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Red alert: Republicans say sky is blue

And at once, like a platoon of triggered Daleks droning, “Exterminate. Exterminate. Exterminate” the Democratic side of the argument is puffing in outrage. Oppose. Oppose. Oppose. How very dare they. How wrong can you be. The sky is lime-green!

The thing about reality is it stays the same whether you believe in it or not. It stays the same no matter how you explain it.

If Republicans say the sky is blue because they spray painted it to make it lovely, it doesn’t matter. It stays blue.

If the Democrats insist it’s lime-green because they know the Republicans don’t even own a can of spray paint, it doesn’t matter. It stays blue.

Seriously, people. You can agree on plain, measurable, stubborn facts without tainting yourself as a believer in bullshit.

And yet, when it comes to the trans issue, the Dems can’t bear to acknowledge facts, any facts, because the Repubs have taken to using a few.

How stupid can everybody get? (Don’t answer that.)

Fact recap: Vertebrate mammals come in two sexes. (The arrangements in fungi and clownfish and snakes are irrelevant to that fact.) The female sex produces eggs and, if not a marsupial, grows the young in a womb. In vertebrate mammals, the homogametic sex is female, with two similar sex chromosomes, XX, in every cell in her body. Males are heterogametic, XY. Women have a 99%+ role in producing the next generation. All the downstream consequences are what humans make of the biological facts.

Those facts are directly related to women’s life trajectories. Women’s biological ability to produce babies could make them significant or make them a very valuable commodity, depending on how society organizes itself. Given the human tendency to get while the gettin’s good, we know how that choice was usually resolved.

Then, of course, once you’ve decided to keep women as brood mares, plus servants and comfort animals in their otherwise unoccupied time, you need a whole mythology justifying it and sexism is born. Once you’ve decided to exploit someone, they have to be inferior (else you’ll be the baddie for treating them badly), and misogyny is born right next to the sexism.

The Repubs have decided to take the path of maintaining the system at all costs. Pretend it’s based on reality by pointing out sexes exists and there are two of them. Use that to justify the whole invented superstructure confining everyone to one of two roles.

The Dems could have pointed out that, certainly, sexes exist. Biological facts require protections and accommodations for women. Larding on stories about it has nothing to do with reality.

But that, horrors, would have meant “agreeing” with the Repubs.

Actually, no. Recognizing common reality just marks you as sane. It’s not agreement.

It does mean that people hear you recognize a blatantly obvious fact, that two sexes exist, so it may be worth considering the rest of what you say.

But no. The Dems had to go all in on denying everything, right back to the existence of sex. Transwomen-are-women is part of the credo, including obvious counterfactuals such as male-bodied people can somehow compete “fairly” with women, even though they’re in a completely different weight class. The sky, they shout, is lime-green! And they’re hoping to make it stick by repetition, just like a creationist or a flat earther or a climate crisis denier.

That does not work. The facts stay the same. The earth stays spherical. Evolution keeps working. The climate crisis gets worse. Babies get made by women.

All you accomplish is to label yourself an ideological nutcase willing to sacrifice half the human race to weird beliefs. Which is a label rightfully belonging to Republicans. But you just handed them your strong suit on a plate and let them pretend they’re the ones who are reality-based.

13 Comments (Open | Close)

13 Comments To "Red alert: Republicans say sky is blue"

#1 Comment By quixote On 09 Aug, 2022 @ 00:04

I wrote an interminable post on a similar theme some years back. [1]. It has links to sources and all that good stuff. The Repubs didn’t use the trans issue much in 2020. They’re making more serious stabs at it on the local level this year.

I’m hoping that by the time 2024 rolls around the all-trans-all-the-time fever will have broken. Maybe Dems will notice that many women object to being classed with livestock. Once Dems remember that women’s rights are a thing, they can go back to being reality-based and the potential to use the trans issue to beat them up will be neutralized. I can dream.

