Did you think only women get pregnant? Or only women get abortions? Planned Parenthood and NARAL—ironically both pro-abortion organizations that self-identify as champions of women’s rights—may soon be trying to change your mind about that.
One signal comes from a little petition drive that goes by #protransprochoice. It urges both Planned Parenthood and NARAL to adopt language more “inclusive” of transgender persons and to acknowledge “gender-non-conforming” people. Both pro-abortion organizations, which have been longtime supporters of the LGBT lobby, tweeted back supportive replies.
So what does this mean and why should we care?
Well, maybe Exhibit A should be Oprah Winfrey introducing us to “the first pregnant man” in 2008. This would be a woman named Tracey who “transitioned” to being Thomas by having a double mastectomy with a dose of hormones to produce facial hair and such. Thomas thought it would be nice to have a baby someday, and so decided to keep “his” vagina, uterus, and ovaries intact. But for some reason, even though Thomas was legally documented as male, she (oops!) needed a sperm donation. (Life isn’t fair.) In any event, when pregnant, Thomas was happy to pose nude (mostly, anyway) for the camera.
Thomas has since had two more children and in 2012 decided to undergo surgery for a more complete transition to a male bodily appearance. She now lectures on “trans fertility and reproductive rights.” Most do not understand what a seismic shift in language is being pushed here. In this scheme of things, using the pronoun “she” to refer to a person who goes through pregnancy and gives birth to a child is grounds for punishment.
So what does it all mean? At root, this isn’t really about people like Thomas. It’s mostly about everybody else. It’s all about changing you and your self-concept. As fringy as they may sound, injecting such lies into our language—“the pregnant man” and the push to separate the word “pregnancy” from the word “woman”—are clear signals that we are moving steadily towards erasing all gender distinctions in the law.
And why should we care? Because erasing gender distinctions, especially as they apply to childbearing and rearing, would serve to legally un-define what it means to be human. A new legal definition of human—as neither male nor female—would apply to you whether you like it or not. Already, there is social pressure for everyone to comply with the gender theory notion that biological facts are mere “social constructs.”
We should especially care because we are well on the way to enacting such laws already. In November, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The law is based on the assumption that one’s perceived “gender identity” does not always “match” your sex “assigned” or “designated” at birth. So, the thinking goes, the law should allow a more ambiguous array of gender identities: male, female, both, neither, or something else entirely. It’s not an overstatement to say that ENDA is a huge step, mostly under the radar, to codify a new definition of humanity.
In the Senate, every Democrat and ten Republicans voted for ENDA: Senators Ayotte, Collins, Flake, Hatch, Heller, Kirk, McCain, Murkowski, Portman, and Toomey. So all that remains is for the House of Representatives to take up ENDA (which hasn’t happened just yet) and follow suit.
(I have a modest proposal. If and when ENDA is taken up by the House of Representatives, members might consider proposing an amendment that allows equal treatment for a neglected category of oppressed: those who suffer from discrimination based upon age identity. It would simply extend the logic of gender identity laws. You can read more here at The Federalist: “If We Can Pick Our Gender, Can We Pick Our Age?”)
It’s About Control, Not Rights
The transgender movement has strong totalitarian overtones that Americans (especially certain senators) don’t fully understand. How else to describe a crusade with such far-reaching consequences for First Amendment rights? The legal destruction of gender distinctions will inevitably dissolve family autonomy, thereby uprooting freedom of association. Free expression becomes “hate speech” if one doesn’t fall into line with the directives of the transgender lobby or its pronoun protocol. Freedom of religion takes a direct hit any way you look at it.
Under the guise of “rights,” the transgender movement can serve as convenient cover for consolidating and centralizing power under an ever-expanding State. Once we allow the State to refuse to recognize that children result from the male-female union, we grant the State more power to separate us from our children. As power becomes more centralized in the State, the individuals and institutions of the State, inevitably flawed, end up owning our personal relationships. With weakened mediating institutions—family, churches, private associations—we lose the buffer zones that stand between individuals and an encroaching state.
Contrary to popular belief, this push to eliminate distinctions of sex from law and replace them with variable and sundry perceptions of gender does not do what it promises. It doesn’t simply provide us with a panoply of gender identities from which we can choose, like the 50-something identities available on Facebook Rather, it’s the setup for a gender vacuum. As you enter this vacuum of gender-neutrality, less and less separates and protects you from the State.
Let’s think this through a bit more. If gender distinctions are erased in law, all marriage will become legally obsolete. The elites pushing same-sex “marriage” have known this all along. If you thought it was really marriage equality they were after, see point three in this Federalist article, “Bait and Switch.”
If we agree to change language to suit the transgender lobby, we ultimately agree to destroy in law the entire basis (sex distinctions) for the only union that can result in autonomously formed families. The implications for privacy and personal relationships are vast, and we need to understand that.
If you think you’ll be able to cultivate and preserve strong personal relationships in this new matrix, you are mistaken. That can’t easily happen in a system in which your familial relationships are not acknowledged or respected by the State. This gender-neutral scheme obliterates the template for the family as a unit. And if the family is no longer accepted as a union that originates through the union of male and female, there is no real basis for the State to recognize any family as an autonomous unit. Without any such obligation, children become more easily classified as state property and our personal relationships are more easily controlled by the state. If that sounds totalitarian, that’s because it is.
