Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by nicole » 02 Aug 2019, 20:49

The whole reason girls’ sports exist in secondary schools is because it’s public policy that they should have the opportunity to experience all the benefits of athletics, including the opportunity to win, without being discriminated against because of a systemic physical handicap. The reason girls can’t compete with boys has nothing to do with wearing long hair and dresses and everything to do with their biological sex.

From the complaint filed in June by CT student athlete Selina Soule and two other anonymous students:
Considering the seven important state-level competitive events summarized in the tables above together with the parallel boys’ competitions in these same seven events at these same meets, we find that the result of the CIAC Policy was that males took first place in 13 out of 14 events, while girls received only one first place recognition (Caroline O’Neil in the 200 meter State Open Women’s race on June 5, 2017). Males took 23 out of 28 first and second place awards in those seven state-level competitive events. And from these competitions, boys were awarded 51 opportunities to participate in a higher-level state competition, while girls were awarded only 31 such opportunities—little more than half as many as went to boys.
Does it matter? I mean, young girls are easily socialized to believe they should be second and subservient to males, so I’m sure we won’t be hearing complaints about this for too much longer.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 02 Aug 2019, 21:39

thoreau wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 19:56
Giving them the trophy feels right; they did run faster. But putting them in the record books feels wrong. They aren't really showcasing the best of what a female body can do, as we traditionally understand the notion.
Top athletes aren't showcasing the best a human body can do, as we traditionally understand the notion. For example, very top Olympic track athletes tend to have congenitally low resting heart rates and high levels of muscular oxygen absorption. That's not training, those are innate biological advantages that you can't do anything about not having, and they're probably gonna beat you. Should their records have asterisks by them?

Not that I really see all the sacredness of, "Someone just ran this distance 0.01 seconds faster than someone else did all of four years ago, and that matters!" But If it "feels wrong" to give them that, why doesn't it "feel wrong" to give them a trophy or let them compete?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by JasonL » 02 Aug 2019, 21:50

That argument would make sense in a world where we weren’t drawing any distinctions and all genders compete in a single pool. Less so when you’ve decided a distinction for bio sex need to be drawn to preserve an ability to compete.

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 03 Aug 2019, 01:29

Athletic competitions are voluntary; hence, the state shouldn't play any role in determining who should compete, what drugs they can take, etc. Yeah, that can be and was a problem when discrimination was racial. Frankly, I don't care enough about either men's or women's sports to care how they organize themselves. Let men compete in women's sports just as we let women compete for combat infantry jobs. By the same token, if private sporting associations want to exclude men or transsexuals, that's fine, too. It's like third term abortions: yeah, there are cases that raise serious moral questions, but the number of transsexuals competing in sports is like the number of third term abortions; namely, too small to focus the attention they are getting.

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 03 Aug 2019, 01:58

Eric the .5b wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 21:39
thoreau wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 19:56
Giving them the trophy feels right; they did run faster. But putting them in the record books feels wrong. They aren't really showcasing the best of what a female body can do, as we traditionally understand the notion.
Top athletes aren't showcasing the best a human body can do, as we traditionally understand the notion. For example, very top Olympic track athletes tend to have congenitally low resting heart rates and high levels of muscular oxygen absorption. That's not training, those are innate biological advantages that you can't do anything about not having, and they're probably gonna beat you. Should their records have asterisks by them?

Not that I really see all the sacredness of, "Someone just ran this distance 0.01 seconds faster than someone else did all of four years ago, and that matters!" But If it "feels wrong" to give them that, why doesn't it "feel wrong" to give them a trophy or let them compete?
On one level I basically agree: Top athletes are almost always biologically different from the rest of us in numerous ways. Hard work is absolutely necessary for good performance, but the combination of lucky biology and insanely hard work (itself probably a genetic proclivity) (and maybe some pharmaceuticals...) gets you an Olympic medal. Seen in that light, a Y chromosome is just one more biological feature that not everyone has. Tough break. Most athletes lose most competitions, so there you go.

Except that we keep two sets of records, and award two sets of medals, not one. As long as we have two lists we need criteria to sort people and figure out which medal they're competing for, and which record they'll be compared against.

I looked at the 2016 Olympic women's track & field events, and pulled up one event more or less at random: 400 meter dash. The gold, silver, and bronze women's times were 49.85 sec, 49.51 sec, and 49.44 sec.

Then I pulled up state championship results for high schoolers competing in the 400 meter dash, and if you look at page 4 of this .pdf you'll see the results for boys in the preliminary round. Out of 27 high school boys, 20 did better than the women's gold medalist in 2016, and 21 did better than the bronze medalist. These boys are obviously all incredibly hard-working, and that clearly mattered alongside their testosterone. And obviously the vast majority of them would never declare themselves trans to compete against women, as most of them presumably aren't trans and presumably have too much integrity to lie about that for a competitive edge.