#2 Comment By Serenity On 15 Oct, 2022 @ 10:48

Thanks for expressing so clearly something all of us need to know. I also am concerned that on this issue and others, progressives are at risk of “sacrificing democracy on an altar to wokeness” as I crudely express it. They truly don’t understand what they are doing, and why prudence at this moment especially requires a more nuanced approach to promoting understanding, compassion, and the common good, however they perceive it. Nothing less than self-determination is at risk here, in the aspects most important to many. Regardless of how empathetic we are to trans people, we need to consider are we truly protecting their choices by our actions.

#3 Comment By quixote On 30 Oct, 2022 @ 00:11

Hi, Serenity :waves: Thanks for that encouraging comment. Always nice to know there are others in the reality-based community.

As for the Dems, trans issues aside, I can’t stop boggling that after four effing endless years of terrible trumpian incompetence and malice now, after only two years respite, half the voters seem ready to vote for any old lying gumball again. Everything is on a knife edge. And the Repubs are honing their vote-rigging, vote-suppressing methods as best they can with no kick from Garland as far as I can see.

Yes, I do spend my time quietly screaming if I pay attention. That’s why I’m out in the garden most of the time.

#4 Comment By socalannie On 30 Oct, 2022 @ 16:05

Enjoyed the post and comments. I have several concerns about this issue. 1) that tw’s will take over opportunities, jobs and scholarships that were created for women; 2) that the # of men using our public restrooms will increase and make them more crowded and unsafe than they already are, and 3) that more women will be assaulted in public restrooms, which has been going on for decades (I can’t even remember how many guys followed me into restrooms in order to hit on me back in the 70s/80s.) This is a legitimate concern which twitter woke-folk lambasted me for one night, until I brought up the point that most horrible crimes that happen in public restrooms are committed by men and brought up a couple of the worst ones (10 yo boy’s throat slashed in Oceanside beach public restroom & young girl raped and strangled in women’s rr in one of those state line casino hotels. As usual, our safety and comfort has to give way to whatever the hell men want. Frankly, this explosion of trans women having to have access to all of women’s spaces, jobs and programs just seems like another way for men to dominate women.

#5 Comment By quixote On 01 Nov, 2022 @ 21:10

Hi Annie! Good to see you here 😀

Yeah, I boggle at the awful statistics and the ability of too many trans activists to jump over all that lightly. And go on babbling about how important it is to take care of transwomen’s feelings.

The other big giveaway for me is that there’s never any concern for transmen … except on rare occasions after the fact when the bizarre and giant asymmetry is pointed out.

The UK is ahead of the US in implementing some of the more radical self-ID policies. What they’ve seen there is what you say: increased assaults, horning in on women’s opportunities, and all the rest of the sorry story. They’ve started reversing some of the nonsense there. Even smarter would be to stay reality-based from the beginning!

#6 Comment By Earlynerd On 04 Nov, 2022 @ 02:19

Good Lawd! I should not have tried to use those newfangled tags.

This was my original comment. Quixote, if you would kindly delete the previous mangled post, I’d appreciate it.

Original comment:

I’m in that quandary voting in Oregon. This was my email to the senator I had supported enthusiastically 30 odd years ago, Ron Wyden:

“I don’t think you know how hard it is for lifelong Democratic women to vote in this election.

You and your party have not just ignored our rights, you have actively lessened them, as you did in the so-called ‘Civil Rights Restoration Act’, that created for the first time in modern law a clean break between women’s right to earn our own living and the rights of all men to that life giving ability. You gave the non-threatening population of not white men equal access to employment, and without our consent, and as a bargain, threw away all women’s rights to that essential foundation of adult human life.

Your party has done nothing to remedy, it does not even seem to be aware of, the clean break between woman and all other citizens in the U.S. including non-white men, that the Supreme Court decisions created in equal protection from state sponsored violence in Morrison, Gonzalez and Lenahan.

Now, after having for decades excluded me and all other just generic women from the protection of Oregon’s hate crime laws, you added the knife twist of including the minstrel show of men dressing up in womanface to the very laws that still exclude us.

