Promoting Gender Confusion in the Young

Gender-neutral-bathroom-sign

November is a month for counting our blessings. When I want to appreciate how fortunate I have been in my life, I sometimes play a little game. I go to a mainstream media site such as the Huffington Post, and imagine what my life might have been like if I had been raised by people who thought that way.

It’s not meant to be an exercise in self-righteous back-patting, so I try to approach it in the spirit of St. Augustine and his pear-stealing incident. Recollect childhood vices, and consider how fearsome they might have grown but for God’s grace and the blessed interference of prudent adult guardians. Every time I play this game, I find something new to appreciate in my parents, and in the other wise and loving people who helped me to get my start in life.

This particular week, I have been reflecting on these questions while reading about the Senate-approved Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I will not get into the details of this legislation, since they have already been discussed quite recently here on Crisis, but I think it is fairly clear that the left is looking to normalize transgenderedness through legislation like ENDA. They want us all, from our cradles, to see it as absolutely normal for boys to decide that they would rather be girls or for women to suddenly “present” as men. It seems to me like this is exactly the sort of case in which personal reflection can be useful in helping us to identify the follies of the larger social vision.

Do liberal parents really not appreciate the insecurity they will introduce by opening a rift between “sex” and “gender”? For every child who yearns to reject his naturally-born sex, there must be hundreds or thousands for whom the basic recognition that “I am a boy” or “I am a girl” is a cornerstone of his identity. Suggesting other alternatives, and encouraging children to entertain them as real possibilities, cannot but diminish the security of that fundamental identification. Every child will now be forced to confront the lonely possibility of having no natural home either in the company of men and boys, or in the company of women and girls.

This is sad to contemplate, and we must feel particular pity for those children whose parents attempt to trumpet their progressiveness by “changing” their gender at a young age. (“You remember my daughter, Brenda? Great news! Meet Bill!”) But the deepest irony is advocates of ENDA-type legislation normally present themselves as champions of “diversity.” But in fact, the normalization of transgenderedness closes off real opportunities to develop and appreciate diversity. Differences can be appreciated only so long as they are variations on a theme. Destroy the theme and the differences become meaningless collections of traits. They cannot be valued or appreciated, because there is no rhyme or reason to them, and no pattern against which to compare them. In a world in which the right of self-invention is held to be sacrosanct, there can be no opportunity to transcend the self, and the most that can be said of anyone is, “He is what he is.”

Thinking over all of this brings me back to reflections on my own girlhood, and on the sensible, conservative Mormons who raised me. Mormons are fairly comfortable with the promotion of traditional roles for men and women. I was a little outside the norm however. Though I was not quite athletic enough to be labeled a “tomboy,” I rejected pink or pastel-colored clothes, rejected dolls and tea parties, and favored adventure stories and murder mysteries over Anne of Green Gables. If my friends insisted on playing “house” (which was never my preference), I would cheerfully accept the unclaimed role of “Dad.”

Moving into my pre-teen years, I was scornful of the make-up and nail polish that was catnip to many of my pre-teen peers. I eagerly joined the debate team, but was mortified when a friend suggested trying out for the cheerleading squad. At 5’11” and 125 pounds, I probably could have commanded some attention if I had chosen to cultivate more sex appeal, but I was not interested. To me, that kind of girliness seemed shallow. I was prepared to tolerate it in friends, but for myself, I was anxious to be regarded as a person of substance.

Looking back on it now, I think that there were some good intuitions behind my rejection of overtly feminine things, as well as some less admirable motives. My distaste for the oversexualized, vulgar overtones of girl-directed products was healthy. My intellectual hubris was not. The latter eventually found a healthier outlet through the advanced study of philosophy. And as for my rejection of “girliness,” I must say that marriage and motherhood eventually softened my attitude towards feminine things. In a house full of males, I do occasionally like to assert my femininity by donning a pink polka-dot party dress. Nonetheless, I still love football, political debate and suspense thrillers. None of those features leave my sons remotely confused about the difference between “mom” and “dad.” With proper care, all of my rejectionist childhood impulses could be harmoniously incorporated into a more mature, but still feminine, adult self.

Imagine, now, how my life might have gone if I had been raised by modern, liberal parents. Very likely I would have been identified at an early age as “gender nonconforming” and sent for a serious talk with a school counselor, who might have forced me to read something like this in order to “affirm” me. Having broken the bad news that I was a rarified nobody-was-sure-what, the counselor would have sent me home to contemplate terrifying questions about what sort of identity and gender role “felt right” to me. This is the sort of question that no child can reasonably be expected to answer, and of course the possibility of hormone treatments or sex-reassignment surgery would have hung over my head as ominous future possibilities.

Reading the agonized accounts of now-grown persons who regard themselves as transgendered, I can readily imagine how it might be. Every minor choice or preference would begin to seem like a “gender identity” cue. I can picture my younger self wondering anxiously whether my distaste for romantic comedies was really a reaction to the cliché plots and terrible scripting, or whether it was the manifestation of a deep-seated masculinity that no perfume or Avon product would ultimately be able to suppress.

In the end, it’s impossible to say what exactly the burden of “gender nonconformity” might have done to me. I have to think, however, that it would have diminished the chances of my ending up happily married, and the mother of three healthy children. As it was, my parents very sensibly recognize that femininity, like masculinity, is broad enough to allow for reasonable variation. Some men aspire to be warriors, some to be poets, and still others to be philosophers or priests or builders of great monuments. Women can be just as variable, and in that spirit, my parents accommodated me to some extent while still making it perfectly clear that I was a girl. My clothes had to come from the girls’ section of the store, but did not need to be pink or lacy. Debate teams and adventure stories were acceptable, but I was also taught the fundamentals of cooking and sewing, and of course my Mormon youth activities ensured that I spent lots of time in the company of girls and women.

This last point is particularly important. I sometimes wonder whether our challenges with “transgenderedness” spring in large part from the loss of those single-sex outlets. I do not mean to suggest that this would be a cure-all solution for even the most difficult cases. Still, spending time with our own sex does help us to develop a sense of the “theme” of masculinity or femininity, while also reassuring us that certain variations can be interesting and healthy. We need not conform to a precise cookie-cutter pattern, but a robust appreciation of manliness or of womanliness can give meaning and focus to our developing sense of personal identity. It takes practice, however, to develop a nuanced appreciation of something so complex. Many young people today are insufficiently “practiced” in the ways of women or of men, because properly manly or womanly environments are so scarce.

Churches, communities and schools should work to give young people plentiful opportunities to enjoy the company of members of their own sex. This is one of the best ways of enabling them to develop a healthy sense of what it means to be a boy or girl. But as Catholics, we are also fortunate to have a myriad of wonderful examples in the saints. Hagiography is a delightful study in large part because its subjects are as diverse as they are inspiring. Everyone can find at least a few saints whose character recognizably resembles their own.

Those stories can uplift us, affirm us, and enable us to “appreciate diversity” in a way that GLBTQ activists cannot possibly understand. They can enable us to appreciate that our differences exist for a reason, and that our “self-expression” can ultimately be about something far greater and nobler than self. Through a proper appreciation of masculinity and femininity, we can come to realize that diversity is wonderful exactly insofar as it brings us back to the common core of what we all share, and teaches us the richness and depth of what God created on the sixth day.

Rachel Lu

By

Rachel Lu, a Catholic convert, teaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where she lives with her husband and three boys. Dr. Lu earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at rclu.

  • Bob

    Great article, Rachel. Your words remind me of some very strong women saints such as Joan of Arc, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Edith Stein. All excellent examples of womanhood and femininity.

    And of course, our Blessed Mother, Mary. Imagine the strength and toughness of a teenage Jewish girl to be the first to say “yes” to God, and give birth to our Lord in a cave.

    • WSquared

      And note that the strength involved with these women is often a steely, quiet kind. There’s a parallel, I think, in why we need sacred silence, and why St. Francis de Sales talked of a sober joy: it is in quiet that the virtues are nurtured and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are humbly received.

      St. Teresa of Avila was no-nonsense.

      St. Edith Stein spent hours in Eucharistic Adoration.

      The often pushy, posturing “strong woman” of popular culture has nothing on these women saints. I see and hear tons of glorified blather about sex, men, and “success” in a career that seems to be more about buying more crap, and nothing about what it means for one’s career and work to be about being successful for God, so that He may be shared with others (a part of these discussions that many Catholics themselves ignore, at least when they wax nostalgic about “apple-pie mom” instead of the likes of St. Gianna Beretta Molla or someone like Dr. Elizabeth Anscombe),

      • Facile1

        I agree. But why despise the ‘apple-pie mom’? It also takes courage to be an “apple-pie mom”. Let us not presume that an “apple-pie mom” is a non-person just because she stays at home, does the housework and minds the kids. We should not judge the worthiness of the love we were given.

        • WSquared

          I didn’t disparage the apple-pie mom. I have no problem with a stay-at-home mom at all, and I most certainly don’t think that she’s a non-person.

          What I do have a problem with is the nostalgia and the prating coming from some people, who seem to think as though the apple-pie mom is the only mom who can be holy and virtuous.

          • Facile1

            The ‘apple-pie’ mom is severely underrated and your remark was unfair. I am not married and I do not have children. I was not given that blessing. I believe very few men deserve the women they have for wives and very few women deserve the men they have for husbands. Or maybe I should say, people get the spouses they deserve. But the TRUTH is, a marriage cannot work if one does not love GOD first.

            We are commanded to LOVE GOD FIRST (Read Matthew 22: 34-40 The Greatest Commandment.)

            It is only when one truly loves GOD FIRST can one put one’s love for anything else in its proper place — whether it is the love for one’s country or the love for one’s church (paganism); the love for one’s family or the love for one’s neighbors (humanism); the love for one’s sexual partner or the love for one’s self (narcissism).

            LOVE GOD FIRST and go in peace.

            • WSquared

              We’re very much agreed.

              And I am married, and don’t yet have children. I do, however, know that holy families come in all shapes and sizes, but so many discussions in the Catholic blogosphere only run one way. So I don’t think that my remark was at all unfair. For one thing, what does the Church actually understand by “motherhood”? She does not understand this primarily or exclusively biologically, as her reverence and respect for celibates and virgins would attest.

              It is one thing for a stay-at-home mother to be underrated, and I agree very much that she is. But it is another thing for her to be seen as the only type of a holy wife and mother, as often comes out in enough discussions.

