Choices

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’”
― John Greenleaf Whittier

Michelle Obama: Having kids was a “concession” that cost “my aspirations and dreams.”

Her husband said:

“I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

Having kids, then, should be a choice. And like every other choice, it means there’s something else you didn’t, or can’t, choose. Michelle apparently agrees with the punishment part of Barack’s teachings, if not the choice bit.

Sasha and Malia could not be reached for comment.

She was a front runner right up until the first votes

Elizabeth Warren, Once a Front-Runner, Will Drop Out of Presidential Race

That is from the New York Times. So, unless you want to wade through a mess of juvenile psephology bemoaning Democrats’ rampant electoral misogyny, the following excerpt should do you nicely:

“Ms. Warren has told associates that she does not plan to offer an endorsement when she drops out later on Thursday, according to a person close to her. She had what this person called “cordial” conversations with her former rivals but is still weighing whether to take a side.”

That means whether to endorse the angry multi-millionaire Commie with coronary issues, or the demented plagiarist under Ukrainian investigation.

Yup, not gonna be the VP unless you cozy up to the right septuagenarian white male.

My question is, “Who wants a geeky VP running mate who places a not very close third in her home state primary, and who reminds people how likeable Hillary Clinton is?”

Biden has the comic relief meme handled already, and Warren couldn’t supply it anyway. Sanders doesn’t need anyone who even suggests they know what any given “FREE! FREE! FREE!” plan would cost.

If only she were a person of color, she’d have a better shot. She once had a plan for that, but it died on the campaign trail of tears.

Real empathy

Ann Althouse is sarcastic about trans-female athletes:

Today, the pressure to be empathetic toward transgenders is so great that I believe women, known for our empathy and our desire to appear compassionate, will let go of competitive sports and return to the inclinations that dominated back in the days when I went to high school. It’s a trade-off, a trade-off between the potential for athletic victory and the feeling of being kind and inclusive. The latter is something quite valuable and within the reach of all women. The former is a dream, and it’s only a dream for an elite few among women.

I find her reasoning sarcastically oversubtle as well as specious.

True empathy would not involve women giving up on sports, just giving up on winning (which she does mention). More women should enter sports to ensure the transgenders can boost their self esteem and have a legal way to seriously injure real women in the MMA. That’s how women can be most empathetic, and such self-effacement is easily within the reach of even more women than currently play sports.

After all, without women, who are the female impersonators going to defeat?

Update: 3:20PM.

I finished this post and then read a few comments at Althouse, where she resists admitting sarcasm. If that is accurate, here’s exactly what Althouse supposes women will forgo, and that is very, very sad:

Update: Feb-18-20 3:43PM
Later visit to Althouse: She took quite a bit of flack in comments on her post; compelling a second post in defense of the first. She claims Glenn Reynolds’, “So, traditional-gender-roles folks, you have the trans crowd to thank for returning us to the 1950s!” correctly interprets her point.

To me that sounds like sarcasm was the point, but she refuses to entertain such interpretation. She goes to a lot of trouble to say she was simply making a neutral prediction that female empathy will overcome female competitive drive in sports: Because the majority of females in sports will prefer to abandon competition in favor of “compassion and empathy” for transgenders.

Right there you have evidence that transgender women aren’t women. Where’s the transgender empathy for real women?

Who needs some empathy? Female impersonators? Or real women denied success because the female impersonators got permission from cowed bureaucrats to deny their (the impersonators) biology?

Althouse isn’t, she says discreditably, taking a position on the question of transgender “women” competing with actual females, she is just predicting an outcome based on her estimation of actual female psyches. For a retired female law professor, she proposes a surprisingly dim, pinched, and patronizing view of actual females.

For a female law professor and less than obscure blogger: Eschewing any position on anti-scientific, misogynist aggression against females is, in fact, a position. That the aggression is transgender doesn’t dial the female empathy obligation up to 11.