Still, while these boys are obviously far more athletic than I was or will be, on the global stage they are hardly special. Yet they outran the woman who won the Olympic medal in 2016.

If this is about high school girls losing to a girl who is different from them, well, that's a fact of life. If this is about a biological difference so big that there are numerous men who can outrun the current top woman competitor, we have to ask why people keep two sets of records and award two sets of medals.

Now, maybe the hormone therapies really do erase all of those advantages. If so, great. I really hope that that's the case. Otherwise I think that ciswomen are facing something that completely cuts against the whole point of having two separate competitions.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 03 Aug 2019, 02:08

Then I pulled up the results for high school boys in Vermont (second smallest US state by population, and I'm excluding Wyoming since they may be training at higher elevation) and the top boy in Vermont (a much smaller pool than CA) ran the 400 meter dash in 49.17 seconds. Again, the top high school boy in a smaller pool with less intensive training than a college runner was able to outperform the woman who won the gold medal in 2016.

If boys who have yet to distinguish themselves in the wider world frequently outrun the absolute top women in the world, and do so in high school (when the training is not yet as polished as college), it seems like male biology is a pretty damn big deal. OK, all of biology is a pretty damn big deal, but if people are going to divide the competitions by sex then they have to accept that each competition excludes half of humanity on the basis of biology.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 03 Aug 2019, 02:17

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 01:29
Athletic competitions are voluntary; hence, the state shouldn't play any role in determining who should compete, what drugs they can take, etc. Yeah, that can be and was a problem when discrimination was racial. Frankly, I don't care enough about either men's or women's sports to care how they organize themselves. Let men compete in women's sports just as we let women compete for combat infantry jobs. By the same token, if private sporting associations want to exclude men or transsexuals, that's fine, too. It's like third term abortions: yeah, there are cases that raise serious moral questions, but the number of transsexuals competing in sports is like the number of third term abortions; namely, too small to focus the attention they are getting.
This is dangerously close to the gryllularity...

But even if we could wave a magic wand and make government schools and anti-discrimination laws vanish, there's still a very real ethical question: If my niece competed in a league that had a given set of rules for who does or doesn't count as a woman, would she be a bigot? If I donated to the fundraiser for her 100% privately-funded league, would I be a bigot?

Saying that the government shouldn't be involved puts more ethical responsibility on individuals, not less.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 03 Aug 2019, 03:48

thoreau wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 01:58
And obviously the vast majority of them would never declare themselves trans to compete against women, as most of them presumably aren't trans and presumably have too much integrity to lie about that for a competitive edge.
And, you know, most of them aren't going to publicly declare themselves members of one of the LGBT groups it's still broadly considered safe to shit on by much of our society if they aren't.
thoreau wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 01:58
If this is about high school girls losing to a girl who is different from them, well, that's a fact of life. If this is about a biological difference so big that there are numerous men who can outrun the current top woman competitor, we have to ask why people keep two sets of records and award two sets of medals.
And again, if that's a problem, why would you still want to give them a trophy or let them compete? Because there aren't going to be a lot of transwomen athletes competing, but some of them, somewhere, are going to win competitions, even if hormone treatments make them, on average, indistinguishable from ciswomen.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 03 Aug 2019, 10:43

Eric the .5b wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 03:48
And again, if that's a problem, why would you still want to give them a trophy or let them compete?
It depends on whether I think about this on the micro level or macro level. On the micro level this person showed up, trained and worked with the team, ran the race, and won. And whatever her advantages, well, ultimately the other competitors lost to someone who is different from them and that's just how sports go.

On the macro level, when we start talking about records and whatnot, it feels wrong to say that this person with a male body is the fastest woman in the world, because even unremarkable men are frequently faster than the fastest woman in the world.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 03 Aug 2019, 17:45

Eric the .5b wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 03:48
And again, if that's a problem, why would you still want to give them a trophy or let them compete? Because there aren't going to be a lot of transwomen athletes competing, but some of them, somewhere, are going to win competitions, even if hormone treatments make them, on average, indistinguishable from ciswomen.
If my understanding of the Connecticut case is accurate, the two transgirls haven't had any hormone or other treatments. Regardless of how female their gender is, if their biological sex is still 100 percent male then expecting cisgirls to compete with them in physical matters (and telling the cisgirls "Yes, you have a perfectly legitimate chance of winning here and any thought to the contrary is just your imagination") is gaslighting BS.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 03 Aug 2019, 20:19

