Four years ago, before he published his first #Quillette piece, before he signed on as editor to that same online magazine, #ColinWright wrote an email to #JamesLindsay in which he laid out the set of simple and basic ideas that continue to drive his anti-trans activism. 1/
1. You can be an academic⁠—held to the quality of his evidence, the knowledge of the existing literature, & the soundness of his arguments⁠—or you can be a "free-thinking intellectual." (To the point that having lousy evidence & no demonstrable knowledge shows "free thinking.")
2. Let's blame everything on the "trans activists." Let's call everyone who disagrees with anti-trans talking points a "trans activist." "Trans activists" are bad, it goes without saying. Let's claim they are in "denial of gender or sex differences."

Straw man done! And done!
3. If biologists & biology graduate students mention the phrase "sex is a social construct," let's say they are disavowing the objective stances of their natural scientific research field. That makes their words activism! And voilà, they "put their activism before their biology."
4. Cue incredulity. "I can't even comprehend how anyone can deny the reality of biological sex and claim to be a biologist."

Re-iterate variations of: "It's insane," it's "complete madness," it's "completely insane," it's "craziness."

No need to make any other point, really.
5. Swivel from humans and their self-conception as regards gender, incl their conscious experiences of gender dysphoria and transness, to how easily you as a biologist can identify the sexual organs of ants, bees, & spiders. "Unambiguously male or female over 99.9% of the time"!
6. Act as if re-stating the same non-relevant "plain facts"—with little regard for issues under discussion (health care, academic inclusion, social acceptance of trans & enby folk)—isn't an argumentative move in relation to the issues under discussion. Call criticism "denialism."
7. Perfunctory exclamation of how you are "quite liberal and support trans people and their rights entirely."


"But if jettisoning the reality of biological sex is necessary for me to be a good ally, then I can never be a good ally."
8. Stick to your basic set of activist ideas. Plot your course & push it through. Don't read. Don't change. Don't question.

And block critics & interlocutors when you "risk revealing yourself to the wrong people who might sound the alarm."
#ColinWright really has not developed much nor studied at all the issues on which he conducts his activism. He had his set of simple ideas to hand early on, and he's stood by them without much re-evaluation. He has been thinking this way all along. He has only revealed himself.
#ColinWright's email to #JamesLindsay ends: "But you and your colleagues give me some hope here, and I'll continue trying to do what I can from within. For now it will be small things, as I can't out myself entirely now."

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More from @Katja_Thieme

Aug 7
It's a sharp statement. The ministry's letter is egregious enough for the uni president to comment on it directly and critically. He explains that the minister has not followed through by meeting with the uni's executive and has instead put the matter into the public domain.
I think Canadian uni presidents should comment more often & more openly on how they are engaging with education ministers. Beyond simply saying that's behind closed doors. We should know what the issues are on which they disagree with ministry, on which they assert uni interests.
Read 5 tweets
May 4
#Quillette published its house phrenologist's lament on having lived the last two years "in exile" from academia. The subheading is to cringe for: "Academia has become an intellectual prison, and many incarcerated professors are compelled to live a dual existence." Let's see. 1/
Bo Winegard says he was shocked and bewildered when he lost his job. He'd thought academia was a place "guided by evidence and argument instead of political ad hominem." I've read some of this papers. Rich in evidence and meticulous in argumentation isn't what I'd call them. 2/
He remembers his literature degree, reading French theorists, on the side discovering Robert Wright and Richard Dawkins, and turning to evolutionary psychology as a result. 3/
Read 20 tweets
May 2
Ha ha ha, our muffin, #ColinWright not being entirely rational, is he. When Elon Musk copies his cartoon, "It's fine! It's fine! May I interest you in a mug, too, Elon, my mugs are the best mugs!" When Aaron copies his cartoon (albeit with enhancements): "You're insufferable."
Can't be that agreeing and disagreeing with someone on other matters and/or sheer level of internet clout could influence #ColinWright's judgement on someone's use of his stick figure cartoon, could it?

That would not be high decoupling if that were the case, now would it? 😂
Read 10 tweets
May 2
Good points in this thread!

All my courses now have two consultation assignments: one for the mid-sized assignment halfway through the course, one for the final assignment.

Note: I don't teach big lectures; my courses are between 30-45 students and I teach 3 of those a term. 1/
If you have a lecture with TAs, you can still do this by training TAs in providing these consultations.

It's worth it. This term I've used this approach most consistently to date. I can tell which of the final projects were written by students who didn't manage to visit me. 2/
Here are some strategies that help me manage holding this many office hours.

1. There is electronic signup via our LMS. If I have extra time available during crunch time, I'll put it into the system and announce it. Students can keep checking and sign themselves in. 3/
Read 6 tweets
May 2
My dear man, please do not get into the business of trying to teach elementary school children. I beseech you. Don’t even think about it. No.
Fourty years ago we still had thesauri banned from any admissions test or course exam. Since then thesaurus theory has seeped into every form of punditry. It cannot be questioned or debated. It is the new cacography.

Read 5 tweets
Aug 11, 2021
Let's trace the self-alleged non-political cabal at play here. A cabal trying to change current principles of gender-affirmative care for trans youth. While conducting no original research of their own.

May I introduce, Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM). 1/
What do they do?

Mostly they lobby for "evidence-informed healthcare" for "children, adolescents, and young adults with gender dysphoria."

If you believe a society with that narrow a focus doesn't have very particular political goals, you must be freshly born. 2/
They made a bibliography to show that evidence for gender dysphoria treatments is "of very low quality" and that they are very concerned for gender-dysphoric youth.

They filed an amicus brief to challenge WPATH on mastectomy for adolescents.

They post online news releases. 3/
Read 15 tweets

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