A guide too many

Oct 13th, 2021 10:36 am | By

Much proud of TheySelf.

Oh good, wot’s it say?


Trans liberation is part of feminism.

Ooh bad start. No it isn’t. Feminism is about fem – i.e. women. Trans liberation is a completely different issue, and in practice vehemently hostile to women, especially feminist women.

Fighting for autonomy and freedom must be a fight for everyone, and there should be no room for transphobia or TERFs in feminist organising.

Bad second sentence, in fact lousy rotten second sentence. Fighting for women’s autonomy and freedom is women’s fight, and we’re not required to staple other fights onto ours. Also, autonomy and freedom in this context need to be carefully defined. It’s not a legitimate “freedom” to pretend to be a woman and force your way into women’s spaces and jobs and feminism. Get out. Feminism is ours and trans people don’t get to help themselves to it.

The “guide” doesn’t get any less stupid after that.

How to be fabulous

Oct 13th, 2021 9:58 am | By

I remember when I liked Feminist Philosophers.

How fabulous of them.

The vanguard has defined the boundaries

Oct 13th, 2021 9:29 am | By

Abigail Shrier’s article on the two doctors of transgender medicine who aren’t so sure any more has been getting attention, and in light of the WPATH and USPATH announcement that only doctors should be talking about the subject, the article is helpful. (H/t Sackbut)

For nearly a decade, the vanguard of the transgender-rights movement — doctors, activists, celebrities and transgender influencers  — has defined the boundaries of the new orthodoxy surrounding transgender medical care: What’s true, what’s false, which questions can and cannot be asked. 

They said it was perfectly safe to give children as young as nine puberty blockers and insisted that the effects of those blockers were “fully reversible.” They said that it was the job of medical professionals to help minors to transition. They said it was not their job to question the wisdom of transitioning, and that anyone who did — including parents — was probably transphobic.

And “probably transphobic” generally means also “deserving of swift and ferocious punishment.” This vanguard has done its best to make it impossible to question the wisdom of transitioning, and to treat people who do question it as murderous, sadistic, deliberately cruel, monstrous. This framing that people who question the wisdom of transing are the worst people has not receded or weakened in the slightest.

But that new orthodoxy has gone too far, according to two of the most prominent providers in the field of transgender medicine: Dr. Marci Bowers, a world-renowned vaginoplasty specialist who operated on reality-television star Jazz Jennings; and Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the University of California San Francisco’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic. 

In the course of their careers, both have seen thousands of patients. Both are board members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the organization that sets the standards worldwide for transgender medical care. And both are transgender women.

Anderson wanted to write about it in the NY Times, but the Times told her it wasn’t interested. Cool cool, it’s just a matter of the futures of thousands of adolescents, so who cares.

On some issues, including their stance on puberty blockers, they raised concerns that appear to question the current health guidelines set by WPATH — which Bowers is slated to lead starting in 2022. 

WPATH, for instance, recommends that for many gender dysphoric and gender non-conforming kids, hormonal puberty suppression begin at the early stages of puberty. WPATH has also insisted since 2012 that puberty blockers are “fully reversible interventions.” 

Anderson and Bowers both have some doubts about that now.

For decades, psychologists treated [gender dysphoria] with “watchful waiting” — that is, a method of psychotherapy that seeks to understand the source of a child’s gender dysphoria, lessen its intensity, and ultimately help a child grow more comfortable in her own body. 

Since nearly seven in 10 children initially diagnosed with gender dysphoria eventually outgrew it — many go on to be lesbian or gay adults — the conventional wisdom held that, with a little patience, most kids would come to accept their bodies. The underlying assumption was children didn’t always know best.

But in the last decade, watchful waiting has been supplanted by “affirmative care,” which assumes children do know what’s best. Affirmative care proponents urge doctors to corroborate their patients’ belief that they are trapped in the wrong body. The family is pressured to help the child transition to a new gender identity — sometimes having been told by doctors or activists that, if they don’t, their child may eventually commit suicide.

No pressure though.


Oct 13th, 2021 5:56 am | By

How very convenient.

The Vatican has sovereign immunity that protects it from being sued in local courts over sexual abuse cases, the European Court of Human Rights said in a chamber ruling on Tuesday.

Why? Why does the Vatican have sovereign immunity?

It dismissed a case brought by 24 French, Belgian and Dutch nationals, who said they were sexually abused by Catholic priests when they were children.

