by Tom McCaffrey, ©2021
(Jun. 29, 2021) — This just in: a motorcyclist who identifies as a bicyclist has broken the world bicycling record for the 4000 meter individual pursuit.
On a more serious note, Colorado baker Jack Phillips, the man who defied the politically correct mob and refused, in the name of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, is back in court. This time he’s refusing to bake a cake specifically designed to celebrate Autumn Scardina’s transition from being a man to being a “woman.” Rational persons have been wondering for some time why the Democrats ever decided to make an issue of transsexualism, given that the number of persons involved is miniscule. But to ask this question is to fail to understand the dynamics of the cultural cleansing currently under way in the West.
First, though, a brief lesson on the use and abuse of language. Historically “gender” was a term used in grammar. In Latin, for example, the word for water, aqua, which English speakers would consider to be neuter in gender, is feminine, so the forms which the word takes in different contexts reflect this. The word for book, liber, another neuter word for English speakers, is masculine in Latin. Italian and Spanish, among other languages, also work this way, but English does not.
So until relatively recently, no one would have thought of referring to a man as being of the male gender; he was of the male sex. The word “male,” on the other hand, is indeed of the male gender. So we say, “The male seeks his mate” rather than “The male seeks her mate.”
But the culture vandals of the Left needed a word to help them normalize, for the first time in the history of mankind, the phenomenon of a man who considers himself to be “really” a woman (or vice versa). So they began to refer to his sex, which is determined biologically, as male, but to his “gender,” which they would determine in an entirely different way, as female.
How is “gender” thus determined? A man’s sex resides in his anatomy and his genes, so it is determined objectively; it is a scientific fact readily observable by himself or anyone else. But his “gender” resides in his psyche, so only he can identify it, since only he can plumb the deepest recesses of his own mind. How? By examining his feelings. Whereas sex, in other words, can only be ascertained rationally, “gender” is ascertained non-rationally, or, rather, irrationally.
Aa a friend of mine has pointed out, a man cannot know what it feels like to be a woman any more than a person who was blind from birth could know what it would feel like to see. A man might imagine what it would feel like to be a woman, or he might wish that he were a woman. Or he might genuinely believe that he is “really” a woman. But in that case, he would simply be deluded, because he is not, in fact, a woman. Even if he were to undergo hormone treatments and sex-change surgery, he still would not really be a woman, although he might succeed in living out his delusion.
Even on the Left’s own terms, this conception of “gender identity” is irrational. When a sexually deluded man decides that he is “really” a woman, he is not asserting that biologically he is a woman. He is asserting, rather, that he feels compelled to assume the set of behaviors, and perhaps the appearance, associated with womanhood within his society. Yet here he runs head-on into the feminist dogma that such behaviors, behaviors which constitute the “gender role” assigned to women, are themselves mere social constructs; there is nothing in biological maleness or femaleness that necessitates that men fight the wars and that women raise the children. In other words, the man who considers himself “really” to be a woman would become a woman by assuming a set of behaviors which, according to leftist dogma, have no objective validity as female behaviors. So much for “really” being a woman.
But what have the Democrats to gain by flogging transsexualism and trying to cram it down the throats of the rest of us? Their bread and butter issue today is the rights of “oppressed” minorities. (With apologies to Karl Marx, we are well on our way—quite literally—to the dictatorship of the oppressed.) As evinced by their efforts to brand Americans as rabid racists, the Democrats desperately need bigots in order to survive and to thrive. By attempting to force the rest of us to overhaul our culture to accommodate the needs of a few transsexuals, they instantly create, among the half of the American populace who are still rational and who, therefore, can be depended upon to resist Democrats’ efforts to normalize transsexualism, a huge cohort whom they can now plausibly brand as insensitive, compassionless bigots. As for the rest of the population, the Democrats now own them; anyone who is willing to swallow the proposition that a man can “really” be a woman can be made to swallow just about anything.
Not to be underestimated is the demoralizing effect that lunacy like the normalizing of transsexualism can have on sensible persons. In a time in which parents now allow their young children to choose their own “gender,” the rational person begins to feel like the inmate in a concentration camp who comes to realize that his faculty of reason is no longer of any avail in making sense of his world. This is a not unintended effect of the Left’s efforts to normalize transsexualism, and it further explains why the Democrats have been willing to expend such energy as they have to win over such a small number of voters.
So now the culture vandals have got themselves another enormously contentious issue with which to divide Americans and to sow social and cultural chaos, especially so since the concepts of male and female, and all that they entail, are fundamental elements of our culture.
Finally, the Left are winning the culture war in no small part because they are always on the attack, always forcing the rest of us onto defense. Rather than working to abolish the welfare state, to diminish the federal leviathan, to restore property rights, and to effect a dozen other changes that our republic desperately needs, we on the Right are (or soon will be) fighting to fend off Democratic efforts to federalize elections, to obliterate our borders (and with them the whole concept of citizenship), to “pack” the senate by admitting new, democrat-dominated states to the union, to abolish the filibuster in the Senate, to pack the Supreme Court, to diminish free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms, and, now, to annihilate the very concepts of male and female. .
The response of a rational people to attempts to validate the delusions of men who think they are women would be to say “Live your life as you please, but we, in turn, will live our lives as we please” and then move on with the important business of reclaiming our republic. At some point, we must go on the offensive against those who would cleanse our culture of every semblance of rationality, or they will surely destroy us.
Tom McCaffrey is a retired teacher and realtor in California. A Rhode Island native, he is a graduate of Brown University and the author of Radical by Nature: The Green Assault on Liberty, Property, and Prosperity.