Opinion | The Supreme Court Finally Provides Good News for Trans People – by Jennifer Finney Boylan – The New York Times

“. . . .  Last week, the author J.K. Rowling felt it necessary to unveil a screed against trans folks that ran to nearly 4,000 words, and read like a greatest-hits list of false statements and groundless fears.

She stated that trans men transition because being a woman is hard; they do not. She stated that trans women pose a threat to others in the ladies’ room; we do not. In fact, more Republican congressmen have been busted for causing trouble in public lavatories than trans women. But no one wants to throw them out of the Coast Guard.

The effect of Ms. Rowling’s manifesto was immediate and passionate — I heard from many young L.G.B.T.Q. people who’d grown up reading her books who responded to her words with sadness and fury. Surely Ms. Rowling was familiar with a series of books about a group of outcasts who were treated differently simply because of who they were?”

David Lindsay:

This op-ed by By Jennifer Finney Boylan  confused and upset me. It it threw around terms like TERF, which I’ve never heard of, and attacked J K Rowling, whom I admire greatly and even revere. I have read Rowling’s Harry Potter series and listened to them read by Jim Dale multiple times, for more times than I have ever read the Bible or any other religious texts.

The top comments calmed me down, as one reader after another defended Rowling’s carefully written 4000 word essay which is on her own blog from last week. I felt the need to read the Rowling piece for myself, and I found it to be everything that the Boylan piece wasn’t. Grounded, clear, fair, and ferociously brave and intelligent. Rowling wrote,

“… activists … accuse me of hatred, call me misogynistic slurs and, above all – as every woman involved in this debate will know – TERF.

If you didn’t already know  ….  ‘TERF’ is an acronym coined by trans activists, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. In practice, a huge and diverse cross-section of women are currently being called TERFs and the vast majority have never been radical feminists. Examples of so-called TERFs range from the mother of a gay child who was afraid their child wanted to transition to escape homophobic bullying, to a hitherto totally unfeminist older lady who’s vowed never to visit Marks & Spencer again because they’re allowing any man who says they identify as a woman into the women’s changing rooms. ”

J K Rowling would be a better choice for an occassional op-ed writer.

 

Opinion | Will Deep-Fake Technology Destroy Democracy? – By Jennifer Finney Boylan –

Quote

“But deep-fake technology takes deception a step further, exploiting our natural inclination to engage with things that make us angriest. As Jonathan Swift said: “The greatest liar hath his believers: and it often happens, that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it hath done its work, and there is no further occasion for it.”

Consider the image of Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland High School shooting in February who has become a vocal activist. A manipulated photo of her tearing up the Constitution went viral on Twitter among gun-rights supporters and members of the alt-right. The image had been digitally altered from another photo appearing in Teen Vogue. That publication’s editor lamented: “The fact that we even have to clarify this is proof of how democracy continues to be fractured by people who manipulate and fabricate the truth.”

That fake was exposed — but did it really make a difference to the people who wanted to inhabit their own paranoid universe? How many people still believe, all evidence to the contrary, that Barack Obama is a Muslim, or that he was born in Kenya?

(The answer to that last question, by the way: two-thirds of Trump supporters believe Mr. Obama is a Muslim; 59 percent believe he was not born in America and — oh, yes — a quarter of them believe that Antonin Scalia was murdered.)

Now imagine the effect of deep fakes on a close election. Let’s say video is posted of Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat running for Senate in Texas, swearing that he wants to take away every last gun in Texas, or of Senator Susan Collins of Maine saying she’s changed her mind on Brett Kavanaugh. Before the fraud can be properly refuted, the polls open. The chaos that might ensue — well, let’s just say it’s everything Vladimir Putin ever dreamed of.”

via Opinion | Will Deep-Fake Technology Destroy Democracy? – The New York Times

Opinion | The New Know-Nothings – By Jennifer Finney Boylan – NYT

By Jennifer Finney Boylan

Ms. Boylan is a contributing opinion writer.
July 25, 2018
“My fellow Americans: It is my honor today to announce the formation of a new political party, which I am calling “the Republican Party.”You can be forgiven for thinking, Wait, don’t we already have one of those? But please. Under Donald Trump, the Republican Party, at least as we once understood it, has become a fantastical entity, a creature not wholly unlike the Abominable Snowman, or the Chupacabra, or the mythical Squonk of central Pennsylvania, the imaginary creature that spends its days deep in the forest, weeping in despair at its own hideousness.

“There is no Republican Party,” said John Boehner, a former Republican speaker of the House, back in April. “There’s a Trump Party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.” ”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval