SocraticGadfly: Sorry, I can't sign that: Avoiding both horns of a twosiderism faux-dilemma within the Green Party

June 11, 2021

Sorry, I can't sign that: Avoiding both horns of a twosiderism faux-dilemma within the Green Party

As the likely deaccreditation of the Georgia Green Party draws nearer, a number of its members and supporters, mainly members of the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus, have now launched an Emergency Committee to Save the Green Party, complete with seeking signatures.

They won't get mine.

(And, update, June 20: With a vote to wrap up tomorrow on the exact language re a deaccreditation request to send to the National Committee, we will probably be at the finish line on this issue, at least as it plays out within the Green Party, by the end of this month.

And, second update, July 29: With more information and playout, I now say a pox on both your houses.)

The main reason?

I've said repeatedly that people like the Party's National Lavender Caucus, not people like me, conflate sex and gender, and this is why I use the word "transsexual," which is not pejorative when describing sexual changes or transitions. I have said that they, instead, are the conflators.

The Emergency Committee, on the other hand? Appears to ignore the idea of sexual transitioning, period. And, I can't and won't sign off on that, either.

It's part of a growing number of issues that I see as problematic on the "other" side of an issue where, more and more, I can't be on either side.

Bad sex essentialism, problem 1

A related problematic example?

I've seen people like this say "you're not a woman if you don't menstruate." In addition to being an attack on transsexuals, it's also fallacious within a poor version of sex essentialism.

So, female marathoners aren't women? Female survivors of Auschwitz, Dachau and other camps weren't women? 

"But that's temporary!"

OK, then females with hysterectomies aren't women? Post-menopausal females aren't women?

And, while I "get" where "The Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights" is coming from, nonetheless, it at least to some degree participates in this same sex-essentialism mindset.

Fetal development, problem 2

Beyond that, it ignores the fraughtness of sexual gestation and development of fetuses, which I've written about, in one of my all-time top 10 blog posts, about how conjoined twins, and even more, teratomas and chimeras, show just how fraught in non-sexual ways human reproduction is. Given that "sexual nonalignment" happens for reasons similar to gay-lesbian orientation starting in utero, the "Emergency Committee" and the gender critical radical feminism behind its thought, appears to aspire to a Platonic ideal of what the male and female sexes are. Regular readers here, and even more of my philosophy blog, should know I hate at least the worst parts of Platonic idealism at least half as much as I hate twosiderism and tribalism.

Related? While deploring sexual reassignment surgery for minors, it simply ignores adult sexual reassignment surgery. And, ignores that willing, informed, self-knowledgable adults would go through not only the psychological pain of gays and lesbians when they "come out" but the physical pains of transition surgery. On this count, lesbian women of a GCRF pitch who ignore the reality of transsexualism are puzzling at least. 

Or narrow-minded. Or something. The idea that willing, informed, self-knowledgable adults would undergo surgical procedures to "escape the patriarchy" if they're men transitioning to women is, at a minimum, narrow-minded. Trying to twist GCRF thoughts into explaining women surgically transitioning into men is even more warped. And?

Conspiracy thinking, problem 3

And? Then there's this dive into conspiracy thinking:

We suspect that this bizarre trend, with its links to powerful billionaires and Big Pharma, is part of a corporate driven neo-COINTELPRO operation specifically designed, as it was in the sixties and seventies, to disrupt even our Green Party’s relatively weak challenge to the corporate agenda killing our democracy and our planet. We do not make this accusation against any individual, but rather gender ideology itself. Whether or not government forces are directly involved in sowing these divisions, the impact on our Party is just as deadly.

Nope. Can't do that. I have noted myself that big corporations have been willing to follow in the train of "trans awareness" for marketing $$, but this is over the top. That said, it's NOT that surprising for the statement to BE over the top like this, to be honest. (I can't say more, and as needed elsewhere, will note that again. I have had some involvement with the Dialogue not Expulsion group, and honor the confidentiality. At the same time, I have become less and less active in commenting on its email list.)

It also ignores that many rich philanthropists see evidence that transsexuals have faced an inordinately high level of abuse and want to rectify that.

(This sets aside other, non-GCRF conspiracy thinking, like the claim that expelling Alaska Greens, and threatening the same to Rhode Island before it voluntarily left the GP, for totally reasonable causes — not supporting the 2020 presidential nominee — were in reality a setting up of dominoes with an ultimate focus on the Georgia GP.)

In bed with wingnuts and possible antisemitism, problem 4

AND, there remains the issue that too, too many of the backers of DnE, and now this, are too willing to jump into bed with rank wingnuts — many of whom, if men, will remain sexist on women's issues and above all on reproductive choice issues.

Worse yet, some of the anti-transgender writers, even if not wingnuts themselves, will willingly write for wingnut magazines and websites. The much-touted Jennifer Bilek has written for sites like The Federalist? Result? She gets approvingly cited in openly racialist places like The National Vanguard, being cited because she allegedly gives credence to trans activitism being a Jewish plot. And, I googled, and see that her alleged antisemitism has been heavily discussed. See here and here. Let's put it this way: Bilek seems to walk, talk and quack that way; given who she's written for, I'm not inclined to be more charitable than that.

