Suspicious of Abigail Shrier

I truly hate this piece by Abigail Shrier on Bari Weiss’s Substack. I can’t figure Shrier out. She’s either an extraordinarily stupid person or a provocateur who normalizes terrible things under the guise of opposing them.

In the linked piece, she has some “trans doctor” explain that the main problem with giving 9-year-olds puberty blockers and then cutting off their genitals a bit later is that these children mightn’t have had time to experience an orgasm, which may thwart their sex lives later. From which it can only follow that sexual molestation of these children is a great thing done for their own good.

The usefulness of puberty blockers is questioned in the article but only because it makes the eventual cutting of children’s genitals inconvenient. Essentially, the whole article is an illustration of a spat within the child mutilation industry on the most convenient way of pursuing this goal.

Shier gives complete credence to the idea that a two-year-old can have “gender dysphoria” and that Jazz Jennings is a woman. Readers go to her for an alternative point of view and get treated to several dozen repetitions, fired off at a rapid clip, that men who say they are women are actually women. This is precisely how the most effective propaganda works. It affirms some of your concerns while asking you to accept the terms that inform its belief system. After you have accepted that a he is a she and repeated it many times as payment for a crumb of approval and solidarity, you find yourself arguing whether it’s best to mutilate a child before or after you’ve sexually abused him because you’ve already conceded everything else.

Particularly upsetting is the excited whelping of the conservative crowd that “these are trans doctors who are saying it! This makes it so much more valuable and true!” We’ve already seen this in the aftermath of the last election (and every election before it) where a vote from every identity group that the left claims is superior was hailed as, indeed, superior.

You can never win a fight conducted entirely on somebody else’s terms. You can’t submit rhetorically and expect to dominate eventually. For human beings, submitting to the opponent’s rhetorical regimen is the equivalent of an animal lying on its back and waving its paws in the air. The moment you say “BIPOC people” or “Jazz Jennings is a woman,” that’s it, you have signaled your defeat. Everything that comes after that is you begging for mercy.

5 thoughts on “Suspicious of Abigail Shrier

  1. From reading her book, which I enjoyed, my impression of Shrier is that she is trying to stake out a position of being broadly supportive of trans adults so she cannot be accused of being transphobic in order to make her particular case against the use of medical interventions in the case of children. This would be a sensible position if only we lived in a sane world. :p
    To be fair, I do believe that it is important for non-leftists to not make themselves easy targets for accusations of bigotry even if the accusations are going to come anyway.

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    1. To be honest, I greatly prefer people who simply believe the opposite of what I do and declare it openly to those who, like Shrier, take this weaselly position of placating the opponents on 98% of issues in the hopes of defending the remaining 2%. It never works and is actually counterproductive.

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  2. I’m currently reading Rene Girard’s discussion with Benoit Chantre “Battling to the End” where they relate Girard’s mimetic theory to Carl von Clauswitz’s “On War.” It’s utterly fascinating, and while I’m having some difficultly wrapping my mind completely around what they are saying, in understanding it and completely grasping its implications, I encourage everyone to read Girard because I think his thesis is essentially true.

    Girard : “Imitation is the initial and essential means of learning; it is not something acquired later on. We can escape mimetism only by understanding the laws that govern it. Only by understanding the dangers of imitation can we conceive of authentic identification with the other.”

    My understanding : There’s reciprocal tension in this dynamic of imitation. We imitate each other, but differences – even small ones – create collective cognitive dissonance and tribalism. We resolve these differences politically and religiously by scapegoating, so as to maintain sacred order. This is the dynamic of cathartic exclusion and ritualized violence that undergirds all human politics and religion. The cathartic sacrifice of the condemned is the core function of politics and religion, which is expiation of both personal and collective guilt. And war, as Clausewitz famously says, is merely continuation of politics by violent means.

    We must exclude and burn the heretic for the sake of our sanity.

    The industrial revolution precipitated the sexual revolution. I think that the dynamic – the “material/scientific/technological dialectic” – described by Marx in the opening of the Communist Manifesto is indisputably real.

    As Marx prophesies, this dynamic is also inescapable. From the taming of fire onwards, we are creatures inextricable from our technology. When we possess a power we will use it. Anyone who refuses to use it will be destroyed. Anyone who refuses to cast iron will be slain with Damascene steel. Anyone who refuses to split the atom will ultimately be consumed by thermonuclear fire.

    Anyone who refuses to use hormonal birth control must attempt to live like the Amish, or in a monastery.

    Humanity is in an essential way a monad. We all intuitively recognize one another to be human, we are all a part of the same species, of the same kind. Sexual dimorphism – a dimorphism essential to our species, and hence our humanity – introduces dyad expression of our humanity. All the racial distinctions that we recognize are merely expressions of traits inherited along different localized lines of what ultimately – with origins located in the distant mystical and hence mythologized past – is finally one great family, the human race.

    Transgenderism is merely a mimetic strategy to resolve the dyad back into pure monad. That was what second wave feminism was doing, only with out dated, obsolete 1970’s technology. As our technology is perfected, our mimetic strategies will only become more virulent.

    That is what the meaning of the occult hermetic tradition is. Hermaphroditus and Baphomet – Satan himself – are all depicted iconically as hermaphrodites for a reason.

    That’s the meaning and logic of transgenderism, transhuman revolution. They have the technology, and they are using it. The rest of us who refuse this will be their cathartic victims.

    I think Abigail Shrier intuitively understands all this, and is merely attempting to make her peace with the acolytes of Baphomet. I suspect she will have just as much success as some of her ancestors did in trying to make peace with Hitler and the SS.

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