“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by precedent, by implication, by erosion, by default, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other—until the day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”
The public debut of “Caitlyn” Jenner represents a watershed moment for American culture. Though most have not realized it, Jenner’s coming out party constitutes a significant “trial balloon” on the part of the progressive left and the media. It is an attempt to cash in on years of carefully managed stories on transgender “discrimination,” sympathetic portrayals of transgender characters in entertainment, and the generally successful campaign of the gay rights movement and social justice activists.
The goal is simple: normalize transgenderism to such an extent that any criticism of the concept or its practitioners will not be tolerated.
They must not be allowed to succeed. Whether the silent majority of Americans realize it or not, the transgender issue represents the last best opportunity to turn the tide in the culture wars. Make no mistake: the progressives are winning. Twenty years ago a person could openly criticize homosexuality. Today, thanks to the Supreme Court, people who do not enthusiastically endorse gay marriage are branded as bigots, disqualified from high-profile business positions, and generally dismissed as ignorant hicks whose views are outside of the scope of acceptable thought.
Media outlets have already taken sides and are branding people as being “transphobic” for not accepting the idea that Bruce Jenner is now a female. It is now “bigoted” to refer to Bruce as a “he.” Even so much as joking about Jenner is verboten. The media is rallying around him, protecting him, in spite of the fact that his refusal to get sex reassignment surgery, his sexual preference for women, and his recently having killed someone in a car accident all make him a very poor candidate as the face of transgenderism.
Nevertheless, they have made him the poster boy, hoping that everyday TV watchers won’t sweat the details and that the popularity of the Kardashians will keep him relevant. The next steps include some Will and Grace style sitcom to make transgenders seem more hip and fun, adoption by the Democratic Party as the next great civil rights issue, and finally a sustained campaign of legal and private ideological bullying until transgender acceptance is the new normal.
The Line In The Sand
Why must we draw the line at transgenderism? I argue that legitimization of transgenderism would constitute a cultural sea change. It would be the first time the cultural fascists had succeeded in enforcing genuine doublethink. Leftist ideology regarding transgenderism not only contradicts existing progressive doctrines (feminism), but is also literally false. You are being ordered to believe in a fairy tale—the idea that a dog can transform into a cat if it just wishes for it hard enough—and this is where the danger lies.
To be clear, I do not argue that we need to persecute or hate transgenders: people have the right to choose to play dress up and freely associate with others who indulge their delusions. What we need to protect is our right to disapprove of their behavior and reject their “science.” We must dig our heels in and fight. One is reminded of Picard’s words on the Borg in First Contact:
“We’ve made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again! The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther!”: might as well be GamerGate’s slogan.
Of course, in the film Jean-Luc eventually agrees with Lily, though this does not refute his point about the Borg. He is right when he says that repeated compromise and surrender will not work. As in any war, the longer good men wait to fight back, the more difficult it is to overcome a metastasizing and emboldened evil.
The progressives have been encouraged by traditional Americans’ reluctance to fight back due to a mixture of indifference, moral cowardice, and bemusement. They are strengthened by the tendency of mainstream society to not take them seriously, to say “Who cares about Bruce Jenner and the reality TV sideshow!”, and to think that the goodwill and tolerance extended toward progressives will be returned.
This last point is crucial when we consider the history of previous civil rights causes. Earlier progressive campaigns pertaining to issues such as women’s lib, gay rights, and miscegenation had decent libertarian justifications and did not seek to impose much on society save tolerance of alternative life choices. (Social conservatives would likely argue that there were other negative consequences.)
Transgenderism, by contrast, imposes a great deal on American society. It requires us to revisit all questions of sex segregation, everywhere from schools to sports leagues to bathrooms. And note that this is all demanded based on the softer concept, “gender,” as transgenders have all but stopped using the term “transsexual.” They understand that with current technology, sex is immutable.
Since gender is supposedly just about feelings instead of biology, transgender logic would allow any man to claim he is a woman and waltz into a women’s locker room. There is no requirement that he pass for a female, nor is there a requirement that his “feeling” be permanent.
The Real Danger
The biggest problem with the transgender agenda is that it erodes our right to our own minds and to our perceptions of reality. A man is not a woman merely because he believes he is one, yet the progressives would have us believe so on pain of social ostracism, loss of employment, and discrimination lawsuits. If we give progressives the right to redefine reality, then we are no better off than Winston in 1984 when he was tortured for refusing to say that 2 and 2 equal 5 (or to continue the Star Trek references, Picard when he was tortured by the Cardassians for refusing to pretend there were five lights. And isn’t it weird that “Cardassian” sounds like “Kardashian?”)
What argument could there possibly be against polygamy, pedophilia, zoophilia, or any range of (currently) unacceptable behaviors? If the legal criteria for a thing’s identity is mere belief on the part of the subject, why shouldn’t a child be allowed to have a romantic relationship with an adult if he believes himself to be an adult as well?
Children are too young to make that choice you say? Then why are there transgender children? Surely you can’t argue that a small child ought to be able to take hormones and change their gender (a decision that will have a massive impact on the rest of their lives), yet cannot consent to sex. If feelings are good enough in one case, then why not the other?
We are not only legitimizing a subculture that will invite massive legal headache and mischief upon our society, we are also establishing a criteria for said legitimacy that is so patently irrational and dangerous as to ensure an endless queue of additional subcultures will come forward seeking the same affirmation from society.
It is perhaps ironic that it is the traditionalists and conservatives that are arguing that there is more to being a woman than copying stereotypical gender norms and looking the part. To say that Bruce Jenner is a woman after a bit of surgery and makeup is degrading to the idea of womanhood. The case of Rachel Dolezal shows that black people are not especially tolerant of whites identifying as black merely because they “feel” they are. Yet there is no strong argument against transracialism if we accept transgenderism.
Given the example of Dolezal, women should be just as insulted at the pretense of someone like Bruce Jenner. Lacking the biology and differing treatment from society that comes from actually being a woman, his claim that he “has always felt like a woman” is absurd on its face. What he really feels is a compulsive desire to play dress up: to make manifest a fetishized ideal of femininity brought about by his own psychological insecurities and a “grass is always greener” presumption about life as a woman.
Transgender people suffer from a pervasive mental illness, and as a result they deserve our sympathy. There is no reason to be violent or mean toward them. Still, we should not be expected to affirm their neuroses anymore than we should affirm the beliefs of a schizophrenic who believes himself to be an alien.
The time for compromise is over. Do not apologize for “misgendering” them, do not feel bad for calling him “Bruce,” do not be afraid to make jokes about them (they say worse things about whites and Christians), and do not ever apologize for rejecting their unscientific hogwash. This noisy .001% of the population is sick and should not be allowed to dictate to the rest of us. When they tell you to move, plant yourself like a tree by the river of truth and tell them: no. You move.