Alex Bertie interview

Alex Bertie is a trans man who’s becoming quite famous these days. He has a popular YouTube channel, he just wrote a book, and here he is promoting it in an interview that aired on the BBC. His picture was recently used in an article that was critical of transgenderism, and now it’s like he’s the trans man poster boy.

The interview is interesting:

Funny how when they talk about Alex’s childhood, the primary thing they talk about is how she was bullied for looking and acting “like a boy.” It’s almost like the reason Alex transitioned is because she was bullied. I mean, if she was just born with a neurological disorder that caused her to have a mental map of her body as male, then they probably would have mentioned that, wouldn’t they? Why the need to open up a discussion of her transition by talking about how much she was bullied for being a “girl with a boy’s haircut?”

Alex’s mother mentions briefly that Alex identified as a lesbian before identifying as a trans man. There’s a big gay elephant in the room during this interview that no one is daring to mention: Alex is a lesbian, and she was bullied for being a lesbian, and the adults in her life taught her that the way to deal with sexist and homophobic bullying is to change your body, and that girls who do “boy things” are literally male.

I really want to read Alex’s book. I can’t afford any more book purchases right now, but hopefully in 2018 I’ll be able to order it. Then I’ll be dropping some truth bombs about how the way to deal with bullying is to make the bullies stop bullying, not force the victim to change herself to accommodate people’s bigotry. Lesbians deserve better than this, and you know what, all girls deserve better than this.

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Jordan Peterson still getting his analysis wrong

Jordan Peterson is the most well-known Canadian man standing up to the trans cult, but unfortunately he keeps getting his analysis wrong. That’s because he’s a conservative and doesn’t listen to feminists. Lots of feminists have done excellent work laying out all the factors that have caused trans cult dogma to flourish and have also clearly articulated what the left should be doing instead, but Peterson isn’t about to listen to us or take us seriously.

He’s been fundraising to start his own online university where students will be able to learn without being indoctrinated into post-modern ideology, and now he’s creating a website that warns potential students against taking certain classes that are known for their indoctrination.

From the Toronto Star:

“Psychology professor Jordan Peterson’s stated plan to build a website aimed at reducing enrolment in university classes he calls “indoctrination cults” has drawn the ire of his University of Toronto colleagues, who say it will make them the target of harassment.

Peterson, who rose to fame in right-wing circles after his outspoken refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns, says he wants to use artificial intelligence to scour university curriculums for what he “calls post-modern neo-Marxist course content.”

“We’re going to start with a website in the next month and a half that will be designed to help students and parents identify post-modern content in courses so that they can avoid them,” he told CTV’s Your Morning in August.

“I’m hoping that over about a five-year period a concerted effort could be made to knock the enrolment down in postmodern neo-Marxist cult classes by 75 per cent across the West. So our plan initially is to cut off the supply to the people that are running the indoctrination cults.”

Post-modern neo-Marxist cult classes? Oh dear gawd. Conservatives like to call anything they don’t like “Marxist” without having any idea whatsoever of what Marxism actually is. Trans cult ideology is neoliberal, not Marxist, and neoliberalism is the opposite of Marxism, not a new version of it. Neoliberal ideology was created by capitalists in order to fight back against Marxism and other forms of collectivism. Neoliberalism was taken up by the anti-feminist backlash and it has been used to infiltrate and destroy all leftist movements, including labor, feminism, and anti-racism.

Speaking as a person who is both pro-Marxist and anti-neoliberal, it really frustrates me to see him equate these opposite ideologies. It’s also frustrating to see someone speaking publicly about a social issue from a position of authority as a university professor without learning anything about the issue, even though the information is out there and could be easily found.

“In a speech posted to his YouTube page on July 9, Peterson elaborates on what type of courses he aims to target with the website.

“Women’s studies, and all the ethnic studies and racial studies groups, man, those things have to go and the faster they go the better,” he said. “It would have been better if they had never been part of the university to begin with as far as I can tell.”

“Sociology, that’s corrupt. Anthropology, that’s corrupt. English literature, that’s corrupt. Maybe the worse offenders are the faculties of education.”

