Progressives pretend that their transgender politics are based on science but they’re not; it’s fantasy all the way, which is a disservice to children.
The other day, NPR had a fascinating article. Because it is fascinating, allow me to quote some of the more interesting points:
Why Caitlyn Jenner can never be a woman
The man formerly known as Bruce is still a guy with a dick, testes, and a male skeleton, trying to be one of the girls.
Being female is a bright and shiny diamond, and here in America in the age of Hillary and Women’s Marches, everyone wants to wear it like a pussy hat on their head. The attitude, the language, the humor, the makeup, the style, all of it is covetable, and everyone from Elizabeth Warren to Madonna to Ashley Judd is trying to get high — and rich — off it.
But, like diamonds, a woman is created under extreme pressure and high temperature, deep down in the recesses of her core. It is sitting on the toilet when you’re thirteen, alternately fascinated and disgusted by the blood flowing from you for the first time. It’s watching your body going through the changes of pregnancy, everything from morning sickness, to suddenly sprouting Pamela Anderson boobs, to your blooming belly that’s periodically warped out of shape by the infant’s movements, to the pain and triumph of labor, to having your breasts go from being sex objects to being a baby’s private juice bar.
Being a woman is pre-menstrual syndrome, and menstruation, and post-menstrual syndrome. It’s hanging with your girlfriends when you’re all ugly ducklings, desperately jealous of the early bloomers, unaware that early bloom often fades quickly. It’s listening to your girlfriends’ lament, knowing that they’ll listen to you too and, even better, knowing that this is a sharing experience and that none of you will try to tell the others what to do. It’s keeping an eye on your friend who’s drinking too much, even though she promised not to, and making sure to get her safely home rather than running the risk that she’ll hook up with someone who makes her feel bad or, worse, find herself roofied and raped.
Being a women is up in the bones, the fragile bones, with their broad hips and their shoulder construction that means girls’ softball has that weird underhand pitch, instead of the overhand throw guys use. It’s in the muscles which, even if women try to beef them up with testosterone, will never be as strong as a man’s. It’s in the uterus and the ovaries that help create and then grow an entirely new human being, and in the breasts that produce the perfect food to sustain that human life.
And it is the ultimate in male privilege, really, for a man to see that diamond, all shiny and hard and unbreakable, and pluck it for his own, like it’s a gift from Tiffany’s, with seemingly zero regard for the pressure, the heat, the pain it went through — that we went through — to earn that shine.
That’s an amazing essay, isn’t it? Moreover, it’s one that I bet you never thought you’d read at NPR. And if you want the truth, you never will read it at NPR.
The fact is that I messed around a bit with Denene Millner’s powerful essay explaining why Rachel Dolezal, despite changing her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo, and despite her tanned skin and crimped hair, will never be black. Millner, of course, means “black” as a cultural construct. I’m sure she’s aware that race actually isn’t fixed. Race’s biological fluidity is true even in Progressive America, just as it was true in the old South, both of which believe (and believed) that if you have one drop of black blood in you, you’re black.
In biology-land, people pick up little bits and pieces of race as they go along. That’s what makes DNA tests, such as 23andMe, so fascinating.
I haven’t yet had my DNA tested, but I understand from someone on the maternal side of the family that my racial DNA includes German, Spanish, Swedish, Ashkenazi Jewish, Sephardic Jewish, Hungarian, and French. Add in my paternal side and you’ll get more Ashkenazi Jewish, plus some nice dollops of Russian, Polish, Romanian, and goodness knows what else. I, personally, am the quintessential American melting pot person.
When Millner rhapsodizes about the diamond-like qualities of being black, she means that, in the Democrats’ land of perpetual racial division, those who have that one drop of black blood that allows them to identify as black had cultural experiences as they grow up that white people cannot possible understand. A white person who claims to be a black persona is a pale simulacrum who’s simply pasting on an identity that isn’t even skin deep. I won’t argue with Millner. Genetically, she’s wrong; culturally, especially in a racially-divided America, she’s got a point.
