The New York Times

America's War of Stories

DESPITE EVERYTHING, I CLING TO THE DUMB, IDEALISTIC CONVICTION THAT EVERY CONTRADICTORY TRUTH ADDS UP TO CREATE A LARGER, TRUER PICTURE OF THE WORLD.

I’ve lately been having a conversation with friends and fellow writers about the strategic use of stories — stories as propaganda, as weapons. It’s not a question of truth but utility: whether particular stories appropriately conform to or inconveniently contradict certain fashionable, or even ideologically mandatory, narratives.

One friend, who is trans, was peeved by a couple of recent articles about trans people who clearly don’t represent the majority of that population — some who reject any gender identification, and others who’ve second-guessed their transitions. Of course these stories deserve to be told, but, in a time when the larger population of trans people are in danger of being

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The New York Times

The New York Times9 min read
Slack Wants to Replace Email. Is That What We Want?
Slack is coming for your job. The workplace chat company, valued at more than $7 billion at the time of its last funding round, is going public this week. It claims to already have more than 10 million daily users and, in its listing prospectus, bill
The New York Times7 min readSociety
Vaccine Injury Claims Are Few and Far Between
(Science Times) At a time when the failure to immunize children is driving the biggest measles outbreak in decades, a little-known database offers one way to gauge the safety of vaccines. Over roughly the past dozen years in the United States, people
The New York Times6 min readSociety
Eager to Limit Exemptions to Vaccination, States Face Staunch Resistance
As measles spread across the nation earlier this year, 71 residents of Vancouver, Washington, fell ill, most of them unvaccinated children. So state Rep. Paul Harris, a Republican representing the district, sponsored a measure to limit exemptions fro