Categories
Antivaccine nonsense Autism Bad science Medicine

Antivax and transphobia: Two crappy tastes that taste crappy together

There’s long been a lot of transphobia among antivaxxers. As anti-trans bigotry increases in society, more and more antivaxxers are anti-trans. Enter Toby Rogers, who thinks “overvaccination” causes the trans.

The other day I took a longer look at an antivaxxer to whom I hadn’t paid much attention before, Toby Rogers, specifically his hilarious assumption that all vaccine safety research cited by the CDC is corrupt because it didn’t use the sorts of statistical analyses used in the completely unrelated field of econometrics to analyze vaccine safety data. The more I’ve perused Rogers’ Substack (uTobian), though, the more I discovered that Rogers is a font of antivax conspiracy mongering. Moreover, he provided me with a perfect example to address something that I’ve been meaning to address for a while, the increasing transphobia that I’m seeing in the antivaccine/antimask/anti-“lockdown” COVID-19 contrarian disinformation network.

I’ve mentioned this affinity between antivaxxers and transphobia before, specifically in the context of a rant by Bill Maher three months ago in which he recounted all the “gender critical” tropes about trans people and gender-affirming medicine (treatment that supports a trans person in their gender identity), complete with references to cutting dicks off, pumping kids full of puberty blockers and hormones for the opposite gender, and tired variations on the only two old and hack jokes that transphobic comedians about “identifying” as something ridiculous. Granted, in that rant he didn’t mention vaccines, but, given Maher’s long history of antivaccine conspiracy mongering, dating back to 2005, it wasn’t hard to make that connection. As I put it: Is Bill Maher an antivax transphobe or transphobic antivaxxer? (Hint: He’s both!)

This brings us to Toby Rogers’ post, whose very title is a conspiracy theory, Trans messaging is too sophisticated to be the work of a small sexual minority dealing with severe health issues, complete with a subtitle, It appears to me that someone else is driving these messaging campaigns and the question is who? “Someone else”? Whom could he mean? And what’s behind this supposedly “sophisticated messaging”

Rogers starts out, as many transphobes do, before saying transphobic things, asserting his bona fides as a “progressive” person; i.e., not a bigot. In Rogers case, the patter goes something like this:

Before I go any further let me state unequivocally that I support LGBT equality. Everyone deserves respect, love, and kindness. Any bigotry in the comments will get deleted and possibly banned. In this article and the discussion that follows I aim to model the sort of adult conversation about a difficult topic that is rarely seen anymore. Please join me in elevating the discourse.

I suppose that “elevating the discourse” means insinuating a conspiracy theory in which dark forces are providing “sophisticated” messaging to promote “The Trans.” Unsurprisingly, if you look at the comments, it doesn’t take long to find lots of transphobia such as:

Are you familiar with the Twitter account @libsoftiktok? She has been documenting what can reasonably be described as a virtual paramilitary deployment by Leftists to sexualize children using LGBTQ+s as “useful idiots”. It’s possible this is simply a spontaneous organic devolution of society with no organization from above; but, as with the mass formation enabling the Covid Project, that seems less plausible than that some conspiracy is afoot.

And:

Toby, I think you nailed it when you said that transgender messaging is too sophisticated to be random – it must be orchestrated.

When I watched “What Is A Woman?” by Matt Walsh (https://t.me/what_is_a_woman_2022), I learned the following:

1. At 1:01 he said that when a child identifies as trans, that child will generate $1.3 million in drug sales. At that point, the light went on for me – pharmaceutical industry greed and recklessness, per usual, is driving this agenda.

2. Likewise, there are five children’s hospitals in the USA who are performing gender transitioning surgeries – at $70,000 each.

3. The hormone drug is called Lupron – it’s all about the money. (Long-term hormone drug use can cause cancer – but that’s more money for the pharmaceutical companies, after all.)

4. There needs to be an educational push about about what gender dysphoria is (at 1:27:10 and 1:29:54). Scott Newgent founded TReVoices, an organization that helps young people who struggle with gender dysphoria – and makes the statement that parents don’t have the right to surgically transition their children. For one thing, it creates suicidal ideation 7-10 years after the surgery.

To which Rogers himself replied:

“Follow the money” is always a good strategy.

But, pray, do go on, Mr. Rogers:

I spent 10 years fighting for LGBT equality as the communications director for the moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I edited hundreds of speeches, sermons, and articles as well as the book Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality that became a Christian bestseller. When we began in 2000, marriage equality was polling below 20%. Over the course of a decade we changed so many hearts and minds that the denomination revised its Constitution to allow LGBT ordination and marriage. Thanks to our work, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved LGBT equality beforethe U.S. Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality and thus created political cover for the Supreme Court to do the right thing. 

After the campaign was over I got a master of public policy degree (2010-2012) at UC Berkeley and went to Cambodia in 2012 where I taught Gender Studies in a private university in Phnom Penh. I taught the Genderbread Person v1 and I even taught sections of Judith Butler’s classic work, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, to Cambodian teens and young adults in my classes. It was fascinating and wonderful.