I do wonder, though, how Millner would answer if I asked whether she agrees with the prevailing Progressive theory that, while race is fixed, sex is not. After all, as one gender warrior earnestly assured Tucker Carlson the other day, “Ones gender identity is enough to show what gender they are. *** Your gender identity determines your gender. Period.”
These thoughts were in the forefront of my mind when I watched with a Leftist friend a recent Vice episode about “trans” children. (Vice is an HBO production and HBO’s shows consistently have a hard Progressive slant.) If you want, you can watch the episode too:
If you don’t want to watch it, here’s what you’re missing. A very pretty, very sympathetic “journalist” meets four “trans” children and is tremendously supportive of their and their families’ beliefs about their gender identification.
Child No. 1 is a five-year-old boy who thinks he’s a girl. His mother says originally she screamed at him (or, as the mom relentlessly calls the kid, “her”) that he was a boy and punished him hard for his fantasy. Then Mom saw the light and, apparently felt very, very, very guilty. The child now has more toys and dress-up clothes than any child on God’s green earth should ever have, all of which are more girl-themed than any toys I’ve ever seen in the possession of an actual girl. I think the proper term for Mom at this point is “over-compensating.”
Mom (Dad is missing from the video) has jettisoned friends and family in her conservative Texas community, and is taking on the school board, the members of which appear to be the direct descendants of the stern town fathers in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Given the weeping, the anguish over the past anger, the ridiculous amount of hyper-stereotypical girl’s toys, and the missing dad, my sense is that Mom is in some way a damaged, guilt-ridden person who is determined to confirm forever that her child is female to make up for Mom’s past sins.
Child No. 2 is an eight-year-old girl who, in the old days, would have been called a tomboy. As it is, she lives with parents who have completely accepted that she’s really a boy, whom they reverentially refer to as “he” all the time. As is true for Child No. 1’s mother, these parents are racked with guilt about “misgendering” their child. It never seems to occur to them simply to treat their child as a person, not a “gender.” In keeping with their Progressive bona fides about transgender children, this couple made the decision to delay their daughter’s puberty so that can fully come to terms with her “gender identity.” They did this despite the serious risks that this hormone treatment can cause.
Child No. 3 is a girl who, along with her twin sisters, lives with her grandfather because the girls’ mother died for reasons unknown to the viewing audience. There is no reference to a father, although there seem to be both maternal and paternal grandparents. At 15, the girl feels mature enough to decide that she doesn’t mind risking permanent sterility. (I would willingly have done the same at that age if I could have been promised model-like beauty and a magnetic attraction for men. Fifteen-year olds are not known for being far or deep thinkers.) She wants steroid treatments that will lower her voice, thicken her muscles, and give her facial and chest hair, as well as increasing her risk of cancer and the aforementioned sterility. Grandfather weepingly goes along with whatever makes her feel good.
Child No. 4 is the saddest of the bunch. An older teen, we don’t meet his parents, but he describes being driven from home when his mother threatened to kill him for wanting to be a girl. (There is no mention of a father.) He ended up in a shelter for sexually confused young people. He’s getting hormone therapy to cut down on his body hair and weaken his muscles. We also see the before and after of breast augmentation surgery that gives him C-cup implants. He bemoans the fact that hormone therapy didn’t start early enough to truly feminize him. As it is, he’s a hulking creature with a masculine face and built, a squeaky voice, way too much make-up, and a bosom most women would pay to get (and I’m willing he didn’t have to pay for his C-cups). Watching this young man’s deep unhappiness and confusion was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.
At the end, I three thoughts were uppermost in my mind. The first was that the medical establishment is enthusiastically leaping on a cultural bandwagon, waving skimpy “science” banners, that promises lots of money for hormone treatments and plastic surgery that insurance will cover because they are allegedly “medically necessary” to “re-gender” “trans” children.
