Things That Surprise Me

Yesterday The New York Magazine posted an article about a recent panel discussion held at the Heritage Foundation. This article will be rated PG-13, so proceed at your own risk.

The article reports:

It might be a sign of the end-times, or simply a function of our currently scrambled politics, but earlier this week, four feminist activists — three from a self-described radical feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front — appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation. Together they argued that sex was fundamentally biological, and not socially constructed, and that there is a difference between women and trans women that needs to be respected. For this, they were given a rousing round of applause by the Trump supporters, religious-right members, natural law theorists, and conservative intellectuals who comprised much of the crowd. If you think I’ve just discovered an extremely potent strain of weed and am hallucinating, check out the video of the event.

I’ve no doubt that many will see these women as anti-trans bigots, or appeasers of homophobes and transphobes, or simply deranged publicity seekers. (The moderator, Ryan Anderson, said they were speaking at Heritage because no similar liberal or leftist institution would give them space or time to make their case.) And it’s true that trans-exclusionary radical feminists or TERFs, as they are known, are one minority that is actively not tolerated by the LGBTQ establishment, and often demonized by the gay community. It’s also true that they can be inflammatory, offensive, and obsessive. But what interests me is their underlying argument, which deserves to be thought through, regardless of our political allegiances, sexual identities, or tribal attachments. Because it’s an argument that seems to me to contain a seed of truth. Hence, I suspect, the intensity of the urge to suppress it.

The underline is mine.

The article concludes:

We just have to abandon the faddish notion that sex is socially constructed or entirely in the brain, that sex and gender are unconnected, that biology is irrelevant, and that there is something called an LGBTQ identity, when, in fact, the acronym contains extreme internal tensions and even outright contradictions. And we can allow this conversation to unfold civilly, with nuance and care, in order to maximize human dignity without erasing human difference. That requires a certain amount of courage, and one thing I can safely say about that Heritage panel is that the women who spoke had plenty of it.

I have nothing to add.

The Free Market Eventually Triumphs

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about a change in the research and use of stem cells.

The article reported:

Geron Corp., the world’s leading embryo research company, announced it was closing down its much-touted stem cell program, despite the guarantee of more government aid from Democratic-affiliated sources.

The article explained that most stem cells used in hospitals and medical facilities today are adult stem cells taken from the patient’s own body.

The article concludes:

Those “adult stem cells” can be stimulated to regenerate damaged hearts and other organs. In one peer reviewed study published on Nov. 16, more than a dozen heart-failure patients gained an average 12 percent improvement in heart function from their own stimulated stem cells.

This uncontroversial adult cell technology was pioneered by hospitals, not drug companies. It is sufficiently reliable that insurance companies green-light its use for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, lupus and many other ailments, and it is cheered by social conservatives and religious groups because it improves medical treatments without killing human embryos.

When a technology works well, it will be used more, without having to rely on the government to pay for it.

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