              The point is not to disparage the stay-at-home mother, but rather to ask what the Church actually does allow and to be aware of what she does not mandate, instead of letting the discussion get unnecessarily narrowed running either way because of false dichotomies. The wonderful thing about Catholicism is that it throws a delightful spanner into our preconceived notions, a lot of which tend to be influenced by the culture, materialism, and advertising more than we’d like to admit. However any mother’s work-family balance turns out is dependent upon God, for nothing is impossible for Him. And He enables that balance in all sorts of ways we don’t at first imagine, which only become clearer after we make the ongoing to decision to love Him first.

              The reason why I mentioned St. Gianna Beretta Molla is that she was a physician in the 1940s, and it didn’t stop her from being feminine, and a mother, and a saint. And yet, those of us here in America seem to have a hard time wrapping our heads around something like that. We don’t even ask ourselves why that’s the case. Probably because our ideas of femininity and motherhood are conditioned by consumerist materialism more than they are conditioned by the Catholic faith.

              Moreover, perhaps I should’ve been a lot clearer: I’m not at all sure that a stay-at-home mother is all about any nostalgic sense of “mom and apple pie,” anyway, which is what I was trying to get at when I used the term “apple-pie mom.” Again, what I tend to be archly critical about is not the stay-at-home mom at all, but the nostalgia, at least when some use that nostalgia as an excuse to mandate what the Church does not.

        • WSquared

          Moreover, a mother who works often does the housework and minds the kids, too, and there is often no accompanying discussion on why husband and father shouldn’t do his share in that department, as well: would it make a man any less “manly” and “head of the family” to cook and clean once in a while (or at least help with maintenance work like cleaning the toilet so that the place doesn’t look like a pigsty)? Headship is about being chief steward. Yet, so many American Catholics can’t seem to get beyond coding “provider” as “bigger paycheck.”

          If the likes of “Iron Chef” doesn’t code cooking as “women’s work,” then there’s no reason why men can’t strap on an apron and do it at home, and learn to feed himself and others during the week (and not just when the barbecue grill is involved), instead of thinking that being “manly” requires him to be a neanderthal in the kitchen, to eat like a frat boy who slouches off to his “man cave” when “the wife” isn’t home, and to assume marriage to the source of a hot meal and a clean house.

          Granted, cooking and baking– as well as making a home– often gets marketed as “girlified,” too: note the existence of the Easy-Bake Oven (and as for the “man cave,” if every other room in the house is overly fussy and frou-frou, who could blame the man involved?). Moreover, it’s bad enough when cooking and cleaning gets codified as the means to “finding a good husband,” when in fact, both of those things are survival skills and about living as a civilized human being. Coming the other way, I have little to no patience with girls and women who can’t cook and clean, either, not because they need to do those things exclusively “to find a good husband,” but they should at least learn not to live like they were raised by wolves (one wonders if it might help to make one or two courses in cooking a requirement for graduation from college. For everybody). In addition, a single girl can learn to cook a hearty, healthy meal to feed herself, simply because the body needs sustenance, and not because cooking is somehow only imperative when it comes to impressing other people when you have “company.”

          We should not judge the worthiness of the love we were given.

          I agree. But that wasn’t my point. What I judge is how the worthiness of love and sacrifice, particularly when it comes to women and mothers, often gets judged or codified by the larger culture. It does indeed take courage to be an “apple-pie mom.” But as anyone who has ever experienced a stay-at-home mom who always hovers and doesn’t know how to back off, it’s far more accurate that anyone who either works or stays at home, or both, will be a disaster in both if they think they can or should have everything their own way. It is also not at all accurate to assume that if only all or most women were “apple-pie moms,” then we wouldn’t have the problems of abortion, contraception, etc., etc., if we do not try to think critically about why any of us assume that this should be any sort of “standard,” and if we do not make allowances for how certain nostalgic concepts of motherhood allowed for the fallow ground that led to contraception and abortion in the first place (why was there such an uproar over Humanae Vitae, except that enough Catholics thought that Paul VI was going to “change Church teaching” to “get with the times”?). It’s complicated, so I apologize if I’ve oversimplified everything.

          Moreover, Catholics who have these unthinkingly nostalgic notions of motherhood deserve to be challenged just as much as secularists should be for the simple reason that whatever waxing nostalgic they wish to do, it’s not what the Church teaches, and they have no business mandating what the Church does not. If they do, they can expect backlash, and they will have had it coming.

          • Art Deco

            and there is often no accompanying discussion on why husband and father shouldn’t do his share in that department,

            Not much discussion either of the habit of verbose complainers on the distaff side simply disregarding the domestic labor performed by husbands and fathers because it is not labor the lady of the house customarily performs.

            Granted, cooking and baking– as well as making a home– often gets marketed as “girlified,” too

            The marketing reflects the reality.

            (and as for the “man cave,” if every other room in the house is overly fussy and frou-frou, who could blame the man involved?).

            No, every other room in the house is set up to reflect the tastes and habits of the mother. Madam, I can introduce you to a professional man who has no den in his home to work after dinner. He lives in an unpreposessing ranch house with a master bedroom, several guest bedrooms, a common room, a kitchen which takes up about a third of the floor space, and a finished basement. Plenty of space for his wife’s quilting projects, but no place for him to work or entertain his chums. Their children are grown. She complains a lot that he works late.

            are survival skills and about living as a civilized human being.

            Calling Dr. Esolen. Yet another example of confounding civilization with domestication.

            and if we do not make allowances for how certain nostalgic concepts of motherhood allowed for the fallow ground that led to contraception and abortion in the first place (why was there such an uproar over Humanae Vitae,

            See Christopher Lasch on the use of the word ‘nostalgia’ as a rhetorical tool. Yes, we did notice that you’ve stuck the bill for the abortion license with defenders of domesticity as practiced by my grandmother.

            these unthinkingly nostalgic notions of motherhood deserve to be challenged

            My mother admonished me a while back that I would be best advised to be listening as well as talking. Something we can all take to heart on occasion.

            • WSquared

              Not much discussion either of the habit of verbose complainers on the distaff side simply disregarding the domestic labor performed by husbands and fathers because it is not labor the lady of the house customarily performs.

              I’m sorry if I missed that part out men’s domestic labor, so I thank you for mentioning it. But yes, on this we are agreed. When I was younger, we were all taught to help Mom and to help Dad. There was no such thing as “this is for boys, and this is for girls”– whatever it was had to be done, and somebody had to do it. We were just expected to pitch in, and to do it without being asked.

              The marketing reflects the reality.

              And here I just thought that everybody gotta eat. If we can talk a whole lot about what food we can consume, we can at least spend as much time talking about the food we prepare.

              Besides, cooking provides some great lessons in objective truth and humility as well as opportunities for serving others: some ingredients work with others in particular ways and not others, and how they do is therefore not contingent on how we “feel” and what we want. Moreover, learning to do this sort of thing for yourself is good training for doing it for others: it’s a good idea in general not only to know how and why things work, but to know that you have room to fail. Furthermore, it’s also a good idea never to serve others food that you yourself would not condescend to eat.

              I also grew up in a family where everybody, to a man and woman, knows how to cook and clean and to do it well. Even the men who don’t do the lion’s share of the housework still clean up after themselves– as everyone is expected to do– if there are crumbs, a wet bathroom vanity, dirty toilets, and dirty dishes in the sink. We learned that other people don’t exist to clean up after us. Moreover, we free each other up to do other things.

              Plenty of space for his wife’s quilting projects, but no place for him to work or entertain his chums. Their children are grown. She complains a lot that he works late.

              You’ve actually put your finger on something that I find very odd, and it’s something that I never encountered until I moved to this country– namely, assumptions that “male territory” is outside the house, and “female territory” is inside the house; he gets “his way” in the former, she gets “her way” in the latter.

              And what you’ve described is very bad. He ought to have some room, It rubs me the wrong way, because it’s so territorial. Moreover, I do wonder if it has something to do with how we neglect objective truth for fashion. If we can have those sorts of discussions about church architecture, we can have them about our homes, also: style and taste need not and should not compromise form and function based on the space one has and who uses that space, and realistic expectations in maintaining that space Rather, they can and should work in harmony.

              Moreover, good style depends on a sense of order and proportion, anyway, as well as not fighting what you’ve got– my husband may not be as interested in interior decorating, and I would never expect him to be. But he does have a solid sense of style, because he has a sense of space and proportion. So of course I would want his input.

              Yes, we did notice that you’ve stuck the bill for the abortion license with defenders of domesticity as practiced by my grandmother.

              That wasn’t my intention, only to point out that the traction for dissent against HV is coming from somewhere. And it does behoove us to listen to those kinds of complaints if we are to point out where the Church actually does propose something better. And we should also be aware of talking about “the good old days” that never happened. That’s all I’m saying. If “domesticity” tends to be coded the way our consumer culture tends to code things in extremes, as the original article is pointing out, then that’s problematic. Especially if we pick up what that culture throws down when it’s not what the Church teaches.

              Again, I find it rather odd that St. Gianna Beretta Molla can balance work and family, such that work doesn’t stop her from being a holy mother and ultimately a saint, and with the grace of God, she was doing this in the 1940s. Yet, Americans can’t seem to have these kinds of discussions. So the question, for me at least, is what is St. Gianna Beretta Molla seeing that we aren’t?

          • Facile1

            You take offense where there is no offense to be had. Now you’ve triggered one of the more misogynistic of posters in this blog. I should know. I had a horrible run-in with him awhile back. Good luck!

            • Art Deco

              Facile1′s understanding of ‘misogyny’ would incorporate the following:

              1. Not regarding the male as a defective female.
              2. Regarding women as moral agents, and not regarding bad behavior by women as a superficial phenomenon manifesting bad things done to women.
              3. Not putting much store in ‘obligation masculinity’, which is to say expecting young men to react to young women not as they are but as if they had the dispositions, habits, and history that young women tended to have in 1948.
              4. The understanding that contemporary matrimonial law encourages and rewards bad behavior by parties to a marriage and particularly rewards bad behavior by mothers.
              5. The understanding that women are willing participants in the nexus of behaviors which give rise to bastardy.
              6. The understanding that women bear most of the responsibility for the fragility of marriage in this country, but not all. Women bear most of the responsibility for the prevalence of abortion in this country, but not all. The positive law makes this possible.
              7. The understanding that the taste preferences of contemporary women (as opposed to their counterparts in 1948) redistribute benefits from men inclined to be dependable providers to self-centered men who like to shag.
              8. The view that women in workplaces are best advised to learn to transpose and not bring inappropriate dispositions into those workplaces, which is to say to be oriented toward common goals and not toward process or political finagling.

