Sneers and scare quotes and “supposedly”

There’s this CNN piece from four months ago that I don’t think I saw at the time, so I don’t think I’ve already ranted about it.

It’s irritating because CNN is a news outlet, so it’s supposed to deal in verifiable facts for the most part (along with a lot of political commentary, it’s true). Reporter Devan Cole wrote about trans athletes and there’s hardly a fact to be seen.

South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem banned transgender girls and women from competing on women’s sports teams at public high schools and colleges via a pair of executive orders issued Monday.

In other words she banned male people who claim to be trans from competing on women’s sports teams. It sounds rather different when you say it that way. The purported “trans women and girls” are men and boys. Maybe they genuinely identify as female, maybe they don’t, but the fact is they’re male. Once you remember that they’re male it’s quite obvious why they’re banned from competing on women’s teams. That of course is why Cole doesn’t say it that way.

Though the two executive orders signed by Noem do not explicitly mention transgender athletes, they ​reference the supposed harms of the participation of “males” in women’s athletics — an echo of the transphobic claim, cited in other similar legislative initiatives, that transgender women are not women.

But they’re not. They’re not literally women. Even if they sincerely “identify as” women that still doesn’t make them women. That’s the point. A news outlet shouldn’t be treating that fact as a wicked lie, and the fiction as obvious truth. News outlets shouldn’t be feeding us politicized lies that way. They also shouldn’t be calling it “transphobic” to say that men are not women, trans or not.

The orders also reference “biological sex,” a disputed term that refers to the sex as listed on students’ original birth certificates.

Disputed by whom? For what purpose?

It’s not disputed in life, for the most part. People mostly aren’t confused about how to make babies. We all know who is which really, it’s just that a few of us have ruled that we have to engage in this elaborate dance of thinking that biological sex is a “disputed” term.

It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and for some people, the sex listed on their original birth certificate is a misleading way of describing the body they have.

There’s no such thing as “a person’s gender identity.” That’s a silly invented concept meant to retroactively make sense of the whole “identifying as” nonsense. There is no “for some people” about who is female and who is male. It’s just a blunt fact. It’s gaslighting for a news outlet to be shoving this politicized gibberish on us.

While sex is a category that refers broadly to physiology, a person’s gender is an innate sense of identity. The factors that go into determining the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate may include anatomy, genetics and hormones, and there is broad natural variation in each of these categories. For this reason, the language of “biological sex,” as used in this legislation, can be overly simplistic and misleading.

All said as po-faced and solemnly as if it were instructions on how to build a fence, yet it’s just bafflegab.

Supporters of the ban have argued that trans women have a physical advantage over cisgender women (women assigned female at birth) in sports, but trans advocates and ​some Democratic lawmakers contend that they’re discriminatory​, citing the natural variations that appear in athletes at all levels and of all genders.

And they’re bullshitting.

I don’t know. There are doubtless a million more pieces just like this from news outlets, but it annoys me that we’re having this absurd jargon-ridden ideology forced on us disguised as factual.

At the bottom of the piece:

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to provide additional explanation as to the distinctions between gender and sex.

Because you’re just making it up as you go. None of it is true, so don’t bother with the updating to provide “additional explanation” of what can’t possibly make any sense.

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