The absurd things Gender Criticals believe 2: The Eggening
Gender Criticals pretty much invent their own narrative to be hacked off at. The saying goes that 80% of statistics are made up on the spot, but I’d estimate that about 60% of the stuff Gender Criticals claim about trans people is stuff that no trans person has ever claimed to be true. Literally, they’ve just made it up, decided that’s what we believe, got mad at it, and then got mad at us for believing in the ridiculous thing they made up.
And then there’s Eggen. Eggen (a user on twitter by the handle of DrawingEggen), seems to be getting worse every day. There’s a little story attached to Eggen that always amuses the trans community. This is her banner graphic:
This image is, pretty transphobic for what it is. It’s suggesting that when trans women say they only want to use toilets for their intended purpose, what they actually want to do is do away with women’s rights. Quite the reach.
Gemma Stone (aka notCursedE, and well worth a follow on here and twitter) took this image, gave the wall a trans colours makeover, and made it her banner graphic. Gender Critical twitter went apoplectic, accuse Gemma of wanting to destroy women’s rights. When they were informed the image itself was actually created by a transphobe, they took the approach of a cat that’s fallen in a pool of water and is nonchalantly trying to walk it off with a “I meant to do that” look.
The crux of this, is that Eggen, who spends her life attacking trans people (either directly, or by genericising), had the audacity to ask Gemma to take it down, claiming it wasn’t fair to appropriate her artwork, and asking Gemma “how she would feel”. Gotta admire the gumption.
So now we have a bit of background on Eggen, here is the core of today’s article:
This infographic is supposed to be explaining how “Gender Identity”, or the Gender Critical imagined ideological version of it, matches up with the definition of a cult.
The problem is, some of the items can be filed under “Yes, and?” because they are so innocuous you wonder what her point is. The rest are either misrepresentations, or more frequently, made up.
And the final hilarity of this, is that Gender Criticals are actually guilty of most of the points on this list!
Let’s run through each and every one. I shall explain each point as needed, and then for each section include how Gender Criticals are actually being cult-like.
“Emphasize Special Doctrine”
“Trans women ARE women and trans men ARE men” — yes, and? This is biologically true, on many levels, which I explained in my previous article.
“people can be born in the wrong body” — The Gender Criticals love this one. You’ll find plenty of examples of “nobody is born in the wrong body!”. Trans people have used the simplistic notion of “body in the wrong body” to make understanding the trans condition easier. We actually say “it’s like being born in the wrong body.” It means your brain is telling you you are one particular sex, and the body doesn’t match that sex. That is the core of gender dysphoria.
“Biological sex isn’t real” — The overwhelming majority of trans people are not saying this. We are (sometimes painfully) aware that sex is real. This is a trope pushed by J.K. Rowling in reference to the Forstater case, that trans people don’t claim.
“Gender Identity is innate” — Yes, and?
“Same-sex orientation is transphobic” — OK, we need to break this one down. This one is so often contorted and twisted. If your sexual orientation includes attraction to and/or repulsion from specific genitals: that is OK. You be you. Nobody’s stopping you. Nobody’s taking that away from you. Everybody is different, and that’s OK. IF, on the other hand, as a lesbian you reject a trans woman before you even know what genitals they have, purely for the reason “she’s trans”, then yes, that is transphobic. Unless you seriously want to make the claim that you’re attracted to chromosomes or a lack thereof. If you are just not attracted to a specific trans woman, that’s fine too. Nobody trans is suggesting you’re force to date and/or have sex with someone you don’t want to, and if they are forcing you then that is rape. But please, stop twisting what is actually being said.
“Biological sex isn’t binary” — That’s true. There are intersex people of many flavours, and they’d appreciate you not erasing them.
“Sex is assigned at birth & can be incorrectly assigned” — Actually, we say gender is assigned. And it is. It’s based on looking at genitals, and in the case of intersex people, is very often incorrect. In the case of transgender people, it is incorrect too. The terms “boy” and “girl” are assigned based on genitals. What are you expecting, a maker’s mark that says “Boy edition, Made in Taiwan” ?