              9. The view that the helping professions and the educational apparat and the clergy (less systematically) are antagonistic to the masculine, and regard the male as a defective female and see the vocation of the man in accommodating the whims of the woman.
              10. The view that one may remark upon the systematic way in which men and women differ, rather than the modal habit of public discourse, which is to oscillate between denial of difference and assertion of difference, but only when such assertion is to the benefit of the female.

              • Facile1

                Like I said, the man hates women.

            • Art Deco

              The ‘horrible run in’ amounted to me telling you that the notion that it was common to immolate widows in India was rot. If anyone is the least bit curious, the exchange was here.

              http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/why-we-should-respect-someone-elses-conscience#comment-1037112384

              • Facile1

                Thanks for providing a link. Truth does not frighten me.

            • WSquared

              I’m sorry if I came off as overly grouchy.

              In so far as the many cultural discrepancies that we often consume without thinking don’t allow for a more holistic understanding of men and women, mothers and fathers, then yes, I have good reason to find them at least questionable. Especially when what the Church offers is so much more.

              • Facile1

                I am not looking for apologies. BUT hatred is always born of self-hatred.

                We cannot love our neighbors, our enemies, our spouses, our mothers better than we love ourselves. And we cannot love ourselves if we do not believe we are loved in the FIRST place.

                Jesus commands us to LOVE GOD FIRST. But the TRUTH is GOD loved us first. GOD loves us now. And GOD will love us always.

                God cannot love us any less for our choices.

                Our sins are not news to GOD. They are only news to us.

                But sin need not be fatal if we repent.

                Only REPENTANCE leads to a love for God because it is only when we repent do we learn how much GOD has forgiven and how very much we are loved.

                So rejoice in God’s love always and go in peace.

  • Reasonable_Opinion

    Let’s take this one step further–darker. Deadly. People who experience a same-sex attraction also experience about 3X the rate of suicide (CDC and other research data). Young people (teens) are particularly vulnerable. They don’t (can’t) fully understand the future/time perspective. If they are in a bad situation, they believe that they’ll be in the situation forever – they feel HOPELESSNESS! So, hopelessness, plus no lack of future/time perspective, plus means-to-suicide can yield suicidal behavior.
    Kids typically “realize” that they are “gay” or “lesbian” around the age of 11. For too many–enabled by the local PC school counselor and other “progressive-minded thinkers,” they experience this “feeling” as a life-long prison sentence and THAT promotes hopelessness. The result–or at least ONE result–increased suicide rates in teens.
    Are we aware that in the West today, 98% of today’s teens who believe they are homosexual at age 16 will believe they are heterosexual one year later? (See http://www.mygenes.co.nz “Common misconceptions about homosexuality).
    “Gay” and “lesbian” and all of the LGBTQ identities are labels that stick…unfair and destructive to our kids.

    • Liberace

      3x the suicide rate because depression is more common in teens who are bullied and ostracized by their peers… The state shouldn’t discriminate — people are good enough at doing that on their own.

      • Reasonable_Opinion

        Your reply repeats a common misperception–just look at the data–the incidence of mental health issues is consistent in countries and cultures openly “accepting” of the gay lifestyle’ i.e. The Netherlands, New Zealand and elsewhere. Mightb it be possible that we are designed by the Designer (or Natue, if you prefer) to be heterosexual and when we are not, conflict in one’s head is the result?

        • Dutchman

          Actually, in all countries, without exception, your “gay lifestyle” continues to be greeted by people like you and not “accepted”. Ignorance and bigotry exist everywhere. No law has eliminated it. Instead, laws can sensitize people to it, like the princess and the pea.

      • Facile1

        One should address only the evidence. Therefore, one can address evidence of anger and depression. One can address evidence of criminal sexual acts. And one can address bullying, but NOT ostracism or prejudice or sin.

        One cannot prove a negative. One cannot prove the absence of good. It is dangerous to allow the STATE to decide what is sin and what is not. And it is dangerous to allow the CHURCH to meet out temporal punishment.

        Leave JUSTICE to GOD because only HE is merciful and we are not.

  • Elat

    I couldn’t agree more. the damage they are creating is enormous and downright demonic. This is insanity on the utmost highest level..

  • hombre111

    Excellent article. I just wish someone over at Huffington Post would read this. Sometimes I think that Huffington serves a function as a reduction ad absurdum, revealing how silly an idea can be if it is pushed to the extreme. But then, Crisis serves that purpose as well.

    • lifeknight

      I do not understand you, Father. Crisis has promulgated Church teaching. Have you?

      • Adam__Baum

        “Crisis has promulgated Church teaching. Have you?”

        A quote:

        “Don’t know what “supporting homosexuality” means. I do recognize the dignity of homosexuals, thanks to the great homosexual men and women I have come to know over the years. I respect their right to a loving relationship in their life.

        wait for it, wait for it…

        I respect their longing and right to some kind of marriage.”

        You decide.

        • lifeknight

          Funny. Those who I would consider Crisis “antagonists” are those supporting the ultimate agenda of ruining the Church from within.

        • Carl

          That’s like saying, “thanks to great sinners I have come to know, I….”

          We are all sinners and I hope I have promulgated more good than bad in my life time. But we are measured ultimately through reconciliation with our creator. What we do for others is part of this reconciliation process. It’s not about excusing sin because I have done good or something great.

          This is being directed at hombre11.

          • Adam__Baum

            “This is being directed at hombre11″

            Roger that, Carl.

  • tamsin

    Beautifully said! Thank you from all of us at Team Girl. It’s a no-cut sport.

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  • Tony

    Thank you, Rachel!
    I knew boys when I was growing up who had zero interest in baseball or football. But they were still boys, and they knew they were boys. One of them became a state trooper. The boyishness shows up in different ways, from one boy to the next, but it really does not take a genius to see it. One kid read everything he could find about World War 2. Another kid took up poetry (in meter, of course; none of that sissy free verse stuff). People who say there are no differences are, so to speak, color blind or tone deaf. Listen to an all-male choir, both for what they sing and how they sing it….

    • Liberace

      Sissy free verse stuff? It’s not a surprise that someone who uses the term “sissy” to emasculate a particular interest in art would be against this legislation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on vegetarianism, boys who knit or a dance ballet, men and earrings. There are not people who say “there are no differences,” only people who say the differences are not as fixed as you believe and we should discriminate against people who do not fit squarely into our typical notions of masculine or feminine, because boyishness shows up in different ways — and in girls too.

      • Art Deco

        The disreputable Mr. Derbyshire once wrote a column on ballet and the appreciation of ballet and reported a conversation he had had with someone working in that trade. One question was the prevalence of homosexuality in ballet. His interlocutor offered these rough estimates: choreographers, 100%, i.e. everyone but George Balanchine; dancers, 50%; spectators, 25%. Ballet is a small and odd subculture.

        There were men in Annie Proulx’s novel The Shipping News who knitted; it was a function of their working in a maritime trade. Ever seen a man doing knitting or embroidery in a waiting room? (Answer: about as often as one sees a man breastfeeding).

        In a country with over 300 million people in it, you find all sorts of odd phenomena. I just do not understand people who fancy that a general rule is invalid if they can find a single contrary case.

        • Carl

          “I just do not understand people who fancy that a general rule is invalid if they can find a single contrary case.”
          My favorite argument of the left is when they use the hermaphrodite argument, well because God allows a person to be born with both genitalia it must be normal or excepted.

          Wouldn’t that make murderous sociopaths(medical condition) like Ted Bundy the new normal too? Am I being harsh comparing homosexuals to murderers, no, they are making an exaggerated example to make a point and so am I.

          Why don’t we just empty out all metal health institutions because they were born that way and are “normal.” Don’t try to fix or control the abnormal conditions but let them express themselves and not feel ostracized. Words such as abnormal shall be banned henceforth!

          • Facile1

            I agree. Words such as ‘abnormal’ should be banned henceforth! One should address only the evidence. And what is evidence for the ‘abnormal’?

            One cannot prove a negative. One cannot prove the absence of good. It is dangerous to allow the STATE to decide what is sin and what is not. And it is dangerous to allow the CHURCH to meet out temporal punishment.

            Leave JUSTICE to GOD because only HE is merciful and we are not.

        • Bob

          Some other odd phenomena are people with lycanthropy (people who think they are progressing in to animals), and apotemnophiliacs ( people with an erotic desire to have their limbs amputated.) No one would ever justify or entertain their psychosis’ for example by amputating their legs. This same conclusion many top psychologists have come to by not agreeing with the male transsexual’s request to have his genitalia removed.

          • Pat Brown

            Actually, the “amputation as a choice” crowd has several social workers and psychologists trying to normalize this crazy fetish…..showing how far out of touch some people are. I worked with the social worker who wrote an article about this “syndrome”, and she was one of the most unhappy and out of touch women I have ever met!

        • OLO101

          Most men in ballet are straight.

      • Adam__Baum

        “Sissy free verse stuff? It’s not a surprise that someone who uses the term “sissy” to emasculate a particular interest in art would be against this legislation.”

        “Lighten up, Francis”.
        -Sgt. Hulka

  • AMG

    Respectfully, your arguments here are based on simple logical fallacies.

    The core fallacy is a slippery slope fallacy: the very existence of gender neutral bathrooms will somehow actively encourage children to entertain doubts about their gender identity. How does the first thing (gender neutral bathrooms) lead
    to the more serious one (actively encouraging children to entertain doubts about their own gender)? You assume a connection here, but it is not at all clear how one leads to the other. Nor, upon reflection, is the connection remotely plausible. We already have two bathroom options (male/female). By your logic, we should predict the mere existence of two options might confuse children, but it doesn’t. Moreover, caretakers routinely take young children to opposite sex bathrooms: daughters with dad to the men’s room, sons with mom to the women’s room. Yet astoundingly, I have yet to hear of a child becoming gender confused as a result of being taken to an opposite sex bathroom.

    Here is the main assumption behind what your saying: gender identity is a kind of choice one can entertain, like whether you want sprinkles on your ice cream. That’s why it seems plausible to you that mere reflection on your own childhood can show what it would be like. I would rather suggest you actually talk to transgendered individuals about what their experience is like and whether their identity was a simple choice. That seems doubtful to me, and the opposite likely to be true: many faced constant social pressure not to be transgender as well as discrimination but remained transgender because that is what felt right to them.

    • cestusdei

      It is an unfortunate reality that children can be induced to make “choices” that are not in their best interest. A boy is a boy and a girl is a girl. That is a heresy to the gender benders. But it is a reality.

      • Adam__Baum

        Read the dystopic novel “The Shore of Women” by Pamela Sargent (note, it’s not for kids), it’s about a Sapphic society built on a culture of rigidly and ruthlessly enforced lies and cultural programming (men are evil, wild, animals) and how an evicted member learns the truth during a journey with a young man.

        • cestusdei

          Sounds like a meeting of Call To Action.

          • Adam__Baum

            I’m guess I’m as likely to be there as Frankie Muniz (of Malcolm in the Middle) is to be seen at an Obama rally.

    • Rachel Lu

      If you read the article instead of just looking at the picture, you’ll note that I didn’t even mention bathrooms. I think my suggestion was that encouraging kids to question their “gender identity” will cause them to worry needlessly (and harmfully) about gender identity. I think children much like my former self *are* currently being directly encouraged to deliberate about such things, but also, realistically, even having childhood experiences of boys who decide to become girls etc will unavoidably raise the question in many children’s minds, just as witnessing a friend’s parents’ divorce leads a child to wonder, “might my parents…?”

      • AMG

        Rachel – I did in fact read the piece. You situated your discussion in the context of ENDA, linking to an article that begins with scare-mongering over a transgendered individual entering a women’s bathroom. Granted, ENDA is broader than the issue of bathrooms–it prohibits discrimination of any kind against a person “because of such individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”

        The point, and the reason your argument is a slippery slope fallacy, is that you provide no concrete reason for thinking EDNA will lead to children becoming confused about their own gender. How does a non-discrimination policy lead to that? Do our laws prohibiting racial discrimination lead to children becoming confused about race? No, obviously not. Then why would legal protections for LGBT lead to children getting confused about their gender?

        The closest thing you offer to evidence is reflection on your own experience, which flatly assumes that being transgendered is a straightforward choice. My main point was that the very existence of transgendered individuals strongly suggests that gender identity is not a choice, and that people maintain a gender identity in spite of overwhelming social pressure not to be. You should try talking to such individuals rather than demonize them (however much you may deny that is what you are doing) by airing unfounded fears about their being accorded minimal legal protection.

        • Tony

          Men who want to dress up as women are no more deserving of legal protection for their aberrancy than is anyone else — let’s say, a flasher. You are being disingenuous, too. You know damned well that the establishment of the legal fiction (that there “are” transgendered people, who are so by their own declaration) will be made manifest in school curricula and textbooks, and that already students are encouraged to question their sexual identity.

          • Nick

            Well, yes, one of the main points of education is to inform people about the nature of reality. And the nature of reality is that there ARE transgendered people in the world, no quotes needed. I’m sorry that upsets you. I’m sorry you’re in such hardcore denial that you can’t even bring yourself to acknowledge that reality. But it is what it is. And telling straight people that there are transgendered people in the world doesn’t make them question their straightness any more than telling extroverts that there are introverts in the world makes them question their extroversion.

            Here’s another fact that’s likely to make your head explode: there are literally MILLIONS of straight liberals in the world. In fact, MOST of them are straight. Go figure.

            • Bob

              No one’s denying that there are people with tendencies towards transgenderism. And studies have shown that if they have surgery, they are worse off emotionally and mentally than before surgery. Many top psychologists have stated that it’s better to treat these patients psychosis than to butcher and mutilate them through surgery.

              Personally, I don’t want some guy claiming he’s a woman in my daughter’s locker room before or after surgery. Or in the stall next to my wife’s in the lady’s room at work.

              So go ahead and attack me and spew venom at me all you want. I’d much prefer to protect my daughter’s and wife’s dignity, respect and rights than some guy who thinks he has a right to stand naked in front of them because he’s one of them, because he’s not.

              • Nick

                “No one’s denying that there are people with tendencies towards transgenderism.”

                Quite manifestly at least one person is – the person who wrote the post right above mine. He called it a “legal fiction,” ie a category invented by lawyers or judges that doesn’t actually exist. Which is why I said what I said.

                Secondly, no mainstream psychologist refers to transgenderism, in and of itself, as psychosis.

                Third, I haven’t spewed any venom or “attacked” you, sir. And I respect your desire to protect the rights of your family. That’s a perfectly legitimate concern. But it’s also perfectly legitimate to respect and defend the rights and dignity of transgendered people. There are no easy answers here. In some cultures these folks are conceived of as a third gender altogether, because it’s recognized that they don’t “fit” well in either the male or female categories. The same applies to intersex people. But what isn’t helpful is caricaturing all such individuals as perverts or child molesters who just want everyone to see their junk, as has already been suggested in these comments. That’s not charitable and it doesn’t move the conversation forward.

                • Art Deco

                  If you wish to defend your ‘dignity’, Nick, don’t walk around in women’s clothing. It’s not rocket science.

                  • Nick

                    I don’t intend to. I’m also not transgender.

                    • John200

                      Of course you aren’t a transsexual, dear. Of course you are just a disinterested observer who is offended that the poor little transsexuals are offended by normal people.

                      Of course.

                      We have heard it all before. But do carry on, you are getting some play here.

                    • Nick

                      I do love subtle ad hominem when people have nothing substantive to say.

                    • John200

                      You do love practicing ad hominem when your “argument” crumbles into a sea of cracker crumbs.

                      Do carry on, I mean that as a sincere invitation, you are making a fine spectacle. As for substance, you are having your head handed to you. On other threads, I performed the function; here, other commentators are doing the honors.

                      Never doubt it, I know this stuff. As do many others at CrisisMag.

                • Bob

                  Dr. Joseph Berger, psychiatrist, saying there is no such thing as transgender, and that it is a mental illness or “psychosis”:

                  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2978867/posts

                  Yes, there are easy answers here. Read the first few paragraphs of Austin Ruse’s article on ENDA referenced above. The per-surgical transsexual male is claiming he was discriminated against because he could not use the girl’s lockerroom at a local college. And what is the easy answer? Don’t let a guy in to a young girls lockerroom!!!!! What about the rights of the dozen or so teenage girls undressing in said lockerroom? Does their rights take the back seat to a man claiming he is a woman?

                  And think about it. What’s stopping me (a heterosexual male) from joining the local LA Fitness and claiming I’m actually a gal inside a man’s body and demanding to use the woman’s lockerrroom, because it is my right?

                  This is crazy. It’s nuts.

                  • Nick

                    I asked for a mainstream psychologist. The clear concensus across the psychological and medical (including psychiatric) fields is at odds with whoever this guy is. See the two most recent documents (2012) from the American Psychiatric Association, for example:

                    http://www.psychiatry.org/practice/professional-interests/diversityomna/diversity-resources/apa-position-statements-related-to-diversity

                    If you want to play the game of where the experts stand on this issue, I promise you, you won’t win that battle.

                    In regards to the example you cite, as I said before, it has nothing to do with ENDA, which pertains to employment policy, not what locker room people change in.

                    What would stop you from entering a woman’s locker room is that you’re a straight male. If your claim is that transgendered people are all lying and they’re secretly straight and just want to ogle people, I really think you need to talk to an actual transgendered person, because again, you’re being quite uncharitable in that case.

                    • Bob

                      “Whoever this guy is” not a good answer.

                      And yes, I would win the battle because there are many reputable psychiatric studies showing that transgenderism is a a psychosis. Or is your response going to be “whoever this guy is?”

                      No….you’re the uncharitable one claiming a locker room full of girls have no rights when a guy walks into the locker room claiming to be a woman.

                      Then you believe a man claiming he is actually a woman should be allowed legally to enter a teenage girls locker room?

                    • Nick

                      I’d be happy to look at your “many reputable” studies. You’re right, I’m not terribly impressed that you managed to find one doctor who agrees with your opinion, in the face of the literally thousands of mental health professionals represented by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, etc., all of which disagree profoundly with you on the basis of the evidence. For example:

                      http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/transgender.aspx

                      Second, no I don’t think adults should be undressing in front of children. The transgender bathroom bill is about transgender MINORS, not adults. And, repeating, none of that has anything to do with ENDA. So again, you’re bringing in extreme examples to knock down a straw man.

                    • Bob

                      I didn’t say “adults changing in front of children”, I “should a man claiming he is actually a woman…should be legally allowed to enter a teenage girls locker room.” Cute try at trying to chane my words.

                      Is the head of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins good enough for you?:

                      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/02/surgical-sex–35

                    • Nick

                      One, I didn’t change your words. Your nightmare example (as cited in the article) was an underage girl seeing an adult man’s genitals in a locker room. No one is in favor of that.

                      Two, as with the previously cited examples, these articles are about sex reassignment surgery, not transgenderism in itself. The article from the John’s Hopkins guy was interesting, but ultimately not scholarly, not peer reviewed, written for a Christian website, and composed of informal descriptions and subjective judgments on his part (from experiences in the 70s). So yes, I take that with a quite obvious grain of salt.

                    • Bob

                      Conclusion to Swedish study referenced in my other post:

                      “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. “

                    • Nick

                      OK. That has nothing to do with whether transexuality is inherently psychotic.

                    • Bob

                      But if it was biologic genetic, shouldn’t sex reassignment surgery be more of an answer?

                      My point is Nick isn’t it better to try to possibly rule out with a transsexual looking to pursuit surgery any socio/psychotic reasons behind their transexual desires and tendencies? Better to cure the mind than butcher the body? I reference Dr. McHugh from Johns Hopkins (arguably, the top academic hospital on the planet). His work with transgender patients led to JH dropping sex reassignment surgeries all together. Docs at JH are extremely bright, bright objective people (hands down some of the best in the world) only wanting the best for their patients. They are not knee jerk clinicians, weighing every possible reason/outcome. They concluded transexual tendencies are psychotic in nature, don’t you think that holds considerable weight?

                    • Nick

                      Everyone agrees that therapy should be a prerequisite to sex reassignment, to rule out a variety of different reasons the person might be seeeking it. So you’re arguing against a position no one holds, in that case.
                      As for the Johns Hopkins article, it never calls transgenderism psychosis, even in spite of the author’s strong criticism of sex reassignment. Im really not sure why you’re so hung up on this point.

                    • Bob

                      He does discuss it as a psychosis, it’s best to treat the mind then butcher the body.

