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Monday, August 22, 2022

Becoming Something Else - The Strange And Weird Culture Of Transgender Identity

There were certainly transgenders in George Washington’s day, but in the early days of the Republic they lived without notice, apprenticed as coopers, hay trussers, and harriers.  They avoided marriages as long as they could, but were eventually wed. Since sex in those days was a perfunctory reproductive act, their distaste for it was rarely noticed.  

In fact, it was a telling statement of the times that because the social heterosexual norm was so unquestioned, and because aberration from it was so condemned, men and women of unsure sexuality simply went on with their business; and while they might have dreamed of being a sex other than what Nature had prescribed, the dream was no more compelling that one of flying or visiting other planets.

Image result for Images George Washington. Size: 150 x 267. Source: www.pinterest.com

Transgenders were anomalies - discordant notes in the natural world no different than spotted sheep.  They kept a low profile and their particular sexual ambitions as ill-defined as they might have been under wraps -  perhaps an occasional muslin dress or frilly petticoat put on in secret, but such sexual aberration was kept very quiet.  

Besides, there were too few such individuals to make a splash, far fewer than the fraction of one percent in today’s society, a figure inflated by social contagion. Hamilton or Adams never wondered who in their households or law offices were some sex other than what they they seemed.

Some eras were kinder to transgenders than others.  The court of Louis XIV was known for its baroque opulence, wealth displayed in the sumptuous elegance of the palace of Versailles, the rich finery of court with its powdered wigs, waistcoats, full boned bodices, cartridge-pleated skirts, silk leggings, and fine Italian leather slippers.  The age was a perfect cover for transgenders who, dressed in the style of the Sun King, were males as close to females as society would allow. It was a perfect cover for men who were really women.

Image result for images louis xiv

Today’s America, of course, is a far cry from the courtly men of Louis’ day.  Sexual variation is out in the open and ambitiously encouraged.  Kindergarteners are taught that although they might be physically born a traditional male or female, there is no reason to hide their interior selves. A child’s emergence into the mature sexual being of his or her choice is a teacher’s responsibility and duty and society’s challenge.  

The most liberal-thinking of school districts invite transgenders to speak to children, expose them to the ‘naturality’ of sex change, or in more appropriate language, their ‘preferred sexual identity’.

‘What are you?’, asked Bobby Leach to Belinda Maxwell, formerly Blanton Maxwell, feared prosecutor in the DC Appellate Court.  There was no fooling Bobby Leach however, who saw the five-o’clock shadow beneath the make up and the fullback shoulders. 

‘You don’t sound like a girl’, said Bobby.  Indeed vocal harmony was the one sore spot in Blanton’s transition.  No amount of coaching, larynx therapy, and drama training could disguise Blanton’s basso profondo which came out as a higher-pitched, raspy falsetto.

‘Now, Bobby’, said Mrs. Thomas, his third grade teacher, ‘let’s let Miss Maxwell finish’.

‘But Mrs. Thomas’, insisted Bobby, ‘she’s weird’.

At least Bobby had gotten his pronouns right.  Although he might have been aware of the growling male beneath the frills and high heels, he said ‘she’, not he; and that was a step forward.  The rest would come.

Unfortunately Mrs. Thomas, an older teacher who had undergone gender reconditioning training missed the latest in identity verification.   Transgenders were not to be referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she’, but ‘they’.  The brain trust had determined that given the dual identity of transgenders, their plurality must be recognized via ‘pronoun affixation’. 

Had Mrs. Thomas learned this nuance and instructed her pupils in proper, signifying grammar, Bobby would have said, ‘They’re weird’, referring not to all transgenders, but to this particular one. 

The Academy had not yet figured out how to refer to multiple transgenders in speaking, although it had agreed that in writing ‘they’ should be indicated as they2.

The academy was debating the idea of using ‘theys’ in spoken language, but this was too close to Huckleberry Finn black dialect (‘Sho, nuff, they’s gone’) and so quickly abandoned it.  Yet, if ‘they’ was now to be used as a collective noun for a transgender individual, then reference to many such individuals would require a different, distinct term.

This he-she-they conundrum, according to proponents of pronoun distinction, was not simply a matter of vocabulary or grammar, but always a reflection of culture.  Words, phrases, and their formulation were gender signifiers; and ‘they’ for transgenders acknowledges both ‘natal’ identity and ‘mature becoming’.

To anyone outside the woke community, this was simply more academic self-importance and high-toned fol-de-rol.  Religious fundamentalists saw such sexual deformation as the sign of the Second Coming and pointed to God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  America was no different from the fleshpots of the Bible, deserving of divine retribution.  Transgenderism was the final straw of a sinful, evil society turned inward on itself, defying God’s creation and moral order.  

It was not only an offense to Him and his world, but the transgression that beggared all others.  By such deformation of God’s purpose, the Holy Family was desecrated and the integrity of a divinely ordered universe torn apart.  Radical sexual deviation was anathema to the faithful, an insult to God, and a terrible perjuring of his law.

Image result for Images The Second Coming. Size: 165 x 206. Source: www.impactpostersgallery.com

Secular skeptics were no less critical of what seemed to be the most baroque exaggeration of identity politics.  It was bad enough, they said, to demean human intelligence, wit, insight, talent, and natural ability and value only race, gender, and ethnicity; but to raise sexual aberration to the highest standard of a progressive society and to tout it as the new human order was another altogether. 

It not only created space for a weird and unusual phenomenon, it suggested that all precepts of moral order and all social principles derived from it were meaningless. It transformed social relativity, always a by-word of liberal interpretation, into doctrinal, received wisdom.  By focusing on the most absolute, fundamental, indisputable characteristic of mankind – heterosexuality - everything was up for debate.  This was the true, revolutionary purpose of transgender activism and rallied secular conservatives with as much passion as that of the sectarian.

However even the most case-hardened progressive has had doubts about transgenderism.  Young liberal parents in school districts where curriculum changes included specific reference to gender selection and the denial of genetic determination, were becoming queasy.  Deep down and regardless of their progressive sympathies, it was simply wrong for their boys to dress up like girls and to be told that very soon they could become them.

There was something insidious and wrong about such aggressive activism in any venue, but especially kindergarten.  As a result, all the more modest attempts to promote sexual equality and inclusion – dolls for boys, trucks for girls – were scrapped in favor of gender confirmation.  Machismo, male bonding, and reinforcement of boys’ natural inclinations to be aggressive, physical, and dominant were encouraged. 

Eventually the miniscule numbers of hermaphrodites – this, despite grammatical rejiggering is the correct term – will be correctly placed in their proper place in the social order, acknowledged as unusual surprises in the ordinary play of genetic determination, treated compassionately, and left alone.  Transgenderism will no longer be a rallying cry for social revolution, and the likes of Belinda/Blanton Maxwell will make no more appearances in kindergartens. 

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