The big lie of gay marriage was always the idea that gay marriage itself “will not affect you.” But that lie is more broadly construed throughout much of the LGBTQ phenomenon as well: everything that you were once told was none of your concern is slowly but surely becoming your concern.
Case in point: transgenderism, which up until about five minutes ago was quaintly viewed as a more-or-less insular experience that had little to do with anybody outside of the vanishing fraction of individuals who “identify” as “transgender.” That is no longer the case. Yes, we’re all familiar with the bathroom controversy, as well as the whole weightlifting thing. But the militant trans ethic doesn’t stop there. It is now not simply a matter of young women having to participate in competitive sports against men, nor that your daughter might have to share a bathroom with adult males. As it turns out, transgender ideology may in fact demand that you feel sexual desire towards transgender individuals themselves:
Acording to Everyday Feminism’s transgender feminist Riley J. Dennis, if you have a “genital preference” and are not sexually attracted to both a penis and vagina, you are transphobic; or, as he interchangeably uses, “cissexist.”
In a video posted last week, Riley argues that “genital preference” is actually a form of discrimination against trans people. For instance, if you “[identify]” as a straight male but have a preference for women without penises…you’re transphobic…
“I’m trying to show that preferences for women with vaginas over women with penises might be partially informed by the influence of a cissexist society,” Riley continues.
On the one hand this argument is fairly sad; it betrays such a desperate craving for acceptance, for love, for respect, for sexual fulfillment—all perfectly normal and understandable human emotions, one that are felt just as easily by the mentally ill as they are by healthy individuals. Yet at the same time you have to admire the sheer chutzpah of this gambit. Twenty years ago—even ten or five—it would have been the height of folly to assume that this brutally illogical and bizarre and inexplicable argument could find any purchase in our society, much less than anyone would make it with a straight face. Things are different now.
The overall outcome here is meant to be one of self-questioning and self-doubt; the end-game of Riley Dennis’s effort is to encourage men and women to feel uneasy about enjoying heterosexual sexual activity with each other. It is ultimately an effort at social destabilization, which is the necessary precursor to any cultural revolution. Yet maybe what is most interesting here is the shift from the dominant sexual laissez-faire principles of the modern Left to a kind of Maoist sexual self-criticism that still somehow feels more or less reactionary. Picture in your mind’s eye a person who criticizes and shames other people for their natural sexual desires. Did you picture a dour old frowning patriarch? Or did you picture a “queer, trans, nonbinary lesbian?” Either way, the latter is where we are right now.
You might be tempted to dismiss Riley Dennis’s opinion as fringe, irrelevant, not representative of the movement as a whole. But you have not been paying attention. What is fringe today will likely be utterly mainstream in a year’s time, if that. Within eighteen months it might be unconscionable among rank-and-file cultural liberals to claim that you have a “genital preference.” Why should it not? We live in a country where the President of the United States mandated that every public school in the country allow boys into girls’ restrooms, a world where we are genuinely expected to believe that men can give birth. The idea that “genital preference” is some sort of invidious discriminatory preference is hardly that big of a leap.
We’ve been exposed to this for so long that we’re apt to forget how categorically insane so much of it is—how crazy it is, for instance, to insist that men can somehow give birth to babies. If you’re not all that numb to it, you can still appreciate the fundamental howling madness of it all. For instance, it is still sometimes mind-blowing to see the arguments that transgender partisans will put forward to justify their beliefs:
If you’re enraged by the garbage meme floating around Facebook claiming that it’s a “psychological disorder” to identify with a gender different from the one you were born with, you’re not the only one.
Sick of seeing the meme make the rounds, biology teacher Grace Pokela decided to use actual science to issue an expert clapback that’s now gone viral. On Thursday, Pokela took to Facebook to post an exposition explaining why human genetics just doesn’t work the way that this meme claims.
“You can be male because you were born female, but you have 5-alpha reductase deficiency and so you grew a penis at age 12,” she wrote. “You can be female because you have an X and a Y chromosome but you are insensitive to androgens, and so you have a female body.”
“Don’t use science to justify your bigotry,” she concluded. “The world is way too weird for that shit.”
This is an intellectual and scientific mess, an absolute travesty coming from someone who presumes to teach “science” to young people. For starters, Pokela seems to have missed the core tenet of transgenderism: that “gender” and “biological sex” are two different phenomena, and that the former has absolutely nothing to do with the latter. Assuming for the sake of argument that this is true, then one couldn’t possibly justify or explain transgenderism by using an argument from biology. Intersex conditions, which are purely a product of biological development, surely having nothing at all to do with the “social construct” of gender.
More importantly: yes, there are individuals who suffer from conditions like 5-alpha reductase deficiency and AIS. These conditions are known as diseases—medical abnormalities that are deviations from the standard biological and physiological norms. Citing a medical condition like 5-ARD in this context makes absolutely no sense at all: it would be comparable to one person saying, “Humans are bipedal animals,” and another one saying, “Um, well, actually, some humans are born without legs.” No serious student of science is so aggressively and absurdly pedantic as this: real scientists allow for aberrations in a natural system while recognizing and assuming a priori a dominant and predictable biological order. Human beings—Homo sapiens—are innately ordered to a male/female biological dichotomy; to dispute this is to dispute millions of years of evolution and natural order. In short, Grace Pokela is wrong both from sociology and biology, and it is an open question as to whether or not she should be a teacher at all.