                      Then you agree that transsexuals can be treated with therapy. That a person claiming to be a woman trapped in a man’s body has a lot of psychological baggage, that can be treated.

                      But let’s get back to the article and ENDA. A guy that has worked at a corporation for ten years on a Monday morning walks in with 5 inch stiletto heels, a mini skirt, lipstick and a wig says he is actually a girl named Sally. And that he demands to be referred to as “she” and now legally use the woman’s room at work. The owners of the corporation are concerned because Sally’s a distraction, and the female employees are aghast and horrified to have a man in the stall next to them in the ladies room.

                      My question is: do you think this is OK? Do the 50 other coworkers that find “Sally’s” dress and behavior at work distracting and demotivating have rights also? That the owners of the company expect a certain decorum

                    • Nick

                      “He does discuss it as a psychosis, it’s best to treat the mind then butcher the body.”
                      Ok, now I’m sure. You don’t know what psychosis means. Please look it up.

                      “Then you agree that transsexuals can be treated with therapy. That a person claiming to be a woman trapped in a man’s body has a lot of psychological baggage, that can be treated.”
                      Oh, certainly. A lot of their psychological baggage pertains to social stigma against their condition, and fears of or actual results of social rejection by friends and family and discrimination by society.

                      In regards to your example, if the person’s dress does not interfere with their ability to do their job, and they abide by the dress code of their gender, it should be utterly irrelevant to an employer. In terms of the shock from other employees, it will fade with time. A female friend of mine actually told me a couple of years ago this happened in her workplace. There was initial shock and giggling and such, and then people basically went back to work as usual. Most social changes like this area anticipated to be a much bigger deal than they actually are.

                    • Nick

                      This study is incredibly informative, if only because, when one looks at the full text, to which you failed to link, the authors completely deflate what you are trying to do, i.e. malign all sex reassignment. I quote in part:

                      “It is therefore important to note that the current study is only informative with respect to transsexuals persons health after sex reassignment; no inferences can be drawn as to the effectiveness of sex reassignment as a treatment for transsexualism. In other words, the results should not be interpreted such as sex reassignment per se increases morbidity and mortality. Things might have been even worse without sex reassignment. As an analogy, similar studies have found increased somatic morbidity, suicide rate, and overall mortality for patients treated for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.[39], [40] This is important information, but it does not follow that mood stabilizing treatment or antipsychotic treatment is the culprit.”

                      The full text is here (scroll to the Discussion section for relevant implications):
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.proxy.lib.csus.edu/pmc/articles/PMC3043071/

                    • Bob

                      And you are reading the study improperly.

                      And yes I have read it what they are saying is that for those that have had surgery, there is further damage that we need to prepare for, and greater psychological help is then needed. My point is the study backs up the work done at Johns Hopkins. Transgender patients are worse off after the they have the surgery they thought would turn their lives in to an utopia.

                    • Nick

                      LOL. Bob, I was quoting the authors of the study. I didn’t misread a thing. They explicitly reject the implication you’re trying to draw from their research. Sorry, that’s just the facts.

                    • Art Deco

                      You’re right, I’m not terribly impressed that you managed to find one
                      doctor who agrees with your opinion, in the face of the literally
                      thousands of mental health professionals represented by the American
                      Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the
                      American Medical Association, the National Association of Social
                      Workers, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, etc.,
                      all of which disagree profoundly with you on the basis of the evidence.

                      Evidence of what, Nick? You’re dispute is over what taxonomic category you put these screwballs in, which is interesting only intramurally.

                      The ambo of the mental health trade has its limits and they do not get to make authoritative pronouncements on normative questions that anyone else is bound to listen to; neither do they get to conjure ‘medical problems’ out of thin air. Reality is still there when you stop believing in it, and these characters are ‘sick’ only in a metaphorical sense of the term.

                    • Nick

                      They get to make authoritative pronouncements on things in which they are experts – in this case, mental illness. I agree we shouldn’t conjure medical problems out of thin air, so I’m not sure what your point is there.

                    • Art Deco

                      No, they get to make authoritative pronouncements on the metrics which indicate some populations differ from others and authoritative pronouncements about how subjects react to psychotropic medications and or manipulative techniques (‘therapy’, ‘counseling’).

                      In the case of Dr. Paul McHugh, who has come in for considerable abuse on this point, his contention has been that aspirants to sex reassignment surgery had all manner of issues that were unresolved by the surgery and hormonal treatments, hence the surgery and hormonal treatments were unethical. Dr. McHugh, like every other mental health tradesman, is dependent on the larger society for norms the mental health trade cannot generate with its own tools.

                      Which is what makes this eyewash from the various associations of the helping professions worthy of very little attention. No one needs to be told cross-dressers are deviants (we know that) and no one needs to be told they are not (because that’s rot).

                    • Nick

                      “No, they
                      get to make authoritative pronouncements on the metrics which indicate some
                      populations differ from others and authoritative pronouncements about how
                      subjects react to psychotropic medications and or manipulative techniques
                      (‘therapy’, ‘counseling’).”

                      Inherent
                      in the metrics you reference are diagnostic criteria for determining whether a
                      particular condition is an actual illness or disorder or not. Again, this is completely uncontroversial in
                      the clinical world (whether mental health or medical).

                      “In the
                      case of Dr. Paul McHugh, who has come in for considerable abuse on this point,
                      his contention has been that aspirants to sex reassignment surgery had all
                      manner of issues that were unresolved by the surgery and hormonal treatments,
                      hence the surgery and hormonal treatments were unethical.”

                      Strictly
                      speaking, that logic just doesn’t follow.
                      The fact that a treatment is ineffective doesn’t make it automatically
                      ineffective. There are multiple other
                      variables at play.

                      “Dr.
                      McHugh, like every other mental health tradesman, is dependent on the larger
                      society for norms the mental health trade cannot generate with its own tools.”

                      Oh, sure. We’re all
                      dependent on social and cultural norms to shape our worldviews and our sense of
                      what constitutes healthy and unhealthy (and perhaps by extension, moral and
                      immoral) behavior. But that sword is
                      double-edged, of course. Every social
                      conservative’s opinions are, likewise, shaped by the society and culture in
                      which they live. So if we’re discounting
                      the position of one side of the debate for that reason, we must be consistent
                      and discount the other side as well. So
                      then we’re back at square one. What now?

                      A more rational approach, it seems to me, is to recognize
                      that sexuality is a natural phenomenon.
                      As such, it is by definition able to be studied scientifically, as
                      science’s purview is nature. So rather
                      than apply a bunch of moral labels up front to various psychological states or
                      behaviors, it would stand to reason that we should look at the facts as they
                      stand, as objectively as possible. This
                      is precisely what mental health professionals do, in regard to mental health
                      issues. They study the data of mental
                      illness, day in and day out, for a living.
                      Agreed, we shouldn’t stop at arguments from authority. The beauty of science is that the data is
                      publicly verifiable. But it also stands
                      to reason that, unless there is a giant conspiracy among 99% of clinicians to
                      call something a spade when it’s a diamond, it makes a lot of sense to me that
                      their opinion probably counts for something.

                    • Bob

                      And disagreeing with me on what, Nick?? Like I said….there are people that have tendencies towards transsexualism, that’s all these psychiatric bodies are confirming. The studies I’ve shown you is the harmful and negative after affects from sex reassignment surgery, and how transsexualism is a psychosis.

                      Two questions:

                      Should a male transsexual that thinks he’s actually a woman, be allowed in a women’s locker room, or ladies bathroom at work?

                      Do you think that someone with transsexual desires and tendencies automatically be allowed to have sex reassignment surgery, or should a well trained psychiatrist in mental illnesses have a shot first at helping that person before you send them off for mutilating surgery?

                    • Nick

                      “And disagreeing with me on what, Nick??”
                      Disagreeing with you that transgenderism is a mental disorder, much less “psychosis.” The sources I cited thus far explicitly reject that view. None of the studies you mentioned (not even the Johns Hopkins guys, from what I recall) refer to transgenderism as psychosis.

                      Question 1 – I wouldn’t care.
                      Question 2 – No one in this discussion recommends that transgender people impulsively get sex reassignment surgery. Most transgender folks who get such surgery go through extensive therapy beforehand, to rule out the kinds of things you mention and ensure that it is what they really want.

                    • Art Deco

                      Disagreeing with you that transgenderism is a mental disorder, much less “psychosis.”

                      Then why are you citing the National Association of Social Workers, et al.? If you wish to offer your opinion about what is disordered, offer it. No need to drag in a 3d rate clerisy.

                    • Nick

                      I am citing them because they are mainstream, professional organizations of mental health professionals, i.e. experts in mental illness. I would assume that their input in the context of the current conversation would be rather obvious.

                    • Art Deco

                      No, you are citing them because you fancy they are authoritative, and you are citing them because their inner ring holds to the same views you do.

                      The trouble is, you are confused about just what it is concerning which they are authoritative, and it is a confusion they would just as soon we all share.

                      In the case of social workers, they are authoritative about diddly/squat other than the office politics where they work. In the case of psychiatrists, they are authoritative about patterns of human behavior.

                      What none of them are authoritative about is what we should live and strive for, and to understand that we are reliant on ourselves and on all the resources we can bring to bear, most specifically Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium.

                      In any case, this is not a difficult call. Put on women’s clothing and hang around in the girl’s bathroom is sick-o (that’s a metaphor, Nick). You do not need a social worker to tell you that (and if she tells you otherwise, she’s messing with your head).

                    • Nick

                      “No, you
                      are citing them because you fancy they are authoritative, and you are citing
                      them because their inner ring holds to the same views you do.”

                      I don’t “fancy” they’re authoritative, as though I picked
                      them at random for no reason. Again,
                      they are people who work professionally in mental health. They are people who study mental illness and
                      psychological phenomena at a graduate level.
                      You’re acting as though they’re a bunch of random people from off the
                      street.

                      “In the
                      case of social workers, they are authoritative about diddly/squat other than
                      the office politics where they work.”

                      I really
                      don’t think you know what you’re talking about, to be honest. Most social workers are licensed as CLINICAL
                      social workers, meaning they have the training of any psychotherapist on the
                      diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
                      If that means nothing to you, there’s really no where else to go in this
                      conversation. It’s like talking to a
                      person who never goes to the doctor because he thinks they’re all quacks. The position is unfalsifiable, unless you’re
                      willing to let actual empirical data enter your worldview.

                      “In the
                      case of psychiatrists, they are authoritative about patterns of human behavior.”

