On Sex Change Regret, Part III: Dr. Money vs. Dr. McHugh

You may have come here from Drudge Report today, which linked to my Federalist article Trouble in Transtopia.  So this seems like a good time to post again.  This time, a few words about physicians.

John Money (1921-2006) is perhaps the doctor most responsible for promoting the idea of surgical sex changes.  He was widely known as a pioneering sexologist, and was responsible for founding of the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins University.  Below is a documentary of Money’s most famous case today, the tragedy of David Reimer.

Money was so passionate about his gender identity theory, that he jumped at the chance to put it into practice on a baby.  David Reimer (born Bruce, 1965-2002) was an identical twin whose penis was destroyed by a botched circumcision.  Money convinced David’s parents to raise him as a girl.  It didn’t work and the story is thoroughly tragic.  Biology trumped the social experiment, as biology always does in the end.  Dr. Money had kept pushing for surgery to construct a vagina, but David (“Brenda”) resisted, and his parents decided to stop seeing Dr. Money.  They soon after told him he was a boy.  At that point, by the time he was 14, David then dropped all of the charades Money foisted upon him.  But before he was 40, he committed suicide.  You can read David’s story in John Colapinto’s 2001 book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl.

There are physicians who are skeptical of such blind passion for gender reassignment surgery, though you wouldn’t know it as you watch the transgender project go into media hyperdrive these days.  One of the skeptics is Dr. Paul McHugh, the psychiatrist responsible for shutting down the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins in 1979.

McHugh wrote about his experiences at Johns Hopkins in a 2004 First Things article entitled “Sexual Surgery,” and then recently reiterated his arguments in an op-ed this past summer in the Wall Street Journal. If you’re interested in this topic, it’s worth checking those links.  Here’s an excerpt:

We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.

In Britain, Az Hakeem was almost as concerned as McHugh, writing in a 2007 article entitled “Trans-sexuality: A Case of the Emperor’s New Clothes,” that transgenderism was a “delusional disorder.”  Having come under extraordinary pressure from trans advocates, Hakeem has pretty much recanted that view since then. Nevertheless, he apparently still runs a psychotherapy program in a clinic that allows those who are pondering surgery to speak in a group setting with post-operative patients who express regret about their decisions.  In this way, he hopes to make sure that anyone considering surgery has a chance to talk it through as much as possible before making irreversible life-altering decisions to refashion or remove healthy body parts. In reading Hakeem’s website, particularly the FAQs, it’s clear that he is hyper-sensitive to the concerns of transgender activists who have in the past called him “transphobic.”

Since the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association both seem to work in lockstep with the transgender lobby today, they will likely continue to place increasing pressure to silence and discredit any psychiatrist who questions surgical sex, as does Paul McHugh.  If they have their way, you’ll likely see the story of David Reimer get suppressed and then see social experimenter John Money get resurrected as some kind of a hero.  In the meantime, more psychiatrists like Az Hakeem will be nudged and pressured to get with the trans program.

 

On Sex Change Regret: Part II

Consider the case of Matthew Attonley in the clip below.  There was a lot of media hype in Britain about his “transition to female” but now he wants the National Health Service there to reverse it.  You can also click here for a link to the story in a British paper.

I don’t think “gender identity dysphoria” is being effectively treated at all.  (Did I hear that right from this confused young man when he recalls how he felt the need to “get [his] boobs”?) No, surgery and hormones don’t “treat” this condition. The condition is being cultivated.  The media and Hollywood are cultivating it and seem blithely unconcerned about any of the underlying psychological reasons for it.  Individuals who are being hyped as examples — increasingly children — are being used as guinea pigs in a social experiment in which we are all, in fact, subjects.

Let’s think this through.  Transgender law requires that we all accept the false premise that our sex was “assigned” to us at birth.  Not identified, but “assigned.” In other words, your biological maleness or femaleness is not real.  According to this scheme, your physical sex is simply in your head.   When what’s in your head doesn’t “match” your genitalia, that’s called gender identity dysphoria.  When it “matches,” well there’s a fairly new and highly weaponized word for that:  “cisgender” which simply means you accept your body as is and don’t perseverate about your biological sex. In the trans scheme of things being “cisgender” means you are “privileged.”  Hence, the laws about everybody’s sexual identity (through the catchphrase “assigned at birth”) must be changed for the sake of “equality.”