“Kids know their gender identity from an early age” — Not all kids, not all trans people, but a lot of trans people have reported this. What you’re saying is you know them better than they know themselves, which is the height of arrogance.
Bonus round: What GCs do to “emphasize special doctrine”:
- “Sex is binary and immutable!”
- “humans can’t change sex!”/”You can’t change sex!”
- “Sex not gender!”
“Oppose critical thinking & questioning the doctrine”
No, we just oppose the thinking that has been debunked 1000 times already.
“TWAW/TMAM because they say they are, no debate” — That’s right, you don’t have a right to debate our existence. Gender Identity has been researched for decades and is nothing new. There’s nothing to debate here, unless you’re a transphobe.
“People’s lives are not up for debate” — Are you saying that someone’s life IS up for debate? Creepy.
“How people live their lives is none of your business” — This is a true statement, but what it’s alluding to is the idea that trans rights somehow conflict with women’s rights, and thus it IS their business. Except no, because we already know there is no conflict.
“cis people can’t understand our experiences” — Actually, quite a few cis people can, but they can’t fully appreciate it. How can you fully appreciate something without a frame of reference?
“Creating & dissemianting thought-stopping propaganda!” — That’s what we call “logical reasoning”. I know, it can be hard for you to process.
Bonus round: how Gender Criticals “oppose critical thinking & questioning the doctrine”
- Thought-stopping propaganda: “Define woman”
- “Woman. Adult Human Female”
- “Sex-based rights”
Attack & Shame Non-Believers
The number of times I’ve seen trans women mocked by Gender Criticals makes this section SO hypocritical.
“Using epithets, slurs and derisive terms for non-believers (TERF, transphobe, bigot)” — Um, TERF is a word the Gender Criticals invented for themselves. They stopped using it because being Trans-Exclusionary wasn’t popular. They adopted Gender Critical to look more legitimate. “Transphobe” and “Bigot” aren’t slurs — they’re factual descriptives. Don’t want to be called a bigot? Don’t be a bigot.
“Making outrageous claims about non-believers (‘you don’t want trans people to exist’ & ‘you want trans people dead’)” — If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
“Claiming superior knowledge over non-believers (‘your understanding of biological sex is out of date’ and ‘you can’t understand because you’re cis’) — The latter point is just a rehash of a point above. The former is true. Biologists the world over have clarified that sex is not as simple as the Gender Critical version. Can’t help facts.
“Comparing non-believers to hated groups of people” (‘you’re just like anti-gay bigots of the past’ & ‘you’re just like trump supporters’ & ‘the Nazis dehumanised trans people too’)-A lot to unpack here. Much of the rhetoric from Gender Criticals IS recycled bigotry, including racism and homophobia. In fact, two prominent Gender Critical women (Jennifer Bilek and Helen Joyce) have participated in spreading anti-semitic tropes regarding “transgenderism”. Things like “you can’t reproduce so you recruit” and “it’s just a trend” are LITERALLY homophobia from the 90s and early 2000s. “You need to be separated because we want it that way” is LITERALLY recycled 1960s racism. “Women’s primary role is to have babies” is LITERALLY recycled 1950s sexism. Trump is every form of bigot going, and yes Gender Criticals and Trump say the same things about trans people. And as for the Nazi part — this is usually our response when Gender Criticals try to claim that trans people are like the Nazis.
“Using analogies to familiar forms of bigotry (Transphobia is just like racism/homophobia/sexism)” — This is just repeating the previous point. If it quacks like a duck….
Bonus round: How Gender Critical “Attacks and Shames non-believers”
- “It’s just basic biology!”
- “TIM (Trans-Identified-Male)”
- “TIF (Trans-Identified-Female)”
- “AGP (Autogynephile)”
- “MRA (Men’s rights activist)”
- “You just hate women!”
