Ask a Question 8

You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers (maybe)! We’ve got two good long questions today, so let’s get to it.

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Name: Anonymous
Comment: Hey, I found your blog a couple of days ago and really like your stuff on AN even though I don’t share your position on anarchism for mostly practical more than ideological reasons.

My question is – given a hypothetical “terrorist” who manages to synthesize a virus or something similar that has the capability of rendering every single living human sterile with no possibility of a fertility treatment for anyone, would you be willing to be the one to release it? More generally, what’s your take on the practicalities of antinatalism and how much of your freedom-based ideals would you be willing to give up to actually see global infertility?

Your first question is very similar to the “red button” scenario (which I already discussed in the case of Anarchism): if you could press a button which would magically resolve the issue you’re concerned about, would you do it? The trouble is in the details, of course.

In the case of antinatalism, there are two basic “red button” scenarios: one where all sentient life is rendered non-existent, and another where all sentient life is sterilized. I strenuously object to the former because, no matter how much worse existence is, we all have the right to continue to exist and I don’t think we can make such decisions for other people.

The case of sterilization is much easier, since we don’t have the right to procreate, and sterilization prevents suffering. The main issue with your question, from an antinatalist perspective, would be that it’s restricted to humans: even a plummeting human population would still be free to inflict suffering on other species (through the continued use of factory farming, for example), and when humans are gone those species would continue to exist and experience suffering.

Would I be willing to release such a viral agent? Doing so would come at great personal risks, one assumes, but I don’t see why not.

Your second question seems to be based on some assumption that implementing antinatalism would be counter to freedom-based ideals. On the contrary, both stances are based on the same fundamental principles: do not use people as means to an end, and assume all hierarchies and privileges are invalid unless proven otherwise. It would be abstruse for an advocate of self-government to promote natalism, and it wouldn’t make much sense for a statist to be an antinatalist, or at least that’s how it seems to me (although I have run into one antinatalist Christian, so I guess people can rationalize quite a lot).

Keeping in mind that antinatalism means that procreation is wrong, I certainly think antinatalism is practical, insofar as it informs people’s choices. But if by “antinatalism” you mean human extinction through ending procreation, then no, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. I think humans are in far, far greater danger from the Collapse, global warming, World War 3, grey goo, or whatever other doomsday we can bring on ourselves, than from ceasing to procreate.

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Name: Hil
Comment: hey, i love your blog. My question is about repression of women. I like how in your genderism, trans theory, and hostility to radfems, you describe how gender should be eliminated as a social construct, where other theories use it as a basis (division). I noticed too, how women get oppressed by males through a patriarchal system to ‘put females in their place’, i noticed also there is an echo of this behavior in trans circles: why is dismissing women ok, but to shine light on trans bullying women not ok to discuss or acknowledge? how do they win allies by being hostile to the gender theyre trying to be (replace?)

I don’t want to speak for transgender people, and I think most of them, like most people in general, couldn’t care less about gender politics and just accept the options that are presented to them. It is the trans genderists I write against, the advocates of this new trans conception of gender, because gender reduces itself to the subjection of women.

I don’t think trans genderists want radical feminists as their allies, because radical feminism is too small. They’re going for the mainstream, the liberal feminists and the sex-positives, and in order to gain cred as a liberal feminist, one of the things you do is shit on radical feminists (usually, shit on their positions against pornography, against prostitution, against BDSM, stuff like that). That’s just how it works.

I don’t know if you noticed that, but I added Violent Threats to my radfem blogroll. This is a blog which lists all the death threats made against radfem (and some made by radfem as well), mostly by trans advocates. So this can be pretty instructive as to the nature of the “debate.”

Another obvious issue is that radical feminists are against gender, as you pointed out, and a lot of transgender people use gender as their primary self-identification. So when they try to engage the ideology (if they indeed do so), they feel as if radfems are attacking them personally, as if they want transgender people to fall to the wayside.

The basic fact of the matter is that transwomen were socialized as men. Now, I’ve got nothing against people who were socialized as men (I’m one myself!), but such people need to stay out of feminism in general unless they examine their privilege and genuinely listen to what women know. I know some transwomen do this, and I am grateful for that, but most do not (again, like most people, they have no particular motivation to care).

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Thank you to Anonymous and Hil, and keep sending those questions.

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