What do you think we should do about these people who prefer you refer them as men when they have no Y chromosomes and vice-versa?

    If I met someone who clearly strongly believes they’re “really an elf”, and has modified their body and lifestyle as such, I would go along with it for purposes of social harmony and live-and-let-live. Are you, me, grizzled NCOs, and insurance agents dumb enough to not remember that they’re not really elves? No, dummy.

    I normally enjoy this blog and tolerate the occasional opinion I don’t agree with but this seems like a profoundly silly argument. What point are you trying to make, for those of us who don’t get it?

    • erica says:

      To get your answer, ask yourself what “crazy” means.

      • James says:

        Ack. Why is that a good idea? Seems like a poor use of limited mental health resources to me.

      • kai says:

        crazy means outside of the homo sapiens norm wrt behavior, let’s say a diff of 3-4SD compared to some aspect of the average behavior in the current society.

        Lots of crazy people out there….

        Some of them are productive and really helpful, more than the norm. Mother Theresa comes to mind – deliberately living in dangerous environment, extremely repulsive to normal people, choosing to not reproduce….common, even Greg will have trouble finding more crazy than that…

        Some are neutral or mildly deleterous (trans, depending if they paid for the sex reassignment, or it was covered by insurrance/state)

        Some are really bad, sadistic serial killers for example.

        I have no problem with crazy1 or crazy2, and big problem with crazy3.
        But I have problem with normal3 too, some clearly deleterious type which nonetheless are well within 1-2SD of their normal society behavior….so crazy is not necessarily bad, at least for others. For the crazy guy/gal, yes, it is usually pretty bad, in an evolutionary point of view.

    • TWS says:

      You don’t buy into their delusion? Seriously, why should I refer to he as she, because he wants me to?

      Should I become a demi-god would you refer to me in worshipful tones? Would I be allowed to claim which mates I choose? I am a demi-god after all. The relief I feel when I am treated as I see myself outweighs the discomfort of those around me.

      Similarly the women who would rather not share a bathroom with Joe in a wig and a dress are just mean-spirited bigots. Why does the -vast- majority have to cater to a vanishingly small but extremely obnoxious and delusional minority? How is that remotely fair?

    • Asher says:

      What do you think we should do about these people who prefer you refer them as men when they have no Y chromosomes and vice-versa?

      this entire question is a category error. Nothing needs “to be done”. I live in Seattle and used to live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle’s version of SF’s Castro district; I’m quite comfortable with gays and trans-sexuals. quite obvious, self-described sexual minorities feel more comfortable living in concentrations with other sexual minorities and among those who have the personality types to not be bothered by it.

      My main objection is to using government coercion to force everyone else embracing via employment law. Further, I object to sexual minorities making a show of themselves in areas oriented toward mothers and fathers with their biological children. That’s it, nothing more. You stay in your designated areas and they stay in theirs, sort of the peaceful self-segregation by race over the past few decades.

    • Udolpho says:

      Jesus you are a dishrag.

  28. Anonymous says:

    “Would you rather live in a society that default to discrimination toward any abnormality or accommodation and acceptance?” I’d rather have a mature society where any case of abnormality was judged on it’s own merits (or, um, non-merits if you will), and where there was no gay-bashing, as well as no hysterical thinking that calmly considering the realities of homosexuality and homosexuality-related problems is gay-bashing, i.e. a society where less costly signaling was going on in opinion adoption and exhibition. Now, as for the discussion under the previous post, I’m still confused. I’m not “raising classification issues to make differences go away”. I’m saying: differences between human populations are real. Then, one says “there are differences, but no races”. The other says “there are races”, meaning “there are differences”, and not offering a way of deciding when differences make “races”. Now, I’m certainly dumber than Gregory Cochran (and some of the people commenting here), so what is the non-semantic part of the disagreement between “differences, but no races” and “differences, hence races” that I’m failing to see?