- “You’re a misogynist!”
- “You don’t care about women’s safety!”
- “You’re part of the partriarchy!”
- “[Being transgender] is the new homophobia” (LGB Alliance likes this one)
“Diminish parents’ influence over cult member”
“Encouraging teens to socially transitioning without parents approval”
“Convincing teens to talk to trans adults without parents’ knowledge”
“Facilitating private trans spaces that parents don’t know about”
I’ve grouped these three together, because they’re all facets of the same point: Transphobes think that
a) all parents are perfect and would never have a problem with a trans child. We know this is BS because of how many parents claim their child has Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, a made up condition.
b) That parents have some irrevocable right to know everything their child is doing at any time. Not affording your child privacy, especially a teenager is CREEPY AS F*CK.
There is also an overtone here: the implication is being made that teenagers are being exposed to unsafe ideas, that they’re being groomed by some nefarious force (viz “to talk to trans adults”). Trans adults are more mature, and more likely to have been on the trans journey. They’re the ideal people to advise on gender transition.
And what do you think a social transition is? It’s literally nothing more than appearance and a name change. Gender Criticals are forever trying to claim that people should be free to be gender-non-conforming. But if the word trans is ever whispered, suddenly it’s the work of the devil.
And yes, trans teens deserve private spaces where they can discuss ideas about themselves without fear of judgement or reprisals. That’s just common sense.
“Warn of dire consequences for not joining”
“Sharing inflated suicide statistics”
“Better a trans boy than a dead girl”
These two are just grimly morbid. Trivialising suicide from dysphoria related depression is absolutely disgusting. Again, there is an overtone here: the latter is saying that trans people are espousing a view of “well, being a trans boy may be the stupidest thing they’ve ever done, but hey at least they’re not dead now!”. The disgusting frame of mind you need to be in to make this statement with a serious face is boggling.
There is a reason why puberty blockers exist: blocking the physical changes of puberty until a child is old enough to maturely make a decision is simple common sense.
And those suicide statistics are not inflated. And even if they were, are you seriously saying that a few dead teenagers is OK as long as it’s not a lot of them?
Bonus round: How Gender Criticals warn of dire consequences for not joining:
- “Girls cutting off perfectly healthy breasts!”
- “They’ll never know true sexual pleasure if they do this!”
- “Puberty blockers cause irreversible damage!” (They don’t. Almost every medical institution in the world has agreed on this)
- “85% of trans kids desist if left alone! You’re putting them on a path to transition regret!” (Except no).
- “Puberty blockers are experimental! We don’t know what damage they’ll do!” (No, they are safe. There are risks as with any medication, hence Gillick Competency tests)
“Isolate cult members from non-believers with special experiences”)
“Love bombing early transitioners” — Not sure what is meant by this. I think it’s attacking people for supporting trans kids, but see bonus round.
“Convincing gender-confused teens only trans people can understand them” — Again, not sure what this is about. Perhaps it’s criticising allowing people to talk to other trans kids to get perspective? If so, then… and?
“Encouraging friendships & other relationships only with other trans people” — Are you saying that trans people can’t be friends with other people? Again an overtone: there is suggestion here that trans people are trying to isolate someone who may be exploring their gender from other ideas. This is simply not true. Anyone who is gender questioning should absolutely be allowed access to all resources to help them understand themselves better, but this includes trans people who can offer trans perspectives.
“Emphasizing that the transitioner is now part of a family” — Again, I’m a bit lost with this one. I mean, positive support is a good thing. I’ve not seen the idea of “part of a family” used explicitly, but trans people do form a community. Is this attacking trans people having friends?
“Sharing language and terminology unique to ‘trans folx’” — Trans people do indeed have their own terms that they use to describe specific aspects of the trans experience. If you want to know, just ask. The overtone here is that trans people are using some kind of secret language to hide their activities from critical ears. Transey Rhyming Slang or something?