After that sort of defense, you know what’s coming next:

And then, somewhere around 2015, the movement went completely off the rails. 

I’ll get back to that statement in a moment, but first I want to contrast the version of himself that Rogers touts from 7 years ago with what he’s saying now, specifically his comments on Matt Walsh in this post. I haven’t written about it, but Matt Walsh’s What Is a Woman? is a deceptive and biased propaganda film disguised as a documentary that posits a conspiracy theory about “trans messaging” that is different in some ways but similar to what Rogers claims. It’s also very much like previous deceptive conspiracy theory “documentaries” promoting science denial, like Expelled! No Intelligence Allowed (evolution denial) and The Greater Good (antivaccine), in which the protagonist travels around “asking questions” about a controversial topic.

First, though, let me quote Walsh’s rant to a school board meeting about its policy to allow trans teens to use bathrooms that align with their gender identities:

You are all child abusers. You prey upon impressionable children and indoctrinate them into your insane ideological cult, a cult which holds many fanatical views but none so deranged as the idea that boys are girls and girls are boys. By imposing this vile nonsense on students to the point even of forcing young girls to share locker rooms with boys, you deprive these kids of safety, of privacy, and of something more fundamental, too, which is truth. If education is not grounded in truth, then it is worthless, worse, it is poison. You are poison. You are predators. I can see why you try to stop us from speaking, you know that your ideas are indefensible, you silence the opposing side because you have no argument. You can only hide under your beds like pathetic little gutless cowards, hoping that we will shut up and go away. But we won’t. I promise you that.

The claim that trans people are pedophiles (“groomers”) and that there is a “social contagion” that is leading trans adolescents to come out as trans because it’s “cool” and “hip” is one of the core conspiracy theories behind the anti-trans movement to explain the increase in transgender diagnoses. Indeed, it’s the very same one that Bill Maher did his transphobic “New Rules” comedy segment about.

Rogers is smart enough to recognize the bigotry in transphobic rants like the one above, even as he agrees with much, but not all, of the movie’s message:

Meanwhile the political right makes a mess of this debate too. Matt Walsh’s documentary, What is a Woman (on Dailywire) is brilliant. He exposes the fact that the left is so addled by ideology that they are completely unable to define the word “woman”. But in the end he mucks things up by announcing his strong support for biological determinism. For Walsh, biology is destiny and having a vagina means that women want to have babies, wear dresses, and make sandwiches for men (for real). He thinks this declaration is clever whereas it’s actually just the same tired, self-serving, knuckle-dragging neanderthal nonsense that lost badly in the 100-year gender wars of the last century. In his rush to reaffirm the patriarchy, Walsh completely missed the real story here — the role of one industry, Pharma, in erasing women altogether.

See what I mean? Rogers loves part of the transphobic message of What Is A Woman? but hates the “knuckle-dragging neanderthal nonsense” and takes Walsh to task for not recognizing the true nature of the conspiracy to turn all our teens trans, namely who is behind it—of course, the pharmaceutical industry. I can’t help but note, though, that Walsh does indeed invoke the pharmaceutical industry in his film as one force behind the rise in transgender diagnoses among adolescents. Indeed, in one interview, Scott Newgent claims that every child “that they convince is transgender generates $1.3 million to pharma,” the idea being that encouraging teens to transition medically is insanely profitable to big pharma. Still, Rogers approves of the “gender critical” (GC) message that “big trans” is “erasing women.” He just thinks that it’s big pharma that’s behind it.

So what does Rogers do? He tries to relieve his cognitive dissonance by proposing a “third way”:

I am proposing a third position, that is neither left nor right but sane and offers us a way forward as a society. To reiterate, gender and sex are two different things. Gender is socially constructed, performative, theater. Sex is biological, given, and refers to chromosomes, hormones, and anatomical features (and yes, somewhere between 0.02% to 1.7% of people are intersex). This is what we spent the last century figuring out and it is backed by mountains of evidence from the social sciences and physical sciences (before they went bonkers at the behest of Pharma).

The real issue here is that the pharmaceutical industry is trying to take over the world. They seek to destroy any independent source of power including families, religion, personal sovereignty, women, men, children, democracy, independent media, science, critical thinking, logic, reason, and love itself. Pharma loves everything about the trans movement that they appear to have created and run.

“Neither left nor right”? That part about “big trans” (excuse me, big pharma) seeking to “destroy any independent source of power including families, religion, personal sovereignty, women, men, children, democracy, independent media, science, critical thinking, logic, reason, and love itself” sure sounds pretty right wing to me, particularly the parts about families, religion, and personal sovereignty. As I’ve pointed out before, one reason that fascism—and the far right in general—really hates the concept of transgender people (and, to be sure, of the broader LGBTQ+ community) is because they view LGBTQ+ people as a threat to the patriarchy. Indeed, fascism hates anything it perceives as the “feminization” of men or, to a lesser extent, the “masculinization” of women, which is why fascists are so virulently bigoted against LGBTQ+ people in general and trans people in particular.

