In the gender identification wars, life imitates the movies

Life of Brian Loretta sceneOnce upon a time, even Hollywood recognized that, just because you called yourself something, it didn’t mean you were that thing. Indeed, Hollywood could even joke about it. In the 1950s, sex had nothing to do with the joke about meaningless labels.

Early in Singin’ in the Rain, top silent star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and his friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) are heading to a Hollywood party when some girls on the street recognize Lockwood.  They surround the hapless star, ripping at  his clothes.  As Lockwood vanishes under a sea of screaming girls, Brown pulls back and looks on with a sardonic grin.  Then comes this dialog:

Don Lockwood: Cosmo, call me a cab.
Cosmo Brown: OK, you’re a cab.

By the 1970s, the Monty Python guys were still able to joke about people trying to carve out a non-biological reality for themselves:

Fast forward to today, and we have academia embracing fantasy:

“They” has become an increasingly popular substitute for “he” or “she” in the transgender community, and the University of Vermont, a public institution of some 12,700 students, has agreed to use it.

While colleges across the country have been grappling with concerns related to students transitioning from one gender to another, Vermont is at the forefront in recognizing the next step in identity politics: the validation of a third gender.

The university allows students like Gieselman to select their own identity — a new first name, regardless of whether they’ve legally changed it, as well as a chosen pronoun — and records these details in the campuswide information system so that professors have the correct terminology at their fingertips.

You can just imagine the brains at UV saying to themselves “Biology will eventually have to catch up to Hollywood and academia.  If only evolution wasn’t so slow.”

I know that there are people whose sense of self is at odds with their bodies. Heck, 18 years after my first pregnancy, I still think of myself as thin. Given how I dislike that feeling, I can only imagine how unhappy someone is whose head says male but whose body is female, or vice versa. But those people suffering that disconnect are still not neutral.  Their bodies are either male or female.  Barring the occasional hermaphrodite, who is not so much a a “neutral” as a “too much of a good thing,” Nature didn’t make a third sex. Pretending that nature did is about as sensible as saying “Okay, you’re a cab.”

I continue to have sympathy for people with body dysmorphia. I do not, however, believe that I should be forced as part of that sympathy to abandon reality.