Saucers of Mud

August 8, 2019

A Couple More Links on the Transphobia Debate

Filed under: Uncategorized — matt w @ 10:45 am

This by Samantha Hancox-Li, on formal free speech vs. having your testimony heard, is absolutely excellent.

Related, two threads from Johnathan Flowers on citation practices and what we are expected to listen to. Transphobic philosophers are publishing a lot of awful stuff–I don’t just mean morally awful, but just terrible arguments, like making a key empirical claim and repeatedly refusing to provide evidence for it, and far too many people are taking this seriously when it can’t pass muster.

As he says, the philosophers (often junior career philosophers) who push back on the transphobic philosophers have been forced to engage with their arguments in ways that the transphobic philosophers do not engage with the arguments of their opponents. Kathleen Stock has boasted about her refusal to engage with feminist philosophy. (If you think “I’ve read the literature in this area, I think this is bad, so I won’t cite it” counts as engagement, good luck getting published in any other area of philosophy. But philosophers don’t take expertise in feminist philosophy seriously.)

It’s exhausting to deal with this asymmetric burden of expectations on who’s supposed to do the work. It’s exhausting to me, and I’m not doing most of the work (partly because I refuse to join Twitter and so I publish at this blog, which basically nobody reads). I’ve stopped reading new Medium posts from the most prominent transphobic philosophers becasue I’ve read enough to be pretty confident that the next 10,000 word post rehashing the same stuff wasn’t going to be better; it’s folly to believe that they’re going to give some support for their assertion the sixth time. My support to the people who are out their pushing back against this, and shame on philosophers who are letting transphobic philosophers get away with shoddy work and ignoring the people who’ve put in the work.


(Matt Weiner, University of Vermont)

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