If this is written into law across the board — and it already has been in many states and municipalities — we will eventually have no choice but to discard our sex as a legal distinction of who we are. Each and every one of us.  The implications are vast for legal recognition of motherhood, fatherhood, childhood, families, and, in fact, all human relationships.

The gender dysphoria craze illustrates the depths of dysfunction that our society has fallen into.

To begin with, it’s a grand fallacy to try to get the world to go along with an internal perception of who you think you are when that perception conflicts so directly with physical reality.  But the main fault lies with a tiny elite who are intent on enforcing the notion that human biology is meaningless, and that sex differences ought to be erased.  The snake oil of gender identity is the vehicle by which our biological differences are written out of law.  In that way mothers and fathers are written out of law, as is the family.  This does great violence to children.

And, in the meantime, it does great violence to those who bought the snake oil, used it, and then woke up to find themselves physically and psychologically mutilated.  As did Alan Finch. 

Alan Finch  decided to transition from male to female during his 20’s, a resident of Australia.  At 36, Finch told the Guardian newspaper in a 2004 interview:

“transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists . . . You fundamentally can’t change sex . . . the surgery doesn’t alter you genetically.  It’s genital mutilation.  My ‘vagina’ was just the bag of my scrotum.  It’s like a pouch, like a kangaroo.  What’s scary is you still feel like you have a penis when you’re sexually aroused.  It’s like phantom limb syndrome.  It’s all been a terrible misadventure.   I’ve never been a woman, just Alan . . . the analogy I use about giving surgery to someone desperate to change sex is it’s a bit like offering liposuction to an anorexic.”

Alan went on to sue the Australian gender identity clinic, at Melbourne’s Monash Medical Center, for misdiagnosis.  The reaction from the transgender community was fast and furious and abusive, particularly in the Susans.org discussion forum.

Next time, I’ll provide a couple of links on what some physicians have to say.

On Sex Change Regret: Part I

Walt Heyer, blogger at www.sexchangeregret.com. He lived as woman for many years and de-transitioned back to living as a man.

When people change their bodies they tend to do so in the hopes of changing their relationships with others. Think about it.  In a real sense, elective surgery is not so much about self-perception as it is about our expectations of others who do the perceiving.   Body modification is usually based in a wish to be perceived a certain way, in a certain light.  And, guess what?  It generally doesn’t work out as we might expect. Social affirmation is not going to be unanimous. Simply looking in the mirror can be a major wake up for some as well.

Consider just plain old elective cosmetic surgeries. There’s loads of regret for that.   A recent poll revealed that a full two-thirds of Britons who had cosmetic surgery regretted it.  People in that situation — as well as untold numbers who want their tattoos removed — have plenty of places to go on the internet to look for remedies and support.

But what about people who regret sex change surgery?   In those tragic cases, there are precious few places to go for help.  It’s a politically incorrect topic, one that transgender activists do not want discussed publicly.  They police and suppress much of the conversation on sex change regret, and you can read a comprehensive discussion of that in Sheila Jeffreys’ 2014 book Gender Hurts.

Reddit censorship of people who wish to discuss de-transitioning is discussed on this blog called Third Way Trans.  So you might view my post today as a modest compendium of links from around the internet for those interested in this topic. (I’ll have more to follow.)

Walt Heyer, pictured above, has a particularly compassionate outreach to regretters online, which is possibly why he is a target of scorn by transgender activists.   Heyer had sex reassignment surgery decades ago, and lived as a woman for many years.  He came to regret it so much that he now offers a blog called sexchangeregret.com and transdetransition.com as outreach to others who are struggling and in need of support.  He has authored three relevant books:  Paper Genders, Gender, Lies and Suicide, and Trading my Sorrows.

On youtube you can find some videos — examples here, here, and maybe the last five minutes here —  of young and old who go public to talk about their decision to de-transition.  An interesting thread through these examples is all are extremely apologetic and tentative in “coming out” as de-transitioners — as though they have to justify and explain their decision or their feelings in ways that don’t set off the fury of transgender activists.   Interspersed with those videos are “education” videos, put up by transgender activists who offer their line, which is the claim that regret is rare.