Jennifer wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 17:45
Eric the .5b wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 03:48
And again, if that's a problem, why would you still want to give them a trophy or let them compete? Because there aren't going to be a lot of transwomen athletes competing, but some of them, somewhere, are going to win competitions, even if hormone treatments make them, on average, indistinguishable from ciswomen.
If my understanding of the Connecticut case is accurate, the two transgirls haven't had any hormone or other treatments. Regardless of how female their gender is, if their biological sex is still 100 percent male then expecting cisgirls to compete with them in physical matters (and telling the cisgirls "Yes, you have a perfectly legitimate chance of winning here and any thought to the contrary is just your imagination") is gaslighting BS.
That I can't speak to, but it can be taken up with the people who are horrified by the idea of giving hormones to adolescents.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by nicole » 03 Aug 2019, 20:34

Why? Those people have nothing to do with CT’s policy.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 03 Aug 2019, 20:39

Eric the .5b wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 20:19
Jennifer wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 17:45
Eric the .5b wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 03:48
And again, if that's a problem, why would you still want to give them a trophy or let them compete? Because there aren't going to be a lot of transwomen athletes competing, but some of them, somewhere, are going to win competitions, even if hormone treatments make them, on average, indistinguishable from ciswomen.
If my understanding of the Connecticut case is accurate, the two transgirls haven't had any hormone or other treatments. Regardless of how female their gender is, if their biological sex is still 100 percent male then expecting cisgirls to compete with them in physical matters (and telling the cisgirls "Yes, you have a perfectly legitimate chance of winning here and any thought to the contrary is just your imagination") is gaslighting BS.
That I can't speak to, but it can be taken up with the people who are horrified by the idea of giving hormones to adolescents.
Likewise, I can't speak to the issue of whether or not any given under-18 person "should" be given hormones -- the best I can do is say "I deeply sympathize with anyone who feels they'd be better off with hormone therapy, but cannot get it for whatever reason" -- but arguably, that's a different matter from the question "If you have a transgirl who remains physically and hormonally male, then if she wants to compete in certain strictly physical matters against a cisgirl she has built-in advantages against which no cisgirl can realistically be expected to compete -- should we acknowledge this or not?"

Also -- regarding my IRL friend I mentioned, who insists I'm a misogynist and a transphobe for my belief in the reality of human sexual dimorphism -- she piously informed me that, regarding the Connecticut case of the transgirl record-breakers in Connecticut, mentioning hormones is disgusting because WTF kind of person obsesses over a teenage girl's genitals and hormones anyway? Ergo, even suggesting "You know, a biological male regardless of gender is going to have certain physical advantages over a biological female" is inappropriate sexualization of teenagers. (And mentioning the phrase "biological males," even in that particular context, is also proof that I am a transphobic TERF, IIRC).

I remind you: this is not some online-only acquaintance but someone I've known IRL since my days at the Connecticut alt-weekly ... i.e. someone who damned well ought to know better than to think I'm a conservative sex-freakout woman-hating Trumpster-type, whatever other flaws I may have.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 03 Aug 2019, 21:05

And again, it's not even that I care so much about "athletic contests" per se -- if humanity collectively lost all interest in them tomorrow I'd consider it "no big loss" if not "potential improvement" -- but so long as such things will exist, I definitely support certain distinctions based on reality. And, regarding the specific instance of transgirls or anyone else who is hormonally and biologically male, it's not realistic to expect cisgirls to compete against them in certain physical strength or speed contests, and monstrously unjust to force the cisgirls to pretend otherwise. And I am even more baffled by the implication "opposing 'sexism' in the legal and social sense requires one deny or dismiss the reality of human sexual dimorphism," just as -- to bring up my earlier analogy -- I'd be equally baffled by anyone who says that in order to oppose "racism" I must pretend there aren't even any differences in how long my pasty skin can handle exposure to the Georgia sun without getting burned, compared to my more dark-skinned neighbors. I maintain it is not true and actively harmful to think that you can only believe in legal and social equality if you also believe in strict literal across-the-board biological equality too, whether sexual equality or racial equality or any other kind.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 04 Aug 2019, 19:07

Jennifer wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 20:39
I remind you: this is not some online-only acquaintance but someone I've known IRL since my days at the Connecticut alt-weekly ... i.e. someone who damned well ought to know better than to think I'm a conservative sex-freakout woman-hating Trumpster-type, whatever other flaws I may have.
Yeah, and? I've kind of lost your point WRT the ACLU and the rules we're talking about.

If your old acquaintance is an idiot, then she's an idiot. OK?

I will add something I tried to add before Grylliade booted me out of my login: the gaslighting experience of being told, "Yes, you have a perfectly legitimate chance of winning here and any thought to the contrary is just your imagination" is also known as "reality for 90%+ of athletes, from high schools to professional competition". Except that's all the time, not on the rare occasion they run into a transgender competitor.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 04 Aug 2019, 21:48

Eric the .5b wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 19:07
Jennifer wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 20:39
I remind you: this is not some online-only acquaintance but someone I've known IRL since my days at the Connecticut alt-weekly ... i.e. someone who damned well ought to know better than to think I'm a conservative sex-freakout woman-hating Trumpster-type, whatever other flaws I may have.
Yeah, and? I've kind of lost your point WRT the ACLU and the rules we're talking about.