The class-action suit sought €10,000 compensation for each victim but the Ghent Court of First Instance said in 2013 that it did not have jurisdiction over the Holy See. The applicants had argued that they had been deprived of access to a court.

The European court agreed with the Belgian court that the Holy see enjoyed “diplomatic immunity” and “state privileges under international law”.

Sure, a small neighborhood of Rome has “diplomatic immunity” and “state privileges” because Mister God said so, it’s written down right here. Because of this immunity it gets to rape kids whenever it feels like it.

It’s not the final word though.

The European court’s judgement is not final, a press statement explained. Any party to the case can request that it be referred to the Grand Chamber of the Court within three months.

Do that.

Be quiet and defer to the experts

Oct 13th, 2021 5:35 am | By

This is a medical issue, a scientific issue, all these outsider non-medical people shouldn’t be talking about it because they don’t have the expertise. WPATH says so.

The United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) stand behind the appropriate care of transgender and gender diverse youth, which includes, when indicated, the use of “puberty blockers” such as gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs and other medications to delay puberty, and, when indicated, the use of gender- affirming hormones such as estrogen or testosterone. Guidelines for the assessment of transgender and gender diverse youth, as well as for the use of pubertal delay and gender affirming hormone medications have been published by reputable professional bodies, including the Endocrine Society, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and the American Psychiatric Association.

USPATH and WPATH support scientific discussions on the use of pubertal delay and hormone therapy for transgender and gender diverse youth. We believe that such discussions should occur among experts and stakeholders in this area, based on scientific evidence, and in fora such as peer-reviewed journals or scientific conferences, and among colleagues and experts in the assessment and care of transgender and gender diverse youth. USPATH and WPATH oppose the use of the lay press, either impartial or of any political slant or viewpoint, as a forum for the scientific debate of these issues, or the politicization of these issues in any way

But wait. Yes we need medical expertise on medical issues – Anthony Fauci rather than Tucker Carlson, for instance. But there’s a step prior to that – a step where people decide what should be done about a psychological state currently called gender dysphoria. That step is not solely about medical expertise. Medical expertise can tell us what “pubertal delay” and “hormone therapy” will do, but it’s a much broader discussion that figures out whether anything should be done about gender dysphoria and whether or not the anything done should be medical as opposed to therapeutic or cognitive or social or an array of other approaches.

It’s not a purely medical judgement to say that puberty blockers will fix or alleviate the symptoms of gender dysphoria, because the category is broad and expansive and subjective.

In short the two groups with a vested interest in “treatment” of trans people have…a vested interest. They have a bias toward medical intervention, and there are other people and groups that have serious questions about whether medical intervention is always necessary, is ever necessary, does more good than harm, and so on. Those questions are not purely medical and cannot be closed to “the lay press” or the lay anyone else.

Members participating

Oct 13th, 2021 3:41 am | By

What’s awesome about that?

Foundation Beyond Belief on Facebook:

Volunteer network team Atheists United just shared these awesome pics with us of their members participating in the October Women’s March for Reproductive Rights!

Awesome? Men demanding “inclusion” in women’s marches for reproductive rights, yet again?

Really not seeing the awesome.

H/t Sackbut

What was that again?

Oct 12th, 2021 4:17 pm | By

Kathleen has closed her Twitter, I hope temporarily, and the Sussex UCU has deleted its statement, but Kiri Tunks hasn’t.

Let’s look at that first sentence in the third paragraph again.

Public discourses regularly devalue the lives of trans and nonbinary people and appeals to both employment rights and academic freedom are often instrumentalised in this context

That’s a very remarkable thing for a union to say. It has that whiff of “white women’s tears” contempt that we’ve become so accustomed to lately. Employment rights and academic freedom are supposed to be “instrumentalised” i.e. used to protect the academic worker; that’s what they’re for. It’s so revealing that these pathetic quislings frame that as illegitimate and Karenish.

Mustelids in journalism

Oct 12th, 2021 3:41 pm | By

The Guardian has a weaselly piece on the Sussex snafu.

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy professor targeted by activists for her views on gender identification, has said she fears her career at Sussex University has been “effectively ended” by a union’s call for an investigation into transphobia.

No, she hasn’t, that’s not what she said. If you can’t even get the lede right, take a sick day so that someone else can do it. The “she fears” part is sheer invention.

