CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Children, Mums, Dads and the Gender Benders

Mar 16, 2017

That the trans revolution is causing massive devastation to countless families and children, as well as to society and culture as a whole, is something I have now documented numerous times. So too have many others. But our concerns are often dismissed as mere ‘religious bigotry’ and the like.

trans 66However I can assure you that there are plenty of non-religious folks who also have problems with the trans agenda and their radical take on gender (that it is fluid and a social construct, and has no biological basis, etc). Non-Christians, feminists and even lesbians among others have all expressed real concerns about the gender activists.

There would be plenty of these folks out there, but let me just highlight four of them who have spoken on these issues at various times. Consider as my first exhibit the lesbian academic and social commentator Camille Paglia. She has often been critical of feminist excesses, and is not too keen about the trans mania as well.

In an October 2015 interview she said in part:

Nothing… better defines the decadence of the West to the jihadists than our toleration of open homosexuality and this transgender mania now. I think that the transgender propagandists make wildly inflated claims about the multiplicity of gender. Sex reassignment surgery, even today with all of its advances, cannot in fact change anyone’s sex, okay. You can define yourself as a trans man, or a trans woman, as one of these new gradations along the scale. But ultimately, every single cell in the human body, the DNA in that cell, remains coded for your biological birth. So there are a lot of lies being propagated at the present moment, which I think is not in anyone’s best interest.
www.cnsnews.com/news/article/sam-dorman/camille-paglia-transgender-mania-symptom-cultural-collapse

And last October she gave a talk in the UK in which she again lamented the end of civilisation as evidenced by transgenderism. Rod Dreher offers this overview:

A reader sends in this clip from a Camille Paglia discussion at last fall’s Battle Of Ideas festival in the UK, in which the lesbian scholar and provocateur identifies transgenderism as a mark of a civilization deep into decadence, nearing collapse. The good stuff starts at the four-minute mark. She says that androgyny becomes prevalent “as a civilization is starting to unravel. You find it again and again and again in history.”
“People who live in such times feel that they’re very sophisticated, they’re very cosmopolitan,” she says. But in truth, they are evidence of a civilization that no longer believes in itself. On the edges of that civilization are “people who still believe in heroic masculinity” — the barbarians. Paglia says that this is happening right now, and that there’s this tremendous “disconnect” between a culture that’s infatuated with transgenderism, and “what’s going on ‘out there’.” She sees it as “ominous.” And she’s right to. This insanity cannot last.
www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/paglia-transgender-civilizations-decline/

My second witness is an African feminist who made some remarks recently which caused no small amount of controversy. As one report puts it:

Acclaimed Nigerian novelist, feminist and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has come under fire for saying trans women and natural born women are not the same and she is refusing to back down from the comments as they spark a global debate about transgender issues. “When people talk about, ‘Are trans women women?’ my feeling is trans women are trans women,” Adichie said in a recent interview with U.K.’s Channel 4 while promoting her new book Dear Ijeawele or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.

And she has gotten support from various quarters:

“I am a trans woman, a feminist, and I support you 100% Chimamanda!” said Marit Staſstrom. “It isn’t transphobic to acknowledge the simple truth that there are differences between women and transwomen. It’s just being sane and real, and I think it’s necessary voice within feminist discourse that shouldn’t be dismissed out-of-hand,” Stalstrom continued.
“Feminists shouldn’t be shamed for centering female body specific issues – issues which affect 50% of the human population, not because of their chosen identity, but because of biological reality. If more transwomen (especially white transwomen) could acknowledge this basic truth, rather than trying to constantly demand special recognition, they could help advance the feminist cause rather than dragging it down.”
www.christianpost.com/news/trans-women-arent-same-as-natural-born-women-feminist-author-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-says-177456/

My third exhibit is UK political philosopher Rebecca Reilly-Cooper. She is a feminist who has been critical of the idea of a continuum of genders. In 2016 she wrote an essay on this called, “Gender is Not a Spectrum”. She wrote:

Once we assert that the problem with gender is that we currently recognise only two of them, the obvious question to ask is: how many genders would we have to recognise in order not to be oppressive? Just how many possible gender identities are there?
The only consistent answer to this is: 7 billion, give or take. There are as many possible gender identities as there are humans on the planet. According to Nonbinary.org, one of the main internet reference sites for information about non-binary genders, your gender can be frost or the Sun or music or the sea or Jupiter or pure darkness. Your gender can be pizza.
But if this is so, it’s not clear how it makes sense or adds anything to our understanding to call any of this stuff ‘gender’, as opposed to just ‘human personality’ or ‘stuff I like’. The word gender is not just a fancy word for your personality or your tastes or preferences. It is not just a label to adopt so that you now have a unique way to describe just how large and multitudinous and interesting you are. Gender is the value system that ties desirable (and sometimes undesirable?) behaviours and characteristics to reproductive function. Once we’ve decoupled those behaviours and characteristics from reproductive function – which we should – and once we’ve rejected the idea that there are just two types of personality and that one is superior to the other – which we should – what can it possibly mean to continue to call this stuff ‘gender’? What meaning does the word ‘gender’ have here, that the word ‘personality’ cannot capture?

