FREE POST: Weekly Reality Report
February 11, 2024
What is the Weekly Reality Report?
The Weekly Reality Report is published every Sunday morning for paying subscribers. It includes a roundup of the previous week’s articles on Reality’s Last Stand, a reading list of interesting opinion pieces with summaries from around the web, relevant news headlines to keep you informed, and a special Moment of Zen.
This week’s Reality Report is free, so be sure to upgrade to a paid subscription to gain full access future reports. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Interview with Dr. Carrie Mendoza
This is a very important interview of Dr. Carrie Mendoza, an emergency medicine physician and an advocate for the depoliticization of health care and education.
“The detransitioners … There aren’t services for them … There’s not even a billing code. If you don’t have a billing code, you can’t be in the insurance stream, right? So, you’re kind of like a non-existent person in the medical world. But yet, these are young kids who’ve had surgeries, or some now need hormone replacement because they’ve had their ovaries removed,” says Dr. Mendoza.
I Was Told to Approve All Teen Gender Transitions. I Refused. | Tamara Pietzke
For The Free Press, Tamara Pietzke, a therapist with over a decade of experience turned whistleblower, wrote about her grave concerns with the practice of "affirmative care" in therapy, particularly regarding young clients experiencing gender dysphoria. Pietzke, a single mother and a therapist who worked in the Puget Sound area, shares her journey from personal tragedy to her profession, aiming to provide a safe space for individuals to navigate their mental health challenges. However, her experience at MultiCare, a major hospital system in Washington State, led her to resign due to the push towards immediate affirmation of a patient's expressed gender identity without considering the comprehensive mental health assessment and potential underlying issues.
Pietzke criticizes the shift towards a diagnostic and treatment model that prioritizes gender affirmation over thorough evaluation, highlighting several cases from her practice that illustrate her concerns. She argues that this approach disregards the complex interplay of mental health conditions and may rush patients, especially minors, into irreversible medical transitions without adequate consideration of their broader mental health needs.
Her account raises alarms about the potential long-term harm to patients and the ethical implications for therapists forced to navigate between professional judgment and institutional directives promoting gender-affirming care without sufficient evidence of its safety and efficacy.
Against Human Resources | Helen Andrews
In an essay for The Lamp, Helen Andrews, editor of the American Conservative and author, examines the transformation and implications of the Human Resources (HR) department from its origins to its modern form. Andrews tracks the evolution of HR, noting its shift from a focus on interpersonal management to a bureaucratic system emphasizing psychological over economic aspects of work. She critiques the development of HR into a field concerned more with employees' feelings than their welfare, and explores historical milestones like the Hawthorne experiment that underscored treating workers as individuals. This evolution, Andrews argues, has led to HR practices based on unproven claims, affecting workplace culture and legal norms.
Andrews further discusses the impact of HR's rise, including the feminization of the workplace and the sidelining of traditional male dynamics. She contrasts HR with unionism, highlighting the different assumptions underpinning each and questioning the necessity of HR in its current form. The essay suggests that HR's focus on subjective feelings and compliance with anti-discrimination laws has complicated workplace relations and legal standards, raising questions about the value and efficiency of HR departments in contemporary corporate culture.
She concludes by questioning the necessity of HR departments, pointing out their role in perpetuating ambiguous legal standards and fostering a corporate culture that may be overly cautious and unproductive. Andrews suggests that the proliferation of HR has not only reshaped workplace dynamics but also reflects broader societal shifts regarding gender roles and employment practices.
The ‘Intersectionality’ Canard | Wilfred Reilly
For National Review, Wilfred Reilly, an associate professor of political science at Kentucky State University, wrote about the mainstream resurgence of intersectionality and its implications in the current national debate over diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), among other topics. Reilly critiques the simplistic application of intersectionality in analyzing issues like wage gaps and discrimination, arguing that it overlooks the multifaceted factors influencing individual experiences. He points out that the concept, originally intended to highlight the compounded effects of various forms of discrimination, has been adopted by organizations like the United Nations but is often applied without adequately considering all relevant variables. This approach, according to Reilly, fails to account for the complexity of factors beyond race and gender that can impact outcomes, such as socio-economic status, personal choices, and geographical location.
Reilly further illustrates his point by dissecting commonly cited examples of inequality, such as the wage gap between men and women and disparities in police shootings, demonstrating that these gaps significantly narrow or disappear when additional variables are considered. He argues that serious analysis often reveals that what is attributed to discrimination can be explained by differences in choices, lifestyles, and other non-discriminatory factors. Through this critique, Reilly challenges the prevailing narrative of intersectionality, suggesting that a more nuanced understanding of individual experiences and outcomes is necessary.
