When Helen Joyce Ignores Reality

Ephrom Josine
15 min readDec 11, 2021

Helen Joyce’s book Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality opened with this famous quote from George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty Four:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

However, after reading Joyce’s book, I can say that if this is what she considers basic math, the public school system has failed her.

I’m not even going to attempt to beat around the bush, Joyce’s book is quite frankly the most dishonest of any of the anti-transgender books I have reviewed. It doesn’t provide the sheer nonsense of Abigail Shrier nor the troll arguments of Matt Walsh, but that honestly makes it worse. Joyce appears to be perfectly reasonable on the surface, just a sane woman trying to make a group of insane people — well — meet reality, but peeling even slightly back will show you this book is utter nonsense mixed with out of context quotes.

Take this section near the book’s end as an example:

The ACLU’s support for free speech was once so absolute that in 1978 it defended neo-Nazis’ right to march through a Chicago suburb where Holocaust survivors lived. But an internal document leaked in 2018 revealed that its support is now conditional, because “speech that denigrates [marginalized] groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress towards equality.”

Actually reading the ACLU’s document shows they were not talking about removing freedom of speech from bigots, but extending it to the marginalized:

Accordingly, we work to extend the protections embodied in the Bill of Rights to people who have traditionally been denied those rights. And the ACLU understands that speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality.

The very next paragraph of this same memo states:

At the same time, the ACLU is also committed to freedom of speech and peaceful protest embodied in the First Amendment. . . As human rights, these rights extend to all, even to the most repugnant speakers — including white supremacists — and pursuant to ACLU policy, we will continue our longstanding practice of representing such groups in appropriate



Ephrom Josine

Political Commentator; Follow My Twitter: @EphromJosine1