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The whole gender identity movement, the so-called “trans” thing, the idea that sex is not biologically determined, the idea that it’s really more complicated than two overlapping bell curves of masculine and feminine traits — all of that seems pretty absurd to me. It also seems important, in that it’s the first time we Americans have been told that we have to profess belief in something patently absurd or face censure in the workplace and society — and possible prosecution in New York City.
I comment on it more often than something as ridiculous as the “trans” movement would seem to deserve. I usually comment about it on Facebook, rather than here, because I assume most people here are broadly in agreement that the whole thing is silly.
I have about 875 “friends” on Facebook. Almost all of them chose to “friend” me because of my politics and cultural criticism, since that’s about all I post there. They’re a self-selected lot, overwhelmingly conservative, and I can count on them for a decent number of “shares” (re-postings) of what I write, and a reasonable number of “likes”: most posts will get 20 or 30 likes, and a popular post might get 80 or 100 likes, with a couple of dozen shares.
Earlier today I posted the following, after reading some ridiculous article about a “trans-man” complaining about the “pain of menstruation.”
Birds and Bees 101
As far as human reproduction goes, people come in two varieties: male, and female.
Healthy males produce sperm and are capable of fertilizing eggs. Only people born male are capable of doing this.
Healthy females produce eggs and are capable of becoming pregnant and giving birth. Only people born female are capable of doing this.
No one born male is capable of giving birth. No one born female is capable of fertilizing eggs.
People can choose to affect whatever kinds of sexual identities they like. Transvestites, people who like to dress like and pass themselves off as members of the opposite sex, have always been with us. This has nothing to do with their ability to fertilize eggs or give birth. In other words, it has nothing to do with their biological sex. It is matter of style and presentation, of how they choose to act.
So-called “trans-women” are not women, but rather male transvestites dressing as women. There’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. But it is a mistake to think that they are in any sense biologically female, simply because they dress and make themselves up, and sometimes modify their bodies, so as to appear female.
Similarly, so-called “trans-men” are not men, but rather female transvestites dressing as men. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. But it would be a mistake to believe that these women are, in any sense, biologically male.
It shouldn’t be necessary to say this, but I keep reading about people who think “trans-man gives birth” is an extraordinary event. Women — and only women — have been giving birth for millennia, at the very least. While a woman giving birth is beautiful and wonderful, it’s nothing new.
I found the response — or lack of response — interesting. My Facebook posts about the trans movement get far fewer likes or shares than any other topic on which I post, other than the occasional obscure post about quantum computing or the like. I don’t know if the topic is just not interesting to most people, if my particular take on it is somehow off-putting, or if people have a reluctance to express an opinion about it. It doesn’t seem likely to me that hundreds of reliably conservative Facebook friends would shy away from the subject. On the other hand, I know that I’m far removed from popular culture, since I don’t watch television or listen to the radio or work in an office and mix with a lot of people. Maybe this stuff is more accepted than I want to believe.
I’d like to believe that most people simply find the topic boring or irrelevant, rather than think that people have grown to accept the nonsense and are reluctant to question it. Either way, I’ll keep commenting on it, because I think it matters. But it perplexes me just a little.