How the social media mob helped me find my voice
For FAIR’s Substack, Katherine Brodsky writes about what led her to write her first book, "No Apologies: How to Find and Free Your Voice in the Age of Outrage―Lessons for the Silenced."
In the process of telling my story, I have found my own voice. What started as a reluctant whisper grew into a defiant roar. I own my voice. I own my thoughts. And I get to decide what I do or do not say.
Being open about my own views has had a number of rewards: I’m more true to myself, and it has fostered deeper, more honest friendships. After all, how can you really know someone who cannot say what they mean? In a sense, voicing my beliefs openly has given permission to others within my circle to do the same without fear of judgement. Even if we disagree, we assume the best in each other. Speaking my thoughts out loud also allowed me to better understand and refine my own convictions because I had the opportunity to discuss them and have my views challenged or enhanced. In particular, I made a point to seek out people with different perspectives to talk through our disagreements in good faith.
Color blindness remains the best form of antiracism
For the Boston Globe, Coleman Hughes writes about the modern neoracist movement and proposes a better alternative.
The civil rights movement fought against all kinds of racial stereotyping. It fought against any kind of race thinking that discouraged us from seeing other people as individual human beings — any kind of thinking that encouraged us to see people instead as undifferentiated representatives of a collective mass: the white, the Black.
Civil rights leaders saw race thinking as dehumanizing — a way of seeing people that opposed our common humanity and the importance of individual character.
The VA is abandoning women veterans’ rights for gender identity
For The Hill, Catherine M. Novotny, Edward Waldrep, and Nina Silander write about the VA’s decision to damage women’s rights, override clinical discretion, and disregard the basic constitutional rights of employees.
The VA’s policy is silencing reasonable objections to genuinely dangerous individuals and ignores the concerns of women. Objections from women are treated as “an opportunity to educate” the complainants, rather than as grounds for the department to change its misguided policy. Not only veterans, but also VA employees, are being harmed by this policy, which holds that veterans may claim a gender identity contrary to their sex, but which simultaneously orders the VA to provide medical screens, many of which are dependent upon biological sex. This is contradictory and procedurally incompatible with the practice of medicine.
Navigating Ideological Currents: Why We Will Continue to Avoid Ideological Bias
For Genspect, Stella O'Malley and Helen Pluckrose write about the challenge of navigating ideological biases in their work.
Because Genspect supports open and robust debate, our content is likely to include worldviews that some will find distressing. Trans-identified individuals may find gender-critical views, socially conservative views as well as the experiences of detransitioners upsetting. Gender-critical and radical feminists may find the views of transgender/transexual/transvestite individuals or even their presence distressing, as may social conservatives. Social conservatives and gender-critical feminists may well object strongly to each other’s views, and detransitioners hold a wide range of views on sex and gender that may contradict some people’s deeply held beliefs.
Deliberative Rhetoric Is a Necessary Tool for Communal Flourishing
For Discourse, Erec Smith writes about why he believes to promote true abundance, educators from a variety of disciplines must instill the basics of rational debate and consensus-building.
I conceptualize an abundant life as one that goes beyond financial security and involves the acquisition of skills necessary to better ensure a flourishing life, i.e., a life of happiness and success in society. Rhetoric, specifically deliberative rhetoric, can enhance both individual and communal abundance. Individual speakers and small communities can convince others to act on an issue that needs improvement if they recognize the shared values inherent in their rationale for the improvement. When the values of individuals and communities align with widely shared societal values, an issue may have enough collective weight to be noticed and addressed.
As Kids, They Thought They Were Trans. They No Longer Do.
For the New York Times, Pamela Paul writes about the growing phenomena of detransitioners.
Studies show that around eight in 10 cases of childhood gender dysphoria resolve themselves by puberty and 30 percent of people on hormone therapy discontinue its use within four years, though the effects, including infertility, are often irreversible.
Proponents of early social transition and medical interventions for gender dysphoric youth cite a 2022 study showing that 98 percent of children who took both puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones continued treatment for short periods, and another study that tracked 317 children who socially transitioned between the ages of 3 and 12, which found that 94 percent of them still identified as transgender five years later. But such early interventions may cement children’s self-conceptions without giving them time to think or sexually mature.
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