But why? Why does Rogers think that big pharma is behind the conspiracy to encourage teens to come out as trans (whether they are really trans or not)? Why does Rogers think that big pharma “loves everything about the trans movement” and that it even created it and continues to run it? The next passage gives away the game, as he describes big pharma thusly:

It enables them to cover up vaccine (or other toxic) injury, transition surgery is a big money maker for doctors, and trans people are dependent on Pharma for life for hormone and other treatments. Pharma uses the trans community to make money and normalizes sexual dysphoria to cover up the evidence of Pharma’s crimes.

And there you have it. Toby Rogers thinks that vaccines make kids transgender. Before I move on to discuss this more, though, let me just point out: On what planet is he living? Transition surgery a “big money maker for doctors”? What is he smoking? Does he know how few surgeons do transitioning surgery? Does he know how small the number of people who undergo transitioning surgery is? It’s well under 10,000 surgeries a year. Now let’s compare to a more common operation: Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). Guess what! here are several hundred thousand performed every year because an estimated 20 million Americans have gallstones. Obviously, gallstones are a plot by Big Pharma to sell antibiotics when patients get cholecystitis and by Big Surgery to make lots of money doing cholecystectomies after the antibiotics! A similar number of appendectomies are performed every year; so clearly appendicitis is a plot by Big Pharma to sell antibiotics and Big Surgery to do more surgery!

The point is simple. Given that even the highest estimates for the prevalence of transgenderism in the population are less than 2%, you can see where I’m going here. The demand for medical services for trans people just isn’t that huge compared to the common medical and surgical problems that Big Pharma, doctors, and hospitals actually do treat in huge numbers. That’s part of the reason why gender-affirming care is so hard for trans teens to access. Worse, a disturbing number of states, driven by messaging full of transphobia that equates being transgender with being an abomination against nature, are seeking to outright criminalize gender-affirming care, which is the standard of care for trans people, be they children, adolescents, or adults. Indeed, thanks to messages from people like Bill Maher, who gleefully portrayed gender-affirming care as “cutting dicks off” and pumping kids full of puberty blockers and hormones, transphobia is driving a lot of these bills. (What is it with transphobes’ obsession with children’s genitals, anyway? It gets really creepy at times.)

I’ve heard the claim by antivaxxers that vaccines make kids trans before. I look at it as just a variation on antivax lies claiming that vaccines make kids gay. These antivax tropes have been around for a long time, promoted by people like Rabbi Daniel Asor and Italian scientist Gian Paolo Vanoli. Unsurprisingly, both also believe in a lot of other antivax nonsense.

First, Rabbi Asor:

Asor, who has tens of thousands of followers on social media, is no stranger to controversy. In his latest online sermons, he argued that “any vaccine made using an embryonic substrate, and we have evidence of this, causes opposite tendencies. Vaccines are taken from an embryonic substrate, and they did that here, too, so … it can cause opposite tendencies.”

In addition to purporting a false link between vaccines and homosexuality, Assur also advocates various conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, claiming, among other things, that both the virus and the vaccines are the work of a “global malicious government,” comprising the Freemasons, the Illuminati, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and others, who are “trying to establish a new world order.”

He further argues that the virus was released to “cull global population” and that the vaccines seek to further this agenda.

Next, Vanoli, one of whose interviews was translated for The Huffington Post in 2013:

Via a Huffington Post translation of the Vice interview:
The vaccine is introduced into the child, the child then grows and tries to find its own personality, and if this is inhibited by mercury or other substances present in the vaccine which enter the brain, the child becomes gay. The problem will especially be present in the next generations, because when gays have children, the children will carry along with them the DNA of their parent’s illness. Because homosexuality is a disease, even though the WHO has decided that it is not. Who cares! The reality is that it is so. Each vaccination produces homosexuality, because it prevents the formation of one’s personality. It is a microform of autism, if you will. You will see how many gays there will be in the next generation, it will be a disaster.
Despite these views, Vanoli insists he supports same-sex marriage and gay adoption. He doesn’t “blame” gay people for their “illness,” just as he wouldn’t blame someone who “suffers from cancer or a heart attack,” he told GayStarNews.

He doesn’t “blame” gay people? How nice. Also, note the claim that vaccines permanently alter children’s DNA to make them gay in a heritable fashion so that the “gayness” can be passed on to the next generation.

To him, it’s also an abomination against nature. He doesn’t use that term, but how else can one interpret something like this:

“But we have to say that it’s an illness, something that does not respect the order of life,” he told the outlet. “One of the main causes is represented by vaccines, which go against life, disturbing our mind and our spirit. The proof of that is the big increase in the number of homosexuals. Since mass vaccination began, this is the result.”

To antivaxxers, vaccines are something that go against the “order of life” (the “order of life,” by the way, is very much an appeal to nature of the sort often favored by fascists), and, of course, they cause the gay and trans, which also, according to them, go against the “order of life.” Worse, they so permanently infect people that they permanently alter their very essence (their DNA) to be against nature.

How is Toby Rogers’ message any different than this sort of typical transphobia? At its core, it’s not, his concession that gender and sex are actually “two different things” notwithstanding.

