This is pretty funny. An academic on the tenure track in the field of philosophy at Rhodes College named Rebecca Tuvel wrote an article titled “In Defense of Transracialism” which she was selected to present in January at the American Philosophical Association’s Eastern Division conference. https://apaonline.site-ym.com/?page=2017E_Accepted  This was a pretty big deal for someone in her line of work. Only the cream of the crop make the cut and the competition is tough.

Near as I can understand it, the field of academic philosophy involves the application of logic to various questions. Like mathematics, practitioners attempt to follow their computations to an unassailable conclusion supported by data. Then their opponents try to pick holes in either their logic or their data. It’s like a nightmare form of Twitter where every reply requires a 2500 word rebuttal. A brutally unromantic, areligious, aspiration to the highest levels of human thought, all couched in various fightclub lingo only understood by other initiates.

Anyway, Rebecca Tuvel examined the logic behind white Rachel Dolezal identifying as black (transracial), and male Bruce Jenner identifying as female (transgender), and concluded that the premise was one and the same and we could either affirm both identities, or neither. Further, she argued that society had reason to support such identities, and had precedent in doing so. You can read her paper in full here: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/in-defense-of-transracialism-rebecca-tuvel/

All of this was well and good until a site specifically concerned with women’s liberation, the (ostensibly) feminist philosophy journal Hypatia, reprinted Tuvel’s article. Like all places and spaces dedicated to the specific interests of female human beings Hypatia was heavily monitored by those who wish to preserve sex-roles and police the women who protest or critique them. Particularly the men who identify as transwomen and those who champion them in that endeavor. Long story short, the shit hit the fan!

No one had any idea how to counter her logical arguments. They could easily prove Rachel Dolezal wasn’t actually black, but the same arguments applied to Caitlyn Jenner proved he was a sexist man performing a ghastly pantomime of womanhood. Not only could they not rebut her argument but they couldn’t stop people from reading it, so they did what every gender panicked soul who hates the idea that sex roles are culturally created to ritualize female subordination to males is left to do: Silence, censor, smear, threaten, defame.

Heterosexual white female Nora Berenstain of the University of Tennessee accused Tuvel of being a violent perpetrator:

“Tuvel enacts violence and perpetuates harm in numerous ways throughout her essay. She deadnames a trans woman [Bruce Jenner]. She uses the term “transgenderism.” She talks about “biological sex” and uses phrases like “male genitalia.” She focuses enormously on surgery, which promotes the objectification of trans bodies. She refers to “a male-to- female (mtf) trans individual who could return to male privilege,” promoting the harmful transmisogynistic ideology that trans women have (at some point had) male privilege.”

https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/nora-berenstain-on-rebecca-tuvel-and-hypatia/

Heterosexual white female Alexis Shotwell of Carleton University  https://twitter.com/alexisshotwell organized a demand letter for censorship claiming that Rebecca Tuvel’s work fails standards of scholarship:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1efp9C0MHch_6Kfgtlm0PZ76nirWtcEsqWHcvgidl2mU/viewform?ts=59066d20&edit_requested=true

Archive: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/alexis-shotwell-open-letter-to-hypatia/

Call for censorship signed by Jack Halbersham

In response, the moderators of the Hypatia facebook page, representing “A Majority of the Hypatia’s Board of Associated Editors” (whatever that means) censored and deleted all previous related posts and announced an unauthorized (?) apology from Hypatia stating that academic philosophy should never hurt the feelings of people who like sex roles:

Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy

23 hrs ·

To our friends and colleagues in feminist philosophy,

We, the members of Hypatia’s Board of Associate Editors, extend our profound apology to our friends and colleagues in feminist philosophy, especially transfeminists, queer feminists, and feminists of color, for the harms that the publication of the article on transracialism has caused. The sources of those harms are multiple, and include: descriptions of trans lives that perpetuate harmful assumptions and (not coincidentally) ignore important scholarship by trans philosophers; the practice of deadnaming, in which a trans person’s name is accompanied by a reference to the name they were assigned at birth; the use of methodologies which take up important social and political phenomena in dehistoricized and decontextualized ways, thus neglecting to address and take seriously the ways in which those phenomena marginalize and commit acts of violence upon actual persons; and an insufficient engagement with the field of critical race theory. Perhaps most fundamentally, to compare ethically the lived experience of trans people (from a distinctly external perspective) primarily to a single example of a white person claiming to have adopted a black identity creates an equivalency that fails to recognize the history of racial appropriation, while also associating trans people with racial appropriation. We recognize and mourn that these harms will disproportionately fall upon those members of our community who continue to experience marginalization and discrimination due to racism and cisnormativity.