The legal erasure of gender distinctions, especially as they relate to the conception, gestation, and birth of children, would effectively cut us off from our spouses and children in the eyes of the law. How can it be otherwise? Yeah, maybe in the bargain we’ll retain the right to “freely” call ourselves male, female, or other. But once we’ve in essence sold our birthright, this is nothing more than a bowl of pottage.
Where Are We Now?
While Americans have been distracted by same-sex “marriage,” transgender activists have been quietly changing laws all across the nation to redefine humanity on their terms. In fact, the enactment of gender identity laws has in many cases outpaced same-sex marriage legislation. So far they’ve passed in 18 states, the District of Columbia, and about 150 municipalities
But now the “transgender revolution” is going on offense. In the past few weeks, a virtual blitzkrieg of drag has rained down upon us from the media. Here are just a few items in the lineup:
- There was big ink with a cover-girlish Laverne Cox—transgender star of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”—on the cover of Time Magazine’s June 9 issue, which announces we are at the “tipping point” of the mainstreaming of transgenderism.
- A couple of weeks ago, Disney executives invited a drag queen “Maleficent” to greet Angelina Jolie, star of the long-awaited movie ‘Maleficent,” on the red carpet at its premier. (Et tu, Disney?)
- Oxford University Press just the other day published Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, a resource book that is supposed to grow the transgender movement today in the same way Our Bodies, Ourselves grew feminism in the 1970’s.
- On June 22 the National Cathedral (Episcopal, natch) in Washington is scheduled to host the first sermon delivered by an openly transgender priest.
- A barrage of meme-driven articles are appearing, with titles like “I am the best Feminist because I’m dating a trans Woman,” or “My Trans Story is not your Growth Experience.”
It’s ironic that those leading the charge for the transgender revolution would claim there is only one right side to history. Nevertheless, none of this should surprise anyone who has been paying attention. The whole movement has been prepped by the push for genderless marriage. The Supreme Court’s Winsdor decision last year, and its consolidation by activist judges striking down state laws on marriage, has been the cue the transgender movement has been waiting for.
After all, the “T for Transgender” in LGBT has been around for decades, custom-built into the LGBT agenda. If you think this is the end of the line, you’re kidding yourself. There is much, much more to come.
How Deep Are We Into This Transgender Thing?
There’s no end in sight. On the surface, the transgender package, with its assortment of gender identities, to many still resembles a fringe movement, or a passing fad. So lots of folks have been duped into thinking that the purpose of it all is to grant equal rights to a minority demographic. But it’s really about changing the language, and thereby redefining us all.
Indeed, “civil rights” is always a nice line. It works well to stop debate. There’s lots of emotional blackmail involved because of the social punishments (labels of “hater” or “bigot”) heaped upon anyone who might question the agenda.
So how might an elite impose “collective belief formation” upon an unwitting public? It’s about marketing, of course, injecting memes (an older term is “hype”) into public discourse in order to build opinion cascades. An interesting academic look at this is in a Stanford Law Review article by Cass Sunstein and Timur Kuran on “availability cascades.” It explains how you can take an implausible idea and make it seem plausible by raising its availability in public discourse. Once you’ve shaped public opinion through all the usual channels—Hollywood, academic, the media, and so on—then the road to public policy has been nicely paved.
Of course, we see these things applied by mass marketers like Oprah Winfrey and talk shows like “The View” that serve to shape and mold and cajole “new ways of thinking” into the mindset of millions of listeners.
The Role of Linguistic Fascism in the Cult of Transgenderism
We can’t underestimate the role of the language police in forcing compliance with any agenda that hides under the “civil liberties” claim.
Transgender advocacy groups seem to hold very high and specific requirements and expectations from the public and media in terms of how they expect to be understood and talked to. GLAAD’s Media Advisory Guide contains a long checklist of “do’s and don’ts” when one is talking to or referring to a transgender person. Pronouns, of course, are a very touchy subject. Other lists are put out by various advocacy groups, including Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, Gender Spectrum, and a Cal Berkeley group, to name but a very few.
These convoluted lexicons foisted upon a docile public are daunting. And they’re no doubt meant to be. Interestingly, use of such linguistic gymnastics happens to be an essential device in teasing out a cult mindset.
Margaret Thaler Singer, an expert on cults, has written about the role of rhetoric in stifling independent thinking among cult members: “As members continue to formulate their ideas in the group’s jargon, this language serves the purpose of constricting members’ thinking and shutting down critical thinking abilities. . . . . One large international group, for example, has dictionaries for members to use. . . . One can search from term to term trying to learn this new language.”
According to Singer: “Orwell reasoned that if a government could control all media and interpersonal communication while simultaneously forcing citizens to speak in politically controlled jargon, it could blunt independent thinking.”
As we navigate the labyrinths of identity politics, we must never forget that forcing changes in our language forces changes in our thoughts. And in the case of gender identity, this means accepting language that universally redefines—or perhaps more accurately, un-defines—us all.