I’ve pointed out many times how antivaxxers can’t understand or accept that the reason autism prevalence has increased so dramatically over the last three decades likely has nothing to do with underlying biology and more to do with increased acceptance, screening, and a broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism, leading them to look for “other” causes (vaccines). The same thing is at play among transphobes, who can’t accept that diagnoses like gender dysphoria (the extreme discomfort and emotional distress due to the feeling that one’s gender does not align with the gender one was assigned at birth) and the number of people identifying as trans could be increasing for the same reasons, leading them to look for “other” causes (social contagion). Heck, Bill Maher even almost admitted this, noting how the percentage of people identifying as transgender is higher in states with more accepting cultures and legal climates, but still managed to posit conspiracies of “social contagion.” Meanwhile, in the age of COVID-19, the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 vaccines are turning kids trans and gay is spreading on Telegram and other social media like the proverbial wildfire.

Leave it to Toby Rogers to put antivax and anti-trans together. It’s not original, but it is, as I have learned, a fairly common antivax trope that’s becoming more widespread, falsely claiming that gender dysphoria is actually “vaccine injury” and that it’s related to the ability of vaccines to cause autism:

The answer, unfortunately, is here:

Transgender and gender diverse people up to six times more likely to be autistic – new study

There are now at least 23 empirical studies that show that people with sexual dysphoria are significantly more likely to be autistic (and vice versa). See literature review here — footnotes 12 through 34.

If autism is the result of injury from toxicants including vaccines (it is), and autistic people are more likely to be trans (they are), then it is also likely that sexual dysphoria is vaccine injury.

If trans is vaccine injury that would explain why the trans population is growing so rapidly. Like autism, there are few trans people in the oldest age groups but in the younger populations, 3% to 5% identify as trans or nonbinary. If trans is vaccine injury, the upper bound of the future size of the trans population is a limit approaching 100%.

(As a side note, one of the common characteristics of autism is mixing up pronouns — and alternative pronouns have become one of the hallmarks of the trans movement.)

That last bit is particularly nasty, with Rogers likening a tendency of autistic people to mix up pronouns, with the reasonable asserted desire by trans people to be addressed using pronouns that conform to their gender identity. While Rogers is not incorrect that there does appear to be a correlation between autism and gender dysphoria, he’s linking the observed co-occurrence of the two in a way that is not supported by science, not just because vaccines do not cause autism and there is no evidence that vaccines cause gender dysphoria. Like many antivaxxers, he also falsely suggests that pesticides can be causing this “epidemic” of transgender people, and then cites Theresa Deisher:

Increasing trans prevalence could also be the result of the pesticide atrazine (that turns male tadpoles into females). Or it could be that vaccines are contaminated with pesticide residues (including atrazine). Theresa Deisher argues that using cells lines from aborted male and female fetuses to grow the antigens used in some vaccines could be wrecking havoc on sexual expression as well. The mechanism of action will be sorted out over time (or not, if Pharma blocks any research into the matter).

I must admit that I hadn’t heard that one before about vaccines causing The Trans because of the male and female DNA in the “aborted fetal cells” can mess with the female and male DNA, respectively, of children who receive the vaccines. Again, there’s no evidence that this is true.

It’s also not entirely clear that there truly is a correlation between gender dysphoria and autism:

Although documented, we still understand little about the co-occurrence of gender dysphoria and autism. Attempts to pinpoint causality between these two things are poorly substantiated. Experts also don’t understand how best to treat these two conditions when they present at the same time.

It’s possible that the frequency of gender dysphoria among children with autism is equal to that of children without autism. However, children without autism will more often suppress the desire to act in a gender-nonconforming way because of society’s gender expectations; whereas, children with autism are sometimes less likely to recognize these expectations or might not care.

In any event, Rogers wishes it “weren’t true,” which is superfluous because “it” is not true:

If trans is vaccine injury that would explain Pharma’s interest in normalizing all things trans and why Pharma would be willing to spend billions of dollars on it (independent of the trans community itself). 

Look, I wish it wasn’t true. The vaccine debate is already complicated enough without bringing in the gender wars too.

No, bringing in the “gender wars” is just another indication how the antivax movement has merged with the more general far right wing grievance movement. Indeed, let’s look at Rabbi Asor:

In addition to purporting a false link between vaccines and homosexuality, Assur also advocates various conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, claiming, among other things, that both the virus and the vaccines are the work of a “global malicious government,” comprising the Freemasons, the Illuminati, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and others, who are “trying to establish a new world order.”

He further argues that the virus was released to “cull global population” and that the vaccines seek to further this agenda.

Now let’s look at Toby Rogers:

Pharma’s astroturf support for all things trans also supports the wider goals of the globalists at the WEF. Klaus Schwab said the quiet part out loud at a recent conference when he said that power in the future will come from the combination of the material, biological, physical, and digital worlds.

The future that Gates, Schwab, Bourla and the predatory globalists want is The Matrix where everyone is chronically ill, plugged into the system, and enslaved by the Pharma billionaires. The Pharma totalitarian worldview is mechanistic and deterministic and so human bodies, organs, and cells are just seen as gears to be arranged in the global machine that they designed to serve them. Through a combination of toxic injections, political capture, and the most sophisticated messaging operation in the history of the world, they are well on their way to accomplishing their goals. 