He has observed correctly that the arts and humanities have been taken over by the trans cult. Queer theory has taken over the arts and humanities because those subjects are populated with liberal-leaning, open-minded middle-to-upper class people who exist in the land of theory rather than reality and are concerned about social justice but without being actual members of the oppressed classes they claim to care about. Although queer theory was born in the academy, lots of these courses in sociology and literature aren’t inherently flawed but have been wrongly taken over by queer theory. The solution is to accurately identify the causes of the proliferation of queer theory and to rescue the arts and humanities from it. What Peterson is doing is trying to steer people away from these subject areas without even understanding the problem or trying to solve it. I don’t find that satisfactory.

People on the right like to consider anything that’s not right-wing to be left-wing, but they’re missing the fact that neoliberal Liberals and true leftists are completely opposed to each other. Liberals who have bought into the trans cult ideology are not coming from a materialist or a class analysis, they’re coming from an individualist pro-capitalist consumer culture. True leftists laugh at the silly claims of the trans cult and lament the way it’s ruined our liberation movements. If university arts and humanities courses were actually “Marxist,” as Peterson imagines, then they’d reject trans cult ideology completely and teach the reality of sex class oppression and economic class oppression, with the aim to instill in students a materialist analysis, not an enjoyment of choosing choices.

I’m seriously glad that I’m done with university and not going back, because everything that I love, from sociology to literature, has been ruined, and I wouldn’t be able to sit in a classroom and listen to stupid bullshit and pretend it made any sense. I’m so glad that when I attended university and studied these subjects the trans cult hadn’t completely taken over yet, and we were still allowed to acknowledge the difference between male and female without being told we’re “LITERALLY KILLING” members of the ruling class who have chosen identities for themselves.

These important and necessary subject areas are suffering from being taken over by nonsensical dogma, and Peterson isn’t helping to combat this. He’s not helping because he doesn’t understand what’s happening or why, and the things he’s saying are polarizing people without adding anything useful to the conversation. I love sociology and literature, and I’d rather rescue them than discard them.

Also, check out this tweet from him about the recent flood of sexual assault allegations publicized in the media.

Talk about totally missing the point.

 

Non binary identity aka not fitting in with the popular clique

Here is a young woman who made a video called “How I knew I was non binary.”

Since this is the title of the video, I think it’s reasonable to assume that the things she talks about in her video are the reasons why she knew she was non binary. This is what she talks about in her video:

  • In fifth grade, a girl called her legs “gross” because she hadn’t shaved them, and she didn’t understand why her legs were gross. She hadn’t even reached puberty yet.
  • In middle school there was strong policing of gender by her peers and she felt depressed. She knew it was ridiculous to try and fit in by being as girly as she could, however, this is what she did.
  • A girl she knew put on lip gloss to kiss a boy she had a crush on but she didn’t like wearing that kind of lip gloss. (However in the video she has lipstick on, so….?)
  • She got up early in the morning to style her hair and do her makeup because she felt she had to do this to fit in. She considers compliments about her hair to be signs of “fitting in.” However, she didn’t feel like herself while doing this.
  • One day, she cut her hair short and wore androgynous clothes, and her mother expressed her disapproval because people might think she’s a boy. She thought it was okay if people thought she was a boy.
  • She remembers being happier and more extroverted when she was young enough that people hadn’t started policing her appearance.
  • In senior high school, she wanted to throw out all her girls’ clothes and buy all boys’ clothes, but she was dating a jerk boyfriend and wanted his approval, so she “pretended to be a girl.”
  • She felt validated while reading Tumblr posts about non binary.

Wow! Based on this information, being non binary means being a whole, unique person with a distinct personality who doesn’t meet the shallow, limiting criteria for behavior set by middle school kids. According to this explanation, I’m non binary and so are every person I’ve ever gotten along with, because we’ve also never met the dumb expectations of the popular clique. But I don’t call myself non binary, because I don’t think that’s a useful way to describe what’s happening here.

Non binary identity is an attempt to identify outside of your actual sex in order to avoid having sex-related stereotypes placed on you by other people. It’s not just a synonym for androgynous, which would make some sense, but instead it’s supposed to imply that the sex of your body doesn’t exist and you are neither male nor female (despite not actually having an intersex condition.) Actually, if non binary was a synonym for intersex, that would probably make more sense—if you didn’t have the usual sex characteristics that males and females come with 99% of the time, then “non binary” could describe that. But non binary is not about physical sex characteristics, it’s about the social gender role.