He concludes by advocating for a focus on the individual as the "smallest and most vulnerable" minority, implying that the current discourse on intersectionality and privilege overlooks the complex reality of personal circumstances and societal dynamics.
Coleman Hughes Wants a Colorblind America. So Should We. | Grayson Slover
For the FAIR Substack, Grayson Slover, a freelance writer and the author of Middle Country: An American Student Visits China’s Uyghur Prison-State, delved into the evolution of racial justice discourse in America, contrasting the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with those of the Black Power movement and contemporary perspectives on race. Slover references historical events and studies from the 1960s to highlight the widespread support for Dr. King's approach to racial equality, which emphasized integration and non-violence, over the more militant and separatist ideologies of the Black Power movement. Despite legislative victories such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the movement faced significant challenges, including violent riots and the emergence of a competing vision for racial justice in America.
Slover further discusses the present-day relevance of these historical debates through the lens of Coleman Hughes' book, The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America. Hughes criticizes modern "anti-racists" or "neoracists" for deviating from Dr. King's vision, accusing them of misinterpreting and weaponizing his legacy to support a racially divisive ideology that prioritizes race consciousness over colorblindness. Hughes argues for a return to the principles of the Civil Rights movement, advocating for policies and personal conduct that are blind to race, in line with Dr. King's dream.
Slover's analysis presents a critical examination of the shift in racial justice philosophies over time, highlighting the tension between the ideals of colorblindness and race-consciousness in the ongoing struggle to achieve racial equality in America.
Our Professional Psychiatric Association Has Abandoned Evidence-Based Care | Miriam Grossman
For the Dallas Morning News, Miriam Grossman, a practicing child and adolescent psychiatrist and a senior fellow at Do No Harm, critiques the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) latest publication, Gender-Affirming Psychiatric Care, arguing it deviates from evidence-based, ethical standards. Grossman asserts the guide politicizes psychiatric care, challenging scientific neutrality and the binary understanding of gender as mythical, thus undermining the credibility and mission of the APA. She highlights the book's ideologically driven content, including claims that deny the binary existence of male and female and propose that psychiatry and psychology have oppressed transgender youths. Grossman emphasizes that the book's recommendations are not based on reliable evidence and critiques its advocacy for interventions like puberty blockers and hormone treatments without acknowledging the associated risks and long-term effects, branding the guide more as a political manifesto than a scientific resource.
Furthermore, Grossman raises concerns over the lack of mention of systematic reviews in the text, which are crucial for evidence-based medicine, and points out the international shift towards psychotherapy and cautious approach to gender-affirming care in minors. She criticizes the book's misleading information about the reversibility and safety of puberty blockers and hormone treatments, citing the absence of long-term data and the potential for serious side effects. By demanding unconditional support for self-diagnosed gender dysphoria in children and overlooking the need for rigorous peer review, the publication, according to Grossman, risks causing iatrogenic harm.
Grossman concludes by calling for the APA to retract "Gender-Affirming Psychiatric Care" until concerns are addressed, underscoring the duty of the psychiatric profession to uphold ethical standards and protect patients from ideologically motivated practices.
Where Did All the Weird Nerd Women Go? | Eliza Mondegreen
For Genspect, Eliza Mondegreen, a graduate student in psychiatry, published her her in-depth conversation with Nicole Rainey regarding the pervasive influence of gender identity in online fandom communities. This discussion delves into how gender identity dynamics have fundamentally altered the landscape of these spaces, transforming them from mere hubs of shared interests into environments deeply intertwined with discussions and expressions of gender. The interview starts with Rainey's observation of how gender identity has saturated every hobby and community she has been part of since the early 2000s, highlighting the complex interplay between gender, creativity, and social interaction within these spaces. The interview reveals the challenges and nuances of navigating female-dominated spaces that are increasingly focused on gender identity, discussing the impacts of this shift on community culture, personal identity, and creative expression.
The interview further explores the dichotomy of positive and negative aspects within these communities, emphasizing the significant role they play in fostering creativity, collaboration, and a sense of belonging among their members. Despite the challenges, Rainey articulates the value and joy found in the camaraderie and creative output of these spaces, while also critiquing the toxicity and drama that often pervade them. The conversation shifts towards a broader reflection on the evolution of online spaces, the intersection of neurodiversity and gender identity, and the implications for personal and community growth.
