With regards to the ‘trans’ controversy:
Prof. Hughes has every right to speak her mind both personally and academically. That is what the First Amendment is all about, and what tenure protects in academia. It is unfortunate that many on the left feel that in order to make a point the ‘opposition’ must be silenced. (For the record, I consider myself to be on the left but not one of the former.)
I can’t say I agree with everything Prof. Hughes said in her article, but by-and-large there is primarily common sense there.
My own thoughts: The vast majority of people are born with one physical sex, and that is immutable in the course of their lifetimes; X chromosomes stay X, and Y’s stay Y’s. HOWEVER, one’s mental state and self-defined gender can be anywhere on the spectrum, and it can change over time; there should be no problem there, and no non-physical discrimination should be allowed.
What bothers the H….. out of me is that any minor (<18 years of age) be allowed to undergo surgery for trans-migration. It is not fair to the child; they may well change their mind after reaching the age of majority. Surgery is forever. (Even then, my recollection is that researchers have found that brains are still developing until one is well into their twenties. But, in our society, once someone has reached the age of majority they are responsible for themselves and can make their own decisions. I’m not sure a surgeon should agree to it for adults who are so young, but that’s a matter of ethics. The primary choice is and needs to always be that of the adult patient themselves; that’s the law.)
During my time at URI I was fortunate to have worked with Prof. Hughes on at least one occasion. While we did not see completely eye-to-eye on the matter at hand, she pushed for consideration of the rights of the underdog, and for administrators to be held responsible for their actions and for those below them. She’s a champion, in my book.
No one says you have to agree with Prof. Hughes, and no one says she has to agree with you. If you don’t want to risk being offended, stay away from academia; all points-of-view are entertained therein.
—–Augustus (Gus) K. Uht, retired Professor-in-Residence, URI; the opinions expressed herein are my own.