In this video, the young woman talks mostly about having her appearance policed by other people, (her peers and her mother,) and them wanting her to meet their current definition of how girls and women should look. This is a totally normal experience that girls go through as they’re growing up. Depending on how much sexism there is among the people they grow up around, girl children are taught to varying degrees that girls have to look a certain way in order to be acceptable. If a girl is lucky, and her family and peers are not sexist, then she’ll be allowed to be herself. But if her family and peers are sexist, as many people are, then they’ll teach her that she absolutely must look feminine or else she’s a failure as a human being. That’s what happened with the woman in this video. Her peers were very sexist, and it sounds like her mother was too, and that led to her feeling like she needed to style her hair and wear makeup in order to be acceptable, even though she didn’t feel like herself when engaging in these behaviours.

There are lots of reasons why kids and teens are sexist. They learn it from their families, their religions and the media, and a few developmental characteristics makes them very keen on enforcing the rules they’ve learned. Kids and teens are unsure of themselves and very concerned about fitting in. Since they are immature they haven’t developed the ability to find their self-worth from within, and they try to find it through superficial signs of acceptance from their peers. They don’t have well developed social skills and so they engage in bullying and other anti-social behaviours. Boys learn that they have to behave in domineering and aggressive ways in order to be acceptable as boys, and they enforce this on each other. Girls learn that they have to be pretty and pleasing to boys, and they enforce this on other girls. These sexist attitudes come directly from patriarchy, which all children are socialized into.

Lesbian and bisexual women are very likely not to fit the feminine gender role, since it’s entirely based on heterosexuality. However, there are also straight women who don’t fit into femininity. There are plenty of straight women who don’t feel comfortable being limited in life to wife and mother and having her whole existence center around pleasing her man. The reason why there has been a feminist movement going on for decades now is because large numbers of women don’t identify with the sexist expectations placed on us and the limited role reserved for us in patriarchy.

This particular “non binary” woman is attracted to men and eager for their approval, and she is struggling to find a balance between pleasing men and staying true to herself. Surely this is a common experience among all women who are attracted to men, especially when they are in high school.

When I see young women who are going through the normal experience of having their appearance policed by high school peers and believing this makes them literally not female, I realize that navigating a sexist, heteronormative high school social environment is just as difficult as ever and yet we are farther away from helping girls navigate it than we used to be. All these same things happened to me when I was in school. The girls around me had arbitrary, silly, nonsensical, strongly-held beliefs that I was supposed to wear certain clothes, listen to certain music, and say certain things, and if I messed up it was their job to punish me for my transgression. It was terrifying and confusing for me because no one ever explained to me ahead of time what the rules were, and I never knew I was breaking one until the punishment came. Completely random things, like a zipper being in the wrong spot on a pair of pants, or a jacket being “too shiny,” were cause for belittling people.

When I was in high school there was a different word for those of us who didn’t understand the social rules and couldn’t follow them. We called ourselves “outsiders.” We may have gotten this word from the excellent young adult book The Outsiders, actually. Whatever vocabulary young people are given to explain their experiences is the vocabulary they will use. In the 1990s, nobody was telling us that if we didn’t fit in with the popular clique then our biological sex didn’t exist and we had to take on a “gender identity.” The experience of not fitting it hasn’t changed a bit, but the way we conceive of our differences has changed into something totally nonsensical.

There are a few things that I would tell my younger self, to help her navigate the strange and scary world of middle and high school, based on my adult knowledge of the world. The first thing I’d tell her is that social skills aren’t what she thinks they are. I used to think that social skills meant being “cool” and popular, and knowing how to do and say the right things to not get made fun of. Now that I’m an adult, I know that I had good social skills all along, but my peers did not. I knew how to treat people with respect, honour differences, appreciate a person for her personality rather than her appearance, and be kind to my friends. The kids at my school who were bullies were the ones with poor social skills. They didn’t know how to get along with other people, they were shallow and superficial and mean. They needed to be taught better how to interact with their peers.

The second thing I’d tell my younger self is that it was good that I didn’t meet the dumb criteria set by the girls at school. It was good that I wasn’t so shallow that I thought clothing had to only be the latest styles by designer brands, and it was good that I didn’t make rude, snappy comebacks and put people down, because that doesn’t make you cool, it makes you an asshole, and it was good that I had interests in arts and culture and the humanities, even though this made me “nerdy” when I was young. All the things about me that the bullies didn’t like were the things that would make me the person I am, make me proud of myself as an adult, and save my life over and over. My interest in the arts has always been the thing that keeps me from being suicidal. It’s been the main thing that makes sense to me in life and the thing that makes me feel the joy of human existence. It was good that nobody managed to bully that wonderful blessing out of me.