The second thought was that three of these children ought to be left alone to develop without parental anger, guilt, or pressure, and that the fourth child is a desperately unhappy person who, without solid psychiatric help is going to be another suicide statistic — and those C-cup implants will not save him.
The third thought was that, as noted above, for three of the four children, a biological father did not seem to be a part of the children’s lives. Child No. 1 might have had a biological father, but he is not in the video. I wonder if absent fathers are part of what’s pushing this bizarre societal effort to erase chromosomal gender differences.
Apropos the fourth child’s suicidal level of unhappiness, it’s important to note that, throughout the show, everyone (parents, reporter, medical people, social workers) repeatedly referred to the statistic that 40% of transgender children commit suicide — and this is, indeed, an appalling number and a true tragedy. I’ll say here as I always do when I talk about people who have body dysmorphia or gender dysphorphia, that they are desperately sad people. I don’t hate them or fear them. I’m sorry for them. But I also don’t think that catering to their mental illness — especially if it means remaking entirely both American society and, indeed, reality — will fix them.
When the show ended, my friend turned to me and said rather triumphantly, “See, that was a good show. It taught me a lot.”
My response was, “It’s good if you don’t mind propaganda.”
My friend was truly taken aback. Propaganda? She thought that this was serious journalism showing the humane treatment of people born with the “wrong body.”
“Propaganda,” I reiterated firmly. I began by pointing out what the show’s writers and producers forgot to include when they kept referring to the 40% suicide rate: That horrifyingly high number doesn’t change after hormones and therapy:
Rates of suicide are nearly twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ – affirming countries.
I also pointed out that, had the parents been mellow and just treated their child as a person, not some sexual identity experiment or a sexual failure, almost every one of the children profiled would probably have reverted to a gender identity consistent with his or her biological body:
According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.
No wonder then, that the American College of Pediatricians, from which the above science-based quotations come, has firmly asserted that the whole “transgender” movement is a danger to children:
The American College of Pediatricians urges healthcare professionals, educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.
In the real world, as opposed to the Left’s fantasy world, extreme gender dysphoria is a mental illness that is part of the body dysmorphia spectrum. I know that sounds cruel to say, but there is no biological basis for gender dysphoria. Surgery, hormones, and societal recognition cannot change the deep unhappiness that gives rise to this mind-body breakdown.
Once body dysmorphia takes hold, it is a terrible thing to see. Our logical human minds instantly recognize it for what it is when we see it in any context other than gender:
The Left, when pressed, will always pretend that it’s all very scientific, like a little boy in a lab coat doing an experiment with his milk and food coloring. Sadly for the transgender SJWs, the actual science of sex identity is simple and none of it aligns with Progressive transgender politics:
1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of male and female, respectively – not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident. The exceedingly rare disorders of sex development (DSDs), including but not limited to testicular feminization and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, are all medically identifiable deviations from the sexual binary norm, and are rightly recognized as disorders of human design. Individuals with DSDs (also referred to as “intersex”) do not constitute a third sex.
2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female; this awareness develops over time and, like all developmental processes, may be derailed by a child’s subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward. People who identify as “feeling like the opposite sex” or “somewhere in between” do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women. [Footnotes omitted.]
In plain English, the above two paragraphs says that unless people have very distinct (and very rare) genetic or hormonal disorders, they are male or female. Sex is binary. It’s either boy or girl.
That scientific reality, however, is inadequate to stop the Left from applauding a gay teacher who who bravely elevated a minute percentage of recognized abnormalities into a scientific justification for dangerous hormone therapy, irreversible body mutilation, and a cruel prohibition on trying to address the underlying mental disorder that drives people to a lifestyle that is a rocket trip to suicide. So it was that Huffington Post was beside itself with excitement when Grace Pokela allegedly “smacked down a transphobe who cited ‘science.'”
