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Weekly Recap: May 18, 2021
These Weekly Recaps are put out every week and cover the previous week’s news relating predominantly to sex denialism and gender identity. If you find these free recaps useful, please consider joining my free email list or becoming a subscriber if you would like to show your support.
In case you missed it…
Last week Reality’s Last Stand published its first guest post, “The Muddling of the English Language” by Rose Peterson (a pseudonym), a former NCAA student-athlete currently completing her master's degree at a university in the UK. It’s a really great article discussions how gender ideology twists language and, in doing so, misportrays reality. Please give it a read if you haven’t already.
If you would like to submit your own original essay relating directly or indirectly to gender ideology and sex to Reality’s Last Stand, please send a single-paragraph pitch or completed draft (preferred) to email@example.com.
Male powerlifter set to complete as female in Tokyo 2021
Laurel Hubbartd (previously Gavin Hubbard) is a trans woman powerlifter who transitioned at age 35. In 2019 Hubbard won a gold medal in the Pacific Games weightlifting competition in Samoa, competing as a woman.
Hubbard is now set to compete as a female in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The Post Millennia reports:
Due to the new rules put in place by the IOC for COVID, Hubbard is basically guaranteed a spot on the New Zealand women's weightlifting team, in the super heavyweight category, because so many competitions were lost during the pandemic year.
Hubbard, who at 43 would be the oldest weightlifting Olympian competing, hasn't yet been named to the team, but "an International Weightlifting Federation insider confirmed to the Guardian that she would automatically qualify because of amended rules approved by the International Olympic Committee."
That insider told the Guardian that "while teams did not have to be named until 5 July, under the new qualification rules, which had come into effect after several competitions were lost because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hubbard was sure of a place in Tokyo if fit."
Although males have a biological advantage compared to females in all sports, weightlifting exhibits some of the most dramatic sex differences measured, with a “performance gap…between 31 and 37% across the range of competitive body weights” according to a 2021 review in Sports Medicine. And testosterone suppression did not close this performance gap.
Of course, this is due to the irreversible effects of high testosterone levels during male puberty. Given that Hubbard transitioned at 35, her body has already undergone the performance-enhancing effects of male puberty. As I have stated before, circulating testosterone levels are important, but even more important are the effects of past testosterone levels. We would not think it is fair if a woman had taken performance-enhancing drugs for 20 years to build up muscle, and then suddenly lowered her testosterone levels for a year to play against female athletes. But this is essentially what Hubbard’s body has experienced.
I hope Hubbard does not win and steal a medal from a female athlete, but her mere presence in the Olympics competing as a woman has already taken a spot away from a talented female athlete whose only fault is that she was not born male.
Sweden’s Karolinska Hospital Ends All Use of Puberty Blockers and Cross-Sex Hormones for Minors Outside of Clinical Studies
More and more seems to be coming out about the potential harmful effects of puberty blockers, and many European governments are taking notice. This last week, Sweden’s Karolinska Hospital has suspended all use of puberty-blocking drugs on minors, except for use in clinical trials.
The Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine reports:
This is a watershed moment, with one of world's most renowned hospitals calling the "Dutch Protocol" experimental and discontinuing its routine use outside of research settings. According to the ”Dutch Protocol,” which has gained popularity in recent years, gender-dysphoric minors are treated with puberty blockers at age 12 (and in some interpretations, upon reaching Tanner stage 2 of puberty, which in girls can occur at age 8), and cross-sex hormones at the age of 16. This approach, also known as medical "affirmation," has been endorsed by the WPATH ”Standards of Care 7” guideline.
According to Karolinska’s newest policy, which went into effect in May 2021, going forward, hormonal (puberty blocking and cross-sex hormone) interventions for gender-dysphoric minors may only be provided in a research setting approved by Sweden’s ethics review board. The policy states that careful assessment of the patient’s maturity level must be conducted to determine if the patient is capable of providing meaningful informed consent. There is also a requirement that patients and guardians are provided with adequate disclosures of the risks and uncertainties of this treatment pathway. It is not clear whether minors under the age of 16 would be eligible for such trials.
