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Transsexualism: Rage, Rhetoric, and Reform
National Review ^ | 06/02/2014 | Kevin Williamson

Posted on 06/02/2014 12:58:06 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Some of you will have noticed that my observations on the subject of transgenderism/transsexualism have not been met with universal approval, especially among transsexuals. No surprise there.

The responses came in predictable forms, mostly juvenile profanity. But there was a bit more. The Telegraph’s Tom Chivers (a guy called Tom?) offered a response under the question-begging headline: “Whether or not Laverne Cox is a woman is not a question of biology; it’s a question of language.” (I assume that Mr. Chivers, like most columnists, does not compose his own headlines, but it is an accurate summation of his argument.) That is, of course, precisely the magical belief that I was arguing against; the question of whether somebody is a woman is a biological question, one that demands a biological answer.

Amanda Marcotte, a world-champion misser of points, demanded to know: “How are you harmed by other people being allowed to self-determine gender?” Framing the question in Millsian harm-principle terms would present a perfectly reasonable challenge to a libertarian such as myself if, for example, I were calling for the government to ban sex-reassignment surgery or related hormone therapies. A reader at all familiar with my work would know that waiting on me to call on the government to ban much of anything short of violence or theft is a rather long-term assignment. I have not called for so-called sex-reassignment procedures to be banned, neither in this most recent article or in my earlier and more detailed argument about the matter of Bradley Manning. Perhaps it has not occurred to Miss Marcotte that my concern about a program of genital amputation in the service of a metaphysical theory stems not from any harm I expect to suffer myself but from harm that I do not wish to see visited upon other people. In this I am hardly alone.

The content of the responses on Twitter and elsewhere was a useful reminder that the Left, including its sexual-liberationist faction, is inarguably totalitarian. Critics suggested not only that I be fired for my views but that I should be prosecuted for them, and that the government should ensure that such views are not published. Live-and-let-live is not the Left’s way, never has been, and never will be. It is not sufficient that transsexuals should be free to act on their delusions — the rest of us are expected to participate in them with unreserved enthusiasm, and the Left is willing to use the state to compel us to do so. To simply believe otherwise and to share those views in print is in the minds of many on the Left not only a social transgression but something that should be a crime. The belief that members of minority political tendencies should be jailed for their views is very much in vogue for the Left at the moment. Democrats in the Senate are seeking to repeal the First Amendment. All of us — conservatives and whatever traditional liberals there still may be on the left side of the spectrum — should fully appreciate the sobering fact that there is a nascent, popular, authoritarian movement among members of the Left that supports everything from censorship to literal, non-metaphorical gulags in which to imprison people for their political beliefs.

A second, considerably less important, question here involves the limitations of my own preferences for a radically expanded kind of liberty. As I noted above, I am not calling for the government to abolish sex-reassignment procedures, but I do believe that such procedures should be discouraged, especially by medical associations. My preferred model for professional licensure, including that of physicians, is through competing professional associations rather than through government monopolies, and I believe that this would, on balance, produce much better results than does the current model. I would be perfectly happy with a medical association’s deciding that those who perform such procedures cannot operate under its aegis, forcing such physicians to seek credentialing elsewhere.

While I believe that this model would be superior, I do not suffer from utopian delusions, and I suspect that most medical associations would continue to sanction such procedures — not out of crass economic self-interest, but because the cultural pressure to do so would be, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, very strong. On the other hand, the significant minority of physicians who believe such procedures to be mutilation rather than therapy would at least have the option of disassociating themselves from it professionally. In that, this is rather like my argument that in a private-contract model, what we call traditional marriage would at least have something of a fighting chance, which it does not under a government-monopoly model of marriage. If we conservatives are right that our models of family and community life actually are better in meaningful ways, then competition should make that clear over time.