If your old acquaintance is an idiot, then she's an idiot. OK?
Regarding this specific ACLU business -- I have definite qualms about the suggestion "supporting trans rights requires the deliberate denial of reality (especially in regard to sexual dimorphism)." Indeed, I fear the opposite is likely to be true: requiring the denial of reality is likely to lead to more opposition to trans rights, on the grounds "Wait, you're saying the only way I can support trans rights is to pretend there are zero size and strength differentials between men and women? Like, the only reason women throughout history have been weaker than men is because every female human who ever lived was too lazy and slothful to work out as hard as the males do? Bullshit."

(EDIT: Also, the ACLU's statement that "trans women are WOMEN" being the only thing that matters re: girls' athletics is identical to what my pious friend told me, in our discussion about the transgirls breaking sports records in Connecticut. Trans women are women, and trans girls are girls, so their biology including testosterone levels and muscle-fiber density are completely irrelevant when discussing athletics -- not just irrelevant, but proof of bigotry if you bring them up. It's not just my friend being an idiot in this matter-- it's the freaking ACLU.)
I will add something I tried to add before Grylliade booted me out of my login: the gaslighting experience of being told, "Yes, you have a perfectly legitimate chance of winning here and any thought to the contrary is just your imagination" is also known as "reality for 90%+ of athletes, from high schools to professional competition". Except that's all the time, not on the rare occasion they run into a transgender competitor.
If you are talking specifically about a cisgirl expected to compete in speed or strength against a self-identifying transgirl whose hormones and biology remain 100 percent male, that cisgirl will lose 100 percent of the time, and NOT because she is too slow or weak to make it in girls' athletics (though she IS too slow and weak to make it in boys' athletics which, as Nicole pointed out upthread, is precisely why athletics are divided by sex in the first place).

EDIT: typo
Last edited by Jennifer on 05 Aug 2019, 03:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 04 Aug 2019, 22:20

Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 21:48
Regarding this specific ACLU business -- I have definite qualms about the suggestion "supporting trans rights requires the deliberate denial of reality (especially in regard to sexual dimorphism)." Indeed, I fear the opposite is likely to be true: requiring the denial of reality is likely to lead to more opposition to trans rights
As far as I've noticed, doing anything that involves supporting trans rights picks up a lot of fresh opposition, and not just from Team Red. "This is why Trump won" if an online service offers too many pronoun options or whatever...
Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 21:48
I will add something I tried to add before Grylliade booted me out of my login: the gaslighting experience of being told, "Yes, you have a perfectly legitimate chance of winning here and any thought to the contrary is just your imagination" is also known as "reality for 90%+ of athletes, from high schools to professional competition". Except that's all the time, not on the rare occasion they run into a transgender competitor.
If you are talking specifically about a cisgirl expected to compete in size or strength against a self-identifying transgirl whose hormones and biology remain 100 percent male, that cisgirl will lose 100 percent of the time, and NOT because she is too slow or weak to make it in girls' athletics
That last is pretty much down to who gets to compete, isn't it? Though, sports organizations have been going hard for some time on the issue of declaring which ciswomen shouldn't get to compete with everyone else (or have their records counted), so I doubt the ACLU will make much impact on the issue for transwomen.

Though, hammering the point of how women must be protected from any competition with any possible number of physically male athletes (or insufficiently weak physically female athletes) makes me think more and more about Thoreau's "macro-level" discomfort with the possibility of transwomen getting asterisk-free entries in record books. I mean, from that standpoint, isn't it a farce to even track womens' records? Do the record books have entries for "Best Short, White NBA Players"? "Best Ice Hockey Teams (Tropical Countries Only)"?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 04 Aug 2019, 22:25

As I understand it -- talking specifically about normal non-outlier biological males and females -- the testosterone and muscle-fiber-density differentials are not in-general matters like height, but absolutes. Meaning: it's true that "Men in general are taller than women in general," but there are plenty of individuals on both sides who defy this trend -- there are lots of individual normal men (as opposed to men suffering some form of dwarfism) who are shorter than lots of individual normal women, and lots of normal women (as opposed to women with some form of giantism) who are taller than various individual men. So if you drew a Venn diagram, one circle labeled "Height of adult men who are not afflicted with any recognized medical disorders resulting in people's height being outside the norm for our species" and another circle labeled thus for adult women, those two circles would overlap somewhat.