                      Psychiatrists
                      are MDs (medical doctors) with specialization in the treatment of mental
                      illness. If you’re a pure behaviorist,
                      sure, all, or at least most, mental illness can be broken down into behavioral
                      components, but that’s rarely the strict perspective among clinicians
                      today. With advances in cognitive and
                      neuroscience, we know that there are psychological and biological elements of
                      the human psyche that go beneath the surface of external behaviors, and modern
                      psychiatrists (as well as psychologists and psychotherapists) are certainly
                      trained in those aspects.

                      “What none
                      of them are authoritative about is what we should live and strive for, and to
                      understand that we are reliant on ourselves and on all the resources we can
                      bring to bear, most specifically Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the
                      Magisterium.”

                      You’re
                      certainly correct that science doesn’t provide our lives with existential
                      meaning. And if the argument here were
                      purely about questions of existential meaning and philosophy and theology, this
                      thread would be very different in content than it has been for the last
                      day. If you want to stick to the topic
                      of what one should do on the basis of Scripture, Tradition, and the
                      Magisterium, then have at it. But that
                      entails two things. One, we live in a
                      society which values freedom of religion, and the separation of Church and
                      state. Thus, any arguments about civil
                      law (e.g. ENDA) cannot be based on Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium,
                      because obviously those are sources of authority particular to
                      Catholicism. Second, we cannot allow
                      religious convictions to cloud our interpretation of empirical data. If we are going to have a conversation about
                      what empirical data show on a given question, thoughts of “what the Church says”
                      need to be left at the door and evaluated independently. So if you want to leave behind questions of
                      psychology and mental illness, as well as questions of civil rights and law, I’m
                      sure many Catholics here would be delighted to have a conversation with you
                      about transgenderism on religious terms.
                      But don’t conflate those terms with scientific or civil ones.

                      “In any
                      case, this is not a difficult call. Put on women’s clothing and hang around in
                      the girl’s bathroom is sick-o (that’s a metaphor, Nick). You do not need a
                      social worker to tell you that (and if she tells you otherwise, she’s messing
                      with your head).”

                      The
                      question is, WHY is it “sick-o,” and what does that even mean? Does that just mean it gives you an icky
                      feeling in your stomach?

                      As you
                      already mentioned, our values are largely socially and culturally constructed,
                      and that includes values surrounding gender roles, including what clothes are
                      appropriate to wear. In ancient Ireland,
                      men wore kilts – and to any modern observer, those things look a heck of a lot
                      like a skirt. Yet in their culture, it
                      wasn’t a feminine article of clothing at all.
                      Read 1 Corinthians 11 on head coverings and hair length. The Catholic Church, like most Christian
                      churches in modern times, has basically completely abandoned Paul’s perspective
                      on those issues, and rightly regards them as culturally shaped for what was
                      gender appropriate in 1st century Asia Minor. But if we already acknowledge that gender
                      roles are fluid across history, why are we acting as though our Western 21st
                      century gender roles are absolute, and anyone who violates them is one pair of
                      high heels away from Hell?

                    • Art Deco

                      I cannot be bothered with your badly formatted text wall. It is your contention that the National Association of Social Workers et al resolves normative questions for the society at large through the conduit of declaring certain behaviors ‘mental disorders’ and certain behaviors ‘normal’. It is my contention that you’re a mark or you think the rest of us are marks.

                      Psychiatrists are properly salaried employees of institutions of social control. Prior to the 2d World War, most worked in state asylums. People were housed in asylums because they were public order problems that their families and the local constabulary could not handle anymore and the precise nature of their behavior made the prison system suboptimal. The psychiatrist can tell you a great many things about that public order problem and how he is likely to react to various sorts of stimuli. What the psychiatrist cannot do is define ‘public order problem’ in a way that improves on common sense.

                      With regard to Dr. McHugh, his essential position is that you take an inventory of the characteristics of your subject before and after and you find that the effect of sex reassignment surgery etc. is largely nugatory. They are problematic before and after in pretty much the same way. Ergo, sex reassignment surgery is unethical, as are the auxilliary hormonal treatments. Dr. McHugh is dependent on the larger society for the notion that you do not engage in genital mutiliation absent a reason, but that should not be controversial.

                      You see, you are arguing that some random jackwagon’s insistence on cross-dressing and using women’s bathrooms trumps everyone else’s sensibilities. Evidently, ‘mainstream’ trade associations (captured by the Borg as all of them seem to be) are down with that. That’s not a reason to make a facility for cross-dressers to make use of women’s bathrooms (or expose people who object to civil penalties). That’s a reason to stop listening to ‘mainstream’ professional associations. They do not deserve our attention.

                    • Nick

                      Ok, this will be my last round of responses.

                      The question of what constitutes “normal” obviously changes over time, as we’ve covered. What psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, and clinical social workers do for a living is diagnose and treat mental illness. If you acknowledge the reality of mental illness, and have any familiarity with the way in which clinicians diagnose and treat various conditions, this should be utterly uncontroversial to you. Assessments are evidence-based. Diagnoses and treatments are determined based on the empirical evidence we have available to us. It’s not magic. It’s not conspiracy. It’s science.

                      As for sex reassignment, it’s simply false to claim that all such surgery, and all hormone therapy, is ineffective. Look at the clinical data beyond one doctors testimony from the 70s. Lots of transgender people are helped by such treatments.

                      The main point, and the crux of the conversation, hinges on this: your worldview is unfalsifiable. You believe that 99% of all the people in the Western world who study mental illness as academics, and treat it as professional clinicians, are either part of a giant cover-up, or are just utterly blind and incompetent in the field to which they have dedicated their lives. There’s nothing I can say, no evidence I can show you, that will dissuade you from that. You have almighty “common sense” (as determined by you), and no one who disagrees with those convictions can ever conceivably be right. So that’s essentially as far as the conversation can go. Until you allow empirical evidence to invade your paradigm, no further consensus can be reached.

                      At any rate, the conversation was informative to say the least. Thank you.

                    • John200

                      Dear Nick,

                      1. Abnormal Psychology (remember that term? We don’t hear it much these days) is not much of a science. In fact, when you calling its practitioners “clinicians” you make the point in beautifully direct fashion.

                      Thank you for that, although it was not your intent.

                      Since you claim you are going to go away, I’ll stop with Point 1.

                      Best to you and yours.

                    • Art Deco

                      You keep repeating yourself, Nick, and playing the fool in the process. Norms of human behavior (except for populations means, medians, or modes) are not determined by ‘science’. They cannot be. Reason perhaps, but not science. Please see Max Weber on this point.

                      I have a petty advantage over you in that I have a mess of first and second and third degree relations (on my side and the distaff side) who are in the helping professions. They know their protocols, I assume, but in ordinary conversation they are no more sophisticated than a man who sells you insurance. They are bourgeois of a particular type and have the prejudices of bourgeois of a particular type. Strange as it may seem, such prejudices place great store in the authority of the clerisies to which they belong. Come to think of it, so do you.

                      It does pose a problem when one of them goes off script. Usually, its the social workers, who are commonly haphazardly educated halfwits, who do something deeply embarrassing. (My favorite example was the minister in Massachusetts whose child was taken into custody after said minister spanked him with a belt).

                      As for professional associations, O’Sullivan’s law applies. The most comical example is the American Library Association, but you can certainly find a mess of others.

                    • Bob

                      My apologies, Nick. I was confusing McHugh’s work where he says transexualism is a mental illness, and Katherine MacVicker’s work stating transexualism as psychosis:

                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/738822

                      Regardless….whether mental illness or psychosis, it seems good psychological treatment can benefit the transsexual.

                    • Art Deco

                      As for sex reassignment, it’s simply false to claim that all such surgery, and all hormone therapy, is ineffective.

                      Oh, it’s very effective at mutilating people’s genitals and generating a mess of ancillary medical problems.

                    • Bob

                      And you homosexual Nick? If you are, that does show a bias. The LGBT community must defend that transexuality is somehow biologically or genetically based (I was born this way), because if it is a mental illness it falsifies the LGBT’s agenda.

                    • Bob

                      No they don’t go through extensive therapy before surgery. Because of the work done at Johns Hopkins provig it’s a psychosis, most hospitals in the US don’t do sex reassignment surgeries. If you had bothered to read the “First Things”article link I posted, Thailand does the surgery and they take all comers, no questions asked.

                      As far as your response to question one, it wouldn’t bother for your,daughter and wife to have a naked man to be running around the locker room where they are undressing? I’m really not sure how to respond to that.

                    • Nick

                      Yes, Bob, they DO go through extensive therapy beforehand, by and large. Again, have you talked to an actual transgendered person before?

                      As far as how many hospitals do sex reassignment, the First Things article, which apparently you’re treating as inspired, it doesn’t say from what I remember. He ended sex reassignment for gender dysphoria… at Johns Hopkins… in the 70s. I’d have to do some looking to see how prevalent it is today.

                      As for your example, again your language betrays your bias. First, we’re talking about all adults here. Second, your characterization of a man “running around naked” is a silly exaggeration, and I think you know that. I assume that most transgender people use locker rooms the way everyone else does: they go in, keep mostly to themselves or a close friend, discretely change, and go on with their lives. It’s not a nudist colony.

                    • Bob

                      I think the difference between your thinking and my thinking Nick is the following:

                      If I had a male friend that suddenly started dressing as a woman claiming he is a woman trapped in a man’s body, I’d strongly persuade that friend to pursuit psychological help, that there’s a real possibility you’re experiencing mental illness.

                      If you had the same male friend you would shrug your shoulders and say “Ok, whatever. If you think you’re a woman, then you’re a woman. If you think you’re a chicken, then you’re a chicken. You go on dressing like a woman if that makes you happy.”

                      There is mental illness. If a person’s transexuality is due to an underlying mental condition, you are doing that person no favours by ignoring it.

                    • Nick

                      You’re wrong about me, Bob. I wouldn’t automatically pass judgment one way or the other on such a person. In some cases, such a person could be mentally ill. In others, not so much.

                      I agree, there is mental illness. But if a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not due to underlying mental illness, we do them no favors by pathologizing them and making them feel ashamed and perverse and wicked and nuts.

                    • Bob

                      No one is claiming them perverse, wicked, or nuts, Nick. Once again, your words.

