Simple and wrong

A pusher of the dogma tells us how to push the dogma, which is to say, Helen Webberley says

Saving trans lives is simple:

Believe them.

Yes, that is simple, but it can’t be a general rule, for reasons that ought to be obvious if you think about it at all.

It can’t be a general rule that you must believe X brand of people, because people can be mistaken and people can lie.

Webberley is using the fact that, socially speaking, we generally do believe what people tell us if there’s no obvious reason not to. If we ask a stranger where the nearest grocery store is, we assume she’ll tell us the truth, because why wouldn’t she? If friends tell us something we believe them, because they’re friends. There’s a lot of ground between those two types of default belief. There is also a lot of ground where we’re on high skepticism alert – like the claims of advertisers for instance, or Trump saying anything at all.

So no, we don’t have to believe trans people when they tell us the very thing we don’t and can’t believe because it’s physically impossible. Even if it will make them happy, we still can’t do it. Some of us may be willing to pretend to do it (which is how we got into this mess), but most of us can’t actually do it. We also shouldn’t do it, because the sooner this ideology finds itself on the scrapheap alongside Scientology and Heaven’s Gate the better.

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