Perhaps the most thoughtful line of argument that was offered was that in other circumstances we are happy to allow social arrangements to supersede biology, as in the case of adopted children. This view seemed especially persuasive to Glenn Greenwald, which surprised me — goodness knows I have my disagreements with Mr. Greenwald, for whom I have a grudging admiration, but I had never suspected sentimentality to be among his defects. Julian Sanchez demanded to know whether I would criticize an adoptive parent for referring to an adopted child as “son” or “daughter.” But this is only taking a linguistic imprecision — English uses the same word for adoptive and biological relationships — and making a creed out of it. I am myself adopted, and of course adoptive relationships and biological relationships are fundamentally different things. We may use the words “mother” and “father” for both kinds of relationships, but that plainly does not make them interchangeable. (The non-interchangeability seems to me to be the whole point of adoption, in fact.) It is easy to see the flaw in that line of thinking as it relates to sex-reassignment therapy: We probably would look askance if adoptive parents had their children surgically altered to more closely resemble them and thus to enhance their self-conception as parents.

A final note: In Jay’s response to the Telegraph’s Tom Chivers, he noted a distasteful habit that some writers have of referring to a subject as “somebody called Bob,” as a way to belittle the person in question. I must with shame acknowledge that I have been guilty of that very thing. Given my esteem for Jay, without whom I would not know how to pronounce “long-lived,” I am resolved to go forth and indulge that particular sin no more.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bradleymanning; chelseamanning; homosexualagenda; lavernecox; transsexuals

1 posted on 06/02/2014 12:58:06 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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2 posted on 06/02/2014 12:58:46 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: musicman

Words, more words, and then more words.

How is this? People are nuts. And they are getting nuttier by the day?

Or not.

I am a cranky old bastard that increasingly feels like my country is an insane asylum.


3 posted on 06/02/2014 1:04:43 PM PDT by the anti-mahdi
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To: SeekAndFind

Check out the latest cover of Time magazine.
The left is gearing up for their next freak show movement.


4 posted on 06/02/2014 1:06:45 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: VanDeKoik

What is on the cover? I am not interested in taking the risk of performing a Google search for it.


5 posted on 06/02/2014 1:09:09 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: VanDeKoik
Check out the latest cover of Time magazine. The left is gearing up for their next freak show movement.


6 posted on 06/02/2014 1:12:14 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Army Air Corps

See Post #6.


7 posted on 06/02/2014 1:12:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
It looks just like....


8 posted on 06/02/2014 1:14:38 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

[ Live-and-let-live is not the Left’s way, never has been, and never will be. ]

So very true, the Left’s way is to make you conform by cramming stuff down everyone’s throats until they have realized their form of “normality”....

I would imagine that most Freepers, myself included would not have such issues with so called “Trans people” if they didn’t make being a “tranny” their number one defining attribute. It is almost like the mental illness of Liberalism DEMANDS that someone makes themselves a “Liberal Approves Stereotype”.

Most everyone currently in the United States has no animus with “sideshow freaks”, the problem is when the sideshow freaks demand that the circus itself be brought into the class room and living room.

I have known over the years people who are shall we say of “non standard gender variant”. The ones that are the most obnoxious and have the most amount of problems interfacing with society in general are the ones that define themselves AS being their Disorder, the ones who see it as just another attribute like hair color or eye color have far fewer problems dealing with society even if their physical attributes are of a disadvantage to how they want to “portray their chosen role”.

A great deal is attitude, and now a days with the whole shrink community having been brainwashed by the “if it feels good, do it man, do it in the road” mentality of the 1960’s... Which is very off putting to the rest of civilized society. It is never the problem the person themselves but society that must conform to the individual in their twisted little minds. If you do it in the road you will eventually get ran over by a bus.


9 posted on 06/02/2014 1:14:43 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: the anti-mahdi
Ignoring and shunning the freaks worked when the freaks and freak supporters were in the minority.

Unfortunately it appears that the freaks, however few, have enough hangers on that they constitute a majority, or at least a sizable minority.

We can continue to try and ignore and shun the freaks, but what will really be happening is that the few remaining sane people will be the ones that are ignored and shunned.

Talking about it seems futile as the freaks don't seem open to rational arguments.

I understand your frustration. I really wish there were a successful way of pushing back on this freakishness, but it appears they are on a roll and will be so for some time to come.