But if you drew a Venn diagram regarding testosterone levels for normal men and women, or muscle-fiber density for same, those two circles wouldn't overlap at all. They wouldn't even touch. Any normal individual adult male without medical alteration WILL have higher rates that any normal individual adult woman.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 04 Aug 2019, 22:57

Eric the .5b wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 22:20
Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 21:48
Regarding this specific ACLU business -- I have definite qualms about the suggestion "supporting trans rights requires the deliberate denial of reality (especially in regard to sexual dimorphism)." Indeed, I fear the opposite is likely to be true: requiring the denial of reality is likely to lead to more opposition to trans rights
As far as I've noticed, doing anything that involves supporting trans rights picks up a lot of fresh opposition, and not just from Team Red. "This is why Trump won" if an online service offers too many pronoun options or whatever...
I know, and I'm being hyper-careful in this discussion (thought not NEARLY as careful and diplomatic as I was in my discussion with my IRL acquaintance on Facebook), but: I maintain this is different because, again, we're talking about requiring the denial of reality, which is NOT the case with most "This is why Trump won" shit.

Building on my "racism" analogy upthread: I'm sure you and I both agree "Yo, fuck those alt-right assholes who go on about 'Black Lives Matter is racist' and 'any complaint about police brutality or police racism is why Trump won', and 'complaining about racism is the REAL racism' and whatnot," right? They're not even arguing in good faith, IMO.

But suppose -- and I admit, this is the part where the analogy starts getting ludicrous -- suppose that all racism-fighting organizations ranging from BLM and the ACLU plus any other ones you personally support started insisting that, in order to "fight racism" and avoid being a racist bigot yourself, you must deny that ANY racial differences exist at all -- even such straightforward (and not even "racial," strictly speaking) observations as "Extremely pale people like Jennifer get sunburned far faster than people with darker skin."

Or, even worse: "Now that Jennifer lives in Georgia, she refuses to go outside on summer days without every square inch of skin covered with either fabric or sunblock. When asked why she doesn't adopt the much cooler (and cheaper) shorts-and-tees plus no sunblock outfits worn by her neighbors, she said she can't because she sunburns more easily than they do, due to her paler skin. That's racist! Only a racist bigot would claim any differences exist between people of noticeably different skin tones! If Jennifer wants to avoid sunburn, she ought to abandon her coverup clothes and expensive lotions ... and more importantly, abandon her racist belief that being descended exclusively from northern Europeans these past few centuries has made her somehow physically different from those whose post-medieval ancestors include LOTS of people from sub-Saharan Africa."

And yet, as ridiculous and ludicrous as that is, it's just as ludicrous to say "There are no biological differences between the sexes, including no difference in strength and speed between the sexes -- at least, nothing a woman couldn't overcome and do better than a man if she were willing to work hard enough. Anyone claiming otherwise is a misogynistic bigot and most likely a transphobe, too."
Though, hammering the point of how women must be protected from any competition with any possible number of physically male athletes (or insufficiently weak physically female athletes) makes me think more and more about Thoreau's "macro-level" discomfort with the possibility of transwomen getting asterisk-free entries in record books. I mean, from that standpoint, isn't it a farce to even track womens' records? Do the record books have entries for "Best Short, White NBA Players"? "Best Ice Hockey Teams (Tropical Countries Only)"?
Not to speak for Thoreau, but -- personally, I wouldn't even go as far as he did here -- I have no idea what decision should be made regarding transgirls who have actually undergone hormone changes so that their actual muscle density* and testosterone/estrogen ratio and etc. are comparable to a cisgirl, but regarding transgirls who identify as female but still have entirely male biology, I don't think they should be competing as women at all -- or at least, not competing against women.

*For that matter -- if a transgirl stays biologically male long enough to develop adult male levels of muscle-fiber density ... does the density level drop to female levels once the transgirl starts taking hormones to alter her sex and bring it in line with gender -- or is fiber density something that, once it's built, you don't lose it? Sorta like height -- a poor diet in childhood might stunt your growth and leave you shorter than you'd otherwise be (see modern North v. South Koreans for exhibit A), but once you've achieved a certain height, poor diet won't make you lose any of it (outside of hunched backs and other posture-related issues). I have no idea if something similar holds true for muscle-fiber density.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 05 Aug 2019, 04:12

Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 22:57
Eric the .5b wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 22:20
Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 21:48
Regarding this specific ACLU business -- I have definite qualms about the suggestion "supporting trans rights requires the deliberate denial of reality (especially in regard to sexual dimorphism)." Indeed, I fear the opposite is likely to be true: requiring the denial of reality is likely to lead to more opposition to trans rights
As far as I've noticed, doing anything that involves supporting trans rights picks up a lot of fresh opposition, and not just from Team Red. "This is why Trump won" if an online service offers too many pronoun options or whatever...
I know, and I'm being hyper-careful in this discussion (thought not NEARLY as careful and diplomatic as I was in my discussion with my IRL acquaintance on Facebook),
And I do respect and appreciate that.
Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 22:57
but: I maintain this is different because, again, we're talking about requiring the denial of reality, which is NOT the case with most "This is why Trump won" shit.