Your office still does nothing to remedy what women as women face in housing, employment and public safety. How long do you expect women to put up with the protection racket of “vote for us, Republicans will be worse?””

Don’t worry – for a number of reasons: Ukraine, Social Security, not gratifying the small insects with the large carapace trucks, I won’t vote for any Rethug this election, but it’s so very hard to not just stay home.

#7 Comment By Earlynerd On 08 Nov, 2022 @ 01:13

Thanks for deleting that 1st post, Quixote.

Just a short note on the bird kerfuffle:
I’ve been a member since the early 00’s on a nerd server and had an account on their federated social media thingie since 2017. I’ve mostly lurked there, as I’ve exclusively done on the bird site, but recently needed to find some folks that’ve transitioned over.

It’s not quite as easy as the other thing, you have to know the instance name (or site name?) to put in the search box. So to look for muskmellon on a federated site you’re not a member of, you’d need @muskmellon@crasscommercial.org, instead of just typing muskmellon in the box. If muskmellon’s a member of your server (aka instance), just the name works.

If you’re searching just from a regular search engine or plugging the name in the URL bar, it’s [2].

I’ve found a lot of the people I’d bookmarked and read regularly on the bird site, but it took their tweeting out their nym + their instance name or having them turn up in server timelines. I’m STILL looking for Carla Shroeder – contrary to her decades of techo-acumen, she’s only posted on the bird site that’s she’s got an account, not what her whole name is. Hrrrrmph!

(also, my poor nerd server, after literally decades of obscurity, is so suddenly in the limelight I can’t log in due to their having to upgrade because of 10,000+ new users. There’s a trend there to donate 8 bucks to server costs in lieu of a bogus blue checkmark fee – hopefully that’ll take care of the expense)

#8 Comment By quixote On 08 Nov, 2022 @ 22:00

Sorry it took a while, Earlynerd. Got sidetracked. You know how it is.

What’s your username/server over among the mastodons? I’m having a good time splashing around and being incompetent there 😆 @quixote@mastodon.nz

That bizzo about having to enter everything on your own search bar on your own page to stay logged in puzzled me for a bit. They (meaning probably the poor guy doing 14 hr days right now) need to change that to something more intuitive. I suspect it’s the biggest stumbling block for lots of people.

#9 Comment By Earlynerd On 09 Nov, 2022 @ 16:35

No problem with the not replying. I’m such a Debbie Downer, I’m surprised when anyone replies at all!

Thanks for the heads up on your tootie ID – mine is terminally_shy (groan) on mastodon.sdf.org. But I really don’t post anything of interest, just have it to follow people, bookmark the neat tech stuff and maybe make a stray comment every year or two.

I’ll definitely add you to my list of people whose comments routinely bring out the quiet approving smile and even the occasional “Oh, GOOD one!”.

Off to get the Pfeitzer bivalent instead of Moderna. I’m more than a little nervous, having had such good luck with Moderna, but they’ve been out of or short on Moderna for two months now and there are too many Covidiots around these parts to wait any longer. Wish me luck!

#10 Comment By Earlynerd On 22 Nov, 2022 @ 00:56

Well, I survived the booster. So well, in fact, that I’m wondering if the shot didn’t just go into some biological black hole. No symptoms, not even a sore arm.

RE: men in minstrel shows acting out as women in real life – as a lifelong bookworm I can’t help but see current events from a literary perspective.

I think Joanna Russ, may she rest in peace (or not, if she wants to keep on fighting) had a more accurate take on women vs. gender than Ursula K. Le Guin. Much as I respect UK LeGuin’s writing, Left Hand Of Darkness reinforced the constriction of a mutable set of traits: behavior – to an immutable one: sex.

The Female Man showed the opposite: women in different situations acting according to those situations, with each one destroying a stereotype of how women ‘always are’ (I will always love her portrayal of dance in a women’s utopia as “I guess”, after characterizing western ballet as “I wish” and eastern dance as “I am”).