As a radical feminist her solution is to do away with gender altogether:

So if you want to call yourself a genderqueer femme presenting demigirl, you go for it. Express that identity however you like. Have fun with it. A problem emerges only when you start making political claims on the basis of that label – when you start demanding that others call themselves cisgender, because you require there to be a bunch of conventional binary cis people for you to define yourself against; and when you insist that these cis people have structural advantage and political privilege over you, because they are socially read as the conformist binary people, while nobody really understands just how complex and luminous and multifaceted and unique your gender identity is. To call yourself non-binary or genderfluid while demanding that others call themselves cisgender is to insist that the vast majority of humans must stay in their boxes, because you identify as boxless.
The solution is not to reify gender by insisting on ever more gender categories that define the complexity of human personality in rigid and essentialist ways. The solution is to abolish gender altogether. We do not need gender. We would be better off without it. Gender as a hierarchy with two positions operates to naturalise and perpetuate the subordination of female people to male people, and constrains the development of individuals of both sexes. Reconceiving of gender as an identity spectrum represents no improvement.
aeon.co/essays/the-idea-that-gender-is-a-spectrum-is-a-new-gender-prison

Finally, let me mention child psychologist and parenting expert Kyle Pruett. He is the author of heaps of material on children and their wellbeing, including the 2000 book Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child.

He is no friend of the so-called religious right, and even said in his book that he sees no problems with kids being raised by two homosexual “dads”. Yet he keeps stressing the importance of both mothers and fathers for the wellbeing of children, and how each one parents differently. For example in a 2012 interview he said this:

It is a pretty well-accepted fact that we have not supported paternal engagement to the extent that would be helpful to our children. We’re getting better at it now. We’ve come to understand that fathers don’t mother and mothers don’t father. Fathers can’t really be replaced, in full, especially by somebody who doesn’t feel like a father. We’re beginning to understand that to the extent that dads are positively involved, the children’s and the mothers’ lives are better.
www.salon.com/2012/07/23/kyle_pruett_on_fatherhood_salpart/

There are plenty more such witnesses one can offer here on these matters. Suffice it to say that it is not just religious conservatives who have problems with the transgender revolutionaries. Many others also have some valid concerns about it, and how it impacts our culture and our kids.

So if you don’t want to listen to those of us you consider to be ‘disqualified’ from speaking on these matters, perhaps you should listen to those who you may feel much more comfortable with.

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4 Responses to Children, Mums, Dads and the Gender Benders

  • Thanks again Bill, please keep these articles coming. As you’ve quite rightly pointed out, there are plenty of folk outside of recognised Christian circles who are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the public excesses of the LGBT community. Kind regards, Kelvin.

  • Hi Bill,

    Some more excellent thought provoking opinions.

    I particularly liked Riley-Cooper’s take on the issue. There is an example of having an honest open attitude to your worldview. When you take the idea of gender fluidity, and push it to its logical end, you end up in absurdity.

    It’s interesting actually, her criticism of ‘binary gender’ seems to assume that if gender were truly binary, then males would naturally dominate and oppress women. It’s implicit in her assumption the basic recognition that there are gender differences, and that the male gender would necessarily dominate. As an extreme feminist she appears to be acknowledging what feminism universally rejects – that there really are gender differences, and those differences imply loosely speaking that maybe males are generally physically stronger, more competitive, ambitious, aggressive, forthright and barbaric.

    So I would say she appears (at least here if I understand her correctly) to acknowledge that gender differences truly exist, and unfortunately her solution is to jump off the cliff of sanity and reject the concept of gender entirely.

  • I myself have met three transsexuals, despite the rarity of the disorder, and I am sympathetic to their plight. However, I have come to the conclusion that the current political movement is effectively removing policies which were set up for their protection.
    title=”https://malcolmsmiscellany.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/the-lunatics-are-taking-over-asylum.html”

  • The one transitioning transgender person I have ever heard speak of his/her experience to a group of students spoke with the kind of fervour you might expect of a convert to Christianity giving their personal testimony in an evangelistic meeting.

    To transition to one’s “self-identified gender” involves medical and surgical interventions, including what one imagines would be lifelong use of hormones to support the transition – a significant personal commitment to the personal ideology involved.

    I have often wondered since the above-mentioned encounter, where health professionals see differences and similarities between gender dysphoria and another condition, body dysmorphia, where amputation of a body part or parts is believed to make the person’s body “feel right”.

    In our fallen world, we should expect all kinds of attempts to alter the Creator’s original status quo for human males and females.

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