Short Takes: Martha’s Vineyard, Pronouns, Gender Identity

Martha’s Vineyard

Whenever I hear Martha’s Vineyard, I am reminded of the trip my family and I took to Plymouth, Massachusetts when I was quite young. We were on some sort of boat, and I think someone must have made some reference as to where Martha’s Vineyard was from our position. I looked out and I thought I could see it, but what I was looking at was just a small strip of land with maybe a dozen houses on it. Furthermore, Martha Stewart had been in the news a lot and my world was small enough at the time to assume that when people said Martha’s Vineyard, they were talking about a vineyard that belonged to Martha Stewart. This piece of wrong information sat in the back of my mind, untouched for many years, and then at some point in my 20s I realized the mistake young Vince had made. However, there seems to be no history on how the name of the island came about, so perhaps it was named for Martha Stewart, although, since it has been named that for hundreds of years, the nomenclators would have had to be quiet prescient. But I digress…

Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, sent two planes carrying 48 Venezuelan illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard. To give context for this action, there has been a decades long debate in this country about immigration. Border states, which are typically conservative (except for California which has a massive population of Hispanic immigrants both legal and illegal), are supportive of stricter immigration policies, citing the stress illegal immigration causes on their culture and economies. Liberals rebuke these complaints, accusing the border states of xenophobia, racism, and selfishness. I tend to think that the Liberal side of this debate tends to be a bit stupid. They are distant from the real costs of immigration, and thus can inexpensively act virtuous by waving everyone across the border like an over eager third base coach from the comfort of their living room.

I suppose Ron DeSantis figured that, if the Left is so “xenophilic”, surely, they would not mind if Florida sent some illegal immigrants to their towns. I think this is brilliant and I am surprised it took so long. I am not very good at politics, but this seems like a winning long-term political strategy. Either the residents of Martha’s Vineyard can act “xenophobic” and mistreat the Venezuelans or remove them from their island, which immediately proves the point. Or they can welcome the Venezuelans with open arms and integrate them into their community, in which case, take that as a sign that they have oodles more capacity and send many more illegal immigrants their way. At some point, the residents will begin to act “xenophobic” and then a discussion can be had about, immigration policy and sharing of direct responsibility for illegal immigrants.

This action sent the left reeling, and the most popular talking point seemed to be the Governor DeSantis was using vulnerable people as political chess pieces. It is not a strong argument, and it seems to have been largely ignored. The residents of Martha’s Vineyard did not disappoint. The illegal immigrants were housed in a small church, which is remarkable when you consider the fact that there are beautiful homes all over the island, many of which are empty right now since it is post Labor Day and Martha’s Vineyard is a summer retreat for some of our wealthiest elites. After 2 days, the illegal immigrants were shipped off the island to be housed at a National Guard base. I saw a meme that joked the new Liberal policy on immigration was “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”. There is a wonderful video of Martha’s Vineyard residents hugging and saying farewell to the Venezuelans as they board a bus to be shipped off the island. You can tell they all feel quite good about themselves.

A CNN article praises the actions of the residents and admonishes Governor DeSantis and Governor Abbot of Texas. The article is quite funny, because you can tell that all these residents are quite proud of the 36-44 hours of sanctuary that they provided to these immigrants and how they hustled to make sure their needs were met. Kind and generous acts to be sure, but what happens when another set of planes shows up next week and the next week and the next week? It will not be hard to make the obvious point that has somehow been ignored for decades by Liberals: there is such a thing as too much immigration, especially illegal immigration. It is not inherently xenophobic to feel this.


The radical Trans Rights Advocates continue to advance their agenda, but in the past year it seems as if they may have finally advanced too far and overextended their supply lines.

  • In March 2022, Lia Thomas, a transwoman (meaning a biological male that identifies as a woman), won the 2022 NCAA Division I title for women’s 500-yard freestyle swim. This high-profile case of a biological man competing in women’s sports caused a lot of “normies” to wake up and ask, “what the fuck is going on”.
  • Stories of people who have de-transitioned have found a safe haven on Benjamin Boyce’s podcast Calmversations. Their stories reveal the aggressive influence of gender ideology towards particularly vulnerable children that can be found on social media, at school from teachers and administrators, and from medical professionals.
    • They are also revealing the obvious lies about reversible puberty blockers which are hardly reversable and can sometimes sterilize. They are showing the gruesome surgeries that are sold as a means to alleviate the difficulty of their lives.
  • Matt Walsh released a documentary called What is a Woman? In which he confronted Gender Studies professors, doctors, therapists, etc. and exposed their disturbing answers or lack thereof to the simple question in the title.

The agenda advances regardless. I would like to address some ground that was yielded a long time ago, and most would consider lost: pronouns.

I have been thinking about pronouns for a long time, and I have finally realized that I am not okay with calling people by their preferred pronouns. I believe it is important to call someone by the name that they identify as, because only they can tell you who they see themselves as. I believe it is improper for someone to instruct you which pronouns to refer to them with, because what they are is not influenced by what they identify as. Furthermore, you do not use pronouns to refer to someone you are talking with or to get their attention. You would instead refer to them by their name. Pronouns are used when you are speaking with other people, so people are instructing you on how to speak of them in conversations you are not having with them, possibly when they are not even there. To control how people speak, especially when you are not present, is an authoritarian impulse. If I am speaking with the trans person and other people as well, whenever I refer to the trans person, I will use their name instead of a pronoun. I am sympathetic to those who are trying to believe that they are the opposite gender, and I do not want to spoil the illusion unduly.

Gender Identity

For what I am about to write, I am inclined to remind people that these are just thoughts.

Gender Dysphoria is classified in the DSM-5, and I have seen people both in real life and online who seem to feel more at home identifying as the opposite gender. I am inclined to believe it is real, and I have never felt any other inclination. I am wondering if, however, it is being misunderstood. We hear often about how people have biological sex and gender identity, and a trans person is simply a person with a gender identity different from their biological sex. I do not understand how this does not conflict with some the important lessons feminism taught us since the 1950s. We are told that just because someone is a woman, does not mean they like to cook, clean, and have/take care of babies. A woman can have a career or a family or a career and a family. A woman can play sports or play with dolls. A woman can be sexually picky or promiscuous. A woman can wear whatever clothes or colors she would like. Men, too, can act outside of their set gender roles. A man can be sensitive, can enjoy knitting, go to therapy, or report to a woman at work. They can take parental leave and take care of a newborn baby while the mother returns to work.

It seems like the recognition that gender roles described patterns of behavior but should not be restrictive was also that destruction of gender identity. If a woman can act in any way that she pleases (and I believe she can), does this not also mean that there is no singular identity for a woman? So, when a trans person identifies as a woman, what are they identifying as? I don’t think I see how gender identity is an incorrect term for personality. If a biological man wants to put on a dress and lipstick and have everyone call him Sheila, is this not just the manifestation of his personality rather than a manifestation of gender identity?

If a man was born short, but wished he was tall, what would our recommendations for treatment be? Should he convince himself that he is tall, and commission everyone in the world to treat him as if he is tall at the threat of him killing himself if we don’t put enough effort into this illusion? Should we take him to a surgeon to get the very dangerous and harmful surgery that involves the breaking of his legs because it might make him a bit taller? Or should we show him how to live where the fact that he is not tall becomes a surmountable obstacle and he can live happily with the body he was born into. Gender dysphoria exists in this world, but affirmative care, surgeries, and forcing everyone in society to participate in an illusion does not seem like the appropriate approach to caring for these people.

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