Julia Serano is a PhD molecular biologist, writer, and musician whose books include Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism, and the surrealist novel 99 Erics. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Salon, and elsewhere.
Dr. Serano is a patient debunker of anti-trans talking points, and has written a number of articles patiently taking apart common misconceptions. Her "transgender glossary of sorts" is also an essential resource for those who find gender and sexuality terms confusing or imprecise. Dr. Serano joined to go through some of the most common arguments made about trans people in the popular press and show why they are pernicious, factually incorrect nonsense. Having previously spent two decades as a professional biologist, she corrects the laughably ignorant claims that transgender people misunderstand or ignore "biology." In fact, it is the critics who are unacquainted with the basics of science.
In this episode, we look at claims made by J.K. Rowling, Helen Joyce, Deborah Soh, Abigail Shrier, and Ben Shapiro. Julia applies the same kind of patient and informed explanatory approach that characterizes her prolific writing on the subject.
We didn't get to all of the major talking points but you can check out Julia's writings on some of the common ones here:
- Bathrooms and Sexual Predators - examining the claim that allowing people to use the bathroom of their choice will increase instances of sexual victimization. In fact, the opposite is the case.
- Extinction of Lesbians - examining the claim that increased trans identification is a threat to the existence of lesbians
- Social Contagion - examining the claim that young girls are experiencing "rapid onset gender dysphoria" and becoming trans because of peer influence
- Autogynephilia - examining the claim that trans identities are built around sexual desire
- Desistance and Detransition - examining the claim that trans children will grow out of it or are being pressured to
- "Trans Women Aren't Women" - examining the claim that trans people are delusional about their biology
- "Biological sex" - examining faulty claims made about biology
In Current Affairs you can read Nathan's own articles on J.K. Rowling, Abigail Shrier's Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, and the debate about trans women in sports. Natalie Wynn's video about Ben Shapiro is here. The Current Affairs article about a lack of access to supportive medical interventions for trans youth is here.