Land Mines and Gender Activism: The Revealing Reason They’re ‘Right’ and We’re ‘Wrong’

By Tom Gilson Published on June 16, 2023

I ran across an article the other day on “9 things people get wrong about being non-binary.” I’d tell you I was shocked to see it on Teen Vogue, but they threw themselves in the toilet years ago.

What bugged me this time was their self-righteous, imperious pouring out of new moral standards on the heads of everyone sees the world the way normal human beings have always seen it. It’s almost enough to make me long for the days of “Don’t impose your values on me!”

We have to change everything for them. Everything, you ask? Close enough. Start with this one: You can’t assume anyone is the “gender” they appear to be. Anyone. The “non-binary” person at Teen Vogue complained about “creating the assumption that I and other nonbinary people who wear women’s clothes must be women.”

Everything You Know … Is Wrong?

The checkout person at the grocery store may look female, the bagger may look like a boy, but heaven help if you think either of those thoughts. You’re a woman walking into a gym locker room, with what looks like a man following you? Shame on you! You assumed the person was a man.

This “assumption” may have proved 99.999-who knows-how-many-9s percent reliable for billions of people for thousands of years, but hey, things change, and suddenly it’s absolutely wrong to think it, much less count on it.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? They want to re-engineer all humanity that way — you and me included.

Words fail me. I’m trying to say what a huge rewrite of human reality that amounts to, but I can’t come up with words strong enough. They want us to rewrite and rethink and re-do some of the absolute most basic human activities from the beginning of time. And they want control not only of the facts, but of the morality that goes with the facts.

Rampant Moralizing

“It’s important to ask,” the Teen Vogue piece tells us. You “need to stop gendering people’s presentations.” That’s the language of right and wrong they’re speaking there. Do it their way or you’re a bad person. Probably a bigot.

Don’t think it’s just a couple of women on one website saying this.Good grief, I even found a skiing/snowboarding website that’s blasting out this new morality.

More visibly, CNN has an op-ed saying, “Don’t assume gender.” The National Center for State Courts says, “The issue is not that we should never use gender/gendered pronouns. The issue is when we assume the gender of a known or unknown person.”

Re-Engineering You and Your Reality

A site called “Everyday Feminism” shows us what’s really going on under all this, “If you assume, you’re saying that you think you know someone else better than they know themselves.”

Interesting how they make it a matter of knowledge. Knowledge implies facts to be known. The new fact they want us all to grok is that everything humanity ever knew about sex and gender is wrong. None of it is external, it’s all in the head. So your entire picture of reality is mistaken. You have to re-write it all.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? They want to re-engineer all humanity that way — you and me included.

Assumptions? What About Theirs?

They’ve got a problem with people making assumptions? Well, I’ve got a problem with their assumptions.

They assume they’re right about the facts of sex and gender. Their language just reeks of it. If you disagree it’s because you’re stuck in outdated stereotypes. And they assume the right to redefine morality for us all.

You must understand how we “know” that gender isn’t the same as sex, or that there are dozens of gender varieties, or that Person Z who looks like a “he” is actually a gender-fluid “xe” instead. There is exactly one reason: Because they say so. They’re right because they say so, and we’re wrong because they say so.

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There is literally no other authority on the meaning of “gender” than what the gender-variant types tell us about it. But oh, what authority that carries! We know they’re right because they have solemnly assured us they’re right. No further explanation required. We know we’re bigoted, wrong, bad people if we disagree, and we know it on exactly the same authority: They say so.

I challenge anyone to show me a more objective explanation for the “truth” of gender ideology. There isn’t any.

Who’s Making Wrong Assumptions?

I’m in my mid-60s. I grew up assuming a woman was a woman. That was good and right and fine until about a finger-snap in time ago. Now if I do that, I’m piled under a deluge of shoulds and shouldn’ts. That’s a whole new moral order dumped on us, and it came about how? Because they said so.

And I’m one of the lucky ones: I work at The Stream, where we don’t fire each other for transgressing newly invented moral standards meant to serve newly invented “facts” about what it means to be human.

They don’t want me assuming their gender? I don’t want them assuming they can pronounce what’s right and wrong for you and me. I don’t want them assuming I’m insensitive to them, when I have reason to think they’re insensitive to truth and reality. I don’t want them assume I don’t care, when in fact I care about something a whole lot bigger, more enduring, more real than their passing gender fads.

Land Mines and Gender Activists

So when I see someone who looks and acts like a man, I will assume he is a man. He’ll agree with me 99% percent of the time. The other 1 percent? They’re land mines. They’re the places where walking naturally across a normal-appearing landscape can get you blown up.

Land mines are packed with power. So is the gender movement. Land mines can make you decide to walk more carefully. So can the gender movement. Because they say so.

Land mines cannot make it a moral fault to walk across an innocent-looking countryside; or if they do, it’s only because you’re exposing yourself to the moral fault they contain in themselves. Likewise,gender activists can’t make it a moral fault to live and talk naturally in the world, the way humans have since the dawn of time. They can only make it dangerous. On their say-so, of course, and by the use of their explosive power. When they do that, it’s not us committing the fault. It’s them. It’s the land mines.

I do not let land mines determine either my reality or my morality. I’m not letting gender activists do it, either.


Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the highly acclaimed Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.

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