    • kai says:

      probably the dispute is over the usefulness (or complete lack of it) of “folk” division of the human race into a set of subcategories (like whites, blacks, asian, …). Hbders think that those categories are not precisely defined and, as all splits of continuums, partly arbitrary, but they relate to real difference, i.e. humans are diverse and their traits cluster.
      Non-hbders thinks humans are diverse but their traits do not cluster, i.e. folks subcategories can not have any meaning. In particular, mental traits have no correlation with physical traits.
      blank-statists think that none of the diversity (at least for mental traits) are innate, so no heritability and if there is any clustering, it is related to environment.

      at least, that’s how i understand it…

  29. Wanderer says:

    I am reminded of the treatment of J M Bailey by certain m to f sex-change individuals from Academia.

    http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Dreger/ASB%20paper/PeerCommentaries/Peer_Papers_Critical_of_Dreger.html

  30. Anonymous says:

    Circumcision should be seen as originally akin to other self wounding/mutilating rites of passage, where one proves a minimum of ability, as well as loyalty to the tribe. I assume some boys didn’t survive it (like ones with clotting issues or too weak immune systems that would make too bad parental investments), and it certainly could be demanded, however treacherously, as a proof of commitment (the story of Dinah). Certainly people of different background saw it as too great a commitment-hence Paul had to replace it with “circumcision of the heart”.

  31. TWS says:

    Henry,

    Aren’t you glad you wished for a different subject? This certainly didn’t bring out the crazy.

  32. See, where people like Sinij go wrong is by thinking that those of us who do not consider transexualism to be normal behavior is assuming that we all want them dead.

    Nothing could be further from the case. I simply go back to the idea that you don’t chop off someone’s leg if they feel trans-disabled or whatever, you try to cure it. I consider sex-change operations in much the same mold. However instead of giving these people help we just change their bodies. In fact, isn’t this entire idea of doing so against the idea that our genitalia doesn’t affect our gender? Finally, it’s not as though the operations are an instant panacea. Most come out just as broken if not more than they do when they came in.

    I feel pity and compassion for them, I do not hate them as individuals, not even as a group really.

    • Jack says:

      I appreciate this: but it is a problem that people expressing your position very rarely express the empathy you showed in this comment. Instead, they complain about how burdensome they find the expectation that they play along. Or how disgusting it is. You can’t tell me you don’t see it. Similarly, you would expect that people who realize that IQ, willpower and crime have strong genetic causes would be more understanding of people who are deficient in that regard. Those people could propose policies that differ from Progressive orthodoxy in that they take into account human biodiversity but still seek to help people who had the misfortune of being born with poor genes.

      Instead the whole HBD world is infused with this sense of smug meanness toward the human differences they notice. Occasionally you see lip service paid to the idea that we ought to celebrate human biological diversity but it is far more common to react with disgust.

      I get that you don’t want to kill trans people; but if people have the habit of thinking you do maybe you have a communication problem.

    • Heavy Metal says:

      Transexualism is definitely not normal behaviour, and it is also probably not desirable in a healthy population and society. This is could not be clearer or less embroiled in ethical considerations because transgendered people would be the first to agree. Gays and the rest largely say they like how they are, and so have pretty good lives. That was even true in history when you could go to prison for it. They liked how they were. They knew how to get together, and how not to get caught. Homosexuality convictions were always rare. No one ever made it a priority..traditional society just didn’t want to see or hear of it. So all of that, and even how you feel about it morally, is completely different and much more complex. Transgendered people are not like that. They live unhappy lives. Their instincts are wired so wrong they have major problems having close friendships with people. It’s a really shitty stick. So feel free to see it abnormal. But step away from opinions about the basis of the condition. Science hasn’t yet the resolution, and it’s too counter intuitive to be trusting our gut, because it is natural to see gender and body as one and the same thing. But scientifically speaking, biology is an imperfect process and it makes sense that the brain would need wiriing with the body.

  33. How are you defining “crazy?” If you are taking a Darwinian approach then is a healthy adult who has chosen to not have children crazy?

  34. Rob Smith says:

    Dude, why do you care so much? Transsexuals are unlikely to pass on their icky, nasty genetic dysfunction through progeny, so why do you care? (Unless you are religious, in which case, fine, I totally get it. It is an abomination unto the Lord, yadayadayada.)

    This is like the hundredth post where you go on and on about how crazy gayness or transsexualism is, and I am mystified.

    ***

    People just don’t feel like they should have been born as elves instead of humans. But if they did, and if the trait was as ingrained as transsexualism, more power to them.

    Some people *DO* feel they were born as the wrong sex. Empirically, we can see the evidence for transsexualism in the world around us. Shouting “you’re crazy!” or “be moar manly!” at a nascent transsexual doesn’t seem very productive. Or maybe it could be – more research is needed – but your certainty that it’s a good idea to dismiss transsexualism as a real thing is just ridiculous and unscientific.

    • Asher says:

      A man thinks he’s a woman therefore, he is a woman.
      A man thinks he’s a god, therefore, he is a god.

      I see absolutely no difference between those statements. By your reasoning, anyone who thinks they can fly…can. Philosophy as wish fulfillment. Socrates wept.