This is the poster that so offended both HuffPo and Pokela:
Before looking at Pokela’s response, please note that the poster accurately says that there are only two sexes (male and female) and that only .07% of humans have genetic abnormalities that see them slipping and sliding between those two sexes. (I haven’t checked out that precise statistic, but it sounds correct based upon other materials I’ve read.) Put another way, there is only a .07% likelihood that a child will be born with a genetic mutation — and some of these mutations only manifest themselves as sterility, not sex confusion.
In America, this actual data means that at most roughly 200,000 Americans of all ages, not just the swarms of children in the news, have a potentially sex-confusing genetic disorder. Meanwhile, the Left claims that the number of true “transgenders” isn’t .07% but is .3% (or around 900,000 Americans of all ages) — which is a big difference. Or maybe we don’t know the number at all, since modern day gender identification is, by definition, all about feelings, not actual science.
Outside of the minute subset of people with genetic mutations, all humans with regular XX or XY genes are either male and female. This means that those with regular genetic traits who think they have the wrong body are mentally, not physically, confused. And just as it would be wrong for us to agree that an anorexic is really fat, that Dennis Avner was a cat, or that Richard Hernandez is a female dragon, we are being forced into societal sociopathy when we’re required to accept as real the by-product of someone else’s mental illness.
Which brings me back to Pokela, the gay science teacher. As if she’s reinventing the wheel, she proudly announces that there are more than two genders because . . . genetic mutation. She seems unaware that this precisely what the above poster says. In my world, you don’t look smart when you base your entire argument on an exception to the rule (a) that is infinitesimally small and (b) that your opponent already acknowledged:
Also, Pokela might want to know that, while humans are animals, making sex arguments about flatworms and insects doesn’t move the human sex identification discussion forward. Instead, it merely highlights how far one has to travel to pretend that society isn’t focusing obsessively on a minute exception rather than on something that represents a statistical majority by a rocking 99.93%.
The reality, not the Progressive magical science, but the actual reality of the world is that men are men and women are women . . . which is why it’s a lousy idea to lock men and women together on ships at sea and expect that biological reality won’t happen. Anomalies are so infinitesimally small that they should not be allowed to shape the debate.
A sane society rejects the social justice warriors’ contention that gender is fluid and that people are what they say they are. This goes beyond bathrooms and sports competitions. This goes to whether a society operates in the world as it is — meaning that it treats the mentally ill with compassion but still recognizes that XX does not equal XY and that gender, unlike race, is not a continuum — or whether a society tries to operate in a fantasy-land, entirely disconnected from reality.
You know what happens when you give the reins to the fantasy-land crowd? You get a country controlled by magical thinking and that’s never good. In that country….
People in power pretend that 10% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims aren’t religious fanatics who dream of world domination with the winner carried into power on a mountain of bloodied corpses.
People in power pretend that puny humans have greater power over the climate than the sun and the atmosphere and, damn it!, they’ll manipulate all the data they can to prove their point. Moreover, as was the case in California, they’ll spend untold sums on this fantasy while ignoring necessary repairs to an important dam and spillway only because they’ve convinced themselves that a cyclically reappearing drought will suddenly last forever.
People in power pretend that guns are so dangerous that only criminals should be allowed to have them.
People in power pretend that government, rather than merely printing money, is an instrument of wealth creation, headed by people with extraordinary economic insight. They then use this belief to justify taking money and spending it on favored political constituents — never mind that this system has never worked anywhere, at any time.
Perhaps worst of all, people in power, on the one hand, pretend that sexual identity is utterly fluid and that we can all make it up as we go along while, on the other hand, they pretend that men and women are so fundamentally different that all men are rapists and all women can be Navy SEALS. Even acknowledging those two world views creates a painful cognitive dissonance. I don’t know how people can function if they actual believe those two entirely inconsistent theories.
A world ruled by people steeped in fantasy is a dangerous world. President Trump may exaggerate but, where it counts, he’s plugged into reality. That makes me feel much more secure than I did during the last eight years of President Fantasy’s administration.
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