Transgenderism: Its Only Justification Is Power
What justification does trans movement operate under? What makes it right? And why don’t we ask that question more often?
I’m not talking about whether Jack can become Jill. That’s a fair question, but not the one I’m asking this time. My question is about the juggernaut behind Jack-turning-Jill: the social upheaval that requires everyone to agree that Jack can become Jill, to help him become Jill, to call him Jill, and to forget that we ever even thought of “her” as a him.
It dominates the workplace, the classroom, locker room, the media, the publishing world, even some churches, ready and willing to chop off our metaphorical heads if we don’t comply. When it has that much power, it needs that much good reason for it. What is that reason?
We need to push that question, partly because it’s so easy. Compared to all the complications can come with individuals’ “trans” experiences, the answer for the movement as a whole is refreshingly plain. Is there even the remotest reasonable justification for all the control it’s taken, or the disruption it’s forced on us all? No. It’s that simple. Just no.
Science: Transgender Experience?
I’ve heard some attempted answers, as have you. One of them has to do with the science of transgender persons’ experience. Sorry, but it’s not good enough. There have never been more than a tiny handful of truly gender dysphoric people, far fewer than one in 10,000, possibly less than a tenth that many. Though these are real persons bearing real pain, but we do not turn entire cultures over for such a thing happening in such small numbers.
Normally we call it an exception, a mental health disorder. In fact that’s what the mental health profession used to call it: Gender Identity Disorder. That diagnosis has gone kaput, though, and now it’s only the “bad feeling” (dysphoria) that gets a mental health label.
You might think scientific findings led mental health professionals to discover gender confusion was just fine, so they changed the label, and this helped launch the movement. That’s exactly backwards. Gay and trans activists employed naked power plays to force mental health professionals to change the diagnosis, and to halt to any new science that might undermine their narrative. So that’s not it.
Science of Sex?
What about the science of sex and gender, then? Surely you’ve heard, “There is no scientific basis for the existence of only two genders.” There’s also no scientific basis for the existence of city government. Or golf. Or picnic lunches. Science doesn’t speak to everything, and it’s silly to treat it as if it did.
Gender (as opposed to sex) is a mental stance, a mental experience. Scientists can observe and record people’s statements about their experience all day long. But science can never inside Jack’s head and say, “We independently confirm that Jack is really Jill.” The tools of science aren’t fit to do that. So when science pretends to address it, wise people move ignore it and move on.
And then there are those who tell us there’s no scientific basis for two distinct human sexes. (Biological sexes, that is which is what “sexes” means in that context, for those who may have forgotten.) When you hear that, don’t ignore it. Laugh instead. Loudly. Publicly. Uproariously.
If science can’t justify it, what about the trans person’s experience? Doesn’t that merit consideration? Of course it does. I’ll gladly consider helping a person be at peace living in the body he or she was born in. Strangely, that kind of help isn’t even legal for professionals to give in many jurisdictions anymore. Leading people to peace with who they are has become a crime.
Granted, success rates for this kind of help have never been high, particularly for the tiny minority who fit the former Gender Identity Disorder diagnosis. They start off hurting, and tragically many remain that way.
Yet the movement itself has caused hurt like that to multiply many times over. Trans persons once existed in fractions far less than 1 percent, but their numbers have lately risen to double digit percentages.
There are many, many more gender-conflicted people alive right now than there were just a decade ago, and we have only the movement to blame for it. Sensitivity to trans persons should really mean the sensitivity to stop the movement that’s creating so many of them.
Granted, many of these people carry long-term pain they would have expressed some other way, had there been “trans” path for acting it out. But that’s still no justification for trans activism.
Could It Be True? Is Jack Really Jill After All?
But what if Jack really is Jill? How would we know? How could Jack even know? If a Supreme Court justice doesn’t know what a woman is, where does Jack get that inviolable insight from? Matt Walsh asked a lot of people, “What is a woman?” He got no real answer except from people who haven’t forgotten that being woman means being a person of a certain age and sex.
It’s not even easy to tell what it could mean that Jack thinks he’s a woman. Maybe it means he wants to wear women’s clothes and do tea parties and do women-type chatty stuff — but, oh, my, that sounds awfully sexist, doesn’t it? Don’t blame me for it, though. Blame Jack for wanting it, and for connecting it in his mind with “being a woman.”
What does he even want, and does it really mean “woman”? Jack can tell us what he thinks about that, but the rest of us only have his word for it. If I want an authority on what it means to be a woman, it’s not Jack I’ll be asking. Not even if he’s absolutely convinced, even to the point where he’ll back it up with a whole new frilly wardrobe.
What Jack thinks is what Jack thinks, not what you or I are compelled to think. And it doesn’t come anywhere near justifying the control this movement wants to exercise over us all. It doesn’t explain why his thoughts and feelings trump the rest of ours.
So Many of Them?
It isn’t only “Jack,” as we all know. What about all the myriad others he represents, not to mention the “gender-fluid” types and all the rest? There are so many of them! True, but if Jack can’t know what it is to be the other sex, then a million Jacks can’t know, either, and the same for a million Jills.
And if we’re counting noses to decide who’s right, the movement never should have started in the first place. There were very few gender-variant people even ten years ago. Clearly the movement has made most of it happen. There’s something fishy about a group that takes over, and then creates its reasons only afterward.
No Moral Justification
The trans movement wants to make you responsible for Jack’s new gender, along with a million other Jacks and Jills besides. They’re more than willing to put power behind making you responsible. They can hold you accountable at school, on the job, in the club, and plenty of other places.
Don’t let the pressure fog your thinking on this: They can write a job description or school code that says you’re responsible, but they can’t make you morally responsible for any of it. Because they have no moral justification of their own. Only power.
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.