I would then explain to my younger self that superficial approval from my peers in the form of them liking my clothes or hair didn’t actually consist of a meaningful friendship. Further, the people who are really shallow and superficial were not even capable of meaningful friendship. The deep friendships I had with a small number of other nerdy girls were worth thousands of times more than the superficial approval from shallow assholes that I kept craving.

I would also explain to my younger self that the reason I didn’t think I needed an expensive salon haircut and a push-up bra starting at age 13 is because I was a feminist who resisted being a sex object for men and who saw herself as a fully human person. This was a positive thing about me. One of the reasons I found a lot of my female peers’ behavior baffling is because I was a lesbian and I didn’t think the same way they did. I didn’t have this sophisticated understanding back then, but I had an instinct that being overly sexualized and dressed up was not for me, and didn’t make much sense for anybody. Those girls who were 13-going-on-20 were groomed by a sexist culture and they were entering dangerous territory. Some of them were hurt while trying to please boys in these shallow ways.

High school girls who don’t fit in with the popular clique don’t need a gender identity label, they need to be taught how to navigate bullying and sexism. They need to understand that this sort of bullying has been happening for a long time, at least several decades, and maybe since time immemorial, and their mothers dealt with it too. They need to understand what positive values and good social skills are and identify bullies and sexism as the problems. They need to understand that their natural personalities are not a problem and don’t cancel out their womanhood in any way, because women do in fact have a variety of personalities. Girls and women who resist sexist expectations are normal girls and women, and if they need to be given any sort of label, a really useful label would be feminist. Girls who take on a gender identity label are not exempt from sexist expectations, because they are still female and sexist expectations are enforced based on sex, not internally-felt identities.

The main thing the feminist movement has taught me is that trying to identify your way out of oppression by claiming to be “not like the other girls” doesn’t work as a strategy. The strategy that will work to end sexism and female oppression is the strategy of making structural changes to society so that women are freed from being sex objects for men. As long as women are oppressed based on our sex, we will be targeted for misogyny, regardless of how we feel we identify. The more steps we make toward the goal of ending patriarchy, the fewer girls there will be who feel extreme discomfort when they’re expected to meet the demands of femininity, which is literally the social role created to keep us subordinate to men.

Changing definitions

If you are reading this blog, then you likely know that there is a push to change the definition of the word ‘woman.’ This word has always been what we call female humans, much in the same way that we call a female horse a ‘mare’ and a female deer a ‘doe.’ We give specific names to the male and female members of species because sex differences are significant in animals that reproduce sexually.

Male humans who feel they identify as female humans want the definition of the word that designates female humans changed to include them. This would cause the word ‘woman’ to be synonymous with ‘human.’ In the transgenderist belief system, a woman is anyone who identifies as a woman. (This is a circular definition, and doesn’t name what a woman is at all.) Since identification with the social category of ‘woman’ is something any human can claim, regardless of their personal characteristics, there is nothing to distinguish the category of ‘woman’ from any other category. A fully-intact male with a beard and mustache who behaves with typical masculine socialization can call himself a ‘woman’ as long as ‘woman’ is a broad social category that includes anyone who makes a self-declaration.

Feminists disagree with changing the definition of ‘woman’ to accommodate human males for two reasons. As I have shown above, it makes the word ‘woman’ meaningless. In addition, violent males can legally declare themselves ‘women’ under this system, and that means they can gain access to sex-segregated spaces designed to protect females from dangerous men such as them. Those same dangerous males would also be counted as females in crime statistics, making it impossible to tell who is actually committing crimes.

One of the tactics that trans activists use to attempt to dismiss feminists’ valid concerns is to compare our not wanting to change the definition of ‘woman’ to conservatives not wanting to change the definition of ‘marriage.’ These are quite different situations. Trans activists want to present feminists as unreasonably rigid, old-fashioned, and prejudiced because we don’t want to update definitions. This is not the case.

I’d be completely willing to change the definition of ‘woman’ if it made any sense to do so. However, after giving it a lot of thought, and realizing that there is no other coherent definition of woman other than ‘adult human female,’ and considering the real-world impact on women of allowing human males to call themselves by our name, I cannot support this change.

