The Chaos of Postmodern Sexuality
Passing: when a person of one sex pretends to be a person of the opposite sex; self-identification or acceptance as a member of the opposite sex.
Passer: one who passes.
The latest pernicious manifestation of the sexual revolution, the "transgender" movement, is yet another rebellion against and assault on the human body. This revolt is even more fundamental than the homosexuality-affirming juggernaut because it involves not just a revolt against how the body is used but against its very nature, its objective reality.
In blindness and with blinding speed, disciples of the "trans"-affirming movement have been advancing their science-denying beliefs. One would think it impossible that the alchemical-ish belief that men can become women or that humans can be "born in the wrong body" could catch fire in the modern world, but we don't live in modernity. We live in postmodernity, which denies the existence of objective reality and objective moral truth. Prior to the emergence of postmodernism's exaltation of subjectivism and relativism, the notion of pregnant or "chestfeeding" men would have been laughed at by all. As Richard Weaver noted, ideas have consequences.
The idea that preceded the social chaos we now see is the idea that biological sex has no intrinsic meaning and no necessary connection to the now-slippery concept of "gender." From their revolutionary homo-brethren, "trans" activists (henceforth called passers; see left) knew that in order to convince society that the emperor's peignoir makes him an empress, they had to do some linguistic work.
They started by redefining sex, severing it conceptually from "gender." In this brave new world, sex and gender, which in the context of biology should be interchangeable terms, now represent distinct phenomena. Sex denotes the two categories into which the human species is divided based on individuals' chromosomes, anatomy, and biology (i.e., male and female), while "gender" refers to those arbitrary, socially constructed conventions and norms associated with males or females. The American Psychological Association defines gender as the "psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female (i.e., masculinity or femininity)."1
The Incoherence of Trans Ideology
At the apex of the radical and incoherent "trans" ideology sits "gender identity," which, according to the Human Rights Campaign, is "one's innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither."2
One example of the incoherence of "trans" ideology is revealed in the legislative changes that allow men and women who reject their biological sex to have their birth certificates altered to facilitate their passing. Passers in 46 states can now have their birth certificates, which are both legal and historical documents, certify a lie.
Passers defend this legalized fraud by arguing that, at birth, doctors "coercively assign" or "designate" a "gender marker," which, in their case, was wrong. But here's where things veer off into incoherence. Remember, passers do not deny the existence of the phenomenon of sex. Rather, they argue that sometimes there is a mismatch between one's sex and one's gender, that is, between one's biological makeup and one's internal sense of being male or female. Does it make any sense to say that when doctors deliver babies, they assign them arbitrary, socially constructed expectations and conventions?
In reality—the place from which passers and their allies flee with all due haste—doctors neither assign nor designate roles associated with maleness or femaleness. They identify the sex of the babies, an objective feature of the human species that cannot change.
Still more incoherence arises from the sex-versus-gender split. If gender is the aggregate of arbitrary, socially constructed expectations, norms, and conventions associated with and imposed upon persons of either the male or the female sex, why do many passers conclude they are "trans" based on their having been attracted, at a very young age, to toys or activities associated with the opposite sex? Why do men who identify as women point to their childhood interest in girls' toys as proof that they are female? If dolls and pink tutus have no intrinsic connection to femaleness, how can interest in them suggest to a boy that he is, in reality, a girl? And why do so many passers adopt those arbitrary social conventions in their quest to express their "authentic" selves?
Similarly, if gender identity is totally separate from anatomy and biology, why did Bruce Jenner suffer through a castration and tracheal shave? If, when he had all his male body parts, he was truly and authentically a woman—in other words, if his womanness was not constituted by his male body parts—why did he lop off those parts? Is he more of a woman now that his body has been artificially molded into the verisimilitude of a woman's body?
Perhaps the willingness to endure the pain and expense of multiple surgical procedures is a testament to the truth that anatomy has profound meaning to which humans instinctively respond. Perhaps anatomical differentiation is the source of feelings of modesty and the desire for privacy in spaces where people engage in private activities.
The proposition by passers that maleness and femaleness have no necessary connection to objective sex and its attendant anatomical manifestations creates cohesion problems for the heretofore mostly cozy relationship between homosexuals and passers.