    • “This is like the hundredth post where you go on and on about how crazy gayness or transsexualism is, and I am mystified.”

      What if it’s not genetic but does have some other specific cause? That would be interesting imo.

  35. Asher says:

    @ shiniji

    I was about to respond to your last comment above and, then, I stopped myself. I realized that I was responding to almost everything you said but that you were responding to almost nothing I said.

    If you want to distinguish between two different categories of experience then you first need a demarcating criterion between those two categories. This is not myself speaking, but pretty much every philosopher since socrates.

    You simply don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

    • Sinij says:

      You should have stopped yourself before you made a fool out of yourself and demonstrated that you don’t even have a rational reason behind your bigotry.

      Following assertions and declarations that you have made that are false. They are your core argument and were refuted:

      “The trans community is asking people to treat them as if they were born with different chromosomes”
      “What male to female transvestites and trans-sexuals want is for everyone else to pretend that they are not biologically male.”
      “The most logical and obvious explanation for trans-sexualism is that it is just a sexual fetish.”
      ” I flatly deny that intentionality is the primary factor in the vast majority of human behavior and cognition.” [referring to a sex change]
      “the mask hiding what’s really behind the trans movement, which is the end of all distinctions between male and female.”

      Keep digging.

  36. Rex May says:

    Over at Ex-Army we have, of all things, a seminary student (Eager Young Liberal) who asserts that Greg Cochran is unqualified to have any opinions about this or any other aspect of anthropology because he doesn’t have a doctorate in anthropology. Anybody here is welcome to drop by and discuss this and other aspects of credentialism with him:
    http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2013/10/elfification.html?showComment=1382567525428#c8454839400268191869

  37. Neil Craig says:

    Newton was pretty close to crazy;
    Archimedes must have been autistic or he wouldn’t have ignored the roman with a sword,
    Viking Berserks were congenital loons.

    Being crazy is not always a bad sign.

    • Ian says:

      Newton had a brain. Archimedes had a brain too. Berserks probably didn’t have a brain, even counting them all, but they managed to reproduce, so today’s Swede and Norways are full of Swedens and Norwegians? Obviously, we are talking about different kinds of madness.

  38. Adalwolf says:

    The proper response to this would be to grow a massive beard and to claim that discriminating against Elves is part of your Dwarven heritage.

  39. Wanderer says:

    Careful, Greg.

    Those at the top want to stay in control of the cultural narrative the better to keep the untermensch off balance.

    If you look like you will be too successful in establishing a culture they do not control it will be off to the loony-bin for you.

  40. Anonymous says:

    “A man that should call every thing by its right Name, would hardly pass the Streets without being knock’d down as a common Enemy.” George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (November 11, 1633 – April 5, 1695).

  41. multiheaded says:

    I will endeavour to find out whether your blog has any linkage from Less Wrong/MIRI/associated bloggers, and, if so, pressure to discontinue the links on their side.

  42. Heavy Metal says:

    sex change operations aren’t muh better than butchery, but whether the individual can have the mind, instincts and emotions and tendencies of the opposite sex is a completely separate matter, and it seems pretty obvious that how we treat sexchanged individual, and try to think of them too, should be decided by that question, and not whether the operation has made things better or worse, for them.
    It’s a point of interest that people who recognize women and men are profoundly different in m any aspects of their nature are perhaps most honour bound to exhibit some compassion for these people, since what they have to live with pretty tragic…given all instincts, wishes, daydreams…everything wrong. They kill themselves do you know. Either straight suicide, or get the operations and become hopeless drunks because they know everything is now worse and how stupid they look. They all know. It kills them. They die. Spare a thought for that.

    • Udolpho says:

      Depression is a common attendant feature of severe dysmorphia. You don’t appear to grasp that. You seem focused on trying to evoke pity rather than understanding of what is at issue.

  43. Udolpho says:

    It’s a lost cause, I think. One of your nerd readers calls trannies “likable”, well you can call a schizophrenic likable (some are bound to be), it doesn’t change the fact that he is severely mentally ill and should be treated and his behavior contained so that it doesn’t become disruptive to those around him. On some level it seems to be harm-based morality run amock–literally the only standard for moral judgement with these supernerds is whether something makes you feel hurt or bad about yourself. I have my theories where this anxiety over harm comes from, but another time, perhaps.

  44. Pingback: Carrying the logic of sex change one step further | BlazingCatFur

  45. Pingback: 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start) | JayMan's Blog

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