This comes in the wake of a series of reviews, one a 2020 UK judicial review, and the other by Sweden’s Health and Technology Assessment conducted in 2019, which highlighted ethical concerns surrounding the “affirmative” care model and the lack of evidence for the efficacy of medical treatments, respectively.
It is good to see this issue being taken so seriously in Europe. I hope that the US and Canada will follow suit.
Biden administration redefines sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation
On Monday of last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that they would be updating their policy on sex discrimination to include that of gender identity. The language now reflects the well-known Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court ruling that included both gender identity and sexual orientation under the umbrella category of “sex.”
Debra Soh in the Washington Examiner writes:
“Sex” and “gender” cannot be used interchangeably because not everyone who identifies as female is female by virtue of their sex. Using the word “sex” in place of “gender” obfuscates this, implying that anyone who identifies as female is a woman due to biology. This was presumably with the goal of facilitating greater acceptance for transgender individuals by diminishing the defining difference between them and non-transgender people. What it also does, however, is render sex-based protections meaningless.
Both documents also inappropriately lump in gender identity with sexual orientation. Sexual orientation refers to whether someone is heterosexual, gay, or bisexual. Gender activists have been very successful in convincing the public that gender identity is the same as sexual orientation—determined at birth and immutable.
This is exactly right. As Soh points out, including gender and identity within the definition of sex makes sex-based rights and protections unenforcible, since the material basis of sex can be overridden by a simple proclamation that a person identifies otherwise. If laws are meant to offer protections to a category, that category must have a material grounding, otherwise the justification for protections has no basis.
Men self-identify as women to meet gender parity requirement in Mexican municipal elections
Something we hear constantly from gender ideologists is that our concerns that males will start identifying as female in order to access women’s spaces or circumvent sex-based rights is alarmist propaganda. We are told that this will not happen, and that it is simply transphobic fear-mongering to suggest otherwise. This narrative has been proven to be false, and I have reported on the spike of male prisoners suddenly identifying as female in order to seek transfer to women’s prisons.
And now Mexican males are taking advantage of self-ID in order to bypass laws in Mexico that require sex parity in political nominations. As an article in El Común reports (translated from Spanish):
And what would never happen has happened again. The Force for Mexico party presented 18 male candidates for different positions in the state of Tlaxcala who were rejected by local electoral authorities for failing to comply with the legal parity required by Mexican laws. But the party was able to solve the problem quickly by registering its candidates who had previously registered as men as self-determined women.
Surprisingly, in an extraordinary session, the General Council of the Tlaxcalteca Elections Institute (ITE) endorsed the party's registration of candidacies since, according to the majority of the members, the self-ascription of people's gender could not be legally questioned. Thus, no one can question the sincerity of the 18 requests for gender self-ascription, even though this was the number necessary for the party to comply with the principle of parity.
Mexican LGBT groups have questioned the decision as it represents an advantage of resources historically fought by the community, by changing "in an arbitrary and suspicious way the self-registration of 18 male candidates"
This inevitable state of affairs was obvious to those who understand anything about human nature and the power of incentives, and further demonstrates that one of the groups most harmed by gender ideology is women.
Duke University emeritus professor removed from APA discussion group for suggesting there are only two sexes
In a demonstration of the increasingly authoritarian nature of gender ideologists, Duke University emeritus professor of psychology and neuroscience Dr. John Staddon was recently removed from a APA discussion group for questioning the notion that sex is not a binary.
“Hmm… Binary view of sex false? What is the evidence? Is there a Z chromosome?” wrote Staddon. This apparently violated the Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology Division’s code of conduct and led to his dismissal from the discussion group. The policy Staddon supposedly violated was the following:
Treat everyone with respect and consideration. It is acceptable in a scientific organization and at scientific meetings for members to have strong differences of opinion or different theoretical perspectives on aspects of psychological science. However, those differences and disagreements can be conveyed in ways that do not make other people feel threatened, demeaned, discriminated against, or harassed.