The reason we have words is to communicate. If a word communicates absolutely nothing, then it’s useless as a word. I could go around calling myself a Ghrymk, but unless I define the characteristics of a Ghrymk, you will not understand what I mean. Having a word with no meaning is already absurd, and taking a word that has had a universally-understood meaning for hundreds of years and suddenly making it devoid of meaning is doubly absurd.

The change in the definition of marriage is quite another story. Marriage is a social institution whereby two people declare a commitment to each other and are legally considered a bonded pair. Changing the conception of marriage from between heterosexuals only to between people of any orientation doesn’t significantly alter what marriage is. It’s still a legal union between two romantic partners. It’s still a coherent concept, and in fact when same-sex partners enter into marriage their union is almost identical to the union of opposite-sex couples. The only difference is that the same-sex couple cannot produce children through sexual intercourse. Everything else is the same about the relationship—living together, being in love, cooking meals together, celebrating anniversaries, supporting each other through illnesses and hard times, spending quality time together and having sex. The opposition to this very slight change in the meaning of the word marriage has not made much sense. People argue that a union between same-sex persons is not a marriage because it doesn’t produce children, but there has been no movement to stop infertile or voluntarily childless couples from being considered legally married. People also argue that their belief in a non-existent mythological character means that homosexual persons should not have civil rights. However, this fails as an argument because people’s imaginary beliefs cannot dictate the law.

Since the definition of marriage remains coherent, and in fact not very different from before, and since opposition to the change has been nonsensical, this is a completely opposite situation from the change to the word ‘woman.’

I’d like to see anyone define a social category of person called ‘woman’ that includes both human males and human females. It would be gloriously entertaining to watch the attempt. What characteristics are shared universally among both human females and human males who wish they were female, I’d like to know? It isn’t biology, we know that. It isn’t thoughts or feelings because women have all sorts of different thoughts and feelings. It isn’t behavior because women engage in all sorts of different behaviours. What is it? If the definition of ‘woman’ is to ever change, then someone is going to have to name the characteristic that is universal to all ‘self-declared women,’ and I predict this will be impossible. And no, it can’t be that the person ‘identifies as a woman,’ because that phrase gives no indication as to what people are identifying as. They might as well identify as a Ghrymk.

Ironically, if trans activists do bully linguists into defining ‘woman’ in a way that includes males, that will likely result in another large wave of Peak Trans. That’s also a show I want to watch. I’ll be making a big bowl of popcorn for that one!

The gender-neutral teacher

My trans-critical colleagues are sharing this article about a gender neutral teacher who was removed from a fifth-grade classroom, and some of them are happy to see this teacher removed. Interestingly enough, I find myself supporting the teacher, at least in the sense that I don’t think she should have been removed from her position.

In case you haven’t seen it:
“Transgender teacher removed from classroom after some parents object to gender-neutral prefix ‘Mx.’

A Florida school district this week transferred a fifth-grade teacher from working with children into a classroom with adults after the educator requested to be addressed with gender-neutral pronouns.

The teacher’s preferences — using the prefix Mx. and the pronouns “they, them, their instead of he, his, she, hers” — had been met with support from some Canopy Oaks Elementary parents and complaints from others, including “a handful” who pulled their children from the classroom, according to a district spokesman. The Leon County school district said teacher Chloe Bressack’s transfer was a mutual decision.

“Given the complexity of this issue, we both agreed a different environment would be best for Teacher Bressack’s educational career and for the young students at Canopy Oaks,” superintendent Rocky Hanna said in a statement.”

According to the limited information given in the article, the parents objected to the very use of gender neutral pronouns, and that was enough to motivate them to remove their children from the class. I am unaware if there were other issues or concerns.

For the sake of conversation, let’s say that Bressack is an excellent teacher and a good role model and there are no concerns other than her use of “they/them” pronouns. In this case, I think it’s unreasonable and excessive to remove children from her class or to remove the teacher from her position. Although referring to people in the third person is silly and unnecessary, it’s also relatively harmless.

Teachers are whole human beings, not just robots with a chalk in their hand. Obviously they all have their own sets of beliefs, which will regularly differ from the beliefs of the parents of their students. One cannot ensure that their child’s teacher always shares one’s beliefs.

I have said that the use of gender-neutral pronouns is silly and unnecessary. I also think that belief in God is silly and unnecessary. I think that people who believe there is a man in the sky watching over us are just as crazy as people who don’t believe in human reproductive anatomy. But there are many religious people in the world and I can’t expect that none of my teachers will ever be religious.