You can read about some prominent cases of regret at this link (which ironically was put up by a transgender advocate.)  Those cases include the tennis star Rene Richards and the sportswriter Mike Penner.  Rene Richards is quoted as saying “If there was a drug that I could have taken that would have reduced the pressure, I would have been better off staying the way I was – a totally intact person.”  Mike Penner, a sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times spent a year living as a woman and then completely de-transitioned back.  A year later he ended his own life.  Another famous case was Charles Kane (born Sam Hashimi), the millionaire property developer in Britain who changed his mind after living as designer “Samantha Kane.”

Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching stories of a female-to male transgender is that of Nancy Verhelst in Belgium, who felt the surgery turned her more into a “monster” than a man.  She was so distraught that she opted to have Belgian doctors put her to death.  And because of lax euthanasia laws there, they did just that.

Regret won’t be going away.  Those who change their minds tend to do so quietly.  But despite the recent media fawning over the transgender agenda, there have been rogue headlines of regret, especially in Britain.  A British man who regrets his surgery very recently claimed that there has not been enough psychiatric counseling of patients and he is now pressing the National Health Service to reverse his surgery.  Britain’s youngest patient – much touted in the press for his courage in changing to a female – has also spoken out.   Bradley Cooper begged his family for years, then finally got the go ahead to switch at age 17.  But after a year of living as a woman he found the whole thing “overwhelming” and cancelled the surgery.  Another story appeared on Huffington Post here.

Scattered throughout the web are blogs such as Retransition.org or GenderTrender.com with posts such as “I’m a Post-O p MtF who is Back in Therapy to Reverse this Mess and Obtain a Phalloplasty.”  Some of the most critical of sex change surgery are those run by radical feminists who see transgenderism basically as a patriarchal scheme, dominated by men who claim to be female but are hyper-aggressive and hyper-masculine in spirit.  Those sites include the hard-hitting but light-hearted twanzphobic.wordpress.com and The Dirt from Dirt.  Then there’s the resource page on trans-regretters on the British Coalition for Women’s Equality.  Radical feminist Julie Bindel writes about it here.  Also check: I’m Not Transgender Anymore and M2F2M.  The latter includes a long list of blogs on the topic.

Even a few voices who are firmly within the transgender community have expressed concern about the hostile reaction of the community to the growing number of regretters in recent years.  These include an Australian transgender activist who wrote in March 2014 a report: “Coming Trend within the Trans Community, including Doubts and Regrets:”  which describes it as a growing problem for the community and admits that most who de-transition do so “in stealth.

But I suspect we are going to see more regretters coming out of the closet in the future.  This is not an iceberg that can be drowned.

Bookcase: Gender Hurts, by Sheila Jeffreys

 

Sheila Jeffreys, author of Gender Hurts

I recently delved into Sheila Jeffrey’s’s book Gender Hurts:  A Feminist Perspective on Transgenderism.  Jeffreys is a professor at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne in Australia. She identifies as a radical feminist.  I certainly don’t.

However, as I mentioned in my last post and in my August 27 Federalist piece here, her perspective overlaps with mine when it comes to the phenomenon of “gender identity.”  She sees the current obsession with gender identity as harmful.  So do I.  She views the transitioning of children as a human rights violation.  So do I.  She recognizes that sex change surgery is a form of genital mutilation.  So do I.  

She also recognizes that transgender law threatens to dismantle women-only spaces that are critical to helping women feel and be safe.  It hurts people within families who must completely discard their close relationships with their spouse, children, siblings or parents in order to accommodate a fantasy that often requires they walk on eggshells.  And Jeffreys is dead right that any discussion of the above is being silenced through bullying techniques of an hyper-activist transgender lobby that insists the entire world get with their program, no questions asked. And indeed this lobby is actually dominated by “trans-women” who are primarily heterosexual males “identifying” as lesbians. 

I am grateful to Jeffreys for publishing Gender Hurts at such a critical time, as we work to untangle this strange web of deception in the culture. She presents many crucial facts about transgenderism, including the regret felt by survivors, those who go back to identifying with their birth sex.  In discussing the psychological basis of “gender dysphoria” she refers to the work of Paul McHugh, the psychiatrist who shut down the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins University and the British psychiatrist Az Hakeem who has worked hard to make sure that patients are fully informed before they consent to any kind of treatment.

I part ways with Jeffreys on her radical feminist/lesbian perspective that basically identifies male misogyny as the root of all oppression of women.  (She objects to gender identity because she believes it reinforces harmful stereotypes rather than diminishing them.  I see her point there, but it’s not the whole point.)