“Globalists”? I wonder if Rogers knows that among the far right, “globalists” is a code word for “Jews” and that when it’s used in a context like this it’s code for “Jews secretly running the world.” (Yes, it’s antisemitic as hell, as the concept of Jews/”globalists” was embedded in the Nazi ideology.) I wonder if he knows that his conspiracy theory sounds just like the conspiracy theories that have proliferated on the right over the last decade or so, in which Big Pharma is lumped in with the “globalists,” Bill Gates, the “Great Reset,” and all the other plotters that inevitably populate right wing conspiracy theories.

In other words, Toby Rogers’ blatant transphobia is right at home among antivaxxers and fascists, and his conspiracy theories combining vaccines, big pharma, trans, and autism are right in line with what one finds in the deepest, darkest fevered depths of antivax messaging.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

55 replies on “Antivax and transphobia: Two crappy tastes that taste crappy together”

Maybe one time he was progressive. But he has long gone off that. Now he’s anti-vaccine, and willing to do and join anything to advance that.

My impression is that the moment he realized he can bring in vaccine, Dr. Rogers was no longer interested in actually understanding, and certainly not interested in the rights of trans people.

A bit of a sidebar: I always have transgender students in class. They have taught me much about the struggles they face, and they really constantly need to educate – including people who they shouldn’t have to, and I will say openly I did not know enough about this when I started teaching in 2007, and I’m still very much learning. My first torts book used a very painful case about the Brandon Tina story to teach intentional infliction of emotional distress, and it led to a lot of discussion that, again, taught me much. It’s a Nebraska Supreme Court 1994 case that handled the issue by treating the transgender man as a female rape victim. Which let them actually acknowledge the claim. It led to very, very charged discussions in class.

A bit of a sidebar two: if anyone is looking for something meaningful, low-effort and helpful to do to help trans people, here is an option: https://twitter.com/ErinInTheMorn/status/1552656500627189760

This thread can offer you some meaningful guidance for comments on the substance of the rule: https://twitter.com/Shrewsie_shrew/status/1552715361589633024?s=20&t=aoPIXpH-Exkv7FeKkxOzVw

It addresses sports but says they’ll open a separate rule making.

I didn’t make the connection in the previous post that Toby is uTobian! I heard a lot about his work from anti-vaxxers.

re Bill Maher:
I cover his most recent dreck elsewhere

Are the new antivaxxers aware that the old antivaccine activists used Lipton against children with autism, outside its sphere?

Are the new antivaxxers aware that the old antivaccine activists used Lipton against children with autism, outside its sphere?

“Quantum biologist” Bruce Lipton?

For a second I wondered why autistic people were so vulnerable to tea rather than Lupron.

I firmly believe that auto-correct is a subversive plot by big tech, designed to reduce literacy. Haven’t worked out the final reasoning yet but when has that ever got in the way of a good CT?

Just when I thought I read everything, someone seems to come with something new (at least for me) as a cause for people being transgender. The idea that genderdysphoria is somehow a kind of fashion thing seems not only prevalent in conservative circles, but also among more progressive people. Yesterday I read an interview with a Dutch professor in psychology, who considered the rise of girls thinking they have gender issues as some kind of fashion-thing, like being goth in the past. And I don’t think that woman could be considered as very conservative. And in a way that is my problem and it makes me understand a Dutch transgender politician who stated she was more afraid of those people and trans exclusive feminists than of right-wing extremists or conservative Christians, because you don’t know who else is having issues with transgenders. They may be resonable people, who are in favor of gay righs, women’s rights and all kind of other progressive things, but suddenly seem to have problems with transpeople. And I don’t buy the: “I can accept you, but it is all about the others identifying
as transwomen.” I’m sorry, but those others may be people I have known, or know.

I suppose this post will attract a lot of replies of people who seem to have all kind of problems with transpeople, just like the simular themed posts on Science Based Medicine. I’m ready for them and keep my dictionary at hand.

Sticking a male mind in a female body or a female mind in a male body is precisely the sort of douche move that Nature would pull.

So next time TERFs pull their nonsense, ask them to clarify that what they mean is that a woman is her body, not her mind, and remind them their builder’s crack is hanging out.

I don’t suppose “the builder’s crack” is original, but I hadn’t heard it before and it made me laugh.

It was a common enough expression when I was a wee lad.*

Amusingly enough, autocorrect turned that last word into lady. I guess that proves autocorrect is also in on this nefarious vaccine conspiracy.

On the “$1.3m pharma sales per child” claim, which I’ve seen a few times lately and seems to have become an established transphobe talking point:

Being both numerate and a woman of trans experience, I whipped out a calculator. Assuming HRT use for 70 years, that’s $1548 a month.

That would cover my hormones, plus a weekend away in a good hotel every month. The trans folks Rogers and Walsh know REALLY need to find themselves better pharmacists.

They were specifically talking about pharma sales, so that’s unlikely. But even if they’re including other costs, that’s unfeasibly expensive surgery.

