Ben Sixsmith on the blurring of identity and mental illness:
Of course, it is good to understand the choices people make. But is it always necessary to respect those choices? Some people who have sought out castration claim to be much happier and calmer for it. Yet auto-castration is well-known to be a sign of chronic paranoid schizophrenia. One study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggested that in others, the desire to castrate themselves was correlated with “abuse sustained during childhood, including parental threats of castration” and “religious condemnation of sexuality,” among other things. Would anyone insist that there are not healthier means of dealing with such traumas?
Leor Sapir on transgender swimmer Lia Thomas - and when politeness becomes unhinged:
The Human Rights Campaign warns that “contrasting transgender people with ‘real’ or ‘biological’ men and women is a false comparison” that “can contribute to the inaccurate perception that transgender people are being deceptive or less than equal, when, in fact, they are being authentic and courageous.” This is a strawman wrapped in a non sequitur. Critics of gender self-identification do not argue that people like Thomas are “being deceptive,” but rather that they are themselves deceived. HRC’s use of “authentic” here really means “sincere”: transgender women are being sincere, not deceptive, when they say they have a strong inner sense of being a woman. But that sincerity is irrelevant unless one first assumes that what makes a belief true is the fact that it is sincerely held, rather than its correspondence to objective reality.
Emil Kirkegaard on mental health and political leanings:
Back in May 2020, I published a paper provocatively titled Mental Illness and the Left. It was based on the common observation (stereotype!) that conservatives seem less prone to mental illness… Since my study was published, replications have come out. The fact that this replicates is not at all surprising because the samples were very large, representative, and results not p-hacked and with tiny p values. Here’s an overview of recent replications…
And Robert Stacy McCain on pretentious self-pity:
Taylor Lorenz has gone from the New York Times to the Washington Post, but she’s still peddling the same journalistic product, and still claiming that people saying mean things on Twitter have destroyed her life. MSNBC last week featured her on a segment in which she claimed to have “severe PTSD.” […] If we are to believe Taylor Lorenz, people saying mean things about her on Twitter is exactly like getting ambushed by the Vietcong. […] Nowhere in the mainstream media’s coverage of the so-called “harassment” directed at Lorenz does one find any useful description of what she has done over the years to attract criticism of her work… The possibility that Taylor Lorenz is a bad person — well, this never occurs to anybody in the liberal media.
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