10 posted on 06/02/2014 1:15:22 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: SeekAndFind
At least it's consistent:

It's faking it's sex AND hair color.

11 posted on 06/02/2014 1:17:27 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: SeekAndFind

If I feel like I am a woman, I can demand people treat me like one because......science.

If all the evidence points you towards a truth but everyone dismisses it to believe what they want to believe, how is that different from a cult?


12 posted on 06/02/2014 1:22:19 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

I will be 60 this year. I remember a different nation. I remember different schools, different cities, different lives, different customs and beliefs.

I thought this is normal. Then the 60’s, the 70’s, the 80’s, and on and on. Now I think I am living in a freak show.

Sad, very sad.


13 posted on 06/02/2014 1:22:20 PM PDT by the anti-mahdi
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

[ Ignoring and shunning the freaks worked when the freaks and freak supporters were in the minority.

Unfortunately it appears that the freaks, however few, have enough hangers on that they constitute a majority, or at least a sizable minority. ]

They are still a minority, the problem is they DEMAND and ARE a “Media Majority”.

[ We can continue to try and ignore and shun the freaks, but what will really be happening is that the few remaining sane people will be the ones that are ignored and shunned. ]

Another problem is that if things go bad in this country economically and culturally, there WILL be a backlash and the minorities that have pushed far beyond base equality will become prime targets for whomever is in power, and if it is a statist type regime, WATCH OUT! Exactly what happened in Germany 1930 will re-occur.


14 posted on 06/02/2014 1:22:51 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: SeekAndFind

Why did someone photoshop a blonde wig on moochelle o-blah blah?


15 posted on 06/02/2014 1:23:42 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: AppyPappy

And we all know The Left is the party of science!


16 posted on 06/02/2014 1:28:42 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein

pseudo-science


17 posted on 06/02/2014 1:37:41 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: SeekAndFind

Pardon me. Ima gonna vomit.


18 posted on 06/02/2014 1:43:26 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: SeekAndFind

The “Millsian harm principle” is something all the sexual deviants like to argue. Problem is, their depravity harms every single American, because God is not mocked, and He will pour out His wrath on our nation for not punishing their depravity. Instead we embrace their depravity, and invite His wrath in spades.


19 posted on 06/02/2014 1:49:12 PM PDT by afsnco
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To: afsnco
"Sex-change" operations are genital mutilation, and those who seek them are twisted. That said:

Problem is, their depravity harms every single American, because God is not mocked, and He will pour out His wrath on our nation for not punishing their depravity. Instead we embrace their depravity, and invite His wrath in spades.

What other depravity does God want us to punish? Any heterosexual marital acts on that list?

20 posted on 06/02/2014 2:21:34 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: GraceG
If you do it in the road you will eventually get ran over by a bus.

Can't happen soon enough.

21 posted on 06/02/2014 2:27:22 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: afsnco

Yes, and Williamson nails the inadequacy of Mills here— are the only harms to an individual’s material being? Of course not—yours is the worthiest objection but Williamson’s is just fine.


22 posted on 06/02/2014 2:53:56 PM PDT by lauraw
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To: SeekAndFind

Yuck.


23 posted on 06/02/2014 6:46:59 PM PDT by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (Well......Bye.)
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To: SeekAndFind

1.5 million is a very small number. What are the odds that we’ll run into one of these freaks?


24 posted on 09/13/2014 6:25:59 AM PDT by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (TOUCH MY SODA AND THERE'LL BE HELL TO PAY!!)
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To: ConservingFreedom
Any heterosexual marital acts on that list?

What is a "heterosexual marital act"?

25 posted on 09/13/2014 6:34:47 AM PDT by johniegrad
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To: johniegrad
Problem is, their depravity harms every single American, because God is not mocked, and He will pour out His wrath on our nation for not punishing their depravity. Instead we embrace their depravity, and invite His wrath in spades.

What other depravity does God want us to punish? Any heterosexual marital acts on that list?

What is a "heterosexual marital act"?

An act of genital stimulation between husband and wife.

26 posted on 09/13/2014 11:05:54 AM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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