...

And yet, as ridiculous and ludicrous as that is, it's just as ludicrous to say "There are no biological differences between the sexes, including no difference in strength and speed between the sexes -- at least, nothing a woman couldn't overcome and do better than a man if she were willing to work hard enough. Anyone claiming otherwise is a misogynistic bigot and most likely a transphobe, too."
While an ACLU writer does make a game attempt at arguing otherwise, I do generally agree with you. Generally; I'd inclined to say that wrestler in one of the cited articles probably should have a chance to compete against men.
Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 22:57
Not to speak for Thoreau, but -- personally, I wouldn't even go as far as he did here -- I have no idea what decision should be made regarding transgirls who have actually undergone hormone changes so that their actual muscle density* and testosterone/estrogen ratio and etc. are comparable to a cisgirl, but regarding transgirls who identify as female but still have entirely male biology, I don't think they should be competing as women at all -- or at least, not competing against women.
That's a shitty resolution, though. I mean, I get that any resolution here is going to be considered shitty by someone, but I admit I can't feel much sympathy for the idea that one group has to be entirely excluded from competition. At the very least, not just so that a few good Christian girls, backed by a religious organization that insists on calling the transgender girls "boys" at every turn, don't finish a couple places lower on a track meet. (And given the only named complainant on the lawsuit finished sixth, I wonder how realistic the claim of being denied "top spots" really is in their case.
But then, we get into a race angle, too, naturally.)
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 05 Aug 2019, 07:46

Eric the .5b wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 04:12
Jennifer wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 22:57
Not to speak for Thoreau, but -- personally, I wouldn't even go as far as he did here -- I have no idea what decision should be made regarding transgirls who have actually undergone hormone changes so that their actual muscle density* and testosterone/estrogen ratio and etc. are comparable to a cisgirl, but regarding transgirls who identify as female but still have entirely male biology, I don't think they should be competing as women at all -- or at least, not competing against women.
That's a shitty resolution, though. I mean, I get that any resolution here is going to be considered shitty by someone, but I admit I can't feel much sympathy for the idea that one group has to be entirely excluded from competition. At the very least, not just so that a few good Christian girls, backed by a religious organization that insists on calling the transgender girls "boys" at every turn, don't finish a couple places lower on a track meet. (And given the only named complainant on the lawsuit finished sixth, I wonder how realistic the claim of being denied "top spots" really is in their case.
But then, we get into a race angle, too, naturally.)
I don't like the idea "Well, transgirls can't compete at all" either -- again, specifying biologically male ones, and to hell with my friend who insisted that the phrase "biological male" is still bigoted in this context because trans girls are girls, period -- and I doubt there will ever be enough trans girls (let alone trans girls interested in athletics) for trans-only leagues to be feasible. I am also going to guess that, regarding those whose biology remains male but whose gender is female, there are reasons why it would feel uncomfortable for them to compete against boys, or share locker room with boys, when they feel they are girls.

Of course this is the point where I can only attempt an intellectual understanding rather than truly get it. The two reasons I, personally, would never want to compete in speed/strength against males of the same age and training, and especially why I would not want to share the same locker or shower room with a bunch of male athletes, both involve actual biological/sexual realities which don't apply to bio-male trans girls: where strength and speed are concerned, we aren't even in the same circles on the Venn diagram, and where nudity/physical contact is concerned, obviously my nude self would be at a disadvantage with 20 nude men. (Or a huge advantage in some porny fantasy context, perhaps.)

So, yeah -- I completely get "I don't want to compete against the boys or share their locker room" -- but my reasons for feeling thus are entirely connected to my having the body of a woman rather than a man, and I can't "get" feeling that way if I had a man's body instead.

But the thing is -- I don't know anything about the cisgirls in Connecticut who brought the lawsuit, but even if they're absolute Trump-loving MAGA-hat-wearing bigoted shits, if they say it's bogus to expect them to compete against biological males in certain areas, that remains a true statement. Just like saying "Jennifer-pale people sunburn more easily than those with darker skin" remains true even if a David Duke type is the one who says it -- and even if he's saying it to support his bullshit bigotries.

