Book Reviews: Redacted

Irreversible Damage — Abigail Shrier

The End of Gender — Dr Deborah Soh

I was impressed enough by Joe Rogan’s interviews with both Abigail Shrier and Dr Deborah Soh to want to read their books. I am interested in the facts of this issue, not in people’s feelings, delusions, dogma or word games, and these books seem to have plenty of facts. But to some people, even admitting to having read them is a thought crime, as though they are like a version of Mein Kampf that clamps itself to your face, forces an egg down your throat and chestbursts an actual Nazi Stormtrooper out of you. I read Mein Kampf for a history dissertation. It wasn’t anywhere near that exciting. But I did get to know my enemy. History is littered with stories of the victims of ideology.

Gulag survivor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn warned us we should not live by lies. Still, even though I have extensive and honest reviews written for both of these books, I cannot publish them here. Why? I won’t lie, so I can’t speak. The authorities in my country abuse their power to silence, harass and destroy anyone who has anything to say about this issue other than complete capitulation to the associated ideology and the chanting of its mantras. Really, that in itself should tell you all you need to know.

9 comments

  1. It’s a sad day when you feel like you can’t write your own thoughts in your own space.
    Is anywhere really safe anymore? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books.

    But, I understand why. I read the biography, Sex Changes by Christine Benvenuto, and didn’t feel I could review it due to non-conformity with the general consensus.

    The whole gender-identity topic fascinates and scares me, the fact that if you don’t think a certain way, you’re ‘done.’

    • It is sad. But at least I feel I can say why I can’t write my thoughts here. I think safety is where it always has been: among true friends and in your own head. Speech has never been truly safe anywhere else, where there is always some risk (even if it’s just embarrassment).

      I think highlighting the impact issues like this have on the principal of free speech is worthwhile though. I have no desire for the kind of fear and hostility that seems to be being stirred up by laws and abuses of power to silence some people in the name of others. I want us to live in a world where we all try our best to get along, as I’m sure you likely do too, but that requires adult discussion of reality and the capacity for discernment and compromise. That now seems less and less possible. It doesn’t surprise me that you didn’t feel you could review Sex Changes, but it worries me every time I encounter this kind of thing. We must try our best to listen to others, yes, but we must also be able to speak our own truth, as well as recognise objective facts.

      I’ve never been able to put up with being told what to think, and it seems I am not about to start learning how to now. It will do for the time being to be able to say that I won’t lie, so can’t speak on this topic. At least I am saying something true, and something that makes it clear there is a very real problem here to anyone of good conscience.

  2. It’s just crazy isn’t it? The idea that a person could be punished simply for being perceived as using the wrong words or trying to discuss all the nuances of an issue, in a supposedly forward-looking country is very troubling. 

    Dare I ask which mantras you’re referring to at the end? Oh and I loved the line about the Nazi chest-buster, I’m still chuckling about that! 

    • War is Peace.
      Freedom is Slavery.
      Ignorance is Strength.

      …Oh, wait, no, wrong ones. Earth is Flat? Birds Aren’t Real? Tough on slogans, tough on the causes of slogans? Nope. Sorry, they seem to have slipped my mind just now 🤔

      Haven’t you heard? Nuance is pure evil and we’re not to discuss things anymore, we’re to parrot whatever the black mirror tells us to, or else 🙄 Glad I gave you a laugh 😉

  3. I grew up in a time they were still teaching us about the birds and the bees. Now it has escalated to fuck what you want and your not allowed to think for yourself… back in the day being different was weird now weird is normal by the way people are conducting themselves…

    • Knowing about the birds and the bees? Thinking for yourself? Oh dear, maybe we’ll be sent to the same re-education camp.

      People used to show their status with luxury items, now they seem to with luxury beliefs. Unfortunately those beliefs cause damage, but generally the people advocating for them are not affected. They are coddled idiots who only care about looking good for minimal effort. I have been silenced, ostracised, harassed and called a Nazi for refusing to lie. We used to call that honesty. I’ve been told I am really a man, or something other than a woman, for being bisexual and confident. We used to call that homophobia. I’ve been told it’s hateful to talk about the realities of being female. We used to call that misogyny. I may have lost friends over these things, but at least I still have my self respect. I’d really like to go back to the good old days of just being different and weird.

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