A Reddit thread discussing a post on former New York Times editor Bari Weiss's blog which accused pro-trans students of bullying medical school professors into teaching that biological sex is a social construct has been flagged with an 'unreliable source' warning by a woke moderator.
The moderator of the /r/medicine thread penned the warning after the blog post written by renowned lesbian writer Katie Herzog and published to Weiss's Substack on July 27 went viral.
Herzog's piece asserted that professors at some of America's most prestigious medical schools are being pressured to apologize for using terms such as 'breastfeeding' and 'pregnant women' by students who deem those terms transphobic.
The warning on the /r/medicine thread, however, sought to undermine Herzog's claims by stating that Substack is not a reliable source for medical news and further posts from the site will not be permitted.
'This post has generated a large amount of discussion,' moderator 'am_i_wrong_dude' wrote.
'Some of it is useful, but much of the commentary is airing of political grievances that have little to do with medicine, and includes many infrequent or first time commenters coming to r/medicine to attempt to score political points. This has been the typical experience here with posts from the highly political and dubiously sourced Bari Weiss Substack.'
A Reddit thread discussing a post on former New York Times editor Bari Weiss's blog which accused pro-trans students of bullying medical school professors has been flagged with an 'unreliable source' warning by a woke moderator (pictured)
The blog post written by renowned lesbian writer Katie Herzog (pictured) and published to Weiss's Substack on July 27 asserted that professors at some of America's most prestigious medical schools are being pressured to apologize for using terms such as 'breastfeeding' and 'pregnant women' by students who deem those terms transphobic
The warning adds: 'In general, we prefer mainstream and unbiased sources for news about medicine, and peer-reviewed original sources for claims about medical science. Posts copied from other social media sites and blogs are not allowed. Substack is a platform for paid newsletters, but the content of those newsletters do not go through any formal editorial review as an actual newspaper or mainstream internet news site. If the news about medicine is verifiable and impactful, it will be picked up in mainstream news, and that is the article that should be posted here, not a link to a personal blog or newsletter.'
Going forward, the moderator said that Substack links 'will be considered to be equivalent to a personal blog or non-reddit social media post and are disallowed for a top-line post about medical news.'
Author and podcaster Jesse Singal condemned the moderator's decision in a tweet, writing, 'Katie's article on med-school insanity reached the top of /r/medicine, so a mod there had to step in to add a sticky warning readers against believing it -- after all, it didn't go through the famously rigorous "editorial review" all "mainstream" articles enjoy.'
In a follow up tweet, he added, 'The mods hurriedly introduced a new policy -- no Substack posts allowed anymore. This is how internet communities shut themselves off from threats to their beliefs and become cult like. Very familiar w/this dynamic on the right but it's increasingly taking hold in my backyard.'
Author and podcaster Jesse Singal condemned the moderator's decision in a series of tweets
In her piece Herzog cited an interview with a University of California medical student who claimed that professors at esteemed schools are apologizing for using terms like 'male and female' and 'mother and father'.
The student - identified only as Lauren - said instructors are too scared to acknowledge the existence of two different sexes because it 'can be considered transphobic.'
He wrote, 'Meanwhile, many of the people replying to the post agree with Herzog that this is a problem and are giving first- and second-hand examples. There's obviously a desire on the part of some to aggressively pretend this isn't happening. Common tactic.'
Reddit user 'TotallyNotMichele', expressed dismay at the kind of language Herzog says professors are forced into using. She wrote, 'As a first time pregnant woman, the idea of potentially ever being referred to as 'birthing person' and not 'mother' really saddens me.'
Another Reddit user, named 'pteradactylitis', said that language sometimes needs to be broad, as much as people want to be inclusive, commenting, 'I'm a non-binary physician who teaches genetics in a highly ranked medical school in a large, liberal coastal city and we were just asked to make these changes. I thought about it and came to the same conclusion you do: overly scientific language often dehumanizes the concepts and separates us from the patients and thereby the work.'
The user continued, 'I give a short disclaimer about how not all XX individuals are women and not all XY individuals are men, but most are and therefore most of my examples will be and this is not done to de-emphasizes the socially constructed gender, which may be different, but for ease of teaching biology and then I move on.'
Meanwhile, another Reddit user said that most trans activists have more on their plate to worry about than language wars like replacing 'mother' with 'birthing person.'
