The Transgender Revolution is Turning the World Upside Down for Nothing
It is often said (misquoting G. K. Chesterton) that when a man stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing, he’ll believe anything. Not so. The transgender revolution proves people without God will happily believe in nothing.
Transgender ideology is as nothing as nothing could be. There’s no reason for it. No argument at all. Even the Communist revolution was built on firmer ground — which is saying a lot. Take one complete disaster of a horrific idea, then imagine another one that has even fewer reasons supporting it. Now you’re in transgenderism’s neighborhood.
I’m talking about trans activism here, not gender dysphoria. So I’m not questioning gender dysphoric persons’ need for understanding, compassion and authentic care. It’s a difficult, distressing condition — but it afflicts fewer than one-tenth of one percent of adults.
Take one complete disaster of a horrific idea, then imagine another one that has even fewer reasons supporting it. Now you’re in transgenderism’s neighborhood.
There’s also another very small group of persons born with ambiguous sexual characteristics. Trans activists say this means there aren’t just two genders. It’s much easier and more natural, though, to view these people as unfortunate departures from the male/female norm.
Both these groups are very small. They’re not enough to fuel a revolution. They’re not what transgender ideology is all about.
Nothing-Arguments In Favor of Transgender Ideology
What is it about, then? Is it autonomy? The idea that persons have the right to choose their own identities, as a matter of personal autonomy? No if it were about some principle of autonomy, trans people would let the rest of us enjoy ours, too: They’d let us decide for ourselves whether we want to “gender them” the way they demand.
Or take the argument from Lambda Legal, the LGBTQ legal defense group, that bathroom access is important for the sake of privacy, respect and safety. Those values are important, but they can’t be the movement’s fundamental guiding principles, either. If they were, trans people would listen to women who want privacy, respect and safety from men entering their bathrooms and locker rooms.
What about the idea that trans person deserve to live free of both stigma and discrimination. Sure — every human deserves to be treated with dignity. But that’s not the case with every human’s lifestyle decision. Some ways of living are wrong; the career criminal, for example. Is transgenderism worthy of full dignity? Only if it’s actually a good thing. But trans people need to show it’s a good thing. They’ve been assuming it instead, and expecting the rest of us to assume it along with them.
It’s All Negative Nothing
You’d think such a huge revolution would have positive reasons supporting it.
I keep looking for good, positive reasons for this trans revolution. I can’t find any that go more than a centimeter down the road. And I also see something that masquerades as positive reasoning. Watch out for this one, because it almost looks like the real thing. I’m talking about reasons we shouldn’t disagree with trans activism.
It’s one thing to say, “Here’s why it’s wrong for you to oppose this huge cultural shift.” I want to know reasons why they think it’s a good idea in the first place! You’d think such a huge revolution would have positive reasons supporting it. Good ones, even. The trans revolution has nothing like that.
Take this writer’s response to Trump’s transgender military ban. You can see it in the title, which isn’t, “How to Argue for Transgender Military Inclusion.” It’s, “How To Argue Against The Transgender Military Ban.”
He’s only got two positive points to make. One was about trans activists’ service, which he says is “every bit as important and significant and deserving of respect as anyone else’s.” But no one ever said the ban was about personal “importance” or “significance” or “respect.” It’s about national security.
He also mentioned “equal protection under the law.” That’s a feeble stab in the direction of an argument, maybe; but if he wanted to play it out for real, he’d have to deal with the reality that the armed services have never been equal opportunity employers when it comes to mental health, physical health or even morality.
One “trans woman” poured almost 3,000 words into “Debunking ‘Trans Women Are Not Women’ Arguments.” Again, the title tells it all. Does he have anything in it to say “Trans Women Are Women”? Not until the final paragraph, where he says,
Trans women are women. We may not be “exactly like” cis women, but then again, cis women are not all “exactly like” one another either. But what we do share is that we all identify and move through the world as women.
You can almost seeing him stomping his feet at, “Trans women are women.” Not much reasoning there. Not much, either, when he writes, “we identify and move through the world as women.” If “cis” women are all so different from each other, as he says, what on earth could that mean?
Overtaken by Nothing
So if you think there’s any argument here worth mounting a revolution over, I’d like to sell you some swamp land in Montana. The transgender revolution is built on emptiness. There is no positive argument for it. It’s an ideology built on nothing.
This nothing has overtaken us. We’ve moved beyond the craziness G. K. Chesterton feared. Progressive culture is so committed to this new nothing it believes in, it’s forcing it on anyone who believes in anything else.
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.