Yes it, pretty much for surgery. But it depends perhaps also on the amount of surgery. Some people want to be operated at their faces and a friend of mine had an operation on her vocal chords.
Still I don’t really buy the pharma-profit thing.

And I suppose the medicines used for transpeople are mostly originally ment for others, like women in menopause.

Should one give girls different vaccines than boys? Girls vaccines with female DNA and boys with male DNA?

But it would be different DNA to the recipient still. Surely this means that all girls would turn into the original girl and all boys into the original boy?

Frankly, the machinations of the secret world government are too convoluted for me to follow.

From a couple of recent conversations I’ve had, it seems young people are much more accepting than their parents. Therefore there is less stigma in the peer group than there used to be. Might be another reason why it feels like there has been an explosion in awareness in the greater public?

That might be it. I don’t buy the fashion argument, like being trans is somehow to be compared with kids being gothic in the past.

I guess it had to happen that someone would come up with something along the lines of “trans is a symptom of autism and autism is caused by vaccines, therefore trans is caused by vaccines.” Except here it sounded more like a common-cause suggestion.

A while back, I came to the conclusion that all these anxieties – GMOs and conventional agriculture generally, gluten, artificial food ingredient if the month, vaccines and their supposed connection to whatever, medical care for childbirth, baby formula – are proxies for fear of loss of socioeconomic and ability privilege in the next generation. Now it seems to be extending to loss of cisgender privilege.

@space_upstairs: Yes. But, you can simplify further still:

“All these anxieties are proxies for fear of loss of control.”

Everyone feels this, of course. Understanding the reasons why you personally fear it is the first step towards accepting your motives as decent or morally wrong:

“I fear for my own future and for the futures of those whom I love.”

“I fear for losing my control over others.”

Understand: both motives are valid. But which of these is yours tells if you’re human or not.

For those in the first group, as I’m guessing you are, what’s critical to understand is that those in the second have also made their choice for themselves. They choose Gain of Power. Some out of fear and myopia to others’ needs and wants, but many because that absolute Power is exactly what they want for themselves. This is where all these movement antivaxers and other authoritarians and nascent/full fascists are coming from, now uniting in common cause.

Respect their intelligence and autonomy as much as your own. And understand too: they are both determined and close to seizing it now. So don’t let your own wealth of empathy blind you to the intentions and motives of those who have none. The burden of proof lies on them, to show us they can be humans of conscience and consideration too. It is not for us to to prove they cannot: the Null Hypothesis predicates that by default—and it is right far more often than wrong.

(If we have one job to do, it is to keep a check on ourselves, so that we do not slip down to their level by accident. Only if absolutely forced, with no choices left; and should it get to that then we have all already lost.)

“All these anxieties are proxies for fear of loss of control.”

Everyone feels this, of course. Understanding the reasons why you personally fear it is the first step towards accepting your motives as decent or morally wrong:

“I fear for my own future and for the futures of those whom I love.”

“I fear for losing my control over others.”

They look suspiciously like ‘Forer Statements ‘.

@Peebs: “They look suspiciously like ‘Forer Statements ‘.”

The first, sure.

The second? Fits every authoritarian, narcissist, and other abuser like a full-body glove, as they tell themselves how gorgeous they look wearing the first. Like Buffalo Bill.

This is how most active abusers, and their enablers (passive abusers), work, or at least the ones who aren’t complete psychopaths (who just don’t give a damn if everyone knows): by lying to themselves about who they’re really doing it for, and what that who really is. They rationalize away their own awfulness, then wheedle/bully/convince others to join them in that.

These rabid reich-wingers who screech that they’re “saving the children”? Please; they’re among the first who’ll treat children the worst. “To toughen them up.” The same folks for whom the sound of children screaming has been carefully removed.

My frustration’s not at the acts of abuse (abusers gonna: it’s inevitable), nor the fact that these abusers will never declare they are monsters (cos of course they never will!). It’s at all these other people who join in declaring that these aren’t the monsters, these are Good People; and in so doing make monsters of themselves too. They are the ones who say “What are you scared of?” “It’s only a little water.” “But you enjoy swimming!” The ones who are content to push innocents to the great whites circling below, instead of admitting that not only does evil exist in this world, it exists inside everyone—inside of them too. Denying it doesn’t make it go away; it just frees it to do as it does, unimpeded.

So of course everyone will pick the first. But the folks who pick the first, but then switch to the second following consideration, they are the humans who are being the most honest with themselves. And perhaps from there they can better those selves too.

@has:

I often lurk here and am familiar with your writings on narcissists and sociopaths (real-life vampires) and their enablers (real-life vampire familiars). Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether someone’s a vamp or just a familiar, but I try to understand the latter to see if there’s a way to keep them in the world of the living. By default I tend to assume the “concern troll” types are the familiars and will debate them a bit to reflect on defend my own humanity, while the vamps I’d rather just watch from a distance and/or use as cautionary tales to not let my longings for superiority get too strong. But with either, I have my limits. I back down, don’t buy what they’re selling, and stop selling to them.

