Notes on my Twitter suspension
Some of you might know I spent about a week in “Twitter jail” recently. Except, unlike Jordan Peterson, I didn’t even “deadname” Ellen (“Elliot”) Page, or William (“Lia”) Thomas, or anyone, in fact. My only crime was suggesting that perhaps it shouldn’t be legal to perform medical experiments on the mentally ill. This seems to be controversial now, but I missed the memo. Apparently.
Readers can go here for my American Reformer piece on the leadup to my suspension. As the meme says, it escalated quickly. I had published a well-received article at First Things on trans surgeries and the growing wave of adult detransitioners. These men and women eloquently make the case that their mental vulnerability was exploited for profit, leaving them to deal with the irreversibly devastating consequences. I argued that there’s a serious case to be made for banning sex change operations across the board, not only for children. I even took issue with quotes from Ben Shapiro in 2019, debating this question in an interview with David Berlinski. Shapiro claims trans surgery for adults has “no externalities,” therefore it should be left up to individual choice. I was frankly a bit shocked at this line, and still am. It takes barely any imagination to picture what “externalities” might obtain for the wife and children of a man who decides he is a woman. Or the terrified parents of an autistic girl who’s just old enough to get her own mastectomy. Or, really, any caring friend or relative of such an adult.
Berlinski strongly disagrees with Shapiro, which surprised me, because I wouldn’t have thought Berlinski had strong opinions on this issue one way or another. As it turns out, he did. Unfortunately, they didn’t have time to dig in and really have the argument out, because it could have been very interesting. Perhaps Shapiro would have a different opinion now. I hope so.
I braced for a backlash to the piece, but it didn’t come right away. They found me eventually though. Things got especially interesting when one trans activist asked the detransitioners I had tagged whether they wanted to “disavow” my “extremist” piece. I’d never heard of “Katy” before, and unfortunately “her” Twitter bio didn’t enlighten me beyond the information that “she” is “pro-abortion.” Someone has yet to inform “Katy” that being pro-abortion is not a personality, or a Twitter bio. Anyway, you can read more about all the drama that ensued in my American Reformer follow-up, so I won’t repeat it all here. It was likely somebody in the pile-on who eventually picked out two of my tweets to report to Twitter HQ. My use of the phrase “mentally ill” was probably what did the trick in both cases. I have some evidence for this in the fact that at least one friend was also suspended for using it—in his case, for literally just stating the statistical fact that LGBT people suffer from mental illness at a high rate.
Meanwhile, there was a lot to be mined from the replies that filled up my mentions. I couldn’t possibly keep up with them all (though a lot of them were just ringing the changes on “fascist,” “c—t,” “fascist c—t”—you get the idea). But I found some of them fascinating, and unintentionally revealing.