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Forums - Politics Discussion - Surveys: Most Americans are "terfs".

So I was was reading my daily email from Digg wherein they round up and link to the previous day's most up-voted articles shared on their site just now when I noticed that this article authored by Jessie Earl for Game Spot appeared among them. It's called "JK Rowling's Anti-Transgender Stance and Hogwarts Legacy".

Yep, it's back! Though Rowling had nothing to do with the game's development, nevertheless now that a new Harry Potter video game is being released, it's time for a revival of the "J.K. Rowling is a terf bigot" mantra and question amongst the gaming public. (To these ends, I thought about naming this thread something more sarcastic like "Harry Potter and the Half-Wit Libs", "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Stupid", or "Harry Potter and the Order of the Dumbshits", but narrowly resisted the temptation in favor of a more literal description of this thread's simple content so as to avoid being accused of click-baiting people.) I find it difficult to get very far into pretentious hit pieces like this because...well let me just illustrate the matter for you real quick by example. Early on, Earl writes that...

Spoiler!
The objective [of this article] is not to provide you with an answer about how to feel, but to give you the tools needed to consider the questions yourself. There are no easy answers to be found here, outside of the necessity to support and protect those most vulnerable to harm.

...and then, literally the very next sentence is...

Spoiler!
Rowling's words have garnered her the support of "gender critical feminists" (GCF)*, who are sometimes known as "trans-exclusionary radical feminists" or TERFs. 


Critiques of J.K. Rowling's feminist approach to gender identity politics always look like this. The above sentence to me sounds sort of like saying "XYZ's words have garnered them the support of women, who are sometimes known as cunts or hos", yet I am expected to not only take this opinion seriously, but to consider it a professional statement of objective fact, apparently, and not just a lame, melodramatic political hit piece. Yes, I instantly come to the conclusion that I am indeed being told how to feel about the issue in question, and in kind of a demeaning way that drains me of motivation to proceed. I therefore opt to simply skim the rest and find that later on the article helpfully embeds a video with the title "EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TERFS" printed in gigantic, all-caps lettering. I click the X button at the top of the tab, then start writing this thread because I already know what the rest says. My point being that this is an excellent example of how NOT to communicate with your critics. Maybe someone with more pain tolerance than me would bother reading the rest in detail, but I feel like I've heard all the arguments already and am not a masochist.

"Terf" is the main and most common descriptor that gender ideologists use to describe the critics of their program, as if they were not only all women, but also composed entirely of "radical feminists" specifically, and furthermore of a bent to cause trans-identified people harm. Earl's hit piece in fact describes Rowling's supporters, such persons, as "a small but vocal movement", as if to posit that opinions like his are broadly popular and are questioned only by a tiny, bigoted fringe. I just wanted to take a brief moment to clarify today that the "terfs" being referenced here are, in reality, most of the U.S. public! According to the most recent survey results, for example:


-56% of Americans lean toward the view that "whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth".

-75% of Americans believe that "there are only two genders", i.e. that there is no such thing as being "non-binary" or "queer-gendered".

-Most Americans are against allowing men transwomen to compete in women's athletics and also believe schools should be required to inform parents if their child requests to go by different pronouns in school, while just 27 and 28% disagree with those respective positions. Wonder why!

-Just 28% think parents should be allowed to provide their children with puberty-blocking drugs, while 49% think the practice should be outlawed. So, in other words, yeah people are more inclined than not to believe there is something abusive about the practice.

(Most of this data can be found at on pages 246 through 257 at the first link above and the rest can be found at the second link.)

In other words, the American public ain't half as woke about this shit as Earl portrays and doesn't generally buy into the concept of gender identity at all, let alone support the corresponding policy agenda. However, the Economist/YouGov survey does find that, nevertheless, the public does balk though at the idea of schools banning books featuring transgender characters. Censorship ain't something most people support. That's really the only notable caveat there is to public opinion on these matters here though.

J.K. Rowling's personal take on these matters is, in fact, more liberal-minded than that of the average American. Her highly-publicized essay on the subject of gender identity and her gender critical feminism expressly states her personal belief that gender identity is, in fact, a real thing, for example, whereas your average person in this country, as you can see here, is inclined to disagree. She accedes to trans-identified people's preferred pronouns and all that, but insists on an acknowledgment that people's biological sex is relevant to public life and that the basic integrity of women's sex-based rights and spaces be maintained and respected. In other words, she views trans rights and women's rights as compatible, not mutually opposing forces. It's her opponents who seem to disagree.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 20 March 2022

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Jaicee said:

-Most Americans are against allowing men transwomen to compete in women's athletics and also believe schools should be required to inform parents if their child requests to go by different pronouns in school, while just 27 and 28% disagree with those respective positions. Wonder why!

What a shitty little dig you tossed in there for no reason. 



...

I'm saying this as nicely as I can Jaicee, but from the perspective of a mod, what are we trying to teach people with this topic? Is the source a reputable one? I see above that you threw your own commentary behind this piece (again for what logical purpose)?

If this is a subject that's to take off, or exist at all, those are crucial things you must address.



                                                                                                                                                           

CGI-Quality said:

I'm saying this as nicely as I can Jaicee, but from the perspective of a mod, what are we trying to teach people with this topic? Is the source a reputable one? I see above that you threw your own commentary behind this piece (again for what logical purpose)?

If this is a subject that's to take off, or exist at all, those are crucial things you must address.