And if the likes of the ACLU, BLM and SPLC actually did say "Only racist bigots believe Jennifer's sunburn problem is real," well, that wouldn't make me throw my lot in with David Duke and Blue Lives Matter, but it WILL make me want to avoid the people who sneer that I'm a bigot for fearing the naked Georgia sun. And if trans-rights groups and my dipshit friend continue to say "Only sexists and transphobes believe sexual dimorphism is real," that won't make me throw my lot in with the LGBT-bashers, but I will avoid all those people who sneer that I'm a bigot, and am unlikely to go out of my way to support them.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 05 Aug 2019, 23:53

Jennifer wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 07:46
I don't like the idea "Well, transgirls can't compete at all" either -- again, specifying biologically male ones, and to hell with my friend who insisted that the phrase "biological male" is still bigoted in this context because trans girls are girls, period
Some prefer "anatomically male", but yeah, I've heard from enough trans-folks using some variation of "biologically <x>" to not buy that it's a slur.
Jennifer wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 07:46
So, yeah -- I completely get "I don't want to compete against the boys or share their locker room" -- but my reasons for feeling thus are entirely connected to my having the body of a woman rather than a man, and I can't "get" feeling that way if I had a man's body instead.
Because they don't identify with that male body or as one of those boys. I don't "get" it either, but I'm lucky enough that while I don't especially like my body, it makes sense to me. I don't look at pictures of myself and hate my Adam's apple. I don't have large breasts and choose to wear a binder around my chest. I don't need to take hormones or save money up for multiple surgeries in order to make my body feel right to me. And I've known people who did one or more of those things, so I'm convinced that this is a real thing to them.
Jennifer wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 07:46
But the thing is -- I don't know anything about the cisgirls in Connecticut who brought the lawsuit, but even if they're absolute Trump-loving MAGA-hat-wearing bigoted shits, if they say it's bogus to expect them to compete against biological males in certain areas, that remains a true statement.
"Bogus" is doing a lot of work in that sentence. It conflates a statement of fact (anatomical males absent any hormonal treatment tend to have physical advantages over anatomical females) with a statement of value (that these girls competing is thus unacceptable), and those aren't actually the same statement at all.

Like I said, for the vast bulk of athletes, they get told that it's all up to their effort and dedication and that losing is due to their own failure and weakness...and they still don't have a snowball's chance in Hell against the people with greater physical ability, talent, etc. Whether it's high school athletes who never get past district (or even get to district), much less state, whether it's pro baseball players who never get beyond the minors, whether it's the runners who can't catch up to the two or three who've pulled ahead of the pack, sports isn't fair.

If all that's acceptable—and let's not beat around the bush, it absolutely is acceptable to girls like the plaintiffs, who think this situation is to their advantage and thus might score them a scholarship—then I don't really see what's wrong with a few trans-girls competing and winning.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 07 Aug 2019, 21:49

Eric the .5b wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 23:53
Like I said, for the vast bulk of athletes, they get told that it's all up to their effort and dedication and that losing is due to their own failure and weakness...and they still don't have a snowball's chance in Hell against the people with greater physical ability, talent, etc. Whether it's high school athletes who never get past district (or even get to district), much less state, whether it's pro baseball players who never get beyond the minors, whether it's the runners who can't catch up to the two or three who've pulled ahead of the pack, sports isn't fair.

If all that's acceptable—and let's not beat around the bush, it absolutely is acceptable to girls like the plaintiffs, who think this situation is to their advantage and thus might score them a scholarship—then I don't really see what's wrong with a few trans-girls competing and winning.
Yes, there's always going to be a level of "unfairness" in sports, just as there's going to be a level of "unfairness" in all forms of human ability: strictly speaking, it''s not fair that I have zero visual-artistic talent and could never work as a competent illustrator no matter how much training I got and how much effort I put into it, whereas people like my niece (and her father, when we were little kids) could produce actual recognizable crayon drawings as preschoolers, even before getting any type of art education. It's not fair that people like Hawking and Einstein had super-genius intelligence -- independent of any training or education they later got -- while other people have below-average intellects through no fault of their own. Etc. Take a group consisting of "all non-disabled adult humans" and have them compete against each other in various creative or intellectual endeavors, plus some types of physical-skill contests, and in pretty much every case when you look at the winners and losers, all of them have some sort of "unfair" advantage or disadvantage involving, quote-unquote, "inherent talent" or "natural ability" or some lack thereof.

And that's just life; it's not a "problem" and even if it were, given modern technology it can't be fixed without resorting to Harrison Bergeron horrors. That said: while plenty of individuals experience "unfairness" -- good or bad -- in these scenarios, overall it averages out to be "fair" in the sense that more or less everyone (who's not actually disabled) has a chance to do well at something. Not necessarily well enough to be The Best or First-Place Winner, but at least well enough to manage a respectable showing.

