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I then asked critics to respond with philosophical arguments rather than lobbing insults, which was met with claims that I was doing “violence” to marginalized scholars.
The most vocal figures on social media claimed they were harmed, even traumatized, by Tuvel’s article, and by my defense of its right to exist.
In private messages, these people apologized for what she must be going through, while in public they fanned the flames of hatred and bile on social media.
Many were (and still are) calling for a retraction of the article and an apology from Tuvel.Some scholars associated with the journal posted condemnations of the article and issued apologies for it.Eventually, a group of associate editors, spearheaded by Cressida Heyes, whose work is criticized in the article, published an official condemnation of the piece indicating that the journal had made a mistake in publishing it, which of course, just makes the journal look bad.Some said that Tuvel’s article harmed them, and I was doing violence to them, even triggering PTSD, just by calling for an open discussion of, and debate over, the arguments in the article.While I readily agree that words can do harm and that hate speech exists, my call for philosophical engagement with Tuvel’s article does not constitute harmful speech.
In fact, if an essay that openly supports trans identity does violence, and defense of open debate causes PTSD, then by which name should we call the physical violence inflicted on trans people and others daily?