The important thing is whether a teacher does her job well. Does she teach the subjects she is supposed to teach? Are the students learning? Are the students safe, supported, disciplined fairly, and treated with dignity? Is assessment and reporting completed accurately on the students’ progress? The personal beliefs of a teacher cannot be used to measure whether she is qualified or not.

I know my trans-critical colleagues will bring up at this point how harmful gender identity ideology is for women. Believe me, I have noticed! But many other ideologies are harmful to women too. In fact, the only ideology not harmful to women is radical feminism. It wouldn’t be practical to remove all teachers who aren’t radical feminists from the classroom. There would be very few teachers left remaining. We have to trust that all the teachers who believe in things like religion, gender, neoliberalism, capitalism etc, will do their jobs as teachers without spending all their time indoctrinating.

Here’s where we get to the other scenario. Maybe Bressack wants to spend all her time indoctrinating children into the belief that people can be any gender they want to be rather than teaching them the assigned school subjects. In this case, then she should be removed from her job, because she is not doing the job she’s been hired to do. She was hired to teach science and math, not queer theory. If her fifth-graders are learning to add and subtract fractions and name the planets and the continents, then she’s doing alright. If she’s teaching Judith Butler, then she’s not.

When I was in school, I did have some teachers who were Christians and who made that known. I had one teacher who spend a bit of class time talking about Catholic beliefs. It wasn’t very much time, but it was a little. She also did a very good job teaching her subject and I’m still good at it to this day. I really appreciate what she taught me. I never became a Catholic even though she talked about it briefly, but she did get to bring her whole self to the classroom, which I think was nice for her.

Bringing your whole self to work is a phrase I’ve learned from pro-gay materials designed to help gays and lesbians come out at work. If we can be our whole selves at work, shouldn’t everybody else too? (Within reason, of course. I’m not saying that criminals and child abusers should behave immorally at work.)

If I were a parent whose child had a teacher whose personal beliefs I found silly and unnecessary, my first approach would be just to have a gentle conversation with my child about it. I would explain that people have lots of different ideas about how to explain things. Some people explain things by saying that a mythical character called God made it that way. Some people explain things by saying that they were born in the wrong body. It’s natural for people to try to think of reasons why things happen to us and especially when we can’t explain something, we look for a story to tell about it. This is a good opportunity to discuss with your child what to do when someone has different beliefs. You respect them and treat them with common courtesy, despite their different beliefs, and you don’t make an issue out of it unless they start harming you in some way.

If this gender neutral teacher was doing things to make students uncomfortable, such as if she made all students share a washroom and incidents of harassment ensued, then it would be time to step in and complain. This is a definite possibility because trans activists tend to do this. However, people who are not trans and not using alternative pronouns or titles are also capable of desegregating facilities, and it’s wrong no matter who does it. It’s not the fact of believing oneself to be a different sex or neither sex that is the problem. The problem is the creation of policies that harm other people.

If the teacher was asking to be called “they” and otherwise not doing anything that created problems for other people, then this issue could be solved in one conversation. I’d explain to my child that some people don’t want to be referred to as men or women because they have an idea in their heads that men and women are supposed to think, behave and appear in a certain way, and they don’t think they measure up to that expectation. However, men and women can be any kind of people they want to be and we’ve never met up to the expectations that people impose on us. People have previously had other words for girls who didn’t measure up to expectations about what girls should be, such as “tomboy” or “androgynous.” The vocabulary changes with new generations, but the idea has always been there. It’s okay to be different, and it’s okay to express this with vocabulary that makes sense to you. That still doesn’t mean that you don’t have a male or a female body, because your body exists the same way no matter how you interpret it. This conversation should clear it all up.

If the teacher started creating policies that harmed students, then I’d oppose the policies of course. Mx. Gender-Neutral can be as nonbinary as she wants, but her students still have a right to safety and privacy in washrooms and locker rooms.

I don’t feel comfortable with a total ban on gender neutral teachers, because banning teachers based on their personal characteristics rather than their teaching skills is the wrong approach. Banning people because of their personal characteristics is just prejudice. Let’s not go down that road. The right approach is to balance people’s rights. Theoretically, if we had a sane, reasonable and nuanced conversation we could let gender neutral people have their space and also let men and women have their space. Sadly, the conversation about this has mostly been insane, unreasonable, and overly polarized, but at the very least, the end goal should be to accommodate everyone.