It is our position that the harms that have ensued from the publication of this article could and should have been prevented by a more effective review process. We are deeply troubled by this and are taking this opportunity to seriously reconsider our review policies and practices. While nothing can change the fact that the article was published, we are dedicated to doing what we can to make things right. Clearly, the article should not have been published, and we believe that the fault for this lies in the review process. In addition to the harms listed above imposed upon trans people and people of color, publishing the article risked exposing its author to heated critique that was both predictable and justifiable. A better review process would have both anticipated the criticisms that quickly followed the publication, and required that revisions be made to improve the argument in light of those criticisms.

We would also like to explain our review process. Manuscripts sent to Hypatia are sent out for peer review to two anonymous reviewers. The reviewers do not see the names of the author of the manuscript, and the identity of peer reviewers is not known to authors. The journal has had a long-standing policy of minimizing desk rejections due to its commitment to providing constructive feedback to feminist scholars. Revised manuscripts are also sent to the same readers for review. In the case where two peer readers disagree, a third anonymous reader may be found. Members of the Associate Editorial Board might be asked to provide another opinion and are expected to serve as readers on two articles each year. Some have wanted us to reveal the identities of the peer reviewers for this article. We cannot do this. We are a scholarly journal committed to an anonymous peer review process. We want readers to feel free to offer their honest feedback on manuscripts submitted to Hypatia. Anonymous peer review is important for the scholarly reputation of Hypatia; mistakes in particular instances should not compromise the commitment to anonymous peer review in scholarship.

In addition, to reconsidering our review policies, we are drafting a policy on name changes that will govern review of all work considered for publication in the journal from this point forward. We wish to express solidarity with our trans colleagues in our condemnation of deadnaming. It is unacceptable that this happened, and we are working to ensure that it never happens again. We also wish to express solidarity with our colleagues of color (understanding that gender and race are entangled categories) in our condemnation of scholarship about racial identity that fails to reflect substantive understanding of and engagement with critical philosophy of race. We are working to develop additional advisory guidelines to ensure that feminist theorists from groups underrepresented in our profession, including trans people and people of color, are integrated in the various editorial stages. This does not mean that we want to place future responsibility solely on transfeminists and feminists of color. We are committed to improving our review process and practice in order to make the best decision about publication and to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

Hypatia is a journal committed to pluralist feminist inquiry and has been an important site for the publication of scholarship long-considered marginal in philosophy. Too many of us are still characterized as “not real” philosophers by non- and anti-feminist colleagues. As a feminist journal, Hypatia is committed to providing mentorship to all who submit articles by encouraging substantive feedback on essays submitted for consideration. Clearly there was a mistake along the line in the review process, and we are doing our best to figure out a way forward.

Several further types of responses have been suggested to us, including issuing a retraction and setting up a blog or website for further conversation about how to move forward and improve our process. We continue to consider those responses and all of their potential ramifications thoughtfully. We welcome more feedback and suggestions, as we intend to learn from this mistake and do our best to be accountable and worthy of the trust of all feminist scholars.

Finally, we want to recognize that following the publication of the article, there was a Facebook post from the Hypatia account that also caused harm, primarily by characterizing the outrage that met the article’s publication as mere “dialogue” that the article was “sparking.” We want to state clearly that we regret that the post was made.

We sincerely thank all who have expressed criticism of the article’s publication and who have called on us to reply. Working through conflicts, owning mistakes, and finding a way forward is part of the crucial, difficult work that feminism does. As members of Hypatia’s editorial board we are taking this opportunity to make Hypatia more deeply committed to the highest quality of feminist scholarship, pluralism, and respect. The words expressed here cannot change the harm caused by the fact of the article’s publication, but we hope they convey the depth and sincerity of our commitment to make necessary changes to move forward and do better.

Sincerely,

A Majority of the Hypatia’s Board of Associated Editors

 

https://www.facebook.com/hypatia.editorialoffice/posts/1852550825032876

 

As you can see, no rebuttal of Rebecca Tuvel’s arguments exist. Her paper was vetted by both the American Philosophical Association and the Hypatia Journal.

The capitulation to genderist harassment by some members of the Hypatia organization who have taken control over their facebook content (Board of Associated Editors have no input or control over editorial decisions, they seem to be interns) has raised the alarms among academic philosophers.

Leiter Reports calls for a defamation lawsuit against the genderists:

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2017/05/the-defamation-of-rebecca-tuvel-by-the-board-of-associate-editors-of-hypatia-and-the-open-letter.html

Daily Nous did a piece in response with a comment by Rebecca Tuvel:

http://dailynous.com/2017/05/01/philosophers-article-transracialism-sparks-controversy/

The jist of all of the protest seems to be that if transgender people were what they actually are (Not the other sex! As Dolezal is Not Black!) it would be the most awful thing imaginable.

blackface stonewall

“Trans Woman of Color”?

