Philosopher Dan Kaufman (Missouri State) comments; an excerpt:
The way this goes is depressingly familiar to anyone who has been paying attention over the last few years. A professor articulates a view on a controversial social or political subject that is at odds with the prevailing view in the academy or at least, with the view that is most fiercely promoted by academic activists. It is then claimed that the professor in question has “harmed” the relevant population, i.e. racial minorities, trans people, women, etc., and that consequently, his or her writing/speech is outside the frame of acceptable discourse. If the professor decides to stand up for him or herself and reaffirm the position in question, even perhaps marshaling additional arguments or evidence on its behalf, what only can be called a “mob” is then unleashed, first on social media, and then later, depending on the circumstances, against the professor’s home institution, with the aim of exacting some penalty, up to and including the termination of his or her employment.
The issue arose in Professor Stock's reply to Professor Ferrin as well, and Professor Stock's rejoinder was right on the mark:
Ferrin starts by claiming that saying that ‘trans women aren’t women’ (or, in the new, more accurate construction, saying that they aren’t females) ‘hurts’ and ‘harms’ (her italics) trans women, in that it leads to physical violence against them. This is highly tendentious, for a number of reasons. For one, it is very difficult to work out precise causal routes to physical violence against trans people, in the cases we know about — is it violence on the basis of being gender-non-conforming (not all gender non-conforming people are trans)? Is it violence on the assumption the person is gay (i.e. homophobia)? I have looked at many a survey on violence against trans people since I started writing about this, and none of them have done anything to try and sort this out question, in relation to responses given. (Such surveys also tend to be commissioned by trans activist organisations and done on the basis of self-selection and self-report, with no follow-up surveys; but I digress). Crime reports are also mostly impotent to settle it.
A further relevant point is that we do know that violence against trans women is carried out almost exclusively by males. If Ferrin’s thought is that violent males are assaulting trans women on the basis of reading Medium articles by me, or attending Women’s Place meetings, she had better provide some evidence, hadn’t she? It’s quite a serious allegation, after all. Another thing we know is that, when it comes to homicide against trans people, as indicated in this report , ‘62 percent of the 2,609 transgender people killed worldwide from January 2008 through September 2017 were sex workers.’ Horrifying, yes. But does this indicate a more complicated and realistic story, in terms of significant causal factors, than ‘some people read or heard some feminists saying ‘trans women aren’t women’, and then went out to attack trans women?’. Er.. yes.
Professor Ferrin really ought to apologize for her reckless and baseless allegation against Professor Stock.
Next up: abuse of the concept of "harassment" by the Twitter kids to describe when adults call attention to their public abuse and insults directed at Professor Stock and others.