So merely questioning the notion that there are only two sexes is now considered either disrespectful, threatening, demeaning, discriminatory, harassment, or perhaps all of the above.
Staddon lamented that “It is sad that an audience of supposed scientists is unable to take any dissenting view, such as the suggestion that there really are only two sexes. Incredible! I don’t mind having one less distraction, but I think you should really be concerned at Div 6’s unwillingness to tolerate divergent views.”
Student investigated for saying women must have vaginas
In a story somewhat similar to that of Professor Staddon’s at Duke University, which are becoming all-too-common, a 29-year old female law student at Abertay University in Dundee is being formally investigated and facing disciplinary action for stating plain biological facts: women have vaginas, and males are on average innately physically stronger than females.
According to Daily Mail:
After telling her classmates that a women who had testosterone in her body for 32 years would be genetically stronger than the average woman, the mature student was accused of calling women the 'weaker sex'.
She told The Times: 'I thought it was a joke. I thought there was no way that the university would pursue me for utilising my legal right to freedom of speech.'
Following the debate, in which Ms Keogh claims she was muted by her lecturer, the mature student was met with a flurry of abuse from her fellow classmates.
Ms Keogh, who is being supported by Joanna Cherry QC, the SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, continued: 'I didn't intend to be offensive but I did take part in a debate and outlined my sincerely held views.'
She added: 'I wasn't being mean, transphobic or offensive. I was stating a basic biological fact.'
But neither facts nor intent matter when questioning the dogma of gender identity ideology.
Keogh, a mother of two, now worries whether her aspirations to become a lawyer will be jeopardized for her statements.
Ladies and gents lavatories return as ministers tell architects all new buildings must have separate facilities
New UK building regulations will be requiring separate bathrooms for males and females, as single-sex lavatories have been routined converted into gender neutral spaces. And, building that already have shared lavatories will be required to install partitions to ensure privacy.
The Telegraph states:
The changes will apply to new buildings or existing buildings, such as offices, shops and entertainment venues, as well as publicly funded buildings such as hospitals, undergoing major refurbishment when building regulation consent is required for the works.
Under the changes, the buildings will have to provide separate lavatories for women “given the particular health needs of women, and the fact that men's urinals can serve more customers at a quicker pace”, departmental sources said.
Buildings with so-called “unisex provision” will have to offer men and women entirely self-contained cubicles, with basins inside, to protect the privacy of occupants.
Fired for gender critical Facebook posts
This is an interesting interview between Sasha White, founder of Plebity, and Valerie Pelletier, a “feminist, musician, and survivor of the sex industry” who talks about her experience being fired from a women's organization in Canada for posting gender critical content on Facebook.
Sasha is doing great things with Plebity, which is a platform for articles, interviews, and podcasts relating to free thought. It hosts a Free Speech Fund that “exists to aid those who have been fired or otherwise significantly harmed as a result of their speech.” Please go check out Plebity and consider supporting the project!
Dr. William Malone, MD, on the hormone health crisis
Dr. Malone has been doing truly amazing work with the people at the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) pushing back against the shoddy activist scholarship currently being promoted in transgender medicine. Malone articulates the laborious task he and others face attempting to bring evidence-based approaches back to this field of medicine that is failing to properly self-regulate.
When Sons Become Daughters, Part V: The Links Between Trans Identity, Gifted Minds, Categorical Thinking—And Anime
Quillette has been running a wonderful series by Angus Fox that “explores how parents react when a son announces he wants to be a girl.” Please start at the beginning if you haven’t been following this series from the start. This latest piece explores the strange role that anime seems to consistently play in the lives of many adolescent boys suddenly claiming trans identities.
