Thursday, October 29, 2015

updated. with additions, and to be clearer.

Leiter: "Can someone explain what Greer's view is about what makes someone a woman (or a man)?"
Judging by the comments, his readers should agree that Rachel Dolezal is black.

Biology is physical experience. Transexuals who choose to identify strictly either as female or male base their understanding not on experience but fantasy. The politics of fantasy is delusion, always in the strictest sense reactionary: the Bauhaus as symptom. In desperation it's the root of fascism.

Gender reassignment surgery is the most extreme of extreme makeovers.

Leiter and "reaction formation": he can't use the term in relation to sexuality for the same reason others can't see the reactionary nature of Zionism: caste/tribal/familial loyalty and taboo. It would have been interesting watching the confusion if Dolezal had been a white man identifying as a black woman.

I doubt Greer would say anything against honest hermaphrodites. After all, who would?
Ambiguity is not the problem.  The inability to accept ambiguity is the problem.
[Greer on Caster Semenya, in 2009. It was determined later that Semenya was born intersex.]
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Leiter again, (also fitting in with the previous post)
A good piece in The Guardian on the Greer controversy  
Here. The idea that anything Greer said is "hate speech" is preposterous, but also shows how dangerous that category can be in the hands of zealots.
"in the hands of zealots." That argument against hate speech regulations is that law applies equally to all. Who defines who is and is not a zealot?

repeats againandagainandagain: Leiter reviews Waldron
...it seems to me a virtue of Waldron's book [The Harm of Hate Speech] is that by making an often vivid case for the harm that the content of speech can inflict on the vulnerable, Waldron forces us to take seriously Herbert Marcuse's old worry: namely, that while the toleration of harmful speech "in conversation, in academic discussion...in the scientific enterprise, in private religion" is justified, perhaps "society cannot be indiscriminate where the pacification of existence, where freedom and happiness themselves are at stake." Waldron does not explore that implication of his argument, but it is one that warrants renewed consideration if one shares Waldron's core intuition that harm to the vulnerable, even harm inflicted by speech, deserves legal notice.
Leiter: The Case Against Free Speech
I also argue for viewing "freedom of speech" like "freedom of action": speech, like everything else human beings do, can be for good or ill, benign or harmful, constructive or pernicious, and thus the central question in free speech jurisprudence should really be how to regulate speech effectively — to minimize its very real harms, without undue cost to its positive values — rather than rationalizing (often fancifully) the supposed special value of speech. In particular, I argue against autonomy-based defenses of a robust free speech principle. I conclude that the central issue in free speech jurisprudence is not about speech but about institutional competence; I offer some reasons — from the Marxist "left" and the public choice "right"— for being skeptical that capitalist democracies have the requisite competence; and make some suggestive but inconclusive remarks about how these defects might be remedied.
Organizing for BDS in France is now a crime
The rulings passed on Tuesday by the Paris-based Court of Cassation confirmed the convictions of 12 individuals by the Colmar Court of Appeals in connection with their 2009 and 2010 actions in supermarkets near the eastern city of Mulhouse.

The individuals arrived at the supermarket wearing shirts emblazoned with the words: “Long live Palestine, boycott Israel.” They also handed out flyers that said that “buying Israeli products means legitimizing crimes in Gaza.”

The court in Colmar imposed fines to the collective tune of $14,500 and court expenses on Laila Assakali, Yahya Assakali, Assya Ben Lakbir, Habiba Assakali, Sylviane Mure, Farida Sarr, Aline Parmentier, Mohammad Akbar, Jean-Michel Baldassi, Maxime Roll, Jacques Ballouey and Henry Eichholtzer.

They appealed the ruling citing their freedom to express their opinion.

In confirming the sentences, the Court of Cassation cited the French republic’s law on Freedom of the Press, which prescribes imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000 for parties that “provoke discrimination, hatred or violence toward a person or group of people on grounds of their origin, their belonging or their not belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a certain religion.” 

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