To invoke one of her themes, I call it “civility bullshit.”

Conflation error

At Quillette, a look at the logic necessitating the internecine warfare between transgender activists and lesbians/gays: It’s Time for ‘LGB’ and ‘T’ to Go Their Separate Ways

A slice, but RTWT:

Gay rights activists simply want society to accept their different ways of living and loving—since gay men and lesbians pursue romantic interests and build families in ways that are at odds with conventional heterosexual expectations. Followers of radical gender theory, on the other hand, demand that we all reject our basic understanding of biological sex in favor of a recently conceptualized abstract notion of human identity.

…[I]n recent years, transgender activists have demanded that sex and gender be conflated, and that the very idea of innate biological differences be pushed into the background. At the most absurd extreme, there are now athletes and scholars who seriously suggest that being male offers no competitive physical advantages over being female, a proposition that even small children know to be unhinged.”

We’ll meet one such ‘scholar’ below.

I think LGB and T have already gone their separate ways. They have no choice, because they can’t both be right about the human condition.

The Other Club has written about the TERF War several times. A couple examples:

“[T]here is some tension (you might say cognitive dissonance) for that subset of those gender feminists (the so-called Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) who want to preserve a traditional definition of the word “female” in the face of trans-sexual attack. And attack is the right word…”

And,

Of course, by “biological determinism” both sides of the TERF war mean to reject the idea that there is a biological difference between sexes. Differences between men and women are determined wholly by social conditioning.

If both sides agree with Dr. Matte that there’s no such thing as biological sex, why do they care who calls themselves a woman? Well, if your biological sex can be determined moment by moment at your whim, what’s the point of Women’s Studies? If it can’t be, what’s the point of Transgender Studies? People’s careers are at stake. So is the basis of their power.”

In case you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Matte,

“Dr. Nicholas Matte, professor of gender studies at University of Toronto, is claiming that biological sex differences are an error in perception which only arises because of the way we’ve been socialized. Sexual identity is, therefore, whimsical. Never mind the 99.7% correspondence between physical characteristics and how people identify as men or women; they’re deluded, it’s just words and experience, nothing objective whatsoever.”

Conflating gender and sex is untenable. It leads to the idea that refusal to date a trans person of the same biological sex makes you a heterosexual bigot, while refusing to date a trans person of the opposite biological sex makes you a gay or lesbian bigot.

Now the feminists are being forced to acknowledge their error in popularizing the idea that the psychological traits of human beings are completely determined by socialization.

76 private showers led the big charade

Harvard says masculinity and testosterone are not ‘connected’

“Harvard University Press International is promoting one of its new books, co-authored by Brooklyn College cultural anthropologist Katrina Karkazis. She’s also a senior research fellow with the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University.

The book “debunks the commonly held idea that testosterone and masculinity are connected,” according to the academic press.”

Someone should explain that to the people treating female to male trans individuals with testosterone, and the sports authorities who make low testosterone levels a requirement for male to female trans cheaters. It would also help if the permanent developmental effects of in utero exposure to testosterone was explained.

Such explanation might have saved this school district the money spent on this incoherent gesture.

School district to spend $2.4M on gender neutral locker rooms at Pennsylvania high school

“The changes will only impact the high school and will feature 76 private showers and 48 private changing areas.”

If there’s no difference beyond pronouns between transgendered persons and non-transgendered persons, and no biological difference between males and females, one wonders why you’d have to have private showers or changing areas. It’s almost as if they’re acknowledging the possibility of prurience in teenagers.

Prurience, however, is far from the ‘mind’ of facial recognition software.

Facial recognition AI can’t identify trans and non-binary people

“A recent study by computer-science researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that major AI-based facial analysis tools—including Amazon’s Rekognition, IBM’s Watson, Microsoft’s Azure, and Clarifai—habitually misidentified non-cisgender people.”

I, for one, welcome our new AI overlords. They won’t need separate showers.