A tweet from well-known homosexual activist Zack Ford, senior editor of the homosexuality-promoting website Think Progress, exposes the splintering of the unholy LGBT alliance as the next step toward cultural anarchy. On May 2, 2017, Ford tweeted, "I've personally met many trans men I'm attracted to. If genitals determine how you feel about someone, you're transphobic."
To be clear, a "trans man" is, in reality, a woman.
If it's "transphobic" to claim that one's sexual attraction is determined by genitalia, then the entire homosexuality-affirming ideology is transphobic. Those who identify as homosexual assert that they are attracted only to persons of their same sex—not gender—sex. Virtually everyone has correctly understood homosexuals to be saying that genitalia matter. While Zack Ford may find anatomy irrelevant to sexual attraction, many other homosexuals beg to differ. Ford's criticism of them for valuing genitalia offers a hint of the shape of things to come.
Furthermore, if Ford has indeed been attracted to many "trans men" (i.e., women), then, as many scholars have been claiming for years, sexual orientation is not fixed.
Ford isn't alone in his delusional claim that "trans men" are actually men. In an article on The Daily Beast, titled "Why a Lot of Americans Don't Want to Befriend a Transgender Person," writer Samantha Allen, who is a man passing as a woman thanks to crowdfunded surgery in 2014,3 bemoans the results of a YouGov survey revealing that only 20 percent of American adults would be willing to date "transgender persons," and only 13 percent would be willing to have sex with one.
While Allen frets about what he perceives as the troublingly small number of Americans who would be willing to date or have sex with persons of the same sex, others may be shocked at how many claim to be willing to do so. Since homosexuals constitute only 1–3 percent of the population, how is it that about 13 percent are willing to have sex with persons of the same sex? This suggests that perhaps Americans are being deluded into believing "transgender" persons are the sex they are not.
Allen is "heartened" by the revelation that younger adults are more deluded than older adults: "Only 9 percent of respondents 55 and older, for instance, said they would be open to having sex with a transgender woman compared to 13 percent of 35-to-54 year olds, and 19 percent of the 18-to-34 age bracket." Apparently sustained propaganda from every major cultural institution still works.
It's not surprising that Allen is disturbed by the common sense of so many Americans. His bio reveals how deeply he has been indoctrinated in myopic and delusional "progressive" dogma:
Samantha Allen is a senior reporter for The Daily Beast. She [sic] holds a Ph.D. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University. In 2013, she [sic] received the John Money Fellowship for Scholars of Sexology from the Kinsey Institute. Previously, she [sic] was a Sex + Life reporter for Fusion.
Allen's first article for Fusion was titled "How I learned to orgasm after sex-reassignment surgery,"4 and his doctoral dissertation was on sexual fetishism, which includes a discussion of "erotic vomiting" and "sneezing fetishes."5
Fully grasping the comprehensive and culture-shattering nature of the "trans" revolution requires understanding that passers do not believe they need to undergo hormonal manipulation or surgical mutilation before they can compel society to treat them as if they were the sex they are not. Nor is the experience or diagnosis of gender dysphoria (distress over the perceived mismatch between biological sex and gender) required. Not even "gendered" sartorial and cosmetic manifestations (i.e., cross-dressing) are essential. All that's necessary for the establishment of a "trans" identity is a personal proclamation. And based on that proclamation, society in every way and in every context—including restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, sex-segregated shelters, nursing home rooms, and semi-private hospital rooms—must treat "trans" people as if they are the sex they claim to be.
Doctoral student in philosophy Spencer Case, writing in National Review, exposes the intellectual sticky wicket in which "trans" advocates are mired:
When one's gender identity is "man," what, precisely, is one identifying as? Typical answer: the occupant of the social role normally assigned to people with male genitalia. Now suppose that, despite being biologically male, I identify with the female role. I enjoy hosting imaginary tea parties for my dolls—fill in whatever details you like. I nonetheless insist that I am a man. Am I necessarily wrong about that? If not, then being a man isn't the same as identifying with the conventional male role, because I don't do that. If so, then we're conceding that people can be wrong about their own genders; so why is it me, rather than the self-identified male with a vagina, who is wrong?