I also try to remind myself of how near-impossible control really is when I get anxious about losing it (modern Stoic philosophy), and how miserable those who are overly dedicated to pursuing it tend to be (also from modern Stoic philosophy: pity the criminals at most, don’t rage at them). Most notably the familiars, but dang, the vamps themselves don’t look happy either and tend to undermine their very own goals by getting too arrogant. “The Sociopath Next Door,” which I read many years ago, described the vamps as perpetually bored because they can’t love and connect.

Does that mean vaccines where the viruses are grown in eggs make you a chicken? That theory seems like it’s for the birds.

You might be onto something here, but let me propose something a little different. Maybe people are getting turtle DNA instead of lizard DNA. Turtle sex distribution depends on the temperature of incubation, after all. I think this is a conspiracy worth investigating.

You might be onto something, but let me propose something a little different. Turtle sex distribution in offspring can be controlled by adjusting the temperature of incubation. Maybe people are being injected with turtle DNA instead of lizard DNA, and they’ve spliced out the temperature dependence with CRISPR/Cas9.

@ Renate:

Anti-vaxxers have many theories about vaccines working differently on males vs females because they believe vaccines cause autism and boys have autism at 3-4 times the rate of girls so OBVIOUSLY it must “damage” them more. Also, they support male hormone blockers as – unrealistic- treatments for boys with autism.
I imagine that concepts like gender identity/ transition cause the ( off balanced) wheels to turn even more rapidly in their minds. SB ideas cause them much trouble.

Some AoA/ CHD anti-vax mothers decry the “destruction” of boys/ men in modern society. Must be vaccines, video games or living in a a city. Or women’s rights,/ gay rights/ trans rights advocates being vocal. Nothing physiological and prenatal. TO THEM!

I’ve heard so many causes of gender-dysphoria, I’m almost losing track:
Women wanting a daughter instead of a boy, so they raise their child as a girl instead of a boy.
Men, not wanting to accept they are gay, so they decide they are trans, so they can have a heterosexual relationship. The same goes for women not wanting to accept they were lesbian. This ideas were prevalent in gay and lesbian cicles.
Men not being interested in male things, so they think they should change sex.
Transwomen being some dark plot of men, to bring women back into patriarchy. Populair in radical feminist circles after the book “The transsexual empire”.
Girls being tomboys, or boys being a bit girly, not being accepted this way by their parents, so they should change sex. (Kind of variation of the earlier upbringing thing, but a bit the other way round. First it was boys being raised as girls, now it is the behaviour that is to be accepted.
Then there is the fashion argument comparing being trans with being gothic.
And now we get the vaccines did it arguments. Because vaccines are the cause of everything that is wrong in the world. Autism, vaccines. Being trans, vaccines. Cancer, vaccines. I wonder what else they can think of. Perhaps the war in Ukraine is also caused by vaccines.

@Renate: “Girls being tomboys, or boys being a bit girly”

Sound perfectly good to me. Let’s have more of that (for those who enjoy that sort of thing, of course).

What irritates me is all the thrash that surrounds it: certain people’s determination to cast teh trans as a product of That. (Where “That” is defined as whatever bête noire is closest to hand.) Talking about disingenuous! And yet I think even the anti-trans will concur that there are such things in this world as “female” and “male” brains, and proudly declare which one each of them has.

So exactly from where[1] do they extract this iron-clad rule that only female brains may be born in female bodies, and male minds into male frocks?

Creationist kookbuckets aside, anyone paying the slightest attention to Mother Nature knows she absolutely delights in mixing shit up. I do not think many TERFs[2] know midwifes of yore, who would on occasion pronounce “It’s a…hmm,” or quickly scurry outside, returning momentarily to say “So sorry, a stillbirth,” having discreetly disposed of whatever twisted monster (whether dead or alive) that loving nature has just pushed out.

You know, I worked a few lambing seasons back when still young and once toured a medical museum, so have seen a handful of the developmental demons that Mother Nature spits out. Nothing clarifies Life like pulling out a squidgy not-quite-ossified corpse that has spider legs and more than two eye sockets. (Bare-handed too. Euwww.)

“Male brain in female body” and “female brain in male body” are so far down the list of mutant offspring[3] to worry about, I wonder who’s really got the brains labeled “Abby Normal”? At least trans folks can say “It’s only my other 23rd chromosome that’s being a right douche.” What’s the anti-trans’ excuses for being douches right the way through?

Honestly, I think the only thing we should really be irked at is just how bad we (currently) are at migrating our bodies from one to the other. Our tech today is balls (although obviously an advancement on what was before). It’d be nice if we all had a choice to try both, just to find out which we like most.[4] And perhaps even be less jerks to the other half, knowing now what it is to live both.

Clownfish have all the fun.

[1] This is, of course, a rhetorical question.

[2] And don’t even start me on priests. Now there’s some abortions that should’ve been drowned right at birth.

[3] All offspring are mutants, of course. Welcome to the wonderful wibbly world of genomic replication, where if it weren’t buggy we’d never have evolved past amoebas. (Apparently some still have not.)

[4] Also 300-year lifespans and endlessly recirculating genitalia would be nice. Banks, you cruel bastard, raising and dashing our dreams like that.

