Trans-activists would have us believe that one thing can change into another simply by force of will, but what else in the world works that way save for the Catholic belief that the wine and wafer become the body and blood of Christ except for the accidents of taste, color, and form?
Humor me with a series of small thought experiments if you will: A man informs his psychologist that he is actually a Martian trapped in a human body. How does the psychiatrist react? Martians, of course, don’t exist, but what if the man said he was truly a dog or a cat? Dogs and cats are different species, but what if the man said he was another race or ethnicity? That a white male was really the descendent of an African slave on the inside? I am not an expert on psychotherapy by any means, but it seems obvious to me that a psychiatrist would tread with caution. They might well take the man’s belief seriously and for purposes of the session explore the reasons why the person has come to this conclusion, but it seems impossible to believe the psychiatrist would conclude that the man is actually a Martian, dog, cat, or another ethnicity. Sadly, this is precisely what the transgender debate has devolved into over the past few years. In the activist’s mind, if a person declares themselves to be another gender, even choosing from those that only recently came into existence, that person is truly that gender. They are not someone that believes they are different from their biological sex. They truly are different from their biological sex in anyway that matters. At the same time, no process is proposed to explain how a person undertakes this transition from one gender to the other. How does saying something is so and believing something is so actually make it so? This sort of transmutation simply doesn’t exist in the scientific world outside of transgender theory. You cannot apply this line of thinking to anything else and expect to be taken seriously by anyone with a secular mind. The only thing that comes close is the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, where the wine and the wafer truly become the bloody and body of Christ during communion save for the accidents of color, taste, and form. In the same way, the trans-activists would have us believe that, should I wake up tomorrow, and declare to my wife in all sincerity that I am actually a woman, she should immediately accept that’s the case and treat me as a woman until I say otherwise. If she doesn’t, it’s her problem, not mine.
Belief statements in general, however, have always been tricky to analyze. A person can wholeheartedly believe something that isn’t true, and just as easily deny something that is. Philosophers of language have debated for decades how to analyze a simple statement: I believe the sky is green. Clearly, the sky is not green, but if a person believes it, the statement itself is nonetheless true, even though it refers to a falsehood. Therefore, we can accept that when a person declares they are a gender different from their birth, they might truly believe it. After all, there are billions of people in the world, and most of them believe something different than you do about even fundamental concerns such as where the universe and the people on earth came from in the first place. In diverse societies founded on freedom of speech and association at least, we respect those differences in belief. There is clearly room for agreement on the proper respect due to a person’s pronoun preferences and lifestyle choices. In general, I and many other conservatives believe we should refer to individuals as they prefer and have adopted a live and let live attitude towards people different from ourselves. Many even have no objection to private bathroom choices or other scenarios where a person is not naked in front of others, or where spaces are not designed for the safety of a specific biological sex. This seems a pretty reasonable line to be drawn, one where the rights and beliefs on both sides are respected, but that is not what the radical trans-activists are demanding. In their view, one must positively affirm their unfounded belief that a man who believes he is a woman is truly a woman with the exception of the accidents of their birth and biological gender, and vice versa. Anything less is considered erasing trans-people and promoting violence against them.
For obvious reasons, this part is rarely stated as plainly as I have here. Few really want to debate whether my wife should believe me a woman if I declare it so. Rather, it creeps out from time to time, as in a recent exchange between Republican Senator Josh Hawley and a professor. At hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee in July on abortion policy, the Senator suggested that only biological women can get pregnant. Professor Khiara M. Bridges of the UC Berkeley School of Law, a specialist in the intersectionality of race, class, and reproductive issues, took offense. “We can recognize that this issue [abortion] impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley,” she declared. “I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them as –” the professor continued until Senator Hawley interrupted her. “You’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancies?” he asked. “I want to note one out of five transgender persons have attempted suicide.” she replied. “Because of my line of questioning?” The Senator followed up. “Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist is dangerous,” Professor Bridges insisted. A baffled Senator Hawley replied, “I’m denying that trans people exist by asking you if you’re talking about women having pregnancies?” The professor changed direction, asking, “Do you believe that men can get pregnant?” “No. I don’t think men can get pregnant,” he answered, honestly. “You are denying that trans people exist,” Professor Bridges declared.