Perhaps we should say that either having male biology or occupying the male role is sufficient for manhood. That complicates the story. . . . If a feminine male identifies as a woman, then she is one. Well and good. Again, though, what exactly is she identifying as? It's apparently not as the occupant of a social role, since a man—we've decided—can occupy the female role. Nor is it biology, since "her" biology is male. So, it's hard to see what her identifying as a woman could amount to.6
Zack Ford's criticism of homosexuals for valuing "genitalia" offers a hint of the shape of things to come. Now that anatomy and socially constructed and imposed conventions have been deemed either irrelevant to or unreliable signifiers of maleness and femaleness, the disturbing picture of our future comes into focus.
Passers dictate that sexual differentiation can no longer be recognized and accommodated even in private spaces where bodies are exposed. They claim that segregation based on anatomical sex in private spaces is analogous to separate restrooms for blacks and whites. But if society accepts the subversive proposition that imputing importance or value to natural "genitalia" constitutes unjust discrimination, there remains no justification for maintaining any sex-segregated facilities anywhere. If society is forced by law to treat, in all contexts, persons with congenital penises who claim to be female as if they are female, then private spaces in which humans undress, shower, or engage in bodily functions will be eliminated everywhere.
Some Salient Unanswered Questions
Even as passers fight for the purported right to access opposite-sex private spaces, they are rarely, if ever, compelled to respond to these salient questions:
• Why should one's subjective feelings about gender take precedence over one's objective sex when it comes to undressing, showering, or using restroom facilities? In other words, if gender-dysphoric men should not have to use private facilities with those whose "gender identity" they don't share (i.e., biological males who accept their sex), why should women have to use private facilities with those whose objective sex they don't share?
• "Trans" women (i.e., actual men) do not want to share restrooms and locker rooms with men, so why is segregation based on objective sex unjustifiable, while segregation based on one's internal sense of being female or male (whatever that means) is justifiable?
• How do female-identifying men who want to use private spaces with women know the gender identities of those women? If gender identity is an internal experience, couldn't the congenitally penis-accoutered males in men's locker rooms internally identify as females? Might not the congenitally vagina-accoutered females in women's restrooms identify as male?
• How will society know whether the objectively male persons using female facilities actually do view themselves as women or are predators masquerading as "transwomen" to view or molest their prey?
• Which private spaces should genderfluid persons be expected to use?
• If there is a mismatch between a man's anatomical sex and his gender identity, how can he or anyone else be sure that the error resides in the former rather than the latter?
The Ultimate Goal
Ultimately, however, these questions won't matter because we're moving rapidly toward co-ed private spaces everywhere, which means no private spaces anywhere.
We should have learned this from the efforts of former president Barack Obama and former attorney general Loretta Lynch, who sought to prohibit segregation based on both sex and "gender identity" in spaces that historically have been sex-segregated. This would mean that neither condition could be considered in determining who can access facilities that preserve privacy for intimate bodily acts. For example, access to women's locker rooms at a state university could not be limited just to women and to men who identify as women. If "transwomen" (i.e., actual men) were admitted but "cismen" (i.e., normal men; men who accept their sex; men whose sex and gender match) were refused entry, the university would be guilty of discriminating based on gender identity.
And this is the ultimate goal of "trans" anarchists: the abolition of all public recognition of sexual differentiation everywhere. A day will come when we will see men with intact penises and breast implants walking naked and shamelessly through women's locker rooms.
Who Is Harmed?
An incoherent, irrational, science-denying ideology like the "trans" ideology cannot endure forever, but while we wait for the restoration of common sense (and courage), all lives will be harmed to a greater or lesser degree.
Some of our elderly will be forced to room with persons of the opposite sex. Malignant legislation, like a bill pending in California that would make it illegal to assign nursing home rooms based on objective sex and to "reassign a resident to a different room based on any person's complaints or concerns about that resident's gender identity or gender expression," will spread. Soon grandma and grandpa will be forced to live out their final days deprived of their right to privacy and robbed of their dignity.
Little children will be taught by the government that to be compassionate, inclusive, and just, they must be willing to relinquish their privacy. They will be taught that those who object to co-ed restrooms and locker rooms are ignorant, bigoted, and hateful.
Children will be raised amid chaos and confusion by fathers who masquerade as women and mothers who masquerade as men.