Rainey's experiences and insights shed light on the intricate ways in which gender ideology has become a central, yet contentious, element of online fandom cultures, raising questions about identity, creativity, and the future of these communities.
Why the ‘Be Kind’ Era Is Bad for Women | Julie Burchill
For Spiked, columnist Julie Burchill wrote about the perceived shift in societal values towards promoting kindness and self-care among children, particularly through events like a free kindness workshop for children aged four to 10 at a garden centre in Brighton. Burchill criticizes this trend as a move away from instilling resilience and toughness in children, suggesting instead that it leads to overprotection and fails to address the real issues affecting the mental health of young people. She questions the focus on female participants in such initiatives and hints at a broader societal push towards conditioning females to be kind, a trait she argues is now being exploited to enforce gender ideology at the expense of women's rights and spaces.
Further, Burchill expands on the theme of enforced kindness as a tool of suppression, especially against women, in the context of gender ideology and the trans rights movement. She describes how this ideology demands that women not only acquiesce their spaces and rights but also engage in what she views as deceitful affirmations of trans women, which she argues is detrimental in the long term. Burchill criticizes certain factions within the Labour Party, referring to them as "Transmaids," for promoting these beliefs at the expense of women's safety and biological realities.
She concludes by questioning the appropriateness of the “be kind” mantra in a world where young men hold regressive views on rape and domestic violence, suggesting that a tougher stance might be more beneficial for girls growing up in such an environment.
Nope, Alberta’s Gender Policy Isn’t a Matter of ‘Life and Death’ | Rahim Mohamed
For National Post, Rahim Mohamed, a political columnist based in Calgary, wrote about the widespread backlash against Alberta's proposed policies concerning transgender minors. He highlights the protests and political opportunism surrounding these policies, emphasizing the critique that they could lead to an increase in suicide attempts among transgender youth. Mohamed points out that this claim, often repeated by progressive groups and individuals like former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, is based on a limited evidence base. He scrutinizes the reliance on studies from the Trevor Project, a U.S.-based organization, for data supporting these claims, noting the organization's vested interest in promoting transgender-inclusive policies and the methodological flaws in their research.
Mohamed further critiques the Trevor Project's influence on Canadian legislation and questions the impartiality of its research due to its advocacy role. He contrasts the Trevor Project's findings with other studies that question the effectiveness of gender-affirming treatments on mental health outcomes and suicide rates. Additionally, Mohamed discusses Alberta's forthcoming policies aimed at balancing restrictions on transgender youth with measures to support their dignity and inclusion, criticizing the simplistic opposition from critics.
He calls for a more nuanced debate on the issue, free from the emotionally charged tactics used by groups like the Trevor Project, to better address the complex needs of transgender-identifying children and their families in Alberta.
Other Good Reads
The Spiral of Tokenism: Part 1 | Sarah Haider
The Ghost of Joe McCarthy | Carol Tavris
Guilt-Tripping Our Way to Self-Destruction | Laura Hollis
American College of Pediatricians: Gender-Reassignment Treatments Have No Mental Health Benefits
For The Epoch Times, award-winning investigative journalist Jana J. Pruet wrote about the American College of Pediatricians' (ACPeds) opposition to "gender-affirming" treatments for youth with gender dysphoria. Pruet's article highlights the ACPeds' review of over 60 studies, which found no long-term evidence that mental health concerns are decreased or alleviated after such treatments. The group, expressing concern over high rates of mental health problems among transgender youth, criticized the support of gender transition by parents, healthcare, and educational professionals as potentially contributing to increased depression in affected individuals. ACPeds urges medical professionals and parents to address underlying mental illnesses and family dysfunction, rather than affirming the youth's dysphoria through medical or surgical interventions.
The article also delves into ACPeds' stance on the terminology and outcomes of gender transition, arguing that terms like "transgender" and "transition" are misleading because they suggest a change in sex or sexual/gender identity, rather than a change in appearance or presentation. ACPeds points to studies indicating higher rates of suicide attempts among those who have undergone gender-reassignment interventions, challenging the notion that such treatments save lives. Furthermore, the group advocates for intensive psychotherapy to address the root causes of gender dysphoria and warns against the life-long consequences of transitioning during adolescence, including sterility and loss of sexual function.
Pruet's coverage of ACPeds' position sheds light on the complex debate surrounding gender-affirming treatments for youth, emphasizing a cautious approach that prioritizes mental health and family support.