From the article:
Alex was adrift. He often misunderstood social cues, and his habit of talking like a college professor made him seem pedantic. His anime-enabled discovery of a new, trans self gave him a label for the resulting sense of detachment, while unlocking a vault of praise. At his new school, Alex was taken out of maths class at the behest of the school’s LGBT counsellor, so that he could spend the time learning about trans advocacy—the idea being that this information would help Alex defend himself from prejudice. But what he was really getting was positive reinforcement for his new gender identity.
Rosalee didn’t find out about this arrangement until six months after it had started—and even then, only by accident. She was understandably furious. As she saw it, her child’s exceptional talents and character had been co-opted by a school administrator looking to indulge her own ideological convictions.
Plebity has recently published an interview with a medical school student speaking about how gender ideology and sex denialism is influencing medicine and healthcare. It is a truly horrifying read, but is consistent with emails and Twitter DMs I often receive from medical professionals. This does not bode well for the present and future of medicine.
From the article:
Well-intentioned non-medical people often assume that medical schools are teaching something like, “Gender identity can be fluid and varied, but biological sex is real, binary, and relevant in medical contexts.” This idea is around five years out of date in the most progressive of institutions. I have been told multiple times in several classes that biological sex is a social construct – not just gender. Granted, I can speak only for my institution, but this change has been frustrating and disturbing to witness.
This is a great article by a Senior Lecturer in developmental psychology at Lancaster University who is “interested in how young children learn symbols and how they think about the world.” The article explores the ways in which children come to learn about sex and stereotypes. I think you will find it quite interesting.
From the article:
…it takes children some time to work out both whether they themselves are a girl or a boy, and that both they and others cannot change sex. Working out which they are themselves happens earlier, and is based in all the studies that have been done on physical appearance and stereotypes. Have a look at what James, aged 3, has to say on the matter:
Organizations to Support
Last week RLS readers suggested I provide a list of organizations to support so they won’t feel so helpless reading these Weekly Recaps on all the insane and unfortunate news! I think this is a great idea, and so below I have listed some of my favorite organizations with their own descriptions.
Sex Matters is a UK based not-for-profit organisation. We campaign, advocate and produce resources to promote clarity about sex in public policy, law and culture. We have a singular mission: to reestablish that sex matters in rules, laws, policies, language and culture.
We are an organisation of parents, professionals and academics based in the UK who are concerned about the current trend to diagnose children as transgender, including the unprecedented number of teenage girls suddenly self-identifying as ‘trans’ (Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria or ROGD). We are also concerned about legislation which places transgender rights above the right to safety for girls and young women in public toilets and changing rooms along with fairness for girls in sport.
We have no religious or political affiliation. We come from diverse backgrounds, and our team includes teachers and safeguarding professionals, academics and parents, some of whom were themselves extreme gender non-conforming children and adolescents, some whose own children have self-diagnosed as ‘trans’ and some who know supportive trans adults who are also questioning recent theories of ‘transgenderism.’ Unfortunately because of the current climate our team members have to remain anonymous for the protection of their children or their jobs.
To advance lesbian, gay and bisexual rights
We advance the interests of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, and stand up for our right to live as same-sex attracted people without discrimination or disadvantage. We will ensure that the voices of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are heard in all public and political discussions affecting our lives.
To highlight the dual discrimination faced by lesbians
We amplify the voices of lesbians and highlight the dual discrimination experienced by lesbians as women who are same-sex attracted in a male-dominated society.
To protect children who may grow up to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual
We work to protect children from harmful, unscientific ideologies that may lead them to believe either their personality or their body is in need of changing. Any child growing up to be lesbian, gay or bisexual has the right to be happy and confident about their sexuality and who they are.
To promote free speech on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues
We promote freedom of speech and informed dialogue on issues concerning the rights of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. We assert that different opinions, even those we may disagree with, should be heard as part of the public debate.
Fair Play For Women is a campaigning and consultancy group which raises awareness, provides evidence and analysis, and supports policy-makers to protect the rights of women and girls in the UK.