I disagree that gender critical radical feminism as a whole is antisemitic. That said, I wonder if Jewish supporters of the GaGP know much about some of the "supporters" their leaders invoke. And, for those who know complaints about Bilek, where are the disavowals.

As I have said before, sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is not only not a friend, they're not even a temporary ally. They're just the enemy of my enemy, period. I've mentioned this before. I've mentioned that Glenn Greenwald is not a leftist, too. Crickets, by and large. (I can't say more.)

And, in addition, claims have been raised by some trans activists and some of their supporters about how far to the right some of the DnE Caucus leaders may be. I also can't accept the sex essentialism described above.

In addition, some of the GCRF types within Dialogue not Expulsion may want to take this movement in an explicitly GCRF direction. Nope. Sign me off, not on, with that as well.

Handwaving, problem 5

Also, some of them, and Bilek, just like some of the Jesse Ventura cultists, spout this "neither left nor right" stance. Again, with your allies (not mine), that's NOT true. They're wingnut rightists. Also, I moved beyond the Democratic Party in part seeing the Greens as a left party. And, I think both you and the Jesse cultists know that you're palling around with wingnuts, in this case, or libertarian-conservative types with them, and so this "neither left nor right" is a form of handwaving.

I think some of these people actually are rightists of some sort and know it. And, yes, one can be an environmentalist and a rightist. The "völkish" movement in pre-World War I Germany that spawned some later Nazi leaders is a good example of that. So are some Nazis.

Again, not all are that way, certainly not all in the original Dialogue not Expulsion group, and not even all within the "Emergency Committee" group. But? After Fernando Mercado made the claim, via Independent Political Report, that most of them were? I did look up a few. Hugh Esco's Twitter, apparently now deleted, was disconcerting at times.

Twosiderism, problem 6, from BOTH the Emergency Committee AND the Lavender Caucus

It's the twosiderism behind all of this that leads to bad logic, that presents its side as the only possible option to the other side and more. Within that, with some, this same twosiderism leads to specifically antiempirical stances in some cases and bad Platonic philosophy in others.

So, no, can't sign. Won't sign. Will start further dissociating myself. I think I'm not alone in this stance, but that's all I can say.

At the same time, trans activists, remember that I've already said many of you don't even know the standards for when to use puberty blockers on minors, per places like the Mayo Clinic. Some of you probably don't care. And, some of you, like the person named Margaret Elisabeth, not only probably don't care, but the issue isn't important to them except as a tool. 

Your own twosiderism leads to bad logic, to bad philosophy in the case of willful linguistic conflations and demarcation problems, and your own antiempirical stances. Speaking of?

Related to the Mayo Clinic's counseling guidelines to go with prescribing puberty blockers, usually honored in the breach? This Catholic high school student who FINALLY, 63 years late, got his varsity letter jacket. Openly gay. But, among Tom Ammiano's first reactions to his sexual orientation difference was to?  

Put on a dress. Thank doorknob nobody could give him puberty blockers, let alone suggest a knife, decades ago. 

That said, some studies have shown that the majority to great majority of kids like Tom, if treated with "watchful waiting," grow up to be gay or lesbian adults of the same sex as which they were born with.

Finally, I think both "side A" and "side B" are both not fully honest in their desire for dialogue, or "dialogue," only on their own terms. In short, many members of both team A and B look like they've got winner-take-all stances.

While there are some DnE supporters (or former supporters? including if I'm officially becoming "former" and beyond that, I can't say more) who aren't winner-take-all people, I don't see anybody in the Lavender Caucus presenting that way.

Per Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof"? "We" have got the disease from the Lavender Caucus. The Emergency Committee doesn't have the cure, though. It's not even as close as the metaphorical equivalent of bleeding with leeches. 

June 20: I don't know if DnE founders planned to pivot to an explicitly GCRF stance when it became apparent they would lose the GaGP fight, but, that's what they're doing. And, for original DnE backers like me who aren't GCRF, they're losing us, and I don't think they care. I'm not sure all if them even get it, but, I don't think they care, if they do get this.

Final note? I've mentioned this, before, too, but in the early 2000s, the Dallas Morning News ran a "where are they now" piece about Dallas-area civil rights activists of the 1960s and 1970s. If I remember rightly, about half had dropped out of politics, at least electoral politics. That's basically where I'm at. I know both duopoly parties like that; many of those activists hadn't considered the GP, I'm sure, but, I've been becoming more and more detached in some ways for five years.

No, final final note: Many of the things that the Emergency Committee wants, such as more emphasis on the "Ten Key Values," ignore that, as reported here (and I think mentioned by one of their people) the Ten Ken Values were drafted as guidelines only, AND, as I and others have noted, too much emphasis on decentralization has led to many of the GP's problems. It's arguable that the Green Party has needed rescuing from disorganization and AccommoGreens since 2004.


Update: While "TERF" is a technically accurate alternative description, it can be a pejorative. Besides, it's a #twosiderism framing issue, as I note on Twitter, as part of a thread written in response to David B. Collins' recent post:
Per Wittgenstein and people yet more modern, it's a linguistic "game" issue.  And, I am not playing on either of the two sides who aren't the only two.

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