Over the weekend, in amongst the many tweets about J K Rowling, somebody posted a link to this blog, which examines whether the gender critical movement is being led by men.
While the blog is a lot of handwaving and ‘that isn’t the part I want to focus on’…
…it does also use survey data to ‘prove’ its central thesis, and that’s of interest to me. Hence me valiantly overcoming the crippling irony of a gender critical man arguing that men don’t run the gender critical movement to write this short piece.
The author’s first data source is YouGov’s survey into UK attitudes to transgender rights, which shows that women are more likely than men to agree with statements such as ‘A transgender woman is a woman’.
The same survey also shows that men are less likely than women to support transgender people using the facilities of their chosen gender, or competing in sports against natal members of that gender. However, the golden rule of surveys is that you only get answers to the questions you’ve asked, and once you start making assumptions based on those answers you quickly get into the thicket of wild speculation, as our blogger does…
If I told you, correctly, that multiple surveys show that women are more likely than men to believe in god, and concluded therefore that most religions are run by women, then you’d clearly see the issue of assuming that the answer to one question is also the answer to another. Personally, I think that there’s some fascinating research to be done into why women are more likely than men to support trans rights – is it a socialisation thing, is it men patriarchally feeling they have to defend women, is it that men understand better what men are like – but it’s clearly a mistake to jump to the conclusion that because more men than women hold these views that it follows men are the driving forces behind then gender critical movement.
As it happens, the BBC survey into gender issues in Scotland, which came out 6 months after this blog was written, shows that men and women closely follow the debate in about equal numbers, suggesting at least that the difference in opinions isn’t down to how much attention they’re paying to the topic.
Our blogger, though, is very much off on one by this point.
She looks at data from a couple of other surveys, which also show that men are more likely to hold gender critical views – which is what you’d expect, if the results of the first survey were a real effect – and takes this as undeniable proof that men are leading the GC movement. How, then, to account for all of the women who are very vocal in the same movement? In one of the most genuinely remarkable paragraphs I have ever seen in a blog, that must also be the high-water mark of denying women agency, all these remarkable women are written off because they work with men!
Why, you may ask, are all of these shadow-lingering men running the gender critical movement. There is an answer, of course.
Leaving aside the level of projection, which is enough to display the widescreen version of Ben Hur on the moon, the only self-consistent interpretation of this argument is, The men who say transwomen are men are only saying that because they know transwomen are women and want to misogynistically bully them. It assumes it is literally impossible for any man to hold the honest, good faith view that not every man who says he’s a woman is one. This is your brain on gender ideology.
The corollary of that would then be that either women can believe that transwomen are men – which would mean that there was a genuine difference between the sexes – or that women are so in thrall to men that they can be persuaded by them to lie in fairly sizeable numbers. The author doesn’t make clear which option she favours.
What she does favour, apparently, is women coming together to fight male dominance, in a paragraph that reads like it’s talking about exactly the opposite movement to the one she’s rallying against.
And, just to add to that effect, she closes with a line which she probably thought was clever irony, but which only actually makes sense if you accept that women’s role is fighting against trans rights.
I’m hoping that someone is going to get in touch and tell me that the blogger is actually a gender critical satirist. If she is then I take my hat off to her, because the blog did make me laugh a lot. If, however, this was a serious piece then that’s not funny. Not funny at all.
This is Gender Critical Uber-commander Andrew R signing off.