                      And we do no favors for them by justifying their mental illness, either. I’m assuming you’re not Catholic, but you are on a Catholic website. Here is a great article on Catholic perspective and teaching on the subject, I suggest you read it:

                      http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2527/the_transgender_culture_wars.aspx#.UoflR8u9KK0

                    • Art Deco

                      I think their perverse (and ‘nuts’, while we are at it). Nick seems terribly hung up on terms such as ‘mental illness’, ‘mental disorder’, and ‘psychosis’. Why not call it ‘stickball’?

                    • Bob

                      Great. Your conclusion then is the top docs at Johns Hopkins who say transgender is a mental disorder and psychosis are wrong and basically idiots. You obviously have vastly more clinical academic medical experience than them on the subject. You are obviously right…..and the some of the top physicians in the world are wrong.

                    • Nick

                      You do understand that all mental illness is not psychosis, right? Psychosis is a specific kind of mental illness.

                      Second, you are accepting the testimony of a doctor writing a non-scholarly piece based on his experiences in the 70s. Treatment and understanding of transgender people has progressed since then.

                      Meanwhile, you are ignoring the consensus of every mainstream medical and mental health organization in the Western world, and the clinical evidence on which they base their view…literally thousands of experts, all of whom don’t agree with your opinions about transgender people.

                    • slainte

                      Dr. Nicholas Cummings, past president of the American Psychiatric Association (“APA”), makes some interesting points about the politicalization of the APA by ultra-liberal groups starting in the 1980s who rejected the “Leona Tyler Principle”, which required that all public positions of the APA be supported by scientific evidence.

                      Dr. Cummings is further quoted as saying, “The APA “started changing pretty drastically by the late 1980s,”….. “By the mid 1990s, the Leona Tyler principle was absolutely forgotten, that political stances seemed to override any scientific results. Cherry-picking results became the mode. The gay rights movement sort of captured the APA.”

                      http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-president-of-apa-says-organization-controlled-by-gay-rights-movement/.
                      It

                    • Michael

                      Nick,

                      Your dismissal of Paul McHugh’s work is quite premature. He has written more than that First Things article, you know. Do a bit more research. It might help you remove that grain of salt you mentioned.

                • Facile1

                  Where is your evidence that ‘transgendered people’ exist?

                  Neither psychiatric or legal terminology can pass for evidence. Language is a human invention. The TRUTH is NOT.

                  And the question is — where is your evidence?

            • Art Deco

              The nature of reality is that some people are damaged goods. You do not construct public policy incorporating the premise that damaged goods must be accommodated rather than discouraged.

              • Nick

                Even accepting your premise that being transgender is an example of “damage,” sure we construct public policy to accommodate “damaged” people. That’s what the Americans with Disabilities Act is.

                • Art Deco

                  The Americans with Disabilities Act was a wretchedly vague piece of legislation which left anyone planning a construction project at the mercy of the vagaries of case law and administrative agency rulings. It also left employers in that position as well. The whole business amounted to demanding private agencies assume costs for providing for infrequent contingencies and then left performance standards a hopeless muddle. No responsible legislature would ever have passed it.

                  And the client population is wholly dissimilar. Men walking around in women’s clothing are not crippled except in a metaphorical sense. There is no reason to accommodate them at all bar that it is fashionable among a certain sort of bourgeois to celebrate deviant behavior.

                  And, yes, if you fancy you are compelled to have your penis amputated and run through hormonal treatments and walk around in miniskirts, you are damaged goods. Sorry to break it to you.

                  • Nick

                    Regardless of whether you feel the law was vague or overly restrictive, the point is that our society does have a history of establishing legislation that protects minorities from discrimination by the majority. And ENDA is perfectly in line with that history.

                    Second, I agree that your description of “damaged” (which in legal terms can only rationally be understood as “disabled”) is a really bad adjective for transgender people…Which is why you had to backpedal and call them “metaphorically” damaged…In other words, just damaged enough to mock them, but not enough to show them any actual compassion or ensure theyre protected from unfair treatment.

                    • Art Deco

                      protects minorities from discrimination by the majority. And ENDA is perfectly in line with that history.

                      That history is an asinine one and should not be elaborated upon. In any case, the client group we are discussing behave badly. No reason to give them a cause of action or to have lawyers vetting everyone else’s free decisions about how to deal with them.

                    • Nick

                      Was the Civil Rights Act asinine? Do you think minorities should have constitutionally protected rights, or should majorities always wield absolute power?

                    • Art Deco

                      I think that people should have a right to their life, their liberty, and their property. They should have a number of other privileges and immunities specific to societies where elections and public deliberation are the order of the day. Except in very odd circumstances, they should not be able to make use of the courts to compel other parties to hire them, or to have them as customers, or to have them as tenants, or to have them on the premises.

                      You could in 1964 make a rough argument in favor of public accommodations laws with regard to the black population and perhaps the aboriginal population. A largely poor population living in times and places where the police and courts are deeply corrupt and public manners often atrocious may induce one to reconsider certain general principles. However, freedom of contract and freedom of association should generally be the order of the day. In any case, cross-dressers are a behaviorally defined group. Blacks are not.

                    • Nick

                      “Except in very odd circumstances, they should not be able to make use of the courts to compel other parties to hire them, or to have them as customers, or to have them as tenants, or to have them on the premises.”

                      So you’re OK, for example, with hiring practices that quite specifically discriminate against minorities?

                    • Art Deco

                      I am OK with employers having plenary discretion over who they hire, promote, demote, and discharge. It is my contention that the granular knowledge that an employer has over what’s good for his business is generally more reliable than the understandings of a claque of attorneys (working in regulatory agencies, in the courts, and for plaintiffs). It is my contention that in a free society, you are not constructively compelled to hire people you would rather not.

                      Guess what? When you hire someone, you are ‘discriminating’ between that person and every other applicant.

                      Employment discrimination law has proved troublesome all across the board. (The disappearance of occupational tests and the emasculation of civil service tests is one example, as is the knock-on effect of vesting higher education with the sole responsibility for sorting the workforce).

                      In this case, you do not even have a winsome clientele. Blacks were an impecunious population laboring under a universally observed social rule that they were not to be placed in line administrative and supervisory positions (bar in firms owned and operated by other blacks). The whole point of ‘non-descrimination’ law with regard to ‘sexual minorities’ is to provide them with a cause of action if the employer constructively objects to gross or exhibitionistic behavior. It is a way to rewrite public manners to benefit mascots of the aforementioned ‘mainstream professional associations’. Nothing doin’

                    • Nick

                      So the answer to my question is yes, you are perfectly comfortable with policies that discriminate against minorities. As to your attempt to equivocate on the meaning of “discrimination,” the point of just employment policies is that employers should be “discriminating” between job applicants on the basis of criteria that are relevant to work performance (eg work history, educational achievement, letters of recommendation, etc.) not on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other irrelevant demographic variable.

                      The point of non discrimination law for sexual minorities is not to allow them to flash everyone in the office, as you imply. It’s to prevent employers from, you guessed it, discrimination on the basis of things irrelevant to their work, like what gender they find attractive.

                    • Art Deco

                      Nick, the employer is interested in in a mutual beneficial trade with the employee. That turns on the skills and basic characteristics of the employee. There are ancillary considerations, but that’s it. It is not unusual in for an employment decision to turn on ancillary considerations, in part because the prospective employees are difficult to rank according to impersonal considerations.

                      As for ‘discriminating’, these ancillary considerations can benefit or penalize quite an array of people. It is your contention that your selected preference categories demand legal redress and never mind about anyone else. I do not know why you have such a solicitude for sexual deviants, but you do not strike me as someone who ever thinks outside particular boxes.

                      I have no interest whatsoever in making commercial enterprises or landlords or indeed anyone the bitch of attorneys. That is the implication of what you are advocating. One thing that unites you and the plaintiff’s bar and the world’s exhibitionists is an unwillingness not to make a pest of yourself to everyone else.

            • Facile1

              Sorry. But exactly what is your evidence that there are transgendered people in the world and not merely ‘confused’ or ‘willful’ or ‘obtuse’ people in the world?

              Can you present any material evidence such as ‘a homosexual gene’?

              Do not conflate ‘supposition coupled with spurious statistics’ with evidence.

              I have undergraduate degrees in engineering and graduate degrees in mathematics and I am more aware than most what constitutes evidence in a laboratory and in a court of law.

            • bbrown

              …”And telling straight people that there are transgendered people in the world doesn’t make them question their straightness”

              This is completely false and represents a considerable lack of understanding of human nature. The culture and all it’s institutions determine, to large extent, the thinking and formation of those who do not have a strong grounded base and touchstone to counter it.
              That’s why so many home-school now.

        • Bob

          ” linking to an article that begins with scare-mongering over a transgendered individual entering a women’s bathroom”

          The article refers to that it actually was an undressed man in a college women’s locker room where children were also using the facility, you changed the Facts to make your point.

          And It’s only “scare mongering” if you find this type of behavior acceptable.

          And obviously, you’re missing the whole point of Rachel’s article.

        • Bob

          “As it was, my parents very sensibly recognize that femininity, like masculinity, is broad enough to allow for reasonable variation. Some men aspire to be warriors, some to be poets, and still others to be philosophers or priests or builders of great monuments. Women can be just as variable, and in that spirit, my parents accommodated me to some extent while still making it perfectly clear that I was a girl.”

          This quote from Rachel’s article is beautiful, and spot on.

        • Carl

          Every human being has short comings both physically and mentally and we struggle with them all ours lives. We offer these sufferings up to God and we can become better people through these struggles.

        • Guest

          Wow, this is just is confused. Where to begin?……….

      • Nick

        Even assuming your fears are founded (which is certainly debatable) it’s rather odd that you bring them up by somehow connecting them to ENDA, which pertains to adults in the workplace who already identify as part of the LGBT community, not children.

        • Art Deco

          The key word here is ‘workplace’. We have absolutely no need for any more regulations which impose costs which render the labor market more sclerotic than it already is. We certainly do not need that in an effort to mainstream sodomy, cross-dressing, or genital mutilation.

    • redfish

      Ice cream without sprinkles is right to me, and I’m not going to put sprinkles on my ice cream no matter what people want. I went through a period where I was questioning at first, and a period of sprinkles experimentation, but now my sprinkles identity is firm. I must have been born that way.

    • Carl

      Let’s look at one of your logical fallacies, if I were to be transgendered as you say, why would I be upset about being in a male bathroom—being a male physically? Just think of all the eye candy!
      Or is it your focus on the immorality of enjoying being in a locker room of opposite persuasion? LOL, really?
      This is all about creating new normals and you know it!

