Transgender Ideology is More Irrational Than You Realized
Trans people tell us reality is defined by what they identify as. Not only do they think of themselves as the opposite sex, but they really are the other sex. Reality itself changes to match their mental state.
There’s something seriously — and obviously — irrational going on here. Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it discussed more often. If they can do that, why can’t the rest of us?
What If We All Thought We Could Do That?
Imagine a conversation:
Trans person: “I was ‘assigned female’ at birth, but I identify as a man.”
Answer: “Ha! You may see yourself as male, but I see you as female.”
Trans person: “What? Really!? That’s so disrespectful! You’re so intolerant. You’re so bigoted. ”
Answer: “No, not at all. You’ve ‘assigned me’ as disrespectful, intolerant and bigoted. I identify as perfectly tolerant, respectful, sensitive and kind.”
That’s just one way it might go. I could identify as the owner of Amazon.com. You could identify as my landlord and demand I pay you rent. Every imaginable ridiculous thing could follow. The whole idea falls apart at a moment’s glance.
Of course the trans person might think gender counts as an exception to that. So the conversation might continue:
Trans person: “Oh, come on! You can’t just stand there and tell me you aren’t bigoted! Everyone can see you are.”
Answer: “Well, then you can’t stand there and tell me you’re not female. Everyone can see you are!”
Trans person: “But this is different! Bigotry is right out where everyone can see it. Gender is in the mind, so you need to respect it for what it is there.”
Gender is different, maybe. Owning Amazon.com is about documents and relationships and the organization’s history, all of which is completely out in the open. But gender is located in the mind. Gender just is what a person thinks he or she is.
Do They Have a Point?
Which is true, to a small extent. Everyone has an internal, mental sense of gender. For most of us it’s directly connected to our biological sex. Whether it is or not, though, this sense of gender we have is a psychological fact about ourselves, not a physical fact. That’s the whole point of calling it a “sense.”
Where it all goes wrong, though, is where trans people say that what they sense on the inside is what everyone else should sense on the outside. We’ve already seen what a spectacular failure it would be to live as if internal identity equaled public reality. Trans people might want to claim their situation is an exception, but they’d need an equally spectacular reason to back them up on that. Just to say, “This is how I sense things, so you have to agree with me,” isn’t good enough.
Or is it?
For as far as I’ve been able to discover, that’s the best reason they’ve got going for them. I’ve been looking for a better one they might offer, and I can’t find it anywhere. They’ve got weak, baseless “reasons” that don’t survive a moment’s reflection. They’ve got some moral confusion fostered by endlessly repeated — but unsupported — claims that it’s about “equal rights.” And they’ve got “Because we said so.” That’s all they’ve got, as far as I can tell.
As reasons go, “because we said so,” is a lousy one. Put enough critical mass behind it, though, and add some moral confusion, and soon people will start thinking it’s good enough after all — good enough to make them cower and comply, anyway. This, I’m convinced, is what’s been going on over the past few years of the transgender uprising. It isn’t about reason, it isn’t about rationality, it’s all about the use of power to get what they want.
The Real Irrationality
Power can be very persuasive, after all, and transgender ideology has enormous power backing it. There’s the social power that comes with making it so “bigoted” to disagree. If you think that’s a small thing, try standing up to it on a college campus. Of course colleges also use administrative policies to enforce proper “gendering.” The city of New York does, too. So does the entire nation of Canada. Corporations including the NBA and NCAA — expressing the moral confusion the movement is banking on — used economic power against North Carolina during that state’s bathroom access controversy. Twitter will kick you out for it, and Facebook probably will, too.
So pardon my error. I said transgenderism had no good reasons going for it. I overlooked one: “Because we said so, that’s why!” Put enough power behind it, and that starts looking like a pretty good reason after all.
Bad as that is, though, it isn’t the movement’s worst irrationality. It goes one step further. The movement is built on a framework of allowing people to be on the outside what they are on the inside. And they enforce that with all the muscle they can muster. Or in other words, The transgender movement uses massive social, policy and legal power to force everyone to comply with them — because we should let people be who they really are.
See the contradiction there? How crazy can you get?
But I must close with a harder question: How rational is it for the rest of us to go along with it?
Tom Gilson is a senior editor with The Stream and the author of Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens (Kregel Publications, 2016). Follow him on Twitter: @TomGilsonAuthor.