Sussex’s chapter of the University and College Union (UCU) has urged the university’s management to “take a clear and strong stance against transphobia at Sussex”, and undertake an investigation into “institutional transphobia”.

Yes but it said a lot more than that, and that particular summary makes the Sussex UCU statement sound much more reasonable and even-handed than it is.

However, the university said it would not agree to the union’s call for an investigation.

A University of Sussex spokesperson said: “We have acted – and will continue to act – firmly and promptly to tackle bullying and harassment, to defend the fundamental principle of academic freedom, to support our community and continue to progress our work on equality, diversity and inclusion. We care deeply about getting this balance right.”

The bullying and harassment were done to Stock, not by her. The Guardian probably knows this, but didn’t spell it out in the article. This is why I call it weaselly.

After last week’s protest, Adam Tickell, Sussex’s vice-chancellor, gave public support to Stock, saying: “We cannot and will not tolerate threats to cherished academic freedoms and will take any action necessary to protect the rights of our community.”

But the Sussex UCU statement, signed by the branch’s executive, said the university’s leaders had failed to “uphold the institution’s stated values by ensuring that the dignity and respect of trans and non-binary staff and students, and their allies, are enshrined at the core of the university’s culture”.

The Guardian doesn’t pause to ask why the dignity and respect of trans and non-binary staff and students and their allies should be enshrined at the core of the university’s culture. It doesn’t pause to ask why trans people should be treated as the most urgent social and political issue of the time, and the most deserving of exaggerated respect and coddling and worship.

It added: “We do not endorse the call for any worker to be summarily sacked and we oppose all forms of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of staff and students.”

Says the Guardian, as if that were a generous concession. The Guardian can’t be so stupid that it doesn’t spot the obvious trap. It would spot it in a heartbeat if it were Boris Johnson saying it about someone else. The UCU doesn’t endorse summary firing but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t endorse non-summary firing. That one word “summarily” is their escape clause. The Guardian has to know that perfectly well. Fucking weasels.

Union policy

Oct 12th, 2021 10:49 am | By

The University and College Union has issued a statement endorsing the Sussex UCU statement, which UCU General Secretary Jo Grady has (of course) retweeted. (I think it’s safe to assume she approved it or wrote it in the first place.) It too is a disgusting, backstabbing, crawling, scab-embracing statement.

The statement (the Sussex one) is of course emphatically NOT “clear that UCU is not calling for any staff to be dismissed from their post.” On the contrary it’s clear that they are, in a passive-aggressive semi-deniable way. The word “summarily” is doing all the heavy lifting here – Sussex UCU frowns on staff being summarily fired. Slowly fired is quite all right, like for instance once it becomes clear that the union washes its hands of the member of staff.

All this for the sake of men who claim to be women.

Guest post: The one irreversible, life altering decision

Oct 12th, 2021 10:25 am | By

Originally a comment by Djolaman on All on the rainbow.

It’s remarkable, isn’t it? If you’re under 16 then there are hardly any consequential decisions which you can make you yourself in the uk. You can’t sign a contract of any kind, get a loan, own property, leave school, consent to sexual activity, work more than 12 hours a week, get a tattoo, get a piercing, drink alcohol, get married, be tried as an adult in a criminal case, be sent to an adult prison, live alone, drive any kind of vehicle except a pushbike, receive any inheritance that isn’t managed by a trustee, view or appear in sexually explicit material, open a bank account, act as legal guardian for a child or undergo elective cosmetic surgery.

Some of these things, (bank accounts, piercings,) you can do with parental consent, others (driving, inheritance, pornography) have higher age limits of 17 or 18, which parental consent can’t overrule. The common thread linking all of them is that they’re decisions which can go badly wrong. Taking out a loan you can’t repay is a huge problem, and it’s rightly felt that children need to be protected from the consequences of making those kinds of decisions.

Yet looking at that list there are only one or two items where the potential downside is as stark and unavoidable as the decision to remove or mutilate your genitals or breasts, making yourself infertile and developing a lifelong dependence on continuous medical interventions. But as we all know that is the one enormously significant, irreversible, life altering decision that there is a strong push to have handed over to children, ideally without parental oversight or indeed knowledge. This is at an age where the most important long term decision most people have made is whether to continue with history or geography for GCSE. Utterly incredible.

A union run by scabs

Oct 12th, 2021 3:11 am | By

Breaking news. Bad breaking news. Disgusting breaking news.