My all time favorite book on this question is Carolyn Heilbrun’s “Toward a Recognition of Androgyny”. What gave me so much energy and hope in my twenties was the certainty that I would belong to a world of rational adults, where my sex was as present as men’s but as unimportant in public life, off-duty so to speak. She retreated somewhat from this, as has Catherine McKinnon, but I still think both were more right then.

I do wonder what Marge Piercy makes of all this. “Woman At The Edge of Time” had one of the best portrayals of women freed from biological stereotypes without relinquishing their core identity. Also some of the conflicts one might go through in having to relinquish the more positive aspects of that constriction, like being considered ‘the only real parent’.

Drag shows, like minstrel shows, make fun of the characteristics of a subordinated demographic. Like the more subversive minstrel shows, they also pillory those characteristics and call them into question. But both depend on tying a set of behaviors to a physical demographic considered inferior.

The racist content of minstrel shows is now almost always the first and only aspect presented. Drag shows are still ‘fun’, because sexism is still so much more embedded in American culture than racism. Women and men can enjoy skewering what women are compelled to go through in American culture every single day.

Women are still victims of the most destructive and entrenched bigotry in history. It’s human nature for people to identify with anything else before they’ll stand with and support the lowest caste, even if they are part of that caste.

#11 Comment By quixote On 22 Nov, 2022 @ 16:07

All my shots have been Pfizer with no symptoms but a sore arm for a day. They haven’t brought in the bivalent here in NZ because they’re not convinced they need it. I am not making this up. Meanwhile the variants the bivalent targets have gone from about 0 to 50% in Wellington in two weeks, are ramping up in Auckland, and etc. Ardern (our PM) is very good at messaging when someone gives her the right message. (Probably her background in marketing?) But when she decides to jump on the wrong message, there doesn’t seem to be any route from inputs to brain. To me the take-home is: never let marketers anywhere near government. ScoMo in Aussie was also from the marketing dept and he was a complete disaster.

Anyhoooo. Yeah, the onslaught of ‘Oh, drag is marvelous and anyone who sees a problem causes mass murder’ has been getting on my last couple of nerves. SO LONG AS THERE’S NO POWER IMBALANCE (so, not in our world) I wouldn’t even have trouble with men laughing at women for whatever we do that’s ridiculous. And I think there’s a real need to point at all the ridiculousness men do. But I don’t see much (any) of that in drag at this point. It seems to be wall-to-wall approval of making fun of coerced femininity, at best. At worst it’s just gross. And somehow that’s the best way to introduce grade school kids to the fun of reading. Sure, Chad.

All that is obviously just a tangent to some of the reactions to that horrible crime spree in Colorado. More and more, the US is edging toward Taliban-type solutions to what bothers them. One, by shooting at anyone having fun. Two, by dumping on women. The left notices the first, not the second.

#12 Comment By Earlynerd On 22 Nov, 2022 @ 20:46

Re: the no bivalents – as a biologist, it must just rot your last sock* to know what needs to be done and see it fall by the wayside. It seems successful politicians must have some marketing skills & it’s a bonus if they have any of the others necessary to run a country. It’s too bad NZ seems to have tilted a bit too far in one direction. I think Dems were extraordinarily lucky with Bill Clinton. Hillary, of course, would have hit it out of the park.

As for the rest, I’m so very glad I’m retired from all that. Lots of opinions but no skin (heh) in the game. I would dearly love to know the process by which every aspect of some other group’s human rights somehow gets tied to targeting women.

*Georgia equivalent of ‘to get on one’s last nerve’. As in: ‘”Well, that just rots my socks” said the secretary of the UGA Econ department, when told her aerobics studio had burned down.’

#13 Comment By quixote On 23 Nov, 2022 @ 16:07

“rots my last sock” 😆

On-target expression!

As for targeting women to provide benefits for somebody else, yes, funny how that works, isn’t it. But misogyny isn’t really a problem, not compared to the really big ones. Right? Right?