A gaggle of deranged caucasian Tumblerites (or as I like to call them, Brooklyn Genderqueers) has painted ghastly blackface on statues commemorating the historic gay riot at the Stonewall Inn, turning the figures into the most offensive lawn jockeys* imaginable. They were protesting a film that has not yet been released, and that they have not seen: the upcoming Hollywood drama “Stonewall”. Based on movie trailers, Transgender activists complain that they anticipate the film’s depiction of events that occurred at the predominantly gay white male establishment might be too gay and too white.

The 1969 Stonewall Riot occurred in New York’s Greenwich Village when gay patrons spontaneously refused to submit to a routine police raid of the venue. Lesbian and Gay public establishments were illegal back then and those caught in them were arrested, prosecuted for “indecency”, and their names published in the newspaper, “outing” them to employers as criminal sexual degenerates. Police routinely battered the gay men and raped the gay women.

That night, June 28, two years after the hippie “Summer of Love”, one year after 150 feminists set siege to the Miss America pageant, setting off stink-bombs in the hall and throwing curlers, tweezers, stockings and high-heeled shoes (and yes, bras) into a trash can as they crowned a live sheep Miss America, at the height of the Black Power movement, and the Vietnam War protests, something changed. Gay people refused to get into the paddy wagons*. Not one or two but all of them. They fought police and the whole neighborhood came out to join them. Riot!!!

The second night a spontaneous street celebration and makeshift parade took place. Reports state that it was faaabulous. Gay Pride! It was the birth of Gay Pride and we commemorate this uprising of fierce, fierce, pride in every city, town and hamlet worth its sequined thong every year, in June or July, whenever we get around to it.

The so-called “Stonewall Monument” is a work of art by pop artist George Segal named ‘Gay Liberation’. It was commissioned in 1979 by arts patron Peter Putnam and consists of four life-sized bronze figures, not sculpted, but cast in plaster bandages. They are painted white to replicate the plaster Putnam used for casting. The people used to make the casts were each a real gay male and gay female couple who were friends of the artist. The two couples are touching each other intimately (but not sexually). All four of the models are believed to have been white. One of the gay men modeled in the piece shared his reflections in a 2009 article here: http://www.glreview.org/article/article-526/ .

Segal was not the first choice for the commission but he was the first that accepted the (then socially unpopular) task. He had just finished his piece commemorating the Kent State shootings. The instructions for the work were that the piece “had to be loving and caring, and show the affection that is the hallmark of gay people … and it had to have equal representation of men and women.” The work was considered very controversial and “explicit” at the time and was installed in Greenwich Village in 1992 after the initial 1984 installation at Stanford University was vandalized over 40 times by anti-gay individuals, including battery by hammer. Since its installation in small Christopher Park across the street from the Stonewall Inn the work has come to be known as the “Stonewall Monument”.

gay_liberation_sheridan_squ

The latest vandalization is unique in that the gay men were painted in a way that portrays “blackface” with giant red lips, and afro and brown wigs. Bras were also adhered to the gay men’s chests. No word on why beards and penises where not affixed to the lesbian figures.

blackface stonewall 2

The transgender activists perpetrating the Stonewall Blackface Incident were apparently inspired by the words of “Miss Major”, a seventy three year old male who amazingly claims to have participated in both the Stonewall Riots and the riots at the Attica maximum security penitentiary. “Miss Major” made the following comment about the “Stonewall Monument” as posted on Autostraddle last week:

“Two fags, two lesbians and some random person looking like they were walking into the Park are the statues that are there. Someone should smash those motherfuckers up and turn them into the white dust that they are and put a couple of statues of people of color and at least make one of them an overly obnoxious transgender woman 6’5″, three inch heels, blond/red hair, lashes, beads, feathers and put one of those fine white boys next to her, now that I can handle! [laughter] And let’s have two lesbians at the end with luggage because they’re moving in together! [laughter]” [sic]

In comments at Autostraddle one of the white female trans vandals states:

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the skills or funds to cast sculptures of our own. We also couldn’t paint the entire statues brown because Christopher Park is a highly busy and visible area and we were worried about being arrested. It sucks that some people are correlating it to Black face (and we see why), but that’s decontextualizing what we did. Anyway, we hope that this gets the ball rolling and that we’ll soon see sculptures representing the people of color who led the riots.”

This event nicely caps off a long summer of transgender protests against Gay Pride events for being too gay. From Glasgow’s Pride event, which banned drag queens as offensive to heterosexual male transgenders, to the heckler disrupting president Obama’s White House Pride reception, to the forced signing of a gender loyalty pledge required of participants at Vancouver Pride, to the trans activists that sat down in the street and forced Boston’s Pride parade to come to a screeching halt, to Auckland’s Pride where they did the same thing and resisted arrest. San Diego Pride tried to thwart the inevitable by naming “the entire transgender community” as their Grand Marshal, but was still marred by “die-ins” by trans activists who wanted to draw attention to transgender despair and the fact that 14 out of the 12,000 people murdered annually in the US. are transgender victims.

Is Transgender the Last Wave of Anti-Gay Activism?