I’ll  go out on a limb and say just one thing about “male oppression.”  I don’t believe it comes from maleness as much as it comes from being human and looking for acceptance and status.  That’s what drives a lot of aggression, male or otherwise.  And if there’s a sorting system for dominance, it’s much more pronounced among males themselves than between males and females. Violent alpha males dictate their ill will and their terms onto all other males.  In so doing, they can then inflict their violence onto everybody else.  That’s why central planning is so lousy.  A few aggressive folks at the top, usually men and their female enablers — with few opportunities for anybody else.  If you want to see “patriarchy” in action, communism’s your man.  The Gloria Steinem wing of feminism basically acquiesces to men who behave badly and it serves the scheme of centralized power. Their basic litmus test is abortion.

In essence, I think a big part of the battle is about making sure the right men win, as well as the right women. Which means that all women of goodwill band with all men of goodwill and create a better world for all of humanity.

But I’m glad to see Sheila Jeffreys challenging the hackneyed Steinem brand of feminism and the nasty gender politics that come with it, even if I don’t accept the whole framework of Jeffreys’ logic.  Gender Hurts, published just this year, is creating a very welcome earthquake in the conversation about transgenderism.

Muggeridge on the power of words

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Malcolm Muggeridge

I hate flying, but I love to read on planes. Aside from other stuff in my bag, including my old smallish laptop, I generally only have one book with me — the paper kind — selected for its light weight and the length of time it spent languishing on a shelf, unread.  This last trip it was The End of Christendom.  Not really a book, but a very slim volume of two lectures by the acclaimed British journalist and Christian apologist Malcolm Muggeridge.

It’s a gem through and through.  But I was particularly intrigued by this little passage he wrote about words:

Perhaps the most beautiful of words, the subject of that marvelous thirteenth chapter of the Epistle to the Corinthians, is the word “love.”  Just think of how that word has been polluted and corrupted so that one scarcely dares to use it.  Similarly with words like “freedom” and “liberation”  The truth is that if we lose the meaning of words, it is far more serious in practice than losing our wealth or our power.  Without our words, we are helpless and defenseless; their misuse is our undoing.”

The Transgender Project is Exhibit A in today’s War on Language and the misuse of words.  You’re probably familiar with the “Purple Penguin” Project in which teachers in Nebraska have been instructed to refrain from referring to children as boys and girls or male and female.  There’s an accompanying diagram of “The Genderbread Person.” The agenda is huge and — make no mistake — it redefines the humanity of us all, and it’s now aimed directly at children.

Indeed, it is a war on words that goes right for the jugular:  your identity. In the process of destabilizing each person’s sense of self, the transgender project serves to isolate and separate each and every one of us because it in effect turns each and every one of us into disembodied beings in law.  Your sex is not something identified at birth, but, according to gender identity non-discrimination laws, it is “assigned at birth.”  The wording here is meant to apply universally.  It’s not really about the transgender demographic.  It’s primarily about everybody else.

What this does, of course, is wipe out the distinction between male and female. Legally.  The implications for human relationships and human identity and human dignity here are vast and depressing.   Losing the meaning of words means losing our ability to think — and communicate. And especially the meaning of words that identify us as human.   In the end, it’s an assault on all human relationships and imposes separation and loneliness on everyone.  It’s pretty much what cults do.  But that’s for another post.

“Singles’ Rights” Goal of Abolishing Marriage Would Impose Legal Isolation on Everyone

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Hans Thoma. Loneliness (1880)   To impose legal separation on all of us would only cultivate loneliness.

Last week a singles’ rights activist wrote up what she claimed was a critique of my recent Federalist article called Welcome to Selfie Nation.  My piece was an exploration of various social trends, particularly some recent attempts to cultivate hostility towards married people for being “privileged.”

Most significantly, Bella DePaulo, author of the book Singlism and a blogger for Psychology Today essentially confirmed in her response what I’ve been saying for quite some time:  that same sex marriage isn’t really about marriage, but is being used as a vehicle to abolish marriage.  A coterie of singles’ rights advocates are arguing that state recognition of marriage discriminates against singles.  And they hope to use the precedent of same sex marriage to abolish marriage.

But DePaulo never addressed my most basic points:

1.  That the decline of marriage “plays right into the hands of central planners who have always been keen on getting rid of marriage altogether.”