Adults will suffer personal, professional, and perhaps legal repercussions for refusing to bear false witness when ordered to refer to passers with incorrect pronouns.
But the most egregious harm will befall those who, deceived by the doctrinaire "trans" ideology, will have their healthy bodies mutilated and their psychological and social development perverted.
Evidence suggests that without "trans"-affirmative familial responses and medical interventions, upwards of 80 percent of gender-dysphoric children will eventually accept their sex, a phenomenon called "desistance." Jesse Singal, writing in New York Magazine, explains:
"Desistance" . . . means the tendency for gender dysphoria to resolve itself as a child gets older and older. All else being equal, this research suggests that the most likely outcome for a child with gender dysphoria is that they will grow up to be cisgender and gay or bisexual. Researchers don't know why that is, but it appears that in some kids, nascent homo- or bisexuality manifests itself as gender dysphoria. In others, gender dysphoria can arise as a result of some sort of trauma or other unresolved psychological issue, and goes away either with time or counseling. . . . While the actual percentages vary from study to study, overall, it appears that about 80 percent of kids with gender dysphoria end up feeling okay, in the long run, with the bodies they were born into.7
Despite this statistic, loving parents will be convinced by "trans" activists that the only way to prevent their children's suicides is to facilitate their gender confusion. Parents will allow their children to take puberty blockers to prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics. Quack doctors will allay their safety concerns by assuring them that the effects of this unnatural hormonal interference are reversible. But these parents likely won't be told that puberty blockers alter irrevocably the social experiences that attend puberty, thus increasing the likelihood that their child's gender-dysphoria will persist.
After puberty blockers, something more wicked comes: cross-sex hormone-doping that irreversibly changes voices and renders young people permanently sterile. And finally, for some, there will be "gender confirmation surgery." Already minor girls as young as 15 are undergoing double mastectomies.8
Because the mainstream media are the handmaidens of all things sexually deviant, most Americans remain blissfully unaware of the growing "detransitioning" movement. Young men and women who were deceived by the claims of the "trans" movement are stopping their testosterone- or estrogen-doping and telling their painful stories of regret. They talk about the real reasons for their gender dysphoria, which include tragic personal losses and sexual abuse. And they talk about the unalterable effects of their "trans treatment."
In a YouTube video, Carey Callahan speaks not just about the unhappiness she felt while taking testosterone and her concerns about the ease with which she was able to access cross-sex hormones but also about the profound dysfunction she witnessed firsthand when she was a full-fledged member of the "trans" cult:
I used to believe I was . . . a trans guy. . . . When I was trans . . . I felt that my trans identity should not be pathologized, that it was a healthy beautiful thing . . . that I was making these decisions from a clear state of mind. . . . Looking back, I do not think I was in a clear state of mind. . . . The feelings that I had interpreted as gender dysphoria were actually long-term trauma symptoms that I had never addressed.
Every step of the process, every step I took in affirming that trans identity, life got worse. . . . People in my little trans bubble were some of the most anxious people I've ever met. . . . Lots of everyday drug use, eating disorders, compulsive working out . . . lots of over-the-top sex stuff, cutting, alcoholism. . . . It was obvious that people . . . were not doing well.9
Cari Stella, a 22-year-old woman who started taking cross-sex hormones at age 17, had a double-mastectomy at 20, and is now detransitioning, offers this painful truth that "trans" activists don't want the public to hear: "[Detransitioners] are not just statistics. . . . We're real people. . . . I'm a real live 22-year-old woman with a scarred chest, a broken voice, and a five o'clock shadow."10
Rebecca Feldhaus, a 25-year-old woman who identified as a man, will never be able to share her feelings about "transitioning" because, in May 2017, just days after she had a hysterectomy in her disordered and futile quest for a male body, she died.
Christians can and should do more than gnash their teeth at the tide of suffering, confusion, and chaos that is flooding the land from those who seek to destroy God's created order. Christians should speak and act at all times with courage and conviction in accordance with truth, even when doing so is costly.Laurie Higgins
is the Cultural Analyst at the Illinois Family Institute. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites, and she has spoken at the Council for National Policy and at conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition.This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #42, fall 2017 Copyright © 2019 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo42/engendered-confusion