Non-men sex ed

Oct 12th, 2021 2:51 am | By

Sex advice for lesbians! From an expert!

Defining “lesbian sex” is no easy feat. Most commonly, the phrase is used as a porn search term to help people find content featuring two (or more) cisgender women.

But this is not an accurate conceptualization of lesbian sex. Why? Well, for starters, it suggests that only cis-gendered women get to participate in lesbian sex, which is untrue. Lesbian is not defined as cisgender women interested in cisgender women, but as non-man who loves, dates, and fuck other non-man.

Really??? I did not know that. I love learning new things. All this time I thought lesbian was defined as women attracted to women. I feel so stupid for not realizing it means non-men rather than women.

So any non-binary person, transwoman, agender, and a gender-expansive person who claims the label “lesbian” can have lesbian sex—not just cisgender women.

So there, cisgender bitch Karens, you evil greedy bitches trying to hog lesbian-being just for your bitch selves. Men can be lesbians!!!

Second, it implies that everyone engaging in certain sex acts or with certain bodies or gender(s) is a lesbian, which is inaccurate. Because again: The only thing that makes someone a lesbian is that they self-identify as lesbian.

Literally the only thing. 6’5″ Joe who weighs 300 pounds and cuts down trees for a living is a lesbian if he says he is.

Someone who is bisexual, omnisexual, heterosexual, asexual, or of any other sexuality, could enjoy, in theory, sex acts labeled “lesbian sex acts.”

If an asexual person enjoys sex acts, how is that person asexual? I want to believe, but some of this is a little confusing.

For the purposes of this article, we are defining “lesbian sex” as sex between two (or more) non-men of any sexual orientation exploring their bodies together for the sake of pleasure.

Why non-men as opposed to women?

I wonder if the author, Gabrielle Kassel, has any sex advice for non-women.

Inquisitor Owen

Oct 11th, 2021 6:05 pm | By

Owen Jones quote-tweeted a woman who is worried about her 16 year old daughter, whose friends are encouraging her to think she’s trans.

I’m not sharing his tweet but here’s what he said:

Some of those anti-trans activists you see online inevitably end up having trans children.

And when they fail to affirm their children for who they are, they risk causing them massive lifelong damage in the form of mental distress and all of its often terrible consequences.

Not a decent thing to do to a woman worried about her kid. The comments underline why.


Pick up the doll

Oct 11th, 2021 11:49 am | By

Let’s talk about toys.

Lego has announced it will work to remove gender stereotypes from its toys after a global survey the company commissioned found attitudes to play and future careers remain unequal and restrictive.

Researchers found that while girls were becoming more confident and keen to engage in a wide range of activities, the same was not true of boys.

Yes we know how that works. Girls don’t get called “wimps” for playing with boys’ toys. To put it another way, girls playing with toys coded “boy” are leveling up, while boys going the other direction are of course leveling down.

Seventy-one per cent of boys surveyed feared they would be made fun of if they played with what they described as “girls’ toys” – a fear shared by their parents.

Sissy. Sissy sissy sissy; nobody wants that.

“There’s asymmetry,” said Prof Gina Rippon, a neurobiologist and author of The Gendered Brain. “We encourage girls to play with ‘boys’ stuff’ but not the other way around.”

This was a problem since toys offered “training opportunities”, she said. “So if girls aren’t playing with Lego or other construction toys, they aren’t developing the spatial skills that will help them in later life. If dolls are being pushed on girls but not boys, then boys are missing out on nurturing skills.”

I don’t think I’d really thought of that before. It’s sad. It’s tragic. You want people to have nurturing skills – all people. If boys grow up avoiding such skills and thinking they’re contemptible and for sissies…well, that’s terrible.

The Let Toys Be Toys campaign was launched in 2012 in the UK to put pressure on children’s brands to expand their marketing and include both genders, so that no boy or girl thinks they are playing with “the wrong toy”. But progress is slow. A 2020 report by the Fawcett Society showed how “lazy stereotyping” and the segregation of toys by gender was fuelling a mental health crisis among young people and limiting perceived career choices.

And what else might it be fuelling? Eh? Eh? Can we think of any other form of preoccupation with gender rules that’s been making the news lately? Any at all?


Oct 11th, 2021 11:27 am | By

Wait who needs to get a smear test again?