2.  That putting every human being in legal isolation — which is exactly what abolishing civil marriage would do – can only diminish freedom of association for every child, woman, and man.  Once the state no longer recognizes your spouse or child or parent or siblings, etc. except at its pleasure, your personal relationships will inevitably come under greater regulation and bureaucratic control.

Rather than confront these concerns, DePaulo pulled out of thin air the bemusing nonsense that I am “afraid of single people.”  She also claimed I place blame on single people for “breaking down family bonds and community ties and contributing to a sense of alienation and division and distrust.”  Are you kidding me?

Who believes single people are even capable of doing such things?  Unless maybe you believe they’re some sort of monolithic force.  That idea — so untrue — would never occur to me.  Maybe it has more to do with DePaulo’s own outlook, but it sure isn’t mine.

I was talking about a shift in society that breeds isolation in people, reflected in the General Social Survey.  It’s a cycle driven by complex forces that we can’t pin on any one group of people.  Distrust breeds isolation.  Isolation breeds distrust.  Separation from intimate ties breeds distrust.   Distrust discourages the formation of intimate ties.

On Pious Baloney

A fun touch in DePaulo’s  post on my article is her (subconscious?) reference to a famous line by Newt Gingrich.  By which I mean she labels as “pious bologna” [sic] my connection of children with marriage. But I’ll raise DePaulo ten Newts on that.  Whether we grown-ups like it or not, the only legitimate reason for any state interest in marriage is that the state’s citizens come from a particular organic union that produces them.

Now the problem here for DePaulo and so many others, is that they have a perspective on children that insists on separating them from the people who sire and bear them.   Look, I get it. Indeed, a lot of unmarried people have kids and a lot of married people don’t.  And different family configurations abound.  And I understand that there are cases of dysfunction.  But that’s irrelevant to the point that state recognition of marriage can’t really exist for the benefit of adults.  It exists for the benefit of all the children in a society, whether or not their parents can or do get married, and whether or not married people have children, and no matter how many or how few children there are.

So it’s the union that produces citizens in which the state should be interested.  And it doesn’t matter whether that union takes place traditionally or in a petri dish or even at all.  I know that’s a hard thing for us grown-ups to wrap our heads around these days.  I do understand, believe me, that it doesn’t feel easy.  But it’s just one of those buried truths that have a way of outing themselves rather unpleasantly when ignored. You can take it or leave it, but it’s still true whether we like it or not.

If there are concerns about inequities, people of goodwill should find a way to address the inequities without endowing a centralized bureaucracy with the power to impose legal isolation on every single one of us, and particularly on children.

Families are the Roots of Community          

Below are a few claims DePaulo uses to support her belief that marriage should be abolished, and by logical extension, why she believes each and every person should be legally single:

  • Married people are “insular” and don’t contribute much to community
  • Married people don’t call their parents or siblings as often as singles do
  • Singles do more things “in the community” than marrieds do:  “They participate more in civil groups and public events, they take more art and music classes.”
  • Singles, not marrieds, keep cities lively and dynamic
  • Singles, she says, visit sick and infirm people more than married people in Britain do

DePaulo doesn’t cite sources on the above.  She’s suggesting, I guess, that singles are in some form, morally superior because, for example, they call Mom and Dad more than married people.  This is silliness.  Just arguing on her terms, I’d venture a guess that married couples are far more involved in community schools.  I don’t know how many members of legislatures and county councils and people who work for non-profits are married versus single.  But I’d be willing to bet it’s quite a majority of marrieds, even today.   And, no, married people are not morally superior for this participation.

Intimacy, not Separation, is What Breeds Trust

But I do find one of DePaulo’s observations of particular interest.  She writes that “getting married changes people in ways that make them more insular.”  I think what DePaulo perceives as “insular” is probably just a by-product of intimacy. Intimacy requires time and a certain degree of exclusivity and privacy in relationship. Committed relationships usually require intense work and a great degree of self-sacrifice that’s not going to be handily visible in the public sphere.  Nevertheless, that kind of interpersonal work with family members pays huge dividends for society because it tends to build empathy.

