Is This a Work of Science?
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I have thought long, but perhaps not long enough, about whether to contribute to this discussion about the conflict between Bailey and his opponents in the transgendered movement. Unlike Dreger, I do not have even the most minimal belief that whatever is written about this conflict will not be spun by one side or the other.1 Social conflicts about meaning, such as this one, often play themselves out without much resolution. The sets of combatants are all usually left standing, some more wounded than others, the on-lookers grow bored, and nearly everyone (including most of the combatants) go on to other matters. It is unfortunately true that some few combatants make their participation in such conflicts central to their post-conflict identities, obsessing over the details of the conflict in the same fashion as those with post traumatic stress disorders.
Two phrases struck me when I read Dreger’s contemporary history of these events because they accorded with my own first reactions when...