“Using social media to exhibit trans rituals only insiders can take part in” — Um, trans “rituals”? I’m not aware of any trans rituals. This is some next-level ridiculousness.
This entire block seems forced. Each point that Eggen tries to assert here is a non-point. It’s basically saying “They have friends! And they talk to each other! And feel welcomed! IT’S WRONG I TELL YOU!”
There is huge over-exerted attempt to force a cult-like description, but it fails because it simply describes the normal sense of belonging that plenty of people find in other groups. It’s just attempting to demonise trans people for being accepted.
Bonus Round: How Gender Criticals isolate cult members from non-believers
- “Love bombing” (showering someone with love and approval for any act in line with a specific viewpoint, coupled with unprompted sharing of fearmongering propaganda to re-enforce that view) is actually a well-documented technique of Gender Criticals.
- “You’re not trans, you’re just gay.”
- “It’s ROGD”
- “I took away my child’s internet access so they wouldn’t get involved with trans people” (Yes, I’ve seem actual Gender Criticals report doing this — especially on MumsNet)
“Force cult members to doubt & resist objective facts, as well as their own experiences, perceptions & knowledge”
Foreword: The title of this block alone is ridiculous. The whole point being gender exploration is that you are open to ALL ideas about yourself, including the possibility that you are trans — something that Gender Criticals want to exclude. Additionally, it can be distilled to a simpler form: “you should be receptive to gaslighting”
“Questioning someone’s identity is bad” — Yes? Someone’s identity is theirs to assert, and nobody else’s. Asserting an identity in and of itself has no consequences. The overtone here is that “affirmation is bad”: If you go along with their identity, you’ll re-enforce it to the point where they’ll make a regrettable decision — This entire bullet-point is about demonising being trans, a common theme which I covered previously.
“ ‘A man would never pretend to be a woman if he wasn’t really trans’ “ — This is more insidious than it looks at first glance. This is a supposed response to the often used trope that self-id will allow sex predators to pretend to be trans in order to gain access to women (a pretext that Eggen conveniently omits). The fact of the matter is, in the UK we’ve had self-id for access for 10 years and it made no difference to cis women’s safety at all. The statement presented here is true: a sex predator that is pre-meditating a sex crime, isn’t going to choose the onerous path of pretending to be trans. And even it they did, it would be easier to pretend to be a trans man and claim “This is where you say I should be”, than to try and pass as a trans woman.
“ ‘people are whoever they say they are’ “ — For the most part, yes. Again, Eggen conveniently leaves out context, but for the purpose of Gender Identity, yes this statement is true. The only legitimate reason you would want to contest this is for reasons of safety, which have already been shown to not exist. You are not the arbiter of someone’s identity or gender.
“ ‘there’s no such thing as a male or female body’ “ — And we’re back to the assertion that trans people don’t believe sex is real again. See earlier for why this is nonsense.
“Claiming trans identified males can be lesbians” — Putting aside the transphobic slur, yes, trans women can be. If they have a female gender identity and they are attracted to women (or even femininity in some forms of lesbianism), they are by definition, lesbians. See also the earlier point regarding genital attraction vs purely transphobic rejection.
Bonus Round: How Gender Criticals…. sod it … gaslight
- “You will never be a woman!”
- “You will never be a man!”
- “There are only two sexes!”
- “You can’t change sex!”
- “Self-ID will make women unsafe!”
- “No self-ID will preserve women’s safe spaces!” (It won’t, because there is no such thing as a truly safe space. A lack of Y chromosomes or even penises does not make a space safe)
“Instill fear in cult members”
“Sharing inflated murder statistics” — We have Trans Day of Remembrance each year to remember those killed by trans hate. Get stuff with trivialising trans murder.
“Trans Day of Remembrance” — Seriously? You actually want to hand-wave away people murdered by trans hate? You are sick.