But if you're talking about certain strictly physical contests, the idea "Everyone has a chance to do well at something," which does apply when you've got men competing against men, and women competing against women, does not apply when you have men competing against women: in such cases, women don't have a chance against men.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jennifer » 07 Aug 2019, 21:49

Hypothetical: let's say you gather together all current and former female members of the Gryll (and maybe some other libertarian / H&R women, to get a bigger sample size), and you're going to have us all compete in athletic contests against each other. Using time travel, you have all of us at age Late Teens or Early 20s -- whatever would be the "physical prime" -- and we all go to the same sports-training facility and spend several months getting intense training, eating perfectly balanced nutritious meals individually prepared by sports dieticians, etc. And after several months of this we're all in the peak physical condition possible for each of us, and we all compete in the first Women's Gryllympics.

Turns out, even under these ideal circumstances, none of us have the talent or athleticism required to be real professional women's athletes or Olympians. It's unfair, but so it goes. However, when we only compete against each other, all of us prove to be The Best for at least one thing, and Pretty Good at others ... and when you get right down to it, in each case we're The Best due to some weird quirky little advantage we have over the others through no fault or effort of our own. Like -- I'm just making ALL of this up with one exception, I have no idea what actual advantages or disadvantages various Gryllwomen have over each other, nor is it any of my business -- say one woman happens to be exceptionally tall with proportionately long limbs, at least five inches taller than the next-tallest Gryllwoman. She definitely beats the rest of us at basketball, solely because she's so much taller and has such longer arms than us.

Nicole is the best endurance/long-distance runner, and it turns out she's got a weird little quirk in her genetics: compared to the rest of us, her muscles are a teensy bit more efficient at extracting oxygen from her blood, and produce a weensy bit less lactic acid buildup for the same amount of effort. It's only a minor advantage compared to the human norm -- actual Olympians and professional runners have it far greater than she does -- but it's enough for her to consistently beat the rest of us Gryllwomen in long-distance running contests. Rachel is the fastest short-term runner because she has another little genetic quirk giving her some advantages at producing short-term bursts of high speed.

That said: they didn't beat the rest of us by THAT much -- they won, yeah, but didn't leave the rest of us in the metaphorical dust.

Another woman is the fastest short-race swimmer in part because she, like Michael Phelps, has larger-than-usual hands and feet for someone her size, giving her a bit more resistance/push against the water, and more speed for the same effort. Yet another woman is the best long-distance swimmer because a quirk in her body-fat distribution makes her a tad sleeker and more buoyant than the rest of us which again gets her more results for the same effort. But again -- these fastest Gryll-woman swimmers aren't THAT much faster than the rest of us. And maybe I'm the best wrestler in my weight class because, due to either quirky genetics or the aftereffects of being a butt-first breech birth (my mother's theory), I can easily and comfortably contort my legs into a couple certain positions which cause actual injury in most people who try them -- let's say that all else being equal, this lets me pull off some wrestling move which is impossible for an equally strong person with "normal" legs to escape from. But the other wrestlers definitely gave me a good solid challenge, before I was in position to pull off the Jennifer Maneuver.

So, yeah -- pit the ideal top-condition women of the Gryll against each other in athletic contests, and each of us will win at something. And in every case, the reason we won (or lost) is because of something which is, strictly speaking, not fair -- something about our DNA or how we were born, something we have zero control over. Sometimes the unfairness is to an individual Gryllwoman's advantage in a contest, sometimes it's to her disadvantage ... but eventually it all averages out. We're all The Best at something, and Pretty Good at a lot of others.

Now imagine the same thing with the men of the Gryll -- again, each of you in your prime and after proper training, none of you are good enough to make the Olympics, but all of you are The Best at one thing and Pretty Good at other things compared to the other men here.

And now, imagine we put the Gryllmen against the Gryllwomen ... none of us women will beat any of you men. Our tallest woman still loses to your best basketball players. Your fastest runners and swimmers leave ours in the metaphorical dust. And if I went up against a man in my weight class -- dunno if any Gryllmen are, but I read once that Audie Murphy was 5'6" and 110 pounds, whereas I'm 5'2" and the same weight per my latest physical -- even the Jennifer Maneuver wouldn't let me beat Audie Murphy or any current U.S. military man who weighs 110 pounds (or whatever my weight actually was when I was at physical peak) in a wrestling match.

Which is why I maintain: the "unfairnesses" that would let each woman of the Gryll be victorious over the other women in various athletic contests is not remotely the same thing as the unfairness of expecting the Gryllwomen to compete against the Gryllmen and have any expectation of winning, or even doing Pretty Good.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 07 Aug 2019, 22:01

Jennifer wrote:
07 Aug 2019, 21:49
But if you're talking about certain strictly physical contests, the idea "Everyone has a chance to do well at something," which does apply when you've got men competing against men
No, it doesn't. Full stop. Not true, not even remotely like true.
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