The purpose was basically just to complain about the resurrection of the J.K. Rowling freakout in the gaming press and to point out that most people, in fact, agree with the bulk of her opinions on this subject. I feel that I have done so. If you want to close the topic to avoid controversy breaking out, it's fine with me. I feel cleansed and satisfied already just to have voiced.



Torillian said:
Jaicee said:

-Most Americans are against allowing men transwomen to compete in women's athletics and also believe schools should be required to inform parents if their child requests to go by different pronouns in school, while just 27 and 28% disagree with those respective positions. Wonder why!

What a shitty little dig you tossed in there for no reason. 

To me, it lies at the very heart of the issue.



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Jaicee said:
CGI-Quality said:

I'm saying this as nicely as I can Jaicee, but from the perspective of a mod, what are we trying to teach people with this topic? Is the source a reputable one? I see above that you threw your own commentary behind this piece (again for what logical purpose)?

If this is a subject that's to take off, or exist at all, those are crucial things you must address.

The purpose was basically just to complain about the resurrection of the J.K. Rowling freakout in the gaming press and to point out that most people, in fact, agree with the bulk of her opinions on this subject. I feel that I have done so. If you want to close the topic to avoid controversy breaking out, it's fine with me. I feel cleansed and satisfied already just to have voiced.

I mean, I just wanted some insight. I do understand why the controversy exists, but to have some clarification does at least help.

Last edited by CGI-Quality - on 20 March 2022

                                                                                                                                                           

For all the benefits this high communication era has brought theres also the problem that certain unpopular opinions get spread out and since people are in bubles most of the time they might think they are in the majority.

Wasent there also some study that said that only 2% of the population are responsible for 90% of tweets? That's the proble. Cuz it tends to be like minded people that join certain groups and simce you get little disagrement in your buble you think your part of the majority.



It takes genuine talent to see greatness in yourself despite your absence of genuine talent.

CGI-Quality said:
Jaicee said:

The purpose was basically just to complain about the resurrection of the J.K. Rowling freakout in the gaming press and to point out that most people, in fact, agree with the bulk of her opinions on this subject. I feel that I have done so. If you want to close the topic to avoid controversy breaking out, it's fine with me. I feel cleansed and satisfied already just to have voiced.

I mean,. I just wanted some insight. I do understand why the controversy exists, but to have some clarification does at least help.

Believe you me, being no stranger to controversy, I thought twice before posting, playing out the range of possible consequences in my mind. Then I thought a third time. Then, tired of stressing over whether to proceed, I was just like "What the hell?" and clicked the Submit button. Then I went back and did some edits to clean it up and maybe minimize potential damage within reason.

Like I said, whatever you guys feel it's necessary to do with this thread, close it or whatever, that's fine with me.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 20 March 2022

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/logicalfallacies/Appeal-to-Popularity

I don't really care what percentage of Americans think puberty blockers are abusive, or that gender is binary, or whatever else. I would care what percentage of those who are experts in the field feel that way. The surveys have nothing to do with whether or not the criticism of Rowling is justified. Popularity especially should not be a factor in any kind of human rights issues, to the extent it can be avoided. The article, had you read it, actually explains its issue with Rowling's views fairly clearly, and that would be the more relevant part to address. Rowling's support of the idea that trans people influence other people to become trans is not only incredibly ill supported (the methodology in the sources she cites is fucked), but encourages ostracization of trans youth. 

Even taking this post merely as an argument over Earl's claim that terfs are a small minority, the OP fails. Terf is the overlap between feminism, or radical feminism, and anti-trans, or at least trans exclusionary, views. It stands to reason that at least some of the people in the 50ish% who believe gender is assigned at birth are not feminists and thus would not be included. They also do not necessarily wish to exclude trans people from female places, regardless of whtether of their particular feelings about trans people. Whether or not the claim is actually true, none of the surveys here are helpful to determine that. And again, the amount of people that hold such views does not say anything about their validity.

Moreover, the article is clearly not saying that most people approve of trans people. Just a couple of sentences after the excerpt you posted, it goes on to suggest that trans people may be the most marginalized community of people. So, obviously, they are not arguing that most are supportive of trans people. If anything, the surveys support the author.  

Last edited by JWeinCom - on 20 March 2022

1.) Most people are not projecting those views.

JK Rowling is one of the most famous people on the planet, and one of the most famous writers on the planet.

Most people aren't going to care if Sally down the street in some random town in Massachusetts is spouting transphobic rhetoric. It's different when JKR is, because people pay attention. And trans people often decide to kill themselves because they don't think they are allowed to live. Society tells them they are wrong for existing.   

2.) A majority of people holding a view doesn't make it true.

A lot of Americans also thought that 1/4th is larger than 1/3rd. A lot of Americans also think that people thought that the Earth was flat until Columbus. A lot of Americans also think that Columbus discovered America.

2a.) A majority of people holding a view doesn't make it okay.

For hundreds of years, enough people thought slavery was okay, and most people didn't care enough to do anything about it.

3.) Whether you like it or not, or understand it or not, even just sex is more complicated than XX=female, XY=male.

The issue is that is how every American gets taught about how sex works. We don't learn anything about people who are XXY, XXX, XXXY, XXXX. We don't learn about people who are XY who physically present as female. In other words, a category of people that are genetically male, but are assigned female. We don't get taught how the brain interprets its own place in society.  

4.) men transwomen

I have no clue why you think this was necessary.

Last edited by the-pi-guy - on 20 March 2022