User 'Dr_steven' commented: 'We want good insurance coverage, laws preventing discrimination, and whatnot. The language used in textbooks is, at the very least, a distant concern at the moment . . . Since I know that most of the complaint letters were written by cis people on our behalf. Let me be clear- if you want to devote your time and energy to helping us, thank you! Please do so by advocating for the causes that we indicate as significant, largely access to affordable care, and protection from discrimination. If this is really about helping us and not about your image, this should not offend your sensibilities.'
'I think there's a small percentage of instructors who are true believers [in woke ideology], but most of them are probably just scared of their students,' Lauren told Herzog.
Professors at America's top medical schools are being bullied into teaching students that biological sex is a construct and are apologizing for using the terms 'male' and 'female', renowned writer Katie Herzog claimed in a recent blogpost
Herzog interviewed a student - identified only as Lauren - who said there are real world implications for trying to erase the differences between biological sex, as medical conditions often affect biological males and females differently
In one of Lauren's classes, which was recorded and posted online, a professor profusely apologized for using the term 'pregnant woman'.
Lauren says the unnamed professor told their class: 'I said 'when a woman is pregnant,' which implies that only women can get pregnant and I most sincerely apologize to all of you.
'I don't want you to think that I am in any way trying to imply anything, and if you can summon some generosity to forgive me, I would really appreciate it,' the professor states in the recording, which Herzog obtained access to.
'It was certainly not my intention to offend anyone. The worst thing that I can do as a human being is be offensive.'
'Since recent petitions were sent out, instructors have been far more proactive about 'correcting' their slides in advance or sending out emails to the school listserv if any upcoming material has 'outdated' terminology,' Lauren told Herzog.
'At first, compliance is demanded from outside, and eventually the instructors become trained to police their own language proactively.'
In another recording obtained by Herzog, one instructor can be heard stating: 'Biological sex, sexual orientation, and gender are all constructs. These are all constructs that we have created.'
Lauren says her college also uses an 'online forum' which sees students correct teachers who use language they find offensive.
Examples she shared with Herzog included professors being told not to use the terms 'male', and 'female,' and warned to use the term 'chestfeeding' instead of breastfeeding, to avoid offending transgender men who have given birth.
That forum can see students share their 'suggestions,' in real time, with one professor reportedly driven to tears after being upbraided for using 'male' and 'female' during one of their lectures.
Lauren also told of how students circulated petitions to try and pressure professors into complying with their linguistic demands.
On one occasion, they were angered by a staff member's decision to use the pronouns 'she' and 'her', as well as the terms 'father' and 'son,' during a lesson on chromosomal disorders, with those words blasted as 'cisnormative.'
'Cis' - short for cisgender - is a term used to describe someone who identifies as the gender they were born as, as opposed to a transgender person.
That petition is said to have yielded fast results, with the instructor quickly apologizing for using 'binary' language.
The same member of staff was also condemned for describing a transgender person as a 'man changing into a woman'.
Students were angry that their teacher was suggesting the person wasn't always a woman.
But Lauren was left mystified by the complaint, telling Herzog: 'If trans women were born women, why would they need to transition?'
Meanwhile, a recent graduate from the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York also told Herzog that there was a preoccupation with sex and gender at that institution.
'Everything was about pronouns,' the student stated. '[But] it was impossible to push back without worrying about getting expelled.'
That graduate said many of their peers introduced themselves to patients with their pronouns, and asked for them in return.
Lauren says that there are real world implications for trying to erase the differences between the two sexes, as medical conditions often affect biological males and females differently.
The article was published Tuesday on Bari Weiss's Substack page
She cites aortic aneurysms - which can be deadly - as one example. Males are four times as likely as females to experience an aortic aneurysm, but Lauren says 'this very significant difference wasn't emphasized' during classes.
The trainee highlighted how crucial time is for her and her fellow medics, and said vital seconds could be wasted by trying to establish a patient's sex.
Meanwhile, many medical experts similarly say that erasure of biological sex will have an adverse affect on patients.
Herzog and Weiss also cited the example of a transgender man
'How male and female members of our species develop, how they differ genetically, anatomically, physiologically, and with respect to diseases and their treatment are foundational to clinical medicine and research,' one anonymous former dean of a top medical school told Herzog.
'Efforts to erase or diminish these foundations should be unacceptable to responsible professional leaders.'
Harvard professor Carole Hooven agrees, stating: 'Today's students will go on to hold professional positions that give them a great deal of power over others' bodies and minds.
'These young people are our future doctors, educators, researchers, statisticians, psychologists. To ignore or downplay the reality of sex and sex-based differences is to perversely handicap our understanding and our ability to increase human health and thriving.'