[4] Also 300-year lifespans and endlessly recirculating genitalia would be nice. Banks, you cruel bastard, raising and dashing our dreams like that.

Like Orlando, or Father Tiresias?

What’s a male mind? A female mind? It’s not like a woman can’t enjoy cheap beer and a Sunday football game in her lacy boudoir.

@Christine Rose: “What’s a male mind? A female mind? It’s not like a woman can’t enjoy cheap beer and a Sunday football game in her lacy boudoir.”

Well, yes, I was keeping it super simples for the chuds in the back. It is indeed possible for any single mind to mix and match both; and I’m sure if you tell that to your current Supremes that they will legislate it outta y’all ASAP, lest men start enjoying beer and footie in their lacy boudoirs before they know it. (Plus, cats and dogs sleeping together; the whole palaver.)

“raise their child as a girl instead of a boy.”
This happened to my great-grandfather (though it wasn’t his mother, she shipped him off to some aunts back in the old country so she could have fun), and being forced into skirts didn’t make him trans. Gave him an alcohol problem, sure, but didn’t make him trans.

Where do people come up with this stuff?

I don’t really know, but when I read that, it was ‘proved’ by stories about children with undevelopped penisses, or who lost their penis by an accident and were operated to be more like girls and then raised as girls. (According to later stories, these children didn’t really grow up happy go lucky.)

Maverick Doctor Alert:

Australia now has a counterpart to the U.S.-based AAPS (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons) – the AMPS (Australian Medical Professionals Society).

The AMPS is lobbying physicians and lawmakers on familiar themes – dire threats to medical free speech, the inviolability of the patient-physician relationship* and dangers of Covid-19 vaccination. Except that the AMPS doesn’t like to refer to them as vaccines – they are instead characterized as “vaccines” or “injectables”. An AMPS-promoted report highlights a list of anti-Covid-19 vaccination talking points:

https://8630368.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/8630368/AMPS/Altman%20Report%20Final%20Version%2011-8-22%20(1).pdf?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8FXeupKMMQOwA9pxbX57e8vh2I9E9X80ufgsDOpDDhehByw6I27ZF-3WbXxEam7_jYnMse

The group managed to get an anonymous op-ed published in the Spectator titled “The end of medicine?” which (of course!) cites Galileo.

The AMPS emerged at around the same time as what opponents call “fake unions” of other health care personnel.

http://smh.com.au/politics/federal/fake-unions-new-associations-ride-jab-mandate-fears-to-get-members-20210929-p58vri.html

*the sacred trust that allows physicians to misinform their patients must not be breached.

They should have named themselves OHMS – Oz Hostile Medicine Society – since they’re more about resistance than being current. In any case, since there is no VOLTS they lack power.

Oz govt made Dorey’s “AVN” rename itself by way of truth in advertising. Let’s hope they do the same for these toxic clowns. Suggestions on postcards should be welcome. (“Also May Penis Suck” gets my nom.)

What part of social contagion theory is a conspiracy?

From what I can tell there’s no strong evidence for social contagion one way or the other. Some say that social contagion couldn’t change a person’s perceived gender, and others point to an apparent increase in gender dysphoria and a definite increase in Internet discussion.

Or are people claiming Bill Gates is paying people to hang out on Reddit and pretend to be trans?

@Christine Rose: “Or are people claiming Bill Gates is paying people to hang out on Reddit and pretend to be trans?”

No, they’re saying Bill Gates is personally hanging out on Reddit pretending to be trans, like, right now!

I must say I am pleased:
Orac put this post up and I haven’t seen any vicious anti-trans comments ( although it’s always possible that he quietly removed them). When I saw the title, I imagined that transphobic trolls would spew their venom and mis-information but NO! they didn’t! Quite a contrast to Mike Adams today.

I am not pleased:
checking over my airline’s/ airport’s web pages, masks are not required but “feel free to wear one” or words to that effect. I suppose that conditions have improved since I last flew ( July 2020; August 2021) but still, 300 people for 5-6 hours? 2020 was pre vaccine and virtually empty – a 757 flight with nearly 20 passengers IIRC, the other flight had around 30.
Weren’t the alties screaming about “vaccine passports” at airports ? I’ve never been asked for ‘my papers’ .

I’m supprised about that as well, having more or less simular threads on Science Based Medicine turn out in longwinded discussions, which at least in one case have reached more than 2,000 reactions.

This place seems to attract specialized antivax and altie conspiracist trolls. Science Based Medicine with its Disqus comment system seems to get more spillover from the countless political blogs and their Russian trolls and cellphone pundits, so attracts a more general anti-social-justice crowd. Also, SBM is apparently more associated with or known in the general Skeptic movement, for which trans matters are basically “the” major wedge issue with right-leaning and/or British Skeptics apparently thinking the science is not out on gender-affirming care or is even supportive of banning it in minors on a precautionary basis.

Want to respond to Orac? Here's your chance. Leave a reply! Just make sure that you've read the Comment Policy (link located in the main menu in the upper right hand corner of the page) first if you're new here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: