Political Editors / March 17, 2023

In Brief: How to Eradicate Transgenderism

American law only recently began to adopt the mistaken metaphysics of the transgender ideology.

The Rainbow Mafia has become the gravest threat to First Amendment rights in modern America. Speak or believe “wrongly,” and you will be silenced and canceled. Michael Knowles recently experienced the wrath of this group when decrying the “transgenderism” that has overtaken culture.

My recent call to eradicate transgenderism from public life has elicited shrieks and lies at every level of the liberal establishment, from activist organizations and the press — but I repeat myself — all the way up to the White House. And yet a week of invective and defamation has failed to produce even one substantive refutation of my argument. But of course: had the liberals been able to refute my argument, they would have felt no need to lie about what I said.

The liberals pretended that I called to eradicate “transgender people,” a dubious ontological category that nonetheless refers to real persons, when in fact I proposed the eradication of “transgenderism,” an ideology that weakens society and especially harms the poor people seduced by its false anthropology. Libel law soon forced the liberal news editors to change their defamatory headlines. But still the activists could not defend transgenderism, so the liberals retreated to their tried-and-true tactic of redefining words to control the political order.

“‘Transgenderism’ Is Just The Latest Example Of Anti-Trans Rhetoric,” wailed BuzzFeed, which quoted a Left-wing activist to argue that “transgenderism” is “a phony term made up by anti-transgender activists and used to dehumanize transgender people and target them, their lifesaving healthcare, and access to society.” That alleged phoniness and coinage by conservatives might surprise transgender activists themselves, who BuzzFeed later admitted had coined and popularized the term decades before it ever escaped the mouths of “anti-transgender activists.” Despite the historical incoherence and contradiction, the outlet made its point: everyone needs to stop talking about the ideology of transgenderism.

Obviously, “transgenderism” doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, Knowles says, which is why it’s off limits for discussion. They can’t define a woman, but they do know a man can claim to be one, so shut up. You are what you feel, they argue angrily. But, Knowles wryly asks, “If ‘man’ and ‘woman’ did not exist as meaningful categories, why would anyone undergo painful and expensive mutilations to resemble the opposite sex?”

He continues:

The more spiritual strains of transgenderism hold that an apparent man might really be a woman because of a conflict between his physical and metaphysical self: that he is a woman, for example, “trapped” inside a man’s body. According to this view, a person’s body has nothing to do with his true identity, which is instead purely metaphysical — the sort of thing we would traditionally call the soul. But can a person really be one sex in body and another in soul?

No, is the short answer, though Knowles explains in some detail before adding, “Defenders of transgenderism reject this conception of the relation between body and soul, but they have yet to expound a persuasive alternative.” He goes on:

Some perhaps well-meaning people prefer a laissez-faire approach to delusional political movements. And a tolerant, pluralistic society can tolerate a great deal of diversity and eccentricity. But even the most tolerant, most pluralistic society cannot tolerate everything precisely because ideas have consequences, and those consequences affect other people. As the poet John Donne observed, “No man is an island entire of himself.” We live together in society, and societies must come to conclusions about certain fundamental matters and then enforce those conclusions through law, custom, and culture.

If transgenderism is true — if men might really be women — then women have no right, for example, to their own public bathrooms. If transgenderism is false, as it is, then women might well have the right to their own bathrooms, and men — even men who consider themselves women — have no right to enter them. The same goes for sports teams, single-sex schools, and all the other special rights and spaces that women long enjoyed until the transgender movement took them away.

Knowles observes that the changes we’re seeing now came about only recently, thanks to leftist activists, though it has quickly had devastating consequences. He concludes:

No society need tolerate the inevitably disastrous consequences of nonsense. Our own country could once again eradicate transgenderism from public life with no more than a few tweaks to the law: the overturning of some recent statutes and regulations alongside the overruling of a recent Supreme Court decision that abolished civil rights on the basis of sex in favor of civil license on the basis of incoherent “gender identity.” Civilization has overcome similarly rotten ideas after longer periods of license. But as long as those ideas are allowed to fester, worse consequences will follow. Such is the nature of bad ideas made manifest.

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