Haven’t looked in on Eric Raymond in a while. I have been remiss.
There was a very silly news story recently about âClaireâ, a transsexual âgirlâ with a penis who complains thatÂ she is rejected by straight guys for âhaving male partsâ. Er, how was âsheâ expecting anything different? By trying to get dates with heterosexual teenage boys using a female presentation, she was making an offer that there is about her person the sort of sexual parts said boys want to play with. Since âsheâ does not in fact have a vagina, this offer was fraudulent and thereâs no wonder the boys rejected it.
More to the point, why is this âgirlâ treated as anything but a mental case? Leaving aside the entireÂ questionÂ of how real transgenderism is as a neuropsychological phenomenon, âsheâ clearly suffers from a pretty serious disconnect with observable reality. In particular, those delusions about teenage boysâŚ
I can anticipate several objections to this transactional account of identity. One is that is cruel and illiberal to reject an offer of âI claim identity Xâ if the person claiming feels that identity strongly enough. This is essentially the position of those journalists from The Hill.
To which I can only reply: you can feel an identity as a programmer as strongly as you want, but if you canât either already sling code or are visibly working hard on repairing that deficiency, you simply donât make the nut. Cruelty doesnât enter into this; if I assent to your claim I assist your self-deceit, and if I repeat it I assist you in misleading or defrauding others.
It is pretty easy to see how this same analysis applies to âmisgenderingâ people with the âwrongâ pronouns. People who use the term âmisgenderâ generally follow up with claims about the subjectâs autonomy and feelings. Which is well enough, but such considerations do not justify being complicit in the deceit of others any more than they do with respect to âI am a programmerâ.
A related objection is that I have stolen the concept of âidentityâ by transactionalizing it. That is, true âidentityâ is necessarily grounded not in public performance but private feelings â you are what you feel, and itâs somehow the responsibility of the rest of the world to keep up.
ButâŚif Iâm a delusional psychotic who feels Iâm Napoleon, is it the worldâs responsibility to keep up? If I, an overweight clumsy shortish white guy, feel that Iâm a tall agile black guy under the skin, are you obligated to choose me to play basketball? Or, instead, are you justified in predicting that I canât jump?
You canât base âidentityâ on a personâs private self-beliefs and expect sane behavior to emerge any more than you can invite everyone to speak private languages and expect communication to happen.
The self-contradictory madness of Progressivism has reached its end-stages. There really isn’t a whole lot further for it to go, and it needs to be put out of its—and our—misery, before it can do any more damage.