We are concerned that, in the rush to reform transgender laws and policies, women’s voices are not being heard or listened to. Run by a team of volunteers with skills in many different disciplines, without any corporate sponsorship or formal funding, we work hard to bring this issue to public attention.
Women get called transphobic for simply asking questions. Women are afraid to speak out, and fear for their jobs and reputation if they do. We provide the safe platform necessary for women and men to voice their concerns, share their experiences and access expert knowledge and resources.
Our aim is to facilitate the much-needed factual discussion about the need for sex-based policies for women and to provide policy makers with the guidance they need for evidence-based policy making that is fair for all. We have earned a reputation, amongst the general public, policy makers, politicians and the media, for calm, rational, fact-checked, accurate information, statistics, and good-faith debate.
We are an international group of over 100 clinicians and researchers concerned about the lack of quality evidence for the use of hormonal and surgical interventions as first-line treatment for young people with gender dysphoria. We represent expertise from a range of clinical disciplines.
Our objectives include evaluating current interventions for gender dysphoria, providing balanced evidence summaries, promoting the development of effective and supportive psychosocial approaches for the care of young people with gender dysphoria and generating good, answerable questions for research.
Young people with gender dysphoria deserve respect, compassion, and high quality care. Please join us in our mission to promote evidence-based care for children, adolescents, and young adults that prioritizes life (i.e. measures of mortality), quality of life, long-term outcomes, and fully informed consent. SEGM is free from political, ideological, religious, or financial influences.
Counterweight is an organisation that helps individuals resist the imposition of Critical Social Justice (CSJ) on their day to day lives. Our primary focus is on directing individuals who have fallen foul of the ideology to the resources, advice and guidance their specific problems require.
However, we also offer a refuge for casualties of the culture wars and a supportive, non-partisan community that connects like-minded people with others in their fields of work. This has two main benefits:
1) The formation of mutually supportive teams and action groups. Our community has already organically created networks of parents, teachers, psychologists, social workers, technicians, academics and employees of institutions of art and culture who are devising practical ways to protect their professions and support each other.
2) A groundswell of knowledgeable opposition to authoritarian Critical Social Justice. As our community grows, we intend to continue producing an increasing number of educational resources and facilitating discussions that will familiarise our members with the concepts and workings of CSJ, thus equipping them with the means to confidently speak out against it.
Free speech is the bedrock on which all our other freedoms rest, yet it is currently in greater peril than at any time since the Second World War. The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan, mass-membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members. If you think there’s a risk you’ll be penalised for exercising your legal right to free speech, whether it’s in the workplace or the public square, you need the protection of the Free Speech Union. How might we protect you?
If you find yourself being targeted by a digital outrage mob on social media for having exercised your legal right to free speech, we may mobilise an army of supporters.
If a petition is launched calling for you to be fired, when you’ve done nothing other than exercise your legal right to free speech, we may help you organise a counter-petition.
If you’re no-platformed by a university—a feminist professor who challenges trans orthodoxy, for instance—we’ll encourage you to fight back and members of our advisory councils may be able to tell you what remedies are available to you.
If you’re a student being investigated by your university for breaching a speech code, we may take up your case with the university
If you’re punished by your employer because you’ve exercised your lawful right to free speech, we’ll do our best to provide you with assistance or refer you to specialists who can help.
To improve the quality of research and education in universities by increasing open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement.
We aspire to create college classrooms and campuses that welcome diverse people with diverse viewpoints and that equip learners with the habits of heart and mind to engage that diversity in open inquiry and constructive disagreement.
We see an academy eager to welcome professors, students, and speakers who approach problems and questions from different points of view, explicitly valuing the role such diversity plays in advancing the pursuit of knowledge, discovery, growth, innovation, and the exposure of falsehoods.
If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter and would like to support my ability to produce them as well as other free content, and also gain access to occasional subscribers-only posts, please consider becoming a subscriber. Another great way to show support is to share my posts on social media, or with friends and family you think would also enjoy (or need!) it. Thanks for reading!