Episode 21, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube


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“It seems to me that you shouldn't call yourself a journalist if your response to people saying you shouldn't ask that, isn't: ask it a bit more. Because that should be the journalistic instinct...you run towards the burning building, not away. When somebody says you're not meant to ask that, you ask it. When somebody says you're not going to say it, you say it louder.”

Episode 21 of Keep Talking features Helen Joyce, a journalist for The Economist and the author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality. During the interview, Helen discusses the pernicious effects of the gender identity movement, the sterilization of children, cultural incentives that encourage kids to question their sex, and the regret that many with gender dysphoria have after sex reassignment surgery. She explains her research for her book and why she concludes that the vast majority of people who experience gender dysphoria are gay, rather than trans. We discuss why female-only spaces matter to women and discuss the public shaming of and the attempts to silence those who disagree with the activist ideology.

About Helen Joyce (Quote from Wikipedia):

“Helen Joyce is an Irish journalist who is executive editor for events business of The Economist. She began working for the newspaper's Britain section in 2005 as its education correspondent, and has held several senior positions including finance editor and international editor.”

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Time Stamps:

(00:00) Intro
(01:00) Get to know Helen Joyce
(03:06) What led Helen into writing her book, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality?
(04:06) Helen on how she dealt with resistance to asking questions as a journalist
(04:41) “What do you mean when you say you identify as a man or what do you mean when you say you identify as a woman?”
(07:14) How Helen feels about pushbacks to open journalism and how she believes we should fight it
(09:51) What are the consequences of changing a society where gender is a matter of choice, rather than a matter of biology?
(12:39) Why privacy, safety, dignity and fair competition are the only places where sex matters
(17:12) Helen talks about her research for her book, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality
(18:10) Understanding gender dysphoria
(19:54) The possible reasons why kids feel they don’t belong to their gender
(22:01) Helen cites the example of a female who underwent a full medical procedure and hysterectomy to become male - only to later realize that she was lesbian
(28:52) Why most gender non-conforming children are likely to be gay
(30:10) Helen explains what causes children to ruminate about their genders
(34:04) What happens when children are given puberty blockers?
(36:20) Helen’s thoughts on ‘informed consent' in American Medicine
(37:47) What are the consequences of putting young children on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones?
(40:16) Helen discusses the consequences of California allowing its prison inmates to decide their gender  
(44:01) What is ‘reductio ad absurdum’ in mathematics? How does it hold significance in gender conversations?
(45:37) Helen talks about gender literature in different countries
(46:52) What is transphobia?
(48:51) Why it’s essential to be clear about biological reality for child safeguarding
(52:59) What is the right way to think about matters of gender?
(01:05:40) Helen explains thought control, thought termination, self-censorship
(01:08:42) Why Helen believes the narrative of progress is bringing marginalized groups in from the cold - and how this is unlike other social justice movements
(01:13:04) Helen’s three bits of advice for journalists who are committed to open discussion and open debate
(01:14:13) Why your employer is your point of weakness when you’re a journalist or an academic
(01:19:13) Helen talks about her friend and researcher Maya Forstater, who lost her job due to social media backlash
(01:23:01) Where Helen thinks we are in terms of the policing of conversations and dialogue
(01:27:33) Why Helen strongly believes sexes are separate
(01:32:03) What is free speech, according to Helen?
(01:34:37) Helen’s recommendations for writers, thinkers, public intellectuals, and groups who believe in an open exchange of ideas and information


“When you're not allowed to ask questions, as a journalist, you should ask questions more...(t)hat's the point. You don't stop just because someone says you're not meant to ask about this.”

“It seems to me that you shouldn't call yourself a journalist if your response to people saying you shouldn't ask that, isn't: ask it a bit more. Because that should be the journalistic instinct...you run towards the burning building, not away. When somebody says you're not meant to ask that, you ask it. When somebody says you're not going to say it, you say it louder.”

“The largest oppressed group that has ever lived is female people. So 52% of the world is female, and that's a group that has been systematically oppressed and exploited by male people right through history...and that has not stopped.”

“If you say that somebody is a man or a woman according to what they declare, then you immediately come to the few places in the world where we still separate men and women.”

“These are our bodies...they're not machines that you can mess up with, or that you can pause or you can turn them into a different thing. A girl is born with every egg she's ever going to have already in her ovaries…and they start to mature when she goes through puberty...(I)f she never goes through puberty, she will never have an orgasm, and she will never be fertile.”

“What they mean is arguing that there is actually a thing that's biological sex and that can't be changed. So according to them, I'm transphobic for just saying human beings come in two types, male and female...that's transphobic.”

“(What) I discovered when writing the book (about child safeguarding) is (that it’s) really behind in America, you really have not properly formulated how you keep children safe from predatory adults. And most adults aren't predators, but they're very good at finding weaknesses and coming in.”

“The world is what we describe, we make it with our words.”

Relevant Links:

Books mentioned:

People mentioned (quotes from Wikipedia)

  • JK Rowling - “J. K. Rowling, is a British author, philanthropist, film producer, television producer, and screenwriter.”
  • Gavin Newsom - “Gavin Christopher Newsom is an American politician and businessman serving as the 40th governor of California since January 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 49th lieutenant governor of California from 2011 to 2019 and as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011.”
  • Enid Blyton - “Enid Mary Blyton was an English children's writer whose books have been among the world's best-sellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies. Blyton's books are still enormously popular, and have been translated into 90 languages.”
  • Kathleen Stock - “Kathleen Stock is a former professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex. She has published academic work on aesthetics, fiction, imagination, sexual objectification, and sexual orientation. Her views on gender self-identification have become a contentious issue.”
  • Maya Forstater - “Maya Forstater is a British business and international development researcher and feminist known for being at the centre of the Maya Forstater v Centre for Global Development legal case.”
  • Andrew Sullivan - “Andrew Michael Sullivan is a British-American author, editor, and blogger. Sullivan is a political commentator, a former editor of The New Republic, and the author or editor of six books.”
  • Jesse Singal - “Jesse Singal is an American journalist. He has written for publications including New York magazine, The New York Times and The Atlantic.”
  • David Blankenhorn - “David Blankenhorn is the founder and president of the Institute for American Values and its initiative Braver Angels. He is also co-director of The Marriage Opportunity Council and the author of Fatherless America and The Future of Marriage.”
  • Robert Jay Lifton - “Robert Jay Lifton is an American psychiatrist and author, chiefly known for his studies of the psychological causes and effects of wars and political violence, and for his theory of thought reform. He was an early proponent of the techniques of psychohistory.”

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