“Repeating claims about how much and how often trans people are harmed” — Again, trying to minimise how trans people are victims of hate crimes.
“Convincing transitioners that outsiders hate them” — We don’t need to convince anyone. Transphobia, particularly Gender Critical transphobia is very much alive and well. Pretty much all transitioners can see the hate for themselves, without the rest of us pointing it out.
Bonus Round: How Gender Criticals instill fear in cult members
- “You’ll regret the transition later!”
- “Dilation is painful and will have to be done 3 times a day for the rest of your life” (I plan to do a seperate piece on this fluff)
- “You’ll never get a partner if you transition!”
- “You’ll never pass! People will just think you’re ugly!”
- “Women don’t really think trans women are women. They’re just being nice to you.”
“Seperate cult members from their families”
“Convincing gender-confused teens that family members are abusive” — Some family members ARE abusive. Not everyone is trans accepting — Gender Criticals for example! There are numerous parents of trans kids who proudly proclaim they have a child with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria — in other words, they’re telling the world they don’t think their kid is really trans. That is abusive.
“Medically transitioning teens without parental consent” — This is a case of the vague terminology fallacy. By swapping more concise terms (“allowing access to puberty blockers”) for less precise (“medically transitioning”) the fearmongering gains traction. In the UK, you can’t get anything except puberty blockers if you are under 16. And as shown, repeatedly, these are safe, and give trans kids the time to think that they need. To deny them access to this is abusive, and is forcing your own agenda on them.
“Encouraging transitioners to create new families with trans people” — This is quite an insidious one. What Eggen is trying to suggest here is that trans people are saying transitioners should reject their own families in favour of trans groups. This is categorically untrue. If families are supportive, then they should by all means be included, but not all families are supportive. In the absence of family support, trans groups can provide a sense of family that the transitioner may need. Also, what’s wrong with having an extended family? Are Gender Criticals really this emotionally stunted?
Bonus Round: How Gender Criticals seperate cult members from their families
- “You have ROGD!” (dismissing a trans kid’s experience, which will almost certainly lead to familial isolation)
- Forcing trans kids to go through an unwanted puberty when they don’t need to (leading to familial resentment)
“Penalize cult members for leaving”
“Harassing and bullying detransitioners” — Trans people are actually very supportive of detransitioners. The point where detransitioners cross the line is when they attempt to remove rights from other trans people; Keira Bell being the prime example here. It is regrettable that occasionally, despite all the efforts to provide resources and pespectives for gender questioning people (that Gender Criticals would seek to keep hidden), someone decides that transitioning is right for them and later changes their mind. We support those people in finding themselves and reaching the right life for them. What we don’t support is detransitioners using their personal experience to invalidate the personal experiences, decisions and journeys of other trans people.
“Denying detransitioners exist” — This is just plain silly. Nobody trans denies the existence of detransitioners. This is a trope that Gender Criticals use to try and delegitimise calls from trans people for better healthcare, and to delegitimise fightback against Gender Critical attempts to prevent remove that healthcare.
“Doubting the experiences of detransitioners” — This is another insidious one. Nobody doubts the experiences of detransitioners, but we do contest false information that is being spread for the reasons. The majority of detransitioners do so for a whole host of reasons, and rarely due to regret. Gender Criticals would tell you it is always due to regret, or being misled.
Final bonus round: How Gender Criticals penalise cult members for leaving
- “That ex-GC was never Gender Critical!”
- “They’re lying about what was said to them”
- See also the desistance myth
This was a long article, but it needed to be done. Gender Criticals are an evil movement that twist everything, demonise everything and deliberately try to misrepresent trans people, who and what we are, what we stand for and what we believe.
So much presented here is mainstream Gender Critical ideas, and it’s all hogwash. Any attempt to show evidence of this to the Gender Criticals gets you any kind of severe admonishment they can think of, no matter how absurd it is.
Gender Critical is a cult, and a dangerous one.