What this means, though, is that contributions to the community by marrieds – with or without children – are going to have deep roots and perhaps might not be as apparent to people like DePaulo who look to have everybody engaged on the surface, primarily in public places.   Not so much in private places which seem “insulated” from the larger community.  It seems that DePaulo doesn’t view the nurturing of one’s own children as something that counts in this scheme of things.  Nor perhaps would running a scout troop, or volunteering at your child’s school or with their sports teams, or through a church.  And certainly not the hard work of ironing out a committed relationship with or without children in the home.

If the only kinds of community activities that “count” in DePaulo’s eyes are at specific places identified as “community” – whether they be parks and recreation, theater groups, environmental groups, and so on – well, then, perhaps singles do those things more because that’s where the people are?  Or perhaps because practically every young adult today has “mandatory community service hours” to put in as requirement for high school graduation?   Regardless, DePaulo’s view speaks volumes about her stunted view of community and who contributes to it.

Abolishing Marriage Would Abolish Community 

I think we all understand in our gut that intimacy breeds trust.  Without trust – which has been declining over the past several decades – people become alienated and true community dies. You can have lots of people out there doing lots of activities, busy as bees at the hive.  But if there are no bonds of family intimacy which serve as the unseen ground water that irrigates the community – or what goes on unseen inside the hive of community by both marrieds and singles — then you don’t really have a community.  What you have left is a shell of a hive with the bees buzzing about outside of it.  Yes, you can see them better that way.  But without the hidden core – consisting of families, consisting of both marrieds and singles – each of us ultimately has no place to go.

Let’s abolish the Big Lie that abolishing civil marriage would “get the state out of the marriage business.”  It would do the exact opposite, which is why statists love the idea so much.  I leave you with this excerpt from my Federalist piece:

All of the machinery of this bait-and-switch operation is well in motion to abolish civil marriage, and with it family autonomy. So our national conversation on marriage ought to cut right to the chase. Ultimately, the real question is not about who can get married, but whether or not we may live in a society that recognizes marriage and family. Abolishing civil marriage is a dangerous proposition that imposes legal isolation on everybody, making us all strangers to one another in the eyes of the state.

Kate Millett’s “Feminism:” A Vehicle for Totalitarianism

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Kate Millett, author Sexual Politics

Mallory Millett published a fascinating essay this past week in Front Page Magazine.  Entitled “Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives,” it’s about how her sister Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics (1970) went about organizing a totalitarian movement which she labelled as a form of “feminism.”  Mallory describes how Kate invited her to a meeting with about a dozen other women in the late 1960’s.  Here’s  an excerpt:

They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China.  We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”

Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears.  Was I on planet earth?  Who were these people?

“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.

They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women.

You ought to read the whole thing.  At this stage of her life, Mallory, having seen the hurt and cruelty pushed by the agenda of her sister, says she’s come to identify with the daughter of Joseph Stalin in speaking out against the harmful work of a family member.

It’s strange indeed how a small coterie of privileged women like Kate Millett (educated at Columbia and Oxford) would go about ruining and trying to control the lives of everybody else.  In fact, I find it hard to believe such women — so enamored of totalitarianism — really look down at all on the idea of patriarchal domination. More likely, they’ve adopted the mindset they pretended to abhor, and have now become that patriarchy.

 

When Mom says she’s Dad and Dad says he’s Mom

“We have the parts so we will use them.”  That’s what Bianca Bowser told Yahoo News about his spouse Nick getting pregnant. Their two biological children, identified as sons named Kai, 3, and Pax, 1, share both Bianca and Nick’s DNA.  That’s because Bianca’s sperm fertilized Nick’s egg.  That would make Bianca the actual father and Nick the actual mother.

But wait!  That information is classified!  Or hate speech, or something.  Right?  No, this is the biological truth that Bianca and Nick as representatives of the transgender movement — and self-confessed publicity hounds for the cause — insist that we must reject. The agenda requires that the entire world reject this, which means that if it doesn’t apply to them, then it must not apply to you.

Neither Nick nor Bianca have undergone sex reassignment surgery, so  their reproductive systems are still intact, though they each must take a lot of hormones to sustain their transgender appearances.   They do plan to have surgery done, later on.  You can read the whole thing here:  “Transgender Parents Speak Out about What Makes a Family.”

I’m convinced that the transgender movement is at root a War on Language.  I doubt that the ultimate goal of the movement — so driven by raw power — has much if anything to do with equality for transgender individuals.  By forcing you to change your understanding of pronoun usage, the transgender project succeeds in undermining any common understanding of human identity, including your own identity as male or female.  I refuse to get sucked into this rabbit hole.  And I hope you agree.

