There seems to be a growing effort on the Left to make it acceptable to turn children into sexual or sexually-self-aware beings, perhaps best exemplified by Teen Vogue‘s recent anal-sex how-to manual for thirteen-year-olds. There is very likely not a parent out there who would be okay with his or her thirteen-year-old engaging in butt sex. But the Left has apparently decided that it’s acceptable for the youngest adolescents among us to stick penises in their rectums, and so apparently we’re expected to go along with it. Liberals can mobilize remarkably quickly if, say, a high school won’t let a young man into the girls’ locker room, but when a very popular teen magazine encourages young boys and girls to do “butt stuff,” as Teen Vogue called it, then suddenly the hordes of protestors—outside of a few whacko right-wing prudes who are totally stuck in the 1950s, anyway—are nowhere to be found.
Funny, that. I take a dim view of sexually deviant behavior—it is generally either gross, or a sin, or else (and often) both—but I am not of the mind that it should be illegal between consenting adults, inasmuch as there are a whole host of other sins and perversions we do not outlaw. And yet. There is some reason to wonder whether or not a legal regime that errs on the side of sexual prudence might not serve some practical purpose outside of the actions it is meant to prohibit. Put another way: sixty years ago sodomy was illegal in every state. Fourteen years ago it become legal in every one of them. Last month Teen Vogue advised thirteen-year-olds how to “safely” sodomize each other. Is there a direct line running through these three events? Probably so.
To be fair, if you had asked an anal sex activist six decades ago whether or not he believed prepubescents should be coached on the finger aspects of butt sex, he probably would have given you an unequivocal “no” in response: old-school sodomists might have been down for just about anything, sure, but they still had standards. These days the cutting edge of things is to encourage girls to stick it up there possibly before they’re old enough to have had their first period. It’s interesting how things tend to grow over time—mission creep, they call it (with an emphasis on the “creep,” in Teen Vogue‘s case).
This phenomenon is getting worse, not better. Last week at the Federalist, my friend and colleague Bre Payton took a look at Planned Parenthood’s latest foray into child sexualization:
The nation’s largest abortion provider just released guidelines for parents instructing them how to talk to their preschool-aged children about gender identity.
Planned Parenthood’s new guide insists that telling a child that genitals differentiate the sexes is wrong.
“While the most simple answer is that girls have vulvas and boys have penises/testicles [writes Planned Parenthood], that answer isn’t true for every boy and girl. Boy, girl, man, and woman are words that describe gender identity, and some people with the gender identities ‘boy’ or ‘man’ have vulvas, and some with the gender identity ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ have penises/testicles. Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl.”
Now, on the one hand—according to contemporary “gender identity” philosophy, which is of course constantly in flux—this whole spiel is about “identity,” not sexuality: one’s “gender identity” is held to be a distinct concept from that of one’s sexual orientation. But does anyone really believe that this effort will not lead inexorably to the sexualizing of “preschool-aged children?” Why should it not? Transgenderism, in spite of the insistence of its partisans, is itself already a deeply sexual phenomenon: a great deal of practical transgender philosophy, after all, revolves around the manipulation and mutilation of sexual and reproductive organs, and partisans have always naturally placed transgenderism within the same activist sphere of lesbian, gay and bisexual concerns (hence the “LGBT”). I am certain that transgender enthusiasts are more than happy to assure us that, no, they are not trying to make preschoolers into sexual beings. And I am sure, five or ten or fifteen years from now, they’ll be saying, “What’s the big deal, anyway? Don’t be such a prude.” As I intend to continue paying the maintenance costs on this site for that long, you can come back here and refer to this blog post at that time, or else just send me a congratulatory letter in my remote Shenandoah survivalist cabin.
Transgenderism—the belief that one is a boy, or a girl, when one is clearly not—is at best a fleeting delusion and at worst a persistent mental illness. I will not take part in it. As a commenter said a few months ago here at Trial of the Century:
[T]he term “man” denotes a biological male, who we refer to as he/him; “woman,” biological female, she/her. These are just words we use to reflect hard truths, of which sex is one. The sticking point of the transgender argument—at least for me—is that I’m “supposed” to refer to a biological male as “she” because he wants me to. Since words matter, I will not do this, as it is categorically wrong. In the interest of comity, I would be open to not referring to this man as *anything,* if that would keep the peace. But, if pressed, I would not lie and join in the delusion and call him a woman. That’s my hangup.
Just so. I will not raise my own children according to the stupid and perverted directions of Planned Parenthood—an organization, mind you, that usually has the absolute worst interests of children at heart. If you take both your reproductive and child-rearing advice from Planned Parenthood, you are very likely going to end up with some seriously damaged children, if any of them make it to term, anyway.