    • Facile1

      One should address only the evidence. Therefore, one can address evidence of anger and depression. One can address evidence of criminal sexual acts. And one can address bullying, but NOT ostracism or prejudice or sin.

      One cannot prove a negative. One cannot prove the absence of good. It is dangerous to allow the STATE to decide what is sin and what is not. And it is dangerous to allow the CHURCH to meet out temporal punishment.

      So, what exactly constitutes evidence for the ‘transgender’?

      The ‘transgender’ solution is, of course, to destroy the evidence.

      Leave JUSTICE to GOD because only HE is merciful and we are not.

  • puffdaddy

    Thank you

  • TomD

    This reminds me of the survey released 2005 by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, that found that 11.5% of women, ages 18 to 44, said they’ve had at least one sexual experience with another women in their lifetimes, compared with about 4% of women, ages 18 to 59, who said the same in a comparable survey a decade earlier. For women in their late teens and 20s, the percentage rose to 14%. About 6% of men in their teens and 20s said they’d had at least one same-sex encounter.

    All these numbers regarding sexual experiences from the 2005 survey are generally recognized as much higher then the prevalence of homosexuality in the general population: 1-2% identify as gay or lesbian in the general population, while roughly the same number identify as bisexual. In October 2012, Slate magazine reported that 3.4% of the population self-identified as LGBT. It is pretty clear that experimentation with homosexuality increased among the young, especially women, as homosexuality was increasingly normalized within the culture. Sexuality is more flexible than some would have you believe, and is open to “suggestion,” especially among the young.

    Anyone who believes that attempts to normalize certain behaviors that have traditionally been disapproved of does not lead to confusion, questioning, and experimentation with those behaviors, especially by the young, doesn’t understand human behavior or young people very well.

  • Tony

    We should also call things by their right names. Anybody who knows about AIDS and who nevertheless subtly encourages a self-doubting boy to think of himself as “gay,” on the grounds of those doubts, or who even encourages the boy to experiment, is EVIL. That is not a conclusion I reach from theology, but from common sense: call it depraved indifference to human life. That is EVIL. The LAST thing any really charitable person should do, for any such boy, is to lead him to the land of homoeroticism. If we really had the best interests of such boys in mind, we would do all we could to lead them into a healthy and normal masculine identity.

  • Leah

    You guys should not wonder about Huffington Post, more than half of the guys / ads / characters etc there are not guys, all of them have a third sex appearance, it is disgusting -

  • R_Stephan

    ” who might have forced me to read something like this”

    I sincerely hope no one else read this. For your sanity.

  • lifeknight

    I was late in reading this article, but wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Lu. Sadly, there are posts from the pro-homosexual LGBT crowd, but I guess we must expect that when they have scouts looking for an online “fight.”

    The whole idea of ENDA, loss of DOMA, and various court rulings in favor of these perversities is absolutely horrifying to me. Glad I decided decades ago to homeschool my children. Who has a choice now? It must be done to protect their childhoods and now their gender perceptions.

    One thing that I believe is pervasive and has not gotten much “press” in relation to these aberrant behaviors is the use of internet pornography to promote abominations. I read yesterday that the USCCB is going to issue a paper on it—in 2015. (Talk about proactive haha)

    • Adam__Baum

      “posts from the pro-homosexual LGBT crowd”
      Yes, they have the alertness of prarie dogs for anything that is posted here.

      • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

        There is a silver lining that reminds me of Ian Mckellan. He has reported that when he checks into a hotel, he finds the Bible there and rips out the chapters in Leviticus condemning homosexual acts. He’s actually doing us a favor in two ways. 1). He’s affirming that the Bible does indeed condemn it in the face of decades of liberal Christians employing all manner of distorted pretzel-logic to pretend it doesn’t. and 2). Reminding us that his is a soul that is not at peace. Meaning his conscience isn’t totally deadened and there is still hope. Same here.

  • Pingback: Mere Links 11.14.13 - Mere Comments

  • thebigdog

    I think dog parks should add a third fire hydrant for our four legged friends who have been fixed.

  • WSquared

    My distaste for the oversexualized, vulgar overtones of girl-directed
    products was healthy. My intellectual hubris was not. The latter
    eventually found a healthier outlet through the advanced study of
    philosophy. And as for my rejection of “girliness,” I must say that
    marriage and motherhood eventually softened my attitude towards feminine
    things.

    This has been my experience, too.

    I never really felt comfortable with being a woman and femininity until I returned to the Catholic Church. There, feminine needn’t equate itself with shallow girliness, and it doesn’t. There’s depth and substance to Catholic femininity, I suspect, because of its insistence on humility and modesty for the enabling of receptivity to God. I’m also an aspiring scholar who wears lace chapel veils.

    Girly and glamorous in our culture tends to be a rather pushy, plasticky kind, which is not the same as elegant and understated that work with what a woman has. Any girl or woman has to more accurately identify what she’s rejecting: is she rejecting “femininity,” or “womanhood,” or is she really rejecting what the culture pushes and markets, as well as the kinds of attitudes that many girls and women encourage that pull down other girls and women (the “politics of nice” being one of those things)?

  • Facile1

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    ‘Sex-change’ operations are misnomers. The ‘transgendered’ are not really interested in sex at all. Whether they were born with male or female genitalia, the sex-change operation makes sex for pro-creation an impossibility.

    Contraceptives, abortion, and homosexual acts have always sent a subliminal message that target young girls especially. The theme common to all is that the female body is the ENEMY to the freedom, the success, and the happiness that men enjoy. This is a powerful message that can engender a deep-seated self-hatred for her own body in a young girl.

    Now the message has changed to “having children is the enemy to the freedom, the success, and the happiness that only the childless can enjoy.” This is a powerful message that can engender a deep-seated self-hatred for one’s own body in a child, male or female.

    One should ask these same questions about transgenderism that we NEVER asked about contraceptives, abortion and homosexual acts:

    How can one justify exposing perfectly healthy bodies to a drug?

    How can one justify subjecting one’s body (or another’s) to a medically unnecessary, invasive surgical procedure such as an abortion or a sex-change operation?

    How can the indifference of homosexual acts to the reality of one’s own reproductive organs teach anyone anything about self-love and self-respect?

    Contraceptives, abortions, homosexual acts have been sold as “equal rights” to women and gays. BUT the bottom-line is this: It is God’s gift of sexuality that is drugged, assaulted and marginalized.

    So, how will transgenderism be sold to the Nation States? Will androgyny become an ‘equal right’ perhaps? And will the human child as God created him or her become extinct?

    • Bob

      “Homo curvature in se”: man curved in on himself.

      The LGBT community is all about self centeredness and narcissism. We are to fight our sinful demons, not make a lifestyle out of them.

      • Facile1

        Profound comment. Thank you.

  • Matthew Jeffers

    Fortunately, Liberals don’t like to breed. So, we just have to keep the faith, teach our kids right, influence people with our ideas, values, and way of life, and eventually, we’ll win the day. We do have to eradicate the liberal sickness from our schools and workplaces, though. It will come with time.

    • Bob

      Great points. And you can tell that Crisis Magazine by discussing Catholic Truth and social thought does a great job by the fact that so many atheists and homosexuals come on this website to attack the articles, authors and devout Catholics that post on the site. It is sad that so many people would come here and rather attack the Church and its teachings, then possibly learn these Truths of Christ. But kudos to Crisis Magazine, keep up the good work!

  • bbrown

    Rachel, that was just so well done and wise. You remind me of GK Chesterton’s profound use of common sense. Just want to encourage you to keep at it and keep writing – I read A LOT and you are becoming one of my favourite, most reliably sound and orthodox writers.

    –Wm. Francis Brown MD
    Forest, VA

  • Evan Dickinson

    It is exactly the “themes of masculinity or femininity” that is the foundation for gender identity. It is any stereotype people can find or cling to.

    In truth women are not even meant to sew necessarily. Its just another stereotypical activity. We don’t gain by pushing any of those stereotypes as definers of sexual identity. In truth the fact that masculine and feminine often go hand in hand with sexual identity is based not on a fundamental fact of life. Both you and the identity politics people accept fundamentally that there is some behavior that is either male or female and that is the problem.

  • gary47290

    This essay is a confusing cacophony of illogic and makes a poor case for the author’s position in the debate.

    Ms Lu, your history of “gender non-conforming” interests from your adolescence has nothing to do with gender Identity. You were clear you were female, you just liked some activities that are traditionally “identified” as male. Personally, I see nothing male about football, or female about cheer leading. Those buckets are just narrow-minded attempts to control hobbies and interests.

    I don’t understand gender dysphoria, but accept the existence of such a clinical diagnosis. Your argument of numbers for transgender vs non-trans leading to confusion is a pointless and a gratuitous insult to the small number of people who are transgender, if psychologists are correct. How many people in bucket “x” must their be, before non-discrimination should be protected in law? Is 1.7% a large enough number that Jews should be protected? 10% enough to protect African Americans? Is 0.3% small enough that it’s OK to discriminate against the Roma (“Gypsies”)?

    It’s your problem is this bothers you, and the law should protect trans people from your intolerance. If you want to argue that a trans identity is a lie, or fiction, then do so. But don’t argue its OK to discriminate against 0.01% because they are so few.

  • RS

    You make a great leap in your article that really undermines what you have to say. Being transgender is much more deeply felt than liking polka dot dresses or football. Its about core notions of who you are, about a deep, traumatic struggle with the body you were born in. And no amount of time playing with the same-sex changes that.

    • Mo86

      People who don’t know if they are male or female are in desperate need of psychological help. It’s not something to be encouraged – especially in children.

  • Mo86

    “Do liberal parents really not appreciate the insecurity they will introduce by opening a rift between “sex” and “gender”? ”

    It really does seem that such liberals (and other supporters of these views) really don’t care about this. Or rather, they are so darkened in their minds already that they see it as something good and healthy for children. They think that giving children these “choices” is something positive and helpful to them.

    It horrifies me to think how these children are growing up. Every moment under this destructive teaching and being told these lies ruins their minds a bit more. We don’t even know if this damage can then be undone!

    And just think, with Obamacare we will one day be forced to pay for the psychiatric treatment of these people who don’t even know if they are males or females.

    It’s horrifying. When are we going to start speaking the truth and demanding that this child abuse STOP?

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  • Dana LaRocca

    The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is about employment discrimination. It has nothing to do with children transitioning. Other than that, this is a well written and thoughtful article.

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