From our special correspondent, Esteban DeGolf:
Given the amount of attention transgender issues (or am I supposed to say “issues of transgender”) are drawing there are a few things that have been ignored that I think ought to be discussed.
Just an aside, but I can’t help recalling the scene from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” about Loretta. You can search for “Life of Brian right to have babies scene” if you don’t remember it. I can’t help wondering if the members of Monty Python have been called on the carpet to abjectly apologize for this scene. To speak of “life imitating art” a number of lines that were a total farce at that time would pass for a serious discussion today:
Judith: “Why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?”
Stan: “I want to have babies”
Reg: “You want to have babies?”
Stan: “It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them”
Reg: “You can’t have babies”
Stan/Loretta: “Don’t you oppress me”
Judith: “Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans, but that he can have the right to have babies”
Moving on, there is an important aspect of these discussions that I find is glossed over or ignored. I think there are two primary ways a transgender person may describe their situation (in this example I’m using male/female but it works the same the other way around, just so I’m not triggering anybody):
Option 1 – “I know I have male genitalia and X and Y chromosomes, therefore biologically I am a male, but I’ve always thought I should have been born a woman”
Option 2 – “I don’t care what my genitalia or chromosomes are, I am a female”
I’m comfortable with discussions about how we deal with Option 1 situations, hopefully we can find accommodations that work pretty well for the vast majority of people. However, is it just me, or does it not seem that Option 2 is delusional? If we agree that Option 2 must be treated as legitimate (or venerated) can we apply this to other traits such as race, species, century, etc.? I think I want to be Napoleon. I heard a psychologist discussing the practice of allowing young children to select their gender and even begin treatments to change it who noted “if your second grader comes home and tells you they’re in the CIA you don’t respond, ‘great honey, what’s your code name?’”
Another puzzler – a year or so back, in college sports in the U.S. the NCAA ran a particular commercial/PSA quite often. A young woman would drive a soccer ball forcefully into the back of the net, turn to the camera and say “I’m over it”. Then a female volleyball player would hammer a spike over the net and note “so am I”. Finally another impressive female athlete would proclaim “genders don’t play sports, athletes do”. I never understood what their point was. Given that the NCAA is at 99 on the PC scale I can only assume it was meant to be supportive of transgenders, although I could interpret it in the opposite direction. Assuming I’m right that it was the PC message I find it gobsmacking – these young women have a scholarship to play on women’s teams and would be out of work if young men are allowed to declare themselves transgendered and compete with them. There have been at least a few instances where men who identify as women have seriously hurt women in competition and if enough men wish to take advantage of this there probably won’t be a single woman who can compete in sports.
One final point that I think is important and overlooked. The PC crowd ask “why are you so mean, if we allow transgender people to live as they see themselves what’s the harm?” – or something to that affect. However, I think there is a slight flaw in their plan. First, we have to accept whatever someone tells us regarding their gender identity. Second, once they have made this known we have to treat them as if that is not just their gender identity but their biological sex. Does anyone think this won’t lead to at least a few cases of abuse? If I want to hang out in the ladies locker room to watch them shower and dress, all I have to do is say I identify as a woman – perhaps not even that, it might be a microaggression to ask why I’m there. Likewise, if there is a scholarship available for the women’s basketball team any man who is willing to say he identifies as a woman is free to try out.
I suppose a lot of what is troubling about this comes down to the point of “Chesterton’s Fence” – if you haven’t thought this through perhaps you should slow down bit.