The CEO of Tesla intervenes more and more in all societal debates and does not hesitate to take controversial positions.
Elon Musk loves lighting fires.
For several months now, the billionaire entrepreneur has taken a stand on almost all the debates dividing the country. Recently, it was on the issue of guns that Musk spoke out after the mass shooting that killed nineteen children and two adults, in a school in Uvade, Texas, on May 24.
Unlike his many big boss peers, Musk hasn’t been shy about calling for gun control even though he lives in Texas and Tesla now has his headquarters there.
“Assault rifles should at minimum require a special permit, where the recipient is extremely well vetted imo,” Musk, 50, said on Twitter on May 26.
“How about a middle ground, where the licensing standard for semi-auto rifles is a driver’s license, age 21 and no rap sheet?” Musk suggested “Basically, what is a reasonable way to make it harder for people with homicidal impulses to obtain body count maximizing weapons?”
These stances have earned Musk no public criticism from the gun lobby or even Republicans.
The CEO of Walt Disney, Bob Chapek, created a political firestorm last month after he criticized Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill — better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
But we have to believe that Musk, who in a few months has become the most powerful and influential CEO in the world, is not on the same pedestal as the others. Many elected Republicans support him in his rocky $44 billion acquisition of Twitter as the progressive wing of the Democratic Party worries about Musk’s political agenda.
Aware of his growing influence and the almost untouchable side that goes with it, the tech tycoon has just intervened on another debate just as hot and divisive as that of arms control: what makes a woman a woman.
Musk just pointed out the contradictions of trans advocates.
It all started with a post by the journalist Matt Taibbi questioning gender stereotypes.
“I wonder if we’re institutionalizing stereotypes about gender in the same way academics have tried to institutionalize stereotypes about how ‘hard work,’ ‘being polite,’ ‘punctuality’ and the ‘written word’ are ‘white culture,’ Taibbi posted on Twitter on June 10, with a link to an article he wrote on Substack about the blowback he received from trans activists after he published a review of the documentary “What is a Woman?” by Matt Walsh.
Musk did not hesitate to comment on Taibbi’s post by taking a stand in this heated and deadlock debate between LGBTQ + activists and part of the feminist movement and far-right and conservative movements.
“We are simultaneously being told that gender differences do not exist and that genders are so profoundly different that irreversible surgery is the only option,” the mogul said.
“Perhaps someone wiser than me can explain this dichotomy,” he added without further details.
Musk seems to think that some of the ideas of transgender advocates are at odds with other of their main arguments.
Trans advocates distinguish between sex and gender.
“Your sex is what you are assigned at birth, and your gender is the way that you experience your own sense of gender identity,” Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, told CNN in 2020. “It’s important [that we recognize] very clearly that trans women are women and that trans men are men. … and that we respect people for the way that they identify and live their own gender.”
Trans women are people who were assigned male at birth but identify as women. Trans men are people who were assigned female at birth but identify as men.
“Sex refers especially to physical and biological traits, whereas Gender refers especially to social or cultural traits, although the distinction between the two terms is not regularly observed”, according to the American Psychological Association.
Anti-trans activists say you can’t deny biological sex: Trans women are not women because they have testosterone / a Y chromosome / do not menstruate / cannot give birth.
But pro-trans activists point out that many cisgender women never menstruate, have high testosterone levels, were born without a uterus, or are infertile.
In the United States, local officials in conservative states are trying to prohibit trans children from any form of transition, going so far as to require teachers to denounce to parents students who think transgender.
On June 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration asked the state board regulating doctors to essentially ban transition-related care for transgender minors.
In May, the Texas State Supreme Court said child abuse investigations of parents who allow their children to undergo transgender surgery can move forward.
This verdict confirms Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s opinion saying that administering transition procedures to children constitutes abuse.
“It is a better world if we are all less judgy,” Musk added more than an hour after his first comments.