Once there was a physicist named Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt who used her scientific background to create a radially improved putter. The only problem with the story is that pretty much every word but “putter” in the previous sentence is a complete lie.
And inevitably, the very fact that Caleb Hannan would dare report that “Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt” used to be Stephen Krol ignited a firestorm of controversy among the victimhood identity politics crowd, as exemplified by the #JusticeForDrV tag.
I first saw the link for Caleb Hannan’s story on the magical putter and the serial liar behind it from Dwight, but The Other McCain has been doing the heavy lifting on the reactions.
(I thought I had added McCain to the blogroll back when the story of convicted felon Brett Kimberlin first blew up, but I guess I didn’t; that oversight has now been corrected.) )(It was already there, my eyes just missed it. D’oh!) His summary nicely gets to the heart of the matter:
The #JusticeForDrV crusaders grabbed hold of the idea that “Dr. Vanderbilt” was driven to suicide by Caleb Hannan’s “transmisogynistic journalism” — a claim for which they offer no real evidence — while ignoring all evidence that (a) “Dr. Vanderbilt” was not a victim, but rather a person who victimized others, and (b) it was the failure of the pseudo-scientific putter scam, not fear of being “outed” as transgender, which motivated “Dr. Vanderbilt” to commit suicide. Of course, “Dr. Vanderbilt” had attempted suicide in 2008, before Hannan ever heard of her, but why let facts get in your way when you’re ghoulishly exploiting a corpse as “LGBT Victim of the Week”?
The #JusticeForDrV tag, of course is ironic, since, as McCain put it:
McCain dealt admirably with the substance of the issue, but I wanted to deal with the mindset behind those using the #JusticeForDrV tag, since I’ve run into it more than once.
This is another case of the intolerant acolytes of victimhood identity politics mobbing someone for daring to tell the truth. The animating idea behind it seems to be that no one has a right to say anything that might make a tranny (or any other member of a Designated Victim Group) feel bad, even if it’s the truth. They have abrogated for themselves the right to dictate to others what the acceptable limits to free speech are as regards members of said victim groups. It’s an attempt to silence critics (both actively and preemptively) who do not toe the political correct, neo-Marxist, Critical Race Theory line that the “privileged” (straight white heterosexual conservative males in particular) should not be allowed to speak on any issue that touches on the “marginalized” (i.e., the members of any left-wing victimhood identity politics group). Their terminology is Orwellian in the very specific way that it seeks to shape language and limit discourse in ways that make it impossible to object to the agenda being pushed.
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we’re not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,” he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. “Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?”
Or, put another way by the same author “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
Or, to put it still another way, “Freedom is the freedom to say that a man is a man and a woman is a woman.” Those pushing the #JusticeForDrV tag are largely the same as those who assert Bradley Manning magically became a woman by changing his name. The idea that “gender is a social construct” is a great lie that they must furiously defend, no matter how obviously absurd. Hannan’s article is unclear on whether Krol was merely a cross-dresser or had gender reassignment surgery; in neither instance would the chromosomes in the trillions of cells in his body have been switched from xy to xx.
And as for Hannan having “outed” someone who used to work at “an LGBT bar,” as McCain also notes: “When a 6-foot-3 middle-aged man gets a sex change, the result is unlikely to be particularly . . . persuasive.”
Caleb Hannan’s great crime was to commit an act of investigative journalism against a member of a designated victim group. (The whole “without fear or favor” slogan must go over social justice warrior heads, since favor is one of the defining principles of identity politics.) I’ve not seen a single credible accusation that the facts Hannan uncovered were untrue. Had Krol not been a serial liar, Hannan would never have been investigating him. His crime is he cared more about journalistic truth than politically correct guidelines on “acceptable discourse.” I would hope all journalists value truth over political correctness (though surveying the dominance of left-wing thought in the mainstream media, this is probably a vain hope).
I’ll end with the same conclusion McCain ended with:
“Facts are stubborn things, as John Adams said. And the simple fact is that Essay Anne Vanderbilt’s entire life was a huge lie.”