Tuesday, July 31, 2018

on Jesse Singal, slut-shaming, and calling women "hysterical"

I already told this story once before, in this piece, along with instances where Jesse Singal has purposefully lied about me, whipped up an online mob against me, and treated several other trans women with similar disrespect. I honestly want nothing more than for him to leave me the fuck alone—or at the very least, for him to only discuss my writings and positions, rather than resorting to ad hominem attacks. But he continues to harp about this, and spread lies about me. So here is a brief summary.

1) I regularly write about serious matters regarding transgender health and psychology. Jesse Singal disagrees with me on these matters, particularly with regards to the "80% desistance" statistic.

2) On July 25, 2016, Singal wrote a pro-"80% desistance" article, during which, in the midst of discussing my stance on this matter, he tossed in "as an aside, you should read her Daily Beast article about navigating the dating scene as a trans woman in San Francisco." That article had nothing to do with the topic at hand. And as I detail here, I know for a fact that Singal has read my work on sexualization and how it is an especially effective tool for invalidating trans women (the specific essay he read can be found here[PDF link]). So I presumed that he cited that dating piece in an attempt to purposefully slut-shame me.


3) In February 2017, Singal (via Twitter) promoted/retweeted the false notion that trans women are pressuring cisgender lesbians to sleep with them by calling them “transphobic” if they do not. (Once again, this incident is detailed here.) This idea runs contrary to the very premise of that "dating" article that Singal supposedly enjoyed so much that he interrupted his 80%-desistance piece to encourage his readers to read. I took this as further indication that he merely referenced that piece to slut-shame me.

4) On July 28, 2018, in a thread attacking Noah Berlatsky for his Jesse Singal Resource Page, Singal re-upped his claims that he simply "enjoyed" my dating article, and further argued that no unbiased person would view this incident as slut-shaming, and that any one who *does* view it as slut-shaming (aka, me) must be "hysterical and opportunistic idiots."

So yesterday I carried out the following Twitter poll, leaving out the specifics of this affair. Twenty people shared it (see here and here and here), so it most certainly reached some people who were not aware that this had anything to do with Singal. Here are the results:


Contrary to Singal's claims, only 1% (out of 246 votes) of people viewed citing an unrelated article about a woman's dating experiences as showing respect for her work. 74% viewed it as slut-shaming, while the remaining respondents said they weren't sure. In the comments, some of these people said that, while they might not call it "slut-shaming" per se, they believed that it was definitely a signal to readers that I was not to be taken seriously, as I write about frivolous topics such as "dating." While this perspective makes sense non-contextually, I also know for a fact that Singal has read my writings on the effectiveness of sexualizing trans women (see above), and that he has attempted to use my own arguments against me more than once.

Jesse Singal is accusing me of being a "hysterical and opportunistic idiot" in a highly public manner. I am a writer and have a reputation too, so I cannot simply ignore these accusations, as his media platform is far larger than mine. For those who presume that I am being "opportunistic" here, you can scour my writings and tweets and blogposts if you like, and you will find that (unlike Singal) I never resort to ad hominem attacks. I will call out bad journalism, opinions, and theories, but I do not stoop to demonizing people or making things personal.

I have written many critiques over the years, but I have never before claimed that a journalist has a history of treating trans women with disrespect, nor do I accuse random people I disagree with of slut-shaming me. I have done so in this instance because Jesse Singal has actually done these things.

And finally, a "pro-tip": If anyone ever does accuse you of slut-shaming, you probably shouldn't call them "hysterical," as that word has quite a history.

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