Putting this another way, if you do not believe a woman can turn into a man in truth, rather than in their own belief and preference, you are denying their existence and committing violence against them. It’s hard to encapsulate precisely how radical a position this is: There is no other category of being on Earth where anyone would insist you can change the nature of something simply by declaring it. Indeed, no one insisted upon this position concerning gender until fairly recently. They have not provided a mechanism as to why this specific category of identification is distinct from all others, or how a belief in a transition becomes an actual transition. If I can say I am a woman, why not an indigenous person or other minority? Those would both be less of a transition biologically speaking, but no one, or at least very few, would suggest that I can become black purely by believing it. It is only in the field of transgender theory where you must accept it as fact regardless or you are transphobic at best, committing violence at worst.
This is more than merely an academic question. A recent poll found that almost one in four Democrats believe a man can get pregnant. This number included more than a third of white college-educated women. “Overall, few Americans think men can get pregnant,” said WPAi, the group that conducted the survey, Managing Director Conor Maguire. “But with 36% of a core Democratic constituency (college-educated white Democratic women) and one out of five Democrat voters believing this, one can see why Democratic leaders coddle the radical gender theory movement.” The 36% figure for white college educated women is higher than the percentage of Catholics who believe the wine and the wafer actually become the body and blood of Christ during communion. A 2019 poll found that only 31% of Catholics believe it is more than symbolic, as Protestants have since the time of Martin Luther. The result has been the rise of new phrases, such as “menstruating persons” and “pregnant persons” to describe biological processes that only people born as women can truly experience. The explosion of new terms has been even more disturbingly accompanied by new “guidelines” for gender “affirming” “medical care” targeted at teenagers and younger. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health is actively working on its Standards of Care Version 8, which is expected to lower the age requirement for breast removal to 15 years and genital surgery, removal of either the uterus or the testicles, to 17. Many children’s hospitals are expected to adopt these standards in addition to hormone therapies that are already available. Seattle Children’s Hospital, for example, currently uses the 18 year old minimum age for “gender-affirming genital procedures,” but offers “other” transgender services at a “typical age” of “mid-teens or older.” “While we tailor gender-affirming surgical treatment to the individual, patients cared for at Seattle Children’s must first meet a set of specific criteria as outlined in the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care,” a Seattle Children’s spokesperson explained in a statement to Fox News Digital. “We will consider age, stage of puberty, desired future treatments, support systems and any current or past health problems before proceeding with surgery. With this in mind, the average age for gender-affirming chest surgery at Seattle Children’s is 18.”
The euphemisms abound: By “gender affirming,” they actually mean “gender erasing.” These surgeries do not turn a man into a woman or the reverse by adding the necessary body parts and changing the gender of their birth. Rather, they remove the remnants of the birth gender literally by cutting appendages off. They eradicate it, surgically and permanently. The idea that removing someone’s testicles now constitutes “healthcare” which might be available to juniors in high school should be frightening to anyone not committed to the movement. Once upon a time we had a word for men with their testicles removed, one popularized in Game of Thrones: Eunuchs. Powerful people would remove the male genitals of their slaves and employ them to guard their harem or other tasks not suited to biological men. The practice dates back to the Sumarian city of Lagash some 4,000 years ago. The procedure is, of course, irreversible, a person who undergoes it can never get their manhood back, ever. Likewise for a woman who has her breasts removed. It is difficult to believe that anyone thinks a 15 year old child should be making these kinds of decisions before they can even legally drive. This is doubly true when we know for a fact that some who do proceed with irreversible procedures, including prepubescent hormone therapy, ultimately want to turn back. The process is called detransitioning and it appears to be vastly understudied. Based on the available data, somewhere between 1% and 8% of transgender people decide they want to go back to their original gender. Those who have had massive hormone therapy or “gender affirming” surgery cannot do so, however, and will spend the rest of their lives stuck in a gender netherworld. It certainly seems like a reasonable proposition that more and more people will fall into this category as these types of “medical care” are available to younger and younger people.
In the meantime, one can’t help but wonder how an obvious falsehood – that the nature of something can fundamentally change into something else by declaration – has so completely gripped the minds of a significant segment of the population. These are some of the very same people who would be apt to mock religious people for believing in miracles, and yet they fully embrace them here. How can that be? I would suggest it has become something of a litmus test. It is impossible to me that well-adapted, high-functioning men and women truly believe the sexes are so easily adaptable, but saying so means you are embracing a certain political perspective. It is a declaration that you are one of them, akin to George Orwell’s 1984 and the notion that two plus two equals five. “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it.” In my view, the same principle is at play here to the detriment of us all: There is a debate to be had on this issue. People, whatever their beliefs, deserve to be respected. Insisting men can become women in truth and the other way around only serves to erase gender and is not the way to have it.