However, I’m fine with name changes.  If a man named Richard decides he wishes to be called Emily, I’ll defer and call him Emily. But if Emily then decides I must change the definition of pronouns to suit his self concept, that’s where I draw the line.  Because in essence he’s asking everybody else to change their own perception of reality to suit his.    This is how cults operate.  The first thing a cult leader does is work to destabilize the recruits’ sense of self or self-concept in relation to the world.  Indeed, the transgender movement has all the earmarks of  a Cult.

With Big “Borg” Government, Resistance isn’t Futile. Submission is Futile.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Star Trek, but I’m fascinated with one of its stock villains “The Borg.” The Borg is a collectivist hive mind that goes through the universe, sucking in everyone in its path, erasing individual identity.   Up at the Federalist today is my essay about the dangers of big government, with my take on the Borg:  “The Government is the Borg and Resistance Isn’t Futile.” Click here to read it in full.

The Borg’s stated goal is utopian: to “achieve perfection.”  It greets its victims by saying “Resistance is futile.”  Sounds a little bit like how bureaucracies work.   My point is that whenever power gets too unchecked, too unbalanced, too centralized, it’s on a trajectory to abuse that power.  And the ultimate destination if left unchecked seems always to be imposition of death.  That’s just a fact of history and a fact of life.

I wish everyone would become familiar with two fascinating studies that have been done on the dangers of centralized power.  The first is the book Death by Government, by R J Rummel (d. 2014) His central point — echoing Lord Acton’s famous quote that  “power corrupts” — is that power kills and absolute power kills absolutely.  Rummel spent much of his career compiling statistics of 20th century death tolls from government abuses of power.  The bottom line?  169 million lives lost through government killing of its own people.  How does this compare with all the casualties — both military and civilian — of all the wars and conflicts of the 20th century? 38 million.   Death by government was more than four times more lethal than all the wars of the 20th century combined.

The second study is a course entitled “Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century” in which University of Tennessee Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius draws the direct connection between master plans for Utopian societies and the terror that is always required to push those utopian programs forward. (You can obtain this series of  very engaging lectures from thegreatcourses.com.) Seems utopian dreamers have no patience or tolerance for any kind of resistance whether active or passive.

I think the best defense is for everyone to champion their own individuality with the understanding that other people matter.  That’s the whole basis of de-centralized power. Speak your mind thoughtfully, with the understanding that free speech is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. Cultivate friendships. Reach out in goodwill, one on one and face to face.  And be of good cheer.  Solid relationships are the best bulwark against state power.  A sense of humor always comes in very handy, too.

In the end, it is not resistance that is futile.  Submission is what really kills us all in the end.  Submission is futile.

 

“The Wave” and the Cult Mindset

Human beings — especially Americans these days — don’t seem to understand how susceptible we are to group think.   A cult mindset can be very contagious if it is left unchecked.  Cults grow where people feel a sense of isolation, when they don’t ask hard questions, and when they are weak on discernment.  Below is a short movie called “The Wave.”  It’s based on actual events at a high school during the 1960’s.  It started with a teacher-supervised class experiment in group think, but it took on an ominous life of its own.

If you want to delve into the background, click here to look over the website www.thewavehome.com which was put together by the original participants. Here is an excerpt from the website:

In spring 1967, in Palo Alto, California, history teacher Ron Jones conducted an experiment with his class of 15-year-olds to sample the experience of the attraction and rise of the Nazis in Germany before World War II.  In a matter of days the experiment began to get out of control, as those attracted to the movement became aggressive zealots and the rigid rules invited confusion and chaos.  This story has attracted considerable attention over the years through films, books, plays and musicals, and verges on urban legend.  It serves as a teaching tool, to facilitate discussion of those uncomfortable topics of history, human nature, psychology, group behavior, intolerance and hate.

As an aside, I don’t want anyone to get too put off when they discover that Norman Lear produced this 1981 TV movie.  That’s fascinating, of course, because Lear is about as far left/statist as one can get in Hollywood.  And yet “The Wave” is an important story with urgent lessons for all of us. There seems to be a pattern among those who claimed to fight for independent thought in earlier eras, but who push political correctness so hard today. One can only wonder if the hijacking of stories and images warning against totalitarianism serve only to promote their power agendas of today.