[Natasha Chart | The Federalist] When I spoke this March at an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation at the U.N. Convention on the Status of Women, I mentioned to the moderator that it must have seemed odd for Heritage to have invited a liberal feminist to their event as it was for me to be there. I went on to describe how I (and many other women) have been fired, harassed, or no-platformed by the left for disbelieving in gender identity fictions, including the existence of the “female penis.”
As odd as everyone surely feels about those we’ve found ourselves agreeing with, we all seem to have found a lot of common ground on challenging a movement that’s mandating parents go along with the chemical sterilization, or surgical sex organ modification, of all children who discover gender identity on Tumblr, or in a PFLAGgroup, or after a friend at school goes trans. Many people find it curious that such drasticinterventions are being proposed for a vaguely defined psychological condition with an ever-expanding list of barely related symptoms.
A tweet from the U.K. charity Mermaids, which promotes child transition and gender ideology, from the 2019 European Professional Association of Transgender Health conference, April 12, 2019. It shows a slide from the presentation of Aydin Olson-Kennedy, a social worker who consults on pediatric transition as the director of the Los Angeles Gender Center.
I certainly didn’t think when I was talking that day in New York City that, only a few weeks later, I’d be reading a news story about the head of The Heritage Foundation getting deplatformed. Yet Google disbanded its entire Artificial Intelligence ethics panel after its employees protested the inclusion of Heritage’s president, Kay Coles James, who wrote about that experience here. The protest wasn’t over the inclusion of a conservative generally, either, but appears primarily related to Heritage’s position on gender identity.
Anonymous employees, calling themselves Googlers Against Transphobia, closed their sign-on statement in opposition to James — an African American — this way: “Google cannot claim to support trans people and its trans employees — a population that faces real and material threats — and simultaneously appoint someone committed to trans erasure to a key AI advisory position. Given this, we call on Google to remove Kay Coles James from ATEAC.”
So, thanks to gender identity activists having quite an astonishing tantrum, a major global technology provider with a questionable track record regarding long-term planning and product support has just abandoned outside ethical review of their AI projects.
Heritage Is Up for the Debate, But Not Google
It’s true that Heritage has become widely known as one of the only mainstream political organizations that will provide a platform to any feminist, medical professional, or detransitioner who’s critical of gender identity at all.
Two years ago, Heritage hosted a left-leaning midwife who was thrown out of her midwifery organization for refusing to use sex-neutral language in the profession, and a lesbian veteran who’d campaigned to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, along with two conservative women, in their “Biology Isn’t Bigotry” panel. A year later, they held a panel on gender dysphoria in children, featuring medical experts.
This year, some of my colleagues at the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) spoke this January at another Heritage panel on the inequality of including gender identity in the Equality Act, although with a focus on the harms of transition to children and their families. Heritage held a further panel on medical harms to children, featuring two medical experts and a detransitioner, a week following my appearance at the U.N. event. Shortly after the council was disbanded, Heritage went ahead with a previously announced event focusing on harms to women’s sports if men are allowed to compete.
If you listen to any of these panels, all you’ll hear will be calm, reasoned discussion of real events, including the deplatforming of other women, medical harms to children, and medical facts. You won’t hear anything like the kinds of harassment and threats that gender activists routinely issue to those who disagree with them, especially women.
It should worry everyone that respectful commentary on gender policy like Heritage has featured can get people removed from polite society now, or even fired. It should dispel any remaining belief that this is just a fringe, internet phenomenon that can be ignored.
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Natasha Chart and originally published at The Federalist. Title changed by P&P.]