SNP ministers have been accused of sowing confusion after urging “anyone with a cervix” to get a smear test rather than saying “women”.

People all over Scotland are rummaging through their attics and pantries trying to find that pesky cervix.

A Scottish Government information campaign launched today also says “people” are being urged to attend a test, and that “two people” die from cervical cancer every day.

It adds: “Cervical screening is offered to anyone with a cervix aged between 25 and 64.” 

This isn’t flaky attention-seekers on TikTok, it’s a government.

The row over the choice of language comes after some politicians have been accused of transphobia for saying only women have a cervix.

Accused by whom, where? It’s mostly angry teenagers on social media, right? I don’t think even Jolyon Maugham troubles himself to tell governments not to tell women to get screened for cervical cancer.

Canterbury Labour MP Rosie Duffield last month stayed away from her party’s conference as she felt unsafe after receiving abuse for making the statement on Twitter.

Her stance brought her into conflict with trans rights supporters who say that people born as women but who now identify as men are truly men despite also having a cervix.

Well…despite also having a cervix, ovaries, a uterus, a vagina, wider hips, more tilted thigh bones, smaller lungs…you get the idea. The bodies are different in many ways, and “woman” and “man” refer to the bodies, but never mind that, “identifying as” has now replaced all that. If Dolly Parton says she identifies as a man then by god she is truly a man. That’s what “truly” means.

The Scottish Government has also shifted from using the word “women” to “people”.

In June, after it emerged 430 women were wrongly excluded from the screening programme, the Government said the “women affected” would be offered fast-track appointments.’

However a press release today was headed “People urged to attend smear test”.

It referred to “people” five times, “those eligible” for cervical screening twice, and “anyone with a cervix” once.

The word “women” was used once, in the sentence “one in three women still don’t go for the  five-minute smear test that can stop cervical cancer before it starts”.

And this is the government talking.

All on the rainbow

Oct 11th, 2021 10:31 am | By

Dang, this is startling even for Ash Sarkar.

The rigid ideology? That’s the people who don’t believe the neon-pink new ideology of Gender’s Veto Power Over Sex?

It’s no more “rigid” to say that girls are not boys than it is to say humans are not crocodiles. “If you’re a girl then you’re not a boy, but what you do with being a girl is up to you, so knock yourself out.”

Of course, it’s not entirely up to you, because we live in cultures and societies, so we’re subject to rules and conventions and pressure and bullying, but pretending to be the other sex does nothing to subvert those rules and conventions – on the contrary, it helps to cement them.

Furthermore, it’s not a matter of “something wrong about trans and non-binary people,” it’s a matter of the stupidity and incoherence of the ideology that claims “trans” and “non-binary” are meaningful descriptors. It’s not that the child is trans or non-binary and that’s bad, it’s that the child is not trans or non-binary, because no one is, because the concepts are gibberish.

And it’s not a rule that parents must listen to their children and accept their choices. Parents often have to say no to their children’s choices, sometimes for the well-being of the child and sometimes because the choices just aren’t possible. Children don’t automatically know better than adults, not even teenage children.

But empathy. What about empathy. I’m attacking empathy, aren’t I!

Empathy matters, but it’s not always all that matters. You know that prefrontal cortex thingy, that doesn’t finish developing until age 25? That’s the kind of work it does – sorting empathy from other relevant factors. Ok the kid feels very very strongly that she should transition or come out as non-binary or whatever the fuck it is on this occasion, but the kid’s strong feeling isn’t all that’s at stake here. What, for instance, about what the kid will feel ten years from now? Does the kid have a good sense of that? No, of course not, because no kids do. Their brains aren’t developed enough and they don’t have enough experience of changing their minds and feelings over time. That’s why It Gets Better – because we get old enough to understand that situations change, our feelings change, what looms large now won’t necessarily loom large next year.

Apart from all that Ash’s advice is fine.

Nearly a quarter of critical infrastructure

Oct 11th, 2021 10:00 am | By

One of the ways it’s going to kill us – flooding of critical infrastructure.

Nearly a quarter of U.S. critical infrastructure—utilities, airports, police stations and more—is at risk of being inundated by flooding, according to a new report by First Street Foundation, a Brooklyn nonprofit dedicated to making climate risk more visible to the public.

“Even if your home is far from the risk of flooding or forest fires, you may not so easily escape the systemic impacts from vulnerable critical infrastructure that sometimes extends hundreds of miles,” said Jesse Keenan, a climate-change and real-estate expert at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Remember Texas last winter? When Ted Cruz went bopping off to Cancun?

Recent storms highlighted the vulnerability of the electric grid. In September, Hurricane Ida killed more than 40 people, at least 10 perishing in the heat amid power outages in Louisiana. A winter storm in Texas left more than 4 million people without electricity in February, and over 200 people died, the majority from cold.

It’s not just coasts, it’s also river valleys.

The most threatened areas are concentrated along the coast of the southeastern U.S. and in river-dense areas of Appalachia. In fact, the report found that 17 of the 20 most endangered communities are in Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia.

But nowhere is safe, they say comfortingly.

Metaphor run amok

Oct 11th, 2021 7:57 am | By

Journalists really need to learn to report on this more precisely.

As do headline writers: the Times headline is both wrong and bad.

Truss hits out at abuse of Kathleen Stock, professor in trans dispute

No she doesn’t. The story doesn’t even say that. The lede:

Liz Truss has spoken out against the abuse a university professor has faced for her views on transgender rights and the police have told her to install CCTV cameras at home and have a bodyguard on campus.

Speaking out isn’t hitting out. The distinction is quite important, so what are newspapers doing blurring it? It’s an important distinction and it’s at the heart of this very story, which is all about violent threats against Stock because of her writing and her opinions.

Truss, the minister for women and equalities, wrote on Twitter: “No one should be targeted and harassed simply for holding an opinion.”

That’s not “hitting out.” It’s about not hitting out.

Crooked is right

Oct 10th, 2021 6:10 pm | By

That’s disgusting. No other word for it.

Guest post: The entire edifice rests on sexism

Oct 10th, 2021 1:43 pm | By

Originally a comment by Nullius in Verba on A tool that enforces sexism.

Proffering pronouns conceptually depends on the view that “one’s pronouns” are (1) of critical importance and (2) self-determined and inaccessible to others if not publicly stated. (2) gets most of the attention, as it’s the more obviously wrongheaded notion. We know what pronouns are and how they work, because we’ve been using them since we started emulating our parents’ speech as babies. Seeing that these demands for announcing pronouns, which are not always even words, are incompatible with what pronouns are and how they work is easy and intuitive for most people with functioning brain cells not warped by propaganda and in-group loyalty. Unfortunately, the ease of opposing (2) means that (1) doesn’t get the attention it deserves, which is probably most of it.

For whom is the practice of presenting pronouns putatively important? Believers don’t claim that it’s important for everyone—except instrumentally. They don’t even claim that it’s important for them—except instrumentally. Pronoun declarations are solely for those who refuse to participate in the English language specifically and reality generally. All of us and all the “allies” become mere means toward the end of sating some ill-defined need of those who fall under the “trans umbrella”, because they feel that “their” pronouns are of utmost importance. By engaging in the pronoun farce, the believer signals submission to the feelings of those who claim trans and enby status. Believers naively respond to purported suffering without realizing that endorsement of the conclusion (i.e., pronouns are existential) tacitly endorses the premises on which the conclusion depends.

And what are those? Sastra summarized the belief structure nicely:

Pronoun culture is a tool that reinforces sexism because it’s derived from a life stance in which it really, really matters if you’re a man or a woman or neither or both. That’s because the premise is that being a man or a woman or neither or both is the very core of your being, and defines your humanity. Proponents cannot emphasize this enough, as seen by how easily they accept that suicide is an expected and reasonable response to being “misgendered” too often, or too thoroughly. You cannot even think of cultivating indifference, or a personality or interests or goals which matter more than your being a man or woman or neither or both.

If one believes one’s gender and associated reproductive function to be one’s defining characteristic qua person, then pronouns map to the core of one’s identity (where identity refers to the coherent thing-that-is-I, not a mere self-conception). But even this is insufficient to motivate the conclusion that “misgendering” is an attack on one’s identity, a sort of metaphysical and not just metaphorical violence. To take that extra step requires the belief that gender is normative. Being male or female must say something about one’s worth qua person. Otherwise, to “misgender” would be no more troublesome than to wrongly describe someone’s hair color, height, age, or sports fandom. If one believes that being male or female entails something negative, then of course one will resist that label. The entire edifice rests on sexism, which believers and casual allies (at the very least) tacitly support by endorsing the conclusions that follow therefrom.