We’re Here. Now What?

I am not quite sure what we’re supposed to do about modern American liberalism, insofar as it is consolidating itself along ever-more intolerant and dictatorial lines and is apparently refining its ruthlessness by the day, if not the hour. There was once a time not very long ago when the average person’s experience with progressivism’s oppressive impulse began and ended with silly political correctness: you learned there was a new word or descriptor or insult you could not say anymore, “black,” for instance, or “stewardess,” or “retard,” or “gay,” and maybe you were okay with not saying some of these words—maybe they had a point about some of them—but in any case even if you didn’t like it you just shook your head and muttered “You can’t say anything anymore,” and moved on with your life. This was, let’s say, a kind of 1990s phenomenon: comedians made some jokes about it, some people grumbled, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

But that was then and this is now, and you can’t really just shake your head anymore. The stakes are higher and you kind of have to adapt—i.e. break yourself to the progressive saddle—or die. This is the way they have designed it. Out of San Francisco comes the latest shot fired over the latest bow:

The ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Southern California, the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP today filed a lawsuit against Dignity Health for denying care to a transgender patient.

Filed on behalf of Evan Minton, the suit argues that withholding medical care because of a patient’s gender identity is sex discrimination in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

Minton, 35, is a transgender man who was scheduled to receive a hysterectomy in September at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, a hospital in the Dignity Health chain. Two days prior to the appointment, a nurse called to discuss the surgery and Minton mentioned that he is transgender. The next day, the hospital canceled the procedure.

“The refusal of Dignity Health to allow a doctor to perform this common procedure simply because the patient is transgender is discriminatory,” said Elizabeth Gill, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. “This is a hospital that is open to the general public so it’s illegal for them to turn away someone based on gender identity.”

The most salient aspect to this lawsuit is this: “gender identity” does not, strictly speaking, exist. It’s a fake, nonexistent thing, a word used as a stand-in for a mental illness, promulgated by activists and half-bright socio-sexual anarchists who are too cowardly to call the mental illness for what it is and too opportunistic to pass up using it for their own ends. In other words, the ACLU is attempting to bring conscientious objectors to heel at in service to a sick fraud. (And, California being California, there’s a decent chance they will succeed.)

But the more pressing practical concern is this: even if transgenderism were an authentic and actualized phenomenon rather than a fake one borne of psychological misperception, that still wouldn’t justify the lawsuit: the young woman in question admits that she was “eventually able to schedule the surgery at another hospital.” So she got what she wanted, and Dignity Health got what it wanted, and everyone should be happy at this point, no lawsuit needed, no further action necessary. That’s the simple and uncomplicated greatness of living with pluralism as an a priori assumption of the civic order: at the end of the day two parties with conflicting viewpoints and philosophies can almost always go home happy and unharmed.

That’s not the way things work anymore. Nor is this simply a matter of a hospital shaking its head and muttering, “You can’t deny healthy women hysterectomies anymore.” The issues at stake here are far more important than feminists whining about the term “manhole cover,” or whether or not you’re still allowed to say “African-American.” The concept of a deeply pluralistic society, in which factional strife is kept at a minimum and there are a million good ways to do a billion different things, is not a virtue in the Left’s eyes; it’s a sin, a kind of perversion of the natural order, an order which skews ever-more left with each passing day. The phrase “We’re not a hospital that removes perfectly healthy uteruses” might, once upon a time, have been uncontroversial, even laudatory. Now it is literally on the verge of becoming criminal. How did that happen? More importantly, why did it happen? Ask yourself. And do not be blind to what exactly is happening here.

One comment

  1. David

    There is a tendency in any discussion of politics to be overly simplistic & I think you are guilty of that in this case. In particular you make two assumptions that are not well borne out by the facts.

    Before I continue, I want you to know that I partially agree with you to the extent that I believe that, at least in some cases, a person declaring themselves to identify with the opposite gender, may be doing so for reasons that are based on psychological factors or even just plain “teen” rebellion rather than for any physiological reasons. I would also be inclined to support the hospital in the case you cite, based on the information you give. My reason being that, if the plaintiff was seeking the surgery for the purposes of “gender re-assignment” & the plaintiff withheld that important piece of information from the hospital, then I believe that the hospital is within its rights to reject the surgery.

    There are a number of physical phenomena that occur naturally & have been associated with “transgender identity.” To consider one of the best known examples, to describe someone with Klinefelter’s syndrome as being “mentally ill” is extremely ignorant. However, Klinefelter’s syndrome produces a human who is neither male nor female. It has been common past practice for doctor’s at birth to make the call on whether to declare the child as male or female. Sometimes they would even perform surgeries on the newborn to “delete” the “inappropriate” sex characteristics. Given that most human societies are oriented towards a polarity of only male or female, it shouldn’t be surprising that someone with Klinefelter’s or a number of other syndromes will be inclined to adopt the characteristics of one of the two primary sexes. It should also not be a surprise that sometimes the person isn’t inclined to agree with what the doctor might have chosen. It

    The 2nd issue you raise is the suggestion that it might be inappropriate for a person to have surgery to remove healthy tissue. In this case, a healthy uterus. Are you of the position that a hospital should deny elective surgeries for other than health reasons? Are you opposed to vasectomies & tubal ligations? How about cosmetic surgeries? I personally like to stay away from hospitals & will go to significant lengths to deal with my physical issues on my own rather than through a medical intervention. However, I do support the right of an individual to act according to their perception of their own self-interest even if I think their choice is stupid, so long as their choice doesn’t inappropriately infringe on the rights of others.

    Anyway, the my primary point is that the assumption that God made the universe in black & white is contrary to the evidence & a sign of mental laziness to which I doubt that you would ascribe. God made many variations of humanity & while there are two dominant sexual variants, to expect or